What Are the Top 5 .22 LR Takedown Rifles?

Welcome back, everybody. This is Eric and Chad with Moss Pawn and Gun and today we’ve got another five guns video for you. We’re going to be talking about a century’s worth of firearms technology in the .22 long rifle takedown realm. So this is five takedown .22’s. This particular concept was actually difficult to put together because there’s not a ton of designs out there that lend themselves to being put in to a takedown configuration. So, why would you want a takedown firearm? Why bother?

Well, takedowns are basically a full-size rifle you can take apart and pack into a very small package. That’s the essential idea. They’re easy for backpacking, you can just pack them up, they are easily concealable, and can just put them together quickly when needed.

It’s a great survival option for people. For instance, with this Marlin Papoose (and other options) they have a little pouch you can put them in and it’s a nice compact size you can stuff on a four-wheeler and tie it down or put it in your backpack along with your three-day pack for hiking. Let’s just say you want a backup gun to throw in your boat in case your boat gets stuck somewhere and you need to go hunt for food or something. Having a takedown is a nice option for survival use, and that’s particularly where they lend themselves well.

One of the first takedown rifles that I know of that’s a .22, was an invention by John Browning in 1890. It was a Winchester model 1890; it was a pump action rifle. We’ve got a model 62 here, this is my personal model 62, and it’s a John Browning design at heart. Now, I don’t know if the 62 necessarily was directly had his hand involved in it but the original 1890 did and this rifle was very similar to the 1890. It’s got a thumb screw right here on the left side of the receiver. I’ve had this gun for over 20 years so I’ve had it apart a ton. So you see the rifle just breaks into two main components and it can be put back together relatively quickly.

Some of you folks that are familiar with this gun, you know that the 62s were used in the carnivals. You could go by and try to win a teddy bear with a gallery gun and that’s where it got its name.

Boys and girls used to shoot real guns at the carnivals.

The interesting thing about the gallery guns is the fact that it’s odd to see an actual gallery gun with matching numbers, because they were takedowns. What a lot of guys that run in the carnival lanes would do, is they would take five or six of their gallery guns ahead on the line and break them down and clean them. Sometimes they would mismatch parts putting them back together. They wouldn’t care.

Think about it.

If you were a gallery gun operator, you had a booth and you didn’t want people to win a teddy bear. It was common for them to beat the sites over and make them hit to the side a little or sometimes they would mismatch the parts on purpose so they wouldn’t be as accurate. So a savvy shooter, who was a good shooter, could take a gallery gun and see what was done and then by correcting their aim over they’d hit the cans and win the teddy bear.

Something also neat about these guns is they were copied by a lot of companies throughout the years up until the mid-50s and 60s; Sears Roebuck and I think Savage made them. Pretty much all the major companies made a copy or something very similar to this style of gun.

It’s probably one of the most recognizable, and American firearms in existence. A lot of folks that grew up in that era are very familiar with gallery guns. I love my model 62, I’ve had the gun a long time, I shoot it a lot.

You have two of them.

I do have two of them now. They’re chambered to .22 short so maybe a wildcard there to some degree, but it is a takedown.

Moving down the line to the Browning, this is a John Browning design as well. This is the takedown.

This is the Browning ATD and these guns are pretty special. They were designed in 1914; so a very early design of a takedown .22 and these were made up until the mid-70s. In the mid-70s they switched over from production at the Belgian FN plant to the Japanese plant in Miroku where a lot of mid-70s and 80s firearms were produced. I’ve got a beautiful BPS that was produced in Miroku.

They turned out some awesome guns, guys.

These guns are interesting because they’re bottom eject. So, they feed and eject from the bottom and actually feed from the magazine tube inside the stock, which is kind of unique. You load it right here, pull the tube, load the rounds in here, push the tube in, the spring loads and then you just cock the gun right here and it ejects. To take it down you pull the bolt to the rear, and most takedowns go the left –they have interrupted threads on the barrel extension and they drop back in place and click back together.

Back in the day, if your grandpa or dad, or you were a kid and you owned one of the Brownings, you were some business because those things are awesome guns and they weren’t necessarily cheap.

I bought this one here in Moss. It came in and I just couldn’t turn it down. This is a mid-60s, pre-68, so the serial number is actually on the barrel instead of on the receiver and it has beautiful engraving on the receiver. It’s what would be considered a blonde model and I just love this gun. I was actually afraid to shoot it at first. I just wanted to put it in the safe and let it sit there.

It’s weird, going back through this video concept and trying to find examples of takedowns is actually kind of difficult because there’s not a ton of them out there. We’re encompassing a hundred years of firearms technology to find takedowns we can show you.

So, moving down the ladder here, we have a Henry survival rifle. Now, this firearm is produced by Henry Repeating Arms and it is a very excellent gun that is a relatively faithful gun compared to the original AR-7. Some of you guys are familiar with Eugene Stoner; he made a very popular gun. You guys are probably familiar with the AR-15 and AR-16, but a lot of people don’t know Eugene Stoner, he made this gun. This firearms entered service in the US Airforce in the mid-50s. Pilots carried them and they used them as a survival gun.

One of the interesting things about the survival gun, this particular rifle will break down into its stock and when it’s broken down into its base configuration, it’s supposed to float. So if it gets dropped in the water –granted you’re not going to use it as a life preserver but, it definitely beats getting into the bottom of the drink. It will float long enough for you to grab it back out of the water and recover the rifle. Pilots were issued these things and also, the Israelis used the AR-7 to great effect. They had a reinforced receiver on the original AR-7 and they had a special hardball round that they developed that was high-pressure and could penetrate Kevlar vests and helmets. They wanted a .22 rifle they could issue as a survival weapon to whoever needed it; if they were in a survival situation they could dispatch a soldier behind enemy lines and take his firearm and try to fight on. It’s interesting that they were in military service –the Israelis were using those AR-7s to quite effect.

You can see here, this is the Henry survival gun that is broken down and that’s nice. That’s a nice complete package and in theory they’re supposed to float.

From what I’ve seen, like the AR-7 they’ll float, but they float down [points down] and kind of bob.

So basically, Armalite sold the design to Charter. You guys probably remember the Explorer pistols and things that Charter were putting out, it looked like a crazy “Mad Max” Mauser broom handle but it looks like an AR-7. In fact this receiver looks very much like it belongs on an Explorer pistol and that’s because they were taking AR-7 design and making a pistol out of it. Charter then sold the rights to Henry and Henry has been producing it ever since.

Too, you’ve got an extra magazine in the butt stock. So, drop two magazines in here and have one in the receiver of the gun so you can have a total of three mags fully loaded.

That’s something the original didn’t offer. You can have the extra magazines in there and they do come with two mags when you buy them. I’m glad Henry decided to keep this gun going because it’s an awesome firearm. It’s great for a bug-out bag or if you want to have it on your boat, your hunting kit, or something like that. It’s a great firearm and they’re very reasonably priced.

It’s a semi-auto that can be had for pretty reasonable money, so that makes it in my opinion, a very attractive option. You always got to pull the bolts back on takedowns. That’s it. The little boss just threads on and there it is. So, that is an excellent firearm.

So, moving down-the-line, you are probably familiar with the Marlin model 60. The model 60, until the Ruger 10/22 came along, the model 60 was probably the most prolific and common semi-automatic .22 rifle on planet earth. They made millions of them.

It’s kind of like the Marlin .336s; there are millions upon millions of those rifles in circulation, the Marlin 30-30s, and the model 60s –I can’t tell you how many countless rounds we put down range with your model 60.

I’ve shot thousands of rounds through model 60 and Marlin still makes the model 60. I don’t know if Marlin still makes the Papoose, which is a takedown version of the model 60. This is not a very common gun. You don’t really see them much anymore and I don’t think they make them anymore. I could be wrong; don’t hold me to that. If they did stop making them recently, it’s been very recently because I know for awhile we had a few new ones here in the shop.

It’s just a takedown. It’s got a little flat on the barrel shank here, little threaded balls, a threaded receiver, and that’s it. It takes down into this basic configuration. Of course, because it’s a takedown, you don’t have the tubular magazine that you have on a traditional Marlin model 60, you have an actual magazine that inserts in the bottom of the gun.

One of the cool things about these Papooses is that they’re cool hosts for building an integrally suppressed .22 rifle.

You’re not going to find a cheaper host to build an integral suppressed .22. That’s very true.

One thing, you don’t have a stock to worry about on the front so you can have a full diameter tube.

You could take this barrel, port it, and make yourself some type of a tube and baffle system. You could even go with an old-school boot-grommet style suppressor (like the some of the old max suppressors). You could definitely make a suppressed Papoose that would be awesome; almost like a British De Lisle carbine, or something like that, where you’ve got the long forend. I thought about doing something like that; this is a particularly clean example that I own and I don’t want to ruin it.

It even has the inspector’s stickers still on the stock. How cool is that? “Targeted by: Phil B. at Marlin.”

Yeah, thanks Phil.

Anyway, that’s a neat gun but moving along the line, the takedown realm is something that hadn’t really gained quite the popularity you would think until the Ruger 10/22 takedown came out. This is a pretty dang awesome gun.

The Ruger 10/22 takedown functions and works just like a 10/22 that you’re used to seeing. You can get your BX-25 sticks for it, but it’s a takedown. You notice that this particular gun is wearing a SilencerCo Sparrow, so this one is threaded. It comes with a factory flash hider; stainless steel, which is great for being out in the weather. I bought this exact gun. I’ve got this exact configuration and everything but it’s threaded ½ by 28 so you run yourself a suppressor on it.

What’s neat about the Ruger takedowns is that they make the Charger takedown pistols and we showed you one of those in the recent gun tour. Now you could SBR your 10/22 receiver and buy yourself a Charter forend and there you go: you’ve got a nice little short barrel. They’re threaded as well; you can drop your suppressor on there and have a really compact package.

Another option, if you want to take a Ruger 10/22 and make it the ultimate short gun, you could take a 10/22 and SBR the receiver, take the short barrel, and make an integral suppressor out of that. Then your can basically dips right on to the edge of your receiver and you’ve got a little short gun, suppressor and all.

I’m not familiar with the actual takedown system as to if a standard integrally suppressed barrel will fit right in there or not, if it will be able to drop in and be timed. No, the shanks are longer; you have to have a custom barrel but I’m sure there are companies out there making integral suppressed barrel set-up for the 10/22 takedown rifle.

There are some companies making replacement furniture for them. I know Hogue has been working hard on getting some stuff for this particular gun. ATI also (not even sure if I am supposed to say that) has been working on a couple of takedown stock that are going to be awesome. I’m not sure if they’re out yet, but Hogue and ATI are both doing some great stocks for these things so there is some aftermarket support for the Ruger takedowns, which is pretty cool. You can get a variety of different things. Ruger 10/22s, what makes them so popular is that they lend themselves to customization. You can put thousands, literally, with an “s” into a 10/22 if you want.

He knows that from personal experience because I have a 10/22 where the only original component is the bolt. It has a stainless steel receiver, blueprint action, and the barrel is shortened and threaded into the receiver. I’ve got a Phasion stock, Leupold glass on top too; I’ve got $2,500 dollars on the rig but it shoots quarter-inch to three-eighth-inch groups at 50 yards all day long. It’s a silhouette gun. It serves that purpose but then we’ve got basic 10/22s, too. I’ve been longing for a nice 70s era wood stock –nice blue.

10/22s are one of those things that are so easy to collect and people who own a 10/22 mostly own more than one. It’s impossible to own only one 10/22 and for the longest time that’s how it was with Marlin model 60s. I had a few model 60s at one point but after a while, magazine fed is really where it’s at and 10/22 really revolutionized the way people view a rimfire, semi-auto .22.

Especially when the BX-15s and 25s came along. For a long time Ruger didn’t produce anything but a ten-shot mag. You had to go third-party to get high-capacity mags.

The old Ruger is partially to blame for, or why we have all this crap –this ten-round crap. Bill Ruger started that ten-round crap. I don’t know why. He just had that attitude, but Ruger’s leadership now: they get it.

They’ve changed. You can look at the product they put out now and see that the company’s changed.

Bill Ruger; I don’t want to toot the horn longer than I have to, but Bill Ruger was a genius. He really did have some awesome designs. He was a brilliant engineer. He took Savage lever action rifles and converted them into semi-automatics; so the guy was not dumb by any stretch of the imagination. I’d never want to say anything negative against Mr. Ruger, because he was definitely a brilliant guy.

We have to have a wildcard in every five guns video. You see that we kind of went through the years and tried to go somewhat chronologically. This is a Chiappa Little Badger. This gun is suppressed, has a threaded barrel, ½ by 28 (well, it’s not suppressed by the factory), and it’s not exactly a takedown but it does fold in half. That’s close right?

It’s close. It’s the closest wildcard we have. Between Eric and I and Ray, we can only think of six takedowns in existence.

There’s probably others. There’s a few Savages put out early on. I do have a Savage take down at the house, I don’t remember the model number, but it’s not common so I didn’t choose to show it off, but there are some other takedowns out there we didn’t cover. When someone thinks of a takedown .22, these are most certainly the guns they’re thinking of, especially the Ruger. They’re so popular now. Ruger is selling these things like hotcakes.

We’ve got one of these in .22 long rifle and one in .22 mag in stock. It is kind of cool.

That’s a neat survival option where the gun is under $200 bucks.

You’ve got a wire stock and then you got a little spot to put your .22 long rifle over here and maybe some hollow points. Then you got some rat shot on this side.

That still fits the takedown niche a little bit and there’s our number six wildcard. So, we really appreciate you watching these videos. We hope you enjoyed today’s five guns video. Stay tuned, we have more five guns on the way, more firearms facts, gun gripes, gun reviews, and gunsmithing-self with Ray –we’ll have more of Ray in the videos. We have so much going on in this YouTube channel , we’re touching on so many different subjects, and really trying to fully encompass not only what it means to be a gun owner, but what it means to be an educated gun owner. We want you to know where the popular gun designs you like came from, who designed them, and how they came to be. For me, one of the interesting things about being in the firearms world is knowing that purpose-built guns and why they were built –the whole thing just fascinates me; like the engineering that goes behind it. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” they say.

Most of the new gun designs, quote “new” gun designs, you see out on the market, have a root in history.

Sometimes they’re just copies of something that’s already out there which we’ll get on that in some future videos. Thanks for watching. We’ll catch you next time and see you.