The Practical Mathematics of the .22 Caliber Firearm

The Champion .22 Long Rifle Fresh Fire Pack has 325 36-grain copper-plated hollow-point cartridges in a nitrogen-sealed can that prevents corrosion and keeps powders and primers dry. Once opened, it has a resealable plastic lid to keep the ammo protected. $20.(federalpremium.com)

The Federal Champion .22 Long Rifle Fresh Fire Pack has 325 36-grain copper-plated hollow-point cartridges in a nitrogen-sealed can that prevents corrosion and keeps powders and primers dry. Once opened, it has a resealable plastic lid to keep the ammo protected. $20.(federalpremium.com)

Let me make my case for the .22 Long Rifle as the ultimate survival choice in terms of rifle cartridges. What does the .22LR have that would make someone even consider it as a survival choice, let alone the best all-round?

I was able to find a chart on the Internet that compared the weights of various pistol and rifle (both rimfire and centerfire) cartridges in bulk. I did a bit of checking on my own using a postal scale, and found it took 143 rounds of .22LR to equal 16 ounces.

Digging a bit deeper, I learned that one pound equals:

•10 rounds of 12-gauge shells
• 21 rounds of 30-30 cartridges
• 23 rounds of .243 cartridges
• 17 rounds of .30-06 cartridges

My point? Though very much concerned with pinpoint accuracy, I am also a believer in the mantra: Peace (or Continued Existence) through Superior Firepower.

That said, I would opt for 143 effective, though admittedly circumstantially limited, cartridges over 17 or 21 or 23 bigger, more powerful rounds. The bottom line is the .22LR offers the option to carry an absolutely ridiculous number of rounds easily; the others, not so much.

Even in the most out-of-the-way country grocery store, there’s almost a 100-percent chance they’re going to have a box—or several boxes—of some sort of .22LR ammunition lying around.

Inside 100 yards, you should be able to hit what you are shooting at easily with a .22LR. If it’s a meal you’re in need of, there’s really no cause to look further than a .22LR. Whether it’s red squirrel or cottontail rabbit or sitting duck, the .22LR works with precision shot placement.


Recommended Rimfire Rifle and Pistol Resources

Gun Digest Book of the .22 RifleThe Gun Digest Book of the .22 Rifle

Customize the Ruger 10/22

The Ruger 22 Automatic Pistol

5 thoughts on “The Practical Mathematics of the .22 Caliber Firearm

  1. Red Horse

    Bought a box of 550 Federal 22 CJHP, in a gun store in Endicott, NY today. he had about 15 boxes on the shelf. I find the local gun dealers have more ammo than Walmart or the big box sporting goods stores.

  2. zoomer

    Our local Walmart’s get in .22 a little more often than we do, TomC, but not by much, and it doesn’t stay on the shelf long, if you don’t mind saying, what part of the country are you in?

  3. Tom_C

    Hey, zoomer, instead of looking in your “retail sporting goods” store – try visiting your local WalMart – or any decent gun shop. No problem finding .22LR high velocity ammo around here — there was a brief period nearly a year ago when ALL ammo was in short supply due to panic buying after the last mass shooting (the same time that all the gun stores changed the price tags on their ARs and AKs to add and extra $1000 to the price) but there certainly hasn’t been any shortage of .22LR in at least six months around here.

  4. lrsitler

    I doubt in my life I have ever read a more simplistic (read simpleton) article in my life.You boys need to do much better than this………………………

  5. zoomer

    Agree with everything in the article EXCEPT .22 ammo being easily obtainable. I work in retail sporting goods in the Midwest, and demand is so high the little bit we get sells out quickly. I’m sure many shooters would love to find that out-of-the-way country store with full shelves. I have friends that shop on the Internet nightly and cannot buy any. I recently spoke w/ an elderly gentleman who bought a pricey .22 firearm for his grandson, but now is a little put out at the gun seller for not cluing him in on the ammo issues.

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