Why overlooking a solid .22lr rifle and handgun combination is a bad idea!

For most of us who have grown up on farms, ranches and in the bush/woods around the world a simple .22lr handgun or rifle has often been the go to when it comes to putting food on the table. While most states have made it illegal for someone to hunt medium or larger game with a .22lr this does not mean it is not a round that is capable of doing so when necessary.

For instance gator hunters use the .22 lr in either a handgun or rifle configuration to quickly, quietly put gators down and these animals have far thicker hides and skulls than deer. Coyote hunters have long understood the benefits of a solid .22lr for putting pest ‘yotes’ down. And there isnt many hunters or trappers across North America and in Europe who havent used the venerable .22lr for quickly and humanely putting trapped fur bearing or food producing animals down.

In Arizona I have used the .22lr to put down dangerous javelina, bobcats and often take quail and dove with my rifles. Its a quiet, humane and extremely efficient way of putting meat on the table as well as protecting my children and or livestock. In the mid 80’s through the early 2000’s I and my brothers were often hired by local ranchers to put down roving feral dogs and cats. While I love both dogs and cats, the sad fact is when they go feral and pack up they become a dangerous threat to livestock and humans themselves. More often than not they are lice infested, diseased and in pain as it is.

For those of us who hunt, we all have a few brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc., who have put meat in the freezer in the off season regardless permitting, after all, survival trumps bureaucracy, in every case, at least morally. The .22lr allows for a much quieter approach and is quite capable at ranges from 3 through 200 yards with practice, especially with solid ammunition. Though I would suggest for medium to larger game you try to stalk within 75 yards so as to reduce the chances of wounding and loss of the winters larder.

Now obviously I am not suggesting you break the law, though I am stating for the record that an immoral law is no law that should be followed.
Get a solid rifle, many people swear by the venerable and widely used 10/22 by ruger firearms, my personal choices are as follows and in order of importance and benefit to myself. (Remembering the important things to consider are, reliability, accuracy and cost.)

  1. Mossberg 702 is a 4lb rifle that comes in many variations, it is a semiautomatic, fed with 10 or 25 round stick magazines, it feeds almost any ammunition you put through it. The action is a simple blow-back design with a pinned barrel that is easily floated for increased accuracy, though I can hit quarters all day with every single one I have had. I have also never had a firearm related failure and highly recommend Aguila 40 grain ammunition as it runs absolutely wonderfully in each one I have had and currently have. (I have more than 2 and less than 10 and have had more than this) It has a 3/4” dovetail rail that allows you to put scopes and red dots on them as you see fit. I enjoy using the Tech Sights for these rifles. I also have scoped a few and really like using either Bushnell trs 25 red dots or Aim sports 2-7×32 power scopes as they function well and allow for a very accurate use. (Doves heads at 50 yards.)
  2. Savage model 64 (several variations) at 5lbs it is approximately the same weight as a 10/22 though from what I have heard it far out-paces the 10/22 out of the box for accuracy and reliability. I personally have only been able to function check and shoot one, I was very pleasantly surprised to find it was both comfortable and amazingly accurate.
  3. Crickett .22lr single shot bolt action youth firearm. At 3.5 lbs it is very lightweight and easy to use. My daughter loves hers though she is quickly growing out of it.
  4. Lastly in my favorite rifle categories are the lever action approaches. Both Marlin and Henry make a great .22lr the Henry holds 15 rounds in a tube fed magazine and is both accurate and easy to use. Though for myself I prefer the easy ability to simply load another magazine, these are really quite fun and accurate as well as lighweight!

    In the handgun category there are only two that I use currently-

  5. Walther P22 and the Ruger SR22 – they are based on very similar designs and take ten rounds per magazine. The Ruger is newer with a better slide and barrel as far as longevity, though I have put over 6,000 rounds through a Walther P22 and never had a single issue. 22 lr is after all quite low recoil and unless you plan on pistol whipping a grizzly or falling on the firearm itself, it should last for quite a long time. The Walther P22 has the benefit of having magazines available after-market from Keepshooting.com as well as coming with a threaded barrel which requires an inexpensive attachment to make it a quite firearm. Both have preformed extremely reliably and are lightweight, as well as being accurate enough for small game at under 25 yards.
  6. I have owned Ruger 45/77s, Mark II, and the venerable H and R trapper which has preformed very well with everything from feral hogs (500+lbs) and javelina, racoons and more.

So there are a few more reasons why having a .22lr is an important possibly even necessary aspect of your preps. Remember, quiet, accurate, and reliable! Not too mention you can use them to easily teach others who may have little to no experience in a safe, easy and trauma free way. 


Free the mind and the body will follow


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, jessetalksback.com and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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6 Responses to Why overlooking a solid .22lr rifle and handgun combination is a bad idea!

  1. jeffreycanthony says:

    Any of the .22 rifles listed are great, and some priced cheaper than the 10/22. I think the biggest draws to the 10/22 involve parts availability and versatility. Stocks are so available that you can configure one as a close enough to your bigger rifle trainer, and yet without complicated tools go back to the simple skeletal pack gun in minutes. Also having a couple options in pistols that use the same magazines doesn’t hurt.

    The crickett is an amazing little rifle, really good for starting shooters, keeps them from getting trigger happy.

    Pistols wise, I think the only point you miss is that there’s so many .22 variants of popular pistols, and for those that don’t exist, there’s often conversion kits so that people can practice with their preferred pistol using .22 ammunition. True for rifles as well, although i’m not really sold on the various tactical trainer .22 variants with all the problems many have. Then again, for a trainer, having problems sometimes can also get a person used to dealing with malfunctions… still, i’m not a huge fan.

    Surprised that .22 revolvers aren’t listed, good for some niche uses. I’m also curious about the NAA .22 mini pistols, if they are more of a gimmick or if they are useful, not really gotten a chance to work with one.

    Last thought, I’ve also noticed a lot of people, when looking at pistols, tend to think that the .22 LR is underpowered and try for .22 magnum. Most should keep in mind that the ballistics difference is negligible in short barrel lengths.


    • I did list one .22 revolver. As for the handguns-

      I have shot and used dozens of variants. Unless you plan on spending 2k+ for a volquartsen (spllng?) Id suggest sticking with what I posted.

      However, not everyone has same results. 🙂

      Conversion kits. Ive never not one time met one that was a solid functioning device in almost every instance there were problems stemming from the device itself and other problems stemming from the very very finnicky nature of conversion kits to ammo

      However, again, im not everyone.

      I can only say for sure that after several hundred thousand rounds of .22lr, ill stick with the mentioned names and types 🙂

      I absolutely agree regarding handguns and variations in ballistics for .22lr /.22mag /etc

      Liked by 1 person

      • jeffreycanthony says:

        LOL i missed the revolver… if eyesight goes bad in old age, i fear where old age starts.

        The thing i’m up in the air about on conversion kits, in a way it’s good in that it might force people to deal with malfunction drills in the middle of practice. Down side is it’s better to be able to put those into training more safely. That said, conversion kits don’t bug me as much as a fully unreliable weapon since when you put it back to it’s original it’s still good to go. Yet I feel like money (those get more expensive than i feel they are worth) could be better used elsewhere.

        The full 10/22 craze does crack me up, and yeah, I’ll say the $3000 10/22 builds out there are impressive and fun to look at much like a corvette is. But I drive a minivan. 🙂

        What i’m more impressed with is the possibilities of low end parts for them. Rare for me to find magazines, extractors, or other such simple things for most other .22 LR firearms as much as the 10/22.. On one hand this might mean “it fails so much we need a lot of parts for it” but on the other hand, moving parts, explosions as part of working operations, there’s always wear and tear. Even the best guns are recommended parts replacement over their service life. It kinda feels like the AR platforms for me, I don’t like the feel of them, but they are so common out there and parts are so proliferate, that it’s one I hate to leave out of a functional collection. That said, the Mossberg 702 is still one of the top on the wish list.


        • Mossberg 702 for 170 i have a gun more accurate than some 2k 10/22s, proven much to their owners chagrin 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • jeffreycanthony says:

            Sadly i think Mossberg gets a bad name from most of the elitist types that shoot clay traps and insist you need a $5k+ shotgun to do it vs those of us with a Mossy 500 for the practical go to shotgun.


            • It does, the funny thing is I have heads upped my firearms against the “big dogs” and they always end up even or on the bottom (the big dogs). Its all about practice – and actual use.

              Liked by 1 person

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