The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

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The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by Smash05 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:12 pm

15 years ago, when I first got into firearms, I figured I would need a 22. For the most part I think everyone needs a good 22 pistol, and a good 22 rifle (the 22lr rimfire). However, my thinking on its usefulness in a bugout is limited. It is a poor self defense arm, crushing little tissue - therefore a poor defensive choice where others are available. As a hunting arm, it can be used on small game sure, but ammo generally doesn't expand, short sight radius, make it also a poor choice. As a practice arm, it has good use. As a means of arming someone with little to no experience with firearms, it may be the only choice, but again likely a poor choice.
I believed it would be my wife's choice of firearm in an emergency, however she prefers a Ruger GP100 shooting 38's - a firearm also capable of hunting, self defense, etc but more effective at both. So just how useful is a 22 auto pistol in a bugout situation, assuming more appropriate arms are available?
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by 00dlez » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:30 pm

You ended your post with "...assuming more appropriate arms are available?" Which kind of answers itself - if more appropriate arms are available for situation X, then they are more appropriate and the 22 pistol is less useful.

It has it's own merits - lightweight, cheap/plentiful/light ammo, capable of taking small game, effective enough (hardly ideal) for defense - but I presume you are working within certain size/weight/budget constraints, and given those, it is probably marginalized in favor of either something with more defensive purpose (ie. higher caliber) or with more hunting application (ie. rifle for greater range/accuracy/maybe higher caliber or shotgun)
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by quazi » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:31 pm

It all depends on the specific bugout situation. For a relatively short bugout a .22 pistol doesn't make much sense. For a relatively long bugout it could make sense. By bugout I mean the process of getting from your location when the disaster hits to to some specific destination, not the entire duration of the disaster.

A .22 lr handgun was part of my bugout "Plan F" for a long time. This was a ~250 mile foot slog to my hometown. I called it Plan F because at one point I counted up all the different better plans I had before I would resort to something like that, which were plans A-E. I don't know if that number still holds true, but I liked it because I could think of it as Plan Fail and Plan [I'm] Fucked.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:36 pm

Most bugouts will require no firearm and all, and might require 'no firearms' as well, to try for a pithy turnabout. Of those that do allow firearms, most will not be permissive to openly displayed firearms, whether racked in a car or slung or carried, and for those a centerfire handgun will reign king, the rifle, shotgun, or crossbow will be an afterthought. Even if we assume you're in a situation where it's pertinent to keep a long-arm out and about, the rimfire is still not likely to see any action.

Step beyond the bug-out, say it lasts a few months and you're realizing that the food you stashed at your BOL may not hold, or you have a vermin problem, and the rimfire stands up and waves. You mention that your wife does well with a revolver, but the revolver's sight radius is shorter than that of a semi-auto rifle and the capacity limited. As a hunting arm, it pales in comparison to a lever-action in the same caliber, and even then the thirty-eights are greatly inferior in both pistol and rifle for anything too large for a rimfire. I would also put down money that if it came to hundred-yard shooting, the difference between her revolver and a basic semi-auto rimfire would become readily apparent. There's also the possibility of arming or teaching the young, the old, the infirm, or the averse, for which a light, low-recoil gun that doesn't make a lot of noise comes in handy. Suppressors, should your legal situation allow, also make the rimfire vewwy vewwy quiet, perfect for hunting rabbits, culling thieving crows/rats/fox from your crops and livestock pens, and practicing quietly. The cost of ammo means that you can buy decent-quality or even low-end match-grade rimfire ammo at the rate of three-to-one against the cheapest handgun ammunition, and between two-to-one and six-to-one against rifle ammo, depending on the caliber you compare it to.

To drift off topic a moment, you could achieve many of these ends with a lever or bolt-action 357. Custom-threading the barrel would allow attachment of a suppressor and careful hand-loads would make subsonic wadcutter loads viable for small-game and pest control, and full-house loads for deer without the can. Honestly, a beefy enough can and those would work too. It's reasonably light and the lever-action is a frontiersman's gun with good reason. A good light RDS would go well with it for rapid engagement. I can even recommend a lever-action-focused carbine course that teaches specific quick reload and IA drills, designed to hone the skills of those who prefer traipsing about with a levergat instead of an AR. Ruger makes their rotary-magazine bolt-action still, but they're pricey and the capacity is limited. if one decided to reload for the caliber, one could likely eliminate the need for a rimfire entirely without too much extra cost.

YMMV, but I'd look beyond the journey.
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by olbaid_dratsab » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:16 pm

^ I think .30carbine and .357 mag have the same case length, probably pretty similar overall lengths. Iwonder...and this is totally off topic, but the gears are turning...if a 10rnd carbine mag could be bubbafied to work in rugers 357 bolt gun.
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by procyon » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:51 pm

Smash05 wrote: As a hunting arm, it can be used on small game sure, but ammo generally doesn't expand, short sight radius, make it also a poor choice.
Which could all be said about the .38 Spl. Or pretty much all pistols you would want to pack around on a bug out.
But I would take a decent .22LR rifle over (nearly) any handgun if I had to go hunting.
Smash05 wrote:So just how useful is a 22 auto pistol in a bugout situation...?
To me, that is the only real part of the question.

Can you get better handguns than a .22 LR? Sure.
Will a .22 handgun do what the bigger handguns will? In most cases, yes.
Can it be used successfully in SD? Hunting? Pest control? Practice to maintain/improve skills?
Yes.

Do I carry a .22LR handgun full time. No. Like your wife, I prefer my .38/.357 wheelguns.
But if I found myself in a BO situation with just a .22 - I'm not going to throw it in a ditch and figure I am better off without it.
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by DementedDigital » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:44 pm

Get a suppressor for your .22, and your opinion might change about its usefulness during a disaster.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by Smash05 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:39 pm

DementedDigital wrote:Get a suppressor for your .22, and your opinion might change about its usefulness during a disaster.
No suppressors in my state.
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by Black Beard » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:15 am

I don't think any normal pistol has any real utility for hunting small game for most people. They won't be able to get close enough to be able to hit anything. A bag of snares would be a better game getter.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by emclean » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:37 am

olbaid_dratsab wrote:^ I think .30carbine and .357 mag have the same case length, probably pretty similar overall lengths. Iwonder...and this is totally off topic, but the gears are turning...if a 10rnd carbine mag could be bubbafied to work in rugers 357 bolt gun.
I would guess not, the rotary magazines are going to be a good bit wider, and the mag well also looks to be a good bit longer that a M1 carbine mag.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by DementedDigital » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:22 pm

Smash05 wrote:No suppressors in my state.
Not sure why my reply didn't get posted.

Bummer on no suppressors where you live. There are some super quiet .22 rounds called Colibri by Aguila. Even unsuppressed, they sound like a pellet gun. The variety of ammo, compactness of the overall package, and low noise are all appealing points of the .22 for me.

I agree with much of the OP - specifically that a .22 isn't really the ideal self defense tool. I think that they are useful in other ways, so it has a place in my bag of tricks. YMMV.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by quazi » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:50 pm

Black Beard wrote:I don't think any normal pistol has any real utility for hunting small game for most people. They won't be able to get close enough to be able to hit anything. A bag of snares would be a better game getter.
Trapping probably would be a better way to get small game, but if the goal is to get from Point A to Point B then running a trap line doesn't seem very productive. So I guess it depends on what scenario we're talking about.

As far as hunting small game, it probably depends on the area. In Alaska grouse and ptarmigan are the most commonly hunted small game, and it is frequently done with .22 handguns. Both species rely primarily on camouflage, so if you spot them you can often get pretty close. Even when they fly away they usually don't fly too far. The squirrels up here aren't often hunted because they are so small, but if times were lean I bet I could take them with a handgun, at least until they started catching on that humans are dangerous even far away. Hare are usually close range but when they take off running they disappear into the brush fast, so speed and rapid follow up shots would seem more important but honestly I haven't done much rabbit hunting.

The reason why I like .22 pistols so much (in the NAW, but the same holds true in some TSHTF scenarios) is that they are better for multitasking. If I were going small game hunting I would much rather have a .22 rifle, but aside from recreation* I don't go small game hunting. When out hunting big game, checking a trap or trot line, gathering wood or any other tasks that I personally think are more productive I can have the .22 handgun along to take advantage of some opportunities.
*I only shoot animals that I intend to eat or who are destroying livestock or property. I use the term recreation because right now I'm not going to go hungry if I fail to shoot any grouse.

I can definitely see the reason for having a .22 handgun along in your vehicle while bugging out, along with fishing and trapping supplies. If it is one of those unlikely situations even nastier than your "normal" disasters and your primary and fallback plans aren't working out you might end up a refugee. Being a refugee should never be Plan A, but it could happen. However, like Doc said sometimes getting rescued means leaving your firearms (and maybe everything else) behind. It would be a shame to have your nice .22 with a lot of sentimental value and an expensive optic get lost forever because they won't let you bring it on to the rescue boat.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by gunsandrockets » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:39 am

Supposedly a small .22 autoloader is quite useful for Escape and Evasion. Which in many ways fits the same bill as bugging out.

The #1 advantage is the universal availability of ammunition.

I wish I could remember the original source where I read that E&E description, but I do remember one sentence that really stuck with me...

How many firearms do you know of that you can conceal hundreds of rounds for in a coffee cup?
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by procyon » Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:35 am

DementedDigital wrote:There are some super quiet .22 rounds called Colibri by Aguila.
I got a brick of those some years back.
They do a pretty good job, so long as you don't expect to much from them.

They are louder than most pellet guns. They aren't LR loud, but I can hear the boys using them to hunt frogs along the creek quite plainly 100+ yds away.
And they have the energy to punch holes right through a raccoon's skull at point blank range. We use them all the time to kill coons in traps beside the chicken coop. I know that a miss isn't going to mess up a trap or poke a hole in the coop.
But you have to be dead on with your shot. Otherwise, stick to small birds, frogs, and such.
They also do not shoot to the same POI that .22LR shoot in any of our rifles. So you either resight the gun, or shoot things so close it doesn't matter.
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by gun toting monkeyboy » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:17 pm

I think I only have one .22LR auto pistol, and that is one of those Magnum Research Mountain Eagle ones from back in the late 1990s. It is a chunky, plastic monstrosity, that wouldn't be anybody's first choice for anything. I picked it up when Turner's was blowing them out long ago. The thing is, as ugly and plasticy as it is, it has still been used to pop many an unsuspecting rabbit. It has a big red dot sight on top, and it is goofy looking. But as a hunting and pest removal tool, it is actually fairly handy. Would I take it over a .22LR rifle? Probably not. But if I am just going out to do other things, and I don't feel like schlepping a rifle with me, the pistol weighs very little. And the 20 round magazine means I am not going to generally have to reload it often. Out to about 25 yards, it'll punch holes in bunny heads all day long. And rattlesnakes. And ground squirrels. And rats. It doesn't have the same versatility as a good .22 rifle, or even a revolver. But for simply putting little holes in things, it works just fine. If it is what you have, you may as well use it.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by yossarian » Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:15 am

procyon wrote:
DementedDigital wrote:There are some super quiet .22 rounds called Colibri by Aguila.
I got a brick of those some years back.
They do a pretty good job, so long as you don't expect to much from them.
If you watch carefully you can see them leaving the barrel. Same as the old CB caps, they're a "gallery" load that's basically primer powered.
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by gun toting monkeyboy » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:05 pm

yossarian wrote:
procyon wrote:
DementedDigital wrote:There are some super quiet .22 rounds called Colibri by Aguila.
I got a brick of those some years back.
They do a pretty good job, so long as you don't expect to much from them.
If you watch carefully you can see them leaving the barrel. Same as the old CB caps, they're a "gallery" load that's basically primer powered.
I have yet to find anything that will cycle with CB caps. However, with a longer barreled rifle, they are quieter than most pellet guns. And they will reliably kill rabbits out to about 20 yards.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by Lodewijk » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:02 pm

I think the real utility of rimfire pistols is the trigger time they give you at reduced cost. Dryfire only goes so far, especially if you are a new shooter.

So, their utility is really in building strong fundamentals that carry over into whatever centerfire handgun you shoot and allowing you to shoot live ammunition at low cost. The conversion kit I just picked up for my 92FS helped me gain a better understanding of DA/SA trigger manipulation than I had picked up over the last few years of dryfire and occassional live-fire (it isn't my main shooter) in about an hour over the course of a couple hundred rounds at a few dollars cost.

Great self-diagnosis tool, especially if it is a conversion kit, but I will grant that you have to be capable of self-diagnosis in the first place.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by Mister Dark » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:53 am

As Lodewijk mentioned, the .22lr is fantastic for building fundamentals for newcomers to shooting. It is also the calssic, time proven caliber for taking small game, especially in the North American continent. Are larger calibers "better"? Sure! Will a good .22LR cartridge in a quality rifle or pistol do most every food procurement/SD/bugout use? Yep.

For me, in a bugout, I prefer other calibers for SD, but have conversion kits (and lots of ammo!) for 22LR.

If things go bad, the value of 22LR will increase exponentially as the duration of the event increases.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by Lodewijk » Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:33 am

Mister Dark wrote:For me, in a bugout, I prefer other calibers for SD, but have conversion kits (and lots of ammo!) for 22LR.
I gotta say, I pooh-pooh'd the convrsion kit thing until I shot one and only then did it finally make sense.

I think for the harder-to-learn skills (like the DA/SA transition) it's probably the best way to go. I wouldn't be in a hurry to get a Glock kit or 1911 kit myself (unless I wanted the convenience of having it shipped to my door, which is CONSIDERABLE), but I'm starting to think about a rimfire revolver more than I ever would have before given how rapidly DA "made sense" out of a Beretta kit.

I think kits and purpose-built rimfire pistols are complementary though. My 92 kit doesn't run well with cheap ammo, for example (iffy priming was magnified, although this forces DA practice and is the only time I have ever seen second-strike work), whereas my Ruger groups poorly with it but mostly functions. I can't speak to other manufacturers. I can tell you that my Beretta grouped as well as my Ruger (or better) with the same ammunition, though, which was glorious.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by MacAttack » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:43 pm

I went the conversion kit route.


Small game is stupid and you can get pretty close to most. Close enough for pistol accuracy.

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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by Kutter_0311 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:09 pm

gunsandrockets wrote:How many firearms do you know of that you can conceal hundreds of rounds for in a coffee cup?
.22LR really is a great round when the chips are down. Nothing else is as common, or small, or light, and still goes BANG!

When you think about it, a 10/22 with a couple thousand rounds of ammo doesn't really weigh much, but with decent shot placement, can take plenty of game, and works for defense, also, even if you need to shoot someone or something multiple times.

Add a .22LR autopistol to that, and you just need more mags. You are set for ammo.

Long term, .22LR is a winning choice if you stock up and set up ahead of the game.
MacAttack wrote:Small game is stupid and you can get pretty close to most. Close enough for pistol accuracy.
I agree with this, though I have had deer come close enough to touch, as well.
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by Dogan » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:36 pm

gun toting monkeyboy wrote:
yossarian wrote:
procyon wrote:
DementedDigital wrote:There are some super quiet .22 rounds called Colibri by Aguila.
I got a brick of those some years back.
They do a pretty good job, so long as you don't expect to much from them.
If you watch carefully you can see them leaving the barrel. Same as the old CB caps, they're a "gallery" load that's basically primer powered.
I have yet to find anything that will cycle with CB caps. However, with a longer barreled rifle, they are quieter than most pellet guns. And they will reliably kill rabbits out to about 20 yards.
A variety of old pump-action .22's will cycle caps reliably. Many are chambered such that they can run .22LR, .22L, .22S and .22 CB if memory serves. Always wanted one after a night of raccoon hunting with a buddy who had one.
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Re: The usefulness of the 22 autoloder, or lack thereof.

Post by Fire » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:26 am

Long term, 22lr is a winning caliber, if you stocked up. And realistically, treckin a huge distance on foot, its possible to take 500 rounds on your person and barely notice... The argument here ought to be between .22 Rifle, and pistol... The only bonus to the pistol is possible concealablity beyond that, you are better off with a rifle... And the 10/22 now comes in a takedown variant, so its all that and 25 rd factoy mags available... I finally added a .22 auto to my personal battery, but it was just because, not for serious survival (not that, given medical limitations, i have a snowballs chance in a long term survival situation)...
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