In the realm of being prepared, there is that boogeyman on the horizon that is known as the 'TEOTWAWKI' situation. This is one of those things where Mad Max movies, zombie films, and sci-fi books all leave fiction behind and come into sharp reality. Although we haven't gotten any memos of an upcoming event, we want to know what you think of the good old 10/22 as the perfect gun for when the dust settles.
What are you talking about?
So even if you have never been a fan of those Armageddon, end of the world type flicks and have never seen one, there are legitimate crisis that have occurred in human history that, on a long enough timeline, could repeat. Every year the list of major power outages increase as the electrical grid is taxed to produce ever-increasing supplies of power. If you throw in a natural or man-made disaster, you could be in the dark for months if not years.
For instance in isolated parts of Eastern Louisiana, power was off for months after 2005's Hurricane Katrina followed by Rita 23 days later. That was a regional issue. If there was a nationwide or worldwide event, such as a large electromagnetic pulse or Yellowstone goes boom things could get very real.
Why a 22 platform?
Up until the panic buying of 2013, .22LR rimfire ammo was the most commonly available round on the market, with billions produced each year. Well, they are finally starting to reappear on store shelves and even now are still more affordable round per round than other centerfire ammo of any type. For instance, a shelf-stable sealed tin of 325 Federal Champion hivelo 36-grain HPs are availble for $99. Imported 22LR ammo like Armscor, RUAG, and Aguila are running about $50-$60 for a 500 round brick. Yes, this is waaaaay higher than in 2012, but still affordable to stock up on and still far cheaper than a similar amount of .223.
Ballistically, the round is great for hunting small game, large game (with proper shot placement) and even emergency self-defense if all else fails. Moreover, for portability and easy storage, it's hard to beat .22LR. Five pounds of these rimfire brass and lead beauties will give you 665-rounds of ammo. Five pounds of 7.62X39mm will only get you 140 rounds. Sure, ideally, you should have both; we are just illustrating a point.
What makes the 10/22 special?
Other than the Marlin Model 60, the Ruger 10/22 is the most popular .22LR rifle on the market. These guns are reliable, accurate, and effective, light (at less than six pounds) and are known to perform well under heavy use. It's this popularity and commonality that means you can stock up on extra parts for the cost of peanuts to help keep your 10/22 running if it breaks down. Unlike tubefed .22s (remember the Marlin 60?), if the magazine is lost, damaged, or broken on a 10/22, the average owner will have more. Speaking of mags, there are many options from flush fit 10-rounders to 25, 50 and even 100-round detachable ones for the 10/22 that won't break the bank.
Couple the fact with the gun's capability to be optimized and equipped with anything from optics to suppressors to tactical chassis and you have a nice plinker that can do double-duty as a quiet game getter, pest controller, or looter repellent if the sun doesn't come up tomorrow. Best of all, you won't cringe every time you have to pull the trigger, knowing that you are down to your last handful of rounds.
Even if the dead never walk, oil lasts forever, the lights never go off, and there are no comets or superflu's, it's still a good idea to keep a nice 10/22 in the closet. If nothing else, there are always seedy legions of tin cans out there that right now could be conspiring against us.
You just never know.