If you were to look inside my safe, you’d find somewhere around 30 guns, each with a specific purpose. You’d count a handful of pistols, a few AR’s, a small collection of shotguns, and quite a few centerfire rifles – everything from custom long range hunting rifles to big-bore dangerous African game rigs. You’d also come across five or six .22’s – both pistols and rifles. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing I may have more than 30 guns, but hey, that’s not a bad thing. Regardless of how many guns I own, I look at each of them as a specific tool for a specific job…and I pride myself on having really good tools.
To me, the most versatile tool in my safe has always been a .22. Though I rarely hunt with one these days, I have used them in the past to shoot many a small game animal and because of my former job as a game warden, I’ve used the little cartridge to kill quite a few injured whitetails. On one occasion I even hunted a whitetail doe at short range with a .22, and while I wouldn’t recommend using the caliber as a deer rifle, it was still the quickest and most humane kill I’ve ever made in the field. I only mention it here because it does speak to the versatility of the .22 if applied in just the right way.
So why all this versatility talk?
If you’re reading this, congratulations, you’ve survived 2020…a real hell hole of a year. By now you probably understand that surviving rough times isn’t without some side effects and one of my main side effects has been a shift in my focus to take a hard look at my preparedness for the future. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we now have a very clear picture of what it looks like to have grocery store shelves run empty, businesses shut down, and what a more isolated lifestyle looks like with travel restrictions.
I’m fortunate enough to live in a place where there’s an abundance of woods within two miles of our little downtown and plenty of deer and small game call these areas home. Unless you live in a big city, I’m sure you can find game relatively close to where you are too. So, what’s the right tool for hunting these areas out of necessity? To me, it’s the .22.
Five hundred rounds of quality .22 ammo is still relatively cheap and it takes up very little space. The round is inherently quiet and it’s all but completely silent if a suppressor is utilized. Any of-age human can be trained to successfully hunt or shoot with a .22 in a minimal amount of time and a good shooter should be able to bring home dinner for the family with one carefully placed shot. In a defensive scenario a .22 pistol can end a threat with good shooting and most of them are very packable for those times when you need to be on the go. Is the .22 perfect for any of these tasks? Probably not but think of it more in terms of being the Swiss Army Knife of the gun world. It’ll get most jobs done just fine if you do your part.
Hopefully, 2021 brings a brighter year than we had in 2020, but just in case, spend some time thinking about the sustainability of you and your family and whether you have the right tools for the future. While you’re doing that, I’ll be making sure my best tools (.22lr Volquartsen Summit Rifle and Black Mamba Pistol) stay ready…just in case.