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Gun ownership is a hot topic right now. There is no doubt our constitutional right to bear arms is under assault. Legal gun owners are being singled out, scrutinized and publicly black-listed.

The imminent threat of more gun bans and restrictions has prompted many law-abiding citizens to evaluate their arsenals. The newly proposed “ban bills” have compelled many to stock up on certain guns, accessories and calibers of ammunition.

Though certainly not intentional, this is the first thing Obama has done in five years to stimulate our economy. The line to get into the gun show near where I live this past weekend was a quarter mile long. Many people who have never even owned guns are among the throngs of new gun shop customers. The firearms business is booming!

As you take inventory of your firearms, I’d like to present you with a question. If you could only have one gun, what would it be?

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Granted, there is no one gun that excels in every category: self-defense, large and small game hunting, hostile combat, maneuverability, weight, accuracy, affordability, durability and ease of use.

I look at guns, however, from the perspective of long-term survival. I buy guns for their function. If I could only have one gun to meet as many of my survival needs as possible, it would without question be a Ruger 10/22 rifle. If you don’t already own a Ruger 10/22, let me explain why you need one in your gun cabinet.

First, the Ruger 10/22 is a semi-automatic rim-fire rifle chambered in .22 long-rifle ammunition. It comes standard with a 10-round magazine. The barrel and trigger assembly easily detach from the stock with just one screw. It’s easy to replace parts and pieces if necessary and requires no specialized tools. These facts alone have made the 10/22 a very popular rifle. Because of its popularity, the 10/22 is one of the most customizable guns available.

The chameleon gun

A plethora of very affordable aftermarket accessories can be purchased for the 10/22. From stocks to scopes to high capacity magazines, the 10/22 can be transformed into an entirely different rifle within just a few minutes. This makes the 10/22 a fun gun to own.

Below is the same 10/22 barrel and trigger assembly paired with three different stock and accessory combinations. You can change the gun to fit your circumstance. Hundreds of compatible accessories are available. This is a highly prized feature of the 10/22.

Putting food on the table

Fun aside, the 10/22 excels in survival common sense. It is an incredibly accurate rifle with the factory iron sites. I’ve put many a small game animal on the table with my 10/22 and prefer to hunt with it over any other gun I own.

Don’t discount the 10/22, however, when it comes to hunting big game. Well placed shots can easily take much larger animals such as deer, alligators and boar. Illegal poachers love the 10/22 because of its silent report and deadly accuracy.

More bang for your buck

The cost of ammunition is certainly a consideration when making any gun purchase. .22 long-rifle ammunition is among the least expensive that you can buy. This means you can practice shooting without breaking the bank. But more importantly, it means you can afford to buy (and store) more ammunition, as opposed to many high-caliber rounds that cost upwards of $1 per bullet.

Don’t forget, disarming a nation has two components: guns and ammunition. It takes two to tango. I suggest having enough to spare of both.

Storage, transport, flexibility and barter

You can store an insane number of .22 long-rifle rounds in a very small space. One shoe box will hold thousands – enough to last for years. You’ll barely notice a box of 100 in your pocket, and 500 rounds weigh in less than 5 lbs. Higher caliber ammunition can be extremely heavy and bulky to transport if you ever find it necessary to “bug out.”

Due to its popularity, there are a countless number of guns that can fire the .22 long-rifle round. From semi-automatic pistols to revolvers to over-under shotgun rifles, your chance of sourcing a working firearm is much better when your shelves are stacked with .22 long-rifle ammunition. As our dollar decreases in value, things like ammunition are a good investment. Who knows, one day a box of .22 bullets could buy you a tank of gas somewhere.

Self-defense and security

The 10/22 certainly isn’t my first choice for self-defense. However, the .22 round is unarguably lethal.

I don’t know the statistics, but I’d bet my wallet that the .22 bullet has claimed more human lives than any other caliber in history. It’s a favorite for terrorists in the Middle East who snipe from the cover of buildings and mountains. It doesn’t have the knockdown power of a shotgun or high-caliber handgun, but you could certainly do a lot worse.

I’ve owned my Ruger 10/22 for over 10 years, and after thousands of rounds through the barrel, it still shoots like the day I bought it. I consider it an indispensable piece of kit for a long-term survival scenario. The fact that it’s just plain fun to shoot is icing on the cake. Don’t forget, it does accept high-capacity magazines. This means the measly 10/22 just might be in the government’s confiscation cross-hairs before you know it. Don’t say I never warned you.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN.

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