Is This the Single Best Survival Firearm Ever?

Yes, I know what I said in the Top Ten Best Guns for SHTF. I also know there is no “single best” as no one firearm will serve all purposes, but defining the “best survival firearm” really depends on how you define “survival.” All of that being said, is it possible that the single best survival firearm is the single-shot .22 rifle?

I borrowed the above rifle from a family member to help remediate a garden groundhog problem I was having, a groundhog that wouldn’t make the wise decision to walk into a Havahart trap for permanent re-location. It’s an old rifle, it was my wife’s great grandfather’s to be exact. Not only did it work, it worked very well! Here are the reasons this rifle is a SHTF contender:
  • crazy accurate
  • crazy quiet
  • simple design with few moving parts
  • small size
  • cheap ammo
This rifle is absolutely perfect for: I used this on a 2nd groundhog after I used my compound bow to dispatch the first. The bow worked, in fact I nailed the groundhog out at about 50 yards with it, but it wasn’t … shall we say “as clean” as it should have been. It would have been cleaner if I’d used hunting tips on the arrows, but those are pricey. This rifle worked much better. I loaded a single sub-sonic .22 lr cartridge into it. Combined with its heavy barrel, the sound was exceptionally quiet, which I really liked. No ear protection needed on the range with this thing. – Ranger Man BTW: The other upside of this rifle is that odds are low thugs will rob you at the shooting range for it.
18 comments… add one
  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. August 3, 2010, 7:28 am

    .22s will certainly keep you fed, but for things that go bump in the night, a shotgun sure is comforting.

  • irishdutchuncle August 3, 2010, 10:11 am

    when i read “single shot” i think: “only holds one round”. (like a T.C. contender) is that a magazine in the picture? with my stubby fingers i’d have a difficult time trying to chamber a tiny round, like a .22 short. (especially in cold weather/wearing gloves/adrenaline pumping, trying to re-load for a follow-up shot) i think it would be better to recomend a repeating rifle (magazine fed, bolt/lever action .22) over a single shot.

    i agree with j.r. about the shotgun, too.

    • Ranger Man August 3, 2010, 4:40 pm

      Not a magazine in the pic, it’s a box of 50 sub-sonic cartridges.

    • Tony July 10, 2011, 3:19 pm

      That depends on what kind of 22 single shot. The Marlin/Glenfield Mod.10 you drop the shell in the loading port S,L or LR and the bolt picks it up and loads. I agree with the shotgun part6 but not anticipating problems and just having it with you when going into the wilds as for instance camping it will keep you alive as far as getting some game to eat if help is not available riht away.

  • Suburban Survivalist August 3, 2010, 11:12 am

    That looks like an old Winchester, the type that will fire .22 short, long, and LR. My family has one, was my grandpa’s. Probably the best rifle I’ve ever shot, in terms of decades of reliability/accuracy.

  • JimShyWolf August 3, 2010, 8:59 pm

    Oh, my! Yes, that verily resembles my 1960 Winchester model 67A, desired and given cuz I loved Grampa’s 1940 model. Really accurate with anything you feed it, gets full potential from the LR cartridge.
    My Kid now calls it “his” rifle, and he selects it for nearly all his hunting, rabbits, skwerrells, birds, and targets.
    Nice little rifle- you gonna talk Great Grampa out of it?
    Shy III

  • Jonny V August 3, 2010, 10:27 pm

    Hey Ranger Man! I’m betting that your rifle has “Premier Single Shot” stamped on top of the barrel, with no other markings evident. I own one that is identical. It dates from VERY early in the 20th century (like the oughts to the teens). My great grandpa had the same one, and now it’s in my closet. It has the best trigger ever. You can only get a trigger that good with 100 years of “lapping” the parts……
    Sadly, my firing pin is broken, and I don’t know where to get a new one. Maybe some of the readers know????



  • noisynick August 3, 2010, 10:32 pm

    The ruger 10/22 in my opinion is far and away one of the best survival preparedness weapons. in the hands of a marksman it is hard to beat few attackers can handle a round to the eye no matter how tough.
    Its also cheap to train on user friendly and is easy for women and children to master without suffering a beating which leads to the fear of taking the shot.
    I have killed lots of small game as well as 2 young white tails at over 30 yds. for an all around if you can only afford one Gun this would be one I would definitely
    look twice at and especially a .22 of any make would be a wise choice.

  • Ranger Man August 3, 2010, 10:36 pm

    JimShyWolf, great grandpa is no more, but don’t think I haven’t thought about taking my time to give it back.

    Since some of you inquired, the top of the barrel reads: Winchester Model 67-22 Short, Long and Long Rifle. Suburban seems to have it right. I googled it, found this link:

  • Suburban Survivalist August 3, 2010, 10:43 pm

    According to my Standard Catalog of Firearms (2009 ed.), Jim is probably correct that it’s a Model 60/60A, 67/677. The 60 model was discontinued in 1934, the 60 A in 1939, 677 was dropped in 1939, and 67 in 1963. They were all introduced in 1930/31.

    As far as semi-autos go, I favor the Marlin Model 60. Dead on accurate and reliable, plus inexpensive.

  • Jonny V August 3, 2010, 10:44 pm

    OK, you got me. I did use your the link you put up to research my rifle however… Maybe I can still find a firing pin for mine. Being wrong worked out great!

  • The Urban Survivalist August 4, 2010, 9:56 am

    I like the Savage 24. It’s an over/under rifle/shotgun combo that comes in all types of caliber/gauge variations. I’m thinking that a .357/12 gauge would be my personal combination choice. If I were an AR guy I’d go with .223, though. The .22lr/20 gauge or .410 is probably the most common version.

  • Hokiemagnum August 7, 2010, 7:01 pm

    A single shot 22lr isn’t the best firearm out there….although I will say that, if done right, a SUPPRESSED single shot 22lr firearm will surely assist the procurement of any lead delivery system one could view through a 3-9X variable scope.

  • Angry Mike August 10, 2010, 11:54 am

    RM as you stated there is no single best gun out there but in terms of usefull…I would have to say the .22 rifle is at the top. Its no man stopper, its barely a stray cat stopper but it will put food on the table. I see a lot of squirrels, raccoons, groundhogs, etc that could become tablefare and rarely, very rarely a deer. Even less rare is a man threat. I would certainly prefer more than a single shot rifle but a single shot is better than throwing a rock.

    Urban mentioned the Savage 24. I like it. I like multipurpose…things. My personal combo gun and the one that resides in my bug out bag is a Rossi Trifecta chambered in .22, .243 Win and 20 gauge. The 20 gauge barrel is what I keep mounted with the other two riding along. I dont know of a man that would fair well after taking a 20 gauge slug. A++ for self defence and with low recoil hits are easy.

    I have heard the .243 is adequate for dropping deer. I have not used it on anything other than targets so I cant say for sure. Ballistics are superior to the .223 and it has a flatter trajectory. Should be useful for man and beast, at least mathmatically. There is of course the venerable .22 barrel that can be swapped out.

    I dont see any of these rounds as great defensive rounds but again, it beats the hell out of throwing rocks. It does give you options and options are one the best things to have in any situation. When you run out of options…your in trouble. If you live in bear country (I do) this rifle could leave you coming up short. Anything less than a well placed head shot will only piss it off.

    This rifles draw back is that it is a single shot. Carrying extra barrels can be a tricky endevour as well as heavy. Then there are extra rounds which add extra weight. 500 of .22, 30 of 20 gauge and 30 of .243 is what rides in one of my bags (one of 9 four foot long duffle bags, have to pack for 5 people) along with the barrels. I would prefer it to be chambered in .308 or 30.06, 12 gauge & .22 but it is what it is and I only paid $228 for it brand new. A bargain in my book. (I REALLY like multipurpose AND thrifty).

    • Ranger Man August 10, 2010, 5:58 pm

      I know of people that use a .243 for deer hunting. They seem happy with it.

  • Hk June 3, 2011, 7:26 pm

    Couldn’t agree more, but the best single shot for survival is: TC Contender with .22 lr match barrel–not a single shot rifle. Trust me…it’s more accurate than ANY .22 rifle I’ve run across…and in a survival situation, more portable and concealable.

    Plus–grab an extra barrel (or four) and you can utilize any common survival ammo (9, .40, .45, .223, 7.62 x 39 … Well you get the picture)

    Simply the most accurate, most versatile survival tool you can own.

  • Bizzaro April 20, 2015, 10:32 am

    I have personally dropped coyote 75 yards with a .22 long rifle. That would surely make it qualifier for man stopper. Even a short at minimal range or up to 30 yards or so properly placed will kill a person. This round has always seemed to be placed along side the air rifles for killing power but that is inaccurate. These will kill a person

  • gronk August 31, 2015, 1:39 am

    trees are good


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