The Best Survival Rifle – Why the Ruger 10/22 should be #1 on your list!

A lot of so-called gun experts, and dipshits working for gun magazines who have never actually fired a rifle in their lives, try to dismiss the effectiveness of adding the Ruger 10/22 to your survival stockpile of weaponry. Don’t listen to them; they are in most cases liberal journalists hired to pose as gun people – they don’t have the first clue about firearms or shooting, and they’re even stupider when it comes to survival.

Sure they know how to spin a fancy article, especially when they steal their facts and figures from sites like this, but make no mistake, they are clueless!

Is the Ruger 10/22 one of the Best Survival Rifles you can Own?

What’s the best rifle for survival?

This is a highly debated question and one that usually stirs up some heated debate. I’m not going to sit here and debate whether the Ruger 10/22 is the best rifle for survival, but I will try to make a case why it should be part of any survival-related stockpile of firearms.

While there’s no “perfect” survival rifle, I think the .22 rifle is probably one of the best survival guns that you can own. Now I know I’m going to get some comments that totally disagree with what I’m about to say, but there are a number of reasons that a .22 should be at the top of your list of survival guns.

Affordability and Aftermarket Accessories

Ruger 10/22 Options

To begin with, the .22LR Rifle is one of the most affordable and versatile firearms in the world. For me, it’s all about getting the biggest bang for your buck; the .22 allows you to do just that. If you’re on a strict budget, the ability to buy multiple rifles, instead of one that might fail with time, just makes more sense.

When it comes to the Ruger 10/22, you will not find another .22 caliber firearm that is more affordable, reliable and has the ability to take on so many aftermarket accessories. You can find 25, 30, 50, and even 110-round magazines just about anywhere for these, and besides the AR15, there is no other firearm that you can customize the Ruger 10/22 rifle.

The Ammo is Still Dirt Cheap

.22 Long Rifle ammo is the most common type of ammunition in the world. It’s super cheap, widely available, and can be used in both rifles and pistols. If you’re low on cash and need to stock up on ammo, this is a good type of rifle to start out with.

If you’re out in the field, you can carry thousands of rounds of .22 caliber ammo; try to do that with any other caliber.

When the SHIT hits the Fan, you want a common rifle and a common caliber.

Since this is an article about survival applications of a firearm, we are going to touch on something that most so-called experts fail to cover: the ability to find supplies during a long-term survival situation.

Ruger 10/22

With over 7 million Ruger 10/22s being sold to the public, there is a good chance that even during a long-term disaster you are going to be able to find supplies for your Ruger. Add to that the fact that the .22 is most sold caliber of bullets in the world and you have yourself one more reason to stockpile some 10/22 rifles.

Hunting and Self-Defense

The 10/22 is often thought of as nothing more than a target gun, but the .22 LR is great for hunting small to mid-size game, and with the right shot you can take down just about anything. In fact, it’s a very popular firearm with poachers who routinely use it to take down large game.

I know a ton of people who use a .22 bolt action rifle as their main hunting weapon. Many of them, because they have the skills to do so, routinely take down big game with it.

Here is a great little video from the Traditional Bowhunting And Wilderness Podcast talking about why everyone should own a Ruger 10/22

Which .22 Rifle Should you Buy?

There are a lot of really good rifles out there, but if I could only choose one, it would be the Ruger 10/22 and here’s why:

  1. The Ruger 10/22 is probably the most popular rifle on the market. If the SHTF, having this gun could come in handy if you have to barter for parts. It’s going to be a lot easier to find parts for guns that are popular.
  2. It’s also an easy gun to work on. If your gun breaks, you not only want one that is easy to find parts for but one that will be easy to put back together.
  3. There Cheap. For under $200 you can buy a brand new Ruger. I suggest buying a couple, that way you can swap parts in an emergency.
  4. Because of their popularity, there’s a huge aftermarket. It’s very easy to find extra magazines, add-ons, and scopes specifically made for the Ruger. One Caveat here is that some of the aftermarket magazines are complete garbage and made with crappy plastic parts so make sure you do your research.
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  1. Absolutely agree. The Ruger 10/22 made my list of top 3 weapons every prepper needs a while back. The other two were a Remington 870 shotgun and a Marlin 30-30. With those three weapons you have a pretty diverse way to provide food on the table.

    This of course doesn’t really consider operational security. That’s another topic altogether.



  2. After SHTF I would not want human predators to hear me shooting.

    re CCI 22 CB Longs
    Survival Guns by Mel Tappan
    page 177 quote ” In a barrel of 22″ or longer the CB cap is almost totally silent. At a distance of 8 feet from the muzzle of my 24″ Anschutz, the sound level from firing was only 9 db, and at 15 feet was totally inaudible. Not only does this lack of noise make the CCI long CB caps desireable for indoor or backyard target practice, it makes them virtually a necessity for survival use should you ever need to do some shooting without attracting attention or alarming game in the neighborhood.”

    The Remington subsonic 22LR round has three times the impact, but is little louder than the CB.
    The .22 Long Rifle: one of our oldest calibers continuously improves.
    Guns Magazine, March, 2005 by Charles E. Petty
    Tossing “Rocks” – Shooting Subsonic .22s

  3. You make some good points. My choice of which .22 is a bit different than yours, however. My Marlin 39A Mountie is my choice for best .22 rifle for survival, barely edging out my Marlin 81 bolt action. The 81 with its 24″ barrel is substantially quieter with Remington and Aguila subsonic ammo, though. And unlike the 10/22 I used to have, it actually stabilizes the heavy-bullet Aguila SSS.

    • I have a Marlin 60 that is extremely accurate and reliable tube fed 22. Granted it doesn’t allow for quick mag reloading, but it also doesn’t have a long mag sticking out like most folks with a 10/22 have rather than using the stock mag. Since I already have it and it has a scope, don’t see a need to buy a 10/22, but would if I didn’t have the Marlin. Both are very good 22 rifles. Ammo is light and cheap.

  4. If you’re going to get an 870 …..hurry. Tactical shotguns are a pretty “hot” item at the moment. Everyone wants one. I tried getting a Mossberg 590 unsuccessfully a month ago. I did get one, not exactly the way I wanted it, but had to take what the distributor had in stock in order to get it. As for a survival rifle…whatever the person is comfortable with . I have a 10/22 that belonged to my father. I’m not comfortable with it and would use it only if I had to. I grew up with .22 bolt action rifles and used M 14’s and M16’s in the military, qualified several hundred hours on the .22 as a member of an NRA Rifle club as a teenager.Qualified on both the “14” and the “16” in the military, but nothing, but nothing equals the stopping power of a 7.62 to me. My opinion based on experience as a police officer, soldier, and hunter. Curious item: The Army once did a medical study, an Army pathologist once told me, on the damage an AK round will do to the human body. The study was based on actual battle wounds from Vietnam. It said the damage was awesome and gruesome. I guess the real issue is a definition of the word “survival weapon” . Only the individual can define what it means, then decide what is required for his or her own survival scenerio.

  5. All too often, people over look the .22. I used to hunt with one all the time when I was younger. I couldn’t find anywhere else on the site a mention of learning to shoot a bow. In a true SHTF situation, I would never fire a gun unless absolutely necessary because of the noise factor. With a bow, I can shoot at prey all day and noone would know where I was. While it’s true that I’m limited to around 100 yards, I can inflict a LOT of damage with no indication of where I’m at. In addition to this, in most cases I can go pick up my arrow and reuse it countless times. Just something to think about :)

    • Nothing wrong with that thinking but if you knock your guy down with the fire arm first shot you can pump in a few more no matter how loud. Indian style would scare the poo out of the baddest of the bad boys ,can just see them around a camp fire an a swish out of no where rolls one into the hot coals with a shower of embers, oh what fun :)

    How does the noise of your bow releasing an arrow compare to a 22″ barrel rifle firing a CCI 22 CB Long?

    Survival Guns by Mel Tappan
    page 177 quote ” In a barrel of 22″ or longer the CB cap is almost totally silent. At a distance of 8 feet from the muzzle of my 24″ Anschutz, the sound level from firing was only 9 db, and at 15 feet was totally inaudible.

    PS Please see the fourth comment on this page re
    22LR subsonic ammo.

  7. Actually if you are using a longbow or crossbow it is nearly inaudible. The difference between that and a subsonic .22 round is power. If you slow down a .22 bullet to the point of silence it has much less power than an arrow or bolt. If silence is key, go primitive. If what you want is faster shooting, go modern.

  8. For the sustainability factor, i think a bow would be the way to go. Personally i prefer a recurve but they all work pretty well. With a gun eventually your going to run out of ammo, even if you can make your own rounds. You can just whittle/resuse arrows, with limited range and rate of fire of course.

    A gun would be useful in self defense and maybe hunting if you really cant bag anything with a bow. But in the case of hunting wouldnt you want a longer range, powerful rifle? Maybe a Remington SPS Tactical? .308 is fairly common and pretty accurate. And a handgun would be good for self defense. Just my thoughts.

  9. For personal protection and most big game purposes, a good a 12-guage pump from a reputable manufacturer is the way to go. But for general purpose hunting of small game, and some big game, the 22 is the most useful tool you can have. 50 rounds fit into your pocket very easily and the cost factor is neglegible. As for me, my 22 of preference is a Henry lever action youth model. It will shoot whatever brand of 22 is available from CB cap to Stinger ammo. It can also be broken down for easy carry in a backpack and ready for use fairly quickly if needed. I agree that the 10/22 is a great 22 but it must be kept clean and it will only shoot CB caps or snake shot one at a time. As for a pistol, my Taurus 9-shot revolver will also shoot any ammo is also easily carried in a side pocket of the backpack or as a side arm. I feel good using either with confidence and accuracy.

  10. LOVE the web site jus found it today! As for the bow vs the.22 both are tools and each serve a purpose. I think the bow has much more power then the.22 i.e. deer hunters don’t use .22s. Both can be deadly and efficient when in the right hands. I think the most important thing with what ever weapon you decide to claim is your SHFT weapon is to: be extremely comfortable with it, be able to use it with great accuracy, and practice makes perfect.

  11. I’ve read your page time and time again it’s the bomb. Any time you can learn something it’s worth it.. Everyone talks about this gun that rifle the dependability of a fire arm. Knowing that all thing that move will wear out. Leaving out conflict or fire fight with the human spices.For this i would prefer my colt 1911 or my rem.700 bolt action My 30 some odd years of hunting and survival in general.the one fire if I had to depend on would be my hawken’s 50 cal. I’ve fired it off thousands of time and with a little smithing knowledge I have manufacture my own springs clip screws I can produce my own projectiles flint or chert not hard to come by if you know where to look .As with powder it’s easily made from your surroundings BUT as the little old man that thought me how stated DON’T make it in large amounts it’s dangerous.No need to barter for parts or ammo ..Being total self sufficient is what survival is all about THE MORE YOU KNOW THE LESS YOU HAVE TO CARRY…

  12. bow vs 22? i would vote for bow because of its versatility.most modern bows can change the draw weight this mean that you can hunt everything from squirrel to bear with relative ease

  13. I have to shake my head everytime this type of discussion comes up. My credentials speak for themselves in this case: Engineer, former factory trained gunsmith for multiple manufacturers (including Ruger), highly trained and practicing survivalist, just to name a few. I am constantly seeing people comment that this or that make and model firearm is the ideal survival arm. Well there simply is no such thing. As each specific set of circumstances are different, so are the firearms that will best fill them. The .22LR has one advantage large volumeof rounds in minimal weight and thats it. NO rimfire is 100% ideal and absolutely NO semi auto is a best choice. A break action single shot or a bolt action single shot are the best choices action wise due to absolute simplicity and minimal parts count. A break action single shot.22 can be made in as few as 12 parts: 2 springs,firing pin, a trigger,hammer, extractor, barrel, receiver, buttstock and 3 screws. With the exception of the barrel, every part can be made by hand, without power tools INCLUDING the receiver. Granted the receiver wont be easy but it can be done (and was in the past by manufacturers). This is a lot less complicated than any semiauto out there, so to say that parts availability makes a good point in a survival firearm, is like saying a baboon makes a good watch dog… it CAN but it just isnt the best choice. Next a single shot is startling so you choose your shots and make them count. Taking more than one is where you will draw attention or scare game away. IF defense is an issue no .22 rimfire is an option and plays into tne next reason why not to choose a rimfire to begin with. You do not know what game you will be taking so do not risk an under powered round, go center fire. BUT dont go overboard,,, stick with the main reasons you would for choosing the .22lr to begin with Large volume of rounds minimal space. Best choice allowing for small game up to medium size game (deer)? The .22 Hornet. Just slightly larger than a .22 magnum but substantially better performance. Greater reliability in ignition, better bullets than the .22lr… and available in the same actions as the best choices for a .22lr survival rifle. Prior to the electronic lcation era for military aircraft this was the round chosen by the US military for their survival firearms in their aircraft (an o/u .410/.22hornet) Springfield Armory made a civillian version for a while and if you can get a hold of one, THAT is your best bet as the closest thing to an IDEAL survival firearm.

    • I agree. A semi-automatic is the worst weapon for survival. Too many things can go wrong. Nothing beats a rock solid bolt action like a CZ452 or 455 or a single shot. 22LR wins hands down. It may not be the Rambo man stopper but what people fail to consider is mass of the ammo, price and the fact that it has no recoil. i.e. a 22lr rifle can be extremely accurate in a survival situation. Also without medical facilities who is going to risk getting shot with one. The bullet has a nasty habit of bouncing around inside you. i.e. the attacker will die. I don’t think any survival list is complete without a good air rifle. Can store huge amounts of ammo and you definitely won’t go hungry. You not going to be out in the woods all day shooting deer every time you hungry. The most pletiful game is small game and air rifles excel in this dept and make no noise and of course you can buy thousands of rounds for few Dollars. As for bartering 10/22 parts, OMG!! the first person you walk up to to barter is going to ram your 10/22 where the sun doesn’t shine. LOL. Final point. Stay away from telescopic sights. Stick with open iron or a good williams peep.

    • Scott, I totally agree with you about the Springfield, it is a wonderful and handy gun to have in one’s collection. I got lucky three years ago, when the grandfather of a close friend gave me a lovingly cared for Springfield M6 Scout .22 Hornet/410GA, as a present for my 50th birthday (he had three). I quickly familiarized myself with this treasure, at the range and on hunting/camping trips with my sons (21, 18 & 11yrs). But in the case of a SHTF situation, I also have two Henry’s, a .45/70 Lever Action Rifle, and an AR-7 .22LR Rifle, a Mossberg 3 in 1 Pump Action 12 GA500 12M/28MC/18CB, one pair each of Glock Game Warden Model 22 .49 S&W Semi-Auto Pistols, and S&W .50 500SW Mag’s, and my “piece de resistance”, a Barrett M82A1 .50BMG Semi-Auto Sniper 50 Rifle, plus day/night scopes for all of them. If that is not enough, I have three dogs, a German Shepherd/Alaskan Husky mix, a Pitbull/Boxer mix, and a Chocolate Labrador Retriever. I have had them since they were about two months old, and though they are friendly around people, they are trained hunting/ guard dogs, and they have and will protected my family and I. On hunts, they work together like a wolf pack. Though it’s been hard, over the years I have stocked up on spare parts for my weapons, along with ammo and gun maintenance gear, and taken the time to learn how to repair them. I have also taken the time to teach my sons the same, along with proper gun etiquette, and they have used all the weapons in the field, and at the gun range, except for my youngest, who is not ready to handle the Barrett and the Henry .45/70. I always store my ammo in their appropriate cans, after I have vacuum sealed them along with silica packets. This method of has not ever failed me, and my guns are only removed from their individual cases, when I use them or for maintenance, and they are always, always locked in a gun safe.

  14. i like 22lr i own a bolt action rimfire i could not ask for more,and the bullets are affordable too.but a bow i like them but i wold lose arrows real fast they are hard to find if you do a long shot.

    • I bought a crossbow. Modern Bows/Crossbows are the WORST thing you can buy. Not sure where to begin. Crossbows are simply to heavy, too unwieldy, the arrows are very expensive and unless you hit a nice big fat juicy target you can write them off. If you injured or weak forget about cocking a crossbow or firing a decent bow. Compound bows are even worse!! Unless you are a bowyer and can recite all 4 volumes of the bowyers bible (i.e you can make one from scrath with pocket knife) forget about bows. Wasted $600 thinking a crossbow was the perfect survival weapon!

  15. Bolt action all the way. Simplicity, reliability under all weather conditions, accuracy.

    Remington Model 7. Fixed 2.5x scope. 7mm-08.

    Take down any bad guy (urban shtf) or game (wilderness shtf) up to black bear in a NY minute. Utterly reliable.

    And give me a collapsible fishing rod. F*** squirrels and rabbits and the Ruger 10/22.

    • I agree with everything you have said. If i were to hunt small game, all I need is a freezer, a stick and a pond full of frogs, and start clubbing them dead! I do not know why any one would choose any thing smaller than a .223. The .223 itself is a tiny piece of ****. So is the .22, and the 5.56. As for the Bow and Arrow, always an option if your target is stationary, or you want to get mauled. Go for a 12 gauge that can switch barrels from a slug gun to modified choke, and a rifle at least .30 cal or larger. **** the .22 and every one who has made it popular.

      • P.S. I know someone who was drunk, crashed in a ditch and clubbed frogs to survive, and cooked them over a fire he started with McDonald’s wrappers! He did this without much effort. It all depends on where you are. The .22 is a waste of time. It has tons of ammo, it is extremely reliable, But in my opinion it is the least versatile firearm in the history of mankind. A ****ing nailgun can do more damage than a .22. so can you’re bare hands, a stick, a knife, a sword, a pen, a pencil, or anything that can stab, or claw at you. The .22 is the biggest waste of time that any firearms manufacturer has ever participated in making. I every ounce of sweat, and brass, and powder, and lead, and copper, etc. was use to make 7.62’s and even .223’s and scopes, We would be able to buy high caliber rifles cheap, high quality scopes cheap, and even ammo for said guns cheap. If you think the opposite of me you are a sap and think that .22 can take down an elephant. The .22 sucks diddly squat and should be all of them in existence should be melted down to make guns that actually make a clean, humane, manly kill like a gun should. .22’s are the most inhumane firearms in the world. For every big game animal or person you shoot with a .22, they will suffer 5 or more bullets bouncing around grinding their insides before they are even close to dieing. If you want to give anything a slow and painful death, choose a .22 you cruel savage, but if you have balls, guts, or anything good in you’re heart don’t let even robbers suffer that way, and choose a gun that kills fast and accurately. If you think that just a bunch of bull, go ahead, everyone of you with a .22 that has shot anyone with a .22 is not a man. No one should suffer a .22 I’d rather get shot by a tank than a ***ch **s .22. And I would be happy. the .22 is not a people killer in any half **sed sense of that phrase. Don’t buy .22’s in any manner as self defense, or small game, a stick, a freezer, a pond full of frogs, or a cheap air rifle, are all you need for small game.

        • You are a fool…you want ot get shot in the face with a worthless .22? I do very well with a nicely set up Ruger 10-22. I am also guessing you have no clue what you are doing. Nice to have a larger caliber?…you bet…problem is you don’t have any idea about survival…deer? Who cares! This isn’t the old west mountain era. If we have to survive today with no power, what are you going to do with a whole deer…barter for smaller pieces? I’ll barter with ya…shoot ya with a .22 i the face and take what I need and leave the rest…a 22 and a shotgun will be best when shtf in an urban area…will I need a larger caliber…yeah…but with my .22 I ‘ll just take that away from the incompetent fool that thinks he wins because his gun is bigger…oh…bring on your bare hands tough guy…I could put plenty of holes in those with my wimpy .22

          • hahaha he told you , i agree i just got into the 10-22 game , and have a big history of shooting and have 15 different firearms ( i collect ) but if shtf your going to want to be on the move , anyone static in a house is asking to be runover and belive me i have 5,000 rounds of different AMMO in my house from .22 -9mm-.40sw-.45acp – 12gauge at some point somone will try and run you over and take your shit so being on the move is key , i personaly would take my .40 xd my .22 10-22 , and my shotgun , all can fit in one backpack case with ammo and would do everything i need i would carry my pistol for immediate deffence , shotgun also and hunt with my .22 because without a refrigerator i wouldnt want anything as big as a deer , and with my family all carrying there weight in packs n ammo we would survive .22 ammo equals lots of ammo equals long time usage and food every night , and i promise u if needed my friend a .22 would kill a human , not first choice but if i shot you in the throat with 1 or 10 .22 rounds , you would no longer be a threat , and i could do it from 100 yards plus before you knew i was there

          • A 22 rifle will help you obtain food and may prevent you from being eliminated.There are many military survival manuals out there for 5$ or less that can that can describe in detail best possible survival scenarios to keep you alive.Never engage an adversary unless you know your life is in absolute jeapordy.My belief is that a 22 rifle is the most portable and resonably silent weapon you can have with you.Always keep in mind the most effective weapon you have is setting right on your shoulders.

          • damn right they do…. when i think ‘tactical’ im thinking 10/22. take out a light giving your cover away, shoot that dog that wont shut up when your hiding from whatever. i can put each one of those ten rounds under your fingernails for you. that, to me, is dangerous. best weapons in my opinion….10/22 for every day and tactical use, my sr40 for close quarter self defense… and my 7.62×39 sks for when shit really hits the fan and i need a haymaker. i always thought a bow would be the way to go but i actually had an internet revelation reading above on the impracticalities of them. and if youre to the point of having to use your shotgun…in my mind your already dead. why do people even own them?

        • Luke you are an idiot and a should really do some research before you open your mouth and rant like the dumbass you are.

        • good god was an ignorant rant….I would definitely keep a couple of .22’s in the inventory despite what this blowhard spews…lol

        • Luke you’re dead wrong on the 22 long rifle round. Maybe some people can’t afford anything but a 22cal. Do you recall the early eighties when Airline high jacking was popular for 3years? Look it up. The MOSSAD in Israel equal to our Seal Team 6 are bad ass. They put 2 agents on a Plane armed with 22cal Beretta
          Model 70S pistols. They would walk to you point blank and shoot you in the head ! High Stopped. Their civilian know nothing about it for good while. Agents dressed I n plain clothes

      • Dear Mr… Luke,

        Thank you for your excellent endorsement of .22 firearms. When you wrote, “.22′s are the most inhumane firearms in the world. For every big game animal or person you shoot with a .22, they will suffer 5 or more bullets bouncing around grinding their insides before they are even close to dieing. If you want to give anything a slow and painful death, choose a .22 you cruel savage”, it struck a deep and primal chord in me.

        It’s good to know that even a person who firmly believes BIGGER is better recognizes the dangerous potential of a tiny little gun. If you would also kindly recognize that, without antibiotics, doctors, or at least somebody else to hunt, protect, and carry away your turds for you while you recover from infection (a slow and painful process I can assure you from personal experience), you are as good as dead from even a single decent shot in the scenario discussed in these comments.

        Once you recognize that fact, you may also make the leap to the conclusion that anybody cruel and savage enough to own a .22 does so precisely because he or she can afford to use five rounds to your one, and afford enough guns to arm his or her family for the price of one of yours. What cruel, cruel, pragmatic savages these people be.

        So, your comment has given me hope that even somebody who loves big guns will turn the other way when he or she hears the pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, of a .22. And my very first firearm purchase will be a .22 rifle.

        Thanks so much.



  16. I have numerous guns but if forced to choose three would go for a .22. Compact as possible to fit in a back pack. Taurus tracker. 22 with 6″” heavy barrel so as to shoot shorts, long rifle etc with a sturdy 2x scope. Or a Henry survival or Marlin Papoose rifle with takedown capability. A pump action 12ga shotgun. These can be had cheaply and are versatile. Lastly a 30/30 lever gun. I’m partial to the stainless ones offered by Marlin and Rossi. This being said I recommend the addition of two combat designated magazine fed arms. A glock pistol in 9mm(or. 40SW second) and a combat rifle in .308 or. 223. Heavily used police and military calibers. This can provide an edge above survival guns into the combat zone to meet the firepower of potential marauders.

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