I know that bolt act. Rifles are considered to be more accurate than semi's , does this hold true for 22's also ? Asking because I like to target shoot and my marlin 60 is actually my sons when he reaches age and I will need another down the line.
Had you included lever action in your choices I'd say lever, but between semiauto and bolt action choices, I'd go with a bolt for accuracy, simplicity, and the fact that if you get a tube fed bolt action it most likely shoot short, long and long rifle cartridges.
Between my CZ-452 American and my Browning SA-22, the CZ bolt action is a lot more accurate. When I run expensive Lapua ammo through it I can make teenie, tiny groups with the Leupold 4x scope mounted on top. But the Browning is still fairly accurate. Hard to go wrong either way, they're both a lot of fun. Like il Padrino alluded to, you might want to check out the Henry lever actions 22s.
Eric, I'd go with a bolt action rifle. I'm about to choose one for my 12 years old daughter and I have two options: Marlin 881 or Mossberg 802. I haven't made my mind just yet. If I could I'd get a 39 Mounty for her, though.
For plinking I like semi auto.For serious target or accuracy contest with a friend I like bolt action.I also believe a kid should be trained with a bolt gun.My son will be when he is older.Basic fundamentals and safety first.
My typical response is that newer shooters benefit MOST from Bolt-actions...as they force one to take their time & focus cleanly on each shot.
Also helpful to older shooters who haven't shot in awhile to get their mind set right on proper shooting technique.
After one becomes proficient, grab a semi-auto and use the SAME aiming & shooting techniques, and the semi-auto will be just as precise...
assuming it was built properly
Don't matter what action you are using when yer shooting .22lr's under 100 yards...as long as you are using Quality Ammo & proper technique.
(Which means, NO Remington rimfire ammo at all)...a practiced and careful shooter can put 'em all in a dime at 25 & 50 yards with any action.
Mind you, it takes REGULAR practice to do that...if you want Olympic Quality results, you have to put in Olympic Quality practices!!
Brother in law gave daughter old sears bolt 22. After lots of work rebuilding. She loved it. Until she saw colors of 10/22 stocks. Now has purple rifle with glitter on fore end. Loves it. Cackles with glee for a couple hundred rounds. Get a bolt make it hers. Don't look back
I do like the statement Swany made regarding TOO MANY ROUNDS TO SHOOT TOO FAST in a semi-auto for a beginner. I saw a kid at the range the other day with a Ruger 10/22 with a rotary mag and he shot about 50 rounds in 10 seconds and they covered every corner of that 3 foot by 4 foot target sheet.
I personally love Savage Bull Barrel Bolt Action Rifles but can only say the reason I never bought a Marlin Bolt .22 is I already had my Savages and did not see a need to duplicate calibers. Not only is it a known fact that bolt actions are more accurate than semi-auto, it is also a known fact that Bull Barrels are more accurate than small barrels.
This my Savage MKII BSEV - it is 100% stock except for the scope and it shoots tiny groups in the center of the target at 100 yards - -
My Ruger Competition .22LR Pistol always accompanies my BSEV.
For Magnum Power I go with my Savage 93BTVS .22Magnum and my Ruger Single Six Hunter .22 Magnum.
In any case a bolt action is the best way to go for a new shooter.
I grew up squirrel hunting mostly with single shot 22's. That single shot will make anyone think before pulling the trigger. A bolt action 5 shot with a single shot adapter would be good for young shooters to learn on. CZ scout would fit most young shooters or a old Marlin bolt. Neighbor cut down the stock and barrel for his boy when he was 8 or 9 years old. It still shot good. It was a Marlin 5 or 6 shot.
A semi auto is just the same as a bolt action when accuracy is concerned. Its not the gun making accurate shots its the shooter. I have a Marlin XT22M Bolt action. .22 magnum . Id suggest getting that for your son if you feel the thought of buying him a bolt action is a better idea
Blowback operated .22 rifles are pretty simple. Had my 795 out for the first time since changing the stock and rear sight yesterday. A 10-round mag into a .357 sized hole with open sights at 15 yards seems good to me.
Personally, I'd lean more towards a single shot like the Savage/Stevens Favorite, or a lever like a Henry Youth (which will also cycle .22s/l/lr).