.22 Long Rifle: The Ultimate Survival Weapon?

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There are many different styles of weapons and calibers of ammunition that would be considered a great survival weapon… but there are several different reasons why .22 long rifles could be considered the best survival weapon to choose.

From putting food on the table to self-defense, .22 long rifles should be one of the first weapons to choose in a survival situation. 

.22 Long Rifle Platforms

.22 long rifles come in a variety of platforms. From small frames to short barrels, there are a ton of different choices when it comes to selecting a .22 long rifle.

Most of these choices will be a matter of preference; however, one of the greatest platforms to choose from will be .22 long rifles in bolt action. Bolt action requires fewer moving parts in order for the weapon to operate. This means in a survival situation not only are they easier to clean and maintain but they are also easier to fix. If a bolt quits working, it can be easily replaced with another .22 long rifle bolt of the same weapon model. As with all guns, you should always keep spare parts on hand.

Some .22 long rifles come equipped with a scope and some have options in which one can be mounted. It is usually a great idea to first hone in onto the iron sights attached to the weapon before moving onto any type of optics. Scopes will need to be adjusted and sighted and can lose their reliability if exposed too long to various weather conditions. The iron sights are true and will usually not fail you. 

.22 Long Rifle Accuracy and Lethality

.22 long rifles have a distance of lethality of up to 400 yards. With the right training that means a .22 long rifle can hit targets at great distances. This is a very important aspect when it comes to both hunting and defense. While hunting, prey does not have to be spooked and the time can be taken to adjust your aim in order to ensure an accurate shot.


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A well-placed shot is the ultimate factor when determining overall lethality from a .22 long rifle round.  A shot to the body, whether hunting or defending, may not cause enough significant damage as a shot to the airway or brain. Taking the time to ensure your accuracy to the utmost potential for lethality with a .22 long rifle round will be the best way to ensure long term survival.   

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Hunting and Defense

.22 long rifle rounds can take down small game such as squirrels, rabbits, raccoons and even birds with a well-placed shot. Larger game, however, is a bit trickier.  Even a well-placed shot will need to have the velocity to penetrate thicker bone such as the skull of a deer.  nsure this by carrying .22 long rifle rounds with a higher grain that can reach speeds of up to 1,250 feet per second. With these .22 long rifle rounds, shot to the airway or even skull of larger game can ensure that you and your family will have food on the table that night.


As for defense, a .22 long rifle is admittedly not suitable for close quarters combat or for defense within the confines of a building. However, in a long-term survival situation you are most likely to find yourself in an outdoor space. With the proper cover and time, .22 long rifle rounds can be put on target with great accuracy without the enemy ever knowing where the fire is coming from.  This will cause the enemy to retreat even if the numbers are against you, as there is no muzzle blast from a .22 long rifle. Not being able to determine where rounds are being fired from will quickly cause panic and force the enemy to scatter.

See an example of a perfect .22 long rifle in the video below:

What do you think: is the .22 long rifle the ultimate survival weapon? Sound off in the comments section below!

Check out these related articles from our site:

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