The Prepper’s Rimfire (22 LR)

28 Apr

Ingrained in my brain is that a box of 50 22 Long Rife shells should cost a buck. A brick of 500 should cost $10. Two cents a round. Those are the prices I remember most. I had a friend who loved getting good bargains. Whenever a brick of 22 LRs went on sale for $8 or $9, we’d head to the store and “back up the truck” buying as much as we could afford.

Recently, prices have risen. Some have even used the expression “The Great Ammo Shortage.”

The 22 Long Rifle was relatively inexpensive. It allows more practice. Its low recoil make it the perfect caliber for new shooters. A staple for small game hunting, the 22 LR can be used for defense, if need be. The Ruger 10/22 is a prepper favorite.

The ability to “stock up” huge amounts of 22 LR ammo made it popular with old-school survivalists. Some even talked about ammo as a future currency in a world gone awry. I never fully bought into that belief and still don’t.

In the future, growing world demand for metals will drive up the price of all ammo. That’s a bummer for serious target shooters, but shouldn’t affect your survival.

Think about the pioneers. These guys weren’t blasting off thousands of rounds a year. They made every shot count. When hunting, they got close enough so they knew they could bag the animal they stalked.

One load that deserves special mention is the 22 Long CB cap. The 22 Long is a shorter version of the 22LR, but it’s not as short as the 22 Short, which is, a…, short. You can fire 22 Longs in the 22LR. What makes the 22 Long CB caps nice is that they’re quiet, especially when fired from a longer barrel. If noise is an issue, give CB caps a try.

The other unique thing about 22 LR brass is that it can be used to make jackets for 223 Remington bullets. I’ve never attempted this myself. But, it’s an option for somebody who shoots a lot of 223 Remington and who wants to recycle their 22 LR brass.

Many people wonder about the adequacy of the 22 LR for self defense and deer hunting. It’s not the best cartridge for either, and illegal for big game in many areas. But if you imagine a time when everybody else has run out of ammo and all that remains is the humble 22 LR, having a 22 is much better than having no gun. Because you don’t want the bullet to break up, solid bullets are a good choice.

The 22 Long Rifle is common in pistols as well as rifles. Professional assassins and spooks are said to favor a silenced 22 semiautomatic pistol. Because it has low recoil, several shots can be quickly fired into the target’s head at close distances. This isn’t the same as depending upon the caliber to stop an amped-up attacker with a torso shot. We, as preppers, aren’t likely to have the icy coolness of a professional killer in precision shooting when our lives are in danger. Military types employ the 22 LR in this way too.

If you’ve read any military hand-to-hand combat manuals, you’ll recall a chapter or two about “silencing sentries” or the guys who are standing watch before they can sound an alarm, scream, or shoot their weapon.

In these military manuals, the methods are nearly comical. Sneak up behind the soldier and yank at his helmet. If it’s not strapped under the chin, spin it around and smash him in the head with it. Really? I mean: Really? The old K-bar to the back while holding the mouth so he doesn’t scream is another dubious technique.

The people who train in this unpleasantness like the 22 LR. A silenced Ruger pistol or even a silenced 10/22 rifle is used for head shots. A sentry shot in the head won’t alert others. No other shot will immobilize as quickly. This isn’t the same as relying on the 22 LR as a defensive rifle. As preppers, we aren’t going on any stealth missions. The only defensive application we have for the 22 LR is that it’s a backup if we completely run out of ammunition for our other weapons.

The best use for the 22 LR is that it allows significant practice. So get out and shoot!

Charlie Palmer -Author The Prepper Next Door

Discussions of making 223 jackets:

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