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Rugged, reliable, lightweight .22LR survival rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by cluttonfred, Oct 13, 2009.

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  1. cluttonfred

    cluttonfred Member

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    Putting aside the bear discussion for a moment and accepting the premise for argument's sake, what rugged, reliable, lightweight .22LR rifle would you carry if your life might depend on it working reliably, every time, far from any chance of repair?

    Much as I like my Marlin Papoose (the old wood-and-blued-steel model) I wonder if a break-action, falling block or bolt-action single shot might be the most reliable option...less to go wrong.

    Then again, a blowback semi-auto is pretty reliable and even if the clip is lost or broken, most repeaters regardless of action work fine as single-shots. There is also an argument to be made that a magazine of some kind allows follow up shots and avoids fumbling for rounds when out and about, perhaps with cold hands.

    So, you've got to survive on your wits and what you can hunt with a .22 rifle. Which one do you take?

    PS--If you want to debate "to .22 or not to .22" then please see the linked thread above and save this one for the pros and cons of various .22 choices. Thanks!
     
  2. LS240

    LS240 Member

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    Well exactly what kind of survival are we talking about? If you mean having to defend yourself, then probably something that's not an autoloader since reliably is absolutely key. But a .22 isn't great for that anyways, so I assume you mean hunting for food. In that case, an autoloader should work fine as you have to work the first round into the chamber anyways just like a bolt or pump gun, so there's no difference there. If it malfunctions it's not a huge issue since it's not like that little rabbit or whatever you'd hunt with a .22 is gonna charge you. And it takes no more time to cycle the bolt on an auto than it does to work the bolt on a bolt action. And if it does function fine, you have quick follow up shots if you missed with the first(that's assuming your game didn't bolt after the first bang). Accuracy doesn't have to be match grade, just minute-of-rabbit inside 50 yards, which any decent .22 should do.

    Basically, I think any good auto .22 rifle would work. It may get a lot of knocks for being a "jam-o-matic", but the Henry AR7 Survival Rifle fits the bill. My Dad has one, and after the first 2 magazines where it had a total of 3 stovepipes it has functioned flawlessly with CCI High Velocity ball. I'd trust it as a pack gun that can put food over you fire without qualms. It's portability and water-tight storage just make it even better.

    Heck, if you're a good shot, even a .22 pistol like a Ruger MKII or MKIII, Browning Buck Mark, or Walther P22 would work. My Sister has one of the Walther's with the extended barrel and it's amazingly accurate. First time I shot the thing I just aimed at a BL bottle at about 25 yards away, one handed, and squeezed the trigger, more as a test to see how it shot than an attempt to hit the bottle. I was surprised when I centered the bottle first shot. It also ran flawlessly through several hundred rounds that day.

    I'd be confident with either of these, but in the end I think the rifle would be more effective. Since you already have something that works, stick with it.
     
  3. porschedog

    porschedog Member

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    T/C with a 22lr barrel.
     
  4. panrobercik

    panrobercik Member

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    I know you asked about a rifle but S&W 617 revolver with a 6 inch barrel and 10 shot cylinder might be more handy than a rifle offering both single and auto, no magazine to loose, accurate to 50 yards (wouldn't hunt past 50 with a 22 rifle anyway)
     
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Stainless 10-22 would be my 1st choice. With a simple blow back action there is not much to go wrong if you use good ammo. A stainless 77-22 would be my 2nd choice, but only because of the much higher price.

    In reality there are many good choices, but those 2 have proven dependable to me.
     
  6. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    Marlin 39M relatively lightweight and very accurate.
     
  7. chevyforlife21

    chevyforlife21 Member

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    just dont take something old with a heavily worn firing pin,a 77/22 would be aweosme for that.
     
  8. FMJMIKE

    FMJMIKE Member

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  9. chad1043

    chad1043 Member

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    Marlin 981T... Tube Feed, Long, Long Rifle, Short
     
  10. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    If scoped, adding to the Marlin club; a heavy barrel 7000.
     

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  11. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    your Marlin Papoose is a good choice, except I would go for the plastic and stainless model.
     
  12. Publius1688

    Publius1688 Member

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    Remington model 550-1. Tube fed, eats shorts or LR, utterly reliable. Although I would at least consider a lever action tube fed--maybe a Marlin or Henry. I couldn't stomach a clip fed if I was 'taking to the woods' without my repair tools for any period of time.
     
  13. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    I would probably go with an Anschutz single shot of some kind. From a hunting point of view it will give you the first shot as accurate as you can shoot and the build quality is top of the line. If this is going to be a rifle that is the difference between me eating or not for an extended time I want something built to the best standards. If budget is a concern I would probably go with something a little older. The quality on the older rimfires seem to be a bit better than most of todays rifles that are built to a price point.
     
  14. RonE

    RonE Member

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    Dang, I'm suprised noone has mentioned the AR-7
     
  15. chevyforlife21

    chevyforlife21 Member

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    the ar7s all though called "survival rifle" arent very good guns.
     
  16. Guvnor

    Guvnor Member

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    When I think of rugged I think bolt action or single shot. Alot less to go wrong and can go much longer without any cleaning or maintenance.
     
  17. cane

    cane Member

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    I just found a $40 bolt gun and sawed off the extra wood.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. offthepaper

    offthepaper Member

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    Cane

    Is (was) that a Mossberg M44?
     
  19. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    It was mentioned in the second post.:banghead:

    I would take my 981T. You can remove the buttplate on the synthetic stocked marlins, remove the spacer block and have a storage compartment for extra ammo, a knife and firestarter. You could also include a small fishing kit.

    The buttplate is a very tight fit and takes some work to remove the first time. I sanded around the edges of mine and made it easier to remove. The Papoose with the plastic stock packed with goodies and a spare mag would be a good choice. I like the 981T for the ability to feed all 22 loads. A few CB loads are good for small game. If you can't make a head shot they don't explode a small animal with a body shot.

    I like to think of these type of guns as more of and emergency gun than a survival gun. I don't know how long you could live out of whats in the buttstock of your gun.

    I have managed to get my truck stuck in the woods 4 different times. I thought I was going to spend a night or two on two of those trips. An emergency gun would have been nice to have at those times.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  20. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    The Marlin Model 60 is one of the best.
     
  21. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    10/22 would be an easy choice to me. I got my first one around 1970 and still have it. I can't say it has never misfired in that time but I will say it has been well shot (10's of thousands I would guess) and still works very well. I once fell in a creek while on my trapline and got the action full of fine sand, I need the gun for the rest of the day so I unloaded and suspended the gun in the current and cycled until the grit was ground up and flushed out. That was over 30 yrs ago.
    When people ask me for a must have recomendation I tell them a 10/22 with spare mags and 5k in good ammo. No matter where you live having this will get you a good start in a survival situation.
     
  22. johnmcl

    johnmcl Member

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    My thoughts are with Brian. I think a reasonable choice would be something from the Marlin 39A family.

    Take-down capability, big magazine capacity, shoots three different classes of 22, fairly insensitive to different ammo manufacturers, and is dead on accurate..... Sounds like there might be an answer there.
     
  23. cluttonfred

    cluttonfred Member

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    Just a reminder that while CB caps and the like will not cycle a semi-auto properly, there's nothing to stop you from loading them and cyclying the bold manually, biathalon style.
     
  24. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    the most reliable rugged lighweight 22 survival rifle is a browning buckmark, or a ruger stainless 22/45 or a beretta neos. all easy to break down, all easy to carry all easy reliable. although the 22/45 or any ruger will be a pain to get back together, and get them with at least 6 inch bbls. Also the smith 22a, and also the new walther composites are pretty impressive. all are short, light, long site referenced, but out of these the best would be the smith, and the berretta, since they require no tools for take down, or put together. the most rugged is the ruger, but if you don't put it back together right, just right, you are screwed.
    And yes, I included no rifle in this list; these are better, lighter, more rugged, easier to carry. And for ammo speed purposes, their just isn't a big enough diff, between a 6 or 10 inch bbl, and a 16 inch bbl of a rifle, for a 22 round speed, to make enough of a diff to matter.
     
  25. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    I like my Savage MkII synthetic. Light and accurate. If I lose the magazine I can always run it single shot.

    I have a Marlin 25 that would work well too, but I prefer a synthetic stock for survival.

    My Marlin 60 is starting to malfunction now, once I get that figured out it would also be a good choice.
     
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