I first noticed guys like these, hanging out at a gun shop in my hometown in my late teens. Seems they’re pretty normal at firearms stores, according to the gun shop workers I have spoken to. Don’t worry, Muttonchops here has a much bigger part to play later in the story.

Speaking of .22s, for those just getting to know my crappy opinions on guns, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the Ruger 10/22. Seems some of the folks reading the ABOUT page here have wondered why I list it as my favorite rifle. The implication of one questioner was whether I even owned any other rifles.

Yes, I most certainly do. I love my Norinco SKS. I love my Mosin. I even have fun firing Mel’s AR-15. I also regularly have a great time firing other rifles my friends own. But hands down, if I was in a survival situation, an apocalypse, or just backpacking for a few months, I would want my 10/22 over all others.

– Very light weapon, ammo weighs next to nothing.
– I know this rifle better than any other. It was what I used for hunting in my teens, and I cannot even begin to guess how many rounds I’ve put down the barrels of this particular rifle model – probably in the tens of thousands.
– Although not terribly hard to clean, it is not totally necessary with regular shooting. I fired one 10/22 for years without ever cleaning it, because I was a stupid kid, and it still cycled the action with every single pull of the trigger. No jams, no problems.
– Hi-cap mags are relatively cheap and durable.
– It will spit lead as fast as you can pull the trigger, and has absolutely negligible recoil.

Many say it’s underpowered for both defense and hunting. One a single-shot basis, I would agree, if you’re trying to take a medium-sized target, such as a human or a deer.
But according to two friends who have worked Texas Parks & Wildlife, the Ruger 10/22 is one of THE most commonly confiscated firearms from deer poachers. Sure, one hit won’t stop a deer, but 5 or more in very, very rapid succession will drop that venison. The 10/22 is one of the rifles used by Israeli snipers for quieter ops, and is quite capable of putting a bullet into a target’s head. It wouldn’t be my go-to for home defense at all (I have both a .357 and a 12 ga on hand for such things), but if I had to defend myself with the Ruger… well, I’m pretty sure if I dump 25 rounds into an oncoming brute, at some point he’s going to stop, sit down, and ruminate on what decision he’d made in his life that led him to this juncture. At the very least.

So that’s why. The 10/22 is a sturdy, reliable, excellent rifle, and I unabashedly love it.

Although I’m NOT a fan of full-auto rifles/carbines: swear to gawd, I will own one of these before I die.