I have a Savage 25, not what I would pick for a kid, a little fussey on cycling, I couldn't find a single-shot follower to remedy that. Reloading for this little bugger doesn't give much room for error. Maybe factory ammo (shorter OAL) might help cycling, but not the accuracy. Maybe 17HMR might be better, locating spent brass isn't as important and ammo will be much more available. I guess maybe your son is an adult, didn't consider that....It has a small report, zero recoil and way more effective than the HMR on prairie dawgs. I just don't often see one around here....I actually don't know another local that has one. Good luck with the seach...there are a couple on Gun Broker currently.
I have a CZ in 17 Hornet I may consider parting with. Professionally bedded, timney trigger, clip repeater w/single shot adapter, scope rings, absolute accurate using favored load with the 20 gr. bullet. Just thinking of thinning the gun safe as I don't get a chance to use this one. PM if interested.