I have decided to downsize my (already small) gun collection to just two guns for myself. One will be my 17L that I already carry daily, and the other will be a .22. I intend to do a whole lot more adventuring, in my future, and these two will be very practical for me.
I also have a single-shot .308 and a Walther P22 that I will removing from my collection and probably be dumping off pretty cheap (including all the .308 reloading equipment and remaining components, except my press) since I'd be happy to just get them in the hands of someone who will enjoy them.
I already have a Marlin 795 that shoots just fine. However, I have long wanted a Buckmark and have been considering trading my P22 and some cash for one (the only reason I hadn't is because girls like shooting the P22 :P ).
To the Point:
.22 Rifle Advantages:
1) I already have the rifle, two mags, and a good sling for it.
2) I know that in any sort of stressful situation, rifles are easier to manage than handguns. Not that I would want to count on a .22 for anything serious, but if I did, I'd rather it be a rifle than a pistol.
3) I could pass it off to any companion if necessary, and know that they would be FAR more effective with it than they would a pistol.
4) Somewhat extended range.
5) Practice with it would not interfere with muscle memory for the Glock.
1) CONCEALABILITY. Holstering the Buckmark IWB on the opposite hip of the 17L would allow me to carry it anywhere I could legally carry my 17L. Few state parks would allow me to openly carry a rifle on my back, and I'm not sure I would like to be so conspicuous even if I could.
2) Weight / Comfort. If I am going on a long hike or mountain bike ride, a 2lb gun holstered on my hip will be far more comfortable than a 4-5lb rifle awkwardly slung over my shoulder and interfering with whatever pack I may be wearing.
I personally am pretty skilled with a handgun, probably moreso than I am with a rifle (relatively). I honestly think I could take a squirrel using a high-quality target-oriented .22 from almost as far as I could with my open-sighted rifle. I am not amazing by any stretch, but I think if I could get prone or supported against a tree, I could reliably make a 40yd shot if I had to. Of course, with the same support I could probably make a 50-60 yard shot with a rifle, but
Yes, there is a good chance I'd keeping the .22 rifle and trade the P22 and .308 for a Buckmark so I'd have both. I do like the rifle, the GF likes the rifle, and it has lots of practical value, of course. However, this downsizing is more for personal and admittedly emotional reasons (resolutions, and all) than for practical reasons, so keep that in mind before jumping me for selling them . In all honesty, if I did get rid of the .22 rifle I'd just as likely give it to my GF, as I would be lucky to get $75 for it toward a trade.
So, what do you think about the .22 Handgun vs Rifle delima? If you had to choose one for all your .22 needs, which would it be, and why?
I am leaning toward the Buckmark just because a handgun in my waistband or backpack is better than a rifle left at home or in my trunk while I'm out on a long ride. But, at the same time, barring this a rifle is a far better tool.
Am I overemphasizing the need to always have a second .22 firearm on me? Would leaving the rifle in your car or at the camp be preferrable to having it on your person while out on the hike / ride?
Thanks in advance for listening and responding.