If you're serious about survival, you have to have some type of .22 Long Rifle (LR) firearm in your battery. Some will argue against the effectiveness of a .22 LR but I'm not one of them. You can take all manner of small game and fowl, with a well-placed shot from a .22 LR handgun or rifle. And, in a pinch, it will serve as a self-defense weapon as well. No, I'm not advocating the .22 LR as your one and only self-defense firearm, but it will sure do in a pinch, and make the bad guys wish they were some place else.
I've been a fan of Ruger firearms for many, many years - they never cease to amaze me with the new products they come out with every year - they don't sit back on past accomplishments! And, if there is one thing that you can count on with Ruger firearms, its that their products are well-made, strong and reliable. The new Ruger SR22 semiauto handgun was recently released. What we have is a 10 round magazine - and you get two of them with each pistol, as well as two magazine floor plates - one flat and the other with an extension for catching your pinky if you have large hands. I don't know why more gun companies does provide a second magazine with their handguns - it's a must if you ask me!
The SR22 weighs in a 17.5 ounces, with the black polymer frame, and this pistol just feels perfect in the hand, everyone who tried this little pistol loved the way it felt in their hands. Plus, the grip sleeve can be slid off and a different one slides on there for a thicker feel. Everyone preferred the thicker and more curved grip to the slimmer one that was installed on the SR22. The polymer frame has an ambidextrous magazine release, as well as decocker/safety both are easy to manipulate. There is also a Picatinny rail on the front of the frame, for mounting a light or a laser.
The slide has an adjustable rear sight and fixed front sight - 3-dot variety, and you can actually reverse the rear sight blade so that it is completely black if you so desire. The barrel is 3.50-inches, housed in the all black slide, the barrel is fixed in place. Take-down is extremely easy - pull down on the take-down tab inside the trigger guard (on the top of the trigger guard) and you pull back on the slide and lift it up and remove it. Make sure the gun is unloaded first! The SR22 requires very little in the way of lubrication, too!
I fired more than 1,000 rounds of various .22 LR ammo through my SR22 sample, and there was never a single malfunction of any sort - and some of the ammo I used in my testing was very old - some even corroded, but the SR22 just never missed a beat. I was totally impressed to say the least. The two supplied magazines were easy to load, thanks to the tab on the side of the magazine, that you can pull down with your thumb as you load each round into the mag. My SR22 was sighted in for 25 yards and was dead on at that distance...no adjustments were required. On average, I was getting 3-inch groups at 25 yards, and that is from a standing, free-hand position. I didn't bench rest the SR22 to see if I could wring more accuracy out of it!
I had more than half a dozen people test-fire my SR22 sample, and each one loved the way it felt, handled and the accuracy. I was so impressed with the SR22, that I bought one for my wife and for one of my daughters for Christmas presents - so they would stop borrowing my sample. On more than one occasion, my wife has "confiscated" one of my firearms samples - never to return it. She likes to say she'll "share" with me - yes, my gun! My daughter took her SR22 out with some friends, and they had no problems with her gun - ditto for my wife's SR22 sample.
Quite frankly, I wasn't going to bother with the SR22, until my friend fellow gun writer John Taffin told me that I just had to get one - he was impressed with his sample, that he did an article on, that I took his word for it, and got my own. I'm glad I did. If you do any camping, backpacking or hiking in the boonies, it's always a good idea to have some kind of firearm on-hand - laws permitting. You never know what you might encounter out on the trail - or just have a day of fun shooting and plinking - a brick of .22 LR ammo doesn't weigh that much, and 500 rounds will give you a fun filled day of shooting. Of course, right now, all caliber of ammo is hard to come by - thanks to the recent anti-gun legislation and Executive Orders that came down the pike. People are buying ammo like there's no tomorrow, and in my area, there isn't a round of .22 LR ammo to be found.
I honestly couldn't find a single thing I didn't like on the SR22 sample - it even comes with a black carrying case, that is included in the box the gun comes in - as well as the massive lock for securing the gun against unauthorized use. One other reason I like Ruger firearms is because they are simple in design - and that equates to less things to break, and more reliability. The SR22 has a retail price of $399 however, as with all Ruger firearms, you can usually find them discounted quite a bit. The SR22 is an absolute best-buy in my book, and it will give you many years of fun and the reliability factor is there - something that can't be said about many .22 LR pistols - many are very picky about what ammo they will 100% work with - not so with the SR22. - SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio