Despite everyone advising me otherwise, my first rifle was a Yugoslavian Mauser chambered in 8mm Mauser. Between its steel butt pad, hard-to-see iron sights, and hard-hitting cartridge, I probably couldn’t have chosen a worse first gun. Yes, it’s even worse than the Mosin Nagant for a first rifle, because at least the Mosin has affordable ammunition —7x57mm AKA 8mm Mauser ammo, ran me close to 50 cents a pop when I bought the rifle.
I enjoyed the hell out of shooting the old warhorse, but I rarely hit what I was aiming for, and the defending blast and ass-kicking recoil gave me a terrible flinching habit for a while. This was the impetus behind the purchase of my second rifle—the Ruger 10/22.
The most prolific civilian long arm ever built, the Ruger 10/22 has been the de-facto, ‘go-to first gun’ for countless thousands of shooters in the United States for decades. It has always been affordable and reliable enough for shooters new and old to sharpen their marksmanship skills with.
Though in the past few years this hasn’t been the case, due to panic buying and political upheaval.
Hell, until very recently, much more cost-effective to purchase a 5.56mm carbine and practice with it, than a .22lr one. Because even if the price of the .22lr rifle itself was much cheaper, the cost of ammo and availability of that ammo made the centerfire carbine a more viable choice.
Now with prices falling, will SHOT show 2017 see the return of America’s most prolific plinker to the front stage of gun sales for Ruger and the forefront of aftermarket parts production?
Realistically, probably not. I think most gun makers and aftermarket parts builders expected the election to swing the other way. As such, they probably didn’t invest as much time and money into rimfire accessory production as anything that resembled a dreaded black rifle.
That said, with the election firmly in favor of gun owners, I expect to see prices of .22lr ammo plummet, and numbers of .22lr guns and accessories to inversely skyrocket. Plus, hoarders who purchased tens if not hundreds of thousands of rounds of .22 rimfire ammo, will most likely wish for a gun to burn up some of their exhaustive stock.
Plus, if the Hearing Protection Act gets passed, the .22lr carbine’s ascension will be all but certain. There’s no better tool to learn marksmanship with, than a suppressed .22lr carbine. No recoil, little noise, and inexpensive ammunition — what’s not to love!?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what SHOT Show 2017 holds in store for us this year.
Special thanks to www.SilencerShop.com for providing a Liberty Regulator suppressor for use on the Ruger-provided 10/22 takedown rifle in this article.