Two Letters Re: The Essential Gun for Survival

I absolutely concur with Cory M.’s article extolling the benefits of the .22 RF cartridge. If you are limited in the number of firearms you can own or can afford to own, there are two options using the .22 of which everyone should be aware. A multi-barrel long gun (sometimes called a drilling) was one of my first firearms. The Savage .22 RF in combination with a .410 shotgun (aka 22/410 over under), makes a great hunting firearm, and when using a rifled slug in the .410 shotgun, a pretty effective defensive tool. The other is the ubiquitous Black Rifle (the AR-15 or the M4 carbine) chambered in .223 / 5.56mm). [Several brands of] .22 RF conversion kit are available with 30 round magazines for around $150 new. (Perhaps less if you can find a used one.) Add a few more magazines and you’re sitting at just about $200 total. With .223 ammunition running around $300 per 1,000 rounds and .22 RF running around $40 for the same quantity, the first 1,000 rounds you shoot pretty much pays for the entire setup. Switching between the conversion and the original bolt takes less than 60 seconds. This allows you to practice a lot with your Black Rifle, which is how you become proficient in it’s operation, something that could be essential in a TEOTWAWKI situation. – LVZ in Ohio


Dear Jim,
One minor point on Peter Hathaway Capstick, .22s, and elephants. I have all of his books, and highly recommend them. I recall him mentioning .22 Magnums being used for Springbok, and calibers as small as .303 British for elephant, on a rear quartering brain shot through the open back of the skull, behind the ears. I doubt a .22 would even penetrate a couple of inches of jumbo, much less reach a critical organ or brain.- Michael Z. Williamson (SurvivalBlog Editor at Large)