Tag Archives: .22 Long Rifle

Modern Firearms Collection Part 2: Pistol Caliber Carbine and 10/22

Lately there has been some discussion across the interwebs on how to build up a pragmatic modern firearms collection. Utility and reliability across a broad range of applications and scenarios ranging from EDC (every-day carry) to WROL (without rule of law) are the criteria for the kR-15 edition of this list. The first item on this list is a compact frame pistol. This post covers the next two items on the list: 

2. Pistol Caliber Carbine 

A pistol caliber carbine is a smart addition to any modern firearms collection. Buy it in the same caliber as your pistol and you only have one type of ammo but two platforms to choose from. The benefit is that you have a formidable defensive weapon with one of these- accuracy goes up, recoil is reduced- it’s easier to handle than a pistol or other modern sporting rifle. These rifles are simple and reliable and tend to run round after round. There just aren’t any serious negatives that come to mind here. If you go with something like a Hi-Point carbine (pictured above) you can get a new one with 2 mags for about $300. Bonus: they are fun to shoot.

3. 22 LR Rifle

A .22 rifle is a wise choice for lots of reasons. It’s inexpensive to shoot (even with inflated ammo prices) and useful at short to medium distances (0-100 yds). Before you jump tot he conclusion that it’s not a useful caliber, did you know that a popular choice among poachers in Africa is .22 rifles? It’s because the round is effective and pretty quiet compared to larger calibers. That’s a lesson that could be useful in a situation where you need to bag some small game for food but don’t want to draw attention to yourself. Lots of mall ninjas poo-poo the .22 LR round and say that it’s not powerful enough to do real damage. Yet no one wants to volunteer to walk downrange and take a 22 in the leg. The bottom line here is that the .22 is very useful- moreso for hunting than defense but that’s why this isn’t the only firearm in the collection.

Now that we weathered that rant what are good options for a .22 rifle? The Ruger 10/22 (a few of the many options pictured above) is an excellent choice. It’s an extremely popular rifle in the US and there are lots of options and customizations available. Once again the benefits of having a popular and common rifle are tremendous- low cost for upgrades and an abundance of replacement parts and accessories. The fun factor is also high with the 10/22- ask the future Mrs kR-15 if you don’t believe me. And this one won’t break the bank either- $300 should get you a 10/22 at most retail outlets.

Ammo Shortage Update


Interesting news yesterday – a colleague stopped by my desk at the cubicle farm to share a hot tip: our local Wal-Marts in about a 50 mile radius are getting ammunition shipments daily- even the elusive .22 LR bulk packs. Prices are also at familiar, pre-panic retail prices.

The downside: 3 box per person limit- but that's what we can expect to endure until a surplus returns to the land of brick and mortars- and the limit is the reason the shelves aren't picked clean by the first panic buyer who sees them.

After sharing this info with familiar faces at my LGS (local gun store) I heard some rumors on how this happened:

  • Both Wal-Mart and Gander Mountain are rumored to have funded additional factory buildings for large manufacturers like Winchester and ATK – in exchange for exclusive rights to the rounds produced by those facilities.

It's a good story- however I'm reluctant to believe it. The primary reason for my doubt is that a move like this should be big news. I can't find a mention of this online or on either company's corporate site. No corroboration= not true over here. If you have sources to confirm these rumors please post links in the comments section.

Also do your best to refrain from paying inflated ammo prices– it will help drive liquidation of the hoarder stashes that are paying high prices. There is no reason to pay $6 for a box of 50 .22 rounds.


Silencerco Sparrow in action

Ever wonder what is happening inside a suppressor while it's doing its job?

Silencerco gives us a peek with some funky camerawork showing their .22 Sparrow in action. Note how the gasses never get all the way through the baffles. It stands to reason that the sound is doing the same thing.

MCN on the M&P-15/22

The video review was more compelling than seeing these at the LGS. I'm still after a Troy chassis for a 10-22 instead. This does look like a fun rifle though. Perfect for a .22 steel target plinking range.

Training When You Can’t Find Ammo

Lets try this article again but without the April Fool’s absurdities….Ammo is scarce so keeping your skills sharp is a challenge. Here are some options that are popular for training (The LE crowd uses many of these) along with the Pros and Cons for each option.

Mouse Gun option


Lots of training weapons are available that feature controls identical to field weapons but take advantage of low-cost rimfire ammo like 22LR (current supply shortage not withstanding). A particularly sexy option is the 10/22 Troy Industries Chassis or a Smith & Wesson M&P-22. These are sold as plinking guns and and the high quality ones are sold as training tools.

There are also several ‘training’  mods/conversion kits for AR-15 and pistol platforms that use nearly standard mags. These also can be nice because they allow you to use same rifle and sighting system as your standard weapon system because it IS your standard rig.

Mouse Gun PROS:

  • Live fire beats dry fire every single time
  • With high-quality trainers or kits you can use your typical rig or realistic weapon controls to minimize training scars
  • Accuracy is similar since the trajectory on 5.56 and 22LR is similar
  • When you can find it, ammo is cheap and abundant

Mouse Gun CONS:

  • Follow-up shots are unrealistic because the recoil of live fire can’t be simulated
  • 22LR Ammo can be unreliable (especially when you go cheap like I do- I love buying 22LR at $.04 per round)
  • Speaking of 22LR ammo, nowadays you can’t find ammo unless you pay $.015-$.040 /rd when $.03-$.06 was going rate 6 mos ago
  • 22LR is a dirty round! Cleaning becomes a mandatory event after each session due to all the fouling caused by this round.

Verdict: Mouse guns can be very effective but should be supplemented with live fire on your primary weapon system- think of it as extra reps while conserving that AR fuel.

Air soft option


It sounds ridiculous at first mention- how could airsoft be a suitable option for live fire simulation? Actually, it is pretty feasible. In fact Tatsuya Sakai won the 2004 Steel training at home in Japan with an airsoft pistol. Pistols are illegal in Japan so this was the only option. Tatsuya came over to California about a month before the match, bought a real pistol and that was all it took to rocket to first place and become the new World Speed Shooting champ. A growing number of LE trainers are using airsoft for their sessions. Despite the new technology the police still won’t arrive in time to stop a violent crime…better take responsibility for your own self-defense.

The KWA PTR (pictured above) or PTS seems to be the weapon of choice for realistic airsoft trainers. I couldn’t find many other options that weren’t too much like toys for my liking.

Airsoft PROS:

  • ammo is cheap, abundant and even reusable if you have a trap or sticky target
  • training rigs offer same controls as real weapon systems
  • a decent number of drills can be executed with an airsoft

Airsoft CONS:

  • Need to either transfer existing sights from your weapon system or buy additional sights for consistency in training
  • Weight not the same between airsoft & the real thing
  • Mags can be different and different can lead to training scars
  • These rifles are not exactly cheap:
  • Even farther from live fire experience than 22LR options (no bang, no recoil)

Verdict: They are expensive and while the y do offer value you still need to mix in live fire to effectively train. If ammo remains scarce this could be a feasible option…it depends on how you feel about the cost of entry into a good airsoft rig.

Dry Fire/ Laser Training system option:

LTS target

A firing pin/striker-activated laser that makes a sound and shines down the bore of your weapon system to illustrate the point of impact from the “shot” using a special target that registers your hit. From LaserLyte’s website :

“The interactive system works in two modes; reaction and training. The reaction mode features random LED signals in intervals of three to seven seconds that can be shot with any of the LaserLyte® Trainers. When a hit is made the target celebrates with two beeps and a LED flash. The training mode allows the user to practice trigger control and accuracy with an always-on and ready-to-be-shot mode. When a hit is made, the target sounds two beeps and the LED flash…The LaserLyte® Reaction Tyme Target allow for new and experienced shooters to gain increased levels of confidence and skills in the comfort of their own home while saving money on ammunition.”

Laser Trainer PROs:

  • it’s cheap to feed- batteries are likely to remain abundant and unregulated for the foreseeable future
  • You can see the point of impact
  • Target offers several modes, can use multiple targets – versatility is good

Laser Trainer CONS:

  • For semi-auto weapons you have to rack charging handle to reset trigger EVERY SINGLE TIME- this could quickly become a training scar
  • Buy-in is around $300-$350 for the equipment
  • Another step away from live fire: no bang, no projectile/reloading exercise, no recoil

Laser Trainer Verdict: I am convinced that the training scar problem is a serious deal-breaker. How do I know? I racked my slide after a live shot at the range a few weeks ago and watched a live round fly out. The reason why is because I had been practicing 50+ dry fires per day for the previous 10 days. Training scars are real boys & girls…avoid them.