Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report. This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world, its trends, firearms, ammunition, and sports. This week I want to talk about something I have started to notice in recent times. Overall, I feel that the firearm industry is doing very well. According to FBI statistics and reporting, we’re only seeing more and more increases in firearms sales as time goes on with 2020 seeing a massive surge in firearms sales that has carried over into 2021. However, I have started to notice that rimfire shooting has become less popular in favor of other kinds of shooting disciplines. Maybe I have had my head in a pile of rimfire brass for the last couple of years but I do feel like fewer and fewer people are staying interested or becoming interested in rimfire shooting. So for today’s Rimfire Report article, I want to give everyone reading this a reminder of just how awesome rimfire shooting is in the hopes that I’ll either encourage you to pick it back up or get others into it!
More Rimfire Articles @ TFB:
- Heckler & Koch Adds Rimfire MP5 Models
- H&K’s Latest MP5: The NEW .22LR MP5 Rifle and Pistol
- FN America Introduces FN 502 Tactical Optics-Ready .22 Pistol
- The Rimfire Report: An Ode to the Remington Nylon 66
The Rimfire Report: Don’t Forget About Rimfire Shooting!
To be perfectly clear, I don’t think rimfire firearms are going away (probably ever). In fact, we’ve recently seen 4 brand new .22LR firearms come to the market in just the last couple of months and I’m excited to get my hands on two of them in short order to see if they are all the industry has hyped them up to be. However, I have noticed a lot of newer and experienced shooters are either moving away from rimfire firearms or skipping them altogether in favor of centerfire firearms. So why is that and how do I convince people that rimfire is still more important than ever?
Trigger Time is Trigger Time
Through a confluence of political, economic, and societal factors, ammunition has become quite expensive in the last couple of years. Because of this, many people have dropped out of shooting sports altogether while other people have significantly narrowed their focus to just a couple different types of firearms for their practice sessions. While non-live fire devices exist and are a great way to enhance your dry fire practice, it still doesn’t replace trigger time. Despite the astronomical price of ammunition, rimfire is still the most affordable type on the market and it’s still better than simply just doing dry fire practice in your own home.
With new guns like the FN-509 Tactical .22LR or the Glock 44, you almost have no excuse for not training with rimfire when guns like this exist. The Glock 44, for example, will take the same holsters, and a lot of the aftermarket accessories that the Glock 19 does, and really all you’re missing from the equation is the price of the ammo you’re shooting. Rimfire rifles also have their place as well and a lot of the prepper types out there who’ve got their SHTF rifles and pistols ready to go could probably use the most practice out of all of us – rimfire will just make it that much cheaper for them in between bulk purchases of powdered eggs. Need to get in some trigger time? Consider picking up a .22LR conversion or a .22LR reproduction (that works) and get to it.
Rimfire Shooting is a Great Way to Introduce New Shooters To the Discipline
I purposely used the term “discipline” rather than “sport” since a lot of focus over the last two years has been placed on the self-defense applications of firearms. That’s great and I really wish more people would take this liberty more seriously and actually carry a firearm around with them for their own defense. However, at the same time, that turns out to be one of the biggest hurdles for newcomers to the gun world.
Many of those who probably went out and panic purchased a handgun for self-defense either never fired it or only took it to the range once or twice and then stuffed it away and never practiced with it again. A recent conversation I had with a girl about why she owned a gun but never carried it with her anywhere was that she never practiced with it and didn’t feel comfortable carrying it and didn’t enjoy her first experience with the firearm because it shocked her the first time she fired it. While this situation has since been remedied, I can’t help but think that there are probably many more potential or current firearms owners out there that will have this exact same experience and end up being turned off from the idea altogether.
I stand by the belief that all shooters should really start their shooting basics with structured training by an experienced shooter. Rimfire happens to be cheap, low-recoil, low flash, and also features a lot of lightweight firearms that are easier for smaller framed individuals to handle for their first experience with a firearm. Once they’ve got a handle on the ebb and flow of operating and firing a firearm, they can then make a much easier and less traumatic transition to a centerfire firearm that they’ll actually use for self-defense (or fun).
Rimfire Is still FUn
My final point should come as no surprise – rimfire shooting is fun! As I have told you all before and will probably tell you many more times, my first ever experience with a firearm was shooting soda cans with my father using a Ruger 10/22 carbine. That first experience at the age of 5 years old sent me on a lifelong pursuit of firearms obsession and I don’t regret it one single bit. Even if you don’t use .22LR to train with or use as a cheap replacement for centerfire firearms, rimfire shooting can be fun in its own right.
The term “plinking” is synonymous with the word “fun” in my head and if you ask anyone who’s ever shot soda cans, clay pigeons, steel, or even empty shotgun hulls off of a fence before if they were having fun, I would guarantee you that none of them will ever say “no”. Rimfire is just flat out fun and that is why there are a ton of rimfire-centric shooting sports out there for everyone to enjoy whether that’s the Rimfire Precision Rifle series, Steel Challenge, the NSSF Rimfire Challenge, or even a silhouette target match at your local range – if you’ve got the rimfire itch, there is likely something out there for you to go enjoy.
Rimfire is not dead, and honestly, I don’t think rimfire will ever be dead. Rimfire firearms, and in particular .22LR, have been a staple within the gun community for over 135 years and a specific section of the industry that I feel is worth venerating for its versatility, entertainment value, and utility. With new options for rimfire shooters coming out soon and probably many more on the horizon, I think it’s time to take a look at rimfire shooting and really bring all the joy and benefits it brings us and share it with other people. Thanks as always for reading TFB and The Rimfire Report. We’ll see you next time.
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