Go-To SHTF Gun: Midland Releases Backpacker in .22LR – SHOT Show 2020

in Authors, Jordan Michaels, SHOT Show 2020, SHOT Show Archives
Go-To SHTF Gun: Midland Releases Backpacker in .22LR  – SHOT Show 2020

Click HERE to learn more about Midland.

Update (1/28): We heard back from Midland representatives, who told us they plan to release a combo .22LR/.410 barrel package called the Midland Doublepack for a very reasonable MSRP of $209.95. The .22LR standalone will not be available at this time. Keep reading to learn about the .22LR we saw at SHOT Show and click here for our full review of the .410.

When we reviewed Midland’s .410 Backpacker in June of 2018, the company was already talking about releasing rimfire and centerfire barrels that could be easily swapped for a scattergun bore. Now, nearly two years later, Midland has announced the release of the first component of that system: the Backpacker .22LR.

The Backpacker is a single-shot, break-action firearm capable of being folded into a compact configuration small enough to fit into most mid-sized backpacks. The barrel can also be entirely removed with a single Allen wrench and replaced with a barrel chambered in a different caliber/gauge. There’s no need to change anything about the receiver—just swap barrels and you’re good to go.

The versatility and advantage of this design are obvious. Rather than carry two separate firearms into the outback to target different game species, users can carry a 12GA barrel and a .22 LR barrel and swap them in the field.

Such a design would also appeal to the survivalists among us. Securing food in a SHTF scenario might require both a rimfire and a scattergun, and the Backpacker lets users have both in their bugout bag without taking up too much space or costing too much money.

Cost separates the Backpacker from much of its competition. With Midland’s traditional MSRP’s, you can afford to purchase two firearms and throw one in the bugout bag and one in the camper/truck/canoe.

But you shouldn’t worry about sacrificing dependability. The manufacturing quality of the .22LR Backpacker seems to be consistent with Midland’s other offerings.

“Making guns using these materials and finishes are what ensures Midlands can be handed down from generation to generation,” as Midland President and CEO Val Forgett told us. “That is what I want to see in this line. I still have my old single-shot from when I was a kid and want to make sure that 100 years from now, today’s Midlands are still being shot.”

Go-To SHTF Gun: Midland Releases Backpacker in .22LR  – SHOT Show 2020
Go-To SHTF Gun: Midland Releases Backpacker in .22LR  – SHOT Show 2020
Go-To SHTF Gun: Midland Releases Backpacker in .22LR  – SHOT Show 2020
Go-To SHTF Gun: Midland Releases Backpacker in .22LR  – SHOT Show 2020

SEE ALSO: Tough, Versatile, and Budget-Friendly, Midland’s Backpack Shotgun Might be Your Best Hiking Companion

A full review will provide more information, but it looks like Midland has produced another great product at an extremely accessible price point. The 16.5-inch .22 LR barrel is eminently maneuverable, and the included rail can mount a variety of magnified scopes and red dots. The trigger is heavy, but otherwise the firearm appears to be easy to operate.

For those hoping for a centerfire version, the wait isn’t quite over yet. Company reps told us they’re still working on those, but they couldn’t provide a planned release date.

They are, however, working on a combo .410/22LR firearm that they plan to release this year. Details are sketchy (no images or specs), but it’s something to look out for.

The .22LR Backpacker isn’t currently listed on Midland’s website, but company reps tell us it will be shipping to retailers soon.

Click HERE to learn more about Midland.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at [email protected].

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  • Bill J. Again September 7, 2021, 11:02 am

    Still waiting for all the promised extra barrels. Love my 20 gauge except for the location of the front swivel stud. Its a real finger killer if you’re not careful.
    Very disappointed in the complete lack of follow thru on availability of extra shotgun barrels and development of straight wall pistol/rifle cartridge barrels like at least .357 and .44 mag.

  • Bill J. June 2, 2020, 11:07 pm

    Midland should’ve followed thru with straight wall pistol calibers legal for deer in Midwest states, and at least make additional barrels available for those of us who bought early (I have a low number 2018 20-gauge) who are still waiting to buy 410 and 12 gauge barrels, etc. And where’s the promised grip panels and survival kits to store in buttstock? So much initial hype. So little follow thru. Especially since its the best quality beretta knockoff available.

  • Charlie January 28, 2020, 12:13 pm

    Massive hunk of metal to carry in a back pack for a .22. Would be better if lighter and in a better caliber.

  • Link Lackluster January 28, 2020, 7:50 am

    I’ll keep my Henry AR7. Semi-auto beauty that disassembles with no tools and all parts stow in the buttstock. And it floats. It’s a keeper.

    • Irish-7 January 28, 2020, 10:22 am

      I love the Henry AR7! No survival weapon stows and assembles like it. I have a Ruger 10/22 Takedown as well. The Ruger holds more ammo and is accurate at greater ranges. However, it is heavier and takes up more space in a pack. Both weapons are well worth the investment.

      • Ej harbet January 29, 2020, 10:40 pm

        I have a 10/22 in the magpul x22 backpacker. Its one unit taken down like the ar7 but its more accurate and with 1mag in the gun and 3 in the stock i got 40rds on the gun! And the grip compartment holds a victorinox swiss army knife! Frosting on the cake.

    • Mike January 28, 2020, 1:21 pm

      As these guys said above the AR 7 is the King when it come to break down, compactness and weight. Plus they are a really cool little guns!

      Midland you missed on this one for sure!

  • Gene r griggs January 28, 2020, 5:23 am

    Interested in hellcat if it slides a easy as the micro 380 kimber.for wife. Neat single shot 22. Especially with interchangable barrel for rabbit or grouse can you xshoot a shotgun slug with it vfor bear ?

    • James January 28, 2020, 6:00 am

      Not sure if i would try a bear with a single shot ( i mean , unless you have no other choice/defense ). Although i did know a guy that was Super fast with his H&R single shot .

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