Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why I like the .22

By Ray Gano
Yep, it is true, I like the .22 rim fire bullet for a survival weapon. Now I know that I will take a lot of flack, but in reality the .22 rim fire AKA 22 is a great all purpose round in many situations.
Yea, yea the first words that are coming to your mind are "stopping power" if I ever need to defend myself.
Hey, that is a great point and one that I agree with, but what I am talking about is all around survival not an all out war.
Most of the things that I am going to shoot are rabbits, birds, snakes (rattlers and we have a lot) feral dogs & cats, coyotes, chickens, turkeys, and other small livestock.
Now you and I both know that these critters listed above will be more likely be put within my crosshairs than the two legged ones, that is a fact.
So to start things out…
My Handguns of Choice
Ruger Mark III Target- all stainless steel so it will not easily rust. A 5.5 inch bull barrel which improves accuracy. You can shoot a fly off the wall at fifty feet easily. I like the fact that this also comes with a weaver rail so you can mount a "aim point / red dot" sight or better yet, a laser site for totally point and shoot accuracy.
This is a great "ranch gun" specially with all the rattlers we have out here at the Gano Ranch. You know rattlers are "good eating" to; they taste a lot like tangy chicken.
Walther P22 - This is a great carry and conceal weapon. Double action, which means you can pull the trigger and the hammer comes back and fires. Holds ten rounds with one in the chamber makes 11. Again the larger caliber has greater "stopping power." But you know what, eleven rounds at center mass will definitely not make a person's day. This is a great weapon to get your wife, I should know, because they come in pink too.
Now the reasons I like the 22 is that they are pretty inexpensive. The Ruger and the Walther both run around $300.00. So this is affordable and able to easily save for this amount. I advise that if you are going to purchase, check out a gun show, you will be able to shop around and possibly get one of these at a great price.
Both of these are pretty light weight considering a 9mm, 45 or .357. Now the Ruger Target is a bit heavier, but I know that my wife has no problem shooting the bull barrel Ruger, but she does like her Walther P22 better. It fits her smaller hand a lot better and more comfortable for her to shoot.
A real great point about the 22 is that ammo is dirt cheap. A box of Federal hollow points that come 550 rounds to a box run about $15 at Walmart. Plus just about anywhere you go, you can purchase 22s. They are pretty easy to find.
Now knowing that ammo is cheap, you can get out there and practice… a lot! You know what they say, “Practice makes perfect.” Since .22 ammo is cheap, I can run 200-300 rounds down range without feeling guilty about wasting money or worry that I won’t be able to find ammo to replace what I use.
The benefit is that I become extremely proficient with a smaller caliber handgun than so-so with say a 45 or 9mm that uses more expensive and possibly hard to find ammo.
In fact, just to emphasize this point. My Walmart right now does not have any 9mm or 45 in stock, but they have at least 30 bricks (550 rounds per box ) of federal hollow point on the shelf.
Other great points about the 22.
It is a pretty quiet round to shoot compared to a 45 or .357 which sounds like a cannon firing. The 22 also does not have that heavy recoil that many females and kids tend to be concerned about. If you have any sizable property, you can shoot it also and maintain safety. There are many targets with built in back stops that will handle a 22. So practicing is easy, just gotta find the time to do it.
Now for all you James Bond wanna-be's, what you may or may not know is that many professional assassins use the 22. In fact get on the web and go to You Tube. Once there type in "Ruger Amphibian." That is a modified Mark II or III with a fully enclosed suppressor / silencer. Average price for this little beauty, about $1200.00 plus. The interesting thing is that in many states, it is actually legal to own one, but you do have to jump through some legal hoops to do it.
Funny story, my friend who is a 20 year Special Forces and now works for a "private company" saw my Ruger and the first thing he tried to do is unscrew the front end to expose the internal section of the suppressor / silencer. I told him it was as standard MkIII bull barrel. He smiled at me and said that a lot of his buddies "at work" carried the Amphibian as a back-up. It looked exactly like my MkIII.
Finally another point about a 22 is that if it gets lost or stolen, it isn't going to set you back several pay checks to replace it. Again, we are talking a little over $300.00 to get a new in the box replacement. Sight it in really quickly and your are back in action.
So looking for an all around survival weapon, I like the 22. There are a lot companies and models to choose from. Me I am partial to Ruger, made in the good ol' US of A. Can't go wrong with that.
My 22 Rifle of Choice
Now if you are looking for a rifle, then it is hands down, the Ruger 10-22 semi auto rifle. It has got to be one of the best buys for your money.
The great thing about the Ruger 10-22 is that there are many third party companies that sell all sorts of add-ons, modifications, 20, 30, 50 and even 100 round magazines. The 10-22 is a pretty cool weapon, which if you want to have fun modifying it, then this is the weapon for you.
What are you looking for in cost? Again, around $300.00 - $350.00. Very affordable. This is a great varmint weapon that you can use for plinking, hunting and even self defense.
As will all the benefits that I mentioned above regarding the 22, the same goes for the Ruger 10-22. You got cheap ammo, so you get so proficient that you can shoot a fly at 100 yards, or bring home some rabbit dinner if times get lean.
In fact, they sell what is called "Ruger 10/22 Full Auto Simulator" which you simply attach to your trigger guard, and crank for simulated FULL AUTOMATIC FIRE!!!!!!
The "Ruger 10/22 Full Auto Simulator" is easy to install and cranks out rapid fire. This little gem fits most semi-automatic .22 rifles. BUT it is NOT legal to own, carry or sell to residents living in California or other liberal states. So if you want one, move to Texas, then you can send all the lead down range you want. All you just have to worry about reloading your magazines. This little modification costs about $30.00 - $40.00. In fact, mount a Caldwell Lightweight Bipod to the front end of your Ruger 10-22 and with the "Ruger 10/22 Full Auto Simulator" you can do a lot of damage to that gang of rabbits down range that just keep gett'en in your cabbage patch. Folks, that is a lot of rabbit in the pot and a lot of lead down range.
So this is why one of my weapons of choice in a survival situation is the 22. Everyone can shoot and become very proficient with it. Ammo is cheap so you don’t feel guilty about sending 200-300 rounds down range plus you can find ammo everywhere. The cost of getting a 22 is really reasonable and if you are a first time gun owner, the 22 is a great place to start for all the reasons I gave above.
Shooting and hunting is a great sport and an American heritage. In today's political climate we need to be exercising more of our rights and passing on more of our heritage. Because if we don't, we will have neither.


  1. Hello to Ray Gano's blog readers from Barbara Henderson

    If you are considering getting a handgun permit, you may find the following web page helpful.


    On this map red states all issue permits to carry handguns.

    'Blue states' do not require anything to carry a permit for residents of the state.
    A permit from a blue state may be obtained if the carrier wants reciprocity with other states who accept a permit from that state.
    Anyone traveling out of their issuing state should check reciprocity of the states in which they will travel.

    Avoid yellow states and black states if possible if you are on a road trip.

    If you are considering moving from the area in which you now live, look for a state with liberal handgun laws. (Other considerations would be home school laws favoring parents rights, as well as states asserting states rights instead of cow-towing to the federal government.)

    And a word to all those who have never had a gun or specifically a handgun - get one!

    Ray Gano wrote an article on the 22 - a caliber available in both a revolver and a rifle.
    If choosing a larger caliber handgun or rifle - choose something that has been around for a long time, and a very common caliber. Bullets will be more affordable, and possibly more available in the future.

    Regarding availability of ammo - something like a 38 or 45 pistol is good. Some rifles will use the same ammo. The United Nations uses 9mm - so that may be a bullet that is more readily available at some point, although it may not be as powerful as you might want. Most hunters begin with a 30/30 and/or a 30-06. By the way, a shorter barrel handgun means easier to conceal, but more recoil when you shoot.

    Learn gun safety rules and practice them. Learn to shoot for fun, and be comfortable with the gun(s) you have. Be willing to shoot for self defense if ever necessary. I saw a self defense program where the speaker said you have to make up your mind in advance that you will defend yourself if necessary.


  2. So I was looking for a .22LR handgun:
    - for my wife’s ccw
    - to save money for my own target shooting
    - to have a backup home defense option

    I decided on the Walther P22 LSR.
    At first I was a little wary about internet posting that claimed frequent FTE/FTL, but it seemed like people were using low powered or cheap-n-dirty ammo.

    So I did some research and selected
    - CCI Velocitor 40gr 1435fps hollow-point to try for HD
    - CCI Mini-Mag 40gr 1235fps copper plated round nose to try for accuracy
    - CCO Blazer 40gr 1235fps lead round nose to try something cheaper

    After waiting ten days to pick it up, I didnt have the patience to take it home and strip-clean it. The action seemed ready out of the box so I went straight to the range.

    Started with the Velocitor… sweet little cartridges with lots of pop and pretty accurate, although I wasn’t doing any formal sighting, just shooting. Barely any smoke and very clean. No issues at all with FTE or FTL through 50-60 rounds.
    The muzzle flash is more white than yellow-orange.

    Moved to the Mini-Mag… also a nice consistent pop through 60 rounds with obviously high-grade propellant and very little smoke. The muzzle flash is also white. Great accuracy as well.

    Finally started shooting the Blazer. Comparably these have much more smoke, black, and really sooty residue. There is a gritty lubricant on the cartridges caused an FTE on the second round of mag 4 and susbequent mags.

    After about 60 rounds of Blazer I went back to Mini-Mag and had another FTE, and clearly the gun was gunked up from the Blazer rounds.

    The P22 is so much fun. It is indeed just what I was looking and hoping for. My hands are way too big for the P22 so I had to adjust my trigger pressure point from normal full size semi-auto handgun but it didn’t spoil the fun at all.

    I can’t wait to get my wife out to the range and work on SD, HD and CC scenarios with the P22. I’m sure after she gets used to it she’ll be ready for her own 9mm or .40.
    LCP? Bodyguard? Walther PPS? The P22 is a great trainer, practice gun, and with the right ammo and training, I don’t think it suffers much as an SD or CCW handgun.

    Buy the Walther P22 with confidence, and use the right ammo. The CCI ammo is a bit more expensive than Remington or Winchester bulk bricks, but still >5 times less than 9mm per round.

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