I've wanted a Ruger 10 22 for a while because of all the aftermarket parts and customization, but I already have two perfectly good .22s and can't justify the expense. Unfortunately for my Stevens, the only aftermarket part is more magazines. So, I've been wanting to do something to the gun, and I've seen the survival shotgun out there with the hollow stock being utilized and figured I can do something similar. I found the stock to be hollow and accessible by the removal of just two screws. One sling and a survival kit later, I now present to you the Stevens Model 62 survival .22.
*This can be done with any .22 that gives you access to a hollow stock and fitted with a sling. On this particular gun, it did require one permanent modification to the stock. It is cosmetic, not functional, and really isn't a big deal.
The purpose of this gun is to be a bugout gun. It's designed for sustaining a trip into the woods for several weeks. The idea is less about survival and rescue and more about getting food while you get out of town. It is heavy on obtaining meat and cooking it, while light on cutting tools, shelter, and water. It has the capabilities of all, but it is mainly for food. The assumption of this rifle is that I can grab my main pack which is heavy on shelter, cutting tools, and water, but light on obtaining food. The two are designed to compliment and augment each other, but, if I can only grab the bag or the rifle, I would have a little of everything. This gun has 200 rounds of .22 ammunition, which could easily last one person two months with three to four shots a day. The scope is very well sighted in and the rifle should not need to be cleaned during that time.
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Step 1: Installing the Sling Mounts (part I)
The first step is to disassemble the rifle. You will have to do this to install the sling, and it just makes it easier to work with later. All you need is the composite stock, set aside the rest of the gun for later. If you need help taking apart the gun, there are YouTube videos out there.
For this first step, you'll need a washer. The inner hole needs to be big enough to thread paracord through. As you have your stock, look in the top of the fore end.
Cut/grind the washer so that it will fit into the fore end, where you want your sling to be, flush against the bottom. If your washer fits, you're good. Pull out the washer and set it aside.
Flip over the stock and drill a hole from the outside in. This is important so that the drilled hole will be in the center. Again, the hole needs to be big enough to pull paracord through. Remember that washer? Glue that to the inside of the stock, just above the hole you drilled. Make sure they line up and are the same size. Glue the washer inside with your preferred adhesive. Wait several minutes for the glue to dry before proceeding.
Step 2: Installing the Sling Mounts (part II)
Unscrew the two screws in the back and behold the awesome amount of space in which to store things. Contain your excitement and do NOT try to fill it up just yet. It will make life easier if you wait until the end to do that.
I prefer to use black paracord because it matches. Use whatever you have. Wrapping the sling in paracord accomplishes two things: One, it provides an anchor for the rear half of your sling. Two, it gives you about 60 feet of paracord to use. You'll need 50-65 feet for this to work.
1) I used electrician's tape to start off and hold the cord in place. I recommend the electrician's tape because it removes easily and does not tear. Also because I have a lot. I recommend using some tape in the beginning because it keeps the cord in place for when you start wrapping the stock.
2) Make two switchbacks with the cord from the front to the back. Important for the future steps- make sure to stack the "switchbacks." The first needs to be on the bottom, the second needs to be on the top. Tape this down so they don't get out of order.
3) Take the cord and wrap around the hand grip (see picture for details).
4) Starting in picture 8 and continuing to 19, we will begin the wrap. This is important to do very tightly or the wrap will not stay in place. From this point on, don't actually wrap the cord around the stock or the paracord will twist. This is unsightly and not as neat, it won't stay in place as well. Rather than wrap the cord around the stock, try rotating the stock and the cord will wrap itself. It may take some getting used to, but it will produce better results in the end.
5) Keep wrapping until you reach the end of the stock. It doesn't have to go all the way, mine ended up being about an inch short. It's fine.
If my wrapping instructions aren't very well, feel free to wrap it in whatever way you prefer, and please tell about it. The main points are to have extra paracord and provide the rear point to secure the sling, as well as a way to secure a screwdriver to the outside.
Step 3: Installing the Sling Mounts (part III)
1) Pictures 1-4: Now that you're done wrapping it, take your last few inches of cord. Now, you've got those two loops at the very rear end of the stock. Take the last few inches of cord and run it through the BOTTOM loop. take the last bit of cord and tie a knot in it. This will keep it from slipping out.
2) Pictures 5-11: This is how to secure everything. See notes in pictures for directions.
3) Picture 13: Here's a very important step...having a screwdriver. I wanted something flat to wedge in the wrapping. I have a cheap multi tool that I haven't used in several years. I took it apart and stole the screwdriver. It's nice and flat, it will stay securely. Unfortunately there's no leverage with it, so you can't turn it. To get leverage, I have a piece of coat hanger that fits right into the hole, so I put the coat hanger in as well.
Step 4: Installing the Sling
Picture 1: You'll need a sling. I would suggest a paracord belt, it's what I used. I couldn't tell you what weave I used, I don't know the name. I feel no need to include how to make one because there are already plenty of good tutorials out there. I would suggest a quick release chain sinnet, or if you have the time and patience, a Slatt's Rescue Belt is really good and should make a comfortable sling. But, basically any paracord belt can be used. Do whatever works for you.
Picture 2 and 3: See notes
Step 5: Filling Up the Stock!
Now for the fun part.
Remember all that space inside the stock?? Fill it up! I packed 170 rounds of .22 ammunition in first, packed in the small stuff, put the flat foil and alcohol wipes, put about 15 more rounds in, then stuffed a folded up space blanket on top, and the remainder 15 rounds in around that to fill in the gaps to keep it all from rattling around.
All in all, I went from a gun...to this-
-120 feet of paracord
-200 rounds of ammunition
-6 alcohol wipes
-Two razor blades
-A Ziploc bag
-And a gun
Do not forget to have a screwdriver. Without a screwdriver, your kit is useless except for the paracord. I always have a screwdriver on my set of keys and two in my car. I recommend making the kit be self sufficient as well, because it would be an amazing waste if you found yourself without a screwdriver. I would also recommend keeping an appropriate sized Allen wrench inside the stock as well so you can remove the stock and get to all the paracord without cutting it. I don't currently have a spare one (I don't want to keep my only wrench inside the stock) to keep in it, but it's not hugely necessary. I would also keep some water purifying tablets inside, but I don't have any to spare at the moment.
Things I intentionally left out: I do not have any dedicated signalling tools because the idea is not about being found, but sustaining a few weeks of civil unrest of some sort. If being found is necessary, the space blanket can be used for signalling and the ammunition can be shot. I left out a gun cleaning kit because I've shot a many hundreds of rounds without cleaning it before and I know it will last 200 rounds without needing to be cleaned. If kept clean to begin with it should be fine. I left out everything I could from this kit to save room for ammunition, but left a little room for some very basic necessities.
Any good ideas on how to further make this an amazing self-sufficient survival .22? I'm definitely open to ideas here.