Your Fondest .22 Rimfire Memories

SGW Gunsmith

Well-Known Member
Christmas, 1960. For the past whole year, my school buddy and I have been bugging Mom & Dad about the Remington Model 66 .22 rifle that Tom Frye shot over 100,000 hand thrown 2½ inch square blocks using several of those rifles to put one bullet hole into. How GREAT it would be to get one of those rifles.
When I came downstairs and saw that longish box under the "real" Christmas tree, I almost burst into tears. There it was, my wishful hope of a Remington Nylon 66 Mohawk, all mine! I couldn't wait to call David on the phone to see how he did that morning. He was so elated he could hardly talk about how long it took to open that dog gone box that his older sister wrapped with a hundred sheets of paper. He got a Nylon 66 also.
That winter, at least until the end of January, when bunny season ended, we had tallied up 88 cottontail rabbits. His parents and mine got to be very tired of "hasenpfeffer stew" and wanted us to get something else for the pot instead of rabbits.
All small game seasons end with the last day of January, so we duct taped flashlights to the forearm of our rifles and headed to the 'open pit' dump toward dusk with a shared brick of Mohawk .22 rimfire ammunition with the intent of decimating the rat population that only prowled when evening came:

Those two 15-shot, fed from the tube going into the butt stock rifles, took out a bazillion rats along with a few skunks and raccoons that dared venture toward the LIGHT.


My fondest memories of a .22 rimfire were when I was running beagles on rabbits. Shotguns were not sporting and ruined a lot of the meat.
We went to .22 rifles, with the result the same as shotguns, so we went to Ruger Mark II bull barrels. At the start of the season, it was rare to hit the running hare, but mid season to the end, it was common to get a hit on a rabbit with the pistol while running. We found that a solid bullet did not bring them down. A hollow point bullet would ruin most of the meat.
Winchester had a round called a semi hollow point that was the ticket. It was a solid bullet with a slight indentation in the crown that put just the right amount of force to stop them and not ruin the meat.
I know, how much firepower does it take to bring a charging rabbit down, but we were basically meat hunting at the time and the semi HP worked the best.
Much better when the dogs ran a rabbit into a brush pile and dove in after them. We could stand on top and spot the rabbit moving around inside, getting a shot. The dog would bring them out on a retrieve.
Spent many years chasing those critters until they became hard to find. My best beagle died and that was it.
Sold that gun to purchase a Mark III Hunter in stainless with a fluted barrel to shoot Steel Challenge.
Love that gun with a volquartsen brake that keeps the dot on the target.

SGW Gunsmith

Well-Known Member
Even though "Pops" got me involved with a VFW junior rifle team when I was 12, he never felt the 'cause to buy any actual .22 Target labeled ammunition. His claim was that .22 ammunition was just like beer, it all comes from the same spigot, they just put it into different lookin' boxes.
For some reason, that I still can't explain, I started collecting one full box of .22 rimfire from each brick that Pops bought. Must have been some "hidden thoughts" that someday I wouldn't be able to find any to shoot. I had to store those full boxes in .50 cal ammo cans with a strap lock on those to keep older brothers from selling my cache of .22 ammunition so they could buy cigarettes. Well, I still have all that ammunition and both of them are still coughing! :


SGW Gunsmith

Well-Known Member
How sad! No one else has any good memories involved with learning to shoot a .22 at a young age. My Dad and two of my "Unc's" all served in World War II and were very instrumental in teaching my cousin John and myself on how to safely handle the first firearm we ever laid hands on. Too bad others didn't have that great experience. It was something I'll treasure forever.


My fondest 22lr memory is turning loose my nephew on the farm with a 10/22. He had shot a cricket for years, but when he came to my house, showed him how to operate it, got him used to the range for a few days, then he asked to go out and shoot after lunch on day. Told him sure, be careful. I could see him from the window, watching him load, get on sights, squeeze trigger, clear chamber and walk down to check his target. I watched him run those 65 yards back up to the porch with his target, proudly displaying his results. Almost made me want to have a kid of my own... almost.