Recommendations for a SHTF .22?


December 19, 2008, 04:13 AM
I do not know my .22 rifles. By a 'SHTF .22', I am looking for a reasonably accurate .22 rifle for hunting small game. It would be nice if it can, in a pinch, go a little while between cleanings while still functioning. Certainly, it does not need to be life-or-death reliable, like a defense weapon. I would like the ability to mount a scope on it. The option of getting it with a synthetic stock would be nice. I do not want a single-shot.

If the rifle is small-ish, light weight, folding, or otherwise easy to carry, that's a nice bonus too. I don't have a lot to spend lately, so I'm looking for one of the "best deals" types of rifles. Maybe I can get two recommendations - a good accurate .22 and another that has the benefit of folding if sacrificing accuracy? Can it be kept under or around $300?


ETA: I guess people have not read my post following this one. I do not want a single-shot .22. This gun should be capable as a fun range gun too. That's a lot of the reason I want to be able to mount a scope. I do like the simplicity of a bolt action.

ETA again: Ok, can we narrow some options down? What would be a bolt action .22, capable of mounting a scope, good accuracy (~2MOA or less), with more than 5 shots (10+ would be great)???? Oh, and around/under $300? Definitely want to attach a sling and a little smaller is better (under 40" OAL would be good).

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Jed Carter
December 19, 2008, 04:45 AM
This is the most prolific .22 rifle, parts, magazines ( up to 50 rounds ) are everywhere. They shoot great and are very ( convertable ), from a polymer side folding stock to a thumb hole laminate with a bull barrel. The final word is Ruger 10-22.

December 19, 2008, 07:19 AM
IMHO, a true SHTF .22 would be a pump with a long tube feed that would take .22short, long, or long rifle. I have a hundred year old Winchester that has NEVER jammed in the fifty years I have been shooting it.

December 19, 2008, 07:23 AM
IF you can find one, a good used Remington Nylon 66 should fit that bill quite nicely.

December 19, 2008, 08:12 AM
How about a Henry Lever Acton?
Holds 15/.22lr and up to 21/.22 shorts

Acurate, good customer service-you can mount a scope-
Dicks Sporting Goods had them for around $219 not to long ago-
Gives you enough extra $$$$ for a scope and some ammo for $300-

The only thing is that I do not have a synthetic stock for them, at least not one I have found. (

December 19, 2008, 08:27 AM
Seems to me a semo auto would be the last thing you'd want, too many things to hang up. I would go with a bolt action. You can still pick up pre accutrigger Savage Mark II Fs (synthetic stock) for under $120. I'm not sure why you'd need takedown but these only weight 5 lb. Put the rest of the money into a scope (do you really even need that?) and a cache of ammo.

December 19, 2008, 08:45 AM
What I really need is a good fan to handle all the S that must be coming down the pike.

Any recommendations? Should I start a thread?

December 19, 2008, 08:55 AM
agree, the lever gun that I have had for the last twenty some years (Browning) is faithful, never jams, is accurate and I have a scope and irons as well.

My brothers both have Marlins, and they do jam.

December 19, 2008, 08:56 AM
I'd also recommend a decent bolt action. If you're hunting, the first shot is all you'll really need, so a speedy follow up isn't all that important. I have both a bolt and a semi-auto 22, and over the years, the bolt has taken a LOT more game. They're simple, rugged, reliable, and just about foolproof. And since it's a SHTF rifle, I'd stick with open iron sights rather than a scope on a rimfire. Marlin, Savage, and Remington all make good affordable models.

December 19, 2008, 08:59 AM
If you get a bolt, look long and hard at the CZ line. If you get a CZ, look long and hard at the Trainer--the iron sights are ambrosia for the iron sight shooting gods.

December 19, 2008, 10:25 AM
I's say the Ruger 10/22. It's both tried and true. You can get them with 16in, 18.5in, and 20in barrels. There's even a 10/22 pistol.

December 19, 2008, 10:36 AM
I would have to go with a bolt gun. Let me explain before the 10/22 crowd stomps me into a bloody heap.... I have a 10/22 (which I love), a Marlin 99, and a Remington TargetMaster. If I use CCI Minimags, the autos function for me without fail. However, Cheap (bargain) packs of ammo, they dont like so much. The bolt gun eats it all. Now definitly, you ain't gonna be able to rapid fire a bolt gun, but when using bargain ammo, usually she always functions without a jam. Marlin, Remington, Henry make some real nice ones. Mossberg makes a Plinkster for about 100.00.

December 19, 2008, 10:37 AM
10/22.The thing never jams and gobbles any cruddy .22 LR made.The argument for pumps and boltys has some merit,but the odds on you finding a box of .22 longs [not long rifle] or shorts nowadays are pretty slim.

December 19, 2008, 10:44 AM
Ruger 10/22 with a good scope, several 25 round Butler Creek magazines and about 5000 rounds of ammunition. At least, that's my approach.

December 19, 2008, 10:47 AM
Marlin Papoose. Very reliable, pretty accurate, incredibly light weight, breaks down like a survival rifle, synthetic stock, bolt catch, removeable magazine, scope rail, about $200.

December 19, 2008, 10:47 AM
I'd recommend a CZ 452 bolt rifle, as well - except the Scout version. Very small, very light, very handy, very reliable, and very accurate. Comes with a single shot mag, but accepts standard CZ 452 5-shot, as well as a 10-shot mags, too. Mount a scope with QR rings, install some slings studs, and IMO, you'd have just about the ideal SHTF .22LR.

December 19, 2008, 10:50 AM
10/22s eat everything that you throw at them too. I once found about 11rds of 22lr ammo of various brands sitting on a table at the range one morning. I procceeded to load the rounds into the magazine and cut loose on a target without a hitch.

December 19, 2008, 10:56 AM
I just bought a Savage Mark II FS in stainless steel for a SHTF survival rifle. It has great sights. In PA a semi rifle is illegal for hunting. Best thing about this is it shoots and feeds super aguila rounds which are dead silent which will come in handy to hunt when the economy falls.

December 19, 2008, 10:57 AM
Ruger 10/22 gets my vote, sooooo many options !

December 19, 2008, 11:07 AM
Ruger 10/22 with a Butler Creek folding stock and 25-round magazines.

December 19, 2008, 11:44 AM
Marlin 981T is what you are looking for....

December 19, 2008, 12:00 PM
LOL, threads like this are always the same, everyone recommending what they have. By the way, I have had several 10/22s and they have all jammed at one time or another. Anyone who would trust a semi over a bolt in a life situation is a real gambler.

December 19, 2008, 12:03 PM
Too true woof on all accounts.

Not knocking any particular brand, but I would imagine all semi-auto 22s jam at some point or another unless you are meticulous about cleaning and hand pick your ammo, and, even then, I bet it still jams.

December 19, 2008, 12:06 PM
+1 CZ 452 one of the most accurate 22's you'll find. if it's SHTF weapon then you dont want an automatic 22. you want a precision 22 you can hit something with at 100 yards that will not let anything else know where you are. if you take on 5 armed deer with a 10/22 with a 25 round mag and red dot sight, you are suicidal. but hit just one of them armed deer with that cz at 125 yards, and the other 4 deer are hitting the ground taking cover

December 19, 2008, 12:36 PM
I think if you hit that deer with a .22LR at 125 yards and the other four hit the ground, they will be the only ones. There has been so much talk about the inadequacy of the .223 for deer let's not suggest the .22LR can drop one, especially at 125 yds.

Now that said, if it were a life situation and I needed to kill a deer I would have no problem doing it with a .22 if need be. But at that point I would be ignoring all the other laws too and would have no problem walking up with a spotlight or putting out salt. I would expect all shots in a true SHTF scenario to be close.

December 19, 2008, 01:42 PM
For lightweight and stowing capabilities, the kel-tec plr-22 or su-22 with underfolding stock is a nice option. I have heard a lot of good things about them. The problem is availability. A bit tough to find in today's market.

check over at for reviews. Gunbroker to buy.

December 19, 2008, 02:20 PM
King, I totally agree. I have a Remington 514 single shot I feel that way about. I've had it for 51 years.

December 19, 2008, 02:31 PM
Just because the Marlin is cheaper doesn't mean it's better.

December 19, 2008, 02:50 PM
In a real SHTF situation, I would rather carry my .22 pistol in a backpack for hunting small game, and carry my AK for the rifle part. My Ruger MKIII is very capable out to 50 yards, my 10/22 will only extend that capability out to 100 yards. The AK on the other hand is good past 300 yards. If I have to lug a rifle around, I want one that will function at rifle ranges. As for a survival gun... a .22 pistol with a few thousand rounds will do the job for me.
Come to think of it, a Ruger Single Six would make a perfect survival gun.

December 19, 2008, 03:16 PM

December 19, 2008, 03:35 PM
Just because the Marlin is cheaper doesn't mean it's better.

You are right, cheaper doesn't always mean better. That said, in my experience (and I have owned a number of each) the marlin is the better gun between it and the 10/22. I have had a number of 10/22s and out of the box the marlin 60 is more accurate, and reliable with a much wider range of ammo, and it costs about 1/2. Now I have tricked out at couple of 10/22s and they were great ........ after I spent another $200 -$300 on them. I have owned and shot Mossbergs, stevens, remmington, browning, and winchesters, and for the money the little Marlin is the best value. It shoots as accurately as guns costing 3-4 times as much and they are in my experience more reliable with a wider variety of ammo than most of those same guns. BUT semi's of any type will rarely be as reliable as other actions. That is especially true of rimfires.

I have owned a number of different pumps and like the remington best. I have an old alloy rec. remington that is a sweet shooting thing. Very reliable, and extremely accurate.

In my experience bolt rifles are a little more price dependent. High dollar guns are usually that much better than cheapo's with the Anshutz being at the top of the ladder. But in the LT $300 range the Marlin is still a decent option. They shoot great, are tough, solid made, and you usually can find a decent used 25 with the synthetic stock for $100 -125. My only real complaint with them is the triggers which are ok, but not great.

As for lever guns, I have owned and shot Winchesters, Brownings, Marlins, the Ruger 96/22, and the new henry. Overall these are all great guns. IMHO the Winchester and the Browning are the "prettiest" of the lot, the Marlin 39 is the best shooter, and most solidly built (I own 3 currently), but unless you scrounge around all of these are gonna be above you $300 target. The Henry is a very good little rifle that is worth the money, but I would still hold out for the Marlin. They are built like a center fire rifle, tough, break down into 2 pcs for storage, carry, or cleaning, and unless they are abused they will be working well for the next 100+ years.

Now for the OPs question were I looking for a SHTF .22 it would be a little tube fed Marlin 25. Bolt actions have less that can go wrong with them than any of the other actions, tube feeding is more reliable (in my experience), plus the tube is less likely to be lost or damaged than a mag. For $300 you can likely buy 2 of them and a couple or three thousand rounds of ammo. They are accurate, reliable, tough made, and parts are readily available so you can stock some spare parts. Maybe that not as sexy as a tricked out camo tacticool 10/22, but I think it would serve a person well.

December 19, 2008, 03:52 PM
Actually the Marlin Model 60 is about $40 cheaper than the Ruger 10/22. Should something go wrong with the Marlin's tubular magazine, you could end up with a $50 repair bill. Not so with the Ruger. Something goes wrong with it's magazine, you just buy another magazine. I'm not saying that the Marlin is a bad gun. They'll both run if kept clean. I'm just saying what I think is the better gun.

December 19, 2008, 04:33 PM
5 of those guns are 10 22's

December 19, 2008, 04:53 PM
semi auto .22's like the Ruger 10/22 will certainly jam from time to time. However, in my experience, the "jams" are nothing more than the empty cases getting pinched by the bolt before they fully clear the chamber. This generally requires you to pull back about 1/2 inch to clear the case (you may have to tilt the rifle a little to the right and let gravity to the rest).

In 15+ years of shooting the rugers I've never had any other types of "jams" such as FTF or FTE's. The time it takes to clear the casings is still half the time it would take to cycle a bolt action.

Sure a single shot is the most reliable, but I'd encourage you to think about practical usage and even a little bit of fun. In that case a semi-auto is the way to go be it a ruger or other brand.

December 19, 2008, 04:58 PM
I REALLY appreciate all the helpful responses!!! I can tell that asking which .22 rifle I should get is a little like asking "who has the best Mom?" :) Of course, that would be a silly question, because I already know the answer to that one.

Some good ideas for a SHTF .22, and other options for SHTF. A .22 pistol is a good idea (along with a SD rifle of a real caliber). However, I was kinda thinking that getting food would be most important, most of the time, and accuracy would suffer with a pistol, and I would not be shooting in a warm range with a good rest. If I could get something that was accurate and that folds or comes apart, I'd have the best of both worlds. I was considering a Marlin Papoose or even a Henry Survival Rifle.
Although, I am not overwhelmed with confidence in accuracy in a gun that comes apart.

As far as the request to have a scope mount, I do want this rifle to be a very capable fun-gun too. I really do not want a single-shot rifle. This gun should be good for plinking at the range, so I'd like something that can hold 5 rounds, AT A BARE MINIMUM. I like the design and simplicity of bolt action rifles, so I think that is the way I want to go. For the same price, shouldn't a bolt action be more accurate than a semi-auto too?

Also, thanks for the pictures too! Any more suggestions are certainly welcome!

December 19, 2008, 05:23 PM

Look no further. Clearly, the above rifle is the ne plus ultra of the practical .22, surpassed by no other. ;)

It's a 22" stainless 10/22 with XS sights and a synthetic stock. The trigger group has a VQ hammer and an extended mag release. The butt cuff holds three spare magazines on the gun, in case of zombie squirrel attack.

Without a doubt, the most fun gun to shoot that I own. It has run well over 6,000 rounds this year, with maybe two or three malfunctions. During that time it was cleaned a grand total of once, at about 5K. It gets rained on, sweated on, and it's stored in the trunk of the car. The only issue is that the nylon sling soaks up rain like a sponge. It needs a less porous replacement.

December 19, 2008, 06:02 PM
Once you get your SHTF .22, get a can for it ... and a wheelbarrow.

(come on, someone had to say it :neener: )

December 19, 2008, 06:14 PM
Shades of Gunkid:D

December 19, 2008, 06:15 PM
How important is semi automatic in the decision? If that's what interests you, +1 for the 10/22. Have shot a bird clean out of the sky with one of those things, they are accurate light weight and dependable. The remingong nylon guns are interesting too, but have never got my hands on one in person.

If the semi auto isn't the world, which hunting with a .22 it may or may not be, I would definately check out the Henry lever actions. Have had my eye on one in .17 for awhile now

December 19, 2008, 06:37 PM
Many good choices, I have a neat little bolt action made by Daisy a few years back. I bought it as a teaching tool as it has a stock that is adjustable for length. It's very light, uses rotary mags, is a take down. It's also unusual in that the barrel is plastic with a steel liner. It's not as accurate as my target
10/22 but handy. I don't think they are made anymore.

December 19, 2008, 06:43 PM
I'll stick with my Henry(of the lever variety), it will eat CBs all day long. If I'm hunting for food I'd rather not attract to much attention, those CBs are quiet.:)

December 19, 2008, 09:57 PM
whatever you do dont get any Ar 7's, they are crap, pure crap

December 19, 2008, 11:15 PM
Bolt action single shot that will chamber all of the .22's.
No magazines to get lost, tubes to bend, just keep shooting.

December 19, 2008, 11:24 PM
I'd probably go for a bolt action sporter. Savage, CZ, Marlin, whatever. They will all do the job and as long as even somewhat cared for will keep doing the job until all your ammo runs out.

I'd steer towards a lighter .22 as opposed to something with a heavy barrel since you'll likely be toting it around quite a bit. I'd probably make sure it has iron sights even if you intend to scope it. That way should somehitng happen to the scope, it's still usable.

December 20, 2008, 04:35 AM
I am a big fan of th CZ 452s. Excellent rifle, and you can easily expect 2MOA right out of the box.

However, if you want a true survival rifle, I would recommend the Springfield M6 Scout. Yes, it is a single shot rifle. But unlike all the other 22s listed, if you should happen upon a deer while rabbit hunting, you cock the hammer, press down on the hammer selecter, and shoot him with the .410 OOO buck loaded in the lower barrel. Winchester makes a nice 3 pellet load.

It folds in half too.

December 20, 2008, 05:02 AM
What does SHTF mean to you? When I think SHTF, I think about maybe, at some point, getting caught out & away from my tens of thousands of rounds of premium .22 ammo I have stockpiled. With that in mind, the idea of having a .22 rifle that will use ANY .22 ammo sounds pretty good. Look at Henry & Marlin lever actions and the .22 bolt guns. You can single load them very easily with almost any .22 ammo that you can scrounge up.
Just think about it. Semi auto is fun, but the point is to be as flexible as possible in the SHTF scenario, right? Thus, you need to be able to use a broad a range of .22 ammo as possible.
For "survival", look for mechanism reliability and ammo flexibility, not rate of fire.

December 20, 2008, 05:51 AM

A gun you might want to consider is an original Ruger 77/22 with the near-to-indestructable synthetic boat oar stock. They are available in stainless & with iron sights.

The only thing it misses on is the folder stock. However, you get the dead reliability of a bolt action, very decent accuracy, and stainless/syn with iron sights. Finding one will probably be a considerable adventure. Finding one cheap might be a life's work.

Then there's the Savage MKII GL youth. It's a very decent bolt gun with a down-sized stock, and the barreled action can be put into the adult stock if you so desire. An advantage there is it's also available in left hand bolt. Also, it's currently available and very affordable.


December 20, 2008, 09:49 AM
I love the 10/22 but lately, Ruger's QC seems to be a little spotty. I've bought two Rugers in the last year that have needed repairs to work right. The 10/22 needed a VQ extractor to get it reliable - small fix but I still shouldn't have had to fix a new gun.
Having said that, I'd buy another one.

The CZ-452 is also an excellent choice. They're deadly accurate and will work with any .22 ammo that will fit the chamber.

I prefer to avoid tube fed guns because the magazine tube/feed mechanism is a complex little critter. I've seen a few get messed up and require complete rebuilds to work again.
With a detachable magazine gun, you just slap another magazine in and the problem is fixed.

December 20, 2008, 10:23 AM
If I were staying home in a fan situation (which I would), I would go with the Ruger. IF I were in the woods, then I would probably go with a tubular magazine bolt action 22 rifle such as one of the old Remingtons or current Marlin. If more than one person is involved, you can pack two or a centerfire also.

Pistol is a good choice, but it takes a lot more practice to be able to shoot a squirrel or rabbit at normal ranges with the handgun. I would choose the Ruger Mark III with 5.5" heavy bull barrel. Yes, it is scopable.

December 20, 2008, 10:49 AM
Once you get your SHTF .22, get a can for it ... and a wheelbarrow.

(come on, someone had to say it )

December 20, 2008, 11:12 AM
IMHO, a true SHTF .22 would be a pump with a long tube feed that would take .22short, long, or long rifle. I have a hundred year old Winchester that has NEVER jammed in the fifty years I have been shooting it.


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 20, 2008, 01:37 PM
This is about the only .22 I'd feel comfortably defending the homestead with in a SHTF scenario:

December 20, 2008, 02:02 PM
If serious hits, one is not going to have the luxury of a gunsmith on the corner, or being able to have the little brown truck bring them parts.

Less is More.
Simple is Good.

To reiterate what others have shared.
Plus what is proven to have worked...

-Single shot .22 and I like the option of being able to use .22 short, long and long rifle.

-Remington Nylon 66 and I suggest the butt fed model .
-Remington Speedmaster , (semi-auto) which will take short, long, long rifle
-Remington Fieldmaster , (pump) which will shoot S,L,LR

-Marlin 60

-Browning Auto .22

-Winchester 9422

-Marlin 39

Just what has been done numerous times before and still applies.

This is where a single shot, tube fed bolt, lever action and pump action rise above many other choices.

Magazines are part of the gun, so if these get messed up, lost, one may end up with single shot.
Again, we don't know what the serious is, still magazines have to be considered.

The old ones were "less" ammo picky. The newer ones I have tried, are more picky about ammo.

Serious Situation, and getting ammo is to be difficult.
.22 rim-fire qmmumition is great Barter material, still it would be bad to have a gun picky about ammo and it not shoot it well, again leaving one with a single shot.

i.e. for some reason you lose .22 rim-fire ammunition, but still have wicks for oil lamps, and wicks for Zippo lighters and flints for Zippos, (other great barter items) and all the person has is standard pressure, or .22 shorts.

.22 short will take small game, or put down a nice size critter caught in a snare. Just ease up and put one near the back of the ear.
Though you might be best saving that round and using a sling shot with a rock instead.

Blending in another consideration.
Meaning something simple that allows one to travel more discreet, and in use, appears to be a simple gun, to put food on the table, or keep pests away.

Do not rule out a Youth, or Kids sized single shot either. A smaller person, such as a kid, has a right to a firearm too if matters get serious, and an adult can conceal and use one very effectively as well.

Go handle a Pink Cricket, Chipmunk , Marlin Youth, Henry Youth and see for yourself.

Sling it African carry, put your coat on, and go on about your business...

December 20, 2008, 03:43 PM
My vote goes to the 10/22. I had borrowed a marlin 60 from my brother in-law and shot about 500 rounds through it before I bought my 10/22. The Marlin was a good rifle but the 10/22 had a better feel, although SMALL it works well. The only complaint I have with the 10/22 is that it will not shoot the bulk pack wal-mart federal ammo. It jams every few shots with that stuff, so far with every other brand of ammo it works fine. I've even shot 300 rounds of Remington subsonics through it without any failures. The 10/22 is very accurate as well. I would kinda like to have a bolt-action also but I will probably buy a .17hmr for a bolt action rifle.

December 20, 2008, 04:19 PM
that leaps to mind as a SHTF 22 is the Ruger 10/22. I can think of no other and honestly, I wish I could. I have never really been a big fan but this would seem to be it niche.

December 21, 2008, 04:51 AM
New questions in the first post.

December 21, 2008, 06:26 AM
I am looking for a reasonably accurate .22 rifle for hunting small game. It would be nice if it can, in a pinch, go a little while between cleanings while still functioning.

Actually I don't know of a single 22 rifle that won't fill the bill. I could tell you what I like, but it probably wouldn't help you much. They're all accurate enough for small game hunting. They all go a long time between cleanings if you want to. I know I can't say I've ever actually CLEANED any of mine. I might wipe some crud out with a Q-tip and some Hoppes from time to time, but actually strip it down and clean it? Naw. I'd rather just shoot 'em.

This isn't all of them, but it'll give you an idea. And yes, I happen to like 10/22's but the others are just as good. Actually the Marlin 39A is better, but it costs a lot more. It should be better. That's a Remington 597 on the right. Good gun for not a lot of money if you don't mind a plastic stock.

Oh, I believe you said you might prefer a bolt gun. Well the bolt gun there is a Stevens 46. Long out of production, but representative of a lot of tube fed bolt action 22's made by various manufacturers, Stevens, Savage, Remington, Marlin, Mossberg, and who knows how many others. All the ones I've ever seen shot just fine.

December 21, 2008, 04:09 PM
Very nice little setup, Cajun! Thanks for sharing it!

I have considered the Rem 597 (mainly for its low price) and the Marlin 60, among others. Without talking with those who own some of the models, it's tough to know how the different models compare (accuracy and reliability feeding different ammo brands) or whether higher capacity magazines will fit them.

I can imagine, but I am not quite sure what "tube fed" is or how many shots it typically holds. Are most/all bolt-action .22s tube fed, or do many use magazines?

Also, there are cylindrical magazines, which avoid the look of the magazine hanging out the bottom (like the Ruger Charger). Do any rifles use that style? Probably, if they do, capacity would have an upper limit; maybe 10 shots.

December 21, 2008, 04:54 PM
i'd go for a Henry lever 22 WMR. always helps to have a little extra reach. the H001M is a lovely choice IMHO

December 21, 2008, 05:43 PM
Actually the Marlin Model 60 is about $40 cheaper than the Ruger 10/22. Should something go wrong with the Marlin's tubular magazine, you could end up with a $50 repair bill. Not so with the Ruger. Something goes wrong with it's magazine, you just buy another magazine. I'm not saying that the Marlin is a bad gun. They'll both run if kept clean. I'm just saying what I think is the better gun.

I have shot .22's for a long time and have NEVER had a tube damaged to the point it needed replacement. I have only even talked to one other person who has. I and many others HAVE lost and or damaged a number of detachable mags. BTW having taken plenty of tube fed guns a part I have never seen it as a very difficult task to replace one.

December 21, 2008, 06:10 PM
I have shot .22's for a long time and have NEVER had a tube damaged to the point it needed replacement
Good point. I've been shooting a Win 62A for over 50 years with not the least bit of trouble.
Course I've never been in a real SHTF situation either. I haven't even been on the run and fallen in a pile of rocks.

December 21, 2008, 07:27 PM
Again, I don't think you'll find a better suited rifle then the 981T. It takes all the .22 except mags... It is accurate and is easy to clean and operate. Has a synthetic stock. At most it is $180... You can get a very good scope and ammo to make it up to $300... You will hear a lot of opinions, but all will be biased... Try and find a rifle that fits you. I did a lot of searching and settled on this Marlin. Plus it is all American made.

December 21, 2008, 11:12 PM
Good point. I've been shooting a Win 62A for over 50 years with not the least bit of trouble.
Course I've never been in a real SHTF situation either. I haven't even been on the run and fallen in a pile of rocks.

I have run thought a lot of woods, rocks, hunted off my motorcycle, wrecked a few times too. Still never had any trouble with a tube fed .22. Not saying that it can't happen, but I would be willing to be that the average tube fed gun lasts longer than the average mag fed gun as far as that goes. As a matter of fact I have a couple of tube fed marlins with the short tubes that don't stick out much past the stock that I would be willing to bet would be operational past the point of the stock being broken off. I love the Rugers, but tube fed beats mag fed in "reliability" any day/

December 21, 2008, 11:26 PM
I've seen tube fed guns have problems.
Sometimes it's just picky-ness with a certain type of ammo (which to be fair, can happen with any .22) and sometimes it's a downright failure to work.
It's also harder to clear a malfunction in the tube if you have one. With a detachable magazine and some kind of nasty cartrige bashing jam, you just yank the mag out and the jam comes out with it. With a tube, you might have to tear the rifle completely apart to clear the malfunction.

If you already had a tube fed rifle I wouldn't worry too much about it but if you're spending money on something new, I'd go mag fed every time.

Deus Machina
December 22, 2008, 12:21 AM
Personally, I do think there are a few good choices. 10/22's should be fine as long as you clean it now and then, and I'd personally say any name-brand pump or lever would be great.

And remember, as long as you've got the barrel, bolt, trigger assembly, and the innovation that you really must have in a SHTF situation, any busted-to-hell semi-auto only becomes a passable single-shot.

That's no reason to go buy the $10 Rustbucket Special, but if it's something you'll be leaving in your closet with the SHTF pack until the day you need to run out of the house and drag it through mud, sand, and acidic alien blood, why pay for any more than your range gun?

December 22, 2008, 09:10 AM
The tube fed magazine on my Marlin 39A hangs a round up once in a while. I haven't figured out why yet. I think one thing that happens with a lot of tube is people forget to clean them. I know I did on this rifle for a long time and when I did, man the dirt and crud that came out had to be seen to be believed. Filthy. I'm not sure if there is still some of that in the Marlins or not, but it's not a major problem. I'm not figuring on having to fight a major battle with it.

Tubes can get damaged. Box magazines can get lost. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Brian Williams
December 22, 2008, 09:17 AM
A Stevens Little scout 14 1/2, If you can find one it is one of the best.
If I had to go 22lr...
I would probably take my Marlin 39m

but I probably would take my Marlin 1894C in 357.

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