Today’s Infographic, Choosing The Right Caliber For Game comes to us courtesy of hunter-ed.com.
The Ruger 10-22 has been around since 1964 but I didn’t buy my first one until about 1980 when I talked my Mrs. Jackson into buying one for her favorite under-age son. She still gives me a hard time about it periodically as the first thing I did was throw on a black nylon stock with a pistol grip and buy a 30 round banana magazine. Mama Jackson is definitely from the ‘guns are bad’ side of rational thought and the more tacti-cool a gun looks the more evil they are in her eyes.
The venerable 10-22 gets it’s name from the fact that it’s a .22 caliber longarm designed to feed from a 10 round magazine but why would anyone want to shoot from a 10 round magazine when there are 25 and 30 round magazines designed for the same weapon? As I mentioned, after I purchased my first Ruger 10-22 I rushed right out and purchased a 30 round magazine…it kinda worked…sometimes. Over the years I must have purchased every aftermarket magazine that came out for the 10-22…because 10 rounds just never seemed like enough. None worked very well. I think the reason they never worked is that the plastic lips of the magazine just didn’t seat as reliably as the metal lips on the factory original.
Finally, one day a year or two ago as I was walking through the PX I noticed a product on the shelf that looked almost familiar. On closer inspection it turned out to be a new, Ruger produced 25 round magazine with metal lips just like Ruger’s 10 round magazine. They aren’t cheap but I took a chance and bought two that day and boy was I happy with the result. The Ruger 10-22 finally had the magazine it deserved and should now be called the Ruger 25-22. The magazine was called the BX-25 and functioned flawlessly.
Walking through another PX the other day I noticed another new, but familiar package on the shelf…this time with a pair of factory original Ruger 25 round magazines permanently joined together. Now I have a Ruger BX-25×2 magazine which makes my carbine a Ruger 50-22…squirrels and rabbits BEWARE!
Here’s how Ruger describes their new magazines: High-quality Ruger factory magazines deliver optimal performance from your 10/22 short action rifle and long action rifle. Molded hard-polymer body stainless steel feed lips high-grade tempered spring steel spring help ensure reliable feeding and extra-long service life. BX-25 x 2 is a single magazine that holds a total of 50 rounds in two separate sections. Magazine can simply be flipped once one side is depleted to shoot the remaining 25 rounds. Mfg: Ruger Specs: Molded hard-polymer black.
Gotta love Texas. Texas loves kids enough they feel that they are worth protecting in ways that work better than having one officer on hand who is nothing more than the first victim to any well planned attack.
Looking for a SHTF gun? Recently, I read a very good article that was been re-posted around the web entitled “Building A Survival Arsenal On A Budget“. It gave some very practical advice on which SHTF gun, pistols, rifles and shotguns, would fit in to a survival plan on a budget. Common features on many a low priced SHTF gun is a break action and single shot capability. To fill the niche for a rim fire SHTF gun they featured the Chiappa Little Badger; a neat little break action .22LR rim fire which comes in around the $170 price range. I couldn’t help but think that for $100 more I could fill the niche of a rim fire .22 in my SHTF gun arsenal, as well as a shotgun and a center-fire hunting rifle with one package. That package is the Rossi Trifecta Youth Combo.
The Rossi Trifecta is an extremely versatile shooting system that lends itself for use as a SHTF gun. It combines a black synthetic stock with three calibers of interchangeable barrels. They are a .22LR rim fire, with adjustable fiber optic sights. A shotgun, with bead front sight. Lastly, a center fire rifle, with adjustable fiber optic sights. The barrels change with one screw and no tools. You can get the Rossi Trifecta in several different flavors:
The set also includes a scope mount base, hammer extension and removable cheek piece allowing adjustments for proper fit with each barrel. The Rossi Trifecta sets also include a custom carry case to hold the gun and barrels in take-down condition.
The good: The Rossi Trifecta can fill three niches ias a SHTF gun, in one package. That package is reasonably priced. In a SHTF scenario, it gives you the ability to to take small game, fowl, and larger game. The gun system weights about 6.5 pounds when taken down and packed, so it is extremely portable. It is a break action gun, with simplicity at its heart. It will fit inside a Ruck-sack, or just as easily strap on to the outside of one, as well. You can customize it as the rifle barrels will take a scope rail.
The bad: Rossi Trifecta is a youth gun, and is scaled as such. Due to the shorter barrel lengths accuracy suffers, especially on the shotgun and larger caliber rifle barrels. Addition of a scope does alleviate this problem a bit. It is still there, though. Another issue associated with the length is, well…the length of the gun. The barrel lengths are 18.5″ for the .22LR, and 22″ for the rifle and shotgun barrels. The stock is 15″ in length, giving respective overall lengths of 33.5″/37″/37″. The gun fits children, young adults and most women perfectly. For a full sized man, it can be a bit of an effort to hold the gun properly. It can be done, though. In shotgun and center-fire configuration there is a bit of a kick, as well; due to the barrel length and weight.
The ugly: I am not going to lie, the reviews you’ll read of the Rossi Trifecta are mixed, at best. For every 4 or 5 star review, there are several 1, 2, or 3 ones. A majority of the bad ones have to deal with the accuracy, as well as a bevy of complaints about mis-fires on the early models.
Here’s the point where I will attempt to tie the good, the bad and the ugly of the Rossi Trifecta up in to one nice bundle for you. Hopefully, I can give you a little perspective and help you decide if it is a SHTF gun for you. My son received the Rossi Trifecta youth combo for Christmas around age 12 or 13; he is now 21. He lost interest in it, so it was handed down to my daughter. She used it to learn to shoot, as well. She still uses it from time to time, even though she has graduated to more adult guns. Now, the gun is considered to be my gun, because I am the only one that still shoots it on a (semi)regular basis. Over the years my children had the gun, I used it at various times. I’ve taken squirrels with the .22LR, shot skeet with the 20-guage, and even took my first doe with the .243. [Andrew’s Note: My oldest’s first gun was a Rossi rifle/shotgun system as well]
I’ve attached cheap rails and Bushnell scopes to the rim fire and center fire barrels. As long as I don’t bang the case around too much, they hold a zero reasonably well. This is true even with the movement of the break action when reloading. I can accurately hit a 2″ target with the .22LR at 25yds all day long. The .243, with its flat trajectory, is laser straight at 50yds and I can hit a pie plate sized target at 150yds more often than not. That type of accuracy may not be competition worthy. When looking for a SHTF gun it isn’t as big a consideration. If you are looking to drop a deer or other larger game in a survival situation it works perfectly fine, especially at short ranges.
With that said, the concerns about the accuracy of the Rossi Trifecta are valid. Over iron sights, it is difficult, but not impossible, to hold decent groups. Out past about 20-25yds the pattern on the 20-gauge isn’t the greatest, either. My take on the matter is this. There are sacrifices that must be made in a gun system like this. For the price of some accuracy, you gain versatility and portability. A gun like this will never perform as well as a single purpose gun, unless you want to drop large sums of cash. That kind of defeats the whole purpose of the exercise of finding a low budget SHTF gun.
The concerns about the misfires may have been valid at one point. In my experience Rossi has since fixed any design flaws (if there were any) that may have caused this issue. The only time the gun has misfired for me is when it is extremely dirty. Carbon builds up on the face of the receiver and the firing pin won’t strike properly. Another problem caused by a dirty gun is that shotgun shells will get stuck in the chamber. They easily come out with a bore punch. Both issues are remedied by a quick cleaning of the gun. It should go without saying that thorough cleaning between uses also helps keep stoppages due to fouling to a minimum. Any SHTF gun you choose will need regular cleaning to function properly.
As a SHTF gun, the Rossi Trifecta could be easily carried and used. The ammo for all three configurations could end up weighing more than the taken down gun itself. I am a big guy, so that doesn’t really concern me. I can pack a lot of weight. For a smaller guy/gal it could pose a problem. Distributing ammo among your group would fix that issue. As a SHTF gun it is not optimal as a defensive weapon. Still, in a pinch, I’d rather have this than nothing. Hopefully, if things have gone South, you won’t find yourself in a situation where this would be the only SHTF gun available for defense. If need be, it would give you the ability to accurately engage a target well beyond pistol range with a round that will stop a man.
As a SHTF gun, I think the Rossi Trifecta is a perfect fit for the survival hunting role. This is especially true for those on a budget, or those looking for the most “bang” for their buck. As noted it is extremely portable. From personal experience, I can tell you it is extremely rugged to boot. At around $280 you can get the versatility of three guns that would cost you $350 on a low, low budget and up to $800, or more, on a moderate budget. I think a lot of the bad reviews about the Rossi Trifecta, especially in regards to accuracy and the kick, are more due to unrealistic expectations than anything that is ‘wrong” with the gun. Is it a top performer in any of the 3 niches it fills? No, it isn’t by a long shot… but it does perform in an acceptable manner in all three roles. For what it is, and what it does, I think the good out-weighs the bad, and one would be well served by the Rossi Trifecta as a SHTF gun.
No Guns For You? ‘Out West’ or even in my much beloved Midwest (not including much of Illinois of course) we have a hard time understanding the Eastern Mindset…I’m not talking about the Asian Mind but the Eastern (US) Mind. With notable exceptions like West Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine and much of Pennsylvania there is this attitude toward liberties and even Constitutionally protected liberties that the rest of us just don’t understand…to quote Mr. Sampson (below) ‘it just doesn’t make sense’ to us. Recently the Massachusetts legislature pulled wording from a proposed law that would have allowed the local Chief of Police to determine who could and who couldn’t purchase long arms (they already have this power for hand guns). No due process, no pretense of complying with the requirements of the Second Amendment…just dictatorial powers to determine who is and who isn’t allowed to protect themselves with a rifle or shotgun.
Wayne Sampson, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association epitomized the arrogance of those
law enforcement officers prospective overlords more concerned with their personal power than supporting their oath to the Constitution when he exclaimed:
We, as an association, believe that it’s unconscionable that if we determine a person is unsuitable to carry a handgun, that they can then turn around and apply for a Firearms Identification Card, which allows them, by law, to purchase rifles and shotguns. And there’s no way we can impose any restrictions on that. It just doesn’t make sense.
Wayne Sampson, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association
I agree Mr. Sampson… at least with that last part…‘It just doesn’t make sense.’
I know and have worked in the Reserves and with community and non-profit groups with a number of law enforcement officers and have found the vast majority of them to be honorable men and women dedicated to the preservation of a civil society built on individual liberties (and that sheepdog ethic)…there are a few bad apples in every group though and with the law enforcement crowd those bad apples seem to have a tyrannical bent. These, thankfully rare, officers seem to approach their law enforcement duties more out of a desire to have a position of power over others than a desire to serve the public. It appears that this power loving minority has taken over the Chiefs of Police Association in Massachusetts and seeks to judge who gets to exercise their rights and whose rights are denied.
This whole situation reminds me of the classic Seinfeld (TV Show) character affectionately called the ‘Soup Nazi.’ As you may recall there was a restaurant in the primary character’s neighborhood that served soup so much better than anyplace else that there was a line out the door. The soup line was lorded over by the Soup Nazi and those customers that didn’t wait in line and approach the server with the appropriate deference, meekness and subservience were shown the door as the Soup Nazi screamed “No Soup For You.” Having to kowtow to the Soup Nazi to buy your favorite chowder would certainly be annoying but having to kowtow to your local chief of police before you are allowed to exercise your rights just doesn’t make sense!
“I don’t think anybody would argue that shot placement is the most important for terminal ballistics,” Langdon said. “Even though you say a .45 is better than a 9mm, it’s still a pistol caliber. Chances are if it is a determined adversary, they are going to have to be shot multiple times regardless of the caliber.”
Many law-enforcement shooting incidents have shown this to be reality, he said.
“I talked to a Chicago cop that shot a guy eight times with a .45 to kill him and that was a 230 grain Hydra-Shok,” Langdon said. “And that guy now carries a 9mm …he realized that handgun bullets suck. “You have to shoot people a lot with a handgun.”
Andrew’s Note: The U.S. Army adopted the .45 Caliber M1911 pistol on March 29, 1911 as the calibers in use previously were unable to stop the fierce Moro warriors of Mindanao Island in the Philippines. The Moro were Muslim Philippine separatists fighting for a way of life that included slavery. I wonder what our plans are for NATO interoperability once we adopt a round more robust than the 9mm. I sure won’t miss that piece of crap M9 Beretta pistols though!
I warned of confiscation. Can’t happen you say? Well, it is going on right now in New York State and Connecticut. With a stroke of a pen, 10′s of thousands of law-abiding citizens in these states became criminals for possession previously legal to own firearms. The government representatives of these states fear their law-abiding, gun-owning neighbors, rather than confront law-breaking criminals or caring for the mentally ill in their communities. Which for me, is the proper definition of a coward.
I’m a firm believer in having a gun and not needing it rather than the other way around. I can always find a new job.
Vietnam Vet Don Pitaniello via Store Clerk ‘Suspended’ From Job After Using Gun to Halt Robbery
Starting with the American Long Rifle, Kyle tells the tale of how American sharpshooters broke the rules of gentlemanly behavior to help win American independence. The story then moves to the Civil War era and the expansion West. He tells of these times with three guns.
The Colt Single Action Army Revolver comes out of the holster, next. It’s story spans the Civil War and comes to a climax at the OK Coral in Tombstone, Arizona.
The last gun in this epoch is the Winchester 73. Kyle details its development and how it went on the help tame the West.
From the Wild West, the tale jumps forward to the turn of the century and through WWII. The next trio of guns helped win WWI and then played important roles in the Gangster era of the 20’s and 30’s. In the end, they went on to defeat the Axis powers in 1940s.
The first gun, the 1903 Springfield, is a story of adaptation and change. Developed from the German Mauser, it went on to the trenches of France with the Doughboys. In the hands of motivated Marines it was feared by Germans soldiers who carried the Mauser itself.
Along side the 1903 was the Colt 1911. Simple, yet innovative, this semi-automatic pistol changed the world. First used by the military, it went on to fight in the Banana Wars, as well as on both sides of the law in the Roaring 20’s and Depression era 30’s. In WWII, it was used in every theater. Even today, John Browning‘s design influences gun manufacturers world wide.
The final gun of the trio is the ubiquitous Thompson Sub Machine-gun. Instantly recognizable as the weapon of choice of bootlegging gangsters, this gun also played an important role in defeating Germany and Japan. It went on to see service in Korea, as well as the early years of the Vietnam War.
The last two guns in Kyle’s story tell of the modernization and coming of age of the US.
The first one is the .38 Special Police Revolver. Developed in the early 20th Century, it really didn’t take off until the late 50’s early 60s. As police departments modernized and standardized firearms, the .38 special became a favorite. With simplicity and versatility, the .38 revolver family of guns became common place across the US.
The last gun is the M-16. Detailing the often time rocky development of the M-16, Kyle tells the story of a gun which has served the US military for going on six decades. The M-16 changed the way the world looked at assault rifles, and has spawned many imitators and competitors as well as the current craze for ‘modern sporting rifles.’
Any review of “American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Firearms“, by Chris Kyle must speak of the unusual, and sad circumstances of its author and its publishing. Chris Kyle was a true American hero. A decorated Navy Seal veteran, Chris was credited with saving countless U.S. lives in multiple theaters of war. After completing his enlistment, he became an accomplished writer. He wrote of his SEAL exploits in the best selling book, “American Sniper” which was reviewed by Prepography in March of 2013. As an avid shooter, he became involved with helping wounded vets through The Heroes Project. By using shooting sports as therapy, he managed to help men that were still his brothers in arms. Loving US history, Chris decided to write “American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Firearms“. Sadly , on Feb. 2, 2013, before it could be completed, Chris was murdered by one of the vets he was trying to help. Chris’s lovely wife, Taya Kyle, took up the mantle of getting the book finished and published. With the help of author William Doyle, and many of Chris’s friends, the book was brought to bookstores.
Taya Kyle writes a very poignant forward for “American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Firearms“. She tells of Chris’s vitally, honor and love for his fellow vets and country. It is obvious that for everyone involved in finishing “American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Firearms” that it turned in to a labor of love; just as it had been for Chris. In the last paragraph of the introduction, the publisher notes, “Lastly, no shadow hangs over these pages, despite the circumstances. Chris was full of more life, humor and love of country than anyone who’ll ever cross your path. That’s the spirit you’ll be lucky enough to meet as you turn the page.” I have to say I think the publisher got it right.
Andrew’s Note: Today Prepography is pleased to offer Infidel’s latest article, Dry Run Your Gun.
Pop quiz folks, what are the two marksmanship principles you cannot do away without? Don’t remember? Well, they are trigger manipulation and sight alignment and there’s a way to practice these fundamentals without spending a dime or even going to the range.
Everything else tends to go out the window when normal folks are thrown into a stressful situation but if you can properly put your sights on the target and manipulate the trigger you will most likely prevail. I say normal folks because there are some people who can just naturally remain cool under stressful situations and then there are others that have survived numerous gunfights in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan or even the mean streets of some of our own cities. So how do normal folks maintain their firearms skills when ammo is short supply or too expensive to shoot? By dry firing of course. Dry firing can be used to train your body and your mind for proper trigger manipulation and sight alignment even when you can’t get to the range.
So, how do you get started? The first thing is SAFETY! Remembering the four rules of gun safety is a good place to start:
1. Always treat the Gun as if it’s loaded
2. Never point the gun at anything that you are not prepared to destroy
3. Always be sure of your target and what is behind it
4. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you’re ready to shoot
Now let’s add a couple of safety rules specific to dry firing:
1. Select a room that can provide a proper backstop in case you forget the rest of the rules. A proper backstop is one that will not allow your weapon’s caliber to penetrate and damage anyone or anything on the other side. Think brick, concrete or a basement wall with soil on the other side.
2. Unload your gun in another room before you enter the room where you will be dry firing. Leave your ammunition in the room where you unload and do not bring any ammunition into your dry fire room or location.
The goal of dry firing is to practice your marksmanship principals in order to maintain your muscle memory between trips to the range. Follow these tips after you’ve followed the safety steps above to get the most out of the dry run of your gun.
1. Select your target. You can use anything as a target from a spot on your wall that you forgot to paint to a sticker…just make sure that it has that backstop behind it.
2. Practice slowly pulling the trigger back until the sear breaks.
3. Continue slowly pulling the trigger while maintaining your front sight focus. As the sear breaks, watch what the front sight does. This is where you can start calling your shots.
4. Continue steps 2 and 3 until you can watch the front sight and it stays on target. Let me caution you not to spend too much time on this task without resting for a few minutes. Practice for several minutes and then rest.
Now SAFETY on the back side. If you keep your gun loaded take it into your ‘ammo room’ before loading it. Once you leave your dry fire room or location you are DONE dry firing. You must not shortcut the process to get in one more round of practice or you might accidentally discharge a round. Safely store your weapon or re-holster it but don’t begin dry firing again until you go through the entire pre-practice safety routine. These safety rules are important so that you don’t unthinkingly pick up a loaded firearm and shoot, possibly shooting someone or something.
Dry run your gun to maintain those important trigger manipulation and sight alignment skills. Elite warriors and firearms competitors do this all the time to improve their shooting skills. It does work. Try it. Let me know using our contact form.
Andrew’s Note: Before running dry fire drills with any firearm make sure to read the weapon’s manual and make sure that it’s safe for that particular firearm. Dry firing is safe for most centerfire firearms, and not safe form most rimfire weapons but there are exceptions like Kel-Tec’s P3AT which, while certerfire is not designed to dry fire.