Episode-360- The 22 Rifle vs. The Shotgun for Survival Needs

Today we examine one of the main questions discussed in forums and news groups, which is a better survival tool, the 22 or the shotgun.  Both have advantages and disadvantages join me today as we discuss some of them.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • Why I hate the term “survival situation”
  • What are you most likely to need a firearm for, food or defense
  • How much weight and bulk are represented by 75 shot gun shells
  • Which has greater “flexibility” the 22 or the shotgun, is that question relative to the situation
  • Why the right tool for the right job is not always possible
  • Which 22 rifle would I choose for a wilderness or defensive situation
  • Why I still say to choose a bolt action for training
  • Which shotguns top my list as the best utility tool for the job
  • The real advantage of the semi auto shotgun and why it may never matter

Resources for today’s show…

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23 Responses to Episode-360- The 22 Rifle vs. The Shotgun for Survival Needs

  1. Jack good show i just wonder where the 22mag would fit into this.It would have better killing power for some and to much for other.

  2. Hey Jack great show. A thought I had was actually inspired by a show you did way back. What about a .44cal lever gun. It can fire .44 mag, .44 special, The downloaded .44 special rounds you talked about in that show, and I believe they even make small shot shells in .44. That would give you quite a spread of power and range. Just a thought for discussion in the “best”gun debate.

  3. Jack,

    Depending on the situation and electricity, small game providing a meal or two’s worth of meat can be very desirable. And “quiet” can have great advantages:

    Please keep us up to date on quite 22′s. Can you discuss again sub-sonic rounds (hard to find in retail stores now) – and – 22 rifles with suppressors= what are you giving up or gaining. What is the quietest 22 rifle that is also field-worthy, dependable, and a good value?

    Thanks Jack.

    The 22 vs. shotgun is an attention getting show for me – great topic!

  4. Modern Survival

    Awesome so far guys! Keep it coming rather then respond I will take all these comments and do a follow up show on them.

  5. Hi Jack, good show. I a firm believer that a 22 is the way to go for a long term I need to eat tool. Around here like many places during the depression the 22 was the differance between a family having something to eat or going hungry. I personally don’t want a 22 with a removeable magazine or tube feed for a hard times tool. Magazines are easy to loose (especially durring the winter and tubular magazine plinger tubes are too easy to bend and / or break. It is an issue I don’t want to chance when it is about eating or going hungry.
    TNX
    Cliff

  6. Modern Survival

    @Cliff,

    So if you don’t like tubes or removable mags what do you use? I mean levers and pumps are pretty much tubes too, right?

  7. Currently we have Remmington 514s and 580s set up for hard time food hunting. Nothin special just plain old single shots with reciever sites with post and bead front site (old eyes) and leather slings. My wifes favorite is her Rem 580 with an old Bushnell sportview 3-6 scope on it. I have been toying with trying a NEF Sportster in 22LR as it can be broken down to fit in a backpack out of sight to get into the woods which could be a big plus in bad times. We have other 22s available, when I do carry a non single shot 22 it is usually my 77/22.

    Cliff

  8. Two Blues Mama

    In answer to your question this is what the TBM household uses (per DH):
    Mossberg Mod. 500 12 ga.(28\" vent rib barrel-3 chokes, trophy slugster rifled barrel with scope).

    Henry Golden Boy Lever action .22 long rifle, 22 shorts (best for small game – rabbits and squirrels also quiet enough to not scare Big Blue dog).

    Savage Mod. 24, 22 long rifle, 20 ga. shotgun (in truck at all times, survival gun)

    Great show Jack – you\’re right on \"target\". What is the release date for your book – DH is chomping at the bit for it.

  9. Yet another great show Jack!

    Personally, I’m going with a Marlin Model 25mn in 22wmr with scope. However head shots are critical with the 22mag on small game as it destroys too much meat if shot in the body. The benefit I feel though, due to the added penetration, it is more reliable than the 22lr on medium to larger sized game.

    It gives up very little to the 22lr in regards to size and weight of ammo but does have a little louder report(certainly not louder than a shotgun though).

    Cliff,
    I can kinda understand the concern for possibly losing or damaging the magazine. But if that did indeed happen it would just turn it into a single shot rifle. So I’m not quite grasping that argument for choosing a single shot to begin with for that reason.
    Now, I tend to be very rough on my field guns. Most have lots of dents, scratches and dings. Haven’t managed to lose or damage a mag/tube yet though. I’m not saying your weapon choice is wrong. If that is what you want/prefer then more power to you. Just not following the logic behind that reason my friend.

    Jon

  10. Well Jack,

    I know some folks here in Montana that prefer a 30/30 rifle and 12 gauge shotgun. A 22? Well maybe, but the animals are huge here.

    Just my thoughts,

    Chad

  11. Guns are tools. Argument over .22 or 12 Gauge is silly. No one tool will meet all of your needs. There is a reason why I have over 100 different tools in my workshop and why I have 10+ guns. Odds are you will need 5+ guns in different configurations and calibers to meet 80%+ of the use cases for guns. Even within the .22 LR or 12 gauge space, you might need multiple guns to meet your needs. A good 12 gauge bird / skeet gun is not the same as a good tactical defense shotgun. Likewise, there are .22 pistols, rifles, and inserts (conversion devices) for other guns. All have their place.

  12. Most of the tube feed rifles I have used warked quite well as single shots but I have never used a rifle with removeable mag that worked out well as a single shot unless I was able to fabricate something to take the place of the magazine. In my experiance each round must be inserted into the actual chamber and it is easy to drop the round out the magazine hole. With a lot of old bolt action single shots all you have to do is drop a round in the ejection port and close the bolt. As long as you didn’t drop it in backwards it will chamber.

    Cliff

  13. Maybe a more practical discussion would be: what 2-3 guns in your collection should you practice with regularly and at minimum know how to shoot well.

    Back Woods Home ran a really good article a while back by Massad Ayoob in which he described a 4 gun battery that he felt was adequate for all rural needs. They were:

    -shotgun(12 or 20)
    -22 rifle
    -center fire rifle(caliber depended on your area)
    -handgun.

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob114.html

    I kinda like this, except maybe for the handgun as I am not a big handgun person.(Don\’t get me wrong, I have my CCW, its just not my thing.) On the other hand, to misquote Kill Bill, I\’m a frak\’n surgeon with my shotguns.(Here\’s a fun exercise, learn to shoot trap with a .410, then see what happens when you switch back to a 12….) For people like me, maybe the first three firearms are sufficient.

    My last thought:
    If you are stuck at home/bugging in you will have access to all your tools, including guns. If you bug out, you should be able to fit those few firearms into your car some place. If you\’re stuck in the woods or something, you have whatever you walked in with and the argument is moot. If you\’re bugging out on foot…. well, things have gotten so screwed up I don\’t even want to think about it.(you may be better off with a Chinese-English dictionary at that point)

    Just my thoughts.

    -Ben

  14. Hi Jack,
    I am surprised you did not mention the AR-7 in your discussion of .22 rifles. I have one of the original ArmaLites, and it is a fine rifle. Don’t worry, I am not going to get caught up in the pros & cons of this rifle versus other .22 rifles. :-)

    The history of why the AR-7 was invented aligns very closely with your discussion in episode 360. I could write it all out here, but Wikipedia does that just as easy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-7 I figured you would have been all over this as an example of why a .22 is one of the best choices in a true SHTF scenario.

    Thanks,
    -Eric

  15. My brother was telling me about some kids from Myanmar that are in a scout troop went camping. They caught a squirrel for dinner, no weapons. I’ll ask my brother how they did it and post it again. I couldn’t find anything on you tube about it…I’ll search the internet too. For “survival” situations this could be a viable option instead of using a gun.

  16. Another great show Jack! Your analysis was right on target. I especially appreciated your remarks about the primary purpose of a survival weapon being to put meat in the pot.

    Another option for those in \\"long shot\\" states may be a centerfire rifle for large game and a chamber adapter for small game, training new shooters, and discrete hunting (survival poaching). I have ordered a .308 to .32acp and will report back on the forum. Any experience with such adapters?

    Another advantage of the .22 is that it opens up firearm use to those who are frail due to age or medical condition.

  17. Great show Jack. Makes me really appreciate my Ruger 10/22 and also makes me want to become a better shot with it. I was at my brother’s house last night and he has a Marlin 22 rifle that he hasn’t used much at all in the last decade. When your book comes out I think we will read it and start honing our skills a bit.

  18. i just found this site last week sure do like it when you talk about defence a firearm of any type may not be the answer (i am not anti gun ) a can of wasp and hornet spray is wicked gives you a range of 20 or more feet you can run a continues stream to follow the target and it will disable any one you hit in the face

  19. Don’t know what the issue is. I carry both all of the time… If Walking or stalking I sling the 10/22 and if still hunting the pump sits on a tree… If I bug out… Its all going with me.. and staying close…

  20. @Tom
    Jack featured the wasp spray issue in a past show, you should listen to it. Welcome to the TSP community. Please join the forum, we look forward to your input.

  21. I recently went quail and squirrel hunting with a Savage Model 24 .22 over 20 gauge. The screw holding the shotgun firing pin backed out and was lost at some point disabling the shotgun. The nice thing was that I still had the .22 barrel to hunt with. Lesson learned, check those screws.

  22. Another novel combo gun is the Springfield M6 Scout. .22LR over .410 or .22 Hornet over .410 as it was originally made. It could fold up and fit in a BOB if the trigger guard was removed as per the original design. The Baikal IZH-94 comes in many caliber/gauge combinations. Jack what are your thoughts on .22 Hornet?

  23. I hunt somewhere where rifles are not permitted, not even 22 for small game. Its shotgun only here. Close range with a 12 gauge for squirrel, even a head shot, with #6 shot, won’t leave much either. Had that happen when I first started hunting over 20 years ago, and learned my lesson on ranging my shots to be able to harvest my meat without destroying it. Great podcast, and great info.