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. Some interesting comments. There is no perfect solution or perfect gun combo since we really do not know what will occur. My current thoughts are to go with the Browning Semi-auto 22LR (SA22), Browning Buckmark Camper pistol (.22LR) as back-up should the SA22 fail, and a Ruger SP101 4″ barrel DA/SA revolver chambered for 357/38.

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  3. Just something I’d just remember
    Mark Wallberg in a “Sniper” film kill 3 bad guys with a 22 rifle and an adapted silencer… after that he says… “not bad for a 22”

    A big hug from Brasil.

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  5. I would choose an AR-7, because it’s a .22 (obviously), it can be dissassembled and stored in the stock (so you can store it in a backpack or duffel bag), it weighs 2.5 lbs., and it floats in water (so if you drop it in a river by accident, you won’t lose it underwater), unlike other rifles which can sink in water. When I go hunting, I plan on using an AR-7 (or AR-7 varient) rifle.

  6. 22lr is good allow around gun.Small game getter.SemiAuto sure.My 10/22 will also fire single round.Noise ?the subsonic fired from derringer was noisy.Noy as bad in 10/22 but in bolt action only heard impact in 10/22 heard some from ejecting round.snares are good.Harbor freight has squirrel traps like $6. BB good for paper targets unable to kill squirrel/rat/or quail with one.Pellet diffrent story!Bow and arrow take LONG practice.Native Americans adopted cartridgge arms as soon as they could.Those small crossbows will shoot godd distance but have buried many abolt underground an d the prong/crossarms tend to bend out of shape quickly.Get a 22lr first then anyother gun you can afford.

  7. Hhhmmn! Lot of comments with a lot of opinion without a lot of facts. If your opinion is different, so be it. But to justify your OPINION without any fact based information to cite and back up what you say, and just declare that you are right suggests a lack of critical thinking skills and/or any exposure to other/new information and experience. There is also a lot of conjecture as to why something is a good choice and something else isn’t based on either outdated information, wives tales or just plain ignorance. That leaves a lot of places to begin and many paths to go down. So here goes.

    Not to put words in the OP’s mouth but I think, and he can certainly correct me here if need be, but perhaps a better way of looking at what his point is, would be “if you could have only ONE rifle” what would it be? THAT question should be able to be answered without any significant angst if one considers logic and the maximum amount of utility from the least amount of resources in one object. Also while the OP didn’t say so it was sort of implied that you would be in a defined geological location, particularly if there was some place to barter. In any event that is the premise I am using, that you are in your BOL area. If you are the romantic, lone, determined survivor and going to live off the land as you go…good luck with that. (Not saying u can’t do that but it is not an ideal sit. and certainly not for extended periods, and most people that think that are under 40, even 30). One of the first premises that is just wrong is that semi-automatics are too complicated for survival use. Funny, the survival rifle for the fly boys of (insert favorite service branch here), that need them, is the AR-7,and it has been since the 60’s. First, the 10/22 is THE semi-automatic gold standard for .22 rimfire…period. Any one that shoots on any of the circuits that use .22LR rifles in competition use 10/22s. Have never see ANY other brand, must be a reason. The lifespan of a semi-auto is measured in 10s of thousands of rounds through the action and you will never shoot out the barrel. Bolt actions, pups and break opens have a life span measured in thousands of rounds at best as the cycling of the bolt, pump or break open action “loosens and wears” with each cycle…ever open an old break open anything (pistol, shotgun or rifle) and notice how loose they were? How many rounds do you think went through it. Those weapons aren’t made for 100K rounds and the mfgers know that people won’t use them that way. Semi-autos are made for the traffic and designed appropriately. Why 10/22 and not others? Well you can certainly find cheaper semi-auto rifles. Marlin, Savage etc. The first rule of gunfighting is have a gun. It isn’t so much that I’m knocking the other guns but extolling the virtues of how much better the 10/22 is for the defined mission. All things being equal, and there was ONLY one 10/22 and of each of the other brands, it doesn’t matter. But that isn’t the case. Some companies will not sell certain repair parts to people that aren’t gunsmiths certified to repair their guns. You can buy everything for the 10/22 except the receiver and everything is user repairable without the need of a gunsmith. The trigger group is modular, the iron sights are upgradable and replaceable, the barrel can be replaced with a screw driver, the bolt is replaceable. These can all be replaced by the end user. Try that with Marlin or Savage. I own them, but only as barter items. There are more after market items made for the 10/22 than all the other .22 rifles combined! More to come.

  8. So, what good is a 10/22 when you can have something bigger/better(?)? Just carry a .22 pistol and a “real” rifle. Well, just sticking to ONE gun, the 10/22 is VERY accurate, allows plenty of rapid fire and gives you a real 100 yd standoff range, whereas a pistol (of any NOMINAL caliber) is not a 100 yd weapon. A pistol is for fighting your way to a rifle, just sayin’. You can really carry a thousand rounds of .22LR. Try that with center fire ammo!!! Big difference. I can shoot a dime sized group at 25 METERS (83 ft) on the Appleseed course of fire with the Tech Sights iron sights (M-16ish sights for the 10/22). A squirrel head at 50 yds is more than doable and a body shot should be a slam dunk IF you know how to shoot properly. The .22LR has taken ALL game animals on the N. American continent. Now that doesn’t mean is should be tried, particularly for brown (grizzly) bears. If you have to shoot a large animal you shoot from
    “eye to opposite ear” or vice versa. Shoot an elk through the left eye and imagine you are trying to hit just behind the right ear. Ear to eye will work but is not as sure of a shot. I personally wouldn’t shoot a brown bear unless I was going to die in the next day or two from starvation. IMHO! I spent the better part of 4 decades in the military and I can’t envision carrying three long guns or two long guns and a pistol, WITH AMMO, and all the other crap in a BOB. Scopes. If you are over 45, I don’t have to explain it. For the rest of you, first, the scope gives you an advantage, even at 100yds, over someone with iron sights. Yeah, they break…buy two. For the rest of us we NEED the scope to optimize our utility of the rifle. Can I hunt without a scope, yes but it might mean the diff between 4 rabbits or 2. If you aren’t 45, IT’S COMING and you’ll understand. I have a number of ARs. Pulled them out and was looking iron sights and when I got to the 16 inchers…couldn’t see the front sights. Sent them (uppers) to my sons and bought either full length uppers or Dissipator uppers (Google)and I can see the iron front sights, but will still use an optic. More to come.

  9. Last random thoughts. Is the 10/22 THE perfect gun? No. If you could have only one, is it perfect then? As far as the most amount of utility, with the least amount of complications I think the OP is dead on and it is THE “preferred” ONE rifle, IMHO. My only caveat to this is if I were in a vast tundra/savannah environment with 300 yd shots and even then I would have to think about it. There were some thoughtful people here. Bows, air rifles and other thoughts are certainly thinking outside the box. I have a cross bow as well as a German .22 air rifle, and they have their place. I am in my BOL, so I don’t have to carry them around. For ammo, I would use standard velocity 40gr .22LR ammo. Good penetration with the least amount of noise. Also, if you have the budget for it, you can buy a suppressor (silencer, if your state allows them)and use a scope to hunt with and standard velocity ammo. It will run about $600-700 including the tax stamp. Some states even allow them for hunting now. You have to use std velocity for it to work properly. You will not hear it more than 50-75 yds away (not really like the movies). While I wouldn’t tell you to not get high capacity magazines as you might need some, you get what you pay for, don’t be cheap. The standard 10 round Ruger mags are NO FAIL. Think about having a long mag sticking out of the bottom of your 10/22 and falling down and snapping it off inside your rifle!!!!! If you have a bolt, a trigger group, spare sights/scope, small bolt parts and plenty of ammo and mags you are good to go for a VERY LONG while. I suggest at least 10 mags for EACH mag fed firearm and 5-10K rounds of .22LR, though my storage requirements are somewhat higher! Also with practice and experience any malfunction you have that ISN’T a broken gun can be cleared quickly with practice and attention to detail. Hope I wasn’t too overbearing, as the name of the game is quality, no BS, information. God has blessed me with a very “interesting” life and I do think it is my “duty” to share what I’ve seen and done, if it will help someone. Done more than I can remember sometimes. I look forward to the NEXT 62 years. Be well.

  10. In the post-apocalyptic world, spelling, grammar, civility, and common sense are going to be things of the long past if some of you keyboard warriors manage to fend off the colored folk…

  11. Just get something you’re satisfied with… I like the 22lr and have an AR-7 and an H&R nine shot revolver that will leave lots of room for rounds and other gear in a moderate sized backpack. Hey, I’m getting old and don’t want to carry a lot of crap.

    For those of you thinking of a bow. Best wishes. I’ve shot long bows, recurves and compounds. The only bow you can fashion a fresh, accurate arrow for in the wild is either a long bow (presumably you’ll be making the bow also…) at about 25-30 [lb] draw weight. Then fletchings and some sort of an arrowhead to promote bleed out…. just too much!

    Learn to shoot well, take two bricks of 22lr’s and you can eat to your heart’s content in the wild for at least 3-5 years. Even at today’s ridiculous prices of $.10 a round in a brick of 500, two bricks will set you back $100. Shit, my liquor bill per month is more than that…. drink half portions for two months and get a couple of bricks and good gun. Heck, I’d take my old Winchester single shot if need be, it’s light and I have regularly taken squirrels at 75-100 [yd] /w iron sights. Well, there’s my dime on the matter. Used to be two cents, but inflation gets everything!

  12. Sorry about the semi-automatic haters… go back in time, and take a look at the Remington Nylon 66. Check out the reliability, operating conditions, 14-shot internal capacity and weight. Perhaps the old saw, “they don’t make them like they used to” is correct.

    Note how many were sold… and they are still available. I have an AR-15, AK-47, et. al. If I had to run out in the middle of the night with a weapon, I would take the Nylon 66 and a box of 500 .22 LR cartridges in my jacket pocket.

    Just my choice, but I have been there…Korea, Viet Nam and places we were not even supposed to be.

  13. Ok so I have a ruger 10/22. I don’t know if its a ruger 10/22 magnum…does anyone know how to tell them apart?

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  15. I go with .22. I also have a single shot 20ga with slugs and shot. I’m going cheap. I think some guys fantasize about the shtf scenario and think they’ll be Rambo vs. The world. If it’s that way, it doesn’t matter what you have you’re going down. I think walking a round toting a military style weapon would make you a target for those afraid as well as opportunists. You will have more power if you have a large community of people than a large personal arsenal. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have automatics, etc., just that they aren’t going to be as important as some think. It won’t play out like movies. Besides, what are you going to achieve running around? At best, you’ll last a few years starving and miserable. Best bet is an organized community. Always has been since the beginning of time. So if you’re planning on shtf, maybe it’s more important to get your community(whatever your definition of that is) together with an action plan than have a backpack full of ammo and three weapons.

  16. A 22 would be a decent choice IF I had My LRB m25 7.62 Nato, My Glock 9mm and Plenty of ammo for all 3!… If i HAD to chose 1 then my m25 is it. 1 shot, 1 kill .. 300 yards away? no problem.. 500 yards away and your still in a heap of trouble.. anything past that and ill run away..

  17. For me the best survival cartridge is 22LR because, as others noted, little critters are far more numerous than big’ns. I have seen many 22LR’s bounce off the skulls of cows in survival school, but bigger rounds will destroy a squirrel. And I want people to find me in a survival situation. For SHTF my choice is oriented toward self defense: a lever carbine and a revolver, both in .357 Magnum. The food is already in the backpack.

  18. While the 10/22 is a great 22 it has lost its place as the #1 utility/survival rifle. The S@w 15/22 is the new king. More dependable far far far easier to clean and maintain in the field, just as accurate in the standard configuration. The only place the 10/22 may still have the edge is as a tricked out pure target gun.

  19. I disagree that a single shot or bolt action .22 should be chosen over a semi-automatic solely on the reasoning that there are fewer parts to break on a single shot or bolt action. A quality made semi-automatic will be more reliable than a cheaply made single shot or bolt action. I would take a Ruger 10-22 over any single shot or bolt action made, regardless of the quality of the single shot or bolt action. The Ruger 10-22 has demonstrated sufficient reliability through millions of rounds being fired since it’s inception. The ability to fire rapid shots in a defensive situation trumps a single shot or bolt action any day of the week. For the record, almost every small or large game animal I have killed have been one shot kills. So for hunting I have never needed a semi-automatic. I would want a semi-automatic .22 solely for the purpose of defense, whether as a primary or back-up weapon. If never needed for defense, I could easily suffice on a single shot or bolt action. I would never choose any .22 strictly for defense, but if it’s all I had it would be Ruger 10-22.

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