I recently bought my grandson (9), a Rossi single shot 22/410 matched barrels. Very easy to change barrels. I wanted the single shot as a starter, but the ability to break it down will make it a good back pack/ survival gun. 32inch overall length. $165 at Walmart.
quote: think im gonna get a 10/22 takedown instead though
The 10/22 takedown is a nicer gun no doubt but it does carry a $100+ price tag above the henry plus it doesn't float. The henry being in a water tight container is a huge selling point for me for a survival rifle.