I'm looking for a cheap .22


March 1, 2009, 12:41 AM
I need a cheap .22 for a hiking trip I will be going on in the desert.
I will be using this (or hopefully not using this) for defense in the event of a snake confrontation that cannot be resolved through peaceful negotiation.

I will be loading it with shot, but would like it to be accurate none the less.
I will be carrying no other weapon besides this, and would like to be able to shoot rabbits and ground squirrels if something goes wrong.

Weight is also a concern, as I will be hiking very long distances.

I am on a tight budget for this gun, and would like to keep the price below $175-$200 if at all possible.

Any suggestions?

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March 1, 2009, 12:53 AM
I'd think the only option for a new revolver fitting your description would be a Heritage Arms "Rough Rider" in .22 and .22 mag. They go for between $150 and $200 around here.





David E
March 1, 2009, 01:04 AM
It seems that you've not really thought this thru.

If you see the snake in time, go around it. If you see it too late, a gun won't help.

As a result, shotshell ability is moot.

As far as bagging small game or defense on the trail, you can include a semi-auto in your considerations.

A used Ruger Mk I would be a good choice. Even new, a Ruger semi-auto wouldn't exceed your $200 limit by too much.


March 1, 2009, 01:11 AM
The only revolver I would want that sells used in that price range is an H&R double action revolver in 22LR.

Unfortunately, most of the revolvers that I like in 22 cost well above $200. I don't think you will be able to be too picky, but the Heritage Rough Rider is probably a reasonable inexpensive revolver new for your purposes.

Do you put such strict $ limits on your other hiking supplies? The best light weight 22 revolver is the little Smith & Wesson air weight in 22 with a 3" barrel. They will run you more.

March 1, 2009, 01:15 AM
It seems that you've not really thought this thru.

If you see the snake in time, go around it. If you see it too late, a gun won't help.

I will be hiking on narrow trails, many with long drop offs, and I would rather shoot a snake than risk falling.

I have actually spent quite a while thinking about this.

David E
March 1, 2009, 01:18 AM
If it's that serious a concern, then don't skimp on a piece of vital gear.


March 1, 2009, 01:20 AM
I like my 9 shot Taurus M94 .22LR 4" SB A/S (that I paid a little less than $300 for) as much or better than my Smith .22LR Model 63 that I paid a little more than $600 for.



March 1, 2009, 01:24 AM
Do you put such strict $ limits on your other hiking supplies?

I will be hiking very bare bones.
I had even considered going gunless but decided against it because of the risk of getting lost.

March 1, 2009, 01:27 AM
I could just use my Grandfathers old ruger 6 shot 22lr, but I don't want to risk losing it or having it stolen as I will be traveling a long way from home for this trip.

March 1, 2009, 01:49 AM
What's your time frame? A week? Couple of days?

I was going to suggest a Ruger Bearcat, but never mind. I got mine for less than $150, but they're going for over $350 on gunbroker! :what:

I also suggest the Ruger MarkI/MarkII. Even if you need to use bird shot, you can pull the charging handle after every shot. That will also give you 9 shots for the MarkI and 10 shots for the MarkII.

David E
March 1, 2009, 02:00 AM
I don't see how the gun would be stolen if you keep it on you. Those that would steal it would need to be dealt with accordingly, which would be, for me anyway, the main reason I'd carry a gun in the first place.

If snakes are the primary concern, then a 5-shot .38 snubby with shotshells might be in order. Have 3-4 other chambers loaded with a defense round. Then it would suffice for trail defense against people, animals, etc.

The downside is, the accuracy is hard to squeeze out of it for bagging small game for the pot.

The Walther P-22 is small, lightweight, acccurate and in a pinch, could do light duty as a defense gun. Mine likes Stingers, which is a bonus.

It costs more than $200, but buying a cheap crap gun that won't do what I brought to gun TO do is only wasting money.


March 1, 2009, 02:28 AM
I think your best chance will be the Heritage single action revolver. That is to say, best chance of finding one for the price range you are looking at.

A used Taurus 94 ,or a used Charter Arms pathfinder might come close to that price range, and they are not bad guns.

March 1, 2009, 02:35 AM
+1 for H&R (Harrington & Richardson). You may be able to find one in your price range, they are pretty cheap and will do what you want them to do.

March 1, 2009, 02:56 AM
I just shot my taurus M94 for the first time today, Picked it up used for $230 a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoyed shooting it and it was very accurate. I highly recommend it and it sounds like it would suit your needs perfectly

Bill B.
March 1, 2009, 06:48 AM
I have actually spent quite a while thinking about this.

Have you ever tried .22 shotshell on a good sized rattlesnake? Personally that isn't something I want to be close enough to try. This is a minimum for me:

If snakes are the primary concern, then a 5-shot .38 snubby with shotshells might be in order.

March 1, 2009, 07:31 AM
Agreed with some of the above posters. .22 shotshell out of a pistol would be... well, I wont say useless... but it's not by any means the best tool for the job. To me, it seems like a .38 or .357 would make quite a bit more sense, not only for snakes but for any other dangerous critters as well. For really optimal carry under the conditions you describe, perhaps a derringer would be in order.

If you really insist on using only a .22 with only shotshell ammunition, then please for your own safety do some testing first with the weapon and ammunition you bring so you can see what it's really capable of.

March 1, 2009, 07:56 AM
If snakes are the primary concern, then a 5-shot .38 snubby with shotshells might be in order
a .38 or .357 would make quite a bit more sense, not only for snakes but for any other dangerous critters as well.

A 22 SHOT in ANY form(revolver, semi, rifle) is ineffective at distances more than about 10 ft,(and yes, I know there has to be an exception) especially on anything larger than a chipmunk or garter snake..

Master Blaster
March 1, 2009, 09:00 AM
Avoid the snakes, walk around them, and the spots they frequent. If one crosses the trail slow down and let it.

Get a good .22lr for fun shooting and cheap practice. I have and like my Taurus 94, and k frame smiths.
They are worth the money.

March 1, 2009, 09:38 AM
I find an 85 caliber rock to be a cheap and effective weapon against snakes. If you miss they usually leave.

March 1, 2009, 09:55 AM


These rifles are amazingly fun. I've loaded them with shot for rats and had no problem. I recommend something other than shot for, well, everything.
Shot kind of stinks. I've used it a lot, but to each their own.

or you could go to walmart and buy a savage bolt .22 or semiauto that will work and well, and accurately, for $115 plus tax.

by the way, I've done a lot of hiking in the desert, I've never had a problem with anything but other people standing in the way of my view.

I did catch a rattlesnake one time, but that was just me harassing the wildlife.

March 1, 2009, 09:58 AM
As at least one poster has mentioned, 22 shot (bird shot, rat shot etc) is pretty ineffective from even a 22 rifle let alone a 22 handgun. You might seriously think about a 38spl (or 357 mag) and you probably can find one in the price range you speak. It may take some luck and looking, but they are out there and bird shot from a 38 is much more effective than a 22LR shot. Learn to shoot the 22 and you won't need shot shells. I would venture to say that I could shoot my foot inside a shoe at 6 feet and probably not injure my foot with a 22 shot shell even though I don't want to test my theory.

I think your biggest dangers are from people, wild dogs, and of course bears. Mountain lions are a concern in some areas. Dangers from snakes are predictable and avoidable, but I understand why some people want to carry a gun in snake country. The biggest danger in general is the slip-fall hazard and does not involve wild creatures.

March 1, 2009, 11:22 AM
When I backpack I carry a .357. Good for snakes and the primates that inhabit North America.

If you insist on carrying a .22, I would suggest that you forget the "snake shot". Load it with you favorite "high pressure" cartridge. If you need to shoot a snake, shoot it. (aim low)

With your price parameters you are pretty much stuck buying a used Ruger or Buckmark rather than a revolver. (if you want a quality firearm, that is)

I own both and while either is quite good, my preference is the Browning. (If you go that route, locktite the screws on top)

Do not skimp on the holster. Get a good, full coverage holster. I like the Galco Dual Sportsman since you can wear it crossdraw or strongside. On a long hike a gun can get tiresome in one place. This is not a new idea and others make good versatile holsters too.

Also, the most important item for carrying a firearm comfortably is the belt. Uncle Mike's reinforced instructor belt is a cheap, well made product.

Have fun

March 1, 2009, 11:24 AM
Get a used Ruger MK II. Don't be worried about the snakes, like others have said they can be avoided. Buy it for plinking out in the desert.

March 1, 2009, 11:55 AM
Cimarron makes a 22 revolver called the "Plinkerton," priced in your range. I missed it if somebody else mentioned it. Here's a review:

March 1, 2009, 12:11 PM
Cruise Gunbroker for an H&R revolver. You can get a 9 round cylinder and double/single action for $100. I have a few and they're solid, dependable, accurate guns. .22 semi-autos can be finicky at times. At the range, that's not an issue, but in the field, it can be a major one. Aguila Supermaximums pack a decent punch. They penetrate a bit more than Velocitors out of handgun-length barrels. I tested on 2X4s.

If you want a pure shotshell dedicated handgun, some old H&R Young America .22 revolvers had smooth bore barrels.

This one will very probably go cheaply, is C&R and will last forever:


March 1, 2009, 11:10 PM

Years ago I had a Rossi model 88, a 5 shot stainless steel .38 Special revolver, that was my constant companion on many hikes through the countryside. It had a 3" barrel with a decent set of sights and was essentially an upscale (caliber wise), version of a S&W Kit Gun. At the time, it was relatively inexpensive, costing less than $200 brand new. If you are looking for shotshell effectiveness as a means of defense against snakes, I think you're going to have to move up in size to .38 Special/.357 Magnum performance.

Big Bill
March 1, 2009, 11:21 PM
I actually like the looks of this one from Heritage for only $169.95...


Or. this for $189.99...



March 2, 2009, 01:14 AM
For snakes I'd suggest you carry a walking stick (which would be handy anyway) and just use it to fend the snakes out of your trail.

You're on this site so obviously you're a shooter or at least a strong firearms supporter. But that doesn't mean that a gun is the best option for something like a snake or two. Thousands of non gun packing hikers deal with nature every day without any issues. Very likely on the same trails you're planning on enjoying.

March 2, 2009, 08:31 AM
Or this DA, 9 shot H&R for $55:


March 2, 2009, 08:58 AM
I will be hiking very bare bones.
I had even considered going gunless but decided against it because of the risk of getting lost.

I don't see how a gun will help with this? Maybe youu should look at a GPS.
But if you insist on a gun (which I actually think is a good idea) must make sure you practice. IF you can't hit a squirle at 15 yards, it won't do you no good.

But don't discount this gun - Henry survival rifle. The entire action packs in the stock and is waterproof.

- http://www.henryrepeating.com/h002_survival.cfm

Christopher P
March 2, 2009, 07:58 PM
I'd plunk out an extra hundred to get a Ruger Single-Six. You'll be happier with it than with those Heritage guns or the Plinkerton. Single-six's are awesome. You may also consider a Ruger Bearcat. It is a tiny but accurate six gun that is barely noticeable on the hip. Cost about the same as the Single-Six.

March 4, 2009, 01:48 PM
I would agree with those about stepping up to a .38. You've got more options in that price range as well.

Duke of Doubt
March 4, 2009, 01:52 PM
I'd recommend the Taurus Model 431, loaded with .44 shotshells.

Big Bill
March 4, 2009, 02:31 PM
I looked at a Heratige yesterday at my gun shop and wasn't very impressed. So, maybe you should consider other options.

March 4, 2009, 03:13 PM
Two things...

Re getting lost: get one of these things http://www.spotgpspersonaltracker.com/about

Re the gun: if you need a snake gun, at least get a .38 that has a little shot in the cartridge.

If you don't have the budget to get what you need to add a margin of safety to your trip, I'd say you can't afford the trip.

Where I live, Search and Rescue is pretty busy. Experienced people do get lost, they do get hurt, they do get in trouble in the wilderness.

There's no need to needlessly risk one's life over a few hundred bucks.

March 4, 2009, 03:17 PM
I would actually suggest an inexpensive "cricket" 22... it is a small enough rifle to be attached to the side of your pack and forgotten about but would allow you much more accurate shots than any revolver and, in a worst case senario, allow you to hunt as well... that would be my choice and will fall into your price range as well... then, forget the shot shells....

March 4, 2009, 03:22 PM
Carry an ELT or SPOT or whatever. You'll be found long before you need to use some POS single-shot .22 to scrouge a little protein.

You don't need to hunt to survive a few days. Hunting is a waste of energy if you're injured. You can go a long time without food.

You need WATER to survive.

If you don't know this, please learn about survival before going.

March 4, 2009, 03:29 PM
the thread is asking what sort of .22 would be most benificial in a hiking senario within a low price range. I agree with many of the things being stated above pertaining to survival, water, snakes, avoidance, personal locators....etc, but that was not the question. when asking what the best hiking .22 would be, a lightweight gun with more than a 15 yard range would be most benificial. a "pos single shot" as was stated previously would be perfect. strap it, forget about it til you need it. IF you need it, whether for protection, for food, or whatever else arises.

personally, I would prefer a .357 and a source of water. but once again, that wasnt the question.

little miss
March 4, 2009, 03:39 PM
I just can't believe it I went through this hole thread and did'nt see glenfield or marlin model 60:what::what::what:

March 4, 2009, 03:46 PM
"I just can't believe it I went through this hole thread and did'nt see glenfield or marlin model 60"

I can agree with that..and even bring a 10/22 into the argument for a little more money, but those are larger, more cumbersome guns for the stated need.. definitely in the price range, and definitely would be extremely benificial, but the thread starter is attempting to find something that is also easy to carry for extended periods of time... ;)

March 4, 2009, 03:55 PM
If you're going to spend the money for a 22, you might as well get a 38 (or 357). Not much more for a quality gun even if used. Plus the 38 will lend itself to other scenarios.

March 4, 2009, 04:17 PM
I've patterned 22 shot shells at about 15 feet (with a rifle). A rat could be easily missed at that distance, so a snake might be merely irritated at even a closer distance. I agree with those who say use your walking stick or get a 38. For a 22 revolver the inexpensive IJs and H&Rs are tolerably accurate (if you are).

March 4, 2009, 05:41 PM
A Cricket might have a range past 15 yards, but I wouldn't stake my life on being able to hit a squirrel with it much past that with stock sights.

I mean, I did once shoot a jackrabbit at 75 yards with a .45-70 Sharps (took a few shots to get the elevation right) but my life didn't depend on it by any stretch of the imagination. I've also missed more than a few rabbits closer in, with a .22.:)

March 4, 2009, 05:43 PM
All I can say is it would be more accurate than a revolver, given the budget and needs, it seems to be a good fit... not the best choice, or even close, but it fits the parameters stated in the original thread.

a rabbit with a 45-70, wow... not much left of buggs bunnie after that...

March 4, 2009, 07:54 PM
Actually, it didn't blow the thing up. It was a hardcast 525 grain lead bullet over black powder for buffalo hunting. It was a penetration round, not an expanding round.:)

It did, however, blow the (intact) rabbit back about 10 feet.

March 4, 2009, 08:02 PM
:what:lol.. that would be a site to see.. I know I will probably get some flack for this, but watching a rabbit get hit with that round, and fly through the air... hell, that would be better than anything currently on youtube...

Wabbit season indeed...

March 5, 2009, 03:13 PM
Ok as much as I love 22 handguns and shooting them, I would have to agree with the others that a 22 shotshell is certainly not the answer to your dilema. Maybe a 22mag shotshell...get the Heritage or Ruger SS convertible maybe.

I have to agree with Iggy here as well, a good sized rock or even better, a handful of them. I have done enough walking and hiking around the prairies and mountains of CO and WY not to mention the wetlands of FL and have came across way too many enough copper-headed-rattle-mocassins with nothing but a stick or rock to throw at them with healthy results.

Of course, there is always something like a Bond Arms derringer in 45lc/410....the 410 option here might be the better choice over a 22lr shotshell.


March 5, 2009, 03:16 PM
Another thought, my dad used to use a lot in the CO Rockies, is to wear big oversized Gators or the likes when hiking around. He had many strikes hit his Gators but never broke skin, in fact he brought many back for stew and grilling when we lived on the AF Academy.


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