The Best .22 Cal Trail Guns


Trail guns are essentially survival rifles (handguns aren't accurate enough to use in a survival scenario) that you would take on a camping, hiking or backpacking trip. The best .22-caliber survival rifles are lightweight, easy to pack along a trail, reliable and accurate enough to take down small game if you find yourself lost in the back woods.

Browning Semi-Auto .22

  • Some .22=caliber survival rifles can be used as a general-purpose hunting and plinking rifle, too. The Browning Semi-Auto .22 (SA-22) is one of those rifles. As one of John M. Browning's final designs, this rifle can be disassembled into two pieces (the barrel and the stock) without tools. It features a fast-loading 10-round, tubular magazine, weighs a little over 5 pounds and its barrel is drilled and tapped for a rimfire rifle scope. For trail and survival purposes, the barrel and stock can be stored in your pack and taken along for the adventure.

Savage Arms Mark II FVT

  • Savage Arms has a reputation for producing extremely accurate rifles. This reputation is not diminished by their line of rimfire rifles. Their Mark II FVT rifle is just one among their many options. Like the Browning SA-22, the Savage Arms Mark II FVT rifle can be used as both a hunting and plinking rifle, but it is light enough (weighing in at about 6 pounds) to take along on the trail. One of the reasons it is so accurate is the AccuTrigger feature. The AccuTrigger can be fully adjusted to the way you like to shoot, from a very light-weight trigger pull to a heavier-handed trigger.

Marlin Model 70PSS All-Weather "Papoose"

  • Seemingly designed specifically for survival situations, the Marlin Model 70PSS All-Weather "Papoose" is a take-down rifle that features a 16-inch stainless steel barrel and a fiberglass-filled synthetic stock that is perfect for bad weather scenarios. The barrel detaches from the stock in just a few seconds, then both can be loaded up into the provided carrying case that is both padded and bouyant. Aside from all of that, one of the best features that makes the 70PSS a recommended trail gun is that it only weighs 3-1/4 pounds.

Ruger 10/22 Carbine

  • The Ruger 10/22 Carbine Autoloading Rifle is arguably one of the most reliable .22-caliber rifles ever made. With a shorter barrel than other 10/22 models, the Ruger 10/22 Carbine isn't produced as a survival rifle, but because of its shorter barrel, it will definitely do the job. The 10-shot rotary magazine has become famous for its reliability. One of the best features of the Ruger 10/22 is that there are so many aftermarket accessories available. Attach a sling to this rifle, and it will be able to go with you almost anywhere.

Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 Rifle

  • This is an impressive little rifle that was designed specifically for survival situations. It weighs all of 2-1/2 pounds, and the barrel, action and 8-round magazine pack comfortably into the stock. It was first designed for U.S. Air Force pilots who needed a small, reliable rifle to take with them if they ever had to bail out in a remote area. The barrel and the action are coated with Teflon that acts as a waterproofing, weatherproofing and protection layer.

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