Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy are going to go over the benefits of owning a firearm in .22 Long Rifle. Simply put, the .22 Long Rifle is one of the most common and economical cartridges in the United States. The cartridge is appreciated by shooters of all types due to its lack of recoil and versatility. The cartridge has remained in common use since its introduction in 1887, establishing itself as the most prolific rimfire cartridge in America. Our goal is to make a case for owning a .22 Long Rifle firearm while delving into some of the firearms available in the caliber and touching on traits and use cases of the round. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Generally, one will find firearms chambered in .22 Long Rifle to be much cheaper than most of their centerfire counterparts. This makes .22 Long Rifle firearms a great choice for new shooters. A low cost of entry into the hobby allows for more people to engage in shooting. It is often said that .22 Long Rifle is the gateway caliber for a reason. While expensive and premium .22 Long Rifle chambered firearms exist, one will generally encounter affordable options over pricy ones.
One of the biggest benefits of the .22 Long Rifle cartridge is just how affordable the ammunition is. .22 Long Rifle offerings are quite affordable when compared to other calibers such as 9mm Luger or 5.56x45mm NATO. The affordable nature of this cartridge allows and end user to economically build a healthy stock of ammunition. One can easily acquire a brick of .22 Long Rifle ammunition for less than a box or two of some centerfire ammunition. Of course, this depends on the caliber in question. Nevertheless, the .22 Long Rifle is an incredibly affordable cartridge.
The .22 Long Rifle is also one of the most prevalent cartridges in the United States. You will be hard pressed to find a place that carries ammunition and firearms that does not have some kind of .22 Long Rifle ammunition in stock. These ammunition offerings can be found in individual and bulk form from a variety of companies. Popular .22 Long Rifle ammunition manufacturers include Aguila, Winchester, Armscor, and CCI to name a few. Soft point (SP), hollow point, lead round nose, and other projectile types are common. One will also encounter both exposed lead and copper-plated varieties. All in all, you will have no issue finding .22 Long Rifle ammunition.
Handguns are harder to master than long guns. This is mainly due to the fact that one has fewer points of contact with the firearm. While long guns have stocks which can be shouldered and allow for a shooter to develop a proper cheekweld, handguns have no such amenities. Essentially, a shooter can only rely on their hands to steady their handgun. A handgun chambered in .22 Long Rifle allows a new shooter to develop skills necessary to shoot a pistol accurately. Experienced shooters can continue to build upon their established skills while shooting cheaper ammunition.
A rifle is much easier to shoot than a handgun. Because of this, they are capable of a high degree of accuracy when employed effectively. By utilizing a .22 Long Rifle chambered rifle, one can develop and hone their skills with an affordable cartridge. Obviously the .22 Long Rifle cannot replicate the recoil impulse of larger calibers such as 5.56x45mm NATO or .308 Winchester. One will be able to develop and hone universal skills such as acquiring an effective sight picture and proper trigger pull. Lever action, bolt action, and semi-automatic rifles in .22 Long Rifle are commonplace. The wide variety of rifle types on the market allow one to familiarize themselves with different methods of operation. For example, someone can familiarize themselves with the operation of a lever action rifle by shooting .22 Long Rifle rather than .30-30 Winchester.
These can come a variety of forms, typically ranging from different types of revolvers to semi-automatic pistols. Revolvers in the caliber can be found in both single action and double action form and in a variety of sizes. Popular examples of these revolvers are the Ruger Wrangler and Single-Six offerings and the Smith & Wesson Model 617 line. As far as semi-automatic pistols go, one will encounter a variety of products from companies such as Browning, Ruger, Beretta, and Taurus. The Mark IV models from Ruger are particularly popular among shooters as they are a continuation of their renowned “Mark” series of handguns which have persisted for decades. These pistols can be acquired with threaded barrels and provisions for mounting optics, lights, and lasers if one so desired. At the end of the day, the litany of .22 Long Rifle chambered handguns allows a prospective buyer to find something which fits their preferences.
Like their handgun counterparts, one will encounter a wide variety of .22 Long Rifle chambered rifles on the market. One can easily encounter lever action, bolt action, and semi-automatic rifles on the market today. These rifles will range from traditionally configured rifles to tactical carbines which seek to emulate AR-15 style rifles. Ruger 10/22 rifles and their clones are some of the most common .22 Long Rifle chambered firearms one will encounter. These rifles can be found in a variety of configurations and boast a considerable aftermarket, allowing one to find or build a rifle to best fit their preferences. Bolt action rifles, like those offered by CZ, can also be acquired in multiple configurations. Everything from traditional bolt action rifles to tactical bolt action rifles with threaded barrels are available from CZ. All in all, one will have no shortage of options as far as picking a .22 Long Rifle chambered rifle which caters to their preferences.
A firearm chambered in .22 Long Rifle, whether a pistol or rifle, is an invaluable training aid. The low cost of ammunition and negligible recoil impulse make these types of firearms ideal for instructing new shooters. These kinds of firearms are also of great benefit to experienced shooters. These firearms allow a shooter to keep practicing their fundamentals and honing their shooting skills with cheap ammunition. Some .22 Long Rifle chambered firearms are better suited to supplementing one’s training regimen than others. For example, a seasoned AR shooter will find value in something like a CMMG .22 Long Rifle conversion kit or a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 rifle. These two examples allow one to continue to practice a familiar manual of arms without having to expend 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition.
If a Glock shooter wanted to supplement their training regimen with affordable ammunition, they can acquire a Glock 44. The Glock 44 is an invaluable training aid as it is essentially a Glock 19 chambered in .22 Long Rifle. This means that it fits into holsters intended to be used for a Glock 19. Due to this fact, one can practice drawing and shooting this firearm in place of a Glock 19. While the recoil impulse of the 9mm Luger is absent, one is still refining their drawstroke and sight presentation with live fire training.
.22 Long Rifle chambered firearms are by no means a replacement for the firearms they mirror. They value lies in their ability to supplement one’s training regimen. To get the most out of their training, one should continue to train with their centerfire calibers alongside their .22 Long Rifle counterparts. Depending on one’s stock of ammunition, one may shoot more or less centerfire ammunition. Simply put, implementing a .22 Long Rifle analog into one’s training regimen allows one to continue to hone shooting skills and practice a manual of arms on the cheap. At the end of the day, shooting is shooting.
The .22 Long Rifle is one of the easiest and most satisfying rounds to suppress. The cartridge is capable of achieving mythical and sought-after “Hollywood quiet” levels of suppression. The .22 Long Rifle cartridge is particularly suppressor friendly when shorter barrels are utilized. This is especially evident when the cartridge is utilized in pistols with a barrel length of about 4.4” or less. Standard velocity loadings will not reach supersonic velocities when fired from a barrel of this length. This makes the round even easier to suppress when using a handgun. One does not have to stock up on specific subsonic loadings if they wish to engage in cheap and expedient suppressed shooting. That being said, the subsonic loadings for .22 Long Rifle are quite effective.
The .22 Long Rifle is also a capable round for hunting and pest control applications. The cartridge is suitable for small game such like rabbit, squirrel, and prairie dogs to name a few. .22 Long Rifle chambered handguns and rifles will be well-suited for hunting applications. As always, one should utilize appropriate firearms and ammunition for the game they are after to ensure and optimal and ethical hunt. Smoothbore firearms such as the Henry Garden Gun are purpose built for dispatching pests. These firearms are optimized for use with .22 Long Rifle shotshell loadings due to their lack of rifling. Everything from mice, snakes, and barn-dwelling birds can be efficiently dispatched with .22 Long Rifle shotshells.
All in all, it is definitely worth owning something chambered in .22 Long Rifle. The cartridge is versatile and the wide range of firearm options means that users of all types can enjoy the cartridge. Whether you are plinking, training, or hunting, you can’t go wrong with something chambered in .22 Long Rifle. We here at True Shot carry a wide variety of .22 Long Rifle ammunition in addition to the other calibers we stock. If you’re after rimfire or centerfire ammunition, we have you covered. As always, happy shooting.
Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.
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