Preppers: Why a Bolt Action 22 is Better Than the Ruger 10/22
Kevin Felts 07.20.18
Believe it or not, a bolt action 22 rifle would be better for SHTF than a Ruger 10/22.
Before someone skips to the comments section and starts posting, take a few minutes to consider an opposing point of view.
When it comes to preppers and 22 rifles, there is one rifle that is recommended more than anything else, and that is the Ruger 10/22. The Marlin model 60 is a close second. Last but not least is some type of bolt or lever action 22 rifle.
That list should be redone and the bolt action moved to first place. Chances are a lot of people are going to disagree with that statement.
A little about my experiences with bolt action 22 rifles and the Ruger 1022. I bought my Ruger 10/22 in January of 1986. It was a birthday present to myself in the month I turned 18 years old.
Over the past 32+ years (1986 – 2018) there have been untold thousands of rounds put through my Ruger 10/22. There were days when a 550 round brick of Remington Golden Bullet were sent downrange. That was back when bricks of 22 long rifle cost $10, with tax included.
Before the Ruger 10/22 there was a Harrington & Richardson 865 plainsman chambered in 22 long rifle and 22 short. The H&R 865 belonged to my dad and he would let me use it from time to time. Eventually dad gave me the rifle when I was old enough.
So for the past 34+ years (1984-2018) I have been using a bolt action 22 rifle for target shooting and small game.
If it came down to picking one, I would have to pick the bolt action over the Ruger 10/22.
Semi-automatics tend to be ammo hogs. Take a bolt action and a semi-automatic to the gun range and see how many rounds people shoot through each. Of course there are going to be people who say they shoot 10,000 rounds in a single day out of a bolt action.
However, on average, people are going to shoot less ammunition with a bolt action rifle than a semi-automatic. Shooting less means they conserve ammunition in a SHTF event. They know they will have one shot, and hopefully will make that one shot count.
With the Ruger 10/22 there is a voice in the back of the head saying, “You can always get a fast follow up shot.”
Then again, a lot of it boils down to training. Was the person trained to aim and make the first shot count, or were they trained to use the semi-automatic Ruger 10/22 to make up for poor marksmanship?
Looking for a bolt action 22 rifle for SHTF? Consider one with a tube magazine. Why? Because it is pretty much impossible to lose a tube magazine. The sleeve can bend or break if mishandled, but that is rare.
How many Ruger 10/22 owners have dozens of magazines stockpiled for one rifle? I know I do.
Not having to worry about stockpiling Ruger 10/22 magazines means we can put that money to other stuff, such as stockpiling AR-15 magazines.
Ease of Training
Teach someone to shoot a bolt action 22 rifle, then move them up to a bolt action deer rifle, such as a 308 Winchester or 270 Winchester. Transitioning from one bolt action rifle to another is easier than going from a semi-automatic 22 to a bolt action deer rifle.
The ease of training could be a big plus when there is a limited amount of ammunition.
How many of the readers were taught to shoot by their grandpa using a bolt action 22 rifle?
Would the Ruger 10/22 make a good SHTF survival rifle? Of course it would. However, a classic bolt action rifle may be a better choice.
While the Ruger 10/22 is reliable and accurate, most bolt action 22 rifles have that and much more going for them.