One Gun For Survival – Which One Would It Be?

If you could only have one gun for survival in a time of SHTF, would it be this one?

Contributed by ‘Night Owl’
Reposted for your interest and further comment.

Ruger 10/22 (.22 long rifle), the one gun for survival.

More specifically a Ruger 10/22 with a folding stock, a decent scope and lots of 10 round factory magazines and 25 round Butler Creek or Ruger factory mags. Now, I am prepared for the crap-storm of criticism and dissension about this choice, but that’s inconsequential.

[ Ken adds: Here’s one of the current Ruger Takedown models in .22 ]

Killing power

From everyone I have talked to, things I have read, I would MAYBE try to take a deer if it were a clear, close shot.

NOW LET ME REPEAT- THIS IS IN A SURVIVAL SITUATION! You and your family are hungry. There are no grocery stores open. Your little girl is crying because there is nothing for supper. I’M GONNA TAKE A SHOT AT A DEER or anything else edible to put meat on the table!

A good head or neck shot, preferably a “double tap” will have a decent chance of bringing down a deer if you don’t chase him. Just let it run a few yards, lie down and die in peace. Physiologically speaking, deer are about the same size as humans, and I don’t think anyone would doubt the .22 long rifle’s capability to kill a human being.

We can reasonably accept that all animals smaller than deer should be easier to kill. As their body weight and size diminishes- possums, badgers, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, small birds, etc.

Old timers and country folk, who have actually hunted for their dinner at some point in their lives call the .22 rifle a “meat gun”. Meaning it’s the best at just that, putting meat on the table.

A .22 makes the least amount of noise so you have a lesser chance of scaring the critter (or his friends) off if you miss the first time.

A .22 does the least amount of damage to the meat that will soon be your dinner.

And a .22 is just right for dispatching domestic animals like pigs, goats and cattle.

Obviously shot placement becomes more important with a smaller caliber rifle. But when your supper depends on it you will fast become a more accurate shooter! With the small size, lesser weight and lesser expense of .22 ammo you will have opportunity to practice a lot.

The most popular ammo field box:

SHEFFIELD AMMO BOX
(view on amzn)

The economy of .22 ammo cost, weight and space!

[ Edit (2021), Prices and availability of .22 ammo have changed drastically since this original posting. However the article itself remains valid in it’s question regarding the gun itself. Okay back to the post… ]

In the summer of 2012, bulk packs of .22 ammo can be purchased in my town @ $17-$23 for approximately 500 rounds. On the other hand, .223 ammo in bulk packs of 500 rounds are selling for between $150-$250 online, not including shipping or tax. And .308 is going for $220-$350 for 500 rounds. As you can see, .22 long rifle costs 1/10th or less than .223 or .308- which most would agree would be the most obvious contenders for survival rifle calibers.

[ Edit (2021), Wow! Look at today’s costs for ammo!! It would have been one heck of a financial investment loading up back then! Would have beat the stock market by far!! Okay back to the post… ]

.22 long rifle will cost approximately .4 to .6 cents per round, .223 will cost about .23 to .65 cents per round and .308 will cost anywhere from .41 cents to $1.45 per round. When you consider all of the other things a prepper needs to buy and stock and spend money on preparing, the cost savings alone makes the .22 long rifle very attractive!

Comparing the weight differences of ammo

But wait! We have not yet discussed weight!

500 rounds of .22 long rifle ammo weigh about 4 pounds.

500 rounds of .223 weigh about 14 pounds.

And 500 rounds of .308 weigh anywhere from 36 to 38 pounds!

For the same weight of 500 .308 rounds you could be carrying approximately 4500 rounds of .22 long rifle! That’s a lot more game on the table and more ammo to barter! Physical volume and size savings are comparable with weight savings.

Ubiquity- Just a fancy word meaning .22 ammo is everywhere

.22 ammo is the most widely produced ammunition in the world.

Your chances are very good to find .22 ammo in a country store, a K-Mart, a Walmart, a hardware store – hell, I’ve even seen it in gas stations Down South! That’s pretty important for that one gun for survival!

The .22 long rifle cartridge has been produced in America since 1887. Almost ANYBODY who owns a gun has a .22 rifle or pistol and the ammo to go with it.

We have all seen the survival/zombie/apocalypse films where everybody has a gun but no one has ammo. Your best bet to stay out of this situation is to carry a gun that uses THE MOST COMMON caliber on the planet!

Defense

This is where I expect the SHTF. I KNOW some “expert” is going to rebuttal me on this one. REMEMBER, ONLY ONE GUN! FOR EVERYTHING!

No, a .22 is not the ultimate “manstopper”. No it will not drop a bad guy instantly like a well placed .45 or .44 magnum. But you can’t hunt rabbits and squirrels for dinner using a hand-cannon.

A .22 long rifle has a realistic range of 100 to 150 yards. This should keep the zombies off most people’s lawns. If you are shooting at someone farther away than 100 yards then YOU are most likely the bad guy!

A lot of people are killed in this country every year by .22’s. If you are a good shot and have some 25 round magazines you have a very good chance at defending yourself against most realistic threats. Practice shooting “double taps”. Actually go hunting with your .22 rifle. As with any tool, practice makes perfect.

Cost

A new Ruger 10/22 will cost between $300 and $500 depending on options.

I just bought a stainless steel, poly-stocked rifle with an integral laser sight for $450. Just about every accessory imaginable is available for the Ruger 10/22. Sniper stocks, tactical stocks, folding stocks, scopes, red dot sights, laser sights, accessory rails, flashlights, flashhiders, suppressors (silencers), high capacity magazines, target triggers, cases, etc., etc.

The .22 should be on your list for (at least) that one gun for survival.

If not the ONLY one gun for survival, a .22 rifle should certainly be one of the FIRST guns you add to your Prepper equipment.

Now if we wanted to expand this discussion to “One Rifle and One Handgun” we just add an 8 or 10 round .22 revolver and you have a perfect pair of survival guns!

I know I forgot something that someone will point out to me. But this should give some good food-for-thought to those Preppers who are newbies or just open-minded enough to consider some well-thought advice.

-Night Owl

[ Read: How Many Magazines Per Gun? ]

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241 Comments

  1. I would recommend that you learn to disassemble and clean it too. A dirty semi-auto will jam often and be a pain for hunting, never mind self defense.

  2. i completely agree!!!

    my 10/22 was purchased as Dunham’s for $210 including tax. just bought a grip of magazines with that gearhog deal for brownell’s. they had boxes of 525 .22lr for $16.

    with an ar or ak, you can sure put a lot of lead downrange, but it’s going to cost you at a time when resupply may be out of the question.

  3. I love my ruger 10/22. Was a standard carbine. Added a ATI folding stock and a truglow red dot sight.

    Also, for a BOB you can’t beat a Henry AR-7, US survival rifle.

    1. I’ve got both a 10-22 and a Henry AR-7 and would not recommend the AR-7 unless for whatever reason you absolutely have to have the compactness. While I have killed snowshoe hares with body shots from an AR-7, I’ve not found it reliable enough for consistent head shots and it is somwhat prone to jamming. Any take-down will exhibit these characteristics. The stock is not ergonomic but I have found the recessed peep to be super. The front plastic sight on mine can be moved by hand and is more prone to damage than an iron sight.

      1. The hollow plastic stock on the AR-7 I owned long ago made a lot of noise at the slightest tap. Not good. It was also horribly inaccurate (at a time I was getting quarter size groups at 100 yards with my 10-22). It would not hit a quarter at 20 yards.

        A quarter being about the size of a squirrel’s head.

        1. Its the AR-7’s straight stack mag that contributes to the jamming, vs the 10-22’s rotary feed. And the ARs barrel is shorter…

          1. (The rim lips on 22’s protrude, causing stacking issues).
            Also, I heard two semi trailer loads of 22 Aguila rounds headed to Texas were recently hijacked on a highway in Mexico…

      2. It is best to use 22 Mini Mags in an AR-7 for it to fire w/o jamming. The standard 22 LR won’t fire consistently in an AR-7.

  4. No arguement, there! A family member of mine, who worked for the Forestry Dept.years ago, had to kill an elk during a survival situation in the deep backcountry. It took one lung shot. He put a baby bottle nipple over the muzle to quiet the shot, then the elk, thinking it was just a bite of a horsefly, probably, died after a brief wait.

  5. The 10/22 is a fine weapon. I vied for the Marlin model 60 with 14 round tube magazine. A little less expensive, $160, and no protruding clip. Not as quick to reload though so I made up some 14 round copper tubes. Can reload the mag in under 10 seconds. Staying quiet while taking game means someone won’t be trying to take it from you!

    1. There’s no protruding clip with the Ruger 10-22 10-round magazine as it’s completely recessed in the receiver. The problem with a tube magazine is that if you put a dent in it you now have a single shot rifle.

      1. Pros and cons for both.

        If you lose the magazine, it also becomes a single shot.

        While always possible with a good fall on the right (or is it wrong…?) spot, I have yet to ever dent any of the tube magazines I’ve had, but I have lost the occasional detachable magazine.

        1. I have both rifles and love them both but I do agree about the tube feed on the Marlin. While I have never fallen and dented mine as you say and I understand it’s easier to lose a clip I can’t carry extra tubes in my pocket either.

    2. Hey Chiller, for reloading your marlin m-60, have you ever tried using old or damaged aluminum arrows from archery shooting. One of the guys I have cooffee with went this route.

    3. There are advantages to a tube-fed magazine. If all you can find are .22 shorts or .22 longs, a tube gun will handle them, while the 10-22 magazine will not. Also, most folks are obsessed with .22LR hollow points. Standard velocity and high velocity solids feed more reliably in a 10-22. The holy grail for a .22 rifle is Remington Viper hyper-velocity .22LR truncated cone-if you can find them.

      1. I’ve used .22 shorts from my .22 WMR rotary ruger magazine and I can assure you it handles them fine.

  6. Agree. You will typically see a ton of small game in the woods, compared to a very small chance of seeing a deer on any given day. Plus a .22 is nice and quiet, way safer to keep quiet and not attract attention for miles around like you will with a 30-06.

  7. OK, Now for your crapstorm of criticism: You have mentioned the perfect gun. I can almost see the shares in Sturm Ruger going up as I write this.

    As a college student, I used to compete in small-bore competition simply because it was the most affordable by far to shoot and practice with frequently. I also have many fond memories of hunting squirrels in the trees on a sunny but cold fall days. If you cannot shoot a 22 rimfire well then you will have trouble shooting any other caliber well. Master the rimfire and those skills transfer over to other weapons. (with exceptions of shotguns)

    I used to compete in both rifle and pistol so I have both rifles and pistols in 22 long rifle. The one gun I have used to put more meat on the table with and has killed more critters is my Ruger single six revolver. I won turkey shoots in the pistol catagory in the fall. Ham shoots in the spring. I shot 172 skunks with it before I stopped counting. (I shot skunks from 15-20 yards away so I did not get sprayed)

    Another gret post.

  8. Been prepping for quite sometime. Have all the big bores up to .50 cal, however, the very first weapon purchased for myself and each of my children, and now grandchildren is the reliable .22. The ability to use it plain, or fix it so that it looks like some space weapon is up to the imagination. Bottom line is that in the crunch, a .22 (you pick the maker),in the hands of someone that has practised and knows their weapon will be an extremely useful tool for survival.

    1. 10-4 on that. A .22 is light enough that when you are out doing other chores you can still put meat on the table.

  9. Love it. I have to add my name to the list of those in agreement. Love the folding stock option on the recently released 10/22. Thanks night owl.

  10. To Night Owl: No crapload of criticism from me. I agree. It is the perfect choice.

  11. Has anyone shot the new 10-22 take down model? I saw an advertisement for one but do not know anyone with one?

    1. For my purposes, Ruger didn’t go far enough with the take-down concept to make the Ruger 10-22 take-down competitive with the Marlin Papoose or Henry AR-7. I don’t have a 10-22 take-down but I’ll make the assumption it is more reliable than the Marlin and Henry. My problem is that it is not compact enough for what I would use it for, i.e., something I could fit into a small backpack. If Ruger comes out with a 16-1/2 inch threaded barrel and an abbreviated stock around 16 inches in length I might consider it. Until then I’ll stick with the standard 10-22 as a primary rifle and the Henry or Papoose as a back-pack rifle.

    2. If you can find one, buy it…..even my scope stays aligned to target after take down and re install. the back pack comes with just one strap, I added another and can now wear it as a back pack and also shoulder my rossi lever action 44 mag, both are my survival guns and in my duff bag I carry a 7.62 X 54 broken down sniper for that deer that is a ways off in open country, if you have to go to the woods, take enough ammo. and less food if you have to choose.

  12. i would add a 8$ bipod for stability as i have shaky hands and i found my accuracy which was pretty good got better and stayed that way(knock on wood) very good choice of weapon

  13. I own four ruger 10/22 models. The SR22 rifle is dead on with a nice scope.
    I am a big fan of ruger and there guns are made in america. I also own two 9MM Ruger pistols. Shoot a lot, never had any problems.
    GOOD LUCK

  14. In a SHTF situation, I wouldn’t worry about violating game laws. Game wardens and other law enforcement personnel will have a much higher priority and that will be civil law enforcement. At the very least, they would not be enforcing game laws and might even encourage you to do whatever it takes to feed your family. This being the case, jacklighting and baiting deer would be the order of the day.

  15. Back in my youth days, I had a Winchester single shot bolt action 22 rifle. In the mid 1950’s, we had tough times because of job losses in Oregon. My dad and I would go deer hunting to put food on the table. I was a darn good shot with that 22 and I always made my shots count. I had no problem taking down the coastal deer with a head shot. Some my shots had to be be from behind,so I took a spine shot. Although that didnt kill the deer, my second shot did.

    So, in all due respect, if you have the patience, you can kill many deer with a 22. Im just sorry that I didnt have a 1022 in those days, that would have really made my day. Oh by the way, most of my shots were an average of 30 to 40 yards.

  16. Well, you probably already know, but I like that .22 caliber. Doesn’t matter what kind of weapon you shoot it with. I personally have a liken to a CB.22 short. Has no powder, takes small game and varmints without the neighbors getting all riled up. Nobody hears a thing! Believe me, I tried it.

    If a person was needing food, just the silhouette of a rifle in your hand will get some people upset. So, by using shadows, landscaping, & building structures, game can be gotten in small communities. Also, wait till the neighbors go out for evening, then the field is all yours. Oh, that scope helps when you wear bifocals.

  17. I have no doubt in my mind that in a situation of complete collapse I would want to keep close by my .22 rifle, .22 handgun and 12 gauge shot gun. If I had to pack and move quickly I would definitely take at least my .22 handgun and as much ammo as I could carry. If I had more room or carrying capacity I would next throw in my .22 rifle. I would only have to worry about carrying one kind of ammo, light weight and versatile. Keep in mind, in a true bug out situation. water and food would be more important to load up on. My .22 handgun and ammo wouldn’t take up as much space. A well made solid knife is also a must.

  18. Good day all In my youger days I have killed several Pa bucks avg weight 175 + Lbs with a 22cal placed shot wright in the ear and it did not run far at all.

    Now the more powerful 22 wmr will knock a deer right down with a well placed neck / head shot. Buck or Doe.

  19. I have a 10/22 and it would be my choice as well. However, I’d want a small bolt action option for CB shorts, etc. and dead nuts reliability for food gathering in a long term situation. Given that, I’m also thiking of adding one of the new Savage Cadet youth rifles as a pack gun. Most likely the Green/Olive Drab version.

  20. For me the best all rounder, for a gun in survival world. Big bore PCP with rifle and good scope plus hand pump, like poss the Sam yung 909s big bore. Ammo easy to carry, .45 cal big bore will take almost anything out up to around 3 to 400 yards, real big stuff up to 70 yards. Less noise, less weight too.

  21. Any semi-auto in a survival situation is not preferable.jamming,parts breaking due to extreme cold,the bolt parts expanding then contracting also due to the temps.

    The best would be a breakaction..410,20G,3030,iron sights,if your scope breaks,falls off gets lost etc.and you have no iron sights then your stuck.Stock cuff to hold extra rounds,a robust leather sling and maybe a tac light.don’t forget the cleaning as well, a bore snake, solvent and clean cloths,oil.

    Breakaction single shots will last longer then most of those would who use them.

    And they ARE the most accurate.simple to use and clean,not much to break,light,

    just my .02$

  22. .22 ammo is the most basic prepping round.

    Got a 10/22 with over/under sights,
    AR15 with a .22 conversion kit & over/under sights
    Glock 40cal with 9mm and .22 conversion kits

    Plus Old faithfull mossy 590A1

    I have other as well, but if I could only take 1 it would be the AR with the .22 Conversion. I get the reliability of bolt actions, but a multi caliber rifle wins hands down.

  23. A hit w/22 is better than a miss from a large cal. Cheaper to practice with! This is important, practice, practice, practice! If you own a lever, bolt, pump or revolver you can interchange 22 cal ammo. It was a great post. Thank you. Carl

  24. In any survival situation,unless you have logistics high tech in a primary or backup weapon is i believe not preferable.With all that people will b carrying the last thing you need is something to break, fall off, or jam up.single shots(savages new over/under),H&R,TC,s with extra barrels,.Side arm chambered for the same as the long rifle,revolver.

  25. Have two 10/22’s,great rifles,never had a misfire,have had failure to feeddue to worn out 30 round mag.Any .22 lr ammo goes through them no problem.At this time,here in Mississippi .22lr can’t be found except at gun shows and it is 60.00 and above for a brick of 500 rounds,hope this ends soon.Just glad I got my15,000 rounds put back.Found some Tula .223 at the Wal-Mart in D’iberville,Ms. The other night they limit to 3 boxes,mix or match,or all of one type.I guess DHS has got the market on ammo,just like the leftist socialist president wanted.Wish this country had a recall on presidents,he would be run out of office.

  26. I have .22’s as my “round of choice”
    I have a Henry Ar-7, a BLR-22 and a Heritage revolver.

    For the more “settled” situation, I would fall back onto my 30-30 and 12 g

  27. I rely on the .22lr. I have had a .22 rossi rifle for about 25 yrs (only long gun I own) and killed many critters with ot. Also have a firestorm 10rd .22lr. i love this pair.

    have a powerful .22 airgun (TF contender 89) and weaker but acurate .177 airgun (Xisico B12-6, same as Stoeger X5) for small game hunting (i kill pigeons at 10/15yds with the less expensive and weaker airgun). Like to have both calibers, as buying pellets may be a concern. Have decent stock of both pellets, but who knows? .22 solid pellets are easier to cast, in a pinch.

    Going to add: .380 pistol or .38spl revolver; 12ga SxS shotgun (pumps are more expensive here and single barrels are just a lil cheaper than the double); .177 air pistol, maybe a crosman 1377 or beeman p17, for handgun training purposes, since one can’t just go outside and shoot a firearm.

    this setup is the best I can think of, as i live in a gun restrictive country, we need lots of paperwork/taxes/fees, and .380/.38spl are the most powerful civilian handgun caliber allowed; .44-40 is the best rifle, but ammo is painfully expensive (10x more than .22lr, which is not exactly cheap here).

    The biggest game we have here are about whitetail sized deer, jaguars and cougars, alligators, boars, tapirs, feral water buffalo and cattle (know many guys who took them decently with 2 12ga slug shots). More common small/medium game are pecaris/javelina, capybara, small deer species (much like african duiker). Small game as follow: foxes, rabbits, hares, cavies, possums, squirrels, nutrias, lots of edible birds up to turkey size, ducks and such.

    having a chamber reductor here makes sense in survival, since you may get free/black market ammo for guns you don’t own, but may shoot through a break-barrel shotgun.

    If i lived in the US/Canada maybe? I’d have a bolt action .308 rifle for general purpose hunting/sniping; the great 10/22, .45acp paraord 14-45, a mossberg 590 12ga, a 9mm/.380 small pistol for HD/SD. I’d throw in a singlebarrel 12ga shotgun and my beloved .22 firestorm.

    That would cover a wide range of applications, i guess.

    Ah, the very shotgun i’d like to buy is this stoeger SxS, but “standard”, no defense stuff and double triggers, which i like most.

    nice article.

  28. Depends what you mean by a survival situation. If you thinking like me very long term SHTF time then the whole game plan changes completely. In this scenario if your are thinking semi automatic or large caliber you are not thinking. Semi automatics are complicated and prone to failure. Maybe not in a year or two. But what about 3 years or 4 years? Do you risk it? For an all rounder you should be thinking a good bolt action. Ammunition weighs a lot to. I can carry a few hundred rounds of 22LR (even 22wmr) without too much bother. Try that with a 30/30 or 223 or 308. Good luck with that one. 22lr may not be the ultimate man stopper but it’s accurate, low recoil, easy to sound suppress and will kill an attacker if hit in any vital regions. Sound suppression is critical. If you go blasting away with your 308 in the woods it’s likely that you may not have that 308 in the morning. Always a good idea to go with military calibers where applicable (22LR aside) for I hope obvious reasons. Remember in a serious long term survival situation it’s likely that the survivors are intelligent. (Unlike our current short lived society, stupidity is not rewarded in the real world.) If there are no Doctors around a scratch can mean death. Getting shot with a 22Lr pretty much anywhere is a certain death without Doctors around. The “enemy” will probably know that and think twice before messing with you. Depending on where you are and the situation you may need to be on the move. If it’s SHTF time fuel won’t last long. So unless you are in your bunker already and far from people mobility is critical to survival. etc. etc.

    Finally Hollow points are a gimmick on a 22LR. Go FMJ solids only. 22LR kill by having good penetration and just enough velocity to bouncing around inside you penetrating vital organs. Nothing to to with gimmicky hollow points. The bullet travels too slowly for the hollow point to make any difference.

  29. I lived in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) during the war. I’ll never forget a story in the national paper. Two teenage boys on a farm armed with 22LRs held off a group of terrorists armed with AK 47s, and survived. Of course it’s not the best man stopper but think about weight and availability and food. It ticks most of the boxes. When bullets are flying in your direction you not really thinking about what caliber they are! For a test though. pack a 1000 rounds of 30 06 in your backpack grab your rifle and walk 10 miles. I’ll do the same with my lightweight 22LR. In a survival situation on the move you will only have one gun.

  30. Absolutely agree with this article. We invested in a couple 10/22’s with scopes and have steadily been collecting ammo, which is of course hard to find, but can be if you do a little digging and learn when stores get their ammo shipments. I just picked up 1,400 rounds last night at Dunhams, but the rest of the .22 ammo was gone literally before the employee put it on the shelf.

    The 10/22 is the single most useful gun ever made. While I’ve never attempted big game, due to laws in my state regulating caliber, I’ve killed several hogs at 100+ yards, as well as innumerable nuisance animals. If I can immediately drop a hog a well placed shot can take a deer (though I would also admit shooting a deer with a .22 in a non-survival situation is cruel, due to increased chance of injuring an animal that ultimately gets away). On many occasions I’ve hunted my dinner when the wife was away (dove, rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, etc).

    As for home defense, a neighbor chased of two home invaders with a Marlin 60 several years back. They didn’t stop to check caliber when he touch off a few rounds (btw, AFTER he had warned them he had a gun and they broke through his door anyway. Though he missed them, the gun shots made them turn and run). Imagine how much better the scenario would have been with a 10/22 and a 25 round clip. It’s no shotgun, but in a one-gun scenario it can’t be beat.

  31. Update: It’s been months since we’ve been able to find virtually any .22LR ammo. Might want to reconsider your choices.

  32. This article should have been updated for 2014 before reposting it. at least here on the west coast .22 is almost impossible to buy. it is no longer the most common or widely found ammo. if you do happen to find some its likely to cost 3 to 4 times its “normal” price. i’ve seen stores selling a 500 round box of Remington for $92. Walmart has green tip .223 for $199 for 420 rnds and 500 rnd can of steel case tulammo for $149 making .223 a far better deal all around. while the .22 is almost non existent out here, ive found .223 for sale just about anywhere. and with the giant boom of the ar 15, the options for set ups are incredible. dont get me wrong, i love my 10/22. its a great gun. i just cant shoot it if i cant get ammo.

  33. I think in a “one gun” survival situation, I’m going to go with my old single shot .410. When things are so bad that you have to go walking into the hills to feed your family, odds are you have a crapload of other things to take care of at home, which are just as necessary to complete daily. So with a small shotgun you’re going to miss less. I live in deer hunting country, and I still wouldn’t bother focusing on them. There is always WAY more small game to be had, and mostly birds, and hitting a small bird in flight with a .22 is not too easy, beyond my skill for sure. I think with a small shotgun, I would finish my hunting duties sooner, leaving time for other chores, like fetching water, firewood, etc.

    1. A .410 is a very good choice, as the firearm will also chamber a .45/70 round, without problem. So, you can shoot the quail, and kill a deer, with the same firearm. Cheap, easy to reload, good choice.

  34. I disagree that the .22 is the go to weapon in a survival situation. My choice is a Russian or Yugoslavian AK 47. The 22 will be useless since most games will be depleted. The 22 will jam under adverse conditions but AK will not. Yes, you can carry more ammo if you can find some. I believe that the 22 has been parroted by many, especially by survival blogger, that it is almost gospel truth.

    1. ALL guns will jam at some point. I don’t have the AK but do have an SKS so I like the round but laugh at the thought of hunting small game with it. I think I would be out there looking at squirrel fur going where is the squirrel.

    2. Large game like deer that an AK round would be good for, those will be depleted first. Rabbits, squirrels, for which AK round will be overkill and .22LR is the right round, those will still be around, and will repopulated quickly as r-strategists.

  35. Ran across some sub-sonic 22 lr hp last week ( limit of 4 boxes @ $6 each ). Yeah, I know pretty spendy, but I popped for it ( did manage to snag 600 rds ). The other option was Remington Ely super match at $15 for box of 50. Other than that,pretty sparse.

  36. the Ruger is the only rifle i own…..great gun. But for just 1 Gun i would take my H&R single shot 20Ga. Shot shell for small game. buckshot for HD….Slugs for deer hunting. With practice I can reload and shoot a second buckshot in 3.5 seconds. Of course i also would have my S&W 1911 on me for HD. But the Ruger would be a close second choice.

    I remember on the High Road forum, someone was taking a 10/22 to Peru and wanted to know what spare parts to take since there are no Ruger dealers in Peru. EVERYONE said take none! it doesn’t need spare parts! What an endorsement coming from those forumites.

  37. Ill stick with my LWRC REPR in 7.62×51
    22 is ok but i would rather be able to take stuff out at 500 yds or so and make sure it stays down!

  38. I have not found any ammo for sale in 2 years. My .22’s are sitting. I live in a big city.

    1. Unless you are worried about OPSEC you can order ammo through cheaper than dirt,wikkiarms,cabala’s or sportsman warehouse.

  39. I don’t necessarily agree that the 22 would be the BEST survival gun. In my personal opinion I would go with a 12 gauge. Except for the weight of ammo I think it beats the 22 in all other area’s. It will kill large game better. It will stop a man better. I can take birds in the air hunting with it and I know I’m not good enough with a 22 for that. Don’t get me wrong I have a Marlin 60 a 10/22 an HR 9 shot revolver an MK2 and a bolt action single shot that is so old I can’t even remember who made it so I AM a fan of the 22 cal but if I had to pick one it would be the gauge.

    1. “Except for the weight of ammo”…LOL that’s a big friggin except! How about adding the price of the ammo, the noise, the damage to small game, the unreliability of shotgun ammo by design etc etc. I could write a book. What do you think is going to happen in a shtf scenario. You will be sitting comfortable at home with your shotgun and your shed full of a ammo? You won’t live long.

      1. First off Greg we can’t all know everything there is to know like you seem to. Second I plan to do just that in a shtf situation. I already live in the mountains so no bug out. I’m an old man with bad knees so I won’t be traipsing around carrying a bunch of ammo. If it comes down to it I will die right on my doorstep not be from hunger and cold out in the wilderness

  40. Have fun hunting squirrels and pissing off big fat guys for trying to shoot them with that caliber. He’ll walk up to you and beat you with it before he even dies.

    1. It may play out exactly as you say. However, with no medical available “big fat guy” will also die.

  41. Savage model 24, 22 mag top. W/20 gauge bottom. I love this gun’ I am looking for 1 w 22 LR on top then all bases will be covered

    1. I have both the .22 over 410 and .22 over 20ga. both are tack drivers with open sights. You will never go hungry with these guns. Squirrels, rabbits, ducks, geese, doves, pigs, deer. Fantastic guns and they are still in production. Most versatile gun in my safe and would definitely be my one gun choice.

    2. LOL Savage, hope your survival situation is short lived because your rifle will be. If my life depended on it then Europe is the only way to go. CZ, Tikka, Sako etc.

  42. Recently added a scope, bipod, extension recoil pad and flash hider. my 10/22. Now it won’t fit in a standard rifle case.
    It now measures 40 inches with the additions. It no longer fits in the load gun case. Any suggestions about another case soft or hard would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. check out the guncases on skinner sights.com….I have a couple and they are top notch all the way…

  43. I agree with others, .22 is gone from the stores, easier to get 5.56, and a carbon receiver AR rifle can weigh 4.9 lbs.
    but if you have a good stock of .22 already, sure,.22 is fine for a short term “get back home” survival situation,

    but always remember this:

    History has been most unkind to refugees.

    So , FIRST, if one’s survival plan is to become a nomad wandering the land like “The Road,” Book of Eli” or Mad Max, then:
    The choice of firearm is not the question, its the overall survival plan that should be questioned.

    2,000 calories per day per person in your group.
    most fruit is about 350 calories PER POUND
    deer meat is 700 per pound.
    got a wife and child?, that 6,000 calories per day, every day.
    The Cherokee could follow the Bison herds as nomads because there were literally a million of them and each one weighed over 800 lbs.
    In the WWII battle for Leningrad, the Russians ate all the local birds then rats, then they started to cannibalize their own dead.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism#World_War_II

    its hard for people to come to terms with the reality of 2,000kcal per day per person. do the math, you’ll be planting a garden and learning about nut trees, Hint, walnuts, 3,400 calories per pound
    Hazel nuts 2,500 kcal per lb, takes 5 years for the tree to mature, 20lbs of nuts per tree.
    How many nut trees do you need to meet just 1/3 the caloric needs of a family of 3?
    So
    forget worrying which .22 gun is best, better own land for 5 years and plant an orchard.
    fence it and have some means to really defend it.

    1. The last paragraph of Infantry Arch. says it all – move now if you haven’t already done so. The choice is not between what you have now and what you may have when you move; it is between what you ‘ll have when you move and what you’ll have if you don’t.

    2. Trying to stay stationary in a real shtf scenario is a sure way to die unless you are seriously remote.

  44. Actually, it’s more like 4000-5000 calories per day, due to stress, cold weather, etc. Cherokee did not follow bison herds. Sioux-Lakota-Cheyenne-Arapaho did that. Bison weigh as much as a ton. 800 lb one would be a yearling calf. Only have of an animals’ live weight is edible meat. You have to get about half of your diet from plants, or you’ll get sick, and it’s much easier to source food that way, anyhow.

    traps, snares, nets, birdlime, poison (mostly for fish) trotlines, all are far more efficient ways to get fleshfood than hunting. all you really do, actually, is keep your (silenced) autorifle handy and your senses alert asyou tend your traps and nets. Set them up 1 4 circuits, like a 4 leaf clover, so that you end up back at “base camp” quite often, so that you need not carry your catch very far. Naturally, gut and clean it while away from camp, to avoid the mess there attracting flies, but use the guts as bait for traps/fishing. Nets can be turned into temporary “holding pens” for fish. that helps a lot, if you’re not ready to cure their flesh.

  45. you do NOT have to settle for JUST a.22 rifle. Ciener firearms makes $200 (30 rd box mags) conversion unit .22’s, for AK’s, AR’s, Mini-14’s. So you can have BOTH a centerfire and .22, with a 20 second parts swap. accuracy is 2″ groups or better at 50 yds, which is plenty good enough for foraging. Put a silencer on your take down 223 autorifle, and use the subsonic 60 gr Aquila .22 ammo. It sounds like a BB gun thru the 223 “can”. 223’s sound like a regular .22, and have no flash at night (if the can is any good). plenty of YouTube videos about the .22 units and silencers. Use 60 gr Nosler Partition softpoints and the shorty 223 will be just as effective as the 30-30 ever was.

  46. your rifle should be concealable, at least, when taken down and put into a pack. You might want to cross a bridge, enter a town, hitch a ride, ride a bike or horse or boat without being obviously armed. The AR takes down in 5 seconds (push 2 retained pins) and reassembles to fire in 10 seconds. You want a set of luminous iron sights, a see thru scope mount “tunnel”, a 2×7 compact scope, and a forend mount for the military M16 bipod.

    1. You nailed it, and you nailed the scope magnification, too…2×7 compact is all you need. I mount the Burris Fullfield with E1 reticle on my 18″ home-built AR, 1″ groups at 200yds no problem, light, fast, high-cap, takedown, 22LR conversion possible, keep it clean, lubed, dust cover closed, it’s a winner!

  47. I’d not be without a 16 oz 9mm in my front pants pocket holster, either. It’s my EDC gun, so why discard it if shtf, hmm? :-) pocket rig is out of sight, out of the weather and debris, out of the way of the backpack and the rifle, yet accessible. Perfect, actually. I’d only carry one spare mag and ammo to fill both mags. There’s little use for a pistol when everyone is carrying a rifle. so keep it very lw and compact. Kahr’s CM9 ($50, 15 oz) is a great choice. Keltec’s $350) PF9 (13 ozs) has a .22lr unit available,(10 ozs, $250) from Twisted Industries. TI also offers a longer, threaded barrel for silencing their .22 unit. Tjat barrel is $70.

  48. This has nothing to do with guns but it DOES have to do with survival in a SHTF fan situation…INFECTION!

    In the civil war the death rate among both sides was tremendous. But it was not entirely due to wounds directly, it was from INFECTED wounds. Back in those days in the old west even a cut hand from barbed wire or a cat scratch was a death sentence if it infected.

    I have had surgeries (major) in my time. I save leftover meds!!! I have bottles of antibiotics. I have many narcotic pain killers, (all LEGAL that were prescribed to me) I have many, many tubes of over the counter wound creams that CONTAIN ANTIBIOTICS in my SHTF kit. I have lots of high blood pressure meds saved.

    Meds, ESPECIALLY ANTIBIOTICS, will NOT be available when/if SHTF! Do you really want to die from a cut hand while opening a can of beans? My advice? Start saving meds (legally) wherever you can.

    1. You right but wrong. Most bugs now are becoming highly resistant to antibiotics anyway. It’s actually pretty scary. After a I bought this book I never took antibiotics again; “Herbal antibiotics” by I think Stephen Buhner. Antibiotics have a shelf life anyway. So if you planning any long term shtf stuff I suggest having a good knowledge of what herbs can save your life and if you already in your bunker, start growing them. There are lots of books on the topic. Most are quack snake oil merchant garbage. This book is seriously different. Everything I tried in the book worked and worked fast and that includes MRSA.

  49. I agree with you 100%. I do because I have killed a lot of things with mine. It is quite, mobile, accurate, and reliable. It was my first rifle and the best one I’ve shot. I’ve got a 25 round magazine and it’s never jamed once.

  50. In a long term situation (like the wheels have really come off) I reckon toothpaste is the key to long term survival. No point getting game if you can’t eat it. I’m with Tom Smith. (but have a 22 bolt action as well)

    1. Yes agreed! Some really obvious things are over looked. Dental floss. Tooth paste. And after you shot your 300 pound deer. Now what? You’ve had your steak and there is still 298 pounds left and no refrigerator. Knowing how to preserve food safely is pretty critical. Other wise stick to shooting birds and rabbits and leave the deer alone. If you have a static home base nothing beats an air rifle as the food getter. 95% of the critters running around out there are small animals and birds. Air rifles last pretty much forever and you have tons of cheap ammo on hand. Most importantly. Noise attracts attention… So good luck firing off your 223. Every Tom Dick and Harry in a 5 mile radius knows where you are.

  51. Sorry, but I go with the HENRY H001 LEVER rifle. 5.25 lbs,lightweight/maneauverable,accurate,tube fed. ULTRA RELIABLE, ULTRA EASY OPERATION, EASY MAINTANENCE/BASIC CLEANING. Takes 15LR down to 22SHORTS. Eats EVERYTHING including bulk 22. No jams or misfires. No “dirt magnet” like a semi-auto. And as an aside, I have Ruger SP101 22lr REVOLVER 8 shot cylinder, 4.2″ barrel at about 29 ozs – built like a tank…..with ALL the important attributes of the HENRY Rifle listed above. I’ll take the HIGHEST % RELIABILITY I can get in a “survival” situation – EXTRA-ESPECIALLY WHEN TALKING ABOUT 22 AMMO/FIREARMS !!!!!!

    1. Dude you crack me up. This is a survival blog. Not a weekend jaunt. Lever actions are very unreliable and prone to breakage. PS. Tubular magazines have long springs. Long springs weaken… Single shot or bolt action 22LR or 22WMR is the only way to go.

      1. Dude,I gots extra tube springs as they are cheap & lightweight. And if allgoes wrong I can still use the Lever rifle as a single shot. Pass me an ice cold Foster’s.

  52. You don’t need to do so much apologizing! I have dropped many deer with one good shot from a .22 at a range of up to 75 yards. I don’t recommend a long shot but if you’re within 100 feet and know how to shoot its perfectly humane. Drop ’em in their tracks. Build a fire! Let’s eat.

  53. I agree with the choice of the .22LR but further analyzing the capabilities of the gun and the demands of SHTF this can be even further refined. To this:

    The S&W 22A Target Pistol. With a mounted scope.

    Now you’ve got a .22 that (almost) fits in your pocket, and has just about the same accuracy as a Ruger 10/22. And it costs about the same and it has a 10 round magazine too. It weighs like 3 pounds and it doesnt need to be slung, you can put it in a bag.

    It doesnt have stock support so you’d have to be sure of your shot (that is, hold your hands real dam steady). But you would have a cheap 3-6x scope on it so you’d have magnification and you’d have crosshairs and you would know how much the bullet drops to mark it off accordingly.

    The .22 ammunition fired from the pistol is going to remain about as accurate as it is out of the rifle, for the distances involved that a .22 is used to take small game with. There is a reason that pistols like these are used in close range competition type shooting.

    The Ruger 10/22 might beat it by about 25 yards, but I hardly call a 50 yard shot against a Bunny much different than a 75 yard shot against one. It would be harder to shoot a deer in the eyeball with it but I think the benefits of the pistol outweigh these concerns.

    (consequently the ballistic accuracy of a .22LR at best is only about 70 yards, ive seen this figure quoted before. I can testify to this because I used my father’s Ruger 10/22 to shoot the tops of bowling pins at 100 yards at the local range. Even though I knew how high to adjust for they only hit the top about 50% of the time, and my aim was precise, because at 50 yards I was hitting a 1″ group)

    As an Aside … in giving advice to others for SHTF ive read some reviews about 9mm Subsonic (147gr) ammunition being usable for taking small game. The heavier bullet moves slower, and the reduced velocity downrange causes less damage to the critter and you dont lose much meat (they dont go splat like they do with a high velocity hollowpoint).

    So if you have a 9mm Pistol that you can mount a Scope on you can actually use that for taking small game or even something like a deer. But in that case you should always go for headshots even on small game if you have the chance.

    And yet another suggestion ive heard talk of … there is a chamber adapter for .308 bolt action rifles that allows you to fire a simple .32acp round (I guess .32 will shoot through a .308 barrel otherwise they wouldnt make it). The .32acp will hit abouot like a .22 and wont damage the structure of the target.

    1. The muzzle velocity of a handgun is considerably lower than a rifle. So you have now made a weak round very weak. For eg. A 357 magnum fired from a rifle achieves velocities in the 2000 fps + range. From a revolver it’s around 1400fps. Completely different ball game.

    2. You forgetting mass and noise. This is a survival blog. How many rounds of 9mm can you carry versus 22LR? Say you want 10,000 rounds, how much is your 9mm ammo going to cost? Also a handgun can never compete against a rifle with its accuracy.

  54. It really depends on where you are, and how much money you’ve got to spend but the most efficient combination ive discovered for SHTF is:

    ** S&W 22A Target Pistol, for hunting small game.
    ** Taurus .44 Magnum revolver, with 8″ Barrel, processed for Speed Strips.
    ** Derringer double barrel, in 9x19mm or .38 Special, with a 3.5″ barrel (very important).

    The magnum is so powerful it can stand in for a shotgun in takedown power (yes I just said it replaces a shotgun, so sue me) but it can be used easily at punching and kicking range (panic/hip shooting use). Using speed strips lets it be reloaded at a comparable speed to a semi-automatic. And I believe it can have a scope mounted on it too, so you could hit up to 100 yards reliably with it.

    The reason I choose that over a .357 is because it destroys property better (doorhandles, body armor) and it does have an extra oomph over .357.

    If anything id set that as the primary, but you’re not going to be taking any small game with it no matter what kind of ammunition you use (even the super light high velocity ammunition).

    The Derringer of course is a “surprise!” gun, a backup weapon in case you’re being attacked or robbed. But I was specific with saying it should have the long barrel and not be a .357 (which is twice as expensive), because in the longer barrel the shorter rounds will get more velocity and parallel the .357 out of a tiny 2″ barrel. For a weapon that you may never even use, and when you did 2 shots would probably be adequate, its probably about as good as a 5-7 shot autoloader.

    But this is a One-Gun thread.
    And my choice, from what ive seen, if you’re going to include going after small game is …

    ** Masterpiece Arms (Uzi) in 9mm, Side Cock with Scope Mount, and threaded barrel.

    Why?
    > 9mm caliber is common and pretty cheap.
    > The barrel extension (~6″) cooks it up to a better velocity than usual.
    > Scoped
    > 30-35 round magazines means you wont be shedding any tears if you have to go through 20 all at once in an emergency. And as a general rule you can do a Triple Tap as a reaction for self defense without even thinking (im not talking about full auto here at all, just rapid fire semi auto).
    > 9mm Subsonic, combined with taking off the barrel extension, and you can hunt small game.
    > Uzi looks intimidating and seeing a long magazine sticking out of the bottom suggests to people that you have “more than enough to go around”.

    1. But SHTF time hasn’t arrived so you don’t really know. So you lugging all these guns around. How much ammo are you carrying? Do you know how much a brick of 44 mags weighs? What about food, water, bedding etc. etc. Unless you have a horse or two or few pack mules your ideas are idiotic. BTW the SHTF scenario I envisage will be so long term as to be permanent. So maybe having decent hand gun to kill yourself with is not a bad idea. Just carry one bullet.

  55. The rule is as simple as it is irrefutable.
    “He who gets there firstist with the mostist, wins.” Period. I’ll take the 22.

  56. Bought a S&W M&P 22lr compact. I have put quite a few rounds through it so far of variable kinds of ammo and am very, very impressed with the reliability and accuracy so far. I would trust that this gun would be a primary option for a defense gun if necessary.

  57. Difficult choice of only one firearm, so I’ll have to go with gut feeling. Ruger 10-22 Take-Down with Tech-Sights. No scope. This choice is based on my personal shooting experience with both a standard 10-22, a take-down 10-22, a myriad of other rifles and shotguns, and small and large game hunting. There are specific reasons why I want a take-down over a standard rifle, why I want Tech-Sights and why I don’t want a scope. But most important are the specific tactics to be employed with this rifle, both for food gathering and personal defense. If these tactics are not followed, the 10-22 take-down is a bad choice. But if they are employed, the 10-22 take-down is probably the best compromise firearm (for me anyway) to be used in a bad situation, aka “SHTF”. In SHTF, the devil is definitely in the details both in selection and use of a single weapon.

  58. Good article but you lost me at recommending a semi automatic as a survival weapon? There is no debate. A good Mauser based bolt action is the only way to go. Too much can go wrong with a semi auto and the action is no where near as strong as a bolt. (Single shot rifle would be ideal except survival often means defending yourself)

    1. Agreed however if I did have my bunker sorted and I wasn’t planning on being mobile I would have two 22LRs. A semi automatic for defence and bolt action for everything else. Good airgun wouldn’t hurt either. My Diana Mod 34 gets around 1000fps in .177. Easily takes out rabbits etc.

  59. I’d tend to lead towards the .22 auto rifle, and making sure to keep it as clean as practical. If the stuff really hits the fan, and you need a larger bored weapon, there should be targets of opportunity.

  60. i were fan of W/20 gauge bottom. I love this gun I am looking for 1 w 22 LR on top then all bases will be covered.

  61. Being Fan of short rifle,I still prefer to get long rifle referring your article. But still there are certain points i want to clarify for long rifle that weight would be similar, range of shooting must higher and these long rifles should be hold most bullets

  62. Large game like deer that an AK round would be good for, those will be depleted first. Rabbits, squirrels, for which AK round will be overkill and .22LR is the right round, those will still be around, and will repopulated quickly as r-strategists.

  63. A lot depends on where you live. We are in the city. Learning to trap rats and pigeons is first order. A single or double barreled 12 gauge and a bicycle may be best. How much defense needed versus availability of game forces the choice.

    I think the coyotes and mongrels will have the advantage.

  64. Good thread, mostly. Have 10/22 takedown, 2 Mosins (one stock with bayonet and open sights, one modded with Timney trigger, Bushnell Banner dusk/dawn scope, Boyd’s stock, etc.), Stevens 410/22 crack barrel, Rossi pump .22 saddle gun, Win and Ithaca pump action 12s and 20s with a variety of chokes, Rem700 22 – 250 and 222.

    Of what I have the 10/22 is my go-to gun but if I had to do it all over again I’d get the Ruger American .22. The add-ons I’ve gotten for the takedown are bulky enough that it makes more sense to have an assembled gun ready on a sling than an assortment of parts packed away in a duffel bag. Plus, the bolt action of the American allows it to be silenced better than the semi.

    So- ideal single gun? Ruger American 22, quick release Bushnell red-dot sight on raised mount (back to iron sights if batteries become unavailable), at least 2x 25-round magazines, Fenix PD35 flashlight on tactical mount with remote pressure switch, threaded adapter for oil can suppressor or threaded barrel and real suppressor, paracord sling, backup survival gear tucked into the hollow stock under a slip-on Pachmayr butt pad. Oh, and as many rounds of CCI standard as I could get plus a little subsonic and a fair amount of high-velocity hollow-point ammo.

  65. I jumped the gun (no pun intended) on choosing the 10-22 as the one gun to have if you could choose only one. Here’s my rationale and I can say it applies to me. It may not apply to others. But here goes. I live in the Northern Adirondacks and have hunted both small game (snowshoe hares, grouse, gray squirrels, red squirrels, and a few others) and large game (whitetail deer). From my hunting experience, it’s not worth the time, effort and caloric effort to hunt small game here in a survival situation. Small game here is great for sport, but too elusive and few in number worth the effort. You’d starve quicker expending calories to hunt small game here then you would sitting in your easy chair. The .22 round is marginal for whitetail but regardless of what caliber you use deer hunting for survival is a short term effort at best. Almost everyone here hunts whitetail. In less than two weeks the easy does, fawns and spikes will be shot off. What will remain are does as skittish as bucks. In effect, long term survival based on hunting will not happen here, regardless of caliber. Since the .22 round will have little value here for hunting all that’s left is personal defense. The .22 round is marginal for personal defense. No reason to risk your life on a marginal caliber that has little use otherwise. I’d go with a repeating rifle suitable for personal defense- AR-15, AK-47, MIMI-14, Lever Action .30-30, etc. Your choice. The 10-22 is a great rifle (I have two), but as the only gun in a survival situation here, no way. It’s actual usefulness is extremely limited and not worth the risk for personal defense.

    1. @ Gemeniguy

      I would agree with you, but for a “survival situation”, depending what your trying to survive, I’m thinking 2 legged survival here, I would rather go with one of two, a 308/7.62 set up for longgggg range, or a 50CAL. I will NOT let unwanted get that close for an AR15; that I also like very much. Very Very much, scre# Calif and the Dems. If you get my drift.. :-)
      NRP

  66. My “the one” choice is actually a combo. Ruger 77/357 and Ruger Blackhawk 357. I have several different loadings for them. One is 22 grains of H110 and a 125 grain hornady XTP. In the rifle it does 2275 fps and cloverleaf at 100 yards. I get 1600 fps out of the 6” barreled Blackhawk. My “squirrel loading is 150 SWC (carefully hand cast lead) and I use 5.4 grains of universal powder for about 1050/950 fps respectively. I have shot the rifle out to 300 yards at milk jugs successfully. I have taken a dozen deer in the last three seasons with the rifle.

    Though it’s not as light as the 22lr it is way more potent and has a wider range of load possibilities.

    The problem with the 22lr is that being rimfire the primer is in the rim and with movement can flake off and render the cartridge useless. I have some aged rounds that I was loosing 2 in 10 to “fail to fire”. This is the reason I got rid of my 22’s.

    I now have 2 systems. 308 magazine fed semi-auto with excellent iron sights and my 357 setup.

  67. I am not a gun nut, or a hunter, never owned a gun until America elected a lunatic for President and then decided it was time to get a gun because the loony and his goofy cult followers might just launch us into nuclear devastation. Sadly I hope I am killed off in the first attack because who really wants to live in the post nuclear world. But should I survive I chose a Chiappa Double Badger 410/22 over and under. Also in my useless bug out bag is a survival knife, Lifestraw, a windup perpetual flashlight, a couple of magnesium fire starters and a survival blanket. But in reality, no one who brags about this that and the other thing they will do in this event understand just how dependent man has become on the things we take for granted. I find most of the posts here to be ridiculous and just so “Rambo” ish as to not be taken seriously.,

    1. Russell,

      Since the beginning of mankind, and with it, the advent of cognizant thought, humans have pondered on “what if ?” and made preparations to face the possibilities their minds conjured up.

      That fact fits right into the Darwinian concept of “the survival of the fittest”. Not every brain follows the same thought processes. Everyone formulates their own responses to a problem.

      Being social creatures, we enjoy sharing our thoughts and ideas with others.

      Intelligent folks listen, observe, and absorb bits and pieces of these exchanges and formulate their own, personalized responses to possible future events.

      Some folks believe that only their thoughts have value and refuse to accept any information that doesn’t fit their preconceived notions.

      Others sort through the offered advice, analyze it, then retain that which may be useful, and discards the rest.

      So Russell, you’ve chose to denigrate thoughts you don’t agree with rather than debate the subject matter (it can be done in a civil discourse). It seems obvious that you didn’t join the conversation to share ideas and give alternative solutions, you came to sew discord and hate.

      You came, you saw, you’ve shown your lack of civility. Good bye.

      P.S.-I’m not a “Rambo”, just a guy who enjoys a day on my range over a latte at Starbucks.

    2. Hi Russell,

      If I understand you correctly, you are a newly armed citizen, fearful of a lunatic presidency and feeling like you may need a gun for post-nuclear Armageddon, I do hope you have taken some basic firearm safety classes. Your forced choice to arm yourself came down to a ….. .410/.22 ; ostensibly to demonstrate that you are indeed, not ‘Rambo-ish’. Well, mission accomplished.

      In keeping with your theme of ‘ridiculous’ posts… what do you foresee yourself doing with that trumpet of anti-macho? Will you be harassing mutant ducks that survive a nuke exchange?

      Scratching my head on this one.

      1. McGyver
        He will no doubt fire off the first shots then fumble helplessly trying to reload it while peeing his pantsas he takeks a doubletap to the forehead

    3. Well (I was thinking about Welcome but I doubt you will post again given the tone of your post) Russell, I have to wonder what passes for civil discourse in liberal land?

      Assuming you even BOUGHT anything you listed in your Anti-Rambo Post or simply typed it out on your I-Phone surrounded by your Liberal Friends I hope you get some basic firearm safety training. Even that small firearm can kill people and you are now responsible for it.

      Remember this posting when your Liberal Friends are running around with their hair on fire during a riot. Maybe in that few moments of enlightenment you will realize your definition of Friend is in error.

    4. Russell,

      I’m looking at your last sentence which reveals that you don’t read this blog. If you did, you would know that your statement is fake news.

      We have an exceptional group of preparedness-minded regular commenters here who post civil, constructive, and helpful communication with others. It’s pretty rare when there’s a ‘Rambo’ type conversation compared with the majority here.

      All personalities are different as well as our perceptions. It’s a challenge to communicate effectively in a comment string of a blog post, but we do a pretty good job of it in my opinion.

      Oh, regarding your apparent “useless bug out bag”, you might consider adjusting it so that it’s “useful” for you – whatever that means to you. Acquiring or keeping “useless” things is less than ideal. Actually, I believe that you really don’t have a bug out bag with the listed items you reference, because why would you have purchased those things in the first place (if they’re “useless”)?…

      Anyway, if you were hoping for a flame war, you won’t get it here. Rather, logic and common sense. Disappointed?

  68. It now appears that .22 lr ammo. Is making a big come back, here in May 2018, prices are a tad bit high,but that is to be expected.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  69. – The only place I would consider a “one-gun” scenario would be in my GHB. Even for ‘wandering the wilderness’ I would tend toward at least two, one being a handgun and the other a long arm. Exactly what I would choose would depend on where I would be.

    If the area of operations would be somewhere along the Rockies, or somewhere to the north or western part of the U.S., I would probably tend toward a bolt-action .308 and a .22 revolver. I would seriously consider my Savage 24-C in .22 LR and 20 ga. along with my 4″ Ruger .357 were I looking to be located in the south and eastern part of the country.

    As I said, the only place I would consider a “one-gun” scenario would be in my GHB, where I would be looking at how fast could I travel, and not really truly expecting to have to use it. Just as a preparedness measure, should I have to. (It’s always better to have it and not need it, rather than the other way around.)

    Currently, that position in my GHB is filled by that same .357 revolver. It’s concealable and potent enough, and I know that I am dangerous to around 300 M with it, if need be. I just don’t think that I want the weight of a long gun, just for the few days I would hope to be on the road to get home.

    What if I’m wrong, and that’s all I will have for the foreseeable future? Dad was a Marine; he taught me that the other guy will bring my future long gun to me. All I really have to do, is search his body/belongings for the tools and ammo to keep it running. Vinyl exam gloves don’t weigh much. No one said it had to be my bullet that brought him down, but if threatened…

    Cold-blooded? Very, but we will all do what we have to.

    – Papa S.

    1. Papa Smurf the other guy resupply is not cold blooded unless it was a murder but that is God’s job to correct.

      That said and the Tangibles discussion we have been discussing I stock ammo in calibers I do not own. Would be a bummer to pick up a FN 5.7 carbine and have basically no ammo for it for example.

      Your good to 300 meters with a 4 inch 357? Wow. And I thought I was doing well to hit a man sized standing target at 100 meters in slow fire. Maybe the Python needs a accuracy tune up.

    2. – I have a witness who competes in the Camp Perry Invitationals of my doing the same thing with an issue 1911A1 about 15 years ago when someone asked me. Actually, his report to the Battalion Sergeant-Major was ” I just watched him fire a perfect score with a .45 on the M16 range.”

      Like Walter Brennan’s character was fond of saying, ‘no brag, just fact’.

      – Papa S.

      1. Impressive Papa Smurf Impressive with a non tuned 1911!! As one who was an armorer in the Army I am impressed, excellent Kentucky Windage Sir! Also the M16 range uses half man targets. Wow.

        Well for what it is worth I shot the 100 meter last weekend so I hope if I am caught with out the rifle that someone underestimates that Python.

        1. – Obviously, for OPSEC’s sake I deliberately messed up the dates. For what it is worth, I consider this kind of shot a stunt, and not something I would ordinarily consider. It’s still nice to know that it is possible.

          – Papa

  70. After giving it much thought, over MANY yrs, I have concluded a 22 would be at the 2nd spot on my list of absolute survival tools. Number 1? 12 or 20 ga. Shotgun. Granted you won’t carry 1000 rnds around, but, birdshot buckshot, slugs, you have an all around hunting and defensive, even against bears, weapon. A slug is nearly rifle accurate to 125-150yds, and not much it won’t take. Birds and furry critters in the pot much easier than a single 22. If hunger, weakness and stress from a hungry family are weighing on you, your marksmanship with a 22 rifle will undoubtedly suffer. I’ve always said in a bad time I would want my 12ga and 22, if only 1.. Make mine a shotty.

  71. Spent 23 years in the military, 2 consecutive tours in ‘nam and the better part of 4 months attending survival schools – water, jungle, arctic, E&E, SERE and Psych. None of them included use of firearms, that came with the territory and situations (at the time, situational awareness was not included formally, just some minor suggestions for evasion techniques only
    ). Did learn how to set small animal traps and use local stuff to build them. As an aircrew member, was issued a .38 S&W airweight revolver and a few extra rounds of ammo. Loud sucker and worthless in a firefight. So, learned how to build a self bow, make arrows, toxic plants, etc. So what does this have to do with subject topic? Just saying that the best weapon in a survival situation is knowledge and a suppressed weapon.

    1. HJ Lamb said, “Just saying that the best weapon in a survival situation is knowledge and a suppressed weapon.”

      I like the way you think. Thanks for your comment.

      – knowledge
      – practical real-world survival skills
      – quiet, stealth

  72. I completely agree. I have a bunch of firearms including a 7.5 inch ar15 pistol with a sbr adjustable brace and a kel tec sub 2000 9mm. Both of these would be good in a survival situation also. I even have a ruger American predator 6.5 creedmore witch can shoot out to 1,000 yards. but if I had to choose just one. I would take my Ruger 10-22 takedown with backpacker stock. I have a compact 3x9x32 scope with qd detach on it. I have 4 10 round magazines and 4 25 round magazines. I would take this with about 5,000 rounds with me. Also If I could I would take my Taurus tx22 handgun with me. That’s an awesome 22 handgun for the money. A 22lr will kill anything it’s all about shot placement. You can kill small game all the way up to 2 legged predators with it. You can hunt and defend if necessary and with a sound suppressor soon to come you can do it quietly. I love the 22lr. I just bought my son a Henry ar7 in viper western camo in 22lr with 3 magazines in the buttstock and a brick of 22lr for his 18 birthday. That’s a nice survival rifle too. If used in a defensive situation a 22lr will kill, terminally injure or scare off any attacker. Once the bullets start flying no matter what caliber the enemie will run away or stop and rethink his decision. Even if you hit someone with one 22lr and they take off if they don’t get any medical treatment they will die of blood loss or infection of some sort it might take a while but it’s inevitable. It will take someone out of the fight defenatly

    1. Eric

      Way, way to much info. Everything you post, on ANY platform is recorded by NSA.
      Be-careful, OSPEC

      1. Way too much info on what exactly? Did I say anything illegal I think not. Mind your own business

        1. Eric
          I was trying to help.
          NO, you said nothing illegal
          Go ahead, post what firearms you have on the internet, it’s your call.
          Good luck

      2. Eric there is Legal and there is wise. Stand suggested you look at your OPSEC before you post.

        Not everybody reading your post is a friend. Does your state have Red Flag Laws yet?

        Nothing posted on the internet vanishes. All is swept up under the newly renewed PATRIOT act.

        Your call.

        1. me2
          After my confrontation with Homeland Security, (Lukeville Arizona), THEY, brought up some of my older posts from another web site. Then, after Malheur, the FBI came knocking, then came the phone taps, internet challenges, banking challenges, then the dreaded interview. Then came the IRS audit. Then came Main Core, Red list, no fly list, the hits just keep on coming.
          Eric is probably a fine man, just doesn’t know what can happen when you are targeted. I wish him good luck.
          The Patriot Act, is how all this is not only possible, but, LEGAL.! Red flag laws, WOW, just wow, Illegal, with No due process. Guilty, PERIOD.!

          1. I too live in AZ and I apologize if I offended anybody or came on strong but All my guns are legal and I do everything by the law. I have no criminal record and therefore I can exercise my second amendment rights.I was simply stating being in a survival situation where life and death was in the balance. Everything I said is common sense and truth. I am not scared of the government the only one I fear is GOD and that’s it. They can destroy my body but they cannot destroy my soul. That belongs to GOD. This life is temporary and a mere blink of an eye in time. What I’m preparing for is the eternal life. GOD bless you all.

          2. Don’t worry about it Eric. We have a pretty good respectful crowd here (and lots of lurkers). I don’t believe that any offense was intended.

            Similar to what you have said, I am personally not fearful of .gov and don’t go out of my way to hide the fact that I own firearms. Though I don’t flaunt it either (especially the scary ‘black’ colored ones ;) ).

          3. Eric,

            Don’t let this disagreement run you off. I understand how you feel. It’s a subject that anyone who owns guns, is a law abiding citizen, and a conservative, has to be concerned about in today’s political climate.

            I was in law enforcement for 34 years. I figure it ain’t no secret that I have guns. Guns have been part of my life since a child and a big part of my heritage, and of the heritage of, I feel, the majority of Americans.

            Yes, there is a freedom robbing movement attacking the foundations of our country. Will they be successful? I don’t know. Is trying to hide the fact I own guns from the government necessary? Don’t know. Feasible in today’s digital electronically wired world? I highly doubt it.

            So, Eric, don’t let a disagreement on this subject run you off. Don’t think anyone was trying to attack you, don’t think anyone was offended by your post. Just a discussion on a subject folks have differing opinions on. Hang around the campfire with us.

  73. .17 hmr With Hornady V-max ammo flatter , harder hitting than a .22 or .22 magnum if it’s a survival situation I know it can take any deer with a head shot and the ammo is often easier to come by than .22 rimfire simply because there are probably 100x as many .22 s out there . People are gobbling up all the ammo right now but I know with the 500+ rounds I have it would have to be a real apocalypse for me to run out . And what kind of survival situation would you not be able to get by with even 50 rounds . An invasion or civil war is not really my idea of a survival situation.

  74. a .22 would be great, everyone should have one. i wonder how many boxes of .22 ammo are sitting in drawers, cabinets and ammo boxes in this country. trillions? easily scavenged in a zombie apocalypses :)
    but if i could only have one it would be a bolt action 30.06 with iron sights. plenty of ammo out there, you can take any animal in north america with it, very little maintenance involved and they are almost indestructible, if you don’t drop them in a lake.

  75. I would get an 5.56 Nato AR15 and simply obtain a .22 insert for it. Same weapon, two calibers, easily swapped.

    1. Ision,,,,may I add some ,i have had a 15 with a bolt conversion to 22lr for 45 years , the new cmmg units are nice ,my early one was a air force full auto unit ,there is a difference between full and semi, ,that set up will not shoot the best , the barrel bore is off for 22LR ,best is a dedicated upper with a 22LR bore barrel and 22LR bolt. , that said I used the extra bolt conversion kit in my survival pack along with the centerfield in alaska’s bush. For the cost now I would go to second plainjane 10.22. With a 350black out on the 15 ,i feel a 300 blackout will knock down any man or beast loaded properly ,provided you do your part , and to boot the 350 with 220gr bullets is quite subsonic ,,,,,the fire power in that combo would be sufficient for even big bear if you do your part ,,,you might pee your pants but you would still be standing ,,,for truly big bear I like my 375HH yes I have some memorable bear encounters

      1. Old…

        All my bear encounters have taken place in the Little Yosemite Valley, far from camping areas, and usually late at night. All, save one, of my encounters with large browns I was unarmed. Had the bear wanted me, the bear could have had me. I once woke up in he dark, smelt the bear, and when I turned my head, suddenly awake, my cheek smashed into the wet nose of the bear standing over me. I screamed in terror, which was lucky, as this scared the bear quite a bit. It jumped up and back and hit its head hard on a log, under which I had camped. This sent the bear running into the dark, as I grabbed up my deadly 4″ knife from my pack, the only weapon I had with me. I felt like FOOD, as I was virtually defenseless…the knife being about as big as one of the bears claws.

        I swore the next time I was in the woods I would bring a firearm. And, so, I did. However, it was of no use to me, as the BEAR STOLE THE PACK IT WAS IN, from just above my head, as the bear stood directly over my sleeping form. I woke to see the bear standing astride me, and I could see from below his mighty head, as he stealthily used his jaws to grab my pack.

        When it sensed I was awake, it snatched up my pack and ran away with it…taking my .41 Mag with it. I got everything back after a friend and me made a fuss with the bear, its just the pack was torn apart and its frame full of new tooth holes.

        I have no luck with bears, other than being lucky not to be mauled.

        1. Ision ,,,,in my younger days I did cover gun for wealth clients of a guide friend in alaska on bear hunts ,i had a homestead 125 miles out in the Bush ,bears were a constant problem ,never went to the outhouse without a gun , NEVER , that guide friend went after a wonded grizz in a thicket and was mauled close to death a couple of years after I left. He is still not right years later ,even a small black can ruin your day and eat you , that guide told me of finding a watch and ring in a bears stomach , we can only guess how it got there ,never heard any more about that ,funny how mocho some are till they meet MR BEAR ,,

          1. 0ldhomesteader,
            i had a aunt and uncle who would go to Mt Adams every fall to pick huckleberries.
            one year they were there and my uncle heard my aunt, his sister, saying shoo-shoo. he asked her what she was doing. she said “its a bear” shoo- shoo. those people were TOUGH. they don’t make them like they use to.
            shoo shoo hell. i would have been looking for the truck!

    2. That was how they did it at Ft Benning back around 1978- train with 22’s, qualify with 556.

  76. A .22 rimfire is almost indispensable for preppers. Hope that no one ever has to depend on just one gun, but should I find myself in a long term survival situation and only have one gun with me…well I hope it’s a .22 rimfire….unless of course I live my life in fear of getting attacked by a rabid grizzly bear or a horde of doped up zombies…otherwise, a squirrel for the stew is more likely gonna be my main need.

    There is little argument when it comes to what caliber is easiest to learn to shoot well…there’s a lot of argument over which is the best “stopper”…it’s a mute argument if the bullet misses.

    Human predators are generally cowards, likely to run in packs, never launch an attack unless they believe they have the advantage. Just the mere presence of a gun…any gun…in possession of the intended victim…will send them packing. There are exceptions of course, but rare….

    A little .22 rimfire for survival? For me, a hearty amen.

  77. I recently modified my 10/22 with a binary trigger from Franklin Armory. If you want an enhancement of pure shooting fun, this is it! Plinking is now at another level. This little detail will bring a smile to any shooter’s face. Binary trigger (when selected) allows the trigger to fire one round on the trigger pull, then another on the trigger release. The safety can be engaged at any time in the cycle and normal single trigger action is selectable between binary action and safety on. Watch some videos on Youtube and you will agree, this is a real fun maker.

    1. not so sure,

      I seriously looked at those. A little pricey, but unlike bump stocks and the old hellfire spring do-dads (I’ve never owned either, but knew folks that have), they appear to work well…without sacrificing accuracy and control, standing on one leg and holding your mouth just right (just making fun, but some truth in that). I would consider one of these triggers, but I feel, with this nutjob that’s about to become the ATF director, they will “reinterpret” the rules to make it illegal retroactively like they’re trying on pistol braces.

      1. Not so sure honestly what would be the point of a binary trigger?

        Ammo is not getting cheaper and 2 hits on an armadillo isn’t necessary.

        Just curious

        1. NH Michael,

          Since when did having fun with a .22 require having a point? But seriously, having a built in double tap (not a full auto) with the flip of a lever could be a game changer if a 10/22 is pressed into action as a defensive weapon. This particular trigger group replacement makes the selectivity easy and can even be deactivated after pulling the trigger by moving the selector back before releasing the trigger. Will I buy one? Doubtful. Too pricey for me, but can see why other folks would.

          Why would one make inserts out of fired .22 mag brass to use .22 lr cartridges in a mag cylinder on a revolver? Answer…because it’s fun to try new things. I ‘ve never tried it, have my doubts as to how well it would work, but never faulted those that did.

          P.S….is it just me, or does it seem folks are starting to walk around with a chip on their shoulder? Doesn’t do anyone any good….

        2. The purpose of a binary trigger is pure plinking fun. If there was ever an armadillo riot or a squirrel uprising, I am ready. Ammo volume usage is the down side, but I have already purchased all the 22 ammo that I will ever need, when it was cheap.

          1. Not so sure, Point score match to you Sir! LOL Squirrel Rioting….

            Lately the chippies have been so bold as to run over my slippers when I put out the bird food-critter food for my 90 something Father in Laws breakfast “Show”. He still seems to like watching them.

            So far they’ve stayed away from my gardens but I am suspicious they are nipping at my potted figs on the deck as each time I see the start of a baby fig it’s gone later.

            But to the subject at hand the one gun for survival is the one you have and hopefully it’s reliable, you have plenty of skill and ammo for it.

        3. The purpose of a binary trigger is pure plinking fun. If there was ever an armadillo riot or a squirrel uprising, I am ready. Ammo volume usage is the down side, but I have already purchased all the 22 ammo that I will ever need, when it was cheap.

          1. not so sure,
            you are right, i have never trusted those squirrels or armadillo’s.
            they look sneaky to me.
            that binary trigger would be fun and easily changed out, back and forth, on a 10/22 ruger.
            like they say “double tap”.

          2. nyscout, not so sure,

            I’m up past my bedtime waiting…eliminated three armadillos in two weeks, but saw sign today that says I’ve got at least one more. First one fell to a .22 mag rifle, last two to my .22 pocket pistol…if I spot one tonight I may see if a .38 spec kills ’em any deader….

      2. Dennis ,,,,i see little use for rock and roll ,i carried a 16 a time or two for real. Even with bad guys on the wire ,,,auto was a waste of ammo I had to carry , guess it like a lot of things in life it’s fun till the real work starts,,the cost of that trigger would just about cover a second upper ,considering that a barrel in full auto is shot out in 500 rds seen guys burn out a barrel in one night and have no body count,
        ,,tea and chocolate

        1. Oldhomesteader,

          I agree…I have too…never cared much for the M16 then…still don’t, but that’s not here nor there. I can see why folks would buy one for a change of pace working with a .22 rimfire…not an AR.

          Believe I’ve shared in the past that I have no use for “rock and roll” (a double tap ain’t rock and roll) either….said I seriously looked at them (binary trigger) and did, after viewing a you-tube video…thinking they might be a $99 drop-in…saw the price they were asking…lost interest quick.

          1. Dennis & Oldfart 😁
            Ya have to admit hitting the Full-Auto and blowing through a 100 round Mag sure is A Hoot, till ya realized that three hole trigger/lower is illegal AND ya just droped $100 on 5 seconds of……. ohhh poop.
            Life is good here on Lightning Point,

          2. Dennis ,,,,have packed for the real thing. M14 ,m1 grand ,m16 ,xm177 add in 100f. 100 %hum and slogging in mud and water. Add a load out , 16 will get the job done,but xm 177 is about right ,
            Tea and chocolate

          3. Dennis ,,something more to think about ,, I’m not familiar with that trigger. But be warned that if it uses parts from a full auto fire control. ,hammer,bolt carrier,disconnected,tigger,there can be problems with NFA,,,

          4. Oldhomesteader,

            Like I’ve said…no plans to get one, but did look them over on the website. They have BATF blessing (for now at least). The design allows the sear to reset after bolt cycles when trigger is pulled. When trigger is released and the trigger spring returns it a toggle action breaks the sear again, gun fires, sear captures hammer again. Pull the trigger, but don’t release it…gun fires once…release the trigger…gun fires once, trigger then must be pulled again to repeat cycle.

            Guess the BATF decided as the trigger group was designed, releasing the trigger counted as a separate action required to break sear.

  78. One gun, it would be a .22 like most. Like the model 62 pump gallery guns. Winchester, old Rossi. Think they hold 10-12 rounds. Half-cock safety makes it easy to get off snap shots. 2nd choice would be 12 Guage shotgun- with birdshot, buckshot, and deer slugs. You can’t beat a hammer gun like the winchester model 97 for ruggedness.

    1. Minerjim,

      My first .22 was a mod. 62, shot shorts, longs, and long rifle interchangeably, had the takedown screw…extremely accurate. Gave it to my oldest who will pass it down to his son.

      1. Dennis,
        I have two Rossi-s in that model, not as good as Winchesters, but the 80s manufactured ones were really nice. My daughter shot her first game with one at 8 yes of age (grouse using .22 shotshells at 10 feet LOL)
        That one will go to her soon. My long barreled model will go to her after I’m done with it.

        1. Minerjim,

          I’ve had several Rossi revolvers and find their quality better than their parent company Taurus…especially the older specimens. Still have a Rossi .38 J-frame that’s sorta unique, polished stainless steel, 3 inch factory ported barrel. Had a Rossi/Puma mod 1892 lever action .454 Casull but gave it to a fellow officer after he recovered from getting shot on duty to take with him on a Montana bear hunt we bought for him.

    2. Minerjim,

      I’ve always had an affinity for exposed hammer guns, whether the mod 62 pump I had for a first rifle or the old double barrel 12 ga I bought from a grand dad for $10. Never had a half cock “safety” fail me. Even had a mod 97 trench gun for a while but when I was offered a match grade Bush Master AR and $200 boot for it….I turned the AR for $1200 a week later. Wish I had kept the ’97.

      I’ve always valued simplicity and ruggedness in a gun. That may be why I’m spending more time with the single action revolvers and enjoying them so much.

      1. Dennis,
        Still have my first shotgun, Model 97 30″ full. Bought it for $85 in ’69. Have even gone to bismuth shot in it for waterfowl instead of buying a new shotgun for steel shot. Love old iron….firearms, mining equipment, machine tools. They just don’t make them like that anymore.

  79. Minerjim,
    i still have my first firearm, a 514 remington bolt act. rifle. i have had it since i was 5. i looked up the proof marks on remingtons website and it said that it was made in jan/46.
    there are no telling how many rounds that i have put through it in my lifetime and it’s still the best shooting thing i have ever had.
    it’s my money maker.

    1. Nyscout,
      I was amazed to look up the manufacture date of my first shotgun, a Win model 97. Made in 1937, before the war. Takes 2-3/4 magnum waterfowl loads with no problems still. The old stuff was built to last more than a few lifetimes, dontcha think?

      1. Minerjim,
        i would rather have one firearm made before 1964 than a truck load of new ones, with just a few exceptions.

  80. Wow, this post was placed a full 9 years ago. Much has changed in the world of ammo and availability during those past 9 years. In reviewing the input from many people on this site ( stretching back over 9 years ). My choice remains the same in that my one gun would be my Ruger single six with both cylinders because these days, I can find both 22 magnum and 22 long rifle, shorts and CB caps, colibri ammo from Aguila etc in the stores from time to time.

    Why my selection of my single six? A long and storied history of how it put food on my table, rode on my hip while I checked my traps and it was the only gun I had with several encounters with wild critters far from my truck or home. The revolver was with me where I did not have the room in my pack for a long gun. ( better a weapon in hand as opposed to the rifle in the gunsafe or truck )

    The only disadvantage I see about the selection of the Ruger 10-22 are 2 fold: #1 is portability. Are you going to have it readily available when the opportunity for a shot presents itself within a very narrow time frame? Game does not sit still very long waiting for you to assemble your weapon of choice. Only solution here is to carry your weapon in hand with safety engaged. #2 is a new shooter with a semi-auto firearm that tend to waste ammo trying to down an animal with multiple shots as opposed to the experienced shooter who places more effort on placement of shot #1. ( Give the new shooter a semiauto weapon with the magazine removed to practice aim small/miss small )

    1. I agree on a singleshot for a new shooter. Single .22 or single shotgun. Build the shooting skills first and get them firmly established, then move to a repeater if you want.

    2. My old win. 97 has developed a habit of the hammer following the slide forward. The first time was a surprise to say the least. Has anyone else had this problem? As far as the one gun? Ruger 10/22 is hard to argue with, but an old Marlin .22 bolt is hard to beat. Accurate, reliable and easy to keep clean.

      1. country,

        Yes and no. By that I mean, the gun was designed so as, if you kept the trigger depressed, it would fire again when you slammed the slide forward chambering the next round. It should not fire if you let off the trigger before cycling the next round into the chamber. The gun was unique in that you can fire it almost as fast as a semi-auto holding the trigger back and cycling the action rapidly…some folks can fire them even faster than a semi-auto.

        1. Dennis
          No finger on the trigger, just follows and boom. I hope i am not that bad with a gun.

          1. country,

            Wasn’t insinuating that at all, just pointing out that design “feature” sorta unique to the mod ’97. I know some folks that owned ’97’s for years that weren’t aware of it, and known some who were surprised when they discovered it on their own.

        2. Dennis
          No offense taken. The 97 is unique. If my memory is correct, the Kansas city massacre had two officers killed because of an untrained officer with a 97.

      2. Country,
        The sear or the hammer or both are worn. Dangerous situation. You can find spare parts at Gun Parts Corp (nurmrich) and replace them yourself or find a competent old gunsmith to do it for you. My first mod 97 had a touchy “half-cock” so my mentor showed me how to tear it down and replace the parts. Mind you, I was 14, but I still remember him showing me how.

  81. I still have the first .22 rifle ( or rather what is left of it ) that I learned to shoot with, unfortunately it had went though a house fire in the early 70s. When ever I go though the garage, I see it or look at it and it brings back memories of when I was growing up on a ( early 50s ) farm in SD, remembering that whenever Mom and Dad would get into a shooting contest, Mom would always win ( really or was Dad being nice and letting Mom win as usual or was there something else going on there that I didn’t understand at the time ( chuckle )). It wasn’t unusual for the farm dog to start barking in the middle of the night, because of varmints in the chicken house or close by and he would alert Dad and away they would go. Coons, civit cats ( a type of shunk ) shunks. Or Dad putting sick farm animals with it. When I look at it , it brings back memories of growing up on the farm 65 plus yrs ago ( my wife was wondering why I brought home that piece of junk and I tried to explain to her about it, she just shook her head and walked away ( she has been gone now for 4 yrs because of cancer )).Take care everyone, have fun and enjoy life, even in these bull s— times.

  82. In the past 15 years, a new cartridge was created by Hornady: The 17 HMR. For those that live in rodent infested areas or have lots of problems with critter raiding the chicken coops, This cartridge has replaced my 22 long rifle in bolt action because: The original 17 grain VMAX bullet will destroy itself within target leading to less ricochet and it anchors the target animal in place. ( when hunting for meat or bounty, you do not want the animals to crawl back into the hole ). More landowners will let me on their farm or ranch in order to shoot varmints with the provision that I am only allowed to use the 17 HMR these days. As a test, shoot into a gallon jug of water with a 17 HMR (17 grain VMAX) and you will find no bullet fragments will penetrate the other side of the water jug. For the cost that is comparable to 22 magnum ammo, the 17 HMR will allow hunters that do not reload the ability to hit targets the size of a silver dollar at 100 yards with a good scope on top of an accurate rifle. My limit on head shooting varmints is about 150 yards with 17 HMR. Best part is, I am still able to purchase ammo for it in recent weeks in May/June of 2021. My rifle is a Savage bolt rifle with Accutrigger and topped with a Leopold scope.

  83. Various People talk of harvesting Deer for meat. Yet no one mentions Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD),or sometimes called Zombie Deer Disease in Deer.. The meat is said to be NOT edible… Comments?

    1. Dennis,
      CWD is an issue, although the state of Colorado has done a lot of research on it, as it was identified in wild deer here in the late 60s. The prion itself will form in the lymph nodes and nerve cells of the animal. Colorado parks and wildlife has a good amount of info online on how to handle meat and avoid issues. To date, there has been no documented cases of humans contracting CWD from infected deer meat. They have not seen any cases of predators contracting it either. So that tell you something. We can have our deer carcasses tested for $25 here in Colorado, if positive we either get another license free or a refund from the state. In 45 years of hunting here, and 35-40 deer taken, I have never had an issue. Hunters have helped reduce the spread by dropping obviously affect deer and leaving then. Go online and do some research, the data is out there. Happy hunting.

      1. Minerjim,

        Believe you were intending to answer “DennyB”. I live in a CWD area and what you said is what the state of Arkansas says. We still harvest and eat deer as usual. They ask that you kill obviously sick animals, they will pick up the carcass and issue a new tag. I personally have seen no sick deer.

        One caveat, only boned out meat can be transported out of the CWD area….no skeletal portions can leave the regulated counties.

        They blame the spread of the disease on imported elk brought into the county north of us by the state Game and Fish some 20 years ago.

        1. CWD, has not made to my county yet. My understanding is you must be very careful with the brain and spinal cord blood/nerves. Prions are a scary entity. Neither bacteria, virus, fungus or whatever. The vision of zombies comes to mind. Ohh they won’t be coming back to life, but wonder around sick and perhaps in an ill frame of mind. We make movies of our future, wonder what the ‘zombie’ outcome will be……

  84. When the 17 HMR was created, the ammo makers took note of precision rimfire bullets being used in 17 HMR. Within 5 years, I noticed that ammo makers were making quality improvements in their line of 22 magnum rimfire ammo to follow suit. These days, Hornady 22 magnum ammo has the same tight tolerances as their line of 17 HMR ammo. Both rounds are a good choice around a small farm or ranch close to town or neighbors nearby. The game has changed in big ways in the past 20 years within the shooting and hunting industry. Ammo for both cartridges is to be found at Farm and Ranch stores because they are very useful in those locations. These days, the “best gun” is turning out to be the one you can find ammo for. ( written in June of 2021 )

    1. Calirefugee,
      Thanks for this info on .17HMR. Have been wondering about it since it came out, but never got around doing my research. Your opinion is much valued here.

  85. Reply to DennyB: I have shot and used my tag on obviously diseased deer on a cattle operation in California. You are doing the creature a favor. The disease is a prion disease that seems to be found in the brain and nerve tissue of the animal. Since prions are smaller than bacteria ( a type of protein actually ). I body shot the animal and bagged the head and sent it to County Lab for analysis. I wore rubber gloves and face shield during this work and looked like a lab tech in the field. ( minimal splashing of body fluids to obtain samples ). The meat was not eaten by anybody. the carcass was usually buried. Chronic Wasting Disease is very similar to Mad Cow Disease in that both are prion diseases. USDA and county health departments are very aware of its presence and when a person passes away from such an illness, there is a separate report that must be filled out by the Hospice nurse. I have had to fill out these forms for 2 individuals while in California.
    Most people on this site are not fans of government or government agencies. I am a big fan of the USDA for their never ending job of inspections to ensure a safe meat supply for those of us that partake of plastic wrapped meat from my local grocery store.

  86. One of my favorite quotes. “If you gotta put holes in ’em a .22 will do it, because nobody wants extra holes in ‘em.”

  87. To DennyB: For more info on prion diseases, look up the following on the internet: Kuru, TSE ( Transmissable Spongiform Encephalopathy ) Mad Cow Disease and CJD. All are incurable and makes the COVID 19 debacle look a lot less scary.

    Maybe I will become a vegetarian like my hero TMAC in SoCal?!? Naw, I gotta turn the ribs on the grill now. Enjoy life with a good beer and give thanks to the hardworking staff at the USDA in the disease surveillance section. They never gave me a response to the reports I have turned in.

  88. One gun for everything, yeah, in a way that would work up to point. I’m not saying or suggesting that you should go elephant hunting with a .22, unless you were a really, really, really good shot ( not saying that it can’t be done by someone who knows what they are doing ) and actually know what you were doing. I worked in a packing house stock yards area for a number of years and two of our tools were a single shot .22 rifle and single shot .22 handgun. and yes I’ve seen 1200 to 1500 lb beef critters put down with a single shot of the handgun and rifle ( if you know where to aim ), the same can be said for large hogs , both sows and boars. I use to know of some guys yrs ago in High School that used .22’s to spot light deer at night. Another one of the guys that I use to have coffee with ( a retired secret service agent ) made the statement that 50% of the people shot and killed in the U.S. died from being shot with .22 lr. He said that if a person that got shot with a .22 didn’t get medical attention right away, that they found that person would be dead in 3 to 5 days after being shot. His experience as SS agent. Many years ago, my folks had a really nice cattle dog, but it like to roam. One day Dad said he was going to scare it by shooting at it with a .22 rifle, except the dog zigged instead zagging, Dad hit the dog behind the front leg in the lung area and it died three days later. Needles to say, my Mom was really pissed about that as it was her favorite dog ( she wouldn’t let Dad forget about that one ). So yeah, a .22 can be useful or deadly, depending how it is used and what it is used for. Enough, have a good day every one.

  89. i have better luck killing livestock and critters with .22 solid point bullets than HP’s. i don’t know why, but the solid points seem to put them down faster.
    that’s just been my experience.

    1. Nyscout,
      It has to do with the fact that hollow points start to expand immediately on impact, and can break apart fairly easy. Solid points will mushroom a bit, but stay together, and penatrate deeper than an hp. Never use a hollow point on a thick skinned animal for this reason. The new ballistic tip bullets are a bit different in that they penatrate then rapidly expand in a somewhat delayed action. I’m sure Calirefugee or othets could explain all this better, but that’s the difference in a nutshell.

  90. Interesting point. Have used both trapping this spring and didn’t notice a difference. Guess need to pay attention more. As for best, agree best would be 22 as caliber, ammo is widely available. Then 12 GA and either 243 or 30.06 as both are widely available.

  91. Only one gun? For me that would be bolt action .22. No offense to the Ruger 10/22, but I learned to shoot on a single action .22 (Winchester 310) and still prefer a bolt action rifle. I learned on iron (peep) sites, but scopes seem to be the current choices. For a hand gun I am split between a .22 revolver (Ruger) or a .357 magnum. Both are flexible, and I think a good quality revolver still ‘out does’ an autoloader (I also have a Glock 23 with a 9mm conversion barrel). Just my preferences.

  92. Just my thoughts……. In a SHTF environment I would want to be as quiet as possible….a ghost. I would pick an AO around water and trap small game and fish with a trot line overnight while I sleep. There will be many desperate people willing to take what you have……so why draw them to your location with a gunshot? I will not use a firearm to secure food. At best a slingshot, or throwing stick, while on the move. The firearm I choose for SHTF would be reserved for the most dangerous threat to my survival……..and I would make great effort to see “it” before “it” sees me. That way I make the decision to engage or not… on my terms. All that to say this…… Ruger 308 Bolt Action Scout. I will gladly hump the weight of 6 mags in a SHTF environment with re-supply in various hidden locations around the AO. At least that is “the plan”……..and we all know happens to “the plan” when the bottom falls out. 22 cal. is a good choice…..but not for me.

  93. Back when I was going to college, I worked part time for the county ambulance service. Had a call one night to a local watering hole for a gun shot victim, my partner and I checked the victim out and she had two holes in her chest (they looked like a mark a pencil tip would leave on the skin) turns out she got shot with a .22 pistol. Took her to the hospital, they, took her to surgery, opened her chest to see/repair the damage, and they closed her up and made her comfortable. She died about 4 hrs. latter, those .22 bullets ricocheted all around inside, doc’s said waste of time, to much damage, no way she would survive surgery.

    1. I knew a retired secret service agent that once told me that 50% of the people shot with a .22 cal handgun will die in 2 to 6 days if they don’t get medical treatment right away. From what you have written above, they won’t last that long. I knew of an National Guard warrant officer years ago, WW 2 vet ( pacific theater ), Korean war, and later full time guardsman ( early to mid 60’s ) who stated that he had been shot and wounded by a Jap .25 cal , he stated that he still carries the .25 cal bullet around to this day. when ask by someone if they could see the bullet, his answer was ” nope, I’m not dropping my pants for any of you guys, only to a trained medical officer ” . When ask about what happened the guy that shoot him, his answer was that he used a half thompson magazine on him. His story and I was told that 50 plus yrs ago. but he still had the Jap .25 call bullet in him. ( wonder what he would have done if he had to go though those airport scanners they have now, how he would have explained that ).

  94. – I mentioned on another thread that I have, after a great deal of thought, swapped my GHB gun to a 9-shot H&R revolver. That would probably be my go-to as my SHTF carry. I would tend not to want to fire it, as the noise of any shot might well draw unwanted company.

    I do have a Crosman 1377 air pistol that I would tend to use if possible. If I were to use that, I would likely carry either my .357 or my 1911A1, as either makes a better fighting weapon and that would be my only use for either. If defense of myself from 2-legged predators seemed a more likely scenario than large animal problems, the .45; the .357 would be a better choice for bear, etc.

    Still, the majority of lead expended would probably be 8-10 gr. pellets from the little, silent Crosman at 600 fps. Having said that, my conibear 110s and 220s would be used far more, along with some plain old rat traps. Trotlines are a standard in Texas, not illegal as in other states. I have and can use cast nets, and gill nets are also a possibility. Lots of choices to put meat on the table.

    – Papa S.

    1. – A man I respected, as a young man, once told me never to use .22 hollow points on anything I could not pick up with one hand. The HP would blow apart as soon as they hit, and tend not to kill what you were aiming at.

      Working in the ER, I saw a lot of GSW’s. At least half of the fatalities were .22s. Very few were impressive as far as entrance or exit wounds. Didn’t stop them from being dead.

      – Papa

      1. if you can find an old bolt action .22 rifle, most will shoot shorts or CB’s with no problem.
        the CB’s are not any louder than most good air rifles and harder hitting. i have killed many a turtle in the pond with them. a makeshift silencer (think coke bottle or something) will quiet it down to the sound of the firing pin falling.

        1. nyscout – I LIKE IT ! Now if I could just find a 22 / 308 (over/under)….. “Little 308 Scout” will definitely not be happy……already getting the “hairy eyeball.”

  95. When it comes to guns, I have more than one but less than a hundred, but if I could only have one gun in a Schumer Hits The Fan scenario, yes it would be a 22 cal. just as the article says. It may not necessarily be a Ruger 10/22 but yes it would be a 22 cal. rifle. I would probably be shooting a lot more rabbits, squirrels and coons for the dinner table than fighting off Griz and two legged varmints. If push comes to shove I can always use bear spray on the Griz and one to the head on the two legged dangers. My old 338 is just a little bit over kill on groundhogs. I really don’t think that when the SHTF that people will come running when they hear a 22 shot. Trekker Out

  96. .308 bolt gun, semi autos can fail, high powered semi autos are usually heavy, in our area a well placed 100-150 yard shot is the norm for meat on the table.
    Originally i had considered an AR platform .308, i got rid of it because it proved un reliable, a week in the weeds doing eradication and it crapped out on day 3 and after only 104 shots because of a spring, it also was much more than i really want to carry. My bolt gun with scope fits easily in my Eberlestock pack and can hit where i want at most any reasonable range That is in my ability to read and adjust to conditions, and generally anything i hit with it stays down, we dont have squirrels and such, smallest game would be young hogs, not likely to get closer than 75 yards to anything unless im in a stand or surprise it, so a 22 is pretty much useless other than plinking at nuisance varmints like mongoose or rats. Could be defensive but like a game animal, i want whatever i hit to go down and stay down.

  97. Kulafarmer,
    a .308 with ballistic tip bullets are my choice. game animals are dead when you pull the trigger. me, i’m to old to be having to track something down and then drag it a half mile uphill.

  98. Wow, some really intelligent answers from experienced hunters out there from Trekker, Kula, DLS and others. New people should take note from hunters in the field.

    My response to recent input: For hunting in thick brush or jungle areas, shots at game are made when animal is in small clearings. If they run after being hit, generally they run downhill through the thickest brush, thorns and poison oak and will be found dead at the bottom of a draw with 4 feet up in the air. For this reason, I liked using a cartridge that has a larger frontal area like a 308 versus something smaller like a 270. I want to put a bigger hole into the creature in order to bleed out faster. My own choice is a bolt action 30-06. ( ancient cartridge that led to the 308 ). Like DLS, I like bolt action rifles and my most recent deadliest rifle is a single shot bolt rifle in 22 Hornet. The way I was raised to shoot for meat or trophy, I do not feel handicapped by using a single shot.

    For bullet used on game animals in thick brush, I like the VMAX even though I have been using the Nosler Partition. The hunting VMAX is built different than the varmint VMAX. ( the hunting VMAX will mushroom and stick together where the varmint VMAX will disintegrate into many small pieces.). I use Nosler Partitions because I received boxes of them as gifts from friends and family over many years. The VMAX has a slight accuracy edge over the Partition design in my rifles. Hornady’s target version of their VMAX bullet is called the AMAX and it works on deer across fields of green beans over 300 yards away. People think and shoot different when they have a bolt rifle versus an autoloading rifle. Generally fewer shots but those shots made usually are solid hits. ( unique sound of a bullet hitting solid meat makes a THWOP sound.)

    1. Calirefugee,
      i used the Hornady V max for a lot of years with great success and loved them, but i was told it was discontinued. the A max have worked very well for me also.
      one call, thats all !
      even with an automatic in the woods on the eastern seaboard, if a person can get off two shots before they bolt and run into the brush, they were lucky. or not.

    2. Cali, Thanks for the compliment. I grew up in the mid south and learned to hunt, by hunting squirrel with a 22 rifle and iron sights, the sad part is that the youth of today start right out deer hunting using a high powered rifle with a scope. Not that this is bad or wrong but they miss out on a lot of hunting experiences. Deer season is usually only a couple of weeks where as squirrel season and rabbit season runs for months and you have the opportunity to enjoy a lot of time afield and hone your hunting skills. If you can hunt squirrels successively you can hunt deer, but not necessarily the other way around. What I love about gun articles is that it shows we’re all prejudice, not racially but as for types of guns and calibers, which just goes to show what works for you don’t necessarily work for me Good article though. Trekker Out

  99. PS: These days I hunt squirrels in farmers fields and on ranch land. Most of my bigger game hunting was hunting feral pigs in the coastal hills in California. ( thick brush, poison oak, small clearings etc.) Some deer hunting ( only 1x per year.). My pig/black bear and deer load was and is: 30-06 once-fired brass, 57 grains of IMR 4350, large rifle primer and 150 grain Nosler Partition. It does the job for me.

    Rifle is a used Winchester model 70 with a pitted bore and a Leupold 3 by 9 compact vari X-2 mounted on top. I packed my freezer and dropped bears for years with this rifle. I am the second owner of this gun. It also does the job for me.

  100. Calirefugee’
    i’ll bet that model 70 with a pitted bore still shoots better than a brand new one.
    they don’t make em like they use to.

  101. has anyone here had any experience with the Savage rifles?
    i’m told that they are Very accurate, affordable and kick like a mule. i would really like one of their African models in 30.06 with the iron sights. scopes are great, but easily damaged. i’m all about dependability. thanks for any input.

    1. Current Savage Rifles are very nice. Sweet triggers. Kick is if your getting a light rifle with a heavy caliber. I’ve opened up the but plate of several rifles over the years to add a half pound of lead shot in a bag for smaller friends. That generally tames the recoil and as the extra weight is at the shoulder not hard for them to handle.

    2. I don’t hesitate in recommending Savage rifles. Every one I own is extremely accurate.. I own three, a .22 mag, a .223, and a 30/30 (yes, a 30/30 bolt action). They are all on the list of guns I’ve never regretted buying, nor will sell.

      The 30/30 I bought for $50 years ago from an old black gentleman. It is branded “Revelation”, the store brand for the old Western Auto stores, but was made by Savage. It’s been my main deer rifle since, even though I’ve got much prettier, pricier rifles in the safe. Being a magazine fed rifle, I can reload using spire point bullets. My favorite is a 130 grain Sierra spire hollow point loaded to about 2500fps…never had a deer take a step after being hit, never missed the first shot.

      1. Dennis,
        being magazine fed i’ll bet that it is sweet.
        i have heard about them but i have never seen or had my hands on one.

      2. – That is what my maternal grandfather had, along with an old Winchester 62 .22LR. Both went to his only son, my uncle. I only shot it one time, as he was sighting it in one year, shooting into the mud pit on an oilfield drilling site at bottles floating in the water. We were working out of the back of his old ’52(?) Jimmy he hauled his hands to work with. He was an oilfield driller for as long as I can remember, until he died my freshman year in college.

        I misspoke above; .22 hollow points don’t “explode”, they fragment, and each fragment takes a little bit of momentum with it. You can kill a deer with birdshot, but there is a reason they make slugs. A solid will mushroom a little bit, or “rivet”, but keeps all its momentum.

        – Papa S.

    3. nyscout
      Other than a .22, my first rifle was a Savage Steven’s .308 bolt.
      A lesser version of a Savage, but a darn good rifle, nun the less
      My deer hunting rifle I’ve used for almost 30 yrs. 16g prior. The Steven’s takes em down year after year…as long as my scope is on…..I’ve had a few, whoops moments, banging the scope around.

  102. I guess it is all relevant to the area / situation your are in. There are no absolutes. For every one that dies from a 22 hit, how many have survived to continued on? A friend of mine was ambushed and took a 22 round in the kidney. He survived. Would I want to take a 22 hit?…….noooooo! But given the choice, I’ll take that hit over a 38 hit any day of the week and twice on Sunday. There is a reason why 22 LR is on the bottom of the list for reliable stoppers. In these “peaceful” days, I hunt with a 22 LR or 22 mag. and love them. When things change (SHTF), I will change to survive. You use what you have available, and you make it work. But given a choice, like the military, and the druggies, etc., I want something with more authority than a 22LR if my life is on the line. BTW: I know a guy that took a deer in the mountains with a 30-30 lever action. While field dressing the deer, two hunters approached him to see his kill. They relieved
    him of his deer and rifle. And this was in “peaceful” times. Glad they didn’t snipe him. In these days coming……desperate people will do desperate things when they are hungry. Plan for the worst……and hope (pray) for the best. Just my opinion based on what I see happening in war torn countries with people starving. If you face armed thieves, they will probably have something more than a 22 LR. And so will I….if I have a choice. To each their own.

  103. SoulSurvivor,

    Not an attempt to argue anything you’ve said, but if you are not aware of, or familiar with, the study done by Greg Ellifritz, it would be worth the time to look at it.

    If nothing else, it gives hard facts and statistics, as best as were available when he did the research.

    1. Dennis – Thanks……..I will check it out. Was just giving my opinion. Heck, I wouldn’t want to face some here if they were using a BB gun. I am willing to learn……..and if I change my mind, that little Scout is gonna be awful upset with me.

    2. Dennis – Good read! Let me revise my comment. I’d rather take a 38 hit than a 22 hit any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Live and learn. The 308 Scout still in first place……but a new found respect for the 22. Thanks for the education.

      1. Soulsurvivor,,,,,,,,,you don’t want any ,,,,no way no how ,,, in nam I took a 9mm in the back ,bounce off ribs ,,, I’m here he’s not ,,only good thing I got 10days of what amounted to R R and a sexy scar ,,,ha ha

        1. Oldhomesteader – I hear ya… and will do my best to follow your advice. Glad you made it home.

  104. – A couple of people mentioned their “first” guns above. My own first gun was a Marlin 989M2, a model 60 action with a pair of seven-round box magazines. The aftermarket magazines intended for the Papoose model and others include 10-round models that are quite acceptable.

    Mine still sits in my safe, but some years ago I gave it to DW, as she needed one d/t feral cats and dogs. It didn’t move from its slot in my safe, I just quit calling it mine.

    The other ‘first’ gun is on the shelf above it. Dad bought it for himself after the Cuban Missile Crisis, when he realized he had NO firearms in the house and my uncle went and bought a .357 S&W Model 60 for himself.

    What Dad bought was a Savage 101, the single-shot .22 “revolver” intended as a ‘boy’s gun’. It was the first pistol I ever fired, and when Dad passed on, it came into my hands. (His 12g Winchester shotgun went to my little brother, who was told by an evil older brother to be sure and leave lots of room between the stock and his shoulder to allow it to recoil. He did two somersaults and the single-shot did three and ended up in the top of a mesquite tree.)

    The Marlin was actually selected by the CIA to be shipped to the central American countries for the ‘Banana Wars’. It was thought to be preferable to the Mod 60 and its specs are very similar to the then not yet born 10-22. Dad thought the little Savage was just what was needed to teach us about pistol shooting, and all that any of us really needed in a .22 LR pistol.

    — Papa S.

    1. – On the subject of Savage rifles – when I first got that Savage 24C I sighted it in at the tube range at the Rod & Gun Club at Fort Hood. Iron sights at 50 yards (all that was available) and a dozen shells from a box of Viper .22 ammunition produced one ragged hole in the ½” square of black electrical tape in the corner of electrical tape square of electrical tape in the corner of electrical tape I had put in the corner of the 100-yard paper sighting-in target the rangemaster had given me. I thought that was not too shabby. The little Savage 101 pistol is not too bad, either.

      – Papa

  105. Sep. 11 2001 I had a 38 pistol and a 12 ga pump. I bought a ruger 10/22 that afternoon and still have it. Both of my boys and 3 of my grandkids have learned to shoot with that gun.

  106. Reply about Savage rifles: All of my “new” rifles including my deadly single shot is a Savage with Accu-trigger. The only reason they are not all new rifles is because I was using rifles that were partially rebuilt. The pre 64 model 70 I bought used was sitting in a shop with a fine patina of surface rust on the exterior metal. After I got it cleaned, I was going to order a new barrel for it due to the observed surface pitting on the last 6 inches of bore short of the muzzle. I took a box of ammo out and a clean target at 100 yards to zero and test-group: 3 shots inside of a golf ball at 100 yards. This rifle did not need anything new accept a new home in my gun safe. It resides there to this day. If it works well, do not mess with it.

  107. Hey Dennis,

    Just curious if you were in Mexico a few days ago. I noticed that 7 million rnds of Aguila 22 ammo was high jacked enroute to the US.

    Not saying you did it or implying your a outlaw, but if you have connections let me know I wouldn’t mind grabbing a few hundred bricks. I need therapy too. Lol.

    11HE9

    1. 11HE9,

      I read a story on that. Said not all was .22…some shotgun, rifle, and handgun centerfire ammo. What stuck out to me was 38 Super was specifically mentioned. A good round, but not nearly as popular in the U.S. as it is in Mexico and S. America.

      If I was guessing…I would guess a lot of that stolen ammo will still make it to the U.S…most likely to places like Chicago and New York….maybe to be sold on the streets…maybe to replenish the cartels’ folk’s supply across America…pretty sure the ammo drought is hurting them too.

      1. Dennis – Had a “Race gun” back in the day chambered in 38 Super. Loved that pistol….it was a shooter. Got rid of it (mistake) when I transitioned from IPSC to more realistic tactical shooting. Well…..at least my hindsight is still 20-20.

      2. Dennis,

        Was not aware there were other calibers stolen. Also was not aware about a 38 Super (always learning) will have to check that one out. Thanks for the info.

        A&O

  108. I have lots of 22LR and things to use them with.

    If SHTF there will be no game in record time. It will be like the end of the second week of firearm deer season, anything left alive will be scared… even the trees. Anyone shooting will draw attention. If things are really bad you might lose more than your game and boots.

    I’m a fairly big believer in the LR308 platform. The problem is that you get half the 7.62×51 of ~18 vs 5.56×45 of ~37 per pound. Similar trajectories, just the 308 delivers more energy at 300 yards than the 223 left the barrel with.

    Statistically a person hits their target 13-25% of the time depending on level of duress, training and skill. Most people can rattle off rounds in .25-.6 second spacing. That means I’ve got 3-5 seconds with a bad shot shooting a 1911 to not be hit. When you think about it, the probability of not getting hit is fairly unlikely.

    Most altercations don’t make it to a reload.

    Where does a lot of ammunition benefit? When you have support for a long engagement. Such as either side of a siege. But do you want to be able to reach out and touch someone or just make 37gr mini clouds of dust on 5/8″ CDX 300 yards away providing cover to someone who is waiting for your buddy to stand behind you so he can have one shot and two gray matter paintings?

  109. I would love to hear from a resident of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula where the big salmon fed Kodiaks live. Many up there think the 30-06 is too small for their bears up there. I think I can hear them laughing about the 22 rimfires unless they are shooting ptarmigan or spruce grouse. That is a region where the most sales took place of the Marlin guide gun in 45-70 after it was invented. Spooky thing up there is the “dinnerbell” concept: Bears associate a rifle shot as a dinner bell and come running so deer hunters up there carry big guns and keep a lookout posted with loaded rifle while processing out a deer carcass. Was true years ago. I do not know if things have changed up there.

    1. Calirefugee,

      I know a lot of folks will think I’m enamored with the .22 rimfire (I am to a certain extent…especially for it’s versatility), but I’ll share something I read, way back in the ’50’s, either in Outdoor Life or Field & Stream magazine. It was an article, if I remember correctly, by Jack O’Connor on polar bear.

      He opened the article with the question “what caliber has killed more polar bears than all others combined”. He answered the question, saying .22 rimfire. He then shared that more polar bears had been killed with the .22 short than the more powerful .22 long rifle.

      He explained that when white traders first started interacting with Eskimos, and the first firearms they bought, they bought cheap, single shot .22 “trade guns” and chose .22 shorts to load them with because they were cheapest.

      He further said, that the Eskimos continued hunting polar bear as they had prior, with spears, but with the new firearms, while some would distract the bear with traditional spears…one would dart in and shoot the animal near point blank in the head.

      That article stuck with me, probably because I had received my first .22 around that time. Was the article accurate? I don’t know, but folks put a lot of faith in the old outdoor writers of the time.

      1. Dennis,
        could you imagine a person working in a office in a large city trying to do that on their first paid hunt. red spots on the ice, and not the bear. it takes a lifetime of experience in knowing your prey to do that.

      2. Dennis,,,,,,i have extended family that are INUPIC,=eskimo ,i have talked with elders now long gone that told me about nanook , and the old days were told to them ,i question a 22short head shot ,the skull will turn a 22lr ,my experience with a brown and a 22 was a no choice situation ,i did a head shot ,sort of. ,was a face on charge ,i shot up the nasal passages into the brain ,one bullet rattled around in the skull , the bear knocked me off my feet, I was packing out a sheep and a bit bloody from dressing it , the client was caring my rifle , the bear got between us putting us in any line of fire, ,,,a high standard 22 auto pistol that I shoot well , I have a spear that was given to me as a gift that’s at least 150 years old that was used to hunt nanook ,as I was told 3 or 4 hunters would go out on the ice and ambush nanook acting like a seal waveing a seal fliper laying on the ice when nanook would try to grab ‘the seal’ the spear was shoved in the belly and the spearer would roll out from under nanook and the rest of the team would use there spears to add holes in nanook as nanook thrashed about ,,,think about that,,,
        Most comon was a Winchester lever in 38 55 if I remember right

        1. Oldhomesteader,

          I have zero-zilch experience with any bear over 400 lbs and have not tried to take any of them…never met an Eskimo…just sharing the article I read in a 1950’s outdoor magazine by an author who was also a highly educated historian/college professor in addition to being a prolific hunter and outdoor writer.

          Would I hunt bear with a .22 rimfire? Not on purpose. Would I recommend it? No, of course not. Is there documented instances of bears from Polar, Grizzly, Brown, and Black being taken with .22’s? Ton’s of these stories…as are instances where hunters were mauled or killed by bears shot several times with weapons considered premier bear getters.

          Do know several folks who spent years in the Alaskan wilderness, including my wife’s brother…they all told me the same thing when it came to bear protection…and what the majority of Alaskans carried for that purpose…that was a 12 ga pump with slugs…A neighbor who spent most of his life there and recently moved back asked me to repair his AMT Longslide .50 AE pistol (had a broken ejector, I replaced for him)…but said the 12ga with slugs was his primary bear protection.

          Me? The likelihood of me engaging a Polar bear or Grizzly is about as likely as me voting democrat in the next elections….or building a thorium reactor.

          1. Dennis ,,,,,, I think moose is more likely to hurt you , but a bear will kill and eat you. I can give you a list of names of those mauled or eaten ,

    2. Call,,,,,,,in my time in Alaska ,I homestead and was backup on bear hunt a time or two ,i know of a number of bad experiences from being under gunned ,a 300 mag (a big 06) when your up close and personal and the chips are down will not do the job in a timely manner ,ie you walk up on a bear and ssurprise it ,or you “find “one that’s been wounded by someone else ,if your looking for bear min is a 338 ,and the ability to shoot it WELL,,my bear gun is a 375 HH with 300gr solids. Yet I have taken a brown with a 22lr in a no choice situation ,some times the best gun is the one you have,in 1971 I took a 9ft polar bear with a 6.5. ×55. Was what I had ,there not hard to kill when things go right ,problem as I see it is most folks think there better than they really are with more rifle than they can handel,i have seen them show up for a hunt with a new rifle that need the scope mounted ,or some that can shoot a silver dollar at 300yards ,but not after walking across a valley and up a mountain side ,
      ,,big bear ,,big gun ,,,,,,the guide I worked with found a watch and ring in one , and after I left was mauled badly ,with permanent injures. ,,,don’t think much of any hand gun in any caliber. For bear ,,ok it’s all you got ,wish good luck ,best pilgrim gun is a 12 Gage pump ,,teas done ,back to hay ,

  110. Thanks for the reply OH. I built a rifle in 375 H&H for a ranger supervisor up in Kenai years ago on a Winchester magnum length action I found in a junk bin at a shop. Seems the barrel blew up and the fore-stock was split when the gun was fired under water. ( previous owner survived an attack by hippo somewhere near the Okovango Delta ) New Boyd’s stock and a new barrel chambered in 375 H&H and the gun has a proud new owner.
    These guns only work if you carry them with you. One person from a city in the lower 48 was killed when she went to her rural cabin by boat and left her shotgun behind. They found her later in the stomach contents of the bears that stood b/t the boat launch area and her cabin. State troopers and ranger went to check on her after she did not checkin via radio 3 days later. 375 H&H, 45-70 guide gun or pump shotgun with slugs. Which one do you have with you? I’m glad I missed that post-mortem.

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