Day after day, chasing bull elk in rough terrain with bow in hand, the ever-present spruce grouse that held tight until you almost stepped on them begged to be put on a green stick and hung over a campfire. Launching a $10 arrow at them didn’t make sense, but quiet .22 rimfire revolvers were just the right medicine to cure my hunger pains.
- RELATED STORY: Game Takers – The 15 Most Powerful Hunting Revolvers
The versatility of .22-caliber ammo, from .22 BB caps to the .22 WMR, speaks volumes when it comes to the wide array of applications a revolver is capable of tackling. A semi-auto .22 LR pistol can make a great companion on camping trips, but the versatility of being able to shoot .22 BB and .22 CB caps as well as .22 Short, .22 Long and .22 LR rounds from the same cylinder means you can use the same gun for just about any shooting or small-game hunting application. Some wheelguns even allow you to swap out the cylinder and step up to .22 WMR.
For this foray into .22-caliber “camp guns,” we’ll delve into an array of handguns, both old and new, that fit a pretty broad definition of what it takes to qualify for inclusion. Whether it’s a single or double action, a camp gun is simply any .22 that you can carry easily. I’ve carried and shot several .22 rimfire revolvers over the past 38 years since I got my first one. They are truly year-round fun guns and utilitarian tools. During the fall and winter, they are constant companions on squirrel and rabbit hunts, pull their weight when dispatching bobcats and coyotes on the trapline, kill venomous snakes on post-season deer scouting trips, and fill the time between on the range.
- RELATED STORY: Jerry Miculek’s 8 Must-Know Tips for Carrying a Wheelgun