Which .22 takedown rifle for bugout bag/survival kit?


January 30, 2006, 07:02 PM
I'd like to stow a compact .22 rifle in my BOB/survival kit/backpack. I'm looking for new (not used) and seem to have focused on the Henry Survival Rifle (aka AR-7) and Marlin 70 (aka Papoose). Which would you choose and why, and am I missing any others that I should seriously consider?

I'd like to keep the price around $200 or less. Key factors are weight; the smaller it stores the better; and reliability. I think the action should be semi-auto, not bolt or lever. Other than occassional plinking, this rifle will sit stowed in the BOB/survival kit/backpack. I'll eventually get a "regular" .22 for general purpose use.

The AR-7's receiver, barrel and 1 of the 2 mags stow in it's handle which seems pretty compact and seems to offer good protection from getting knocked around/damaged (and seems pretty cool, too). Weighs less than 3 pounds. Would seem to be the perfect choice. Is it too good to be true?

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January 30, 2006, 07:10 PM
I have not shot the papoose, although it does look like it would be a good rifle, if they are anything like other Marlins. Bulkier than the AR-7. The papoose does come with a floating case. Not sure that the AR-7 will float if it takes a swim in the drink.
The AR-7 is a good little gun. The stock is larger (of course) than most rifles, but this is the price you pay for the overall compactness of the gun itself.
A friend of mine has one that he loves. The only problem with it is it does not like some of the standard velocity .22 ammo. Simple solution, really. About all he shoots out of his .22s are CCI Stingers, so it is not really an issue to him.

Both rifles are/should be 200 bucks or less. Gunbroker has both right now for right at two bills, look around locally, you may find them for less.

Edited to add: Ok, after a little bit of research, it looks like the AR-7 will float.

January 30, 2006, 07:13 PM
I had a lot of problems with my AR-7. Especially in terms of ammo regardless of what I used. Accuracy was okay at best. I have heard very good things about the Marlin Papoose. One of these days I will pick one up. I sold the AR-7 a long time ago and I have no regrets about getting rid of it.

January 30, 2006, 07:22 PM
The ''Papoose'' is maybe not so easily ''stowable'' - because parts do not all go inside a common container like the AR. That said - it would not be too hard to pack away with a little planning in advance - possibly even a custom canvas pouch deal which would be smaller than the zipper baggy it comes in.

I'd certainly vote for it re a shooter. Mine has a cheapie red dot on it and is just perfect for squirrel category work and plinking. Only thing that irks me is - it comes with 7 round mags!! I mean 7 - and yet you can get tens - I did pick one up at a gunshow. That aside - I'd recommend it.


January 30, 2006, 07:35 PM
I'd like to stow a compact .22 rifle in my BOB/survival kit/backpack. I'm looking for new (not used) and seem to have focused on the Henry Survival Rifle (aka AR-7) and Marlin 70 (aka Papoose). Which would you choose and why, and am I missing any others that I should seriously consider?


If you are going to choose to plan ahead and have a long-gun in a bug-out kit (and therefore in your hands as a primary weapon if you need that kit) why would you choose a .22?

For small game, its fine I guess. But your long gun is your prime weapon. If you want something cheap, small and reasonably accurate, I could see a hi-point or keltec carbine in 9mm. The keltec SUB2000 folds in half and would fit in a backpack easily. Automatic, too. Uses the same mags as several different pistol makers.

But, it is 9mm rather than .22, giving a lot more power to the target.

Better yet is a lightweight bolt action or lever action carbine in a real rifle caliber. .30-30, .270, .308, something like that. Something with light projectile weight but high speed (120-130gr at about 2500-3000fps), so its ammo is light enough to carry a hundred rounds or so.

If you want a bunny-killer, get a cheap .22 pistol that is decently accurate like a Taurus 94 or Ruger mark II.

But don't set yourself up for failure and have your prime long gun if SHTF be a .22LR. Would that .22 get you out of New Orleans? Will it stop a gang of 3-4 guys who are determined to take your survival equipment? Will it kill the polar bears that just escaped from the San Diego Zoo and are now 100 yards down the street moving towards you after the freak pacific hurricane practically leveled the city?


January 30, 2006, 07:55 PM
You all have good points. I'm on the fence for sure. I've toyed with buying either of those little 22's months ago but the reviews were too mixed including older models of the AR7 that jammed frequently. So Bunny Bear Killer here has a good point that your primary weapon should be a multitasker. Much like kitchen appliances and tools and in the intersts of cost and efficiency(which implies usability, accesability, its singular effectiveness as applied in various circumstances)you want a champ. I'd be weary of investing in a parachute that might not open 25% of the time. 9mm though? the pic of this papoose sure sells it. The barrel detatches for compactness I guess? Are the Marlin 60's more accurate? Will any of them shoot a souped up 22 bullet? Will the Papoose work with the 60's 10 rnd mag? Lets get right to it.

>$230= compact, synthetic?, bolt or auto, .243 .270 Any Brand
Somebody call it. Best versatile survival rifle.

January 30, 2006, 08:03 PM
60's are tube fed.

One word. Browning.

If you want a single-shot rabbit hunter, get a Stevens Favorite takedown. Small, light, not much to break.

I have yet to hear a good thing about an AR7.

January 30, 2006, 08:04 PM
having owned both, I'd vote for the papoose. I just felt it was a better gun, although it did lack the ability to stow away as easily as the ar-7. My brother is currently teaching his kids how to shoot on the papoose . . .its a good little gun and is rare enough at the range to be a conversation starter.

January 30, 2006, 08:11 PM
Centerfire Rifles won't be found under $200 unless they are used.

The lone exception to this rule is the Rossi single-shot series, but they aren't something I want to depend on for defense or escape from a bad situation.

Guns I think you could find for under $200 are:
Mosin Nagant 7.62x54 Russian
SKS 7.62x39
Used Winchester 94 .30-30
Used Saiga AK knockoff in .223 or .308

Honestly between the choices I thought up here, I would go for the Win94 or SKS.

Seems to me a kit survival gun should be something you can take out and clean once a year, but otherwise just leave in a closet or trunk and know it will work just fine when you need it.

The Win94 is the lightest of the group I listed above. I would probably choose it. Actually, I have.:)

January 30, 2006, 08:20 PM
One of the first rifles I ever had as a kid was an AR-7. I must have been lucky because mine was quite reliable. That one was sold by my dad, not sure why, and I got another one a few years ago. It was also very reliable. I went so far as to get the scope mount and a different kind of tube stock for this new one. It's been just as accurate as the first one was. These may be anecdotal and not representative of general quality, but they're my experiences.

For what it's worth, they do float when tucked away into the stock. Handy little suckers. I have no idea what your bug out/shtf plans are, but I too would give serious thought to what your requirements/needs are going to be and if the weight and bulk of a .22 rifle are worth it compared to a full-caliber rifle. Location, local types of game, potential to actually hunt that game, likelihood of meeting a foe, equipment that a significant other/buddy will already have, etc. (not to imply that you haven't already kept these things in mind..)

They say 1/3 the fun of a backpacking trip is in the planning. I agree and would extend that truth to planning for these types of 'uh-oh' situations. I'd spend a lot of time diagnosing my likely needs, just to be sure I'd be fully suited by a .22.

January 30, 2006, 08:24 PM
I wouldn't get either; I'd find a used Nylon 66. You can depend on the accuracy and the durability. If it doesn't fit in your BOB, then get a bigger bag.

January 30, 2006, 08:29 PM
cz 452 scout. Its not breakdown but it is small. Insanely accurate, and can digest any .22 cartridge you can stuff into it short of .22 mag.
Even has a single-shot adapter that would allow you to feed it .22 shorts.
I would not choose a stevens favorite. It only seems like a good idea. Many folks at rimfirecentral.com have had pronlems with theirs. It is not the same design as the earlier favorite models.
Basically, I recommend any simple, well-made bolt-gun that can operate as a single-shot. Simple. Reliable. Accurate. Effective.

January 30, 2006, 08:42 PM
60's are tube fed. I meant will the papoose use the mag from the 795? I'll look up some of these recs.

January 30, 2006, 08:53 PM
If you want to stay under $200 and wanted more firepower, Hi-Point has a 9mm carbine for about $140. 16.5" bbl, 10shot mag and scope mount.
Personally though I like those break down .22's.

January 30, 2006, 09:15 PM
You have all made excellent points, so let me elaborate. This takedown .22 would NOT be a primary defensive weapon. I would have with me at least a .38 &/or .357 Magnum revolver &/or a 9mm s/a pistol (and lots of 9mm/.38 +P/.357 ammo, mags/speedloaders). Like I said in my original post, this .22 would mostly sit stowed in the pack except for occassional plinking (to make sure it works and that I'm used to it). In primary long guns I'd certainly have (conditions permitting) a .30-06 MBR.

Sooooo, all that in mind, my original question still stands.

PS: A Kel-Tec Sub 2000 is already on my shopping list, with mags that work in my 9mm s/a, as is a .38/.357 lever carbine.

January 30, 2006, 09:52 PM
A quality .22 pistol would be more compact and more accurate than the AR7.

January 30, 2006, 10:10 PM
Just put your Ruger Mark II or III in the bag and you're better off. So, it doesn't float? Want a light rifle, again get the Nylon 66 or customize a Ruger 10/22 with pistol grip or something that you like. I wouldn't want to have to depend on AR-7 for anything. Cute idea, but.... Want a game getter; go with a Contender with a couple different barrels and ammo.

January 30, 2006, 10:25 PM
I'm not sure that I'm decided either way on the issue, but I'd have to disagree that a good .22 pistol would be more accurate than the AR-7. I've owned a couple of ruger .22 pistols, but only a 22/45 currently. I consider it to be very accurate and a good example of that breed. The AR-7 fills a different niche than most .22 rifles, but it is still an accurate rifle. My point is that both are more than accurate enough to do the job, and at ranges where slight differences in accuracy matter, the pistol gets that much harder to make successful hits with, compared to a rifle.

Though I consider myself a pistol shooter before a rifleman, I'd have to say it's a lot easier to be accurate with a rifle than with a pistol, especially when you're half starved and dinner is riding on a successful shot.

Perpster, I'm pleased that you've already made plans for a primary defensive weapon. Since you've already got at least two other firearms besides this potential .22 rifle, weight will of course be at a premium. It's this point that makes me undecided as to whether or not a pistol would be suitable. A ruger with one of those custom lightweight uppers would be an awfully tempting offer, all things considered.

Anyone know whether some low-power .38 specials out of a 16" barrel make a useable varmint round? I've only used .22s when small game hunting. If the .38s would suffice, it seems like the .357 levergun combined with your revolver would have most of the bases covered with just two instead of three firearms. But this last part is just uneducated spitballing.

Ad Astra
January 30, 2006, 10:53 PM
I have the Charter Arms iteration of the AR-7.... and it goes places where no other rifle can, in terms of space limitations.

Jams with the 7 rounds mags. All of them. Jams with a 15-rounder.

Works absolutely flawlessly with a Ram-Line 25 round mag.

Better than having a .22 pistol... I guess... and it will float.

It's worth the space it takes up, I'll put it that way. Don't forget the .22 tracer ammo, shotshells & Stingers.

Brian Williams
January 30, 2006, 11:27 PM
Mine is a Marlin 39M, not $200 but the best take down 22lr I know

January 30, 2006, 11:54 PM
It's pretty safe to write that the best two current-production takedown .22 rifles are these two:

1. Browning SA-22, an actual John Browning design still in production:

2. Marlin 39A, takedown lever action:

Each will shoot any .22 round from shorts to LR's; the lever gun will shoot CB or similar low-power rounds. Actually, each will, but with CB's you generally need to manually cycle a semiauto.

Neither is cheap, but neither is overpriced, either. They're both truly great firearms.

Also, a Ruger 10/22 with a folding stock is a reliable, flexible, and cheap option.

I have to agree with those who suggest a pistol, though, too. My 22/45 Gov't Target (6 7/8" slab bull barrel) groups a lot like my 10/22 offhand, especially with irons. And it's really tolerant of fouling as well as different kinds of ammo.

Highland Ranger
January 31, 2006, 12:16 AM
I have the browning in stainless - bought new from a limited edition run which I believe is discontinued. Still a few around. I love it.

Having said that, its hard to beat the stainless Papoose with the floating case at half the price of the browning.

The marlin makes more sense as a truck gun . . . .

I've also heard bad things about the henry et al ar7 - but no first hand experience.

Again, you could get both for the price of the browning . . . .

January 31, 2006, 12:33 AM
i like to cheat when it comes to surival, i dont just want to carry a .22 rifle, i also like to have a shotgun. so i carry a Springfield M6 seen below:


it shoots .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle out of the .22 upper barrel, and .410 shotgun shot or buckshot out of the lower. i keep it in this case that Springfield sells:


they stopped making this gun back in April of 04, so they are getting rare on the market and prices are going up. they sell them in both black parkerized and stainless steel. i got the stainless to last long in bad conditions.

I shoot CCI Mini-mag HP's out of it usually, but i like the fact that i can shoot any of the 3 .22 types of ammo out of it, so i can scavange whatever i happen to find.

For the .410 barrel, i carry Wichester #6 shot 3" shells and Winchester either 3 or 5 pellet 000 Buckshot. you can take a small deer with the .410 buckshot, up close, in an emergency as well as use it for up close defense from cougar, black bear (wait till its in close) and two legged preditors.

i did some mods to mine, some of the credit for some of the mods go to a VShrake, who wrote an article on it on the web. I took a dremel and undercut the front sight, causing a shadow and making it easier to see the front sight through the rear peep sight. i then painted the peep sight and the fron sight black for visibility. i also removed the crappy trigger guard on it. the trigger needs some getting used to, but when you figure it out, it works well.

I added a sling swivle stud to the back stock and made a sling out of 1" tubular webbing. I took two folding knife sheaths that hang with the length of the sling and in one i put a Silvia brand match case/compass. in the other i put a Camillus military folding knife and a Mini-maglite. all this can be seen in the above pic. NOTE: i do not recommend wrapping the barrels with cordage , it may warp the barrels. i have since taken it off mine. I also bought a hammer extender from Cabellas to make it easier to pull back the hammer if my thumbs are wet or frozen, works great.

i have bought a couple of rifle ammo wallets to carry extra .410 ammo with the gun, and i carry a 100 round box of ammo with the case. it stores 15 rounds of .22 ammo and 4 rounds of .410 shells in a compartment in the stock.

i have used my M6 to hunt squirrels in the mountains of Colorado with both the .22 and the .410, they both worked well.

You would be giving up the semi-auto feature for the .22 by having the extra .410, but i dont mind as i carry a Ruger 22/45 for a semi - auto.
Good luck -Eric

January 31, 2006, 02:04 AM
+1 on the M6 (http://www.alpharubicon.com/leo/m6survrifle.htm)

410 slug may even be helful against bear.

pete f
January 31, 2006, 02:43 AM
I would second a ruger 10/22 with a folding stock or retractable stock. have no links but they do work.

way more reliable. mags a cheap and plentiful, will feed cb shorts, and to make it function it just becomes a straight line bolt.

January 31, 2006, 02:52 AM
And while I have my aks to stop the hungry zombies I like the idea of a stow away 22.

I have two no three great suggestions for you.

If you want to get off cheap. CDNN has Rossi rifle shotgun combos that break down and some come with storage bags. They have combos of like 17hmr, .22 and 12, 20 or .410 and maybe other rifle or pistol caliber barrels could be had from factory. They show a 12-.22 combo for $99. I can't tell you the survival type versatility of having a 12 guage and a 22 in the same go bag. It even has screw in chokes!

next how about a ruger 10-22 with a folding stock and 30rnd mags?

final suggestion a new savage 22 410 over and under?

oop make that four suggestions. They have a Rossi that has a rifled .45colt/410 barrel. That is just one break down gun that would be real real versatile.

What do you think? -bevr

January 31, 2006, 06:37 AM
What Armed Bear said.

IMO the Browning .22 takedown is the best one out there bar none. It is also one of the best general purpose .22 rifles ever made.


January 31, 2006, 02:13 PM
If you want to get off cheap. CDNN has Rossi rifle shotgun combos that break down and some come with storage bags. They have combos of like 17hmr, .22 and 12, 20 or .410 and maybe other rifle or pistol caliber barrels could be had from factory. They show a 12-.22 combo for $99. I can't tell you the survival type versatility of having a 12 guage and a 22 in the same go bag. It even has screw in chokes!

BevrFevr: Do you have a link? I tried http://www.cdnnsports.com/ and it says no firearms, just accessories.

January 31, 2006, 02:47 PM
Perp, on the right hand side of the links click on the "download newest catalogue" ling and you can download the guns in PDF format.

January 31, 2006, 02:56 PM
Taurus also makes a takedown .22 semiauto. The Browning Buckmark Varmint is a pistol with a 10" barrel. Just a couple more options.

January 31, 2006, 03:35 PM
Well, I've got this:


I keep it in a Papoose case. :D It's accurate as any plinker, 1" 25 yard groups and I've hunted successfully with it. The trigger sux, but is managable.

But, in the situation you're describing, I'd rather have this:


Or, maybe even this (not compact as the other two):


No 9mm carbines or other such pop guns for me! I wound feel fairly happy with my .357 magnum carbine, though. Too, if I were trying to live off the land, maybe my .308 bolt gun would be better. Lots of ways to go. The folding stock SKS has a case with about 200 rounds of ammo in the pouches. That's the one I'd think of for compact and ready to go.

January 31, 2006, 09:45 PM

if todays catalog is the same as the one I have downloaded then look at page 49 and page 68. They sell all kinds of guns and I have bought lots of mags etc. through them with no complaints whatsoever.

plenty of good low cost alternatives. All gun snobery aside I would rather you live with what you can afford vs. die with what you cant.

I think I will pick up a rossi just for the halibut. For the price it would be hard to go wrong but hey I bought a die cast daisy .22 at one time. the bolt handle blew off in my face. It was "brazed" on to the die cast pig metal bolt.

I guess what I am saying is I don't have a rossi and they could be a total pos but for the price it would be worth checking them out.


January 31, 2006, 10:15 PM
SU 16 or .357 Trapper.

January 31, 2006, 10:22 PM
Well, it may sound corny, but I try to buy American whenever I can. A local gun store tried to sell me on a Benelli Nova Pump over a Mossberg 590 and I said no for that reason (even though the Mossberg costs a bit more). Is the Rossi US made? I'll take a look at the suggestions made in this thread, but with US made getting the preference where possible.

January 31, 2006, 11:25 PM
Rossi is WAY not American made.

Please forgive my foreign born weapons no matter how sweet they are. I own plenty of US steel too. Even the US Army is willing to use weapons from other countries when they do the job. Toooooo long a list of these to mention. Going back further than 1776 even. Not the army but the use of foriegn hardwear.

Hey man stick to your patriotic guns but 2 of the biggest American manufacturers sold us down the river while the "import guns" stuck by us.

Good Luck finding what you are looking for.


January 31, 2006, 11:37 PM
American made is a preference, not a requirement. After all, I own a Glock, which is made in the former USSR (Georgia) :D

January 31, 2006, 11:59 PM
I suggest the ruger markII/III/22/45 type pistol with a bull barrel of about 5.5 or more inches in stainless with see-through scope mount for a small approx 2.5X scope. This should be just as accurate as the less portable rifles. Make up for the weight (or at least space) savings by adding a a defensive-caliber pistol or rifle to your pack or person. Life is about compromise.

February 1, 2006, 12:14 AM
Student makes a good point but a pistol ain't no rifle now matter how accurate it is.

I think you are smarter to focus on a rifle first. A pistol is a last ditch tool for self defense and a hobbiests tool for hunting. If you are hungry or really afraid you will be far happier with a rifle in your hands than even a .50 pistol.

ymmv -bevr

February 1, 2006, 12:22 AM
I've already got the defensive handguns covered. It's a portable .22 rifle I'm looking for.

February 1, 2006, 12:23 AM
You guys suck. There were, like THREE freakin' posts about the Springfield M6, and now I'm lusting for one so hard that I've been reading survivalism articles and reviews of that thing all night.

God a'mighty, I need to stop reading THR, because one of these days, it's going to cost me a HOJILLION dollars.

"I want one of those. No, I want three." ~The High Roader's Motto

P.S.~ :D
P.P.S.~ Shirt Idea: "I joined The High Road... and all I got was this stupid Bankruptcy Form."

February 1, 2006, 03:47 PM
I have an AR-7 (a new one) and can't find anything good to say about it. Ok, it stows in the stock.

It is inaccurate (I don't think it is me as I'm accurate with any other rifle), The rear peep is adjusted by loosening a screw and sliding by hand the thin strip of metal that the peep is drilled in to and then tightening the screw again. The front sight is so loose I can easily slide it with my fingers (front sight slides in a dovetail).

I've tried a range of ammunition in it and get about 5% misfires (guesstimate on my part).

I've heard that AR-7s are actually good rifles (for what they are meant to be) but that the new ones (such as I bought) aren't. I would advise something else unless you can find an old one cheap.

February 1, 2006, 08:00 PM
+1 on the M6 (http://www.alpharubicon.com/leo/m6survrifle.htm)

410 slug may even be helful against bear.

The newer M6's manufactured by CZ and distributed by Springfield Armory have a .410 barrel with a full choke only. The gun will shoot the slugs, but the accuracy with the full choke is terrible! thats why i choose to shoot only the 000 Buckshot with either 3 or 5 pellets, give me a better chance to hit something is enough lead is out there flying. :scrutiny:

You guys suck. There were, like THREE freakin' posts about the Springfield M6, and now I'm lusting for one so hard that I've been reading survivalism articles and reviews of that thing all night.

God a'mighty, I need to stop reading THR, because one of these days, it's going to cost me a HOJILLION dollars.

"I want one of those. No, I want three."

Sorry man, they are nice guns, i wouldnt part with mine for any amount of $$$. if you get a chance, get one as soon as possible. i bought mine 2 years ago new for $220 in stainless. i see used parkerized black ones for that price now. they quit making them in April of 2004 and were supposed to come out with a new, folding pistol grip stock one after, but we have been waiting 2 years already. i called them, with no plans to get them on the market any time soon.

i would rather have the good solid one that i have now, cause if its a bad situation and i run outta ammo, its a solid enough gun to use as an effective club!

February 1, 2006, 08:15 PM
I have a stainless M6 in 22 Hornet/410. The 410 is pretty handy with bird shot and five 00 buck pellets (S&B) carry some pretty good oomph. Patterns well and hits to POA with the few different loads I've tried. I haven't shot slugs out of it, but a friend has out of his: he compares power to a 357. He also states that accuracy past 50 is poor.

I went with the 22 Hornet because of the extra firepower; in a pinch, it will take a deer or other larger game, 22LR is redundant with the 410 (small game foraging). Only advantage of the 22LR cartridge would be the ability to buy ammo just about anywhere, but the way I see it is if I'm where I can buy ammo, I could probably buy a Big Mac and fries as well. Accuracy with 22H and factory sights is very good past 100 yards.

Trigger is different, but easy to use once you shoot a bit. I prefer to shoot it crossbow style using my middle finger instead of trigger finger. I took the lawyer-mandated trigger guard off as it looked like it would easily bend and interfere with trigger. Plus it was difficult to shoot gun wearing gloves when guard was in place.

Some helpful links:

I keep mine in a 21" X 12" soft case intended to hold an Encore pistol (buy from Midway). Stored inside this case with the gun is a sling with the buck/bird shot loops, ammo wallets, 50 assorted rounds of 410, 100 rounds of 22 Hornet, and a good sharp hunting knife. The butt stock also has storage for ammo; a small fishing kit fits nicely in there as well. And yes, paracord wrapping the barrels is "required".

If you are looking for a self-contained and compact knockabout rfle that can live for long periods forgotten in a case and be ready for action in a moment, the M6 is ideal.

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