What is the single most important firearm type for TEOTWAWKI: Reviewing four modern semi-automatic 22lr caliber rifles.


by Jesse Mathewson

In these United States, we have seen hundreds if not thousands of 22lr caliber rifles come and go over the years. Arguably the Ruger 10/22 is the most well known and oldest version of the semi-automatic 22lr rifles still in production today, originally coming onto the scene in 1964 with a rotary style magazine, as compared to the other rifles in today’s review, which all utilize stick style magazines. This rifle was ahead of its time and served to make Ruger a household name, along with the further innovations in the Mini (14, 30 etc.,) series rifles and a variety of handguns.

It is important to understand that my choice personally for 22lr caliber rifle; for the purposes of this article, is not based on anything other than testing, function, weight, price and overall effective efficiency in filling the role as meat provider for the table in a grid down situation, or even as a defensive tool. (And all arguments aside, 22lr is a deadly round, this has been proven time and again over the years, I will attach links to several factual stories of defense against BG’s with the lowly 22lr, not too mention its use as a premier fly swatter for individuals intent on fulfilling pest control of a two-legged variety of varmint.)** On a personal note I have used it quite actively over the years for varmint control, freezer filling and more, sadly the caliber .22 being banned for hunting in many states now, though this is not a serious issue in a grid down situation. After all, some laws are simply not moral or necessary.

The following four rifles include four of the top brand names and are modern, still in production, semi-automatic magazine fed 22lr caliber rifles. The specifics for each are listed below for your perusal. I am not including bolt action .22lr or tube fed, I am not including any 22lr caliber clones of AR, AK or other military variants. I am also not including conversion kits for AR styled rifles as these have their own set of issues and costs.

Marlin Model 795

  • .22 long rifle
  • 10 round stick magazine, 1 in chamber
  • 18” barrel
  • Sights, adjustable open rear, ramp front sight with grooves in receiver for scope mounting
  • 1: 16 rh twist
  • 4.5lbs unloaded
  • 37” overall length
  • Suggested retail is 239.99

Relatively new, not many aftermarket parts, somewhat based on the Marlin 60 which was a truly fine 22lr and shone in many areas. Very accurate rifle and for the cost is extremely nice. Only ammunition issues were Remington flat tips, otherwise, shoots everything.

I had one, and loved it, however, as the cost is more than the Mossberg 702 which follows, I haven’t invested more in additional copies. And as I am a KISS proponent and fan, it is essential that those within my core group are armed in a similar fashion so as to reduce the number of possible problems when arming, rearming etc.,

Mossberg 702 Plinkster

  • .22 long rifle
  • 10 round stick magazine/ 25 round factory extended magazines available
  • 18” barrel
  • Adjustable sights (replace with Tech Sights) grooved for scopes, not milspec, you will need to get a 3/8” scope mount or adapter, which is easily found on Amazon for milspec additions and rails.
  • This is not abnormal with non AR styled .22lr firearms, to be more pointed, many hunting rifles come with this mount approach. So it is in fact a standard mounting for hunters.
  • 1:16 twist rh
  • Synthetic Stock, Wood Stock and or additional colors available if needed. However, the standard black synthetic stock works effectively.
  • 4lb’s
  • 37” overall length
  • Suggested price 176.00

Based on an older model, several companies make aftermarket parts, however, magazines are still only available from the factory. It is not as popular as the 10/22 and as such suffers from a lack of aftermarket parts availability. Extremely reliable and accurate. Only ammunition issues were Remington flat tips, otherwise, shoots everything.

This is my top choice, they can be found for around $100 at most Wal-Marts, or used for even less depending on location, rarely have I seen them over $160. Pinned barrel, simple action blowback action. A bit of sandpaper and a philips head screwdriver will have the barrel free floated in under 15 minutes. I currently own several, with 10 magazines for each one. An inexpensive one-inch nylon sling, $79 on Tech Sights (Amazon), and you will have a rifle that will easily get you a rifleman badge at the local Appleseed shoot, keep it clean and you will never have an issue with it.

Ruger 10/22

  • .22 long rifle
  • 10 round cyclical magazine/ 25 round factory extended magazines available
  • gold bead front sight (replace with Tech Sights)
  • 1:16 twist rh
  • 18.5” barrel
  • 5.75lb’s
  • 37” overall length
  • Suggested price 379.00

Extremely popular there is no shortage of aftermarket kits, parts, and the bells and whistles you may require to make your survival gun both pretty and relatively functional. Have owned 4 from the mid 80’s through 2009, all were ammunition specific firearms, or finicky. Accuracy was decent, however, magazine issues (factory magazines) and some ammunition feed issues had me selling them all.

After spending two years helping out with local Appleseed shoots in Arizona, I witnessed two or three failures every shooting day of every Appleseed from the Ruger 10/22. Now, this does not mean you wont find solid shooting 10/22s, it just means that during that two year time, my Mossberg 702s never failed, not once, and the 10/22 in multiple configurations from factory basic through $2000 plus add on configured did.

Savage 64 F

  • 22 long rifle
  • 10 round stick magazine
  • open sights, drilled and tapped for scope mounting
  • 1:16 rh twist
  • 21” barrel length (slightly better accuracy and ballistics should result)
  • weight is 5lbs.
  • Suggested price $140.00

True free floated barrel, several variations available, generally considered to be most accurate out of the box and having shot one or two, I would tend to agree. It is an extremely accurate, ammunition picky, but VERY accurate. It has also been out since 1964, though the first model met with bad reception due to using plastic magazines. Its following is not nearly as large as the base for the Ruger 10/22. Less market share, less possibility for parts being made by companies other than Savage.

I really enjoy this gun, and you will as well. Make sure you can get magazines for it, and check ammunition reliability in it. Otherwise, it’s a great firearm.

22-riflesRemember, in a TEOTWAWKI situation, .22lr is going to be a very important caliber. Local harvesting laws will not matter with regards to game, they are relatively quiet, and with an accurate (sandbagged and properly sighted in) version of one of the above models you will do fine. Personally, I prefer Mossberg 702’s and will gladly submit to competition between any one of the several owned and any .22lr you choose. I do not like the AR styled, AK styled or kits that allow shooting of .22lr in regular firearms. Though I can understand the desire for some people to keep things as similar as possible, in most cases, practice is severely lacking in individuals preaching this approach.

If you need to practice with your AR then, practice with the AR. Recoil, noise and all the accompanying parts of shooting the .223 or 5.56 round is essential to solid practice. If you want to practice fundamentals of shooting and accuracy, the type of firearm will not matter nearly as much as the fundamentals themselves. If you are able to “run and gun” than do so, but make sure you practice and train with legitimate trainers in these areas. In my strict opinion as a lifetime shooter, who does okay for himself when shooting, rifleman basics are not stylistic or reliant on type of rifle, but rather on the approach used and fundamentals practiced.

This is why I do not have, recommend or use three point slings, single point slings or any number of special “tactical” attachments that so often take a 6lb AR and make it a 15lb monstrosity. KISS, always, for the sake of those reading, this is a very easy word to decipher. Keep It Simple Silly. A solid two point sling, understanding why laying down is more stable than seated and seated is more stable than standing and resting the rifle is more stable than standing without resting the rifle is essential to accuracy. Hollywood does a great job of making gun owners stupid, its up to us to ensure we don’t reinforce the ridiculous notions regarding gun owners in the media, politics and Hollywood.

So now you have four choices for a TEOTWAWKI rifle, remember, even in “gun free” nations, .22lr is used and owned in most cases by people interested in hunting, target practice and simply having for self-defense. A .22lr firearm must be cleaned every 300 rounds on average or after every practice session, I clean all my firearms every two weeks with a basic rubdown and lube, in depth twice a year, and after every range session. The sole exception being cached and or stored firearms- which are stored soaked in lubricants and in ZCORR storage bags, review to follow. These .22lr firearms also work very well to introduce non-shooters and or non-preppers to the world of prepping/ shooting without hurting their shoulders, ears and easily showing them the benefits and sheer pleasure of hitting a target where you want too.

Shoot on fellow Wolf Pack members, be safe, smart and above all, be free!

**Links follow, some are graphic in nature, please be aware.

http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/using-the-22-for-self-defense (statistics regarding various calibers used for defense of self)
http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/20/news/bangor/man-who-shot-home-invaders-in-hermon-i-had-to-protect-myself/ (self-defense with .22lr handgun)
http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/news-northern-kentucky/Boone-County-homeowner-shoots-kills-intruder/16463942?item=0 (92-year-old man shoots and kills home intruder with .22lr rifle)
https://www.learnaboutguns.com/2010/04/29/elderly-iowa-woman-uses-her-22-handgun-in-self-defense/ (89-year-old woman uses 22lr handgun to defend herself)
http://gunssavelives.net/self-defense/13-year-old-armed-with-ruger-1022-saves-his-mother-from-intruder-thought-to-be-on-drugs/ (13 year old uses 10/22 to defend family)

There are many, many more verifiable stories, and I am sure if any of us has spent time in the woods, we all know someone who has harvested game with a .22lr, legal or not. (Though I do not openly recommend doing anything that will bring you in contact with authorities, eg., don’t do illegal things. Understand there is always consequences to every action, always.)

Free the mind and the body will follow.


  1. Disappointed that you didn’t include the Remington 597. Wife loves hers, it never fails. Iy’d s real tack driver!

  2. My four sons says:

    While I have the utmost respect for the .22 caliber rifle, IMHO the most versatile weapon post shtf is the 12 guage shotgun. Buckshot, slugs, birdshot, and the ability for virtually anyone even someone with poor eyesight can become profeciant with.

    • Remember, patterning, and aim still applies. Especially at sub 50 yards. Im a weight person, ounces =’s pounds, and pound for pound, shotguns outweigh .22 though the alternatve benefits may be something you prefer, and rightly so. 🙂

      • My four sons says:

        Very true pound for pound a 22 is hard to beat.I see you are a fan of the plinks term I have had nothing but trouble with mine. The feed ramp keeps cutting off bullet tips . And it jams because of this. Any similar issues?

        • Never, what ammo are you using?

          And have heard of issues, may need a solid fluff and buff or its not seating mag properly (catch is off)

          I have 8, zero issues, nothing but pleasure.

          However, I am ammo sensitive, eg., I use ely primed aguila only. And rarely cci and or federal big box for plinking. But for serious work, ely primed or ely ammo all day. Worth the extra $s for me.

  3. Last night I saw a report of the Washington shooter that he used a 10-22.

    • It happens, 🙂 good thing he didnt use a more reliable one. 🙂

      • Nothing wrong with 10-22 reliability. My sons is abused (seldom cleaned) and outshoots my 597 any day of the week, has never been finicky with what it eats compared to my Remington that only likes Rem. ammo.

        More interesting about the 10-22… several armies have chosen it as an urban sniping rifle. That alone causes me to wonder, “If the 10-22 is so unreliable and finicky, why didn’t those armies choose a cheaper, more reliable rifle?”

    • To increase the reliability of the Ruger 10/22, I would suggest installing the VOLQUARTSEN Extractor and spring kit. About $15.00 on Amazon.

      • One of my daughters shooting mentors is sponsored by vq, amazing products, agreed it does make a difference.

        • I have a 10/22.
          I think a mild 10/22 recipe would be
          1 a sling
          2 longer magazine release lever
          3 Modify the plate so you can charge it with one hand.
          4 bolt buffer
          5 polish the bolt and etc
          Here comes the either or
          6 Better sights be it tech or williams or etc.
          7 Pict rail to mount a scope
          8 scope whatever floats your boat be it a lazer or a old school glass.
          9 improve trigger be it a drop in parts or polishing factory parts.

          you can hang the coffee maker and tooth pick dispenser with the tacticool or mall ninja and have a carbine that was as heavy as my Mosin as my model 44.

  4. Actually in a TEOTWAWKI condition the worst kind of firearm to own is one that requires dedicated magazines. It’s easy to lose magazines, and to damage one. Without a magazine the firearm is a single shot. Another consideration is the availability of spare parts. So…better have many, many, magazines and essential spare parts for your .22 rifle. The parts that most often fail.

    • All considerations taken into account.

      45+ parts in the standard pump or level tube fed.

      The mossberg 702 has 22 – with less than 5 of any potential breakage issues.

      As for magazines, it will run as a single shot as well. 🙂

    • Nolan
      That is why tube feed is such a good idea. Slower reload but no mags to lose.

  5. Glad to see someone else proclaiming the benefits of a good .22lr rifle. Thanks for this review.

  6. Michael Hildenbrand says:

    Now, if only someone would design a .22 for pocket carry. All the .22 pistols I have seen are either too large, or have too many sharp edges for pocket carry. You can convert some pistols, but you only get 10 shots.

    • The closest I have found that functioned well was the bersa 22 firestorm (may have name wrong) no longer own it, but it functioned and worked well.

      My daughter carries a ruger sr22, my wife carried a walther p22 for several years, we all have glock 19s as well. And (the wife) carries one daily now.

    • Sig makes a p938 in 22lr.

  7. As to the effectiveness of the .22 caliber. While serving as a prosecutor, every one of the firearm related homicide cases I tried, the .22lr was the killing round involved and, without exception, only one round was the cause of death. Pair a .22 rifle with a .22 revolver (with a four inch barrel) and you’re definitely prepared for business.

    • I tend to agree, without a doubt I have absolute trust in 22lr as a cartridge. (Have taken it so far as too only use ely primed/ely rounds) since changing over, expense has risen for shooting, however, in our family training outweighs simple plinking. Every shot is meant to count.

      Never personally had anything walk away after being hit properly.

  8. I bought a 10/22 years ago for $130 and only had one problem with it. It went full auto the first time I shot it but has since never malfunctioned, jammed or failed to feed while using factory mags. Ramline mags do not function well. The new BX25 factory mags function like original equipment. There must have been a burr on the firing pin for it to go full auto IMHO. Lol it was fun though with a 50 round mag. It completely emptied it.

    • Always fun shooting full auto 🙂

      Have seen it happen several times at appleseeds. Good to know you were able to fix it and it hasnt continued to be a problem.

      • JM, that was the first and only time that 50 round ramline magazine function without jamming. Lol

        • Makes ya, laugh- arrgg, I learned to shoot on a 10/22 – at 3

          • JM,I learned with an old HR pioneer single shot at 8. Learned to make every shot count because you only had 1. I learned a bow at 3 , but of course it had suction cups. Lol

            • The good old days, started my daughter out with a cricket single shot .22lr – she was 3, she is 7 now, has a AR, .22lr handgun, glock19 and can use them all – technically I have them, however, she can use them efficiently and effectively.

              Dang awesome little kid she is, my better in every way, proud to be her dad.

  9. Marlin md60 is the best in my opinion!

    • I do love the Marlin 60, however, as my physical abilities are restricted, and weight is indeed an issue, these choices were the ones made in leu of other firearms I love. (Several lever guns would stay home, along with a few CZ match bolt guns and the like)

      • The Marlin model 60 predates the Ruger 10/22, as manufacture began in 1960. There are some advantages to the tube feed magazine. I’ve had mine since 1984, still shoots like a champ.

        There is very little weight difference in the Model 60 and the 10/22.

        • Agreed with weight, while I enjoy my tube fed mossberg 400s (2) and the one model 60 I have, parts are difficult, and numerous – its a toss up.

          Carry extra parts or extra mags…

          Would rely on any of my regular shooters for tshtf- but prefer the ultra lightweight 702 4lbs is very hard to beat.

    • John
      I have 3 Marlins and 1 ruger. Out of the box I prefer the Marlin. I would like to get a few more Marlins . The 795 and the papoose the midget magnum would all be welcome additions to my household. I would like another Ruger also. I would not put allot of money into it ,that is just me though.

      • I have only heard good about the 795, I will be investing in one, im an ammosechual/gunaddict/knifeloving outdoorsman who is happiest in the field 🙂

        • Infidel Ben says:

          I was very blessed to have been raised in the 50’s and 60’s. I would walk 2 miles in the dark to go hunting on my distant cousins property. I was allowed to use her elderly husbands Remington Speedmaster and Nylon 66. WOW. Smooth shooters. Accurate. Oh the memories. I recently purchased the Ruger 10-22 breakdown model. Stainless, Kryptek stock. The problem with the 10-22’s I have owned: You have to shoot 500 to 1000 rounds to really break them in. I have a friend who has a Brown and a Black Nylon 66. Thanks for a great article. I chose the 10-22 because of ease of working on it and the parts you can buy on ebay.

  10. While I agree that a .22 rifle is highly desirable in a collapse situation, I do not agree that it is the single most important firearm. Supplying meat is accomplished much more efficiently with traps, fishing, or (best of all) some form of livestock (even if that “livestock” is rabbits). The most important function of a firearm will be for personal defense. While a .22 rifle (especially a semi-automatic) is much better than nothing for that purpose, it is greatly inferior to a shotgun or center-fire rifle.
    I would much prefer to have an AR-15, AK-47, or some similar carbine length semi-automatic rifle with full capacity magazines as this achieves an optimum balance between weight, size, and capability. If this is not an option, then the lowly lever action 30-30 would be my second choice. Either option could be the used to clear a room or engage a target at 300 yards (using Hornady Leverevolution ammo in the 30-30).

    • I would agree, preferably having any AR or Ak variant would be my choice. However, its the one or none scenario, and weight is measured in feet traveled and ounces shaved. Size means weight is more etc., (I do love and rely on my K31’s, Mausers, Engfields, ARs and more…however, if I had to have one choice only, it would be a solid semi auto .22 rifle)

  11. This a very stupid article on available .22lr survival rifles. Why limit the choice to these four rifles when there are so many other semi auto, bolt action and single shot rifles. The obvious omissions are incredible such as the Remington 552 and 597s plus all bolt guns similar to the ruger 77/22 and coopers. Does the rifle have a threaded barrel? That is what this author has missed. Low noise level will be the primary concern in a Teotwawki event.

    • I only review what I have experience with.

      • Additionally I avoided bolt actions, lever guns etc., because as I replied earlier any person who owns them can tell you. There are actually far more parts in those firearms, not too mention ounces equal pounds and weight is an essential factor. However, I do not expect to be agreed with always, and thank you for your response.

        • But you have to admit the plethora of parts in a bolt, lever, or pump, take less beating during use than those same/similar parts in a semi-auto. If one is purchasing a rifle for extreme reliability and longevity, few moving parts and quite possibly the best accuracy, then one should not look beyond the single shot break action, with single shot bolt being second choice.

          • Depends on design, blowback .22lr is not something I worry about stressing parts on much. Another reason I selected .22lr, low failure threshold regardless ammunition used- in parts/firearm chosen- again, I own eight, all of them get used virtually every weekend. No failures for over 4 years now.

        • coopers are really expensive guns and I doubt that many people will use those for gunnng and running or really hard use.

    • TPSnodgrass says:

      Bathe “nice” thing about writing an article, especially this one, is that the author was quite clear, in WHY he was/is reviewing the specific rifles he did. I personally thought the article was very informative in regarding rifles (the Mossbergs) I have no experience with. While my two all time favorite brands are the Ruger 10/22 and the Marlin model 60, I appreciate the time, and research Jesse put into this article.
      While I certainly disagree with “noise discipline” being ” the most important”consideration in. SHTF! EOTWAWKI, scenario, each of us is responsible four our own salvation, and we need to respect others experience, knowledge and personal desires.
      For the record, I don’t know him, don’t know anyone nor related to anyone in his family, great article, Jesse.

      • I appreciate the feedback, especially positive. (Though negative is a growing experience) thank you!

      • Rich in Pa says:

        If you do not think that noise discipline is important then you are clueless. “While I certainly disagree with “noise discipline” being ” the most important”consideration in. SHTF!

        • Rich in Pa:

          We all have our own experience(s) to work with, many might not have your experience in noise discipline. However, that should not be taken as an opportunity for you to try to degrade some who’s opinion differs with you.

      • I agree — I traded my 10/22 and mags for some handguns once I found the Mossberg Plinkster — the big factors for me was the weight and the price. The plinkster is so much lighter and I can get three plinksters for the price of one 10/22. You can put a cheap scope on it and it is all you need in a 22. I just wish there was a folding stock, but other than that, it is great … BTW – never had a malfunction on the Mossberg. Thanks again. MDPrepper on Youtube also agrees.

  12. The Plinster came home just because of the weight. I have 2 10-22’s, one converted to a 1/9 twist for 60 gr Subsonic bullets. My personal favorite is a Remington 552 Speedmaster; classic looks, semi-auto, tube magazines, shoots Short/Long, Long Rifle.

  13. For those reading, of the pictured firearms you will notice some lacking their (barrels) as they are in fact threaded. I enjoy using supressors as most .22lr ammunition is subsonic being under 1085 fps. Regardless, supression has been accounted for and not mentioned in the article for necessary reasons. Good luck all wolf packers

    • Jesse:

      I’m going to have to take exception to “most .22lr ammunition is subsonic being under 1085 fps.” From my experience most ammunition that people regularly buy is 1200+ fps., as in most 36 gr hp or 40 gr solids sold in bulk. CCI “Standard Velocity” is around 1085. Most Hyper-velocity of over 1400. Most of my Subsonic is under 1050 – 1065 fps. CCI’s 27 gr HP Shorts are rated at 1100. My “hunting” HP’s run 1280.

      I also enjoy and use a suppressor. But, thankfully, more and more rifles are coming threaded as the cost of having it done is $85 to $150 here.

      • You make a good point, I should have caveat-ed that with, most standard velocity/ big box- and absolutely, the additional costs are irritating, thankfully, machinist in group means I barter items/services for the same. (nice having threads on all the firearms) just in case.

  14. I’m also just nuts over the little 22LR round and have a few rifles I hold dear to me.
    One being the popular Ruger 10/22 rifle.
    There’s a whole world of customized parts available for this wonderful little rifle today that you boggle your brain just looking at all of them!
    It eats about what ever kind of ammo I feed it and shoots them accurate enough to strike fear into small game & makes empty soda cans wish the stayed in the recycling bin !
    I love my Ruger 10/22 more than Pringles potato chips……..

  15. Chuck Findlay says:

    As long as it’s reliable I don’t see what difference it makes as to who’s name in on the gun.

    I personally would take my bolt-action 22 over a semi-auto for survival as I don’t see a Mad Max future as much of a chance. I do have several semi-auto 22’s, but the bolt just seems more practical.

    Also have numerous 22 handguns from a Beretta 22 short up to a 10-inch Ruger semi-auto. I would say a revolver is the best thing to compliment the bolt rifle. I have a High Standard Sentinel 6-inch revolver (9-shot and made in 1954, looks like new) and it is a good gun to go with a rifle. I can hold a 3-inch group with it off hand at 25-ft without using the sites, using the sites I can 1/2 that. A great gun to shoot and it’s good to train new shooters on.

    During every war we have had the last 100+ years a sniper with a bolt-action was able to inflict more fear in the enemy then a guy with an AR or AK, don’t underestimate the ability do this. Not that I would not want a semi-auto in a combat situation, but a bolt action could easily kill more people in most situations other then a bunch of bad guys making a all-out rush on you. Even then if you start firing a gun at them (any gun) hey are going to be looking for cover. And once a stalemate happens the sniper gun comes into it’s own and can swing the outcome in your favor. One-shot, one-kill will really put the fear of death into anyone.

    Also a bolt-action naturally makes you take time with each shot where as a semi-auto doesn’t. And post-SHTF saving ammo may very well be a factor. I have a LOT (A really, really lot) of 22 ammo, but if it hits the fan I will still want to conserve it and get the most out of every shot.

    I do a bit of hunting and I find that when using a single-shot handgun I take time to make sure the shot counts. I don’t do this as much with a semi-auto and nor does anyone else. When you know there is any ware from 10 to 30 more bullets ready to fly out the barrel you (we all) naturally don’t value the first shot as much. So we burn through a lot more ammo and really don’t do much better as far as killing things.

    The most fun I have at the range shooting is not with my semi-auto guns, it’s with my bolt or single shot guns as my hit average is much, much higher. And hitting the target is what it’s all about.

    But really, beyond a quality working gun it comes down to personal choice, they all will do the job, just have to practice hitting the target.

  16. My tube feed Mossy had one jam and one failure to fire in 60 years ! Nothing has ever broken. I’m 80 now and the Mossy will outlive me. Shame they don’t make it any more.
    Want a spare if 2 is 1 and 1 is none happens.

  17. Chuck Findlay says:

    The most likely problem with a tube-fed 22 is the brass tube gets bent (We use to see 4 or 5 of these per year at the gun shop.)

    But there is a universal replacement you can buy that can be cut to fit any 22 rifle. All you do is cut it to the right length and put your end cap on it. It would be worth buying a spare tube to have on hand.

  18. JSW.
    I know what you’re saying & where you’re coming from.
    Too bad we don’t have some bacon flavored Pringles to pass around while talking about love affairs of our 22-cal rifles…..

    I too love a good shooting bolt-action for serious shot placements on small game & just marksmanship practice.
    I’ve got a Lakefield Mk-II (before Savage acquired them) bolt-action & spare 5 & 10 shot mags.
    Like you said, they are great for ammo conservation & making your first shot count.
    I’ve been working with an old Stevens 120 single-shot that was given to me years ago with a missing bolt.
    The bolt alone cost me almost $80 from Gun-Parts.com
    But it’ll make a gun for working with kids, or a take-a-long rifle when checking traps when I’m done with it.

    You’ve got a 6-inch barrel High-Standard Sentinel, huh?
    I’ve got the same pistol with a 4-inch barrel.
    My wife’s Grandmother gave it to us & was her late Grand-dads.
    I love that pistol just for being different than my 6-inch barreled Ruger MK-II handgun.
    Glad to hear someone else has one of these little jewels from the past !

  19. j.r. guerra in south tx. says:

    Its a real pity the Remington Nylon 66 is 1) no longer manufactured, and 2) so expensive on the used gun market. A lightweight (4 lb.) 14 shot tube fed auto loader that was pretty reliable, according to Tom Fry (You old timers like me remember that picture of him sitting on the wood blocks ?). Had quite a reputation among ‘back to the landers’ back then. Maybe worth seeking out.

    Thanks for the article – good discussions !

  20. Thomas The Tinker says:

    You have me running to the safe to get the old beater I bought at the Maumee Valley show last week end… and
    it is a bolt action single shot


    The barrel is in outstanding condition. It has no ‘rattles’, nicks or dings other than a 6 inch chunk of the stock has cracked off on the ‘off’ side. I am going to have “Westwood” lumber mill a close copy out of red oak or something better and mill the center line out to come close to fitting the barrel…. then I’m going to spend this winter hand finishing this to match the olde wood.
    I have this ‘Tactile’ thing with olde iron like this… It has served someone very well and they took good care of it… seems only right that I show ‘It’ the respect it…. deserves.

    I person could do worse than trusting a solid 22.

    Hi Chuck….. thanks for the posting Jesse.

  21. Good article and good responses! I think I learned just as much from either. I agree with the .22 as being a seriously important choice. I use one of mine quite a bit on the farm for rodent/pest control.

    Survival? As a hunter gatherer type, I know that I see far more “tweety birds” than I do deer every season. While I do not shoot birds non game species (wanton waste), I sure would if I had to provide a meal (along with other critters). My Ruger SA revolver accounts for a few grouse every year along with vermin live trapped on the place.

    I don’t own any semi-auto’s in .22 due to personal preferance, but I cannot think anyone would be too eager to move in on a person or persons so armed. Ten or more shots, easily handled, and virtually no felt recoil is usually a recipe for effective hits.

    BTW, a cheap bag of golf balls at wally world makes for some fun reactive targets for the rimfires, throw them out and shoot until they bounce out of sight. They present a full to partial view target, and the range varies with almost every shot. MAKE SURE the ground they are on will not produce a ricochet! Safety first, no rocky terrain or pavement.

    • Hi PatrickM, golf balls are a blast with a .22 handgun. They really skitter over hard ground, so they go a long way. Kind of a pain to recover for more fun.

      Also fun are empty shotgun shells. Hit the plastic part and they hop a few feet. Go for the brass and they FLY!

      I used to shoot at them in a gravel pit in Wisconsin which had high walls surrounded by corn fields, so ricochets weren’t such an issue. Lots of fun and great practice.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        Golf balls, kind of a pain to recover for more fun.

        Paint them orange, I use to do this with stuff I shot in the winter.

    • Another interesting target, for me anyway, are “swingers”. I’d bought a couple but they’d get lost in deep grass. To solve the problem, I welded some angle iron to make a “T” with a three foot post and hung the smaller frames on it. One day, deciding that I needed more targets, I welded a few old 7″ skilsaw blades and a few 10″ tablesaw blades to one half a hinge, then welded the other half to a “T” bar. Now I have “swingers” that I’ve shot out to 430 yards (the longest I can get on my field). Makes a great day getting out and learning what wid will do with a little .22 bullet. (No, don’t shoot the saw blades with anything larger ‘cuz they’ll be drilled full of holes. Even close-up– ten yards– with the .22 puts a nice little hole in 1/8″ blades.)

    • Love golfballing and stumping and shotgun casing (after discharged of course) awesome and feedback appreciated of course. Love seeing minds working here!

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        Jesse… I took my ‘new’ Iver Johnston’s Cycle Works bolt gun out to shot this Sunday morning… range was close for a special event. Headed back to town past Gander Mt. My brand new pick up started to stall out right there in the parking lot ??? so I shut it off to rest and went inside.

        Low and behold… sitting there in the used gun rack was what looked like a mint condition Winchester 63… Stainless Steel for .. (I’m not tellin but it was near 55% off MSRP). Oh yeah… they didn’t make a 63 in stainless ….. but Rossi did. It had been on the rack as of Saturday cause the old owner could not put up with the action and it wouldn’t feed 22 shorts.

        Well Duhhhhh it is a Rossi… and it is clearly stamped “22 LR” It is in mint condition. It put a three round group under a dime at 50 feet at the Maumee indoor range an hour and a half later… and I own it now. I had the range manager cut, date and sign the target… And the Iver J! fired shorts only and it groups a loose 1″ at 50 feet. Now all I gotta do is make a new stock for it.

        Jesse… you are a bad influence!

  22. My next 22 will be a Henry AR7. It will fit nicely in a BOB.

    • That’s what I’m looking at, too. Would love to hear some comments. Heard they might be finicky about ammo. How ’bout w/subsonics?

      I’ll hopefully soon get a .22, and I’ve been poking at Henry, Mossberg, Savage, and Ruger. Interesting to read the comments about the 10/22.

  23. Remington Nylon 66. Had one when I was a PFC in 1969. Had it discharge while rapidly cycling the action to empty the tube. Bullet through a dresser, door and wall. affordable at the time as my pay was $137.00 a day once a month. Bought a 10/22 for my stepsons 16th birthday. Put a trigger lock on it and told him no reason to load it. He didn’t listen. Had it leaning against his bedroom wall and he opened the door and knocked it into the corner. Rifle discharged and put a bullet into the ceiling. bad thing was we were in a 2nd floor apartment in a 3 story building. I was working out of town at the time and got a call from my wife asking what she should do. I told her to go upstairs and knock on the door, if no answer call the police. Fortunately there was an answer. I like my AR7 by Charter Arms. The re-design by Henry is very appealing.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I have a Charter Arms AR7, Haven’t shot it in 10-years. I also have a Nylon-77 by Remington, very similar to the 66 only differing in the magazine. Both good guns.

  24. I’ve got an old Savage 6A (tube fed) that I’ve owned for 40 years. Rabbit, squirrel and even a number of grouse have ‘fallen’ to it. It rarely jams (I can remember 5-times in that 40 years) and I’ve yet found a brand/type of .22lr ammo that it won’t feed.

  25. Michael Hildenbrand says:

    I did not know Sig’s P938. I’ll look in to it. Thanks for the referral.

  26. Wow, you got boned on the price of that 795! Couple years ago, I picked one up from cabelas on sale and between the sale price and the rebate, It was $99. Added a decent Nikon 3×9 and it’s as good a golf ball slayer out to 100 yards as there is out there today. The hi cap aftermarket mags are garbage but I’m OK with having a dozen 10 rounders.

  27. Any recommendations on a 1″ sling? I’ve got plenty of 1.5″ USGI-type style slings, but am having a heckuva time trying to find quick attach swivels to mount them onto a 22LR. The 1″ and 1.25″ swivels just don’t work. Need a 1.5″ or 2″ and they are scarce.

  28. I have a BRNO .22 bolt action and I love the rifle. It is very accurate.

  29. Just a suggestion, if you are able too, borrow or rent 4-5 different models and run 100 rounds through each…go with what you prefer. And what works.

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