One firearm question that I’ve gotten over the years, more so than any other is: “What kind of a ‘gun’ should I get for survival?” Needless to say, this opens up quite a can of worms, and there is no one gun that can do it all, and there is no pat answer that I can give folks. In another life, I used to tell preppers or survivalists that the first gun they should get on a limited budget was a pump-action 12 Gauge shotgun. I’ve since changed my thinking on that, for a number of reasons. First off, the limited capacity of a shotgun, and secondly, the recoil – its not for the faint of heart, and third, is the ammo – it takes up a lot of room and is heavy. Lastly, is the limited range of a shotgun. Oh sure, there are some positive aspects, like all the different types of ammo available – any thing from light bird shot, to 00 buckshot, to slugs for taking all but the biggest game.
These days, I tell folks to get some kind of .22 LR firearm. And I’d like to see them get a rifle first, and a handgun second. The long gun is more versatile, for taking small game at longer distances, while the handgun is concealable. Of course, the lowly .22 LR can be use for self-defense as well – it’s not what we’d call a “manstopper” round, but with proper shot placement, it will sure make a bad guy wish they were someplace else. Of course, we then have the cost of .22 LR ammo – after the long ammo drought we just went through — almost six years — .22 LR is finally, once again, available in quantities and prices have come back to close to what they were before the drought. Of course, a person can easily pack several 500-round bricks of .22 LR ammo in a backpack, without too much trouble.
There are many very fine .22 LR firearms on the market, that will sure get the job done, and I prefer something that is semi-auto, for faster shooting and ease of reloading. It doesn’t take much time to stick a fully loaded magazine into a .22 LR rifle or handgun, so that’s a big advantage. And, if someone were within 150-yards and posed a threat to you during a SHTF scenario, they will sure wish they were some place else.
Someone can take medium-sized game with a head shot – again, this would be in emergency situations ONLY. We do not promote poaching. However, when it all hits the fan, taking wild game may be your best bet when it comes to feeding your family. I once knew a fellow, who wasn’t making ends meet, and he was poaching deer on a regular basis to feed his two kids. I didn’t condone it then, nor do I condone it now, since he could have found other methods of making ends meet to feed his family. The point is, he took deer with head shots from a .22 LR rifle.
One of the most anticipated firearms to come out of the 2019 SHOT Show this past year was the Taurus TX22 pistol, and needless to say, it is chambered in .22 LR. This isn’t a small, or compact sized .22 LR pistol – it is a full-sized handgun. It has a polymer frame and Aluminum alloy slide, with a fixed 4.10-inch barrel, and outstanding three dot white sights on it – adjustable sights. The TX22 is striker-fired, and that is a bit different than most .22 LR pistols, they are usually hammer-fired. One of the biggest attractions that the TX22 offers is it comes from the factory with two, 16-round magazines. The magazines easily load by hand. However Taurus also included a mag loader to make the job even easier. The gun fires single-action only. It has what Taurus calls their Pittman Trigger System (PTS), and the trigger pull is really quite nice.
The TX22 only weighs in at 17.3 ounces, so it is a light-weight. The height is 5.44-inches, and the width is 1.25-inches and overall length is 7.06-inches. I really like the ambidextrous safety, as well as the ergonomic grip – the gun just flat out feels great when you grip it in your hand. I’m hoping that, Taurus will design some centerfire handguns that feel this good. Are you listening, Taurus? Now, when it comes to the slide, it only allows ejection of the empty brass out of the side of the slide – there is no opening in the top of the slide, like most centerfire handguns have. I was a little concerned that there might be ejection problems, but didn’t experience any with this set-up.
When it comes to a way a handgun feels in the hand, my lovely wife is the expert in this department. No matter how well made or how well designed a handgun is, if it doesn’t feel just “right” in her hand, she has no interest in it – if the gun doesn’t feel right, she doesn’t shoot it nearly as well as she is capable of shooting. And, Taurus sure nailed it with this TX22 – everyone who shot it commented as to how great it felt in the hand – everyone. And, secondly, they all couldn’t believe how light-weight the TX22 is – even with a fully loaded magazine in place.
Early in the long ammo drought, my local gun shop bought a lot of my .22 LR ammo from me, to resell to their customers – and we are talking a LOT of ammo. I figured, at best, the drought would last maybe 6 months, not 6 years! So, my .22 LR ammo supply was extremely low – I refused to pay $50.00 – $80.00 for a 500-round brick of .22 LR ammo. That’s what it was selling for. So, none of us in my family did a lot of shooting with our .22 LR firearms for all those years. Over the past 6-8 months, my .22 LR ammo supply has been rebuilt, and we are once again doing a lot of target practice with various .22 LR chambered firearms.
I still see folks, in the various big and small box stores, purchasing 3-4 bricks of .22 LR these days – they don’t want to be caught short-handed like I was – and they were, too – for all those years. I’m happy to say, the .22 LR ammo makers are turning out this caliber like crazy. I never thought I’d ever see the day, when you couldn’t walk into a gun shop or big box store, and there wouldn’t be any .22 LR on the shelves. And, some of those stores that were getting some .22 LR ammo – were only selling it one box at a time, per day, per customer – they really rationed it out. I can’t blame ‘em in the least, though.
We have now run about 1,000 rounds of various types and brands of .22 LR ammo through the Taurus TX22, and have not had any problems – at least not with the gun. We had just one failure to feed, and that was a dented .22 LR round. So I can’t fault the gun for that. At 500 rounds we cleaned and lubed the TX22 and it is a piece of cake to disassemble for maintenance. It was dirty at 500 rounds, and after we completed our shooting over several weeks we cleaned and lubed it again. Needless to say, .22s tend to get dirty, so keep ‘em cleaned and lubed.
I hunkered down and did some accuracy testing at 25-yards, and I could easily get groups around one inch if I held steady, and depending on the ammo I was shooting – that is outstanding accuracy. The PTS trigger Taurus put on this handgun is a contributing factor to the accuracy. The gun was shooting a little bit low, and it only took one adjustment on the rear sight to get it dead-on at 25-yards. We did shoot at some large rocks out to about 100-yards, and could easily hit them most of the time – that is standing on two feet, without any sort of a rest. BTW, this new Taurus pistol is being made in the USA. And I’ve read that Taurus will be moving from Florida soon, since it is fast becoming an anti-gun state.
If you’re in the market for a new .22 LR pistol, or if you’re looking for your first .22 LR pistol, the new Taurus TX22 is worth a close look. They are retailing for $349. As I mentioned, they come with two 16-rd magazines. Taurus is currently sold out if you want any spare magazines. When they have them, they are only $22 each – that’s a deal. So, I check the Taurus web site regularly, as well as some other web sites, for spare magazines. I’m sure that I’ll eventually find some.
This is one nice gun, well-built, solid, accurate and a great shooter! The only “bad” thing is, now my wife wants one for herself!