Is the .22 Rimfire The Best Survival Firearm?

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  by Joe I

Lately I’ve seen quite a bit of information on using the .22 rimfire as a primary self-defense weapon, an option when hunting large game, and even a primary offensive weapon. This reasoning has surfaced in recent years due to several factors, including better bullets, higher velocity bullets, better quality rifles and pistols, and inexpensive weapons when compared to the larger calibers. It also reflects a large number of new gun owners who have never hunted, and have just started prepping.

As I thought about writing this article, I wanted to first look at the advantages of the .22 rimfire, and there are many.

  1. Recoil is almost non-existent. Anyone can shoot a .22, from a small child to an old codger. And most can shoot it accurately given only minimal training, and follow-up shots are quick.
  2. Ammunition is cheap. Just about everybody can afford to stock a substantial amount of .22 ammo.
  3. Ammunition is compact. Storing several thousand rounds of .22 rimfire takes up minimal space. And it is lightweight as well.
  4. Variety of ammo. One can get long rifle, longs, shorts, and even CB caps. Shot shells are also available.
  5. The new ammo is quite accurate. Within its capabilities, a good rifle will shoot very tight groups out to 50 or more yards.
  6. It will kill, as probably more people have been killed with a .22 than any other round. Of course, more people have been shot with one, too.
  7. Good guns are inexpensive. Quality guns are available at very attractive prices.
  8. There are a large number of configurations, from semi-auto to lever-action to bolt-action, and single shot on some combination rifles.
  9. Low noise. The .22 is quiet compared to the larger calibers, and is easy to suppress.
  10. They are fun. A day plinking with a .22 is a great day.
  11. Training with the .22 is invaluable, and the training is affordable.

I’m sure there are other advantages of the .22, but one need only look at the reasons I’ve given, and you can see why everyone should have several .22s in their survival battery. This is where I think we need to insert a level of caution on the .22 rimfire, as it’s easy to get enthusiastic about a gun that has all the good attributes mentioned. I’ve hunted with a .22 all my life, and it was my first rifle, as I’m sure it is for most.

I can’t even count the number of birds (I’m truly sorry, I ever killed any birds I didn’t eat, but God forgive me I did), rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, skunks and other critters I’ve dispatched with a .22. I remember finally catching that raccoon in the corn about midnight one night that had destroyed a lot of our corn crop one year. Got him with my .22. So, what are some of the disadvantages of the .22 rimfire?

  1. Centerfire cartridges are more reliable. There are more misfires with .22 rimfire, it’s just the nature of the beast. But, good cartridges have offset this somewhat in recent years.
  2. Knockdown power is the lowest of all the cartridges. It’s one thing to hit someone or something, it’s quite another to put them out of the fight immediately. Or take large game before it gets away. Surgical shots are required, such as shooting in the ear or eye. That will be much more difficult once the shite hits the fan as game becomes more wary and scarce. The muzzle energy of .22lr is about 135ft/lbs. through a 22-in barrel.
  3. Distance is the enemy of the .22, as velocity at 100 yds. is less than 80 ft/lbs in a 22-in rifle barrel. Carbines and pistols/revolvers have even less.
  4. Engaging at distances over 100 yds. puts the .22 owner at a grave disadvantage to most centerfire rifle cartridges. The .22 falls off rapidly after that, and loses its punch.
  5. Shooting large game with a .22 is against the game laws in most states. However, that may or may not be a consideration in the future.

After reviewing the above, I decided to do a few range tests to confirm some of my points. I took my Ruger Mark II .22 pistol, backed up 7 yards, and fired 6 times into a target. I put 6 shots in a 2-3 in. circle in 5.3 seconds as timed by my best friend. I then took my Colt Combat Commander in .45acp and fired 6 shots into another identical target. I put 6 shots in a 3-4 in. circle in 6.2 seconds. I just don’t see enough difference in time or accuracy of the .22lr to make it a primary self-defence pistol.

I then set up a 100 yd. target and shot my 10-22 at that target 6 times. I hit all 6 within a 4-in group. I then fired my AR-15 6 times, and I put all 6 rds inside a 2 in.circle. The AR-15 is more accurate at distance than the 10-22, and has way more energy at that distance. I didn’t conduct any game tests, as I’ve hunted all my life and I’ve seen too many deer shot with a .22 get away and die days later. Only an expert should hunt large game with a .22.

In my opinion, not having a number of .22s in your survival arsenal would be a mistake, but I think it would be a bigger mistake to rely on the .22 exclusively. It is underpowered for a number of important uses, it puts one at a tremendous disadvantage at distance, and it’s not a sudden killer of large game. Although people and large animals have been killed by the .22, it’s just not consistent enough to be a compromise.

I will say this in the .22s favor, if one is elderly, or has arthritis or other infirmities, there is nothing wrong with having the .22. It is way better than nothing, and if that is all you can afford, then it’s certainly better than not having any options at all. Just remember that it was never intended to be the cartridge for a main battle rifle or kill large game. It has its greatest use as an inexpensive training aide, a small-game getter, pest control, and best of all, just sheer fun shooting the guns that use the diminutive cartridge.

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:

First Prize) Winner will receive a Nomad – 1 Person Standard Survival Package courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply, a One Month Food Pack courtesy of Augason Farms, a $150 gift certificate for Remington Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com and a EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves. A total prize value of over $875.

Second Prize) Winner will receive two (2) Rothco Sure Paks With Heater courtesy of Camping Survival, a Wise Food Vegetable bucket courtesy of LPC Survival and a Wonder Junior hand grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $509.

Third Prize) Winner will receive 3 – 27 Variety of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds, 2 – Fruit Pack of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds and 2- First Aid Kit with Sutures in a Waterproof Resealable Bag courtesy of Be Prepared Now. A total prize value of over $215.

Contest ends on March 30 2012.

Comments

  1. charlie (NC) says:

    You can extend the range of a .22 LR rifle a good bit by using CCI Stinger rounds for those long shots. It’s a supersonic round and makes a good bit of noise and it’s relatively expensive so it’s probably not the best all around .22 round but it’s well worth having a few boxes in your preps.

    Single shot, lever and pump actions are great for .22 because they are not sensitive to recoil like semi-automatics are so you don’t have to worry about misfires. That’s gives you the advantage of using .22 shorts for “stealth” work all the way up to the Stingers for situations that require more velocity and a harder punch.

    • village idiot says:

      Yes, charlie(NC), the versitility of the .22 is definitely a factor in its favor. I have a Henry lever action, a Marlin bolt action, a Remington pump action, and a Ruger semi-auto. I love shooting the shorts in my lever, bolt action and pump. And I also like shooting CB caps, which are basically soundless in a rifle. You make a number of good points.

    • Sharoola says:

      Could I shoot the CCI stingers in a Henry lever action? I read somewhere they could only take squared rounds because of the tubular magazine.

      I have little knowledge of firearms and am trying to glean all I can ! Can;t wait until my Women on Target workshop in May!

  2. This is a hard question to answer but in our current state of affairs/threat down, I say O. IT is not, the AR platform is going to be the best in the current situation due to lagistical issues. While 22 is cheap and easy to stockpile, it still runs out and with a way to resupply your 22 becomes a club. The AR is used by so many agencies and individuals your chances to resuply ammo are much higher and its reloadable. If you set yourself for it, you can make the bullets, reload the cases, rearm the primers(in a pinch) and the only thing left is powder which I would suggest buyoing in bulk and storing AND studying for cross reference TO WIT what powders from other ammo could be recovered by pulling the bullets and reusing that powder to load ammo you can use. This toatlity of paradigm I refer to as “situational lagistics” which refers to the specifics of individual or broad sit rep for particulars such as this where one can exploit what is available and improvise the rest to stay afloat. The Israelis started IMI in a crawl space under an industrial laundry and made shell casings out of brass lipstick tubes to produce ammo. They used what was available and thought outside the box. This is what bad situations require the knowledge and ability to make things work.

    • Spook45,
      .22 RF is so inexpensive that you can generally afford thousands of rounds in your inventory. Add a .22 conversion kit and magazines to your 5.56 AR platform and you have a versatile weapon system that can allow inexpensive practice as well as inexpensive close quarter protection, but converts to a real battle rifle in less than a minute. This also allows someone to practice a lot with the real tool, gaining that muscle memory required to run and gun without having to think about your every action with the gun, while remaining affordable. From what I’ve seen, the biggest hindrance to practice with any firearm is the cost of ammunition, and this makes that a moot point.

    • Spook45 I cant say that I disagree with anything you said, however, 99.9% of us will be dead before we ever get to a situation where we will have to take apart ammo to make ammo. Besides IF still alive at that point, we could just pick up the appropriate caliber weapon from one of the millions of stinking corpses.

    • I beg to differ on your source of re-supply. Part of the reason Gabe Suarez switched off to the AK was seeing how the police and Gov’t security are not your friend in WORL and you are on your own. If you still like the AR great but bring your own party favors to this one.

      • riverrider says:

        jack, if they are not our friends then they are our enemy and a source of supply, if we have the same weapons.

      • Jack, there will always be a steady supply for me
        AK/SKS if the Chinese/North Koreans attack
        AR/M4 if its a LE/Military deal and I doubt it would be. NATO on average use 5.56 and some 7.62X51 and UN is both 5.56, 7.62X36 and 7.62X51.

  3. Joe I:
    I like my 22 lr’s. I too have used them to “dispatch” more game than all of my centerfires.
    I guess the question comes down to “What is survival?” Are you talking about putting food on the table with the least amount of noise and expense. Then you can’t beat a 22 lr.
    If you are talking about combat, the the centerfire is the way to go.
    This implies all other things being equal.
    I have a couple that are close friends. Both have arthritis in their hands that has verutally precluded them from using most centerfire pistols, and he has a poorly rebuilt shoulder, so rifle recoil is a major challenge.
    So I think that 22 LR is a great cartridge and has many uses in a survival situation, but as my pocket book can attest, there is no single “best” weapon for survival.

    • village idiot says:

      JP, I believe Worrisome posted about having problems with a .38 special revolver on comments the past couple of weeks, and one of her issues was having the strength to pull a DAO trigger on that particular revolver. In her case, a .22 revolver might just be the ticket. I have a S&W Model 17 Kit Gun that has an excellent trigger, and one could use both hands to pull the hammer back. Of course, her solution might be to get a revolver with a hammer, but the .22 is still easier to pull. I hope this article will help people in her situation.

      My pocketbook can sympathize with your pocketbook, JP. I’ve told my wife many times(usually every time I buy a new gun) that no single weapon could ever cover all the scenarios. I need as many choices as possible. LOL. So far, so good.

  4. Great info! I just order a Ruger 10 -22 carbine, wood stock blue barrel yesterday. Looking forward to breaking it in.

    • village idiot says:

      I love my Ruger 10-22, and as Cos suggested, when you get comfortable with it, you might think about adding a scope or tactical sight. For just plinking the scope wouldn’t matter, but in many situations a scope really makes the 10-22 versatile. Have fun with it.

      • Do you have a scope you would recommend for it?

        • cosmolined says:

          I picked up a 6X Redfield when the company was going out of business. These days, any full size 4X or 6X should be fine. The recoil on a .22 is non-existent compared to center fire so I think they’ll all last forever. Cos

        • village idiot says:

          I have a Tasco scope on mine, d2 prep, and have found it very satisfactory. Cost me $40.

        • D2, I have a Bushnell 3-9X on one 22 and a fixed for on my 10-22 with a T6 stock when I decide to have it on there.
          The 10-22 is great, I’ve dropped rabbits, squirrels, opossum, crows, coyote and a feral dog.

          • Cos, Village and Jarhead, thanks for the references. I am on amazon now looking at all of them. They still sell redfield on there as well.

            D2

            • antifederalist22 says:

              Redfield was bought by Leupold a few tears ago and some changes were made to the manufacturing processes. while they are still Redfield they are Leupold’s low cost solution. Their optics are all great including their spotting scope. Another 22LR optic is the Nikon P-22, like the p-223, m-223, and m-308 they now make.

    • When you get your scope, don’t get what’s referred to as “a .22 scope”, that is the small 3/4 ” tube. Rather, buy a real ‘one inch’ scope with an adjustable optic for parrallax adjustment (at closer ranges). Or get a really decent scope that won’t have parralax problems. Get a quality set of rings for it as wel, not the cheap five dollar knock-offs that will strip out screw holes when you try tightening them.
      Brand of scope is going to be decided by your pocket book: empty pockets take what they can find. As a point of interest, ‘serious’ .22 shooters use scopes that cost twice as much, or more, than their rifle.

      • village idiot says:

        Good points, JSW. A good scope and rings will bring out the best in a rifle, no matter the caliber. It’s pointless to buy a nice rifle and then screw it up by going too cheap on optics. I’ve seen good used optics listed in newspaper ads, etc., and for sale at gun shows and even flea markets.

  5. John Maddalena says:

    Just wondering how y’all feel about the 22WMR Magnum? I have a Marlin Bolt action scoped rifle zeroed in at 175 yds. ; have dropped 3 deer with head shots a 220 yds. Also have a Ruger Single Action Six that shoots 22 long rifle or 22 WMR that is bad to the bone weapon…bought when I was 19 and I’m now 63 and she and I are still deadly as ever…In my opinion the 22WMR hollow point is a pretty good survival weapon all around…just wished they made a 22WMR semi-auto rifle like the 10/22…

    • village idiot says:

      I like the .22 WMR, John, but I feel like it needs an article all its own. I don’t own one, but I like the idea of it. It’s one of those rounds that fits in a niche of its own. As I said, an article from someone who owns and has used one for a number of years would be invaluable. Hint..hint.

      • Not allowed to shoot deer here with anything less than .35 caliber. I have Savage O/O in .22rf/.410 and in .22WMR/20 Gauge, and a Ruger Single Six with both .22RF and .22WMR cylinders. I too like the WMR cartridge, but use it sparingly since it is significantly more expensive that it’s smaller cousin. As for a semi-auto in that cartridge, I also don’t know of one, but also think it would be a fun gun.

        • recoveringidiot says:

          OP, less than .35? That sucks! They must want you to use a shotgun? Can’t imagine ruling out most of the the centerfire rifles in use across the US.

          • Here are the basic rules for deer hunting.
            Shotgun 10-gauge or smaller shotgun using one ball or one rifled slug per barrel (rifled shotgun barrels are permitted when using shotgun slug ammunition). Shotguns cannot be capable of holding more than three shells.
            Muzzleloading rifle .38 caliber or larger. Handgun with 5-inch minimum length barrel, using straight-walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger.
            No modern cartridge rifles.

        • OP, the most common calibers in Ca for hunting deer are the .243, .270, 30-30, 7.62 and 30-06. Couldn’t picture having to use a .375 HH or shotgun slug to take a deer down, its overkill. Do they allow bow hunting at least?

          • Jarhead,
            There’s been discussion about allowing rifles or at least rifles using the allowed handgun cartridges in the southern (hilly) 1/3 of the state. Our problem is that the upper 2/3 of the state is just too darn flat.
            We do allow both bow and crossbow with a season that last about 4 months (Oct-Jan) and includes Sunday hunting.
            Even with these restrictions we still manage to take 150-200 thousand deer per year from the estimated population of about 750,000.
            I can go to most of the contiguous states, MI, PA, WV, or KY and hunt there with a rifle with an out of state license.

            • Also, I typically hunt deer with a Thompson Center Contender chambered in .357 Mag, and due to the terrain here, there are generally no shots much beyond 120 yards, with most in the 20-40 yard range.

            • OP, the first time I had ever fired a Thompson Contender in 357 Maximum.

        • Charlie (NC) says:

          WOW, nothing less than 35 cal? That knocks out most of the deer rifles used around here. We have a limit which disallows rimfire. I’m not sure exactly how it is worded.
          The common deer rifles here are .223, .222, .243, 30-30,
          30.06, .308, .270 and 7mm. I can’t think of a single person
          that uses anything over .35 cal. except for the shotgun hunters.

          • No modern cartridge rifles here at all for deer. We can use rifle, generally .22 RF or WMR for small game, and pretty much anything (including most center fire rifles) on varmints that have an open season like Ground Hog and Coyote.

          • Crossbow here is for anyone, no handicap required. Although rifles might be nice, it’s something you get used to, and in my case carrying a handgun is actually a lot easier than a rifle or shotgun.

      • John Maddalena says:

        I hear y’all brother…see what I can work up…Blue Eagle

    • cosmolined says:

      John:
      First off, there was a clone of the 10-22 in WMR. That was about 15 years ago I think. I love the cartridge, but for the cost, I’d rather shoot centerfire. Cos

    • the thing that hurts 22WRM for survival is ammo cost when your comparing 22lr and WRM and I know guys that have used 22/250 on deer but if things go wrong they go south hard on a small round like that. It will kill a deer under ideal conditions but one little thing and your in trouble.

  6. axelsteve says:

    I saw a u tube video where a man was discussing the killing power of the 22 and related a story on how a military academy stopped the german army for 3 weeks with nothing but single shot 22 rifles. The academy was in France of all places. A group of teenage boys stopped the german army intull they brought in tanks.

    • village idiot says:

      A group of French boys holding off the German Army with single shot .22s? Are you serious, axelsteve? That has to be one of the best stories of WWII. I’ve never heard about it before. Thanks, I’ll check it out.

  7. The .22 is a great rifle for harvesting small game, to get even better accuracy from it one can use .22 sub-sonic ammo. The reason it is more accurate is that is a slower round and doesn’t get buffeted by the air as much as a faster round. Also, it is much more quiet than other rounds, and will not damage as much meat. One more thing, sub-sonics might not cycle some semi-auto’s

    • HDRYDA,
      I’ve used the subsonic rounds in both a 10/22 and an AR with the conversion, with and without a suppressor, and the rifles cycled without incident. Just my $0.02.

      • Thats why i said they may not work in some semi’s. I have a old Erma M1 , spent rounds get caught between the bolt face and reciever. But not with HV rounds. Ever try the .17 mach 2 ?

        • I’ve fired both the .17 HMR and the .17 HM2 but do not own a firearm in either cartridge. Thet were fun to shoot (but I’m easy to please when shooting nearly anything); however I could not justify the expense of another gun and yet one more cartridge to maintain in the inventory.

  8. cosmolined says:

    Joe I:
    This was a very well presented article. I agree with it totally but would like to add putting a full size rifle scope on my 10-22 improved it. I started training my sons on .22’s when they were 7. They are the best training tool, but not the best weapon. Well Done! Cos

    • village idiot says:

      Thank you, Cos. I also started my sons on .22s when they were young, and I have a scope on my 10-22 as well. I had to use my son’s(it’s really mine, since I paid for it) AR-15 for the shooting test as it has a scope on it, and my Mini-14 doesn’t. Some of the best times I ever had with my boys was shooting .22s with them.

      • cosmolined says:

        VI:
        If I’d have known it was you, I’d have added a “cheers!”. Some of the best times I had with my boys involved a belt. ROTFL, Cos

        • village idiot says:

          Cos..it’s funny, my oldest son I rarely had to do anything to keep him on the straight and narrow, whereas my youngest son had many introductions to Mr. Holds Your Pants Up. But both of them loved to shoot and hunt. Still do. My oldest son just returned from a pheasant hunt in Kansas. I think their love for hunting and shooting, and the time they spent doing those things, kept their minds off drugs and alcohol. That’s another reason to introduce your kids to shooting. cheers!

    • Good point.

    • axelsteve says:

      Cosmolined. I agree with you on the scopes.At 51 my eyes are not what they were at 19 and they need all the help that I can give them.

  9. You already stated the reason a .22 might be a defensive weapon. Low recoil. As I age, recoil has become a factor not considered only a few years before. The down side is , of course, stopping power. A .22 LR may be as lethal as any other handgun round, but it’s unlikely to stop a fight.
    Also; In a SHTF situation, your more likely to bag birds & small game with a .22. More bang for buck than even a 12GA.

    • village idiot says:

      Methan, I think a .22 is and should be an option for older and infirm folks. I would hate to see someone go unarmed if they could in fact handle a .22. I hope I made that a clear point in my article. I also think a new shooter should start with a .22, and work their way up as they get more comfortable shooting. I just don’t want people to become discouraged because they either can’t affort an AR, or don’t think they can handle the recoil of a .357 magnum. Small steps, just like any other prepping activity. Thanks for the input.

      • Last week end I had the opportunity to introduce my 90 pound niece to shooting.
        We started with the .22s, rifle and pistol, worked our way up to .270, 9mm and .357. She had no problem handling the .357 recoil when taught the proper grip and stance.
        But I do agree the best trainer is a .22 caliber. I don’t have any gripes about using it as a SHTF weapon, either, though it isn’t a first choice: my.357s are, rifle and pistol.

  10. Mrs. Prepper says:

    Joe I,
    Thanks for writing this information in such a way that even a complete newbie like myself can grasp the idea. I’ve tried to follow along with the “gun talk” and unfortunately my eyes glaze over and I’m completely lost in 5 seconds. I am woefully uneducated about weaponry and it’s very intimidating to say the least. My DH bought couple guns years ago and I never wanted to even see them and demanded he keep them under lock and key and now nearly decade later I held them for first time. I realize I was silly and should have learned to shoot a long time ago. All 3 are handguns that I think he simply purchased based on “name dropping” by neighbors/buddies at the time and our finances were completely different then, but we both agree we need to purchase riffle(s) for all the stated reasons…but finances and lack of knowledge of what to buy (what’s a good price etc) has prohibited us from purchasing at this time. Seems everyone has a favorite gun, brand, caliber etc and it’s very daunting when there’s so many varying opinions on the same topic. Attended a gun show few weeks back and it was completely overwhelming and extremely crowded–it was shoulder-to-shoulder throughout the buildings. The only thing we walked out with were couples knives, 500 ammo for his 9mm and 2 stun guns for me and my DD. probably lots of great deals to be hand and some not so great but we don’t (yet) have the knowledge to know the difference. Hoping to change that very soon. Thanks again for the great breakdown of info regarding the pros/cons of the 22.

    • village idiot says:

      I appreciate the input, and I wrote this article for people who were wanting to buy a firearm for the first time as well as people who are seasoned in firearms use like Jarhead, riverrider, JP, Hawkeye, and Cos. Actually, there are many people on MDs blog who know way more about firearms than I do. My knowledge is more just everyday use and not on the gunsmithing aspect of it. Another thing I wanted to convey was just how much fun one can have shooting and plinking with a .22, and how important the .22 is for training purposes. It is the only affordable option for most folks. Thanks, again.

      • VI well written article and I second most everything in it except for a couple of items. First I do not like the mention of a main battle rifle as I do not intend to provoke a confrontation and I think my hiding ability is good enough to elude such a situation if it occurred. Over the years and I am 73, I have had a number of different rifles and pistols and shotguns in virtually every caliber that was available from a 56 caliber rimfire Spencer carbine to a 10 gauge muzzle loading goose shotgun. My last weapon will be the 22 when they drag me out from under the floorboards and pry it from my cold dead hands. I have fired them all from the old copper cased cartridges that did indeed misfire and sometimes after rotating them completely around with strike marks on the case head they still would not fire. When the hammer spring was changed to a slightly stronger spring after it broke on my old Stevens crack shot, they then fired each and every time until I ran out of the copper cased ammunition. For the last twenty five years my ammunition of choice has been the CCI minimag hollow p0ints with the solid one being my second best. Aquila loads a 22 long rifle with a 67 grain round nose that is a real stopper as my experience on frontal shots on ground hogs and my testing on the various sand bags with the ceiling tile behind them so I can readily see what it looks like when it comes through. I have a varied assortment of ammunition for my weapons and my rifle will only fire the long rifle rounds and extract reliably so the others are fired in my 6 inch barrelled revolver. I have over the years gotten used to and like the plastic sabot shot shell for the shot rather than the loose shot in the star crimped case. I have found over the years that several well placed shots with the high speed hollowpoints will bring down most anything and after four rounds in the same place they do enough damage inside the chest cavity that virtually nothing would survive. One of the reasons why I switched to ten round magazines from the seven round. Keep up the good work and kudos to you for not meanmouthing my favorite cartridge. Harold

        • village idiot says:

          Harold, I could never meanmouth the .22. It is probably the most functional and versatile round ever. I still spend time shooting my .22s. To tell you the truth, it’s the only thing I can afford to shoot several hundred rounds through in an afternoon.

          • I did not suggest that you meanmouthed the 22 rimfire. I only meant that there is way too much emphasis put on so called main battle rifles when the attention should be loaded on marksmanship particularly with the 22 and testing your various loads and to see for yourself what they will do. The effect with the cci minimag in the Marlin carbine is entirely different than the effect with the same round from the old Remington with the 26 inch barrel. At 50 yards, the Marlin is an excellent reach out and touch something weapon and as marksmanship grows your ability, 100 yard shots with the minimags will surprise a lot of naysayers. Same round in the Remington with 8 more inches of barrel and a full rifling plus twist and you can reach out and touch something at 200 yards. Marlin is a lot easier to handle while you are imitating an earthworm more so than the Remington but my own personal situation favors the Marlin. There is a huge difference in the way people are taught to shoot now than when I was a kid. One cartridge, one piece of game or a boot in the rear and back to the bow and arrow or spear (yes we really did hunt with them and a blowgun during WWII. Now people are exposed to Rambo type movies and rapid fire AR’s with extended magazines and my opinion is that eventually in a TSHTF situation some old codger with a 22 will hand them their rear on a plate. Harold

            • Harold; If a .22LR is what you’ve got, it’s what you’ve got. However, that said , it should not be what you want to have in a SHTF/EOTWAWNI situation. You might need range. Penetration. Knock down power. A 22LR does none of these well. Do I love the .22? Yes! Would I want my life to depend on one when something else is availible? No!

      • VI, You did a great job on it! I have wanted to write an article and may do so one day. With work and everything I rarely get the chance to read many of the articles focusing on WIDTPTW. Glade I checked it out.

        I would have no problem combining that and my Ruger Mk II and 10-22 if I had to. Only problem is Ruger advises against use of Stingers and I have been focusing on better quality ammo over the bulk 500 boxes that have the common misfires and jams. I have been buying the boxes of 50 and 100 of the better ammo but the prices add up when I do it that way.

        There have been stories on the news (mostly midwest, south and east cost) where son is home alone while parents are out and grabbed the only weapon they are allowed to own (22 rifle in pump, bolt, lever or semi) and have fended off burglars.
        I recall a movie where a kid did just that and Gerald McCrainey (forgot the spelling) from Simon and Simon and Major Dad was his father.

        If all I had was my Mk II I would have no problem or doubt it would keep me alive.

        • village idiot says:

          You should write an article when you get the time, Jarhead. I got the idea for this article when I read on one of the gun forums a guy that was advocating the .22RF for all survival situations, and he advised against any other caliber but the .22. I just couldn’t accept that reasoning, no matter how much I liked my .22s. It’s kinda like trying to use a ballpine to drive a t-post. I guess you could if you had enough time, but a sledgehammer would certainly be better. And that’s the way I feel about firearms. Some of them do some things better than others, and the more you can specialize(up to a point), the better. Money is usually the deciding factor. But I think a good 5-gun battery would serve for a lot of people. Sorry for the ramble. Take care.

          • Only Americans obsess on one gun/calibre. The closest thing to it is an accurate 7.62×39 SLR. Good for hunting with soft points and self defense with anything. Almost any weapon has limitations. And those limitation may differ from person to person. You need to be as skillful as possible with any weapon. Or anything else you endevor to undertake, for that matter

          • Actually, VI, there was a time I advocated the .22 as the best all-around survival caliber. Like Jarhead, I’d have no qualms about taking my MK III and Marlin SQ as the only tools for the job.
            I’ve not noticed anything bad hapening to any of my weapons using Stingers, or any ultra-high velocity loads. The MK III sure sounds like a BIG gun when one of those goes off!
            (Got to chuckle at MethanP below: “…Only Americans obsess on one gun/calibre…” then goes on to obsess with the 7.63 x 39… however, I won’t argue it isn’t an excellent round in a quality rifle.)

            • Opinions and weapons are like rectums, everyone has one and they all do the same thing essentially. If it came down to the down and dirty, I would really like to have a flamethrower since it eliminates all evidence and most resistance but we do have to be practical. I will stick with my 22’s until I can afford the quad 50 on the halftrack. Harold

            • JSW; I didn’t mean to obsess. However, for most American game the 7.62×39 serves as an excellent combat round and can be loaded to equal the 30/30. So unlike the 223Rem it’s an excellent deer round. You can kill a deer (or bear) with almost anything. But are they ideal? Are they humane?
              Of course the best gun/calibre is the one you have with you. And for those of us getting on in age, light weight and low recoil matter. As do good optics.
              By the way, older issues of Guns & Ammo are full of “whats the best one gun rifle” and “is the 270Win better than the 30/06″. Latter they went to “223 vs 7.63×39″ and M-16 vs AK47. You can go on forever doing this. I’m fond of most ex military rounds and have shot at least a few rounds from almost (but not quite) every military rifle made since 1890.

            • Like Harold said but I use a couple different terms:
              Firearms are like religion and politics, they have their zealot hardliner following and equally can kill for the beliefs of those guiding them.

              Firearms are like religion and politics, not to be discussed with those of opposing views because it will get heated.

    • pick up a good book on pistols like one of the gun digest series for now and latter on pick up a training DVD and you’ll be telling the rest of us how to shoot in no time.

  11. Mrs. Prepper says:

    Oh, I forgot, at gun show I also picked up several packs of 550 paracord–have no idea what it’s used for but I noticed it mentioned numerous times as a crucial item, so when I saw it, I pretended I knew exactly what I wanted it for–thankfully no one (including DH) quizzed me on my plans for its use. Unlike any of the thousands of weaponry items, the only choice selection to be made, was the color. Easy-peasy. Bought 10 packs as it was relatively cheap and appears to be good for any tie-down purpose and I seriously needed a confidence-building purchase item before leaving for the day. LoL

    • charlie (NC) says:

      Mrs. Paracord is parachute cord. That is what holds the canopy of a parachute to the harness and thus the person or load. Folks now-a-days use it to weave all sorts of things. Look up paracord bracelets, belts, rifle slings, etc online. You can make attractive and useful stuff with it but the REAL functional use for those items made with paracord is that they can be quickly dissassembled in an emergency and the cord can be used for all sorts of things from excaping from a burning building to making an emergency fishing outfit or a bow string for a bow and arrow made from a sapling. It’s also useful as boot lacing.

      • Mrs. Prepper says:

        Charlie,
        Thanks for the info on the P cord. I did an internet search and it’s incredible the numerous uses and the strength of it..wow! I figured it must be some good stuff b/c everyone kept talking about it for their BOB, GOOD, GHB etc….and just all around survival accessory.

    • The paracord (also known as 550 cord) can generally support 550 pounds of weight and be used for nearly any situation where you need cordage for lacing or tying something in place. You can also open up the cord and will generally find 7 or more smaller nylon lines, also usable as cordage for tying, lashing, etc. Anyplace you might need a rope or string; this stuff will generally do the trick.

    • M3s. Prepper, we used it for everything. It the next best thing to duct tape and for a few ideas:
      Tie down things in high winds, secure loose items, keep the tarp down over a trailer,belt, rifle sling, old fashion sling (david and goliath) secure prisoners, securing fractured bones, silence noisy clanky parts of weapons, dummy cord (secure items to your belt so you don’t loose them), shoe laces, bow string, knife handle, traps, trip wires etc. I have some holding up my cheery tomato planters since its hung from the patio ceiling.

      The inside cords can be used for sewing, fishing, bird/duck traps, dental floss, thin netting, tie down feathers and arrow heads to arrows etc.

      I do a carpenters knot and have it attached to my pack handles in the event I have to climb up/ down an area I’m not comfortable. I can lower it down with a controlled descent as the knot undoes itself or pull it up once at the top.

      Limited by your imagination and they come in all kinds of colors. I also have a 6″ section on my key chain

      • Jarhead,
        Controlled descent? Carpenters knot?
        I’ve used prusik and carabiners for such things, but would like some more information.
        Thanks.

        • Mrs. Prepper says:

          Me too.

        • OP and Mrs. Prepper, if you have seen how carpenters loop their electrical cord its a system of loop going through another loop and cinch down enough for the next loop to go through and keep doing it. You pull the material needed for the job. With 550 cord you can cut it off as needed leaving the rest looped. Beats having it this way over in a bundle or wrapped.

          You get about 3-4 inches for every inch looped and if you have a pack and its secured to the handle of the pack, the loops/knots will undo as the pack lowers. You have to re-loop it later but its a great way. To have about 3 feet of line in 10″ to a foot of cord. If I can find a link I will. We carried it this way woven into our boonie covers (hat) so all we had to do it pull on the line as needed instead of hanging from a pack or gear. I kept 10″ sections on a carabeaner as needed for prisoners and hog tying in a pinch we ran out of cable (zip) ties.

          • Jarhead,
            That makes sense. I misunderstood the word “descent” which from an old climber meant a braking descent like a carabiner stack or an 8-ring. I carry paracord in a similar wrapped “bundle” that can be deployed in a similar fashion. The type of wrapped bundle is called a fast rope (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqkmSblYlgg) which should not be confused with the thick woven ropes used for descent from a building or aircraft. I didn’t come up with the name, but do use the technique.

      • Mrs. Prepper says:

        OH and JHead,
        thanks for all the wonderful uses for the P-cord. What a versatile item to have in our supply. I’ve always been fond of duct tape myself (uses are endless) but I think I now have to make room for P-cord also. I will definitely pick up more the next time I see it. Got a question though…what would a 6″ section on your key chain be handy for? Just wondering.

        • Mrs. Prepper the 6″ inches of looped/knotted paracord is used as a handle for pulling the keys out of my pocket primarily but since my keys are heavy I can use it as a handle to strike someone with the keys, it unravels to about 18″ or a bit more and can be used to tie down items through the day or camping trip, have used it for a friends trunk hood to tie it down after a car accident, can secure a fence until you can make repairs, tie someone up while waiting for the LE etc.
          I’ve also used it cut in 3″-4″ sections to tie up grocery bags to carry in multiple bags together for those rainy days to make less trips back and forth from car/truck to inside the house.

          • Mrs. Prepper says:

            Jarhead,
            thanks for explaining…I get it now and the hitting someone with the keys is great idea. I have so many keys/keyrings on my bundle, I often joke that I may need to register it as a weapon soon…LoL. Combined with the new knot tie website suggestion by Ohio Prepper, I believe I will be making me a great new Master Keychain out of my P-Cord and I really will have me an unregistered weapon that no one will even notice (except maybe some other preppers?). I love this site! I learn something great everytime I check the comments. I keep saying it…everyone on here is some sorta Super Hero with super powers and I have to chuckle as I imagine each person blending into the scenery of regular folk life with no immediately surrounding folk any the wiser of the secret talent/power/knowledge each of you possess. Thanks so much for sharing with us so that some of us can hope to reach the trusty sidekick level of skills…LoL. Take care and be safe!

    • lenike(lay-knee-kay) says:

      Mrs.Pepper, I love your attitude! Keep up with the confidence-building! You may want to start in your own back yard trying out different knots found on “youtube”, along with other things found on “youtube” like “suvival skills”…great fun with grandkids if you have any. I used to love camping in my back yard as a kid. Heck, I bet you’d enjoy it now! I live in hawaii and have found paracord along with basic survival gear such as lightweight tarps to be invaluable when exploring our wilderness. Good Luck & have Good Fun! Stay in touch now, ya hear!
      Aloha! Lenike

      • Mrs. Prepper says:

        Aloha Lenike!
        Visiting Hawaii is on my “bucket list”–was supposed to be the honeymoon we never had on our 25th wedding anniversary but sadly, it just never happened. Terribly fearful of flying (well, actually, it’s the falling to my firey death part I’m fearful of–lol) and then there’s the cost…yikes! DH says there isn’t enough tranquilizers in the world to sedate me enough for him fly that distance with me on a plane. One day maybe. Thanks for the advice about researching the knot work on youtube. I hadn’t thought of that. Many years ago (20+ yrs) my DH and I took a boating course and there was an auxilary course to learn knot work (can’t recall the technical name of the art) and we had signed up for it to begin after our boaters course was completed, but the times were changed and we never did get to do the course and always regretted it. Now I can surely learn some of the techniques on youtube and hadn’t even thought of it til you mentioned it. Thank you for jarring my ol’ memory. We do love camping (no grand babies yet…yikes!) and I will be utilizing that P-cord for something now I’m sure. And yes, I definitely wanted to leave that gun show with a purchase, after the overwhelming experience of immediately realizing how completely clueless I was regarding all things gun related. Will definitely keep in touch–it will be easy for you–my comments are always L O N G…lol. Love your name and thanks for the clarification of its pronunciation. Aloha! Mrs. P

        • Mrs P,
          This has been posted before; but I think it’s worth posting again, because I think it’s one of the best knot sites on the net.
          http://www.animatedknots.com/

          • Mrs. Prepper says:

            OP,
            thanks so much for the link to the knot site. I can that I will be spending some time on that site…the video demonstrations are phenomonal. I’ve already learned a better knot tie for mooring our boat lines! I will be snipping a section of that P-cord to practice some new knots very soon.

        • Encourager says:

          Mrs. Prepper, if you can get to Kalifornia, you can take a cruise that goes from LA to Hawaii, and then cruises all around the islands. We flew to Hawaii to cruise, but I know you can leave from LA or maybe San Diego. So don’t let fear of flying tie you down!

      • Lenike, I have camped and trained in Hawaii out in the Kahoukus (most likely spelled wrong) as well as out in Hilo and around Camp Smith. The 550 cord came in handy for a pig hunt with a long branch and knife. It is an experience never to be forgotten. I know they still do it and plan on doing it again before my knee gives out on me. Love the warrior traditions of the locals.

        • Jarhead,
          Camp Smith is one of the few places in Hawaii other than the Pearl Harbor tourist complex and KMC on the Big Island that I’ve visited. My kid sister was stationed there for about 8 years at the end of her career. She did spent time in some crappy places, but we always ragged on her about the hard time she had to put in before retirement, LOL.

  12. The most important factor in selecting a firearm is an individuals confidence and abilities. Any gun is better than no gun. It does no good to have a weapon that you can’t shoot with accuracy and reliability. This article makes a very good point; for the elderly or those who are handicapped, or who might simply be unable to handle a large caliber weapon the .22 is a fine choice. I think in most cases anyone faced with any firearm at all will give up the fight before the shooting starts. If the trigger does have to be pulled a .22 will be enough to make a person change his mind quickly. The .22 recovers quickly especially for someone to whom the recoil and report of a large caliber could be to much to handle. Great article.

    • village idiot says:

      You’re right, T-Dawg, and one of the things I wanted people to think about was choosing the right firearm for them. One has to be comfortable shooting whatever firearm he/she chooses, and if muzzle blast and twist are controling factors, then the .22 might be the way to go. But, most women and men can learn to shoot centerfire pistols and revolvers, and that’s what they should use if possible, but I didn’t want to completely throw out the option of the .22. And I agree, many times just the presence of a firearm will deter, but we can’t count on it, so we should use the most pistol we can reliably handle. I hope that makes sense to you. Thanks for the input.

  13. sdawgarmy says:

    Not to argue but the idiot kid who just shot ip the Ohio high school shot ten rounds of. 22 and killed 3 and critically wounding others. Pretty good for novice shooter.
    Put the rounds in an expert hands id bet you it would have been horrified

    • village idiot says:

      I won’t take it as an argument at all, sdawgarmy, as the .22 has killed more people than any other round. It is a proven killer. As a matter of fact, the .22 makes a nasty wound, and many people die from these wounds after the fact, as the shooting in Ohio proves. What I was referring to was stopping power, putting someone out of the fight immediately. I think centerfire pistols do it better, not that a .22 won’t do it. I personally would feel pretty well armed with my Ruger .22 or my Smith. But I feel even better with my Combat Commander in .45acp. Good points, sir.

  14. SurvivorDan says:

    Pro and cons – spot on! You are absolutely correct. Because I agree. Lol. Seriously, very informative and well written. Helpful especially for those newer to firearms and/or hunting. There has been talk about taking large game with the .22 and as you wrote – that is for experts only. Great caliber for bagging small game and pests. Semi-auto .22 – good weapon for the old or physically infirm (better than a weapon they can’t control). As I enter my dotage with any accompanying palsy and lack of muscular strength, I will change my carry weapons to 22’s and a .410.
    {and I believe the Lord does forgive our youthful non-game gathering toad and bird dispatching} :)

    • village idiot says:

      SD, I sent you a reply last night, but I guess it is somewhere in la-la land. Thank you for your support, and I’m with you on the dotage as I’m rapidly approaching the place where I think I can do more than I really can. Eyes, ears, coordination, stamina is now on a short leash, and getting shorter every year. LOL. And I believe also that God forgives us for our youthful indescretions, and I completely forgot about all the turtles. Hanging my head.

  15. Veridical Driver says:

    Another reason one might choose a .22LR is because of legal reasons. For example, in Canada most center-fire magazines for semi-auto rifles are limited to 5 rounds (there are some legal loopholes that let you have larger magazines, but a lot of people are nervous the average police officer is unaware of the loopholes). There is no limit whatsoever to rimfire, you can load 150 round drums if you want to.

    • village idiot says:

      Driver…dang….I can’t believe I didn’t think about Canada, and do some research on Canadian laws and how they would affect .22 RF use. And Australia and GB as well. I can see how ownership of .22 rifles in Canada would be very advantageous. Thank you for pointing out these facts, and giving us a Canadian perpective. I want to apologize to our Canadian friends who comment and visit here, you are some of the best. Good stuff, Driver.

  16. Gotta love the .22. My 7 year old girl loves to shoot it. With all the above pros to the caliber. I think it might be one of the best survival firearms. We can quibble about knock down power, but I bet most everyone has a .22 in their cache. Not everyone will have an ar-15. If you have to pick one though I will pick a shotgun, versatility unmatched in my opinion.

  17. Uncle Charlie says:

    The .22 LR is the best selling rifle cartridge in the world. Nor arsenal, no matter how small, should have at least one rifle. I have too many, but then my purchases were for fun not prepping, although as with all my gun purchases, I’m sure there is some overlap. It is the best round for cheaply putting birds and small game on the table and you will be surprised what you will eat when you don’t have a choice. It is much easier to bulk up on ammo. I would respectfully disagree with Spoook45 that it will be much easier to re-supply AR ammo because there is so much more .22 LR floating around, even if it can’t be reloaded. In fact, it’s so cheap, that you never have to run out. I Googled just now and found sales on CCI; 5000 rounds for $195. This of course is not the top of the line, but you can do a lot with it. Buy one of these per month for the next 12 months and I will guarantee that whatever disaster befalls us will be over before you run out of ammo. All the traditional “survival rifles” are in .22 LR for a reason. I would not choose it as my only rifle or handgun, but the rifle, at least, should be realistically included in one’s arsenal unless you have a Rambo mentality. I’m not throwing my centerfires or shotguns away, however. Good to see you around Charlie(NC). I knew I could count on seeing you when firearms are brought up. And like you suggested, you can stock up on several different types and qualities of ammo for differing needs down the line. I love the sub-sonic stuff in my Stevens Favorite(s) and my grandkids’ Hot Shots.

    • village idiot says:

      Uncle Charlie, I have six .22s myself, and wish I had more. I have had more pure fun with them than with all my other guns combined. And I wouldn’t consider any collection to be whole without several .22s in it. Thank you, sir.

    • Charlie (NC) says:

      Whoa there Uncle Charlie. I hate to disagree with you but in my opinion CCI is very much top shelf stuff. In fact they make a lot of the ammo you see with other names on it. I’ve got .22 ammo in many brands but CCI is one of my favorites. Their .22 Stinger is probably the best high velocity .22 ever.

      • Charlie (NC) says:

        Uncle Charlie, forgot to say it’s good to see your comments too.
        I agree completely but don’t sell the CCI stuff short.

  18. Great article lots of good points. And like you say you need more than just a .22.

  19. K Fields says:

    Joe,
    Seems I’m complimenting you way too much lately, about time for you to do something I simply can’t agree with but sorry to say this article wasn’t it. Well done!
    I love “playing” with my .22’s. Although, being a vegetarian, I’ll probably never use one for hunting, I simply enjoy having them around and would recommend that everyone get at least one.

    By the way, why is it that the guys who write the firearms articles never seem to use the same name they use when normally posting? I remember searching for riverrider’s AR post a while back, and it took me forever to find it (kept doing searches for riverrider). What’s up with that?

    • village idiot says:

      Thank you, KFields, for the kind words. And I know you well enough now to know you speak your mind and don’t mince words. LOL. That’s not a bad thing at all. I tried to write this article in a way that would appeal to people who are just starting to shoot, and to those who are seasoned like yourself. The facts speak for themselves, the .22 is a great firearm. For fun and practice nothing else comes close. As for the name, I think I gave MD both, but it was done by e-mail, so I might be wrong. Sorry for the confusion.

  20. I think not, the best? Want to bet your life on a .22? If you are faced with having to pull your firearm to stop a threat on your life, do you really want to reach for a .22? Better have at least .38 with hollow points. You want to stop your attacker, stop them on the spot. You don’t want to be facing a meth head with a Bowie knife with a .22 pistol.

    I agree with some points about a .22, ammo is cheap. But when it comes to self preservation, you do not want to cheap out. I pack a .38 Ruger LCR loaded with Hornady Critical Defense +P. To each is on.

    Phil

    • Charlie (NC) says:

      Phil, I have an old rifle of my dad’s, Savage Sporter chambered in 32.20. That was a round that was almost out of existence until it recently became popular among cowboy competition shooters. It’s not a powerful round but it’s huge compared to a .22. A few years ago I decided to test it to see what sort of knock down power it had. For comparison I pulled out my single shot .22 rifle.

      I set up two 2 liter soda bottles side by side filled with water at about 25 yards. I shot the first one dead center with the 32.20. It punched a hole in the front of the bottle and the round stayed inside, never penetrating the back side of the bottle. Standing in the same spot I picked up my .22 which was loaded with a .22 LR stinger. I shot the second bottle dead center with the .22 stinger hollow point. It punched a hole in the front and ripped the back completely open.

      I’ve made a lot of comments on this thread which might lead one to believe I’m a big .22 advocate. That is not exactly true.
      I currently only have one .22 and it’s a single shot. My other
      rifles start at .223 and go up. If the shtf the .223 will be the one I grab first. The bigger rifles will be reserved for hunting and long range shots. The .22 will be for small game and stealth use.
      The 32.20 will be what I grab when everything else is empty or used up and if someone breaks down the door in the middle of the night they will see the business end of my 12 gauge autoloader.

      • riverrider says:

        phil, we kill hogs and cows with one 22 to the brain. they fall like a stone. i call that knockdown power. the guy that killed my best friend, a LEO, was hit 11 times centermass with .357mag 158 gr hollow points and still had to be restrained by several officers. knock down is a bunch of baloney. its about shot placement. one 22 to the brain beats a 454 casul miss any day.

      • Charlie, having had several 32.20’s years ago, if you were using factory loaded ammunition, I can well understand your results. Since the 32-20 just like the 38 S&W originated in the black powder days and since a lot of those firearms are still kicking around, modern loadings are not loaded to any pressures higher than the black powder gun was capable of. I suspect your gun just like my old 38 S&W Military and Police was manufactured during WWII out of modern metals and proofed to those pressures. I had been handloading my own to 38 special performance and the modern 32.20 also a S&W to the 38 long colt performances and the 32.20 will punch through the car door and hit whatever is inside it if you are a good enough shot. My early Lyman manual that I used to load from explained this in great detail. It was published in 1947 so I don’t know about the newer manuals. If you were to do this, I would approach it very carefully after a good intense examination of your firearm. My S&W was one that was given the the English and then the RCMP and was proofed with their standard load which used a 200 grain bullet. I never shot any bullet heavier than 158 grain. Haroldd

    • Phil, I think you’re missing the point.
      If you don’t happen to have that LCR .38 (a wimpy round in itself) but you do have a .22 (a wimpy round in itself), the .22 will serve the purpose. It isn’t what you can get so much as what you have that qualifies the purpose to which the tool is used.

  21. recoveringidiot says:

    Well said, the .22 is very useful for a variety jobs. When I was young I watched the old folks kill grown hogs with .22 rifles. The most successful poachers in my area use .22’s on deer. The local game warden told me the worst offender he ever caught used a .22 pistol! They were not caught in the act but later selling the meat. I own several and will likely buy more if finances allow. As for the question of using it for self defense, if that all you can handle it is a lot better than nothing. The best self defense weapon is one you have when the occasion arises. I have to work in a nuclear plant so some days all I have to defend myself on the road is a tire iron and folding shovel, if it came down to using either of those a .22 would look real good.

    Question for the gunnies, anybody have experience with the Sig Sauer 1911-22? I kinda have the wants for one but that’s a bunch of bucks and I’d love to hear some first hand reports on how well they work.

  22. cosmolined says:

    Josh:
    Silenced .22 Rugers and 9mm Smith 39’s were used for decades as sentry/dog removal tools. Not everyone here has always been a civilian so conversations include the real world too. Cos

  23. Tinfoil Hat says:

    A good, well thought out and well presented article. I would agree with all but 1 aspect, and that is that a lot of .22’s are very picky when it comes to ammo, and are prone to malfunctions. This, though, should be negligible for an owner who’s taken the time to find the rounds there rifle likes. And you are correct, my mother can handle a .22, but certainly not much more than that these days. The best gun is the one you can use when you need to. Good Article!

    • village idiot says:

      Thanks, Tinfoil. And you’re right, my 10-22 hates Remington Golden bullets for some reason, and just won’t shoot them. But CCIs it digests without a blip. It just takes some shooting. Good advice for everyone, shoot it now, not after something happens. If there are problems, or your firearm prefers one type of ammo over another, find it out now and store the right ammo.

  24. village idiot says:

    Josh, did you even read my article? I said I read where some people were promoting the .22lr as a primary offensive weapon. And I don’t think it is one. Can I make it any clearer to you?

    • VI and Cosmo, I wouldn’t worry, Josh pops in from time to time, makes comments with his quoting, makes uneducated comments without truly reading and then we won’t see him for another 3 to 4 months. He’s a troll just making his “presence” felt

  25. Well a 22lr may kill alot of folks and kill alot of game but I want to stop that attacker and I want to ground that game ASAP. If I was limited by pain or age I’d trade a few in and get a rem 1100 in 410 or something like that and a 327 mag blackhawk

  26. Great article!
    I have been a long life fan of the .22. The first rifle and pistol I shot were 22LR.

    The rifle and pistol have many advantages that larger arms don’t. Many have questioned the validity of the 22 in self defense, hunting and other realms. Many recent and not so recent horrific school shootings as well as use by gangs have proven it will do the job. Even if you have to use 3, 4 or 10 times the ammo. Its still cheaper than a 9mm, 45, 223 or 12 Gauge and its quieter. I’ve had friends knock the 22 saying its ineffective or can’t do “S” in stopping someone but those same people when asked are smart enough not wanting to be shot by one. They know better.

    My dad, uncles and grandpa used to kill hogs on the farm because they didn’t waist a shotgun shell or larger caliber because they couldn’t afford ammo like we can. Even though we look at the prices back in those days, guns and ammo were just as expensive than what we pay.

    I have seen LE agencies here in California use silenced 10-22s for taking out street lights as well as guard dogs when making entries.

    I have fired everything from the Red Rider BB Gun to the AT4, TOW, 25 mm Bushmaster chain gun and everything in between and I still love the 22 as much as shooting my AR or AK. I’ve even seen the SEALs with MK II Rugers with silencers for sentry and K9 take down. Other agencies have been known to use it as well.

    Although they can’t be reloaded (technically not true) they are the cheapest mass produced ammo and firearm but can run as much as the leading firearms for tack drivers and match grade ammo can be affordable or expensive for the top of the line.

    If anyone reads this and the 22 is all they can own or its all they can afford, learn it, learn it well and you will do well.

    • village idiot says:

      I would feel pretty well armed with either my Mark II or Smith Model 17, Jarhead, although the Smith has only 6 shots. But it is so accurate, and I shoot it so well(for me), that I feel comfortable with it. That’s not to say I have a .22 for everyday carry, it’s just that I don’t feel unarmed when I do carry one. My grandpa used a .22 to kill hogs also, and I remember hog-killing time on his farm when I was young. Wow, that’s really aging myself, as that was in the early 1960s. That was like a completely different country. LOL.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        village idiot,

        My dad shot 2 hogs a year (I still hate pork steak) with a semi-auto 22. It was the only gun he had at the time 1950-52. A few years later mom bought him a 20 pump. I still have it, and took it to a gun shop for evaluation last month. They told me it couldn’t handle todays ammo. After 45 years in the closet it has some rust.

  27. axelsteve says:

    Tinfoil Hat. another thing about 22 lr some of them are jamo matics til they get a few hundred rounds through them. my m60 was that way.Then I also shopped for what the gun liked .

  28. lenike(lay-knee-kay) says:

    As far as .22’s go..I have found them to be very efficient in survival here in hawaii. Mag rounds can bring down wild pig (50lbs-60lbs) with well placed shots to the head or behind the shoulder blade. We also have wild axis deer here, and have found the Mag rounds bring them down as well! Survival Gun? Yeah. Self Defence? Close quarters, with double taps or trips, Yeah. I could see it. All around, for the money spent on the rife & ammo, it’s something that I will always have as part of my survival gear.
    Hope to hear any responses.
    Aloha! Lenike

  29. Rob in Ontario says:

    I agree with a .22 for use as a anything weapon- here in Canada as was mentioned above most of our rifles are very limited to bullet capacity- but if your on the receiveing end of a semi .22 I know I would keep my head down

  30. riverrider says:

    joe, excellent article bud. if stranded in the jungle, desert, or island,and couldn’t have but one gun, what would i want? my trusty ruger mkII. as to defense, what folks forget is that even my wife can put 10 rounds of 22 into your grape in 3 or 4 seconds. knock down, smockdown. 22 drops a few thousand hogs and cattle a year, one shot to the grape. and like joe said, its all about practice and 22 makes perfect practice practical. all moved in joe? sic semper tyrannus

    • village idiot says:

      Thanks, man, and your points are rife with first-hand knowledge, which is the best. And I couldn’t agree with you more, bullet placement is #1, bullet mass #2, speed of bullet #3, at least in my opinion. I’m like you, I don’t feel underarmed with my .22. And to answer your question, no. But the hits keep on coming, IRS audit. OPSEC, my friend, never forget it, or get careless, ever.

      • riverrider says:

        darn, kick you while you’re down why don’t they? good luck. i just had to write them a 5800 dollar check myself. and good advice, tho i’m sure its too late for me now. take care.

  31. riverrider says:

    alert!! brownell’s has a sale today on their ar15 mags for 9.99.

  32. axelsteve says:

    Josh. Sometimes you need an offensive weapon because sometimes)(#&^$#!*() just piss me off!

  33. You stated “I’ve hunted all my live and have seen to many deer shot with a 22 and die days later”
    My question to you is If your such a hunter how can you admit to hunting with people who hunt deer with a 22 and then not getting a kill shot NOT track the deer? ALSO You’ve seen many deer shot with a 22? I’ve been hunting for 50 years for 10 of those years Hunting was the only way to bring dinner to the table and I’ve only once seen a person try to hunt deer this a .22. HOW do you know those deer died after being shot days before if you never tracked and recovered them?? I’ve eaten many a deer and maybe once or twice found a 22 round in one of my roast.
    I say this to you SIR I believe this story of yours belongs in the fiction class and if not SHAME on you for allowing a deer shot with a 22 and not track it cause you knew it would die in a couple of days.. I know of no one who hunts big game with a /22 and you’ve seen many? I don’t believe your story SIR. and if it is true SHAME on you and you ask god to forgive you for shooting a bird dead while a animal suffers for days?
    If you can’t hunt and kill a dear at a max of 50 yards you have no business being in the woods

    • village idiot says:

      kelley, I’ve never shot a deer with a .22, and I don’t know how you got that out of what I wrote. But back in my younger days I spent a lot of time in the woods, and I came upon dead deer on occasion that were shot with a .22(at least that’s what it looked like to me), and others shot with a bow as well. On occasion doesn’t mean a bunch, but so far as I’m concerned, the number was too many. And I’ve also killed deer that were shot with small caliber weapons, but were still alive, some healed and some not yet healed. You can believe me or not, but my point stands. Only people who are experts should think about shooting a deer with a .22, and I don’t consider myself an expert shooter, although I’ve hunted my entire life. And so far as I know, it’s against the law to hunt deer with a .22RF in every state, so the point is moot. As for killing deer, I’ve had 18 one-shot kills in a row, at varying ranges, and I feel good about it. I never want to lose deer. Never. I hope I made my position clear. Thank you for your input.

      • Poaching, or jacklighting (freezing deer with lights at nite) is usually done with a .22LR because it’s quiet. And very close range.

    • cosmolined says:

      kelley:
      Wow….. did you forget your meds?

    • Kelley, didn’t read that either, not sure how you came to that assumption.
      I’ve known some family member kill deer with a 22, that don’t mean I did,
      I’ve even know a guy that has poached deer with a .22 RWS air rifle, doesn’t mean I did it or condone it. He is no longer allowed to hunt in the state of California. He was caught by Ca DFG.

      You don’t have to attack or insult someone because you misread it or misunderstood what he wrote. It’s best to reread before attacking someone on what you thought they wrote because it only brings “shame” to one person and its certainly not the person you attacked. The Pack isn’t about insulting anyone its about learning from each other.

  34. The best defense is a good offense.
    Offensive measures can be taken from a bunker as well as a stalk, so really, the word is interchangeable- dependant upon topic, of course.
    Either way, offensively or defensively, the .22 is a viable round by trained users. (You get to decide what ‘trained’ is when your personal SHTF moment arrives.)

  35. K Fields says:

    Thought this would be a good place to share this, though I’m sure most of you have already seen it.

    D**m Democrats are at it again!
    Today, March 13, U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) introduced S. 2188, the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012.” The bill is the Senate companion to H. R. 822, which was approved by the U. S. House last November by a vote of 272-154.
    S. 2188, like H.R. 822, would allow any person with a valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed handgun in any other state that issues concealed firearm permits, or that does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes. A state’s laws governing where concealed handguns may be carried would apply within its borders.

    I so hope this gets passed! I love to travel and I’m so tired of having to keep multiple CCW licenses valid.

    • Mrs. Prepper says:

      K. Fields,
      Please forgive me if this is really dumb question (I’m completey clueless with gun related issues)…is the National Right To Carry a good thing or bad? You begin with “D**m Democrats are at it again!”, however, unless I’m misunderstanding (which is quite possible LOL), you given credit to Democrats for introducing the Act and end your comment with hoping that it passes? Again, please don’t laugh if my question is really dumb…maybe I am more clueless than I think, but sounds like this would be a good thing if you want to cross states with a CCW permit from your own state? DH & I just sent off our application for CCW and I wondered how the individual CCW permits were handled from state to state whenever we would travel so when I saw our comment, I was instantly curious to know if the new “Act” would be good or bad for gun rights, but I was confused at your starting and ending comments? Wolf Pack, I wonder, is this good or bad? Thanks as always for your clarifications on these matters for those of us that are just learning.

      • village idiot says:

        Mrs. Prepper, it’s a good thing. Several people have recently been arrested and charged with felony crimes for possessing firearms in places like NYC when they had licenses to carry back home. It would save on the confusion, and on good people being charged for unintentional crimes. Of course, sensible prosecutors could have handled this problem without having to resort to these kinds of infringements on states and cities.

      • Mrs. Prepper,
        I’m sorry for the confusion, I was simply being facetious with the Democrats remark. You will note a lot of comments against democrats here, especially concerning firearm laws, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show something PRO gun from a democrat.
        A nationwide standard that would work just like your driver’s license is a GOOD thing and has been a long time coming. Currently, I live in CA so I have a CA resident’s permit but that permit isn’t honored in many of the states I like to travel, so I have nonresident permits for Oregon, Nevada, Utah and Florida. Keeping all these valid can be a real pain at times as states occasionally change their regs, and which other states will honor their permits.

        • Mrs. Prepper says:

          K. Field,
          thanks for clarifying…for the life of me, I kept re-reading and thought perhaps I really am completely clueless…LOL…it’s hard to “get” the side-lines of conversatons sometimes–there’s no body language to observe–hee hee. I thought it sounded like a great thing and I was like, wait a minute, I’m starting to trust my gut a little on this one and I’m wrong again? Now that you explained…it makes perfect sense (even to a dummy like me)…..take care and keep on prepping.

    • village idiot says:

      KFields, 38 states recognize my Arkansas Concealed Carry Permit, and I no longer travel in the states that don’t. But yes, that would simplify matters, and is opposed by the usual suspects. Sent e-mails to the two Dems who introduced this sensible legislation thanking them.

    • I have not read the bill but I have heard from several sources that there is a provision for a federal data base to be compiled. I do not care for the fesd involvement. Let the states keep working it out. Except for Illinois, all the states I visit or travel recognize Texas CHL’s. My 2 cents.

      • Must not visit New Jersey. On paper we have a CCW provision. Just try to get one if you’re not politicly connected.

      • village idiot says:

        Federal data-base would make it a no-go for me, Ron. I was not aware of those provisions in the bill. I wonder if the data base provision is in the House bill that passed. I really need to educate myself on this bill. Thanks, Ron.

        • Like I said, I have not read it however, two very good sources have stated this to be the case. Let me know what you find.

  36. LazarusLong says:

    Great topic. I love my .22’s. Fun to shoot, inexpensive practice, generally lighter firearm to carry, absolutely lighter ammunition to carry, smaller ammunition to store and or cache. Less expensive firearms to obtain. Lots of reasons to like them. As for offense, I recall a quote about no battle ever being won by a purely defensive action, no matter how effective.
    I am prior military. One of my closest, longest friends was an Army Ranger. he has spent time with me, working on some multiple person tactics, and one he has been fond of is suppression fire with a smaller caliber while the better shooter gets into position for better control of the situation. it was actually quite funny for the first demonstration, he didn’t even put any rounds downrange, just fired into the ground so the report was heard. Unless the opposition is truly battle hardened, that would cause significant pause.
    I work in an emergency room and can say from first hand experience that shot placement is critical. That will carry over to hunting for food as well. I have seen many people survive larger caliber wounds, from 9mm, .44,.45, and more than a few fatalities from .22’s. Usually very close range and to the head, but nonetheless no more steak for them, ever.
    Did see one man evicerated by a 12 gauge at close range with bird shot. Maybe number 8? tore him open at his belly button and his intestines were falling out. Xray showed shot all throughout his abdominal cavity from pelvis to above the diaphragm. Middle aged guy spending the night (night after night) at his elderly mother’s house after a series of burglaries, took that one while protecting his mother during a home invasion. I heard he lived, but I would guess a colostomy bag forever. Not a survivalable wound without trauma surgery and a dozen units of whole blood.

    • village idiot says:

      LL, it’s good to have someone with first-hand knowledge come on and give us a report on the medical side of the discussion. I think most of us here would agree that shot placement is primary, no matter the caliber. I guess the point some would make is that given the same shot placement, the larger caliber would do more damage, and I won’t argue with that view, either. That just seems like good common sense.

      I wonder, what are the most common caliber gunshot wounds you see these days? And your point is well taken on the winning of battles, but I don’t know enough about tactics to be able to write something intelligent about it. Perhaps you do, but I know Jarhead, riverrider, cos and several others here(including Josh) are ex-military, and an article about that subject would be educational.

  37. village idiot says:

    This seem like as good a place as any to make people aware of the latest attack on affordable ammo:

    http://www.green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/zeroing-in-on-lead-in-hunters-bullets/

    Better get as much ammo as possible right now, folks. The price is going to skyrocket. As rr says, stack it high.

  38. Uncle Charlie says:

    I thought I posted this before but I guess my connection went down. Charlie (NC) I didn’t mean to trash CCI ammo in general. They make great stuff but the stuff they sell in bulk is not THEIR best, but good enough for most purposes. I have purchased their 5,000 rounds block before and have been happy with them. Good stuff.

    I envy your .32-20 rifle. Hard to find or expensive these days. Good varmint and small predator round although modern hand loads are somewhat anemic. Not advised for deer.

  39. vlad strelok says:

    Am I (the only) paranoid or what?
    Not one person mentioned that after SHTF we may be like the man down behind enemy lines. Anyone you meet may wish to rob, kill or otherwise harm you. The high velocity 22LR can be heard at some distance. 22LR subsonic fired from a 22″ or longer barrel, or a supressed rifle or pistol, is very unlikely to be heard, or if heard recognized as a gunshot..
    My Marlin 25N 22″ 1:16 twist shoots Remington 22lr subsonic
    into 3/4″ at 50 yards.
    My 10-22 20″ EAB 1:12 twist barrel shoots Aguila SSS in
    3/8″ at 50 yards.
    Subsonic vs standard (high velocity)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28ppdbert34
    Suppressed 10-22 high velocity vs subsonic
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_IcUm7i5mk

  40. vlad strelok says:

    Mea culpa.
    In my comment above I managed to omit that in SERE/SHTF as you
    travel with very little gear you will need to hunt with very quiet 22LR subsonic ammo. Meaty little critters come eagerly to freeload at bait. The gut pile of each kill provides bait for another kill.
    You may wish to carry bait in your BOB/GHB

  41. cooolwoods says:

    I love my .22’s, in fact I love all my guns.
    also check this out
    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/10-22-gatling-gun-kit.aspx?a=862723
    different place have different prices it was an easy link with a fair photo
    wish I had the money for that

    stay safe

  42. cooolwoods says:
  43. i have just finished reading articles reguarding the “silent weapons” which included slingshots and made .22 subsonic ammo/bottle suppressed .22 rifles inclusive to the list. the one thing i fail to see over and over when visiting sites is the use of and arrow or crossbow. i would really love to be pointed to an article or find a blog discussion of the pros and cons of both the crossbow and bow (long,compound,recurve or whatever) to the speed power distance ability to find and or make parts if necessary. seems the crossbow would be harder and slower on reload but could possibly make bolts out of wood. i don’t know—- kind of need help of the folks who know this kind of stuff. many thanks, bones

  44. I have a .22 lr, a 17 HMR, and a .22 WMR pistol.
    The .22 is really accurate in close but hitting anything at any real distance is tough and almost impossible if there is a breeze.

    I like the .22 WMR and I’ve heard of people hunting game as large as mountain lions with them. But it doesn’t shoot nearly as flat as the 17 HMR.

    My 17 HMR knocks down prairie dogs at 300 yards with ease. Flat shooting, accurate, etc… the only real drawbacks I see are a slightly sharp report (not real loud but it gets to you after a while), and you have to clean the barrel whenever accuracy starts to fall off… maybe a couple times a day. It’s definitely more sensitive to barrel fouling than the other cartridges. I carry a bore snake for quick cleanings.

    I’d take the 17 HMR over the 22 WMR. The HMR should kill anything the WMR can and it requires less adjustment for distance.

    17 HMR vs .22 lr? It depends on where you are. If you are in an open area where you can hunt rabbits or other small game at several hundred yards, the 17 will put food on your table a lot easier. If you can only see about 50 yards, the .22 lr is hard to pass up. The stopping power difference isn’t even close though.

    FWIW, Alexander Arms makes an AR style 17 HMR now.

    No matter what, I’d add a center fire rifle for self defense and large game. .243 or .308 would be my first choices if I could only have one other rifle. If my life depends on it, I won’t rely on dear head shots with a .223.

  45. I meant to say deer head shots, not dear head shots.

  46. Richard says:

    Great thread. It’s packed with valuable information and the posters have been, for the most part, civil and very considerate. Enjoyed reading it from start to finish. Mrs. Prepper . . You are a breath of fresh air. I personally own more than enough guns and reload four different cartridge sizes including all kinds of exotic 12 gauge. 22lr is great. I own a semi-auto 22 pistol, a 10 -22 rifle, and a 22/410 Savage over/under. I plan on buying a 22 bolt action rifle soon for accuracy and reliability. I’ve stayed away from the sub-sonic stuff, but now I’m going to purchase some soon. Thanks guys

  47. The 22 is a must have but would be best to supplement other survival weapons and is most useful where small game is taken. Due to the light weight of the rifle or pistol along with the ammo, it along with a centerfire rifle could be carried by a single individual. If you are in a group, which would be the most beneficial for any long term survival, the 22 rifle could be used for self defense by novice shooters, and kids. The old nylon 66 is one that I would take if I had to bug out. It is extremely light weight, fast firing, accurate enough and reliable with cheap 22 ammo. I have another 22 rifle that is a tack driver with a detachable scope but it is heavier so is a trade off. The AR 7 that I have has had reliability issues and is finicky when shooting cheap ammo so it would be the last weapon I would take or employ.

    • Tom; I couldn’t agree more. Also, I have had two AR7s. One an origanal Armalite, the other a Charter Arms. While I found
      accuracy acceptible, reliability was poor on both. It always seemed to be a magazine problem. They always failed with a full mag. Some worked sometimes if mags were underloaded 1 or 2 rounds. I have no idea if the new Henry’s are any better. I never found ammo they liked. Some they really hated.