Look, I don’t care how many firearms you own, if you don’t own at least one firearm chambered in .22 Long Rifle (LR), then you don’t have a survival battery! When I worked for the late Colonel Rex Applegate, he had more than 850 firearms in his collection. Quite a few of them were chambered in .22 LR. If the good Colonel needed firearms in .22 LR, then so do you.
For many years, I used to recommend that the first firearm people purchased, should have been a 12 gauge shotgun of some type. I was wrong! I honestly believe that, if you are into survival in any situation then the very first firearm that you purchase should be chambered in .22 LR– period! You can do more with a .22 LR chambered firearm than you can with most other calibers. Plus, not counting the current ammo drought we are in – once again – all things considered .22 LR ammo is relatively inexpensive. You could purchase a brick of 500-rounds for under $20. These days, you are lucky if you can find any .22 LR at all. And, I fear, it will be this way for a long, long time – maybe years! However, if you look around, you can still find some .22 LR – some place! My very first rifle was a Marlin .22 LR. This was a model that was styled to look like an M1 Carbine. I wish that I still owned it – have no idea what I did with it.
A friend of mine, now long deceased, was raising two kids on his own, and he was always short of funds. He was a teacher in the same two-room schoolhouse where my wife worked, many years ago. He had a tough time, as you can imagine, feeding two growing kids – and he resorted to poaching some deer in our area. Everyone knew he did it, and no one reported him. His weapon of choice for his poaching? A .22 LR rifle. A head shot would put the deer down instantly. Now, don’t get me wrong, poaching is wrong. However, I can look the other way, if that is the only way that a person can feed their family. So, save your hate e-mails.
Over the years, I’ve hunted all sorts of small game, and have literally taken thousands of ground squirrels on my in-law’s 2,000-acre ranch. They are such pests that the landowners would even offer to supply .22 LR ammo to anyone who wanted to come and hunt those little critters. So, I know the effectiveness of the .22 LR round on small and even medium-sized game – with proper shot placement and the right bullet. For a lot of small game, a good hollow point bullet puts them down fast. For self-defense, and I’m not advocating you carry a .22 LR handgun, for self-defense. But if it is all you have, then load it with hollow point ammo. We all have to live within our budgets, and if you can only afford something in .22 LR – then go for it – it sure beats a sharp stick or throwing rocks for self-defense.
The handgun under review today is the fairly new Glock 44. This model is chambered in .22 LR. How I came about owning this gun, is somewhat funny, but sad at the same time. My beautiful wife, who can shoot with the best of them – isn’t totally gun-savvy for the most part. Our local small box store told her that they had “a Glock 22” and she purchased it for me – as a gift. Turns out the store clerk was wrong, it was NOT a Glock Model 22, it was a Glock 44, that shoots .22 LR ammo – of course, being a small box store, that only sells new firearms, they wouldn’t take the gun back. Not the end of the world, that’s for sure. You can’t go wrong owning a Glock – of any type. At first, I was a little disappointed because I was looking forward to owning another Glock 22, chambered in .40 S&W – but like I said, it wasn’t the end of the world – but my wife still feels bad she made such a mistake – it wasn’t entirely her fault, the clerk was wrong!
Folks waited a long, long time for Glock to come out with a .22 LR pistol. Oh sure, lots of companies out there making an adaptor kit for your Glock, so you can shoot .22 LR ammo in them – but none were 100% reliable, and they are pretty expensive, too. The Glock 44 is the same size as the Glock 19, but it ends there. We have a 4.02-inch Bbl, the same as the 19, and it appears to be a 19, but at first glance. We have a polymer frame, just like all Glocks have. However, the slide isn’t all metal, it is a mix of materials, making it very lightweight. The gun only weighs 12.63-ounces without the magazine in it, and only 14.62-ounces with the empty magazine inserted. So, we are talking about one very lightweight .22 LR handgun.
We have the same old standard Glock trigger – mushy! The same stippling on the frame, and there is even a Picatinny-type rail for mounting lights and/or lasers on the frame. There is an ambidextrous slide release/stop – that’s nice! The front sight is polymer with one white dot, and the rear sight is fully adjustable with the white outline that makes for a fast sight picture. The extractor is overkill – its big, but better a big unit than a flimsy one, eh? We have slide serrations fore and aft on the sides of the slide.
When we get to the barrel, you can see it is very thin – a good clue that this isn’t a center-fire pistol. And, there is a full-length recoil spring set-up as well. The gun comes with 4 extra grip adapters, so you can surely find one that will fit your hand…I didn’t install any of them, just left the grip as-is, because it fits my hand perfectly. The magazines, two of them – they are polymer, and have a very stout spring – you have two tabs on either side of the mags, that you can pull down, to make loading the 10 rounds into the mag a lot easier. I ordered a couple more spare 10-round mags and they are a bit hard to come by these days, but I like to have several spare mags on-hand. The 44 breaks down for cleaning just like the other Glock handguns do – that’s nice. And, we do NOT have a fixed barrel instead it can be removed from the slide – you rarely see this on semi-automatic .22 pistols – most of the time the barrel is fixed in place.
I found that the mushy-feeling trigger smoothed out quite a bit after about 300 rounds of shooting. And, I fired about a brick of ammo through this neat pistol. I won’t list all the different brands of .22 LR ammo I used, but it was a big mix of various brands and bullet weights. I didn’t have any subsonic ammo, and I’ve read that the Glock 44 isn’t 100% reliable with them – no surprise here as far as I’m concerned. The Glock 44 fed this very wide variety of ammunition quite reliably. As to accuracy – I was getting groups down there under three inches most of the time, without any trouble, and a few groups right at 2-inches – so this gun can shoot – probably better than I can.
After my wife ran a few mags through this gun, she didn’t feel nearly as “guilty” as she did, when she found out it wasn’t a Glock Model 22 – the model chambered in .40 S&W. She remarked how smooth the gun seemed to operate – and it does! The only hunting I’ve done with this gun, has been in my own front yard – we have several squirrels who are digging holes all around the place – I haven’t nailed one – yet – but I will.
We don’t have a shortage of firearms chambered in .22 LR at all – and I wasn’t really looking for another .22 LR firearm – when this one came into my hands – by mistake. To be honest, this little Glock 44 has turned out to be a real blessing in disguise. With the current ammo drought, I hate going out and just “wasting” 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP unless I’m working on an article. But when I want to unwind, this little .22 LR is sure a lot of fun to shoot – and I can afford to shoot it all I want – without digging too deeply into my ammo stash. Of course, like everyone else, I keep an eye out for some .22 LR ammo – at a decent price – I’m not going to pay $75 for a brick of 500 rounds! The local small box store told my wife a few days back, that they were completely out of .22 LR ammo, and didn’t expect any – anytime soon – maybe not for a long, long, long time.
If you’re in the market for a great .22 LR handgun, then be sure to check out the Glock 44. It is one sweet shooting pistol, and retail price is about $420. Presently they are hard to come by. Even at full retail, it is a great pistol to have for your survival battery…you won’t be sorry you got one – if you can find one!