The .22 caliber rimfire cartridge is the classic beginner round. But is the diminutive cartridge good for anything but small game hunting and plinking?
You might be surprised.
by Leon Pantenburg
I grew up on an Iowa farm. Every farmer I knew had a shotgun and a .22 rifle. Every farmer who raise livestock will inevitably have to put down a large, injured animal. Most of the time, the tool used is the farmer’s .22 rifle.
Several times I have had to put down large hogs in the 300-400 pound range that were injured. And on butchering day, the tool used to euthanize a hog or steer was a .22 rifle. The place to aim was between the eyes, about an inch up. Such a shot resulted in instantaneous, humane death.
Never, in my wildest flights of imagination, could I imagine putting down a wild grizzly bear with a .22.
But that’s what happened on May 10, 1953. Bella Twin, a Cree Indian, and her partner, Dave Auger, were hunting small game south of Slave Lake, in Alberta, Canada. Twin was carrying her battered single-shot .22 when the two were approached by a gigantic grizzly.
It was reported to be about 30 feet away and moving toward them, and apparently Twin thought she and Auger were in danger. She fired and the bear dropped.
In the right hands the little cartridge can be deadly. According to Wikepedia: “Because a .22 LR bullet is less powerful than larger cartridges, its danger to humans is often underestimated. In fact, a .22 LR bullet is easily capable of killing or injuring humans. Even after flying 400 yards (370 m), a .22 bullet is still traveling about 500 feet/second.”
Every big game animal in the United States has been killed with a .22. On March 8, a female elephant, aged between seven and 10 years old, was found dead near a creek in Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand. The elephant had several wounds, including four bullet holes in its hide.
Tests later revealed that the elephant was killed by a CZ .22 LR rifle. (Elephant killing probe heats up, Bangkok Post, March 26, 2013, by TERRY FREDRICKSON)
A .22 rifle can be an important part of any prepper/survival gear. Here are “Five reasons to own a .22 rifle).
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