Modern Shooter: 22 Long Rifle
There are just a few calibers of guns that every gun owner should have. In my opinion, with a “just in case” mindset taking over, everyone should have a 9mm, a 12 gauge, a 5.56, and a .22 LR. When it comes to prepping and survival, or getting ready for aliens to invade the earth—these are the few must-haves simply because of availability. Eventually, we’ll get to all of them. But this time around I wanted to talk about the staple that is known as .22 Long Rifle, or .22 LR for short.
There are just a few calibers of guns that every gun owner should have. In my opinion, with a “just in case the entire state loses power” mindset taking over, everyone should have at least a 9mm, a 12 gauge, a 5.56, and a .22 LR (not all of those are pictured above, and the .22 is the one on the left). When it comes to prepping and survival, or getting ready for aliens to invade the earth—these are the few must-haves simply because of availability. Eventually, we’ll get to all of them. But this time around I wanted to talk about the staple that is known as .22 Long Rifle, or .22 LR for short.
While the cost of a brick of 500 rounds has gone up considerably from recent lows, it is still a more affordable round to shoot than just about anything else out there on the market. Personally speaking, I can go out to the range with a box of 525 rounds, spend an hour or two shooting, and barely put a dent in the box.
Why is it so imperative for every arsenal to have at least one gun chambered in .22 LR? Because they are great for marksmanship training, learning the basic fundamentals of shooting with steel sights, hunting small game (and even bigger ones if necessary), teaching someone who is afraid of guns to shoot comfortably, and the list goes on.
Again, there is no gun that can be practiced with for cheaper, at least not to my knowledge (I’m talking about a projectile fired with a burning propellant). If I’m wrong, please correct me in the comments below.
Having said all of those wonderful things about the .22, it is a relatively weak performing cartridge. That’s not to say that I’m lining my fat ass up to get shot with one because they can kill a man with a well-placed shot—and it’s easier to get multiple well-placed shots with it, than it is with most other cartridges.
Don’t believe me? Robert Kennedy was assassinated with a .22. He didn’t die right away, in fact I think it took 20+ hours. But, he did eventually die from a dinky little old .22 round. Even more bizzare, someone I know claims to have “accidentally” taken a deer in his yard with one when he was “just trying to scare it away.” He nailed it between the eyes and it dropped like a ton of bricks.
Again, shot placement is key for this under-powered cartridge. With a relatively low recoil, a shooter can hit the bullseye over and over in quick fashion.
The .22 LR was originally developed back in the 1880s, and hasn’t changed much since then. There were a host of other .22 caliber cartridges that were also in use, but the Long Rifle outperformed the rest, and stayed on for the long haul. Because it isn’t a centerfire cartridge, there is no part of the primer that you can see with your eye. Rather, the outside rim is hit, smashing into an internal primer that ignites the powder, propelling the bullet out of the casing and thus, the barrel.
Other than recent upgrades in bullet and powder technology, they haven’t changed much. There are, however, many different variations to the .22 LR that occur today, but most of them come standard with a 40 grain round nose bullet. Some manufacturers hollow out the point and jacket them, others do not. And, there are a few other sizes available, both bigger and smaller, than the standard 40 grain .22 caliber projectile previously mentioned.
The actual diameter of the bullet itself is .223, meaning that it’s very similar in size to a .223 Remington rifle cartridge. The casing is so small with a less than optimally shaped bullet, however, that it’ll never reach the velocities of it’s big brother. The .22 LR is capable of accurate shooting up to about 100-150 yards, though it loses a lot of effectiveness by this point.
The high velocity cartridges with lighter bullets can travel further (and faster) than the .40 grain .22s will, but they don’t cycle reliably in all firearms, so keep that in mind should you decide to purchase them.
The .22 LR has been around for well over 100 years, and the basic premise behind it hasn’t changed. While there are many more lethal types of ammunition out there on the market, the .22 is plentiful, cheap to shoot, easy on the ears, and a great way to practice marksmanship.
Sound Off Gun Carriers! How many firearms chambered in .22 do you own? If you don’t feel like sharing that, what aspect of the .22 do you think is best? Let us know in the comments below. Then, make sure you like our Facebook page.
August 13, 2016 at 8:49 AM
22 LR rifles are very accurate because of the flat trajectory. This is what I was told many years ago & in addition, little reqcoil which also makes it more accurate. The 22/250 is one of the most accurate.
August 10, 2016 at 10:07 PM
I own four 22LR weapons and love shooting this caliber. It is cheap, accurate, and simply fun to shoot. Our sportsman’s club has a monthly 22LR “fun” shoot. You would think that four 22’s would be enough, but I plan to buy more so that each of my grandkids will have one when I finally croak (I tend to buy the upper end I 22 rifles.)