.22 Caliber "backpack guns"


Critical J
September 9, 2013, 01:35 AM
Lots of folks out there wanting guidance on purchasing a versatile .22 caliber gun on a budget for their Bug-Out Bags or Hurricane Packs, etc. as a "square one" stepping stone to further purchases as they begin testing the waters of firearms ownership. I usually try to evaluate their needs/concerns/capabilities and direct them to one of the following Top 5 options (not the "best" but because, as a whole, the list is a variety):

5) Ruger 10/22 Bolt Action
Basic and dependable, highly functional in skilled hands with a wide range of accessories. Not ideal for defending yourself in one of those hypothetical SHTF situations and definitely requires an aftermarket sling, so it ends-up last on this list...

* CORRECTION: totally not a bolt action! I was definitely thinking of the wrong gun from my childhood - still, plenty of good reviews on this thing and it, perhaps, does deserve a "higher" spot on the list!

4) Henry Mare's Leg .22
Highly underrated as a "novelty item" the slick little cut down rifles
(technically pistols) are very high quality and extremely accurate out to about
100 yds. but require a somewhat awkward cheek-balancing stance to line-up perfect shots. Plenty of rounds available in the tube, but slow to reload like most Henry's.
Has a saddle ring that's perfect for carabiners hanging off your pack.
Fires .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle

3) Ruger Mk. Series Pistols
As the only true handgun on the list I place these in the middle ground. All the utility of any other handgun, but with more of a wilderness focus to them. Very reliable, but nearly impossible to disassemble for cleaning without tools and a workbench

2) Henry Arms AR-7 US Survival Rifle
Very handy little collapsible carbine style gun. Supposedly floats if dropped in a stream, but more importantly, is water proof in general + a scope rail. Also available in an intense camo pattern and is very light weight, but "notorious" for jamming, debatable...

1) Springfield Armory M6 Scout Rifle
A single shot per barrel, but you do get double of .22 and .410 in a single gun, like an ugly mil-spec Drilling. Also collapsible, but can't be stored inside it's own stock, partly because that doubles as an ammo box. Very sturdy, very rugged. The only non-easily affordable gun on the list, you're lucky to find one for less than $550 and that's if you even do happen to come across one of these antiques; they get snapped-up quick!

* * *

So that's my off-hand guide to mostly in-expensive, reliable, and small-ish
pack guns... thoughts? criticisms? suggestions? alternatives?

The only way which I was comparing these guns to one another was based solely on which gun has the best 'as new' capabilities that they can get for their money, since many people realize they need a gun for their bag, but many more are only just coming around to the idea and don't wanna spend lots of $$$ or invest in multiple firearms - we're not talking "ideal situations" just simple, capable weapons

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September 9, 2013, 01:44 AM
Ruger 10/22 takedown for rifle


DA revolver for handgun. In a bug out type situation you might not be able to choose your brand of ammo and semi auto 22 can be picky. Don't have to worry about that with a revolver. Maybe a S&W 317 kit gun


dogtown tom
September 9, 2013, 01:51 AM
Do you have any experience with #'s 1, 2, and 4?:scrutiny:

My experience from shipping them back for repair, replacement or refund is that your #1 and #2 are less than ideal.

The Mare's Leg design is by far the least useful firearm design........too big for a handgun, too small for a rifle.......none of the benefits of either.

Matter of fact #1 and #2 were sales disasters. The Henry is simply a rebranded Charter Arms .22 and a pretty notorious jammamatic.:cuss:

Critical J
September 9, 2013, 02:10 AM
The only one I have extensive experience with is #4, but like I said it's "highly underrated" and I have fired them all but #1, though I hear good things...

I cleared out well over 2 dozen coyotes from a widow's land a couple summers back with only that Mare's Leg and a tomahawk!


September 9, 2013, 05:36 AM
As bad as I dislike the 10/22's the takedown will end up in my safe one day. Please knw I am not knocking g them, they are great rifles now if only Volquartsen would make a take down rifle.

Nasty Ned
September 9, 2013, 06:12 AM
My 1906 Winchester works good for me and is very accurate to boot......

Pete D.
September 9, 2013, 06:20 AM
I much like the choice of the M6. Too bad that they are so hard to find. Aside from that, as a backpacker, I want a gun to be as light an addition to my pack as possible.
I carry a S&W 317 Airlite. The choice of the Ruger also makes sense to me....reliable and accurate.
This, not to scare folk away, I disagree with:
t nearly impossible to disassemble for cleaning without tools and a workbench
I can take my Ruger apart and reassemble it within only a pen knife as a tool. And....maybe a block of wood. Apart and back together in less than a minute.

Jaz Malta
September 9, 2013, 06:55 AM
I really love the AR-7. You have anything you need in your hands. But the M6 is beautiful as well. Itīs difucult to choose just one

September 9, 2013, 07:19 AM
The 10/22, in the configuration shown, is indeed a little bulky for this use, but it is far from a "non-ideal" gun for defense (of those guns on the list.) Putting it last based on defense begs the question "How is the Springfield M6 so much better in a defensive role?"

I agree that the 10/22, in the available take-down version, is a far better option than the OP gives it credit for. In fact, of those listed (many of which should not even be being compared to each other because of the stark differences between them), that's the one I would want, assuming no other guns would be available.

OP, if you were unaware that the 10/22 is a semi-automatic and not a bolt-action (the 77/22 was), that may be why it fared, in your "evaluation", where it did. A detachable-mag-fed, semi-automatic carbine with the longevity the 10/22 has had would be hard to beat.

September 9, 2013, 07:43 AM
I own a 10/22 take down. Wouldn't have unless it was a good firearm. Now any 22lr revolver would be nice like a S&W K-22, H&R 9 shot top break or a S&W 617.

Now if you wan bolt action then a Crickett with bull barrel,scope and bipod should do the trick.

September 9, 2013, 07:50 AM
This seems rather silly, and its apparent that the OP hasn't actually USED or carried these guns for their intended purposes to any measurable degree. When dispensing advice, its prudent to have experience with what you are dispensing advice ABOUT. An an over/under like the M6 is NOT "like a mil-spec drilling" unless a mil-spec "drilling" requires one less barrel than other types of "drillings"

September 9, 2013, 08:39 AM
The only one I have extensive experience with is #4, but like I said it's "highly underrated" and I have fired them all but #1, though I hear good things...

I cleared out well over 2 dozen coyotes from a widow's land a couple summers back with only that Mare's Leg and a tomahawk!
.22 wouldn't do the trick? Maybe it was TOO LITTLE gun to dispatch a coyote. Hate 'em as you may, wounding any animal and using a hawk to finish it comes off as cruel and psychotic.

Willie Sutton
September 9, 2013, 08:48 AM
A backpack gun (for whatever backpack you want to have, be it a BOB, Hurricane Bag, etc), ought to be a S&W Model 63 .22/.32 Kit Gun.

Everything else comes in a distant second place.... there's a reason it's called the Kit Gun. :neener:


For broken down stashing, a Carbon 15 is the perfect choice. Stick a .22 caliber conversion set someplace nearby and enjoy.

I've owned AR-7's (fun, but VERY bulky to pack, surprisingly enough, due to the stock being made big enough to float the rifle)

I own an original M-6, which is fun too, but is not really very robust and is a very specialized rifle designed to be disposable after use (and DO NOT dry fire one). It is, as was said above, not a "Drilling", which by defininition have "Drei" ("three" in German) barrels.

Take down 10/22? Uhh.... <sigh>: See "stash a Carbon 15 and you will have a real rifle". I guess if you had to have a .22 you could do worse.

Mares Leg? You must be joking.....

Now, having *actually* evacuated for a Hurricane last year, Sandy, which destroyed my home and caused me to live in my van for a week eating MRE's and drinking bottled water, and then aboard my boat for the balance of 6 months, what I *really* took as my bug-out gun was a Beretta M-9 accompanied by a Keltec SUB-2000 sharing the Beretta magazines. I had 6 pistol mags, three 30 round extended mags for the Keltec, and the entire thing fit into an olive green army tankers tool-bag tossed into the back of the van. In times of trouble, you want tools, and .22's are toys, not tools.



September 9, 2013, 08:56 AM
While I typically pack one of my Ruger MK II pistols, I have to say the Browning Buckmark rifle would be a good choice. Do they make a carbine kit?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v107/MeanBone/Buck%20Mark/BuckMarksandmagsa.jpg (http://media.photobucket.com/user/MeanBone/media/Buck%20Mark/BuckMarksandmagsa.jpg.html)

September 9, 2013, 09:03 AM
Well the only .22 I would take with me from that list would be a Ruger Mk.II pistol. From my own collection of .22s my first choice in a backpack scenario is my Beretta Model 70S which I had hard chrome plated years ago. Small, lightweight, super reliable, and very accurate this gun has served me well as a Kit Gun on many a walk in the great outdoors.

September 9, 2013, 09:49 AM
Poor choices with 1 and 4 based on price for 1 and ease of use for 4. The 10/22 is too bulky for backpack carry so that takes 5 out. You've suggested 2 and 3 as possibly useful firearms, but the Henry is surprisingly bulky when packed up in the stock so it might not be as handy as you think if you're carrying it. You're down to a handgun on your list, but not everyone will agree that a you've picked the smartest one of all that are possible (of the Rugers I have I'd rather carry my daughter's 22/45 lightweight).

The takedown 10/22 puts it back in the race. A Rossi Matched Pair .22 and .410 should go into the mix. Reminton's SPR94 rifle shotgun combo should as well. Being takedown they'd all fit.

Then there are the various .410/.45lc guns out there, but they get outside your .22 bound.

The challenge with any long gun is that you pack it in takedown and have to reassemble for use making immediate action with it far less immediate.

I'm not sure of your reasoning since you can get non .22lr firearms for the price of some of what you've suggested. I have a folding KelTec and it fits in a small laptop bag with a Glock 17 and several magazines for both. I'm sure others would suggest a wider range of non .22lr options as well.

Critical J
September 9, 2013, 10:27 AM
Here's my "experience" with these guns, since yall need answers:

5) that particular model? very little, plinked around with it a few times. Shoots great, carries great, a little big to be a true "backpack gun" which was the whole point of this thread

4) have one, love it. 19 confirmed coyotes that summer, but the instructions for that particular job were to "run 'em off" after they killed a couple of her favorite dogs and destroyed her vegetable garden. As a varmint animal I'm less inclined to give a d*mn, but on a personal level...
I hate coyotes :-(

3) plenty of experience, never owned one but can't hardly remember a trip to the local range when there wasn't one laying around. Shot it more times than not and in multiple designs, great gun but when I go hunting I rarely come across anything within workable handgun range, ya know?

2) shot one all weekend long at a friend's place, only experienced a single "failure to feed" error, so I'm a little skeptical of their so called "reputation"

1) none, directly. They're pretty rare, but pop-up at gun shows from time to time and a couple of men I respect, a gun shop owner and an ex-Air Force pilot, actually own them. They're no one's favorite, but they can do a lot and have a lot done to them so they get a pass for the list + few boxes worth of .410 will keep you in squirrels, coons and possums for at least a week so you can save the .22 for something worth the shot. It may be bias, they've always fascinated me *shrugs*

Point being, you don't like the list? Submit an alternate Top 5, that's what this thread is here for! It just has to be .22 because 9x out of 10 these armchair peepers have it in their head that .22 will see them through the woods and to the moon - there's no reasoning with them!

September 9, 2013, 10:39 AM
Generally speaking, I don't think in terms of concealing a rifle that is a "back pack" gun or carried while backpacking. I think a revolver is a better choice in general for concealing in or around a backpack as long as you can shoot it well enough. Revolvers aren't ammo picky in 22LR.

I think the Henry Mare's Leg is a worthy consideration as long as you have shot it enough to be comfortable hitting a squirrel or pop can at 25 yds. One poster a while back posted one with a red dot. That is what I intend to install on my Mare's Leg. (The Red Dot is on my list as they say.) Many who have shot them find them difficult to shoot well as they kind of fit between a handgun and rifle configuation.

The S&W M63 is a very good choice and is a balance between size, weight, and suspected durability since it is a steel framed revolver. It is high on my list. I chose a Ruger LCR in 22LR over the S&W product. But I think an exposed hammer would certainly be a plus (hence a preference for the 3" M63). I think you'd be hard pressed to consistantly hit a squirrel or rabbit beyond 15 yds with one.

The Ruger Mark II/III or 22/45 with the heavy barrel is a great choice in terms of accuracy and ease of shooting. Might be a problem with limited ammunition availability in terms of functionality. But one would be high on my list simply because I have quite a few magazines and many inexperienced shooters are comfortable with them.

I have no problem with the Ruger 10/22 in its various configurations as a gun to carry on your shoulder or strapped to a backpack inside some kind of protective case. It is a nice quick pointing little rifle with good reliability. But if I were going to carry a full sized rifle I would tend to go with a 22 Mag versus 22LR. I doubt you'd carry more than 200 rounds of ammunition with you regardless of it being a 22LR or 22WMR.

I don't think most people would last long alone in the woods with just a firearm. A friend or two would be quite beneficial and you could add a larger caliber firearm into the mix.

September 9, 2013, 11:38 AM
Crickett Rifle hides nicely in one of the side tube pouches on my pack.

Critical J
September 9, 2013, 11:39 AM
Alright, let's try rephrasing here:

Dear Mr. Sutton,

I too know the tragedy of having to drop everything and evacuate a major storm, having lived through Katrina as well as Florida for several years. Luckily, for me, it was a friend's place and not my own, but the insanity/panic/looting/terrible weather/etc. yea, been there and done that. I know how you feel and trust me, as a teenager packing only a 20g double barrel with no reserve ammo at the time, it sounds like you were in a better spot than I was...

Please understand, I never have any desire to bug-out with only a .22 either, but apparently many folks do feel that way; the sort who you hear say things like "I hate guns, but this TV show said I need to bring a .22 or I'll never survive"

- Critical J

September 9, 2013, 11:49 AM
What are the needs that a BOB may need to take care of? In a BOB type scenario, are you actually planning to go hunting with your .22? I'd think that effective defense would be more of a concern than small game hunting.

For the people who hate guns but feel they must have a .22 because some documentary said they need a .22, I'd tell them not to bother. If they don't like guns and aren't willing to practice regularly, any gun will be extra weight and just make them a danger to others. They'd be better off packing a can of bear spray instead.

For myself, I'd choose a Ruger SP-101 .357. That's my personal choice based on my comfort with that specific handgun, but any good handgun in 9mm or .38 Special or more powerful may be a good choice. I'd probably carry it loaded with 135 grain Speer GDHP's for regular defensive use with a couple speedloaders and speed strips in reserve. In my area, I'd add a couple more speed strips with Buffalo Bore 180 grain Hard Cast FN loads for security against a bear if I may end up in the woods. I don't think I'd carry much more ammo than that - the odds of even using that are probably pretty low.

I wouldn't plan on using this firearm for food, only for defense. For the weight of a 10/22, I could add two jars of peanut butter and some crackers and have a more secure food supply than I'd have trying to shoot squirrels while I'm exhausted, maybe injured, and surviving on my own.

Critical J
September 9, 2013, 12:00 PM
YES! Love the sp-101 series! They're built like a brick, thank you for mentioning that!
Unfortunately, they're a bit steep for a .22 in my book, but I'd love to have a snubby in .357, just sayin'


September 9, 2013, 12:19 PM
Out of those 5 choices I would only favor a Ruger .22 pistol. I love my Ruger 22/45.

I am personally not impressed with any Mares leg firearms. Owned a Charter Arms .22 but it was very unreliable. A new Ruger Takedown looks good and with aftermarket mags could be a valuable tool, but those 10-22 s can gain weight. When backpacking weight is important.

My choice would be a Ruger 22/45 with a small red dot or a Buckmark with the same. Not too heavy and extremely accurate.

September 9, 2013, 12:23 PM
Calico M100 with collapsible stock. 100 rounds of fun :)

September 9, 2013, 12:31 PM
Wouldn't call the AR7 style water proof but they do float. The Mk pistols can be taken down quite easy once you learn how, not revolver easy but even a kid can do it.

I seem to grab my SBR 10/22 more than the rest of the ones I have, as its the only one alwasy ready to fire..



September 9, 2013, 12:52 PM
I've owned and fired (a lot) #5 and like it. I still own and use a MKI (#3) and can't comment on #1, #2 and #4. However I'm surprised nobody mentioned my favorite, the Remington Nylon 66. Accurate, reliable, feather light but hard to come by. I've owned mine for decades and still use it. It wears a scope but the iron sights work just fine. It's almost indestructible, to boot.
http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/hanshi_photo/PICT0666-1.jpg (http://s599.photobucket.com/user/hanshi_photo/media/PICT0666-1.jpg.html)

September 9, 2013, 01:10 PM
I gotta admit, I've always liked threads pertaining to stuffing rimfires into packs or bags and going out into the woods. That's just an entertaining weekend to me.

So, due to my own limited experiences after Hurricanes . . . I will stick to rimfire guns in this thread which is much more entertaining than the reality of needing centerfire guns in an urban environment when power, gas, and food is all gone.

I'll just post up what I have that could qualify for packable rimfires. The choice for the day would depend on what I had in mind and how much space I had for the day.

1. Beretta Neos Carbine with bag on stock for 4 spare magazines and storage under the butt plate for over a dozen more rounds (weight of 3.8 lbs. empty). It is mostly covered in plastic muzzle-to-butt with an aluminum rail on top. Mags are stainless. Very accurate up to 60 to 70 yards with the aperture sight.

2. Ruger Single Six 9.5" barrel with .22 WMR and .22 LR cylinders (weight of 2.5 lbs.). Can be very accurate up to 25 yards shooting from an improvised rest. Admittedly the stainless Single Six Hunter with 7.5" barrel would be a better choice for foul weather, but I don't own one of those.



September 9, 2013, 01:13 PM
As an aside, truth be known, I would carry my Nylon 66 AND a lightweight centerfire revolver - caliber unimportant as long as it starts at .38spl. Forget "combat" of any kind; we're talking survival (food, protection) and not going up against Military or Militarized police units. Storm Troopers ALWAYS win; see!?

Realistically (think about it) you CAN'T "bug out" like that and survive. Unless you have a lot of TRUE mountain man experience - not the silly kind attributed to a few criminals who are usually found dumpster diving - and can live hardscrabble in the wilderness. Too much support is needed especially if family is involved. You'll be lucky to survive days or a few weeks at most. So the main concern is where you live right now.

September 9, 2013, 01:23 PM
For a backpack gun, I really like this one. Beretta Neos Carbine. Amazingly accurate, absolutely reliable, and 5" shorter than any 10/22. Goes together in seconds.



Critical J
September 9, 2013, 01:24 PM
Keeping in mind that approx. half the people building 72-hour bags are just looking for any decent .22 for a reasonable price, one that didn't quite make the list was the Heritage Arms .22 Rough Rider. Now obviously, this ain't no top shelf wheel gun, but if you've only got a spare $150 then a cheap revolver with a free .22 mag cylinder is nothing to turn-up your nose about!
+ it's available with a 9-shot capacity and it's the only single action I've ever seen with a safety, but who really cares?


September 9, 2013, 01:59 PM
For a TD .22 rifle I'd take the Marlin Papoose over any of those yet listed followed by Browning's svelt offering and finally the aforementioned Neos Carbine. At 3.3 lbs. the Savage Rascal would be another hard to beat offering, though only a single-shot.

I'd haul a brick of .22lr around long before I'd consider stuffing the equivalent 17 AR magazines and a 7+ lb. carbine with me. To me, bug out is far different than hunker down and what you choose is as much a function of situation as of weight or bulk. Hurricane preparation, recreational backpacking and all-out anarchy are simply not same level events. "Other threads" are often far more specific as to the disaster at hand which allows more thought provocation rather than the other type of provocation.

September 9, 2013, 02:01 PM
To bad we suffer from the NFA as the 10/22 or Henry with a workable stock (folding on the ruger) would both make fine SBR's. I would favor the 10/22 due to the fold ability and detachable mags.
The MK series pistol is very effective on small game out to 50yds and while I would choose a larger caliber for personal defense the 22 rf is nothing to sneeze at with good placement that the rugers are very capable of. The softer report of the 22 while hunting in a survival scenario is something to consider as well as the ability to carry a considerable payload of ammo.

September 9, 2013, 02:16 PM
Having backpacked on multiple day trips where we carry everything, I can tell you I wouldn't want to carry any of the items in the first post. I usually carry an Airweight J-frame when I hike, but it's a .38. I have had to worry more about snakes than other potentially dangerous animals. For the rattlesnake we almost tripped over, a rock was sufficient. For two-leggers, .38 will have to do.

I've run into situations where there were fuel shortages and there wasn't a natural disaster involved (e.g. prior to closing the passes in the Cascades in the winter in Washington, there's sometimes a queue at the gas station). Having to carry everything you need on your back should be a consideration.

If it's got to be a takedown rifle and rimfire is preferred, I like the Marlin 70PSS. Very light for an autoloading rifle, over a pound less than the comparable 10/22; doesn't have the bad juju following it like the AR7. Good luck finding one, though. It's still listed in Marlin's catalog but I have had no success replacing mine.

I don't know how easily the Crickett rifles come apart, but they are extremely light and very affordable. I also like hso's suggestion of the Keltec, even though I still wouldn't backpack with it. There are plenty of rifles that can break down to be compact, but weight will still be a factor. For example, your standard AK47 type with a wire folder will fit in a tennis bag with a couple of mags, but it's not exactly a featherweight.

September 9, 2013, 02:39 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this: Beretta 21A http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t228/3rd-man/bobcat.jpg (http://media.photobucket.com/user/3rd-man/media/bobcat.jpg.html)

September 9, 2013, 03:01 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this: Beretta 21A ]

I've got one in .22LR. It was my first pocket gun 20 years ago and I've taken it out in the woods to shoot many times. The problem is it has tiny fixed sights and you have to know where your point of aim is to be to hit your target. For hitting a squirrel on the first shot, you gotta be close and you gotta be used to the sight picture and point of aim.

If you have time to walk your shots into the target, like for plinking, it can be fun indeed. A small live target will skeedaddle before you get a second shot lined up, though.

Critical J
September 9, 2013, 03:36 PM
say, what's that Ruger pistol w/ the stock and fore-end grip?
I've never seen those accessories offered before, pretty cool...

Carl N. Brown
September 9, 2013, 03:40 PM
Back in 1994 I bought a used Armalite Cosa Mesa AR-7 for $79.95; only needed a new front sight blade. And either new or properly adjusted magazines.

Couple a years ago, I took mine to the mountain to have something to do while my son was drilled in use of the M4 by a military friend.

I fired all five 8 shot magazines I had with the gun dry with no boggles (CCI Stinger). The gun had been in the case for about a year.

The weak point of the AR7 is the magazine has to be in good shape, the ammo must be high velocity, and bullet noses should be round. It is a gun you must learn, use and work with. I do not recommend just buying one and sticking it in a bugout bag. The closest to "buy it and forget it til you need it" in .22 would be the Ruger pistol or the Marlin 70 Papoose takedown rifle.

Willie Sutton
September 9, 2013, 05:28 PM
^^ if you can find one if the surplus Israeli Air Force AR-7's you will be good to go then. Wire type collapsible stock and a FN/FAL pistol grip. Lots more compact than the floating stock, which has to be bulky if its going to float the rifle.

I think, with all due respect, that the basic premise of carrying a .22 for other than fun is wrong though. There's nothing I can shoot with a .22 that I can't shoot better with a 9 mm. Thus the SUB-2000 in my tool-bag.



September 9, 2013, 06:06 PM
Okay, IMHO in a bug-out bag you need a medium sized handgun, a few reloads (either a pair of mags or three speed loaders) and a spare box of ammo.

In a bug-out situation the 22LR just doesn't stop the two legged troublemakers with enough authority.

And remember, it's a BUG-OUT-BAG, it's something you are going to be using to live out of for a day or five as you get to your new location. So don't plan on choosing the gun inside to be a hunting firearm to harvest rabbits and squirrels with. You can go 2 weeks without food. A couple of MREs in the bug-out-bag is smarter than trying to go squirrel hunting in the middle of a disaster.

Now, in the cabin where you plan to go hunker down until things get better, there having a month's worth of food, water, a 22 rifle for hunting, and 1000 rounds of ammo is a good idea.

On to the guns you've chosen.

The combo 410/22 LR actually has a heck of a bad reputation. The original was actually 410/ 22 hornet and much better made. I'd skip that combo gun.

The Mare's Leg. I have no idea how you are managing to shoot it accurately, but I sure can't. In a situation where I'd need to shoot it I think i'd find a short chunk of 2x4 and some duct-tape and jury-rig a stock. Shy of that, no, it's a real bad choice.

Honestly, if it was going to be anything other than a trusty sidearm, I think the NEF/H&R single shot shotguns would be ideal. (Rossi makes them too) Combine it with a chamber conversion to shoot 22, throw in 5 rounds of buck and a 100 round pack of 22 and you are good.

Ideally a converter would be about 12 inches long, that'd be enough to get decent velocity and accuracy out of a 22.

I did a very quick google search, here are three

http://www.mcace.com/shotguninserts.htm <--- long ones

You know, it might be just as easy to get a whole second barrel vs a converter. Converter would take less space though.

I'd rather have this that the M-6 scout!


This would be another option, especially with a converter, but you can easily get a 2nd full barrel



September 9, 2013, 06:38 PM
IMHO the 10/22 takedown is the one gun everyone should own. Very low profile in it's carry case which gives plenty of room to add other needed gear for an outstanding "grab & go" bag. It's reliable, durable, accurate, useful and fun.

Critical J
September 9, 2013, 07:15 PM
In all honesty, the wife shoots it better than I, but at 100 yds. I've seen her plink pie pans with that Mare's Leg. As I understand it, Henry deliberately over engineered this little .22 because it probably wouldn't be taken seriously.

The best way we've found to shoot it is neither holding it out front nor pulling it into your shoulder, but allowing it to tip forward and catch the stock with your cheek. Works perfectly fine, just takes practice, ya dig?

September 9, 2013, 07:31 PM
Browning BL22
Ruger Single Six Hunter188778

September 9, 2013, 07:36 PM
1) reliable
2) light
3) no magazine to loose
4) accurate
5) if a rifle, break down is a plus

Remington Nylon 66 hits a lot of those, so does the Marlin 60.

If you want more "punch", maybe one of those single shot "handi-rifles" with a .223 and a 20g barrel set.

Handguns ... (despite the laughing I hear in the peanut gallery) I think the Taurus Judge, short barrel, is tough to beat as a multi-use trail gun.

September 9, 2013, 09:53 PM
@ Pilot
say, what's that Ruger pistol w/ the stock and fore-end grip?
I've never seen those accessories offered before, pretty cool...

Thats no Ruger... Its a Browning Buckmark, and Buckmark Carbine.

September 9, 2013, 10:00 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this: Beretta 21A

I just got mine back from Jim Pixley. SO MUCH FUN, small, and quiet... Great backpack gun, if a pistol is what you want.



September 9, 2013, 10:35 PM
As I understand it, Henry deliberately over engineered this little .22 because it probably wouldn't be taken seriously.

This here makes absolutely no sense.

What do you mean by 'over-engineer' it? Set it up to handle higher than normal internal pressures? That makes no sense.

Do you mean they set it up to be uber-accurate? How exactly is that done? If it can be done with the 'pistol' version, why isn't it done with the regular henry 22 rifle?

If it is done, to what purpose? Henry is in the job of selling guns, if they were doing some magic voodoo to make the 22 mare's leg extra accurate, why aren't they crowing about it?

Critical J
September 9, 2013, 11:20 PM
Look, I'm an ironworker, not a gunsmith. I did have a gunsmith explain it to me once though; basically, Henry makes some great products and a few sub-par products, just like most companies. On a regular basis, according to this professional gunsmith, mind you, the same products come-in over and over. Cheaper repeaters, a certain 5-year run of Goldenboys, etc. sometimes they need repairs, sometimes they just need aftermarket work right out of the box to really excel (there was some gun that was still using leaf springs up through the mid '90s, for instance) but the usual improvements and tune-ups he would be paid to do on various rifles were already handled on the Marie's Leg. According to him they're right up there with the higher end Henry heirloom quality rifles, save expensive inlays and etc. etc.

Polishing stiff actions and all that, whatever, it was done in-house at Henry because they were hoping for a good response from the Cowboy Action crowd, which has been mixed, really...

September 9, 2013, 11:35 PM
Crickett or Chipmunk .22lr. Tiny, accurate and reliable.

September 9, 2013, 11:49 PM
I would tend to disregard "backpack size" as a determinant to picking a rifle. If the situation is bad enough for a long gun, you bet your ass my gun will be in my hands not my bag. If it isnt that bad a situation, a good, accurate, quick to deploy 9mm or substitute with lots of ammo in the bag is all i would bother bringing on a quick retreat.

Edit- unless the point is long-term survival. In that case i still wouldnt go compact. Id deal with the 6 pound weight and strap a full marlin xt-22 or savage mk2 to my pack. I trust those to the end of the earth and have a couple that are still kickin after decades of unknown use and abuse.

September 10, 2013, 12:02 AM
The Mare's Leg is fairly new. Maybe it's just a signal that Henry is constantly working on making better guns.
I've looked their stuff over and wouldn't mind trying one of their lever action .22 carbines, but the Mare's Leg looks quirky. Might be great for shooting at stuff for fun, but with no stock, I don't see it being useful to me.

I may have missed this, but why are we limited to .22 LR as the only choice for this thread?
Lately, if a guy didn't have .22 ammo he probably wouldn't be able to buy any. Conversely, there has been as much 9mm available as I could afford and even a lot of .38, .357, .40, and .45 ACP.

For a gun that is only likely to be brought out in the most dire circumstance, the .22 isn't the best choice. It excels if you need to carry a lot of ammo, but in a crisis, I'd be more likely to need a gallon of water than a brick of .22.
I'd still vastly prefer a concealable centerfire handgun and a couple reloads to any .22.

September 10, 2013, 12:53 AM
I'm the same camp as ArmedOkie, if I'm going to have a rifle with me, its going to be a full sized one in my hands. I'd take my S&W Combat Masterpiece .38 Spl, or my SP 101 .357. As the rifle goes, more than likely my Win. .375 lever, plenty of knockdown power there. I might try to get a place for the H&R 9 shot .22 revolver, not skimping on the bug out.

Critical J
September 10, 2013, 01:34 AM

This whole thread did not play-out nearly as anticipated,
I'm outta here!

September 10, 2013, 08:25 AM
My actual back packing guns are these....

Ruger 10/22 with cut down Ramline folding stock, steel lined plastic barrel and QD barrel kit from the 1980s. I usually take the pistol grip off when I pack it. 3 lbs

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v489/mac66/rl1.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mac66/media/rl1.jpg.html)

Ar7 with aftermarket stock with pistol grip removed about 2.2lbs

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v489/mac66/DSCN0302.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mac66/media/DSCN0302.jpg.html)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v489/mac66/IMG_0272_zpsb98982d5.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mac66/media/IMG_0272_zpsb98982d5.jpg.html)

Couple others not mentioned...which I don't own

Marlin Papoose-no photo

Little Badger-folding single shot .22

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v489/mac66/S_littlebadger_1_zps063a58ff.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mac66/media/S_littlebadger_1_zps063a58ff.jpg.html)

September 10, 2013, 08:43 AM
As the OP has decided to not participate in his own thread anymore I see no point in leaving this open.

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