Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > The .22 Caliber Rifle: An Essential Homestead Firearm

22 for training with larger guns

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I am not a hunter, and I don't shoot at the range often. I have my guns and I keep them cleaned and stored, but over the past 2 years, I have probably put 20 rounds through my Marlin 1890 (.45-70) lever action rifle and 10 rounds through my Weatherby 12 ga. pump action shotgun.

My question is more related to the rifle.

I only have these guns for the purpose of bear, moose, and wolf protection while camping. The shotgun is for my wife to carry and the rifle is for me to carry. I realize that a handgun may be a more popular option for hiking, but we are more comfortable with long barreled weapons for now.

I realize I'm rambling so I'll get to the point.

I want a durable lever action .22 rifle that can kinda-sorta mimic using the .45-70.  Obviously, the ballistics, kick, and power cannot be attained with a .22, but the firing action and feel of the weapon can.  I will never be using the .22 for anything other than target practice.  I want something that is easy to clean and care for.  I want something that will last longer than I will without doing anything more than cleaning it after shooting. I want to know if there is a gun that exists that meets my goals.

I will hang up and take my answer off the air.

Thanks (feel free to critique me, tell me I am wrong, or whatever... I can't be offended)

Sorry I can't answer your question about lever actions. However, your intent to use a .22 to train with is a smart idea. I have purchased an M&P22 specifically to do handgun training more economically. I can train more often at a fraction of the cost.

I presume the same would hold with rifle training.

Training with a .22 is a great idea.  The main issues are trigger control and sight alignment and those are perfect issues to train with a .22.  Of course the follow up shots and recoil management won't be accounted for, but if you do well enough with your first shot it shouldn't matter nearly as much.

If you're trying to mimic your rifle then the lever action is a good idea.  However, there will always be differences with manipulation skills.  Remember to step up to the high power rifle once in a while.

I'd also suggest attending an Appleseed, even if you're using a lever action.  There are special accommodations they will make for reloading etc.  This is an excellent, and inexpensive way to learn to shoot.  It's even helped me with my pistol and shotgunning due to the improvement in my trigger control.

I don't necessarily agree with your idea, but for a lever action .22 caliber rifle, you can't beat a Henry rifle.  The action isn't identical to your Marlin 1890, but probably as close as you are going to get in a current production rifle. . .  It will most definitely meet your perceived goals.


I bought a Henry a couple months back, when I heard they had been hit hard by hurricane Sandy.  I had wanted a lever-action for a while anyway, and figured buying one to help an American gun maker get back on its feet after a disaster was as good a time as any.

Long story short, it's a great little rifle.  The action is incredibly smooth for such an inexpensive gun, and it's plenty accurate for my purposes.  I put a small Williams peep sight on it, which was a big improvement over the stock sights.  Loading won't be the same as your Marlin, since the Henry doesn't have a loading gate, but if you just want to get some practice on the cheap, it'll do the job quite well.  All that said, I will admit I haven't put thousands of rounds through mine or anything, so I can't vouch for the reliability, but most reports from other Henry owners are quite positive in that regard.


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