You might ordinarily dismiss a .22 rifle as something not all that useful in a game like DayZ, but this is no ordinary small caliber gun. Players the world over have come to realize that it punches way above its weight, and with the available attachments it has a number of different use cases as a primary weapon.
Dropping into Chernarus during the 0.42 update, it was originally met with skepticism but survivors quickly realized just how capable it was. Join me as I talk about “the little rifle that could” and find out what makes it so special upon closer inspection.
Our beloved Sporter is known in real life as the Ruger 10/22. This American firearm debuted in 1964, and has been in continuous production ever since. Over the last 50+ years, it has evolved from a simple small-caliber hunting rifle into a versatile tool with a near-infinite number of configurations available to suit most any need.
Known for the ease of which it can be customized to fit its user, the 10/22 features a unique “two-screw, V-block system” attaching the barrel to the receiver which allows for easy swapping of the barrel. The rest of the gun follows a similar design ethos, resulting in a weapon which requires only simple tools to change parts which would otherwise require the expertise of a gunsmith. The original and most popular versions are all based around the .22 Long Rifle cartridge, but a Magnum version of the rifle exists which fires more powerful .22 WMR rounds.
Thanks to its modular design and overwhelming popularity, the 10/22 can be fitted with several different barrel lengths (20″, 18.5″ and 16.125″ are most common) and has a myriad of different visual and functional modifications available to turn it into a bullpup, an AK replica, an AR15 replica, etc. Magazines of wildly varying capacity are available ranging from 5 rounds to 110 rounds, but it comes standard with a 10 round rotary magazine that sits flush with the underside of the rifle.
Image provided by SmoothingIt.com.
Standard Issue Hunter
Above all else, this gun is fantastic at dispatching the animals found throughout Chernarus. You may want something with a bit more kick to it if you’re hunting bigger game like cows or deer, but everything else can be taken care of with ease. Best of all, if a second or third shot is necessary, it’s effortless to do so thanks to the lack of recoil and excellent accuracy.
Other than maybe needing to catch your breath for a second before pulling the trigger, this gun puts up very little fuss when it comes to stopping for an impromptu shot at a distant target. This is perfect for those moments when an animal suddenly jumps out in front of you and takes off in a full run, leaving you mere moments to take a shot before it disappears into the trees.
Even if you’re not the one taking shots, this weapon makes an excellent device for surveying the land when equipped with a hunting scope. The small weight of the .22LR will force you to realistically remain within 400 or 500m of a target that you actually want to hit, but it has the ability to see far beyond that, allowing you to track other players while maintaining a safe gap between you and them.
At the same time, this makes carrying a pair of binoculars redundant. The ability to see over long distances while keeping the barrel of your gun aimed in the right direction should not be taken for granted.
Wide Open Spaces
Thanks to its excellent rate of fire when matched to a quick trigger finger, the Sporter does far better than expected in close range combat. The relatively tiny .22 rounds can do a lot of damage when you’re accurately throwing them at your enemy in rapid succession.
That being said, this gun does its best work over longer distances where you’ve got an unobstructed view of what’s going on around you. Despite all its positive qualities, you still need to be able to hit your target and put it down before it has a chance to retaliate, and that’s much harder to do if half your shots are hitting trees or dropping to the ground before they make it there.
Like most every other wooden-bodied rifle in the game, the venerable Sporter can be painted in useful shades of black and green using spraypaint. Use this to your advantage to better fit the area in which you spend most of your time, or leave the bare wooden finish to blend in almost anywhere.
Have Mag, Will Travel
Our beloved Sporter has two sizes of magazine available: the standard 10 round rotary and a more tactical 30 round box mag. Since there isn’t much of a trade-off between the two in-game, it’s advisable that you simply use the biggest one you have available to you at the time. While the 10 round would meet most needs, the 30 round will fare better in close combat situations where you find yourself needing to unload on a target.
The rifle will also accept the aforementioned hunting scope in addition to the universal ghillie gun wrap for even more capability.
You can tell by the muzzle flash that this isn’t a particularly powerful weapon, and the noise that comes with it reinforces that fact. This can be used to your advantage however, as the gun is very quiet relative to its larger caliber competition. It also translates into hardly any recoil at all, making this one of the easiest to handle primary weapons in the entire game in that regard.