The 22 Rifle: Myths And Truths Exposed

22 long rifle ammo f 1

The .22 Rifle has long been one of my favorite rifles to shoot.

Sure it's not as powerful as a .308 but the .22 rifle has been around for a long time and for good reason.

But many people have misconceptions or preconceived notions about .22 rifles.

So aside from being a fun rifle to shoot and an economical choice for the ammo-conscious survivalist, just how good is a .22 Rifle?

And should you keep one in your Bug Out Bag?

This fantastic article, originally published in The Prepared Ninja, exposes the myths and truths of the 22 long rifle:

It’s easy for the prepper survivalist to get lost in the endless confusion, attempting to discern between wants and needs.

Is it a small knife or a big blade?

Do you carry a handgun or a rifle?

However, it is even more important to determine the difference between what is a trend…and what will actually work in the field. In most cases, the right answer is: it depends on the situation.

The .22 Long Rifle rim-fire cartridge has had an excellent run, and built a legendary reputation, since its inception in 1887. The cartridge itself has been enveloped in tales of unfathomable deeds in the backwoods, taking everything from grizzlies (usually shot in the eye) and field mice (usually shot from the hip).

However, these are stories often repeated by old frontiersmen and armchair online forum dwellers alike. Anecdotal ‘evidence’ might suggest that the .22LR is the ‘do-all’ round, but is this actually true?

Is it the perfect survivalist cartridge, providing enough killing power on the small game while limiting damage to the meat, yet delivering just enough punishment in a ‘tactical situation’?

It is important to explore what the round can do, and more importantly, what it cannot do. All too often, we envision our own survival situations, handling our trusty Ruger 10/22, dispatching small game by the bundles, and carrying home a sack of deceased critters as the sun begins to set, right on time for dinner.

We even imagine ourselves bagging a whitetail, because we got a ‘lucky shot between the eyes’. If this is true, then the .22LR should be the only rifle for the survivalist, but my gut tells me, this is probably not a reasonable expectation of the old cartridge – and you might want to pack other ways of procuring meat sources.

The Two-Fold Achilles Heel of the 22 rifle

I’ve often heard it said, “If you poke enough holes in something, it’ll go down.” Usually, this is said by avid .22LR advocates, defending their ancient heritage or new purchase. While this statement does carry some obvious truth, many experienced outdoorsmen, and especially those who study ballistics, might disagree on grounds of practicality.

One of the most crucial aspects of a round’s utility has to do with the hydrostatic shock factor.  ‘Hydrostatic shock’ is defined as…

The observation that a penetrating projectile can produce remote wounding and incapacitating effects in living targets, in addition to local effects in tissue caused by direct impact, through a hydraulic effect in liquid-filled tissues.

It takes a velocity of at least 2,000fps to deliver the death-dealing power necessary to incapacitate the shooter’s target. Essentially, you want the round to hit the target (four-legged critter or two-legged crazy) and make them cease whatever they were doing. This could mean grazing, climbing, or pointing a weapon in your direction.

The hottest of hunting .22LR loads are cruising along at 1,280fps at the muzzle. If the shooter wants to reach out to 100 yards, that velocity drops to 1,015fps. That's about half of what most center-fire hunting rounds can deliver. Simply put, there’s just not enough ‘punch’ to bag that whitetail with a .22LR. Instead, it's more likely to cause either an agonizing drawn-out death by hours of bleeding, or months of injury and subsequent starvation to the noble beast. This is why this gun has legality issues in almost every state.

Also, a slower round is going to have accuracy issues. Of course, we’ve heard of Bob Munden-types lobbing a .22LR, 400 yards into a bowling pin – but let’s face it, 99% of us aren’t that good from a bench, much less in the field. Even with those 1,280fps zingers, you’ve still got a drop of 3.5” at 100 yards, and that’s without having to compensate for wind. With only 37 grains, moving at that velocity, a slight breeze would ruin the shot.

Either way, the survivalist who does not harvest the deer, coyote, or raccoon, wastes a round. In certain scenarios, you risk identifying your position from the report of the shot.

Also, one more fatal flaw commonly associated with the .22LR has to do with it’s questionable reliability. Indeed, no backwoodsman would ever consider a Savage bolt-action or a Ruger 10/22 as an unreliable rifle. These rifles have offered astounding performance for decades; however, reliability is also heavily dependent on the quality of the rounds being fed. Unfortunately, rim-fire cartridges are disproportionately handicapped in this respect, compared to their center-fire counterparts. Primers, insufficient pressure, and quality control are usually the culprits.

If you’re shooting a rim-fire cartridge and the bad guy in your sights is shooting a center-fire cartridge, pray you didn’t get a rough batch from the factory.

Why You Still Need a 22 riflle

Nevertheless, while the .22LR might have its drawbacks, it’s important for us to remember that there is no ‘do-all’ round. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, especially in terms of firearms. All cartridges have their strengths and weaknesses, and the .22LR is no exception.
And, the .22LR does have strengths…lots and lots of strengths.

Talk to any .22LR owner and they will laugh at you after telling them how much you spent on ammunition for your centerfire. This is perhaps one of the most obvious strengths of the old cartridge. Being able to spend less than $20 on a 500-round ‘brick’ of ammo is what has .22LR lovers shooting, while everyone else on the firing line has shot their budget and gone home.

Of course, from the survivalist’s perspective, being able to carry 1,000 rounds of any kind of ammo is a lovely proposition. A fifth of that in .308 is still tediously heavy but in .22LR, carrying that amount of ammunition is a breeze. The .22LR is a tiny round without much brass, lead, or powder.

Do you remember how I said that the .22LR is inferior to most hunting cartridges because of it’s low velocity? The interesting part is the fact that the .22LR is superior to other hunting cartridges…because of its low velocity. Without the presence of hydrostatic shock, meat does not get obliterated upon penetration. Thus, you can take rabbit all day long, preserving the meet with a .22LR, whereas a .223 would leave nothing but a mangled attempt at acquiring a meal.

Simply put, the .22LR is the best-selling ammunition on the globe for good reason. Brad Zozak, from TruthAboutGuns, calls the Ruger 10/22, “the single most popular firearm of all time.” In a SHTF scenario, you might not be able to replace the stock on your Springfield M1A – but check any abandoned farmhouse, and you’ll most likely find replacement parts for your 10/22 (and probably .22LR rounds to go with it).

The Purpose of the 22 Rifle

Overall, you can't expect the .22LR to perform the functions of other, better-suited rifles. At the same time, one should also not expect a .30-06 to effectively take and preserve the meat off small game—arguably the type of game you’d want to harvest in the first place.

However, the survivalist who hopes to survive on a Ruger 10/22 alone may need to reconsider. It takes the ability to hunt big game to survive (both for the nutritional value and also for the other resources the beast offers). A centerfire-hunting rifle is absolutely crucial over the long haul.

If the survivalist hopes to stay alive in the backwoods, it takes more than just a .22LR rifle. It takes the ability to trap and forage for wild edibles to live somewhat comfortably. One needs to intelligently pack for survival scenarios.

Everything needs to be picked thoughtfully, from carrying knives to packing a fire starter. The legendary frontiersmen of the 19th and 20th centuries relied more on their survival kits than they did on their rifles, and for good reason.

The .22LR is a fantastic survival cartridge, but it shouldn’t be your only option. Stay safe, keep your guns ready, and knives sharp, and never forget to memorize the basics of preparedness.

About the Author – Usman is a writer, outdoor enthusiast, technology lover, and knife collector.
So after all that, what is your opinion on the 22 rifle?
Is it an economical addition to your bug out bag checklist or just a waste of space?
22 Rifle | | The 22 Rifle Myths and Truths
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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in February 17 ,2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

155 Responses to :
The 22 Rifle: Myths And Truths Exposed

  1. Martin says:

    I have a Mossberg 46B(a).22 and can reach out to 100 yards with a mounted scope. As much as I do believe this rifle is necessary for survival, I do use it as a small game gun as opposed to putting meat on the table for a week at a time.
    It is accurate, but not the rifle for sustainment over a long period of time and I would not use it in a “firefight” past 50 yards.

    1. Joseph Miller says:

      Part of being a “survivalist” is buying enough .22 ammo at $8-$10 a brick to last the rest of your life. When Lyin’ Bill was threatening us, I did just that.
      What will a .22 do? Where I used to live, poachers would kill deer by shooting them in the neck at close range. A bullet in the spine drops them, a knife finishes the job. NOT recommending either poaching OR shooting deer with a .22…but…if it’s that or starve….
      We used to kill farm hogs with 22’s, right between the eyes and they’d go down. Same with a 600lb steer. As far as I can recall, a .22 was all we used back in the 50’s and 60’s.
      My nephew tried his 9mm Browning on a hog in a horse trailer…let’s just say, stick with the 22’s. 9mm did not punch through the skull and he ended up shooting him several more times with the 9mm.You can increased accuracy and leathality with the Accurizer bullet modifier.
      It won’t let me paste the link…just search “Paco Kelly 22 bullet” and it should pop up. I think that’s over on Accurate Shooter.
      At today’s prices, I can cast and reload subsonic 38 special 180g pure lead thumpers cheaper than .22’s

      1. Anonymous says:

        Sounds a lot like my own experience, good job bro.

      2. Robert Hodge says:

        Growing up far from town on minimal money; my .22 dropped far more deer and other game than did my 30-30 Winchester 64. Punch a hole though the eye or base of the ear and they go down NOW. Heart shot? May have to chase it a good while; IF you are good enough to find it at all. A 300 Mag on a deer? What? You seek ready made hamburger full of bone and crap? For rlk and such as bear; go for more power. (Even if I did take out a 300lb black bear with a shot between the eyes at 30 ft one night.) He was foraging in our apple trees.

      3. Anonymous says:

        Shooting hogs between the eyes with a 9mm requires +P ball ammo. Using “self-defense” (“low-penetration”) rounds isn’t going to do the job.

  2. Dean Haven says:

    Great article! I think the 22LR is a great cartridge and very handy to have. However, ammo has become impossible to find. If you find any at gun shows the cost is comparable to centerfire ammo. Your article says 500 rounds for under $20. I’ll take 20 bricks right now.

    1. Mark says:

      Used to buy a box of 550 rounds at Walmart for $19, at $.03 cents/round or so and have fun plinking or hunting small game with my family. Now I see it at gun shows over $90.
      Extortion come to mind? I know some will say it is all capitalism, which I support, yet I heard stories of individuals buying out Walmart when this all started and then sold the ammo at extortion prices at gun shows. Not the kind of man I want to call a friend or fellow patriot. I know I’ll get some negative feedback, but it is just my opinion.
      Thus, I haven’t bought much in several years, just hanging on to what few rounds I have.

      1. Me says:

        You need to up the dosage.

        1. Noe says:

          There was an article , 2011? i1 billion rounds for homeland security of 9mm was bought for them, and , another Department which? why do they need ammo and firearms?, another 1 billion rounds. Therefore , the 9mm round was hard to come by and , why did these two departments need 2 billion rounds? Waste , and also YOU can’t get it. Now , take your meds.

      2. MICK J says:

        People who voted for obammy…..shame on them. Voted for him again….? TREASON!!! Hang’em high….(the voter)

        1. pete says:

          you’ve got my vote patriot!

        2. Mikial says:

          Yeah, have to agree with you on that one for sure.

      3. @Mark,… Back in the mid 1990’s when I began buying large quantities of 22LR for my boys, a 500 round box of Federal 22LR 40gr. round lead nose ammo was only $4.95 at WalMart. Would buy 12 boxes at a time. A few times a month they’d offer 550 round Value Packs for the same price. Was filthy ammo to shoot, and I use nothing but jacketed ammo these days. But, still those “under $5.00” boxes were fun to empty downstream through a 10/22.

        1. EdWatts says:

          Years ago, K-mart (at least, in California) stopped selling guns and ammunition. A store near me was “blowing out” CCI Stinger .22LR ammunition at 100 rounds for $0.79 (less than a penny per round!). I was among the first to happen upon this happy situation, and I immediately bought about a thousand dollars’ worth, which was well over 100,000 rounds. They had to get ammunition shipped in from other stores to fill my order, but the two-day wait was well worth it.
          I have spent many, many hours “plinking”, as well as teaching my wife and all of my eight children firearm safety and marksmanship, and I still have thousands of rounds left. This in one of the very few times in my life when I managed to get a “good deal”!

      4. Anonymous says:

        Plenty of 22 available now bought 3 bricks day before yesterday sub sonic 32 bucks a brick C.C. I around 300 box at about 29

      5. T B Bryceson says:

        I have read that the billions of rounds of ammo bought by non-military government agencies were hollow-point rounds which, under the Geneva Convention, cannot be used in war. So if they can’t use them against an invading force, who do you think they have in mind as targets when they plan on using them? U.S. citizens, that’s who? Under martial law, FEMA can come to (or through) your door and commandeer all of your stockpiled survival gear, food, ammo, etc. for “redistribution” as they see fit. So despite your efforts and expense to prepare for “that day”, according to the government, you and your family will have no right to be more prepared than the lazy Bozos who never bothered to prepare for themselves, because they will share YOUR supplies with everyone else. Of course, we all know there won’t be enough to go around, so if the government has its way, you’ll starve along with everyone else. Except the government people, of course; they always have their special sources.

    2. Jeremy says:

      this must depend on where you live, even here in NY where its terrible you can find respectable priced 22lr ammo, Gander just had a sale for 1000 for $49, local Herb Philipsons has 50 packs for 3.99, nothing i have seen even remotely comes close to the price of centerfire

      1. Robert says:

        Gander did have the federal .22 lr dirt cheap, but the store by me didn’t have any boxes available. Its a simple cartridge to produce, and the companies could make tons of money by increased production. Why don’t they? I haven’t seen .22 lr on the shelf in over a year.

        1. Donald says:

          There were people at my local Walmart lining up as soon as it came out to buy it . I’ve seen it online $70 for box of 550. Walmart finally starting to get them back in .

        2. John Hazlett says:

          The shortage was caused by a bunch of panicked “preppers”, who were certain that Obama was gonna take their guns away. Manufacturers played into this sham by hyping that emotion to sell more guns and ammo faster. We all caused our own shortage by hoarding everything – just like the plan.

          1. Robert Hodge says:

            You are forgetting that the US Govt put in orders for literally Billions of 223 Hollow Point ammo; for us inside the USA. Good bye to the materials for civilian uses. Ffor years; the public got what they could at Inflated prices. George Soros bought out Remington and 6 others; including the ability to make ammo for our guns; he wanted to limit supply to jack the prices well beyond what had been sold for.

    3. Dee says:

      .22 LR ammo available everywhere here in Western Washington. What about .22 mags? I was disappointed you didn’t even mention them.

  3. Adam says:

    Excellent article and very applicable to gun owners in the UK. Because of our extremely strict gun ownership laws here , requiring a gun owner to be registared with a local club, .22 are very popular. Most towns have a 25 metre .22 range which entitles members to hold .22 rifles. To own anything bigger you have to belong to a range that caters fro that type of weapon, and most of those are 100 m plus , therefore think on the ground in urban areas.

    1. Rik says:

      Not quite correct I am a UK citizen and whilst our gun laws are very restrictive I am NOT a member of any club and I own from .22 lr up to 30 cal for the purposes of hunting. A total of 12 guns including rim fire , full bore and shotgun. I use expanding ammunition , slug , and 00 buck amongst a number of others and also reload.
      There is a common misconception that is not helped by spreading misinformation about uk gun law. Yes it’s not easy to own guns here but not impossible to own and use.

      1. Dee says:


  4. ronnie says:

    I will always have my .22 with me(as well as 1 or 2 center-fire, 9 mm. or up) for all the reasons you have(tongue-in-cheek) cursed and discoursed -?- in your article. GREAT ARTICLE!!

  5. David Prose says:

    I’ve used the 22 for many purposes, from ground hog control coyote to putting squirrels and rabbits on the table. The only thing I carry running trap line. I’ve seen deer brought down. As far as a self defense round it will do the job in a pinch if that is all you have available. Very fine round I wouldn’t hesitate a moment.

  6. Gary says:

    A good article to say the least. But it is obviously dated at best when you make reference to “Being able to spend less than $20 on a 500-round ‘brick’ of ammo”. We will probably never see those prices again due to both inflation and hoarding. Just recently I was able to purchase a 550-round brick at a gun show for the incredibly low price of $65. That was a good deal here in Northeast Florida. Mostly the prices are as high as $90 for the same brick.
    The .22 while flexible and easy to carry is not the definitive answer. But it is better to carry ine than to not have it at all.

  7. Mike Hess says:

    One should also consider with a VERY open mind the .22 Magnum. I know of several Native American tribes that use it for Deer. They NECK shoot them with a 22 Mag H.P. ….

    1. Hipockets says:

      I love my 22 mags,but have a harder time finding ammo for them,then
      22LR.I’m down to 2 boxes so have quit shooting til I can restock’

    2. Smoke Hill Farm says:

      Absolutely agree about the .22 magnum — too often ignored by those who should know better. One of the original ideas for its development was as a military round, but it was too difficult (back then anyway) to make it cycle reliably in a semi-auto. My wife’s old target-grade Savage-Anschutz .22 mag is staggeringly accurate with a small scope, and has taken down many foxes, feral dogs and even a bobcat with a single shot, at considerable distance. I have no doubt that a decently-place shot on a human at 100 yards would result in instant incapacitation and probably eventual death.
      I have about 700 rounds stocked for the Anshcutz, a couple of old Davis Derrubgers & a Grendel semi-auto that cycles Federals pretty reliably, but I’m looking for a revolver in that caliber. A 7 or 8-inch barrel would be a great all-purpose tool in .22 mag.
      I also have several .22LR’s and a large stockpile of ammo, for when the mag caliber might be overkill.
      One thing I am curious about is whether one can regularly shoot .22LR in a bolt-action rifle or revolver. I have done it many times with the little Davis Derringers, to “execute” pigeons or ducks for use as” planted birds” in Retriever Field Trials. Worked fine, and I can’t imagine any danger, or lack of accuracy in other .22 mag weapons, but would really like some pro to look into this.
      Another often-ignored option is the high-powered target airguns in .22 caliber. My old Diana-RWS Model 34 (under $200) shoots at around 900 fps and is extremely accurate even without a scope. Great for birds, squirrel, rabbit, etc at up to 50 yards, and relatively silent compared to firearms (very handy in a SHTF situation). Ammo costs almost nothing, and I suppose one could even make pellets in a pinch, tho my stock of 20,000 pellets should last a while. Warning — if you’re thinking LONG-TERM reliability I would stick to RWS or another top brand used by airgun aficionados, not some cheapie Chinese import. My RWS has been killing varmints and trash birds on the farm since about 1989, many many thousands of rounds with zero problems or maintenance beyond lube & shooting a cotton cleaning pellet thru it every few hundred rounds. Some cheap Daisy or Gamo gun from Wal-Mart, even in .22 cal, is not something you want to rely on indefinitely.

  8. Cap'n Dave says:

    Obviously written a while back. Less than $20 for a brick of 500 rounds? Talk about the “good old days.” Most gun shows I’ve been to for the last 6 months are selling them for $80.

    1. Robert Bonczkowski says:

      Prices have started coming back down in the past year. Recently saw a brick (500) for $40 offered online

      1. Marty says:

        Just picked up a box of Remington Thunder Bolts (500 loose) for 24 bucks at Sportsmen’s Guide. Usually they’re on back order but not this time.

  9. left Coast Chuck says:

    Good thought-provoking article discussing the pros and cons of the .22. There is no perfect weapon. If there were, there would be only one weapon in the world. I would point out that in a shtf situation, the smart ones will quickly come to realize that any penetrating wound will be a lot more serious than it is today with readily available medical care and antibiotics. In a shtf world, a penetrating wound with its path loaded with pathogens will be a very serious wound. A .22 wound channel would be difficult to irrigate and clean out. From what I have learned about .22 gunshot wounds, they often do not follow a straight course through the body but zigzag and bounce around. Getting body hit with a .22 can equal a long, slow, painful death in a shtf situation or maybe not. Feeling lucky, punk? Well, do ya?

    1. GrouchyJohn says:

      Absolutely correct. Consider how John Hinckley wounded police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and critically wounded press secretary James Brady. Although credited incorrectly with shooting President Ronald Reagan, he actually did not shoot Reagan, the .22lr round that almost killed our President ricocheted off the side of the presidential limousine and hit him in the chest. There are more than a few people that will attest to the ability of a .22lr to do serious damage. Despite being a ricochet, the round hit a rib and bounced around, ending up in a lung. He lost almost 50% of his blood volume during the trip to the hospital and in the operating room. Had he not gone directly to the hospital (4 minute trip) we would have lost our beloved president. Fast action on the part of Special Agent In Charge Jerry Parr is the only reason Reagan is the only president to not die that had been shot. (source Wikipedia) Hinckley was found guilty by reason of insanity instead of being stood up in front of a wall or hung and has unfortunately been a patient in a nuthouse since that day.

      1. Daniel says:

        Well, that’s not exactly correct. Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest by an innkeeper named John Schrank, on October 14, 1912. The .32 caliber bullet passed thru a glasses case and a thick manuscript which Teddy had in his coat’s breast pocket. While the bullet apparently did not penetrate the skin (‘merely a flesh wound’), he was sitting president at the time, actively campaigning for a third term, which was apparently what irritated Mr. Schrank.

        1. Daniel says:

          “Fast action on the part of Special Agent In Charge Jerry Parr is the only reason Reagan is the only president to not die that had been shot.” Sorry–this is the part which I meant to reference. One source here:

    2. Keith says:

      Absolutly agree any wound now matter how small in an after apocalypse situation would be 10 times more threatening than today and up to 100 yards a 22 will be in my opinion the best rifle own for any prepper or survivalist to own and get familiar with

  10. Jaime Cancio says:

    With all the years I have been a field comes this advice: when carrying a high powered rifle carry a small caliber handgun; however, when carrying a .22 Cal Rifle carry a larger caliber handgun. That way you are covering all possible situations.
    With that said, one of the best all around carry only one firearm I used was a carbine conversion Thompson Center Contender chambered in .357 Casull Magnum using a 180 grain bullet that gave .308/7.62 performance: I could also use in that little shoulder cannon .357 Magnum, all high power .38 Cal rounds, .38 Specials and .38 Shorts.
    The .357 Casull Magnum was reloaded only using either duplex or triplex loadings of powders. In one firearm having the capacity to take rabbits and small game and by changing into the .357 Casull round could bring down anything in the Americas. Using .38 Shorts at discharge it was very difficult to tell the round had been fired and it was once very uncomfortable explaining to a Sheriff officer and Fish and Game Officer the firearm was in no way silenced. Reloading those rounds down to 650 fps and was accurate out beyond 50 yards; however, using the .357 Casual at discharge the weapon sounded like a .50 Cal round going off and provided 2,700 fps velocities using the 180 grain bullets and was very accurate as the Contender was using a 20 inch ‘bull’ barrel custom built. Came with this conversion kit a rifle style butt stock and fore end.
    One item to note using the .357 Casull Magnum with its duplex and triplex loadings – recoil was much lighter and seemed to be a slight push over a prolonged time: that said, discharging the .357 Magnum you heard what could be mistaken for a .30 Cal Carbine and the recoil was every bit as much as the M-1 .30 Cal Carbine.
    The best .22 Cal Rifle I ever used was a Weatherby Mark XXII and used this in combination with a Redfield 3×9 power scope. That package would shoot rings around a Ruger 10/22. The trick to using .22 Cal is to find a round that works well in your rifle and stick with that one round…my choice was CCI Mini-Mags Hollow Points and filling the hollow points with wax to insure the hollow points didn’t fold close and the wax acting like a piston flowed back into the hollow point cavity insuring expansion – some times spectacular and I have seen CCI rounds flattened out the size of a dime.

    1. Kukriking says:

      Wow. You must have a lot of fun fun experimenting with different loads, grain weights, ect. and to have that flexibility would be great in a SHTF sitch. I wish I could invest in all that reloading equipment.
      The lowest price I remember for a 525 brick ‘o .22LR was just after 9/11/01…I bought 6 bricks “on sale” at Dicks for $6.00/ box. I think the regular price was $7.00. And then it was very soon after that it went straight up to $20.00. Does my memory serve correct? Anybody else remember those days?
      And were AK rounds .08/rd ? Can anyone testify to that? I started “AK fun”when they were .20/rd and thought that was the best round all-a-round compared to the other center fire ammo. Now, the best price you can get on 7.62×39 is about .25/rd. I recently pounced on a case of 1000 for $180, then later realized “corrosive” was the reason it was so cheap. Can anyone advise on the best way to deal with corrosive ammo? What’s the best cleaner? I heard regular old #9 will be the best as long as you clean immediately after shooting. What if you have to wait a day or two, will the corrosives start corroding? ‘Preciate any replies.
      God bless all you like-minded people!

    2. Kukriking says:

      Great idea about putting wax in the .22 hollow. How do you get it in there?!

      1. Jaime Cancio says:

        I simply heat the wax until soft and then press it into the hollow point and I do mean press securely. The wax on contact with any surface starts to expand turning into a gas many times larger in volume at the same time it is acting like a solid piston. Twice seen rounds like this traverse from hind quarter of a jack rabbit into its neck area cutting the rabbit into two halves cut right down the center. I have also seen one of these rounds hit a coyote that cut him into two pieces shot taken at close range into just behind front left shoulder area. All these reportage shots taken at close range. The funniest shot I ever took went through the rabbits ears. In the first ear and punched hole the size of a twenty-two, the oft ear had a silver dollar size hole; and the rabbit, just twitched his ears as if it were bothered by a flying insect…not so lucky the second shot cleanly removed his entire head – had him for dinner just minutes later. Thanks to the rabbit coming right up to my camp site.

  11. BodySnatcher says:

    “The hottest of hunting .22LR loads are cruising along at 1,280fps at the muzzle.” This is not entirely correct. There are “hot” hunting rounds that exceed 1,600 feet per second. This is not the 2,000 fps that Dave Henderson mentions to achieve the “…death-dealing power necessary for an incapacitating strike on the shooter’s target.” However, using hotter ammunition like the Aguila “Super Maximum – Hyper Velocity @ 1,700 fps” & “CCI Segmented Hollow Point @ 1,640 fps.” will greatly improve the performance of the .22 Long Rifle cartridge.

  12. Edgar says:

    I am 68 yrs old . my grand father hunted deer with single shot 22long . He always shot the deer in the eye once !!!! He was hunting for food !

    1. Jaime Cancio says:

      I have seen this in several animals – I will never forget a shot I made just outside of Buttonwillow, California, killing one of a pack of marauding coyotes every farmer in the area wanted dealt with. I was on my belly in a D-9 tractor dig out with the wind directly in my face; I ranged the motionless standing coyote at precisely 115 yards with a single shot that entered his left eye and exited out his right – it was as if some one turned out the electricity and the elevator came down…what I remember best his coat had a golden sheen to it and at a time I needed money his pelt earned me $130.00. BTW that pack harbored animals that where going rabid. I could tell of a mountain lion near Greenhorn Mountain about 50 miles northeast of Bakersfield; that is another story for another time and let’s leave it as a .22 Cal LR worked real well. That animal had me dead to rights…

      1. William says:

        When those coyotes start “packing up”around Buttonwillow or McKittrick, they get real brave. Had four of them try to eat me one night on the back side of Elk Hills. Used a Colt Officers model to dispatch one of them and the other then ran off…. That said I used a .22 to take many a rabbit in the open fields off of Lokern road before they built the hazardous waste plant……

  13. Pete says:

    Being able to drop a rabbit or squirrel with a clean head shot is easy to do with practice. For over fifty years the .22 has been a part of my hunting gear and will continue to be.

  14. Kent Mc Caslin says:

    My dad gave me his old rifle that shoots “.22 shorts” only. As a kid growing up in Wisconsin he filled the dinner pot with squirrels and rabbits.

  15. rick says:

    The .22 magnum is my choice for a survival weapon. It gives you the fps your looking for and the amo is light weight enough to carry 1000 rounds no problem. Larger caliber handgun (.357/44) would be ideal combo for survival situation. (actually could carry more amo if needed)

  16. peter says:

    The 22 is for me. As I have grown older I have found the larger rounds to punishing, both in recoil and let’s not forget the noise. When you see Hollywood version of gun fight dozens of rounds are expended, you are simply are deaf from it and the bite of a .45 on my old bones is too much. Same said for my 14yr old. Tactically a 3 tap from a 22 is a kill. I have a 22 air rifle that I can practice with in my yard safely which shoots the same as my 10/22. Can’t say I can get that kind of practice time or budget with my 5.56. This method keeps my 22 practice @200 rounds for $4 and saves my rimfires for weekends! And while were on the subject, 12 gauge or .410. Same points in favor of the .410. Now I can switch to very deadly .410 slug (same size as a .45 but a whole lot more powerful. Hornady makes a shell with a bullet followed by 3 balls for hogs) if I need some power. With both you have all the options cover at the same time in a light weight/low noise recoil switch-up package.

    1. Duke of Kentucky says:

      Hornady .410 slug with 3 balls behind sounds like I need some of these for my Savage .410-22 combo. Love that rifle. Now do they make it in 2 1/2 inch shell for the .410 as I gave my grand daughter one that only takes that size 410 shell. The one I kept will take the 3 inch shell

      1. Mike H. says:

        Check out the Winchester .410 rounds.

  17. TheSwafferOne says:

    Yeah, but a 22 magnum is devastating, shot a bird on a fence post and nothing but feathers were left.

  18. wes larson says:

    How does the Henry survival rifle which shoots a .22 LR with hollow point fit into your catalog of all around survival hunting rifles? Thanks, Wes.

    1. willowa says:

      I have one and it is a good little rifle. It seems (semi-auto, screw in bbl etc) it wouldn’t be all that accurate, but at 40-ish yards, I could hit anything my friend could with his ‘trigger-tuned’, scope sighted, Ruger 10-22.

      1. Anon E Mous says:

        At 30 yards I could put all 8 rounds in a 1.5 inch group in about 4-5 seconds with my Henry AR-7 US Survival Rifle.

        1. Smoke Hill Farm says:

          My old Charter Arms AR-7, from back in the 70s, still shoots fairly accurately, especially considering the rather short barrel. I think it was about 85 bucks on sale, back then. It was my favorite fishing & camping gun for many years since it floats when taken apart & stored in its stock, though I always carried a .357 mag pistol, too.
          The AR-7 has been made by several companies since the old Charter Arms days, and I imagine that very little has been changed in reliability or accuracy.

    2. Hipockets says:

      I’m lucky enough to own 2 Henrys’ I still in the box that I have’nt gotten to try out'(won at the NRA Banquet’) Been sick a lot and
      chompin at the bit for spring so I can get out and try it out’
      Great little rifles’

      1. Duke of Kentucky says:

        Which one came first the AR-7 or the Henry or some other make. Mine is the AR-7 have had for a long time and it’s around NRA 90 to 95%. Have had a lot of friends try to buy it but that is in the #1 bug out sack.

        1. Smoke Hill Farm says:

          Charter Arms made the original one. I got mine back around the mid or late 70s, as best I recall. Much later, somewhere around 1990-92, I got another, but by then it was made by a different company (or at least ownership had changed), but it seemed identical and performed just as well. I think Henry was the third company to manufacture it, though it’s entirely possible the same guys in the same factory are producing them, owned by a different parent company.
          I wish I had gotten the pistol variant as well as the rifle. Dumb oversight on my part.

          1. Smoke Hill Farm says:

            Though there are — or use to be — some neat little accessories for the AR-7, I was always disappointed that no one offered a much longer barrel, for those times when accuracy was critical because of distance. After all, changing barrels is only a matter of seconds on the AR-7.
            Back in the late 80s, early 90s, they offered a ridiculously cheap “assault conversion kit,” which consisted of a sliding extended wire stock, and a nifty screw-on barrel shroud. I had an FFL back then, and I believe this little kit was on sale from Southern Ohio Gun for about 15 bucks wholesale. I got three, kept two for my own AR-7’s. Along with the long banana mag (I think the same as the 10-22 magazines), it turned into a pretty impressive “black assault rifle,” at least visually.

  19. Warm1 says:

    Most of the comments below have good points–particularly meeteetse, edgar, and leftcoastchuck.
    Personally, the .22 is unequalled for versatility. Remember—if the SHTF & you need to grab your G.O.O.D.
    back pack & leave your home, WEIGHT has to be THE main concern. Sure, I would like to have a variety of
    arms, but I can’t carry them & AMMO. TWO MORE EXTREMELY versatile high velocity cartridges are the .243
    Winchester & 6mm Remington. Eskimos have hunted BIG game for decades with the .243. One more thing to mention: the .22 rimfire placed more deer, squirrel, and rabbits on the dinner table during the Depression years than ANYTHING else. The Depression was truly a time of SURVIVAL !!

  20. Ted I Lewis says:

    Having been into Buckskinning for over 40 years. I have lived the mountain man way of life. Ron-de-voos went to hell. And people all over the country started Pack-ins. A group , 5-6, will meet at a spot. And plan on staying gone for a week or two. And EVERYTHING carried? Has to be 1820 or back. A trip like this? Will tell who knows what they have bragged about around the camp fire or not! Every day. two are picked for the daily hunting or fishing duties. Will not see them until about dark 30. Hopefully with a meal in hand. The reason i bring this up? I have carried a 22.5 cal. black powder gun for years. And it has always put meat on the table. I do the same today with my grandkids. We will stay gone here in the mountains of Montana for a week at a time. But now i carry, as well as my kids. a single shot 22. And we have only ONE TIME had jerky stew. Getting old and can’t carry 2000 rounds of 308-119.7 lbs. But 22? 19.6 lbs. And after firing every round out for 22’s. Have found the Remington, Yellow Jacket- HP, to do things some will say is BS. But at 100 yds, into jell. Did mushroom and left a 4-1/2 in. wound channel. Thats average on 10 rounds. At 50 yds? Went through down vest-denim shirt and still mushed out. Most i have seen, stopped up and did not mushroom. So i have built two S&W AR 22’s. And know that in a fight my 308 will be for OUT THERE. But in a long fight? How many rounds does the bad guy have? I will have 2000! And WILL PICK my shots! And i still remember what a old mountain man told me years ago. KISS= keep it simple stupid. That holds true today. Give the Yellow Jacket a try, if you can find them. They are faster then any of the others i have fired. Even zingers or voli. Remington uses powder they came up with for the round. And the bullit is heavier then any i have weighed. Some of you might waqnt to try a Pack-in. Get a friend and see how you get by. Just start out with a weekend trip. Carry almost nothing. And LEARN! After a few trips? You will be able to get by with very little. And i know for sure. The way our country is now? You will need what you learn by doing this. If i am allowed to? I will post the things i carry now. Will surprise a lot of people. How little you really need to live and live good. Later. Thanks, Ted I Lewis

    1. Anonymous says:

      I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. I like the 22mag. It’s not the size of the bullet. It’s where you place the shot.

  21. SGT Rud says:

    While I do believe you are correct on the price for ammunition, and its hording ability prior to needing to bug-out, there are many more points to be made for and against. Another pro is that most 22LR rifles are smaller and lighter weight than other rifles, making the 22LR rifle desirable as a bug-out firearm. Same goes with the ammunition, you can essentially carry more of it without which means it will last longer than other calibers depending on its use.

  22. SavvyCowboy says:

    I’ve center-massed squirrels from 50+ yds with open sites on my 30+ yr old Marlin semi. I’m getting another .22LR with a scope so I can shoot the @$$ off a fly at 150 yds. The bottom line is if you can hit what you aim at 100% of the time, taking an eye out at 100 yds with a .22LR will leave your target just as dead has a between the eyes with a 30-06, just not as immediate, but you still accomplish the mission.

  23. JB Cook says:

    Great article. The FACT is, numerous whitetail Deer have been taken with a 22 WMR. Although the article is primarily discussing the 22 LR, I know with 100% Certainty the 22 Magnum round is “Under Appreciated”. If I was forced to own only 1 weapon, it would be a 22 Magnum. All the Best

    1. Mike says:

      Agree. I know of plenty of poachers who have used the .22 mag successfully. If you can call poaching “successful”

  24. brdcrk49 says:

    The 22lr is absolutely a must for a survival weapon for all the reasons you stated but another weapon is also important. I have a Savage 24C o/u breakdown with 22lr on top of 20 ga. I keep 20 ga slugs, 00 buckshot and #4 birdshot with it so a lot of areas are covered. A center fire rifle will be added.

  25. Jim Grogg says:

    Enjoyed your article on the 22LR. Now would you please write an article on the 22 Mag cartridge and compare the two. I will guess for a little more money and weight the 22 Mag is the best bet. Can’t wait to read the article. Keep up the good work

    1. Mike says:

      You are right! The .22 mag is way under rated and the guns are cheap since the .117 came out…

  26. james says:

    this 2014 and if you can find 22 rounds of any type they cost as much as 223 does. the 20 dollar brick is a thing of the past.

  27. Mike says:

    I think the .22 is a waste of weight if you are considering it for the purpose of a bug out bag. If you want a real hunting round the little Rossi .410 gauge youth model that converts to .22 is a good gun.
    It is small and light, leave the rifle barrel at home. An assortment of .410 shells will do whatever you need and it is not beyond reason to kill a deer with a slug. We all shoot like Davy Crockett when we are rested and warm. But spend a week cold in the weeds and see what your skills turn into. I have been out with guys with the little survival .22’s and they laugh at my baby shotgun. Until they need the meat.
    How do you consider the 10-22 a bug out bag gun? It don’t fit in the bag…

    1. Ken says:

      The 10/22 takedown or the Henry ar7 does just fine.

  28. Joe says:

    I love the .22 LR and have had one for many years. I actually have a 60 year old Remington single shot that I got from my grandfather thru my father. It has been shot at least 5000 times and still works great. My Marlin semiauto is a dream to shoot. .22 LR ammo is now hard to find, luckly I got 1000 rounds before it became scarce, and not much chearper than the .223 I bought recently. I have many years working with the US military and have shot guns of all types for over 45 years, no one caliber does it all. I use my AR10 in .308 for big game, punching through a windshield, sheet metal, etc. and shooting at 600 meters, my AR15 in .223 for smaller game, varmits(when needed), close quarters combat and distances up to 300 meters, the .22 is for practice, small game(rabbits, etc) and under 100 meters. I have known people that have killed a deer with a .22 but it was a point blank shot and they were poaching. One seldom gets this close and I would not even use my .223 on a deer and I have gotten within 30 foot on several occations. A gun is a tool and no tool does it all. The military uses the .223, the .308 and 300 Win Mag in AR platforms and rounds up to .50 BMG for snipers and long range armour piercing. Different calibers for different purposes. Also better to have more than one gun so if one breaks or you run out of that ammo you have a backup.

  29. Mike says:

    There has been comments concerning the use of .22 as a man killer. I will attest that it will kill folks but not easily and definitely not quickly without good shot placement. I have worked murders involving the .22 and assaults with the round.
    The stories about it skipping around inside is sometimes true but it is also true it has bounced off skulls and been deflected by ribs. The most I have seen soaked up has been eight rounds and the guy died in the ambulance laughing about kicking the other guys ass.
    But I have also had one shot kills with it.
    The .22 kills a lot of folks because there are a lot of them not because they are good for it..hydrostatic shock really is important…

  30. willowa says:

    The .22 LR has at least one loading, the CCI ‘Stinger’ that has a velocity close to 1,500 fps! In tests, the stinger penetrates more layers of soft body armor than any handgun round tested, up to and including the .357 mag. That said, there is a lot it won’t do, however, largely because of the amount of ammo you can carry easily, it would be foolish not to include it. When all other ammo is exhausted, the 500 rounds of .22 LR you still have is going to look pretty darn good!

  31. James says:

    Mine is my grandfathers Rem. 511 made in 49. Still acurate and I would not be without it.

  32. DAY says:

    In the words of most survivalists I have read, when the SHTF, ‘a hit with a 22 is better than a miss with 45’… In other words, I believe if you can have your other half just slinging enough lead at the other guy (and you can afford to sling/waste 22 cal rounds)and keep him from getting off a good shot, you can be getting a good aim on him with your bigger caliber rifle… and the wife can handle the ‘recoil’ of the 22 better than a 308..

  33. Buck Crosby says:

    Everything about the 22 rimfire is improved by stepping up to the 22 magnum rimfire , the ONLY down side being the cost or expense of the ammo .

  34. Michael says:

    Something I might add to the discussion of the 22long rifle cartridge is that it is an easy round to suppress. Either the rifle or a pistol can be suppressed to allow the taking of small game or defending yourself. Minimal noise allows a lot of opportunities. Especially around fowl. In the proverbial SHTF, a head shot to duck, geese and turkey’s works wonders as well as for doves and pigeons! One of these will be in my Bug out bag always. P.S. I do not have any suppressors but they can be easily made.

    1. Smoke Hill Farm says:

      Yes, and in fact you can (or at least in years past) buy sub-sonic rounds in .22 LR. I bought a brick of them about 20 yrs ago, but never used them so I can’t say how well they cut the sound. Just seemed like a good “just in case” option for the back of the gun cabinet, like those good old 12-gauge Flamethrower rounds … for crowd control.

  35. Lockpick says:

    .22 mags seem to be easier to find now, but it is still expensive. The .22LR I have found for good prices is non-ballistic and I refuse to use that.
    At least when I hit something with a .22 mag I know I have a good chance of knocking it down. I have both a revolver and a bolt action.

  36. Robert says:

    You have a wide range of very valuable information. Why is it necessary to use “crude” language? Is vocabulary so limited to be unable to convey thoughts & ideas by no other way than vulgar obscenities ?

  37. TSgt B says:

    I have at least a dozen .22 rifles, and several .22 pistols. I consider all of them SHTF weapons. I carry a Ruger MKII Government Target Model in the bugout bag, and a 10/22 ON the bugout bag. I also keep an AR-7 in my truck.
    As to the availability of .22 lr, I’ve been able to accumulate well over 10,000 rounds in the last 10-12 months at WalMart, just by talking to the help, finding out when the shipments arrive, and getting there EARLY EARLY EARLY. All at WalMart prices. Just a few days ago I purchased over 1,500 rounds of Remington Golden Bullet for around $70.00.
    Good hunting.

  38. Ken says:

    I have a ruger 10/22 takedown in my get home bag. Add a nice para cord sling and three 25 rnd mags and 200 spare rounds and it will work well to help me get home. Add a red dot sight and it’s accurate easily to 100 yards. In a get home situation is great for low profile, yet it can put out a lot of bullets fast in a bad situation.

  39. Viet Vet says:

    We used a silenced .22 colt woodsman for assassination missions in Vietnam. Bullet placement trumps caliber any day.

    1. Frank Kuntz says:

      The tunnel rats also used silenced .22 high standard in their work so the concussion wouldn’t set off the bobby traps. My brother-inlaw was a tunnel rat for awhile then become a sniper before comming down with PTSD. .22’s was also the silenced pistol of the SSI in UK.

  40. Mac says:

    Pretty much agree with the above article on the 22lr rifle. I believe the absolute minimum as a grab&go would be a 22lr rifle & handgun. My own is an old Remington M24 (read Browning) take down. An S&W M34 22/32 kit gun 4″bbl handgun. No extra mags etc. required, just a common ammo. This is a minimum, along with a large & small fixed blade and a folding knife. a fire starter, about 500 rds of solid high speed ammo. Tooth paste & toilet paper (for morale}. This will all fit into a medium day pack. Add other goodies as time and space permit./

    1. Smoke Hill Farm says:

      Good basic kit, but I’d throw a couple of one-dollar Bic lighters in there, too. The shelf life is nearly forever, and they’re great when dealing with soggy twigs or a rainy environment, and a candle stub keeps the flame available for quite a while, to dry out tinder, without wasting the lighter fuel.
      Don’t ever rely on those cheapie imported lighters with brand names you never heard of. You might get a few dozen lights … or only a few. Bic is tough as nails & reliable. Ronson might be … never tried them. I have about 50 Bics stashed here and there, rotating as I use them for cigarettes, and figure they’re invaluable as trade goods Love my Zippos, but hauling extra fuel is inconvenient. Though gasoline will work in a pinch, I’ve found, but seems to gum up the wick a bit.

  41. Chuck Findlay says:

    The 22 long rifle has a very long shelf life. I helped my dad clean out my grandmas house after she died in 1998. The garage had one side of it open to the outside for years. I found some 1940s era 22 bullets in a tin can on the workbench. We took them to the range and all of them shot good. And they grouped well and in the same area as new ammo did. Sitting in a rusty tin can in an unheated garage with one wall broken down is less then ideal way to store ammo for 60 years and expect it to work, but it did work great. I would imagine new 22 ammo would hold up for just as long as 1940s ammo.

    1. Smoke Hill Farm says:

      I’m not so certain about the shelf life of modern .22 ammo, admittedly based only on one experience. Well, actually two experiences.
      About 25 yrs ago I was out shooting on a friend’s farm and he offered to let me use some marvelous toys he had collected, one of them being a fairly new Weatherby .22LR, scoped. It shot magnificently, actually taking all the sport out of target shooting — if you had the crosshairs on it, that’s where the bullet hit, every time. Except for about ten percent of the ammo in a “Winchester commemmorative” metal can, only about five years old. That ammo had been stored in his gun cabinet, not opened until I shot it that day, and it was pure junk. I have no explanation for that, and was very surprised considering the brand name. We finally just started shooting the Winchester junk in a revolver, to use it up without spending all day fiddling with semi-autos .
      My only other experience with bad ammo was a huge brick of extremely cheap .22LR imported from some Pacific Rim country, can’t remember which one, back in the early 90s — usual generic name-you-never-heard-of on the packaging. As I handled the first couple of boxes I noticed that some of the bullets almost came out of the brass, they were so loose. When I dropped a handful of them on the floor, a couple of bullets DID come loose & spill powder on the floor. I finally gave them to my son to let him practice, and he said most of them actually did fire properly — but there is no doubt in my mind that if we had stored them any length of time the moisture in the air would have eventually crept into those loose cartridges and rendered them useless.
      If I had a lot of time on my hands I’d probably seal the bullet & cartridge seam with clear nail polish before long-term storage, particularly on rimfire. Too lazy, unfortunately.

  42. Barnabas says:

    I have a Mossberg Tactical 22 LR with 2 25 round magazines. I can shoot a minimum of 10 rounds in 4-5 seconds. I use Federal 1260 fps copper hollow points and Winchester Super-X 1430 fps copper hollow points. I also have a nice scope. With the Winchester round I can explode a gallon water jug at 100 yards. I’m not sure how that translates to human tissue though our bodies are 90% water.
    For those of use that don’t have $1500 and up for a center fire rifle, I think that the 22 LR is still a fair self defense option in semi-automatic. I have set up life sized human targets and can consistently make 5-10 round head shots.
    Yes I have 12, 20, and .410 shot guns and a 45 ACP hand gun. I have those .410 rounds with the slugs and pellets as well as slugs and 00 Buck. I also have slugs and 00 Buck for my other shot guns too. I live in a very rural area and have killed many a coyote with my 22 LR.
    Everyone makes fine arguments for and against the 22 LR. If I hear something outside or my dogs go off I grab my Mossberg 22 first. It is easier to grab an extra clip than to have to gather a bunch of shot gun shells to head out the door. I believe that well placed rounds from the 22 LR will get the job done and if nothing else the sound of multiple rounds being fired very quickly is a good deterent to the 2 legged variety intruder. If I’m not real sure what may be out there I’ll grab my 45 on the way out as well.
    I don’t know about a firefight as Martin spoke of. In the daylight I would not hesitate but in the dark that is another story. Still I believe that a good brand semi-auto 22 LR is a fine weapon to have especially if it is the only one you can afford. All ammo is getting very expensive and hard to come by so don’t use what you have unwisely.

  43. J.T. says:


  44. R Ashworth says: 1953 native girl kills Grizzly bear with 22.

  45. William says:

    Had a Remington pump .22 for years from the mid sixties to late seventies. Used nothing but 22 LR. It was a great target gun, sights were impeccable (never mounted a scope). Great varmint gun. Took lots of small game. It was stolen from a storage shed fire on my dad’s property along with a Winchester 30-30 lever, Savage .410 shotgun and Colt .22 long barrel revolver around 1977. We know who took them but could never prove it and never found it in his possession.

  46. DP says:

    I have a Henry w/open sites … There is nothing more fun to shoot!! I don’t expect to feed the family on what I could kill with it, it won’t make a good “protection” weapon, but like the article says, ammo is dirt cheep, easy to carry…. My shoulder isn’t sore after a couple of hours at the range, and my daughter isn’t intimidated by this sweet little rifle …. I have exactly what I want with this one.

    1. Kukriking says:

      Dirt “cheep” ammo?! Not anymore. When was the last time you tried to buy some?

  47. AR-7 says:

    Very good article, I am a fan of the 22 cartridge and like the article states it has it’s advantages and disadvantages. But for survival it is an excellent choice in general due to the different “takedown” model rifles like the AR-7 and breakdown Ruger 10-22 that are both lightweight and easily storable in your Bag. I also pack a primitive longbow for bringing down larger game because if all else’s fails you can always make more arrows while ammunition you have to find.

  48. Cody says:

    I used to fish on a river in West Texas, from the age 6 my grand father gave a me a Savage 22 pistol & a Ruger bolt action .22LR. I was knocking off Cotton Mouths @ 25- 30 yards, 1 shot one kill. Even had 1 I shot down the throat. Very good and accurate weapon.Helped me develop for other fire arms.

  49. JB Cook says:

    I grew up on a Farm in Rural America. I will tell you by First hand practical experience that a 22 Magnum is capable of far more than it gets credit for. Several Whitetail Deer have been taken with a 22 WMR. I have numerous high powered rifles. If I were forced to give everything up and have only ONE Firearm, it would be a 22 Magnum. I love my 270 and my 12 gauge shotgun, however, the versatility with the 22 Magnum and the right variety of ammo for it would weigh heavily on the selection scale.

  50. left Coast Chuck says:

    I just read where the head of an ammo manufacturer said that they are producing 1 million rounds of .22 ammo a day. If one considers that the .22 ammo shortage started about a year ago, that means close to 300 million rounds have been produced. There is only about 300 million people in the U.S. and not all of them are hoarding .22 ammo, so what I want to know is which one of you guys has my million rounds of .22 ammo?

  51. Russell says:

    I have 10/22 and I keep it handy when on a hunt with its new 30 extended mag it is a joy to hunt and just do some target plinking but it also is not all I carry I general back it up with a large caliber hand gun with plenty of ammo just in case some thing bigger shows up or for GPs you just need a back up with good knock down power any one else feel it necessary to back up your 10/22 with a large caliber hand gun?

  52. Russell says:

    In my opinion that should would be an excellent choice with all the different choices for the 410 from different rounds for the 410 anything from slugs to bird shot I think it would be an excellent choice personally…..Russel

  53. Adam says:

    “Thus, you can take rabbit all day long, preserving the meet with a .22LR, whereas a .223 would leave nothing but a mangled attempt at acquiring a meal.”
    Not true I have shot many rabbits with my .223 … a .223 isn’t that much bigger then a .22 this writer makes it sound as big as a .308 or a 30-06 its not…

  54. Dan H says:

    The key to using a .22 is not taking shots at 100yds, there simply is no need. In a survival situation, hunting is doing things the hardway, trapping/snaring would put far more on the table and the use of a .22 to dispatch trapped critters is far better than wasting a centerfire cartridge.

  55. Capt. Buck Basel says:

    I like your article. I used to own a .22 magnum rifle. I liked the round. it was more expensive then a .22LF. However noway near a center-fire.
    What do you think of it?
    Capt. Buck

  56. Ben P. says:

    The .22 is a good round I have a Remington 550-1 that will shoot .22 short, long, and LR. Out of the same gun. The article above is talking about.taking down a deer with one I’m not saying you can’t make that lucky shot but in almost every state it is illegal to kill a deer with a round smaller that a .223 I realize if it came down to a life or death situation and you had to. The best bet would be a bow or a hand gun. I think preppers should have a handgun 9mm or bigger a shotgun and a takedown .22 in there arsenal.

  57. Lawrence C. Muhr says:

    You have some valid points, both pro and con. You did mention the .223, while it is more powerful that a .22, I believe a .308 or 30.06 will serve the purpose of big game better. There are many other rifles that will also serve your purposes. In my home state, Colorado, the .223 cannot be used for hunting big game. The rational for this is the light bullet weight, (55 grains is standard), is not sufficient to stop deer, elk or bear. Combat has shown it may take several rounds to stop the two legged critters also. Thanks for the post.

  58. Rodney Thibeau says:

    As much as i like to shoot the 22LR, I would prefer a 17HR over the 22. It has a flatter trajectory and a truer shot. The ammo is about the same size with more punch.

  59. Bryant says:

    The 22LR will take a doe. I’ve shot one in the ear as a kid. I did get a butt wiping from my father. But the deer did fall and never moved. So with a skilled shot it can humanly be done.

  60. Redbeard says:

    I love my Marlin bolt action .22lr, and within a range of 50 yards or closer, I would not hesitate a head shot on a deer. However, if I’m packing out for a serious purpose, I’ll have everything from my AR, my 06, 22LR, and probably the Mossberg 500 too. However, these would be used for more of a self defense basis, maybe send my fiance out with the 22LR. I would use my compound bow. Effect for pretty much any North American game animal, and even if you wanted to carry it in your vehicle all the time, you’ll find that you won’t hit all the same restrictions you with with carry a firearm in your vehicle. Also… for those of you who are like me and find yourself in a tight financial situation, past the initial cost of the bow and arrows, you can reuse the ammo for it as long as you don’t mess up the arrows. Only other thing you need is a place to shoot, which again, you won’t face the same restrictions you will with a firearm. Our state rifle/pistol range is miles outside of any town. However, the local archery club is in between two towns.

  61. thomas says:

    This should be common sense while their is no doubt in my mind that some unskilled person killed a deer or bear with a .22 their about a 99% chance this was peer luck. Just like that 60 yr old man that killed a bear with a buck knife. He evens admit it was pure luck and if he had time to pick up his rifle he would have. But he got a lucky juggler shot in when the bear attacked. But not to worry the bear last meal was part of the guys legs. While luck does happen you would be a fool to count on it. As for personal defense their nothing wrong with a 22. Their are 3 reasons why I carry a PT22 for my CC weapon. 1 its light. 2 hitting a person with a 22 is more effective than missing with a larger caliber. 3 while the guy you shoot may be self defense the person behind them isn’t

  62. Kyle wheeler says:

    I’ve have to say hands down with 10/22 long I’ve shot a 4 by 5 buck at little over hundred yards n hit the lungs it didn’t drop right there tracked it n only went 50 yards our less…shot a elk with it unloaded a 10 round clip also with a 22 ruger as well I’ve came across 22 rounds in Nevada n loaded up on a box of 50 for only 4.50 a box n the pawn shop only let me buy 12 box but was worth it can’t find them in Washington

  63. R.J.FORKEL says:


  64. John says:

    “The hottest of hunting .22LR loads are cruising along at 1,280fps at the muzzle.”
    Not exactly true. A quick look at my .22lr inventory shows ELEVEN examples of higher muzzle velocity rounds:
    Aguila Supermaximum = 1700fps
    Aguila Interceptor = 1470fps
    CCI Segmented HP = 1640fps
    CCI Stinger = 1640fps
    CCI Velocitor = 1435fps
    Federal Spitfire = 1500fps
    Remington Yellowjacket = 1500fps
    Remington Viper = 1410fps
    Winchester SuperX LF Tin HP = 1650fps
    Winchester SuperX Hyper Velocity = 1435fps
    Winchester SuperX Super-Speed HP = 1330fps
    I would gladly try to take most game (even deer if the range is not too far) with any of these rounds and my BL-22.
    (I even have many .22shorts that are in the neighborhood of 1100fps that are perfect for smaller game).

  65. Bob Nogle says:

    I changed to a 22 mag.with a 9inch bbl.very effective and easy to carry.scops are avaiable.

  66. Johne621 says:

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thankyou for posting . dddfddebkcge

  67. Nickolas Motsarsky says:

    Good article, but unfortunately, one of your numbers is way off. The hottest 22LR cartridge, Aguila Supermax, is cruising at 1750fps, and the CCI Stinger at 1640fps. Yes, they are lighter to achieve that kind of velocity and speed drops off quicker over distance, but up close they are the most powerful 22LR rounds at approximately 200 ft-lbs at the muzzle, about 75% more than high velocity 22 ammo and 100% more than standard velocity.

    1. Gabe1972 says:

      Nickolas, I don’t know where you’ve been getting your .22LR ammo, but 1750fps is sure not 100% more than standard velocity. We are talking about velocity here, not cost. You don’t divide by the reciprocal like with cost to get your percentage. 1750fps is about 55% faster than standard velocity of 1125fps, and even less than high velocity, which is what most people use and is what is sold the most.

  68. Jaime Cancio says:

    Addressing shelf life and I am talking about ammo suitably stored. Within the powder there is nitro-cellos liquid that in time flows to the lowest level of the powder mixture that contributes to misfires and velocity issues. This to include high and low pressures and inconsistent powder burn rates. There is a simply method to control this and easily done; twice a year and consistently invert the box of ammo so the nitro-cellos fluid again flows through the powder keeping it good as new. I suggest every January 1st and July 1st. We tested this factor/vector for a period of three years to see the results – I suggest inverting the ammo. Stored properly and await from outside moisture issues the ammo will last a life time. I used to store my ammo in U.S. Army ammo boxes with seals and I would heat the empty ammo box with a hair dryer, shhhh my ex-wife still doesn’t know, filling it with warm air; when I put ammo in the box and closed the lid sealing it; when the box cooled it formed a vacuum protecting the ammo.

  69. Gabe1972 says:

    As the article says, the .22LR is a great round. I’ve taken many raccoons with this round, always with a hollow point. I use a bolt action Marlin, as bolt actions are generally more accurate than semi autos, but to each his/her own. One thing the article was off on, at least at this particular point in time, is the price of the round. Not only very difficult to find, but many places have turned to price gouging, selling a 50ct box for what you paid for a brick of 500 three years ago. I was lucky enough to find one of 550ct box Federal hollow point 36gr a couple of years ago at Wally World for 17 bucks and still have various other types in 50ct boxes, from subsonic to Stingers. A great round, and fun. In a survival situation, it’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing. I also have a .223, but it’s considerably heavier and the rounds are almost as hard to find these days. All in all, it’s a great round and gives a lot of fun. The best plinking round there is. And up to 100 yards, just as accurate as anything else. I love open sights and refuse to use scopes, even with my .223. A .22 is perfect for this. If you need a scope for it, you are probably too far for the round anyway. Also, the rifles tend to be much less expensive. Just my two cents.

  70. doug says:

    Years ago, I did in fact take a whitetail with a single shot .22 ! First shot behind the ear. This disoriented the deer, and it ran about 40 yards and laid down. I was able to come up on it , and fired another shot in it’s head, just behind it’s eye. Again it got up and ran about 40 yards and laid down. Again, I came up on it. This time looking straight in the face, I fired between the eye’s. It laid it’s head down, and I took a 15 min.. walk. When I came back, the deer was dead. This was done with a single shot Springfield .22LR I bought new as a kid for $19.99.
    A whitetail, can be with a 22LR!! I did it

  71. Brent Grubbs says:

    Oh great! This is why prices on 22 ammo has gone through the roof. We got “wig-out” types hoarding 22 ammo, because of articles like this. I just want to hunt squirrels and rabbits with my little lever gun, like I have done for the past 35+ years. I went to buy some 22 mag ammo for the upcoming season, I couldn’t believe the prices on rimfire ammo….if available. Hoarders ruin it for everyone. Idiots going out and buying 10-20 bricks at a time is ridiculous.

  72. Confessor says:

    When I was a teenager I took two mule deer with my 22lr between 50 and 75 yards. One a head shot the other a neck shot just behind the head. I shot a third and screwed up and got a lung shot. I tracked the blood trail for 2 miles, across a dirt road, jumped a fence, left a big blood spot, then nothing. I spent the rest of the evening till after dark searching back and forth for that deer. 30 years later I still lay awake sometimes regretting letting that animal run off to suffer and die somewhere. That said, 22lr will take a deer and is worth the effort if you are in a survival situation with only a 22l and have the opportunity to take a shot.

  73. Mark says:

    You’ve got the right mindset. Too many survivalists seem to think they’ll be able to go into the woods with their AR-15 and boxes of ammo and survive for years. As an avid backpacker who has seen the physical condition of most of the armchair survivalists, I can tell they wouldn’t get far from civilization trying to hump a thousand rounds of .223, and even if they got there, they don’t have the skills to survive. I’ve been harvesting wild edible plants for food since I was a kid, and I don’t just mean picking a few dewberries. I know how to set snares and deadfalls, build fish traps, and even make crude leather from hides. That knowledge, along with a good knife, are all someone really needs. Now my Mossberg 464 would be a nice luxury to have, but if I were only taking one firearm it would be my .22 LR AR-7 which fits neatly into a daypack.

  74. mark card says:

    In my opinion the 22lr rim fire is a great all round gun the shells are cheap the gun is light and you won,to go home with a achy shoulder like my 30/30 lever action gives me it might not ha he the knock down power of my bigger cal guns I still love my 22 plinker and always will .one thing I did notice is that some of the shells they produce nowadays don’t fire I know it’not my gun it’s the ammo 22 ammo is hard to find at a reasonable price at least they should be. Reliable well good luck all you 22 lovers and let’s hope we can find a brick for $20 like we used to.

  75. Jason says:

    The .22 LR rifle is probably the single most important gun to have in your arsenal. If I had to liquidate every gun in my safe, my Ruger 10/22 would be the last one to go. My wife can shoot it well and if you were smart to stock up on .22 LR ammo a few years ago, you’ve got pretty much all you need in any survival situation if you have a decent survival knife to pair it with.

  76. joshua says:

    i stopped reading when you said the .22lr doesnt have enough punch to bag a white tail well i beg to differ because i have bagged many many white tail in my life and get this EVERY ONE and i mean EVERY ONE of them was with a .22 so take your non information knowing ass down the road.

  77. Cameron says:

    OMG . . . How long are you people planning on being out in the woods or where ever to survive?
    This is a simple concept. For day to day use, and possibly being in the woods for any longer than a week or two, there is no need to have anything bigger than a .22. If you plan on being out there any longer, then perhaps you might want to add a .308 bolt action or perhaps a 12 gauge, but if we are talking about sheer survival rifles for short term trips into the woods, there is no need to carry anything bigger than a .22 in North America.
    If we had been talking about perhaps a different continent, or maybe being out there for months or years on end, this article may have had a point, but come on . . .

  78. Jade says:

    I realize that this is about rifles… however the 22LR cartridge and pistol is and has been the choice of the Israeli Mossad forces. The Beretta Model 70 and the functionally identical Model 71, both in .22 LR, have served with great distinction as the signature terminator pistol of the Mossad, the premiere intelligence agency of the State of Israel. The Beretta 70 was also carried by Israeli Sky Marshals.

  79. MICK J says:

    Don’t you folks have a Cabellas? Even mail order…. These are their cheapest…Nosler® Ballistic Tip® Boat Tail Bullets – .22 Caliber…. And the have a few other type of .22, however pricey. But .22 rounds are not as hard as people are saying.

  80. Cal_Grimalkin says:

    Interesting article. True, in any given situation there are trade offs. Any rifle is better than any handgun in 99% of situations needing a firearm, but you can’t easily carry an AK, AR, Model 1894, or 870 for concealed cary.
    In the northern mid west, back during the depression, plenty of game, including deer were taken by grand parents and aunts and uncles with the lowly .22 rimfire. Mostly, because both rifles and ammo in that caliber were relatively inexpensive, and the relatively low report was less likely to bring the game and fish folks when used in off season hunting.
    To me, the biggest factor in choosing anything for a what-if scenario, is to define what the “IF’s” are. also, what can you reasonably divert from the family budget for daily, weekly, monthly, expenses.
    I think that there is an unrealistic assumption by many “Preppers” as to what life would be like under a true TEOTWAWKI or SHTF situation. Especially if one is forced to leave his normal domicile.
    All that being said, a .22 rimfire should be a part of anybody’s plans. Also, I think that a .22 hornet could be a great choice. They can be loaded down to .22 rimfire ballistics. cast lead bullets could get you up to 175 bullets from a pound of lead or wheel weights, and about 5000 reloads from a pound of powder duplicating rimfire loads. They can also be loaded up to a relatively stout load.
    I had a aunt, up in Michigan’s upper peninsula back in the 50’s and 60’s who regularly killed a white tail deer with an old Savage bolt rifle in .22 hornet.

  81. al says:

    Hmmm, a brick of .22’s. Wow tell me where at . I want some. The local Scheel’s had Remington solid golden boys for $4.99 for a box 50. the local Ace store had Aquilia HV solids for $6 a box and both of these places had a limit on how much. A local gun show ( a big one for this area ) venders had Remington solids $40 to $75 a brick. Maybe it is time to get a .17 cal, because right now there is .17 cal just about every where you turn ( $15 a box of 50 ). As far as how lethal it is, good question. I used to work with a couple of guys yrs ago that claimed to use a .22 and spotlight, said it worked every time. BS on their part, again good question. The only thing Dad ever used on the farm was a .22 hp to put down sick animals. I worked in stock yards part of a packing house for 11 yrs and all we ever used to put down sick and crippled animals was .22 handgun and single shot bolt action rifle, but there again we were only 6 inches to 10 or 12 feet away from the critter. But then again there is the old saying ” it’s better to be warey or sacred of one man / woman with a rifle than it is of the person with 10 rifles.” The one person with a rifle knows what he can do with it.

  82. Kristen Jay says:

    First and foremost for me in choosing a firearm is comfortability. A 22lr is just right. I can shoot very accurately with one..
    It’s a long held myth that the bigger the gun the better. Speaking as a female, that is false. The recoil from anything bigger than 9mm I have difficulty with.
    There are countless crime reports involving people being murdered with a 22lr. ANY caliber ammo can kill

    1. Jamie Longan says:

      Air pellet guns (.177) kill small game all the time, no one reports them.

  83. Sarah Marleau says:

    Definitely can take down a deer with a 22lr.

    1. Jamie Longan says:

      No shit, considering the .22lr was originally designed to take down deer back in the late 1800’s.

  84. Anonymous says:

    To whom it may concern I have been hunting since I was ten my first rifle was a marlin 22 bolt action with a cheap Weaver scope the first whitetail​ I ever killed was with it I was 12 at the time im 50 now I was lucky anough to get my first job working for a friend and police officer and gun calecter when I was 14 he tought me all about guns and ammo reloading and shooting scills I have had the privilege of shooting more gun and calibers than anyone I know I experimented with all kinds of loads and got to know what grain was best for each gun once you find stick with it now back to the 22lr and mag you should not ever underestamate them with in a 100 yard shot if you have a really good shooter there’s nothing you can kill from a whietail and smaller and. It boesnt take much to silence the 22’s at little or no cost and the remarkable 17 hmr is truly bad to the boan the shock of inpact and expansion of the ballistic tip will drop a beer in it’s tracks shot in the ribs or hear airea so with my experience with the 22’s and 17 it is a good bug out quiet servivle gun dut do recamend a shot gun or larger han gun as well try taking a bb and putting it in a hallow point and then putting wax on it for closer shots it will expload leaving a very nice whole only for self befence thought so good luck all my brothers in arms

  85. art says:

    I grew up hunting the swamps of Fl. as a kid , hunting gaters with a 22 for food it worked well as could be expected !!

  86. papadan says:

    Over the past 42 years, I have found that I do own the perfect survival gun. In Jan. 1975 I bought myself a Browning BL22 for my 18th birthday. For 42 years I have been killing small game with shorts, larger game with long rifles. I’ve been in all types of weather and conditions, even fell into mud slides. Dip my Browning in water and shake, ready to go. 10/22 wont do that. For the largest of game I use CCI stingers and have never lost an animal. I don’t intentionally hunt large game with it, but when nesccesary it does the job.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Iv got a Henry 22 and iv bagged lots of whitetail with it

  88. Sid Lawrence says:

    I’ve got a Ruger 10/22 WMR. I use it in a variety of situations but mostly as a saddle gun on the ranch. It has a Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 scope and I’ve shot everything from skunks to larger game with it. It’s a tack driver, I stay with Winchester ammo, most of the other stuff is too greasey, it hangs up in the mags.
    Cleaning often is a must, moving cows and sheep is dusty work. But protecting them them from predators is also a must and is a year round task. I carry a S&W 500 for ‘Heavyweights’ That I’ve never had to use. I make enough bounty from coyotes to pay for my 22mag ammo and pay for my build 6.5 Creedmoor.

  89. Dee says:

    I agree. I will never use my .22 for a sniper rifle. For close up self defense situations, a .22 is much better than a 9mm in the drawer at home. And a .22 mag is even better.

  90. Mikial says:

    A very good article, and very well reasoned. I love .22LR . . . who doesn’t. In my lifetime I have used them on everything fro rabbits, to skunks, to woodchucks, to you name it. When I was a child my father used one to kill a rabid fox that was snarling and scratching on our kitchen door. He simply opened the door a crack, put the rifle against the fox’s head, and pulled the trigger once. They work.
    But I would have to have nothing else available before I would try to take deer or hogs with one. They just don;t have the horsepower. Still, I’ll never be without one and plenty of ammo.

  91. Dan Colley says:

    My Dad gave me a Remington .22 Fieldmaster pump for my 13th birthday and I’ve been shooting it ever sense. I’ve gone through phases where I shot it a lot and other phases when I rarely shot it, but I’ve always taken care of it and that is why it is still shooting straight after 55 years. The scopes have come and gone but the bore is still clean and straight. The stock is chipped and has been mended but the action still moves rounds into and out of the chamber with vigor. The only thing I’ve ever had replaced was a firing pin. I’ve shot squirrels and rabbits for food. I’ve killed raccoons, opossums (trash bandits), and even shot prarie dogs. I don’t believe that I would ever consider being without my good ol’ double deuce.

  92. Edward R Henrichsen says:

    Your comment of 1280 being the highest FPS is wrong. You can get Remington Yellowjacket JHPs with 1500 FPS and 165 FPs

  93. CaptGene says:

    The .22 makes a GREAT poaching gun due to being quiet and it has excellent penetration. Shot placement is a must with this cartridge but there was one incident in Jackson, Wyoming, years ago where a couple teens shot and killed a moose on the golf course. And as a boy growing up, we were dirt poor and our Dad used to poach deer all the time with his .22 LR High Standard pistol.

  94. Nick Strickland says:

    Why would you pay $60 for 300 rounds of .22?
    You do have a computer…right? Ever order online? $25- $30 for a 300rnd box of .22

  95. Denny says:

    When I was growing up (late 40s – early 50s), I shot several deer with a 22 and they dropped where they stood! It was get them with a 22 or do not eat meat very much! Some times it may even have been longs and not long rifles, I don’t remember. Of course I shot for the neck or head. I do not remember wounding any and having to track them down. We also never had any Scopes! I will take a 22 any time!!

  96. With some skill a .22 rifle can put meat on the table when TSHTF, and they are a lot of fun to shoot at the range. With a lot of “LUCK” a .22 can be used for self-defense.

  97. Michael says:

    I grew up with a .22 and a single shot 20 gauge… As a kid on the farm I used the 20 gauge far more often to get rid of common pests. As I grew older I started using the .22 more often. However, I had 2 really bad events while using it against raccoons that didn’t end well for everybody concerned.. Then I got stranded overnight in the forest without a firearm or protective clothing or equipment. The temp was in the low 40’s and it poured all night. A damn bear circled me all night. Worried the hell out of me. I did manage to get a fire going and spent every minute trying to keep it going with wet wood. The fire saved my life. I had to walk out the next day which gave me a lot of time to think. I saw no deer. I saw no small game. What I did see was a lot of small birds. I remembered the many days of deer hunting when I saw nothing. I remembered that I always saw small birds of some kind. Once in awhile a small rodent of some kind. When I was shaking cold, hungry and sapped of energy the last thing I wanted was a .22… I sold my .22 rifles and now own 20 gauge shotguns. I keep a couple of single shots, a couple of O/U’s and perhaps in the future I may buy a pump.. I keep a large supply of shells of various shot sizes. I keep a lot of #8 and 7.5’s with a smaller amount of 6’s and 4’s. I have a few hundred #1 buckshot for defense. That is all I need and all I want. With this I can feed myself when I couldn’t with a .22. I’m too old to be bugging out so carrying loads of ammo isn’t an issue. As my eyes get dimmer hitting things with a shotgun isn’t an issue. Everyone has their own choice to make and a lot depends on where you live. I now live in the desert Southwest. Small birds and rabbits are common. Deer not so much. I could spend the day in the desert an be fairly sure I would come home with something however odd it may be. With a .22 I might just go hungry.

  98. Tom says:

    Greeting All, I don’t know if this was talked about, the .223/.22 conversion barrels. Two guns in one? Thank you in advance.

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