Sunday, January 1, 2012

On behalf of the .22 rimfire...

On behalf of the .22 rimfire, I'd like to say a few words as we enter a new year filled with change and uncertainty.  While the .22 may have started out on the short side in 1857 courtesy of Smith and Wesson, it has persevered for over 155 years and a lot of life-long shooters began their journey with the little cartridge.

Well, the little guy is feeling a bit neglected these days with all the cowboys and cowgirls shooting .38s and .45 Long Colts and the tactical mall-ninjas still endlessly arguing the merits of 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP.  You hardly ever see a CCI on C.S.I. and you never get to watch how he can dispatch sinister, bushy-tailed critters in the woods on the Outdoor Channel.  

Seems that when the family gathers together, he gets stuck at the "kiddie" table... or someone dresses him up in a pink outfit and sends him on a double-date with a gal that isn't interested...  like Rodney Dangerfield, he just don't get no respect... no respect at all, I tell ya.

Well, I'd like to offer a bit of advice about the .22 rimfire... you need him, and he needs you.  This little guy is cheap and fun to shoot with.  You can spend the entire evening shooting for less than twenty bucks.  Talk about inexpensive practice and time to work on the fundamentals.

If you want to challenge yourself, line up on the hundred-yard range with the little guy and watch him drop out of sight as you learn about ballistics and bullet trajectories.  Can you keep that one-inch group at a hundred yards in a light crosswind with a .22 rimfire?

There's been a lot of posts lately out there in the gun blogoshere about introducing folks to shooting and a few about guys trying to get their gals on board with the whole gun thing... well men, maybe it's time to trade in your old 45 for a new 22... at least for a day... hey, I'm talking guns, not gals... and if your gal likes to shoot or is new to shooting, spend a day with her and your .22s.  You'll have fun and save enough to take her out to dinner and a chick-flick... then again, you might just get lucky... and she'll go for an action-flick.

Before you know it, you won't be trying to decide which gun to get next, but who gets the next gun.  My gal always wanted one of those Henry Golden Boys in .22 rimfire... and a couple of years ago for Christmas, she found one under the tree with her name on it.  Now men, isn't that a better way to go than a new vacuum cleaner?

I'll leave a final thought for those of you who might be wanting to start out that youngster on a .22 this year... every parent has to decide what age and maturity is appropriate, but I would encourage you to consider starting them out with a youth-sized, bolt-action .22 and "iron" sights.

There's nothing wrong with a semi-automatic .22 rifle with a scope... that's exactly what I was given as my first gun, but I have found that the bolt-action with traditional sights builds better basic skills by requiring kids to slow down while handling and operating the firearm and think about each shot rather than just sending lead down range as fast as they can pull the trigger (not that we all don't enjoy that once in a while).

Try some larger targets at closer distances for initial success to build the fundamental skills and safe gun handling that will apply down the road for hunting, competition, personal protection, or whatever they might pursue.  Just some thoughts to get you to reconsider your little old friend...

...on behalf of the .22 rimfire.


  1. Excellent defense of the ubiquitous .22

  2. @Tango... that's my daughter's first gun... a Marlin 15YS youth model .22 single shot... came from Marlin with those nice Williams FireSights on it...

    That little gun will shoot one-inch groups at fifty-yards all day long with just about any .22LR brand... even though the trigger is a bit heavy... which is fine for a little gal to learn on...

    Dann in Ohio

  3. Dann- Excellent post! There is a Smith and Wesson Model 34-1 "kit gun" here as well as two Colt Woodsman's and a Colt M-4 in .22. The 34-1 is my goto gun for new shooters.

    They are fun and challenging.

    Nice hardware BTW!

  4. Love the .22. I teach basic pistol with a Ruger single six for the same reasons you recommend the bolt action rifle. I learned on a Daisy pump bb gun and moved up to the bolt action .22 myself. couldn't have had a better introduction to shooting.

  5. I love rimfires and the family currently has them in .22lr and .17m2. Every new shooter I take to the range starts off with my 10/22 and my Glock 19 with an Advantage Arms conversion kit.

    .22's defiantly have their place!

  6. Love the .22! Thanx for showing it the love it deserves. Just gave my daughter (12) a Marlin 60 (pink camo, of course) for her birthday, which is now residing in my gun case with 2 of it's siblings( a Glenfield and another Marlin 60) a Remmy 'Viper', a H&R Pioneer, that old SA revolver, and a 1911-22. Hoping to someday soon add(at the least) a levergun, a single six, and bolt gun to the group. My brothers give me gruff, but my guns cost less to own and feed! ;)
    Side note: a couple of the guys are adding CMP .22 and CMP sporter .22 to the list of competitions at the local range. Great for reinforcing fundamentals and more financially friendly.

  7. Hi-power veterans who, by a wrong turn apparently, end up at Petrarca Range, often call precision smallbore "the golf of shooting." It's a fair cop: just as addictive, just as infuriating, just as expensive. And quiet, so quiet, to watch.

  8. Wise words indeed. Everyone should have one in their range bag (which hopefully will NOT be pink).

  9. My wife's inventory:
    22 Bereta Panther
    22/410 Stevens
    10/22 Stainless w scope
    380 Sig
    30/30 Marlin
    20 guage Remington

    3 Hoyt bows...

    She would shoot me if I ever got her a Pink weapon !!

  10. Lol, very good points (and spud you cracked me up) - my son's first gun was a rossi single shot break action w/ .22 and 20 gauge barrels. Now i just need his arms to get a lil longer or spend the money on a .22 pistol (as if i didn't already want one....or twenty lol) so that i can start teaching him. He's been learning gun safety and handling since he was pint sized so now i mostly just have to wait for him to get bigger and a lil more mature.

  11. Great, great post! I started out on a .40. I had no idea that not every gun kicked like that. I shot for months before I touched a .22. I wasn't sure I had even after I pulled the My kids all started on a 22lr. Sorry was pink:) fun stuff!