Survival Guns: Someboody explain to me why .22LR?

Tom Walls from the Armed Squirrels Project, sent me a photo of the new survival rifle from Chiappa. He knows I’ve been looking for a decent survival/truck gun and he bumped into the Chiappa M6 Folding Shotgun/Rifle.

As he was kind enough to inform me, it is a combo shotgun/rifle in 2 flavors: 12 Gauge & .22LR or 20 Gauge & .22LR. the barrels you see behind are actually inserts for different pistol calibers to be used in the shotgun part. Price indicated at SHOT is is $680 ($729 at their website) for the gun alone or $887 for the gun and inserts.

I still do not see the advantage of a survival firearm in .22LR. Other than taking squirrels and rabbits, you are pretty much done with hunting game and forget about using it for self-defense as Truck Gun. However, instead of .22LR, you up that barrel to .38 Spcl/.357 Magnum and suddenly you are capable of taking bigger game and feed yourself and your family for longer periods of time.

And as for Truck Gun, two shots alone might not be the ideal presentation, but a full power, jacketed hollow point .357 Magnum and double ought buckshot are not precisely cotton candy and will definitely put the hurt on somebody doing bad things to good people.

At that price, I rather go with this as truck gun:

Instead of the 30 round mag, I’d go with 20 rounders for portability and ease of manipulation. Add a red dot and a good sling and you are set. And if I feel strong enough to be annoyed by the Feds, I’d apply for an SBR stamp and get me a folding stock for it.

So, I think I am going to give up on the specially made Truck Gun/Survival Gun thing. We seem to be repeating the same bicycle rifle design with cosmetic variations and not very much into common sense innovations.

Made from 1893 to 1920. In adjusted dollars it would come today as $89.00

14 Replies to “Survival Guns: Someboody explain to me why .22LR?”

  1. I think it would depend on where you live. Small game than can be taken with a 22 is more plentiful. Sure, you get better eating out of a deer, but you are going to trip over a lot of rabbits before you get a buck.

    But I agree 22 LR is a poor choice. I’d upgrade to .22 WMR or 17 HMR which would level you up to beaver, foxes, and other bigger than varmint size game.

    Honestly, a good 12 gauge pump would be a great option. It’s what I have. Small game with light field loads, buckshot for defense, and slugs for everything else. Not fancy, but an 18 inch 870 is not a spendy gun.

    1. And you have a 12 gauge barrel which gives you a variety of loads for small game. When you go .357 Mag on a rifle, you are close to 30-30 ballistics and performance and that is nothing to sneeze at. All of the sudden you have a gun which can take game and bad guys from close to long ranges.

      1. I’m with you. If I thought bad guys was high up on the list of problems I’d be facing, I’d rather have a repeater in a single caliber than a two caliber break action.

        Remember that this gun is based off the military M6 Aircrew Survival Rifle. In that case the downed airmen would also have center fire sidearms for protection. The M6 was for hunting.

        A combo of 357 mag revolver and 22 rifle more in line with the way the military issued these types of guns.

        If I was going to get lost in the woods of Kentucky or the South West USA, my biggest fear isn’t not being able to hunt game but running into some pot farmers/smugglers.

        I know guys that go hunting and are packing CCW pistols just in case they stumble into a pot farm on the way to the deer stand.

    2. .22LR does not do as much damage to small game as a larger weapon. Large game is more scarce than small. Think of it as a pyramid. The larger the game the closer to the top. Therefore the smaller game is more available in a smaller area. That means you the hunter don’t have to travel as far.

  2. I think the biggest reason survival rifles tend to be in 22LR is how small and light the ammunition is, and that it was so common before the 2013 panic and Great Rimfire Hoarding Event.

    I think 9mm would make a pretty good choice, if a person were set on a pistol cal carbine, because it is nearly everyone’s carry ammo of choice, and currently fairly plentiful. But, an AR or AK are both really good choices for a trunk gun, because they are both in common use, and ammo and mags are plentiful,cheap, and scroungeable.

    1. “I think the biggest reason survival rifles tend to be in 22LR is how small and light the ammunition is, “
      And you’d be right, except that I have seen people tape a brick of 22LR to the “survival” rifle instead of 20 or so. Let’s face it: if 50 rounds are indicated, we will take 500 for the “you never know” factor.
      Another thing that I saw in this particular rifle: It has extractors, not ejectors. Follow up shots are already a bitch with a “single” shot barrel; having to pry the effing miniature case out of the chamber under pressure?

      I would go 9mm (+p) if the ballistic performance out of a rifle is decent. I really don’t know how it does, so I reserve my final opinion.

      PS: If you like 22LR for survival, then don’t waste money on the Chiappa and go with the Henry AR-7. Now that makes sense, it is even more portable and comes with an MSRP of $290.

      1. Forget the Henry, go with the Marlin 70PSS Papoose takedown rifle. Much more accurate, can mount a scope on it, is stainless steel, and is cheaper.

        1. I have the Papoose. Ugliest abortion of a firearm ever. That said, it is accurate, lightweight and an idea small game rifle.
          I don’t like the idea of ANY kind of shotgun as a survival arm. You are shooting heavy cartridges at small game at short distances. Not much bang for your buck.
          Not advocating poachers, but there are many in the Depression that harvested deer for the table with the lowly .22 LR

  3. If I were to have a survival weapon for taking small game, it’d probably be my Benjamin Trail NP2 .22 pellet gun. Quiet, nicely zeroed-in and accurate out to the ranges I’ve tried (point-blank range on a 3/4″ circle is 12-43 yards and 8-oz Coke cans are easy to hit at 50 yards), and the ammunition is exceedingly light.

    Secondary choices would be my AR-7 or my Savage 24b (.22 WMR over .410). The Savage 24, if one is not familiar with it, is an over/under rifle/shotgun and single-shot on both bores; you could get all sorts of combinations including .223/20-gauge.

    For a survival weapon for taking larger game and/or 2-legged intruders, I’d agree that a .357/.38 long gun would be great.

  4. .22 LR starts looking better when you erase “humane” and “sportsman” from your “kill something to eat” vocabulary.

    Lots and lots of deer are poached using .22… If it can kill you, it can kill a deer, but you need to place the shot, .22 over bait (for example) lets you take shots on game that you can’t while doing it legally. Also, have you ever noticed how complacent things like deer get outside hunting season about avoiding humans?

    If it’s really survival time, what’s legal matter compared to starving?

    The other nice thing about it you can carry scads and scads of shots for very little weight.

  5. Yeh I got a Russian “Izmash” 7.62X39 AK for 250 $ because one of the on line “Special forces” “survival school” trainers said they were all junk (mosby I think) Makes a great truck gun. Don’t pay any mind to people saying that over/under drilling won’t do the job folks. It will. It’s never the weapon. Its always the man that kills.

  6. 1) I know you didn’t grow up here, so you don’t have Grandpa’s gun stories to benefit from. Many old-timers used to hunt deer with nothing but .22LR. It works on medium size game. Sure, it’s easier with a 30-06 (definitely more range) but a .22LR can still put venison on the table.

    2) Join the military. Feel what it’s like to even just carry around a couple hundred rounds of even intermediate ammo for a while. Shit sucks.

    Now literally stick hundreds of rounds of .22LR in your pocket in a ziplock bag without issue.

    *lightbulb moment*

  7. Ak is nice but but my shtf rifle is a SKS with 25 stripper clips of reloads. Acceptable accuracy, wide spread distribution of ammo, simple to maintain and clean and built like a tank. 300 hundred meter engagements are doable and enough power to take down most north american game. YMMV

  8. IIRC, Savage no longer makes the 24V but they are available in the used market in 5.56 over 20 gauge, and like all over/unders, it breaks down into a pretty small package. Too heavy to be a “real” survival rifle, but were someone to produce it using synthetics and alloys to cut the weight by 1/3-1/2 it might be something worth looking at. Reduced velocity FMJ 5.56 would be suitable for small game, and full power ammuntion would easily tripel the effective range of 22LR.

Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .