Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ten Twenty-Twos

Trying To Maintain My Gunblogger Eligibility...

There is nothing quite so handy as a .22 rifle! It's good for target shooting, plinking, and vermin disposal. Plus, you can use it on game animals up to and including deer-sized critters. Oh, it's all kinds of illegal to use it on a whitetail, but you could, if you absolutely had to.

I've read here and there in the gunblog world that a .22 rifle shouldn't be classed as a weapon, but a household commodity, something everyone should have tucked in a closet. I firmly agree!

They come in all sizes and flavors. Auto-shuckers, bolties, lever-action, falling-block, etc. Some are picky about what fodder you put in them, but a few will digest .22 shorts, longs, Long Rifles, CB caps, what have you.

I've got several .22's in various forms, rifles & pistols. I need to increase the number I own, though. I think to be well-kitted out in .22's, you need at least ten different variations!

I'm lacking a .22 revolver, either double or single action. I'd prefer a double action Smith & Wesson Kit Gun, since shooting .22 LR instead of .357 Magnum is an inexpensive way to practice your DA trigger pull. I'd like a single-action Ruger with the dual .22 LR/.22 Magnum cylinder, but that's a low-priority item.

I'd like a tube-fed bolt-action .22 as well. My Savage .22 boltie is scary-accurate, but the micrometer peep sight that's mounted on it makes it very difficult to use as a training tool for newbie shooters. I prefer teaching new shooters using a bolt action rather than a semi-auto, just for safety reasons, and I could use one with open notch rear sights.

At some point, I'd like to get a lever-action .22 rifle. I don't own a lever gun in any caliber, and a .22 is a good beginning!

I've got an armload of semiauto .22 rifles. All are variations on the Marlin Model 60.

I'm a pretty diehard Marlin fan. They're inexpensive, easy to use, and reasonably accurate. Above all, they're almost indestructible. While a regular thorough cleaning certainly helps, you'd have to put several thousand rounds through one before you started to see the action gum up. My biggest maintenance issue is making sure the front sight screw is snugged down tight.

Yes, the tube-fed magazine isn't the quickest to load, and you can seriously ding the mag tube if you drop the rifle while loading it. Those are minor quibbles, though.

At any rate, my love affair with the Marlin 60 has kept me from entering the Ruger 10/22 arms race. As much as I like the Marlin, I'll give the 10/22 props for being an outstanding .22 autoloader. It's a wildly popular platform for customizing, and there are literally catalogs full of aftermarket accessories for the 10/22.

I'd never really seriously considered buying a Ruger 10/22, but after seeing a must-have custom modification/accessory over at MadOgre's site, I think I'll start haunting the local pawnshops in hopes of picking up one secondhand!

Check out this bit of bad craziness!

See, you buy this:

Which turns this:

Into THIS!!!

50 rounds of .22 LR Shooty Goodness!