Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what is the best .22 pistol from a survival point of view and I’ve been having a tough time coming to any conclusion. Sure there are lots of different options out there but none seem to pass muster when examined from a Prepping point of view.
First of all, let me give you a bit of background and review my criteria.
Just about everyone who reads this blog knows that I am a huge fan of the 22 caliber round. I love that they’re easy to come by, cheap to purchase, light and easy to store, and are fun and easy to shoot with their almost nonexistent recoil and soft “pop”. Also, I have a couple of long guns in this caliber and am well stocked with .22 ammo so it makes sense to me to have a pistol chambered is .22 as well. So there’s a bit of background info that gives you an idea of my mindset going in here.
On to my criteria. I’m looking for a semi-auto that’s a good size for concealed carry, accurate, and above all, Reliable. I would probably give a little on the size and go with a slightly bigger frame if the accuracy and reliability were there. Hey, you can’t have everything but I have to have the reliability. In a survival situation there’s no place for a gun that’s likely to jam up. Now, of course any gun can have a misfire or a jam but .22 pistols are notorious for this behavior and I just can’t put up with it. Hence, my problem…
I started by taking a look at the usual suspects; the Ruger Mark III, the Browning Buckmark, the Sig Sauer Mosquito, and the Walther P22. These are all fine guns and if you spend some time on the better firearms websites you’ll see reviews that vary widely but generally pull out the Ruger Mark III as the standard by which others are judged. It seems the most common complaints with all of the guns I listed above were that they were finicky about what kind of ammo their owners used and that they had to be kept really clean and well oiled in order to function reliably.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about using good ammo but in a survival situation you may not be able to find just the right type of CCI .22 Stingers to put in your gun. Suppose you’re stuck with crappy bulk ammo? You can’t rely on that.
I’m also all about keeping my guns in good shape and cleaning them regularly (except when I’m letting one go as long as possible to see how it functions when dirty as research for a blog post) but again, in a survival situation I may not be able to do a proper job of keeping a gun as clean as it deserves. I could be relying on a toothbrush and a half a can of WD40 to do the job for me. If a pistol only likes to be fired when it’s nice and oily and squeaky clean then it may be fine for recreational target shooting but it can’t be counted in my Prepping stores. I need reliability.
I’m kind of bummed out here. I was about to go with the Ruger but Thoreau told me he had one a while back and even though I know he keeps his guns in good shape he still had problems with failures to feed and jams. The Sig and the Walther have similar reviews from lots of reliable sources.
So What’s A Prepper To Do? Do I go revolver? I do like the reliability of a revolver in almost any caliber but I haven’t done a lot of research on one in .22. This is mostly due to the fact that I appreciate the quick reload of a magazine fed weapon. Especially when we’re talking about one that doesn’t have much stopping power in the first place.