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Should we shift our primary focus to 22s? Login/Join 
The Ice Cream Man
posted
My grandfather, and his friends, (all combat vets TMK) used to go to the dump, and shoot rats with their 22s, sometimes with flashlights after dark.

He’d also go to the state trooper barracks and shoot his 38.

Now, I think some of the low caliber stuff was because hearing protection was little more than cotton balls for much of his life.

But, I can’t help but think that a man who’s shooting rats on a regular basis has to be proficient.

22s seemed to be “THE” toys for them. The revolvers/side arms/hunting guns were all good quality, but the 22s were cherished.

Maybe that was just his group, maybe it was true of most WWII vets.

It may be one of those things which “is a good idea but won’t sell,” like starting a new shooter with a SIRT, but I think doing a bunch of say suppressed 22 matches, might be more inviting to people/should be far more affordable.
 
Posts: 5683 | Location: Republic of Ice Cream, Miami Beach, FL | Registered: May 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For most of the folks I've introduced to shooting, we first shot with 22lr rifles & handguns.

I started a few on 223 rifles, as they really wanted to shoot AR15s and also wanted to shooter larger caliber rifles. I now have 22lr AR15 uppers, which I would now use instead of 223 as starter rifles.

There a many advantages to training with 22lr -- lower cost and reduced recoil are high on the list. Suppressed sub-sonic loads are just great fun. A 22lr doesn't shoot itself. The nut behind the trigger still must use the fundamentals of marksmanship to shoot well.

I know I should spend more time practicing with 22lr rifles.
 
Posts: 7825 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of RichardC
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Plus, if you're limited to 50/100 meter ranges, you can learn more about wind doping from .22RF than .223 Remington.

I once heard a good coach comment that it's easier to transition a smallbore shooter to high power than vice versa. Makes sense.


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Posts: 15794 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
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I've jumped into the .22 game with both feet lately, and have been shooting it quite a bit. Part of that is that I purchased my first supressor (it's still in jail) and I've been assembling a collection of hosts for that fine day when I actually get to bring it home, but I've been enjoying shooting it unsuppressed, too.

I put together a CMMG .22LR dedicated upper this past week and my son and I burned through 800+ rounds with it without a single malfunction. Well, we did have one...it won't run CCI quiet, but I didn't expect it to. Everything standard velocity and above is perfect.

.22 shooting is cathartic. It's cheap, you don't have to worry about losing reloadable brass if you don't find it all, there's no sore shoulder or palms afterwards, and trying to wring out small groups or plink spent shotgun shells is just fun. It's also good time spent practicing the fundamentals without worrying about recoil...it's like dry-fire with actual on-target feedback.

The one thing that gets me is that a lot of .22s are unreliable. It's not just semi-autos, either...I've had levers and bolt actions that light strike, and semis that short-stroke, stovepipe, or misfeed. But if you can find one that runs reliably, they're awesome.
 
Posts: 8189 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Page late and a dollar short
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I shoot my .22’s more than anything else. My club has steel targets varying distances 25 to 150 feet. Good entertainment for an afternoon to hear that “ping”.

I also have a CMMG .22 conversion kit for AR’s. Some have said they are not accurate, well as long as I can hit the steels and hear them I’m good to go.

My collection of .22 rifles go back to the 1930’s through the early 70’s. Unreliable is the last thing I’d say about any of them. Of the two pistols the Sig/GSG 1911-22 is better than the Buckmark, that Browning has to be kept clean or it won’t function. I’ve estimated that the Browning has had maybe 5-6k through it, the 1911-22 maybe 3-4K


-------------------------------------——————
————————--Ignorance is a powerful tool if applied at the right time, even, usually, surpassing knowledge(E.J.Potter, A.K.A. The Michigan Madman)
 
Posts: 8039 | Location: Livingston County Michigan USA | Registered: August 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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I like shooting my 22 LR guns and agree that they are very easy and fun to shoot.

But although even the best precision shooters practice with them, they can’t substitute for everything we get by training with centerfire guns. Managing recoil is a significant issue in shooting guns chambered for other cartridges. As one member here has pointed out, even when shooting a CF autoloading rifle like an AR-10 it’s more difficult to achieve precision results than with a bolt gun. Many people (myself included) have found that the greater the recoil a cartridge produces, the harder it is to shoot well, and I believe it’s a widely-accepted fact. I have even seen references to that in discussions about military sniper training.

In addition, there’s the issue of follow-up or rapid fire shots. Getting back on target quickly with a rimfire rifle is different than with even an AR chambered for 223/5.56, and it may be even more important with handguns.

Shooting a gun with little or no felt recoil can allow the shooter to be sloppy in some ways that CF cartridges won’t tolerate. There’s obviously nothing wrong with focusing on or even using such guns to the exclusion of anything else, but we should keep in mind that they’re not the same as shooting much more powerful CF cartridges.




6.4/93.6

“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 47276 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I know steel match competitors who consistently train with lighter recoiling rifles -- PCP air rifles, 22lr, and .223 Remy. These guys are really good shooters, and they don't have any issues controlling the recoil of 6mm and 6.5mm bore calibers in PRS-type matches.

A few choose to emphasize the lighter calibers in steel matches -- 6BR for example. These guys will likely struggle with ELR events, especially using a magnum caliber in .300 or .338 bore.

I've heard that one of the best PRS competitors in the country trains with a .308 Win, but competes with a 6mm bore. The idea being that if he can control the 308 from funky positions, a 6mm will be easy.

In the camp of using air rifles, 22lr, and 223 as training rifles. Much can be learned here.

But I'm not ready to give up my 308 as a training rifle. I figure that if I can ever get good at shooting a 308 off pallets on end (standard wood pallet "supported" vertically with 2 T-posts down the center to keep it upright), lighter recoiling calibers will be no big deal. After shooting 308 off barriers and having the rifle jump all over the place, my 6.5CM is pleasant and my 6CM is just awesome.
 
Posts: 7825 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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While I am not sure about “primary focus” as it depends on the mindset of the individual shooter and what his goals are, but should a good bit of 22 shooting be part of everyone’s range time- absolutely

For little cost it is a big step up from dry fire and in a lot of cases these days guns very similar to our carry / defensive arms chamber in 22 are readily available. As are a plethora of conversion kits for various guns.

I have always loved 22’s, and easily shoot more 22 in a month than centerfire for the rest of the year. Right now I have jumped into nrl22 and prs type events with both feet, and when I have the time, silhouette matches and steel challenge, all with 22’s.
While some of these activities demand match grade ammo that is fairly costly, a lot of quality training can be had with bargain 22 ammo.

In my young days ( in a galaxy far away) as an enlisted soldier in the national guard, our limited resources and ranges and low budget had us qualifying with 22 conversion kits in our M16A1’s at a 25 meter range on specially scaled down targets to simulate the usual distances on a regulation pop up range. The fundamental skills transfer just fine
Being easier on the ears is nice too.

I know plenty of skilled 22 shooters that could very likely effectively defend themselves at even extended ranges with 22’s, and while I do not think it is the case any longer, I do believe at least up to the early 80’s more homicides were committed with 22’s than anything else.

My personal story recently I went to my local prs type match ( got there late so no practice warm up or zero confirmation) and went to stage one, a 12” square target at 305 yards. Dialed my scope settings out of my data book ( I am an old guy and haven’t gone phone ballistic app or kestrel yet) and scored first rounds hits on the target, culminating with a score of 15 hits in 20 shots at that stage. I know the lowly 22 doesn’t have much energy left way out there, but I do think successive hits at that range would dissuade someone’s potentially bad behavior

Frequent shooting builds skill confidence and familiarity. If you shoot any gun well and often ( easier with a 22 due to low noise recoil and ammo costs) you will intuitively know hold offs capabilities etc.
 
Posts: 3247 | Location: Finally free in AZ! | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Brian Whelen at Colorado Precision Rifle makes an awesome case for .22 training at his PRS classes (I took them out at Blue Steel Ranch in San Jon, NM and highly recommend them!) when he explains a 300m shot with a .22 is near-perfect analogue for .308 at 1000m.

I took an Appleseed and was greatly humbled; training with a .22 has been a HUGE help with fundamentals and confidence. It also helps me increase the efficiency of any machine that converts money to noise. Smile


Please support the SF "Help Mike!" campaign to raise legal fees for a 72 year old Texas teacher and hobby rancher who had 6 forgotten 9mm rounds in his checked luggage leaving T&C and faced 12 years in prison and $50k legal fees at https://fundrazr.com/b2KZgc.
 
Posts: 2021 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: April 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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I’ve been shooting my rimfire rifles more recently and running across this thread again prompted a question.

If top tier precision rifle shooters regularly practice with rifles in 22 Long Rifle, what do they do? What sorts of drills do they shoot? One thing I believe (and I admit I haven’t yet tested myself) is that a good rifle and ammunition in 223 Remington will be much more precise even at close distances than any 22 LR setup, and the 223 isn’t going to knock any of the favored 6.5 or 6mm cartridges off their precision pedestals. I’ve viewed many videos of shooters trying the “flyswatter challenge” that involves shooting 22 LR rifles from 50 yards at 25 “fly” targets whose scoring areas measure about a small 0.2 × 0.4 inch.

In watching the videos what strikes me is how difficult it is to achieve a respectable score; anything over about 18 hits is unusual. As I recall, I’ve seen only two shooters who managed to clean the course (25 hits), sometimes after multiple attempts. And that’s by very experienced shooters with very good equipment: good scopes and the best 22 LR rifles available with the highest quality ammunition. My own setup and ammunition aren’t at those levels, so I haven’t actually tried that specific challenge, but based on the experience with my dot drills, I’m not going to set any records if I do.

If I’m right that I could probably do very well with my JP-15 223 rifle and good ammo, but when it’s so difficult with a 22 LR gun, how do we practice with such a rifle to get the maximum benefits? When top shooters use a 22, do they concentrate on just mastering different shooting positions, or is any trigger time good time that ingrains the proper habits of controlling the gun and trigger properly?

Any comments from those in the know?




6.4/93.6

“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 47276 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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Based on my (very limited) experiences with podcasts, I’m not a fan of all the extraneous discussion they seem to include. This one, however, Why is 22lr different?, I found to be interesting and informative as well as being a reasonable length.

https://thescienceofaccuracy.c...y-is-22lr-different/

I continue to spend a lot of time with my .22 rifles, and the drills, including this one, seem to be helping my general marksmanship.




6.4/93.6

“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 47276 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
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I have spent time recently practicing on reduced sized targets at reduced ranges, shooting long range (for a 22lr), for practice making wind calls with my centerfire rifles. It is great fun, it is less expensive, and the fundamentals are all the same.

22lr can be a great aid towards being a proficient shooter.

That being said, 'plinking' fairly large targets at fairly short ranges isn't much of a training aid. It is better than not pulling a trigger at all, but if you want to learn something, make it challenging.
 
Posts: 14094 | Location: Indiana | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master of one hand
pistol shooting
Picture of Hamden106
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quote:
22lr can be a great aid towards being a proficient shooter.


Especially if you train to pistol shoot small groups at 50 yards. You will learn more about sight alignment and trigger control than any other discipline.



SIGnature
NRA Benefactor CMP Pistol Distinguished
 
Posts: 6267 | Location: Oregon | Registered: September 01, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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