The .22lr is one of the most popular cartridges ever created, and for good reason.
Introduced in 1887 by the J. Stevens Arms and Tool Company the .22lr has stood the test of time and earned itself a place in millions of gun collections around the world.
Although the J. Stevens Arms and Tool Company no longer exists (purchased by Savage Arms in 1920) the legacy and use of the .22lr has continued on for over 125 years. This can be attributed to the .22 caliber rimfire’s low cost, minimal recoil and superb versatility. A shooter can put thousands of rounds downrange for under $100 and without the offensive recoil that is found in larger center fire rifles.
In the last decade or so the .22lr has found a new calling in Prepper’s bug out bags and survival caches across America. No longer limited to plinking and small varmint control the .22 has embraced its new role as the utility player that can seemingly do it all.
Current .22lr platforms are lighter more accurate, feature better hyper velocity loadings and are generally reliable.
So how do you get started?
If you are new to the shooting sports try joining a club or taking lessons with someone who is familiar with firearms. Take the time to practice and familiarize yourself with different .22lr rifles ensuring that the one you end up purchasing is the best fit for your needs.
A great place to start is the Ruger 10/22 or the Marlin Model 60. The Ruger is slightly more expensive ($250-350) however there are practically unlimited options for aftermarket add-ons. Marlin Model 60’s are inexpensive ($100-200) easy to find and use, and responsible for the deaths of thousands of squirrels across the country.
How will I find Ammo?
This may be a little trickier. One of the reasons .22’s are so popular is because it used to be easy to find ammo at every big box store, it came in 500 round bricks and cost about 5c a round. Over the last 5 years demand crept up, overtook supply, and never looked back. It would appear that the ammo drought is almost over and there are still boxes of .22 out there to be found.
I have had luck speaking with the employees at Wally World (Walmart) and they filled me in on the schedule of their weekly deliveries. Try checking with your local clerk for insight into expected deliveries and be sure to call ahead so that you don’t waste time and money.
If you do end up getting into the .22 game be prepared to get addicted! The skills you will inevitable develop training on a .22 will also transfer to larger bore center fire rifles so make sure you are doing it right from the start. Plink on!