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. 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.

    • I agree with part of your description of the sks.It is cheap and rugged,and with out a doubt reliable as long as your using the factory magazine.After market 10-20-30 round mags will not enhance the effectiveness of the gun,it will create a very unsatisfactory stuation for you.Oh,and by the way.This is not a 308! Buy a survival manual.

  2. If/When SHTF does occur in our area (Midwest) there are some “who will the intruders be?” considerations. There are an incresing number of SOTB (South Of The Border) people in our area. I have some “lesser” (but with awareness)concern for my neighbors but realize that roving bands of the SOTBs is MORE of a possibility. The more middle or affluent neighborhoods will be first hit by looters looking for food, supplies, etc. The SOTBs have no affiliation with the families and homes that will be victimized. We are not “anti-SOTB” but are cognizant of such probablity.

    • Do not try to hold down a fortress.You are better off on the move.You should be aware thet you should have your gear and supplies with you and and you should be gone before the lootong and skirmishes begin.Your home will be your coffin if you don’t leave it,so educate youself on survival methods of obtaining food and shelter.Fortify your mind if you really want to live.

  3. Part of survival is having allies in your own neighborhood. People who will work together and defend each other against attacks. This takes planning and agreement w/o causing paranoia and suspicion. Just how to do this is a big step.

  4. 22 or bow? As an experienced hunter using both, both have advantages and problems.

    At close range, in the hands of someone who knows what he’s doing, a 22 can take down a full grown bear. (notice that I said someone who knows what he’s doing) The same is true with a bow.

    22s use bullets, bows use arrows. the advantage of a bow is that you can learn to make arrows from tree branches, reeds, etc.

    I’ve never seen a reloaded 22. since they are rim fire and the primer is inside the casing, I’m not sure how one would reload a 22 cartridge.

    As for bows, arrows break and get lost so you should learn how to make arrows if you go the bow route. Learning to make bowstrings could come in handy too.

    22s make a lot of noise. Not as mush as the big calibers do but they do attract attention. A single shot rifle would be my choice if only because the reload and fire time is long enough to encourage better aiming and conserves ammo.

    I grew up with a single shot 22 and could hit a rabbit at well over a hundred yards with open sights. with that rifle, one rarely got a second shot.

    I guess for hunting, either would be adequate, assuming a certain level of competency. For pure survival, I’ll take my HK USP Expert in .45 ACP or a 12 gauge pump shotgun.

  5. I seen an ad from inside track its a fly rod and a 22. I grew up in the mountains. Fly fishing is easy 22 will kill some big with a shot to the head as well as small game. Not a bad deal since it fits in my bob. With any weapon I use gun or bow deadly eith both acurracy and comfortabili and familiarity with them are important.

  6. I just want to prepare myself for the worst. To buy a gun, that you take with you and hope if you run out of bullets someone will have the same kind.

  7. In a survival situation for hunting small game for dinner a .22 is essential. I agree that a semi auto is NOT the way to go. If you need to eat use it! I have an older Marlin 82 bolt action that will shoot 22s, long or shorts for silence. If someone wants what you have, and they will, a 22 will not have the penetrating power you need for protection. In this case I prefer to carry a very known reliable higher caliber pistol such as a Sig,Smith, least a 9mm. Personally I have a Sig .40. Believe it or not if you can’t protect yourself, your family or belongings why bother? That is why I also have a Colt AR carbine in 5.56/.223. To Kaw liga6064 you are crazy. The 7.62 is too heavy to carry if you need to really supply yourself. Also, I’d put my AR up against your European or Chinese SKS STAMPED receiver any day. It has been proven over and over again that my AR is waaaay more accurate than the SKS any day. You might have a little more stopping power but I will hit a man size target at 300yds any day of the week. God forbid if I have to but if its you or any of us it’s gonna be you. Think I’m crazy…but I will have all 3 guns with about 500 rounds of .22, 100 rounds of .40 and 200 rounds of .223, plus all the gear WE need to survive for as long as it takes. If there are more than one of you, which there usually are, you can split up the rifle carring duties…ammo also. SKS…NO WAY. Protection and fire making are the two best parts of bugging out. of course if you have the foresight to prepair, you will have several packs with many other types of survival gear.

  8. One more thing about your comment york…if you think it is a survival situation desperate people will shoot you and take your gun before they give you any ammo! Take enough for yourself. If you had a choice to take ONLY one gun take the .22 in a bolt action…not single(to long to reload) not semi(too complicated and harder to fix if jams). A thousand rounds will fit into a sandwich bag! So get yourself a good ammo pouch and put 1-2000 rounds in it. If you want to be prepaired…find several good friends/family members and REALLY prepair…and hope you prepaired for nothing!

  9. Survival Weapon – does that mean hunting for game in a rural area or defending a home against a mob in a suburban one?

    In either case, a 10/22 is a great tool. A light, accurate, reliable weapon that fires cheap, light ammo. A 22 will keep heads down in a firefight and one shot of .22 will drop a person if well aimed – no question. But I wouldn’t want to be in a firefight with a single shot .22 – with that caliber a semi is essential.

    As for a bow – yeah – knowing how to make bows and arrows after you run out of ammo would be useful – better have a good knife so you can do that.

    As for bigger caliber – definitely an advantage but heavy. At short range nothing beats a 12 gauge. For carry, anything over 9mm is fine. For long range I’ll take a 308 – but given weight of weapon and ammo, noise, and what you are likely to encounter – a 9mm pistol with a 10/22 or 9mm carbine seems a reasonable combo – light, easy to carry, simple, and functional. An AR can be accurate out to 500 yards too so also useful.

    • totally agree. if your carrying a heavy pack, food clothes, tools, and plan on being mobile a big cartridge is too heavy you will never carry enough ammo to last long. Also, its not likely that big game like deer are going to be running around everywhere. more likely are birds dogs cats rabbits etc.

  10. Thank you Jim and Tune you both make valid points. Looks I need to make note what I need to do to survive. Making a bow, I will need to learn how to do well. I just don’t want to buy something that in the long run I can’t fix or have enough money to buy bullets. I want something that the bullets can fit in other weapons i.e. a bow or this posible. Do I need to make my own ?

  11. I’ve taken care of people shot with a .22, and to say it is not a defensive option is stupid. By far, there are better choices, but you can put holes in people as fast with a 10/22 as you can with an AR or other semi auto. I would also add the sectional density of a .22 solid is relatively high, and it will penetrate quite adequately from a rifle. It will of course not cause cavitary wounding or expand reliably.

    Big game? Shoot it over and over, it’s not the best choice but it will do.
    Small game? A bigger gun will destroy it, and small outnumbers the large game by far.

    I would prefer the 10/22 to any bolt and to any single shot. The ability to shoot again just makes it more versatile.

    I agree with the OP. it is not perfect, but if I only had one choice, this would be it.
    Add BX 25 magazines, a few spare parts and a bore snake, add a supressor or tech sights.
    For the ultimate compact version, a ruger charger dropped into a folding stock (nfa) would be a pretty handy variant.

    The good news is we don’t have to settle on just one rifle if we prepare now.

    • I have hunted all my life.. If there was one gun I had to have would be a 10 22 Ruger…second choice a bolt action 22. Carry enough bullets in a suitcase to shoot for years…only choice 22LR


  12. I have been thinking about this for over a year. I am 50, not a kid. And after much thought and a few dollars decided on the following for my Bug out situation and would like all of your thoughts. My long gun of choice is a RRA 6.8 coyote. Big enough, yet small enough for 2 leg or 4 leg situation. Ammo is expensive as hell. So only used for specific needs in the field. My Kimber procarry as main defense. And my Ruger mark 3 bull barrel 22 for every thing else. With this decision, the mark3 can take all small game (maybe larger) is light weight with lots of rounds. Dependable as all get out. And can be used as a defense gun if needed to back up the 45acp. The 6.8 will take care of anything else long range. And have enough knock down for any size game with good placement. And the 45 is what it is. The best short range gun of choice. If they all break, I will have or make a bow. Conclusion: One long gun, two pistols that can do everything needed in a pinch. All of your thoughts please.

    • I like it. This makes the most sense. Any long range dependable rifle. I would choose 308 bolt action, a 22 and 45 hand gun and you are pretty set.

    • Taurus Judge revolver, ruger 10/22, and savage 223 bolt action plenty of ammo for .22, 223, 410, and .45 all decent enough to come by and on the cheaper end decent range out a the .223, 5 shots of 410 or 45 colt at all times and a 22 with a sH*t ton of ammo for all purposes

  13. I’ll take my old Mossberg 20 gauge slugster, Ruger 10/22 and Kimber TLE II into the apocalypse any day. I can shoot a Zombie in the head at 75 yards, kill what i need to eat, and defend what I have with all three of those choices…and all of you goombahs who poo-poo the .22 as a defensive weapon are morons.

    • Reminton 870, .40 SA XD, Ruger10/22. I got ’em. Its’s the only way to go. (300 mix 00 buck, BBB—800 .40 cal—3000 22lr.)

    • Reminton 870, .40 SA XD, Ruger10/22. I got ’em. Its’s the only way to go. (300 mix 00 buck, BBB—800 .40 cal—3000 22lr.) In September–an AR 15!

  14. FYI anyone considering using a bow, while a good idea, keep in mind that unless u have the ability to make metal arrows, and modern bow will shatter home made wooden arrows because of the power of the draw strings.

    • Well really i would think you would have to consider what type of bow your using, a compound bow obviously, if it has a high draw weight. But if your using a homemade bow made of PVC pipe i would think not so much. As for the cheaper/less complicated bows, like a straight up long/short bow or a recurve, im not to sure. I think that, depending on the draw weight, you could use wooden arrows. Just my thoughts though.

    • A recurve or long bow at 55 lbs will shoot homemade arrows all day, go find some cane poles or make some from hickory limbs or walk into a store and take some dowl rods etc.

  15. Plenty of morons on this one.

    The silent kill BS, .22 shorts CBs are useless, no penetration at all so what if they are quiet so is a wrist rocket with a .30 cal steel ball and prolly the same damage.

    22lr is a completely different story, get a box of CCI stinger jhp and find an old truck. Cap as many as you want thru the cab, 9 out of 10 are coming out the back side. That folks is penetration.
    36 gr jacketed hollow point at 1500+ fps is plenty of fire power.
    As for hunting an idiot who has been around the woods in hunting season knows you here large calibers for miles where as Ive shot my 22lr in the back yard and people in the house not heard it over the tv. In a pinch tape a 2lt bottle over the barrel and people in the next room might not hear it.

    As for the 10/22 it will be one of the most common after SHTF and happens to be a very easy gun to work on. Which in most cases won’t be a concern because it is also one of the most reliable semi autos ever built any where.

    Then there is this aspect which surprisingly no one has mentioned

    An other note about a previous comment, .22lr often don’t break bones, yeah that is true, the don’t stop on it either the bounce and cause some seriously nasty wounds. Something a true survivalist should consider is using this to their advantage. Body armor, Go for the Head shot? No hit them in the pelvis with some semi auto .22lr and most times the bullet will turn north and end up in the chest if it doesn’t exit near the neck.

    Repairs, if your a prepper you can buy 12 of these for the price of an AR15 so its not unreasonable to expect you to have some spare parts.

    For those that treat survival like everything else and it has to be the biggest baddest don’t be surprised when a smart mother F with a 10/22 eats your dinner and enjoys your $1500 AR.

    • too funny, wish i could post a pick of my lower half jaw that was blasted off by a 22…13 surgeries in, yeah,i just brushed that pea shooter off like nothing.

  16. A 10/22 is a great weapon and I also own one, but I also own an Ar-15, M1A and other survival weapons with plenty of Ammo. If all you have is a 10/22, after my year of stored food runs out, I will take your 10/22 away from you and anything else I want!

    • If the person with the 10/22 see’s you first the M1A/Ar-15 doesn’t matter. Lets get real here, a buddy of mine shot a dog with a .177 pellet rifle to get it out of his shed, the dog bled to death in under 15 seconds. He was shocked he never thought that could of happened in a million years. Bullet placement is always gonna be more important than power. If someone shoots you from a 100 yards standing back in their top floor bedroom your never going in that house, Period. I don’t care if you’re Jon Rambo. Plus even if you did live from the shot more than a couple minutes good luck surviving more than a couple days in a real SHTF situation with no doctors to fix what the bullet tore up/fight infection.

  17. What I have is:
    Mossberg 590 / Glock 9mm / 30/30 / Couple of 22’s.
    But really, all I need is the 590 and a bottle of ketchup. The game will run out fast so the ketchup will help with the next meal ya get with the 590. “Hello neighbor!”

      • Agreed, but make that either nitro piston or variable pump. Spring piston can lose strength after a while and co2 could be a pain to find. Make it a .22 cal with atleast 600 fps, if .177 go 900 fps or more basically atleast 12 lbs or more and you should be fine with small game out to 30 yards and more if more powerful.

  18. The military has worked throught this issue over the years and has apparently come to the conclusion that lighter weight ammo is important because solders can carry more of it. Also if cost is an issue you can get a savage bolt action .223 from wally world for $300 and 500 rounds of ammo from sportsman’s guide for $120.

  19. I shoot a .308, 870, and .22. I also hunt with a recurve. Know the limitations of whatever tools you have and become proficient in their use. Everything has its pros and cons.

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