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By Total Survivalist Libertarian Rants
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.22 Handgun Utility and Use

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The guy who asked “What are you going to use it for?” about a .22 handgun hit on a serous and legitimate point.

.22 handguns have a few clear cut uses and some narrow, niche ones.

Clear Cut:

-Recreation and plinking. They are fun.

-Hunting. People use them to shoot small animals. Also a .22 handgun compliments the big game rifle a lot of sportsmen carry afield well. A .22 on your hip for potting a squirrel or finishing off an animal has a lot of value, arguably more than a larger handgun, when carried with a rifle.

-Training. Less than it used to be but cheaper ammo means more rounds downrange for your $$$. Also low recoil/ noise means they are good for using to teach kids and new shooters.


-Self defense. Against small predators, snakes, etc yes. Against people I don’t buy into this (at least for pistols, rifles are a longer discussion) and consider it more of a secondary benefit. To me it is kind of like if someone tries to kick my ass while a shovel is handy I’m going to hit them with the shovel.

-E&E/ Survival. A .22 pistol as emergency way to take small game and if forced to fight someone. This is typically a revolver or long barreled semi auto. If people are a concern (some cool guy movie thing vs say a sportsmen) it would have a long barreled semi auto with a silencer.

- Silenced assassination gun. These guns have been used by some organizations in the past and probably are still being used for this today.

What do I see myself using a .22 handgun for?

-E&E/ survival. A little .22 in a ruck (or a kit/ cache) with a hundred rounds would be a lot of small game and save on ammo for my primary guns.

-Training. That would make sense though I would want as close to my primary handgun as possible, or actually just a conversion kit. However since the price difference between .22lr and 9mm has narrowed from 3 or 4 to one to more like 2/1 I’m not so sure it would be worth the hassle. As to training other people that could have use but I don’t do that too much, certainly not enough to buy guns for it.

-Recreation. I put this last because I have been mostly shooting other guns in recent years. I shifted that way when I got to an economic place where I could shoot more centerfire ammo and doubled down when .22 disappeared (yeah I had some but it was not allocated for training/ plinking) and just never went back.

What am I looking at/ thinking about?
-One of the clones guns like the M&P .22, Sig Mosquito, etc complete with a threaded barrel. Their smaller size would suit my needs better than the Buckmark did. Pro: fairly affordable, drop in parts, could suppress it. Con: logistical train, mags, etc.
-S&W 317 kit gun 3″. Pro: probably the perfect back up woods/ survival type .22 handgun, proven track record, easy logistically, could be legitimately concealed (more of an ‘I’ve been in the woods and need to run into a gas station than dedicated CCW), good loaner gun. Con: Cost in the mid $600 range, can’t suppress, harder to change parts, also a do everything gun which will by default not do anything perfectly. I would have to wait to save money to fund it but this could be a buy once cry once thing.



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