Untold gallons of ink have been spilt exploring the salient features of countless firearms aspiring to the title of “Ideal Survival Gun.” A reliable firearm is right there alongside shelf-stable food, a source of potable water and basic medical supplies as the critical necessities required of any survivor wishing to be something other than somebody else’s dinner in a crisis. While military calibers like the .223 Remington and .308 Winchester have their adherents and a 12 gauge does indeed mean not having to say your sorry at most reasonable ranges, it is tough to contest the assertion that the humble .22 LR rifle is a top contender for the job.
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Whether you are a 3-Gun champion with a roomful of trophies, a SWAT operator who runs an assault rifle as a day job, a Class III fanatic with the largest machine gun collection in your state or a compulsive sportsman who fills his walls with the taxidermied remains of your conquests, chances are you started out with a humble .22 rifle. Like your first car or first kiss, your first trigger squeeze can feel almost surreal.
The .22 Long Rifle cartridge predates the invention of the internal combustion engine and the automobile. Designed in the late 19th century, the .22 LR cartridge is still produced and consumed by the billions worldwide every year.
While my own gun voyage has carried me through the storied world of suppressors, submachine guns, grenade launchers, assault rifles and belt-feds in both military and law enforcement circles, there is still a thrill to settling in behind a quality .22 bolt action and launching rounds downrange. Combine that with the fact that many of us are now working with subsequent generations of smaller-statured shooters and it’s no wonder that there’s a market for reliable, inexpensive .22-caliber utility rifles.
The Philippines have a long martial history best illustrated by its literal fight for survival against the Japanese army during World War II. Out of this clandestine insurgency was born a thriving domestic arms industry that continues to the present day. The Philippine company Armscor is a prolific manufacturer of firearms that are exported worldwide.
I recently got my hands on Armscor’s M1400TS for testing. The M1400TS includes a straight-profiled heavy barrel as well as a Monte Carlo-style competition stock. As a result, the TS weighs about a pound more than its threaded counterpart. The M1400TS has no iron sights. Interestingly, the M1400TS has a bolt release on the left side of the receiver to facilitate bolt removal.
The trigger was beautifully crisp out of the box and more than adequate for a lifetime of slaughtering soft-drink cans and farm pests. The receivers is grooved for standard rimfire scope mounts. The safety is a slide switch easily accessed by the shooter’s thumb.
The principal optic I used to test this rifle was the CenterPoint AR22 3-9x22mm scope, which includes a battery-illuminated reticle in both red and green. The windage and elevation wheels are finger-adjustable in 0.25-inch MOA increments, and the scope comes complete with mounts and quality flip-up lens covers.
On the range, this rifle reminded me of why I developed a passion for shooting in the first place. The recoil was undetectable, and groups with even bulk ammunition were typically less than an inch at 50 yards.
Any American who lives in a rural area or spends much time outdoors needs a decent .22 utility rifle. I use mine to clean the poisonous snakes out of the places my kids play, keep the pests out of my wife’s garden and entertain myself on lazy Saturday afternoons.
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The Armscor line of .22 rifles will make target practice both profitable and fun, taking you back to that first time you sent lead downrange. When the world really does go sideways, a decent .22 rifle will fill the pot and force the opportunist predators to look elsewhere for dinner as well.
For more information on the M1400TS, visit us.armscor.com or call 775-537-1444.