The Romanian m69 is a Communist Block military training rifle chambered in 22 LR. After a workout at the range I found this rifle to be my new hunting rifle. While I am no prepper, I found this rifle has a lot going for it as a prepper’s weapon. What I can say for certain is that this rifle will be slung across my back for my next woodswalking adventure.
Features and Shooting
The m69 looks like a European sporting rifle but it has typical “function first” Communist workmanship. The stock is wood and has an honest fourteen inches of pull for an adult to wield. The action is very Mauser like and it field strips easily and comes with a magazine that holds five rounds and is detachable (additional magazines are available). The action and barrel are very well machined while the nonessential parts are made of stampings.
The 23 inch barrel is very accurate and makes for a good sight picture with the iron sights. The front sight consists of a thick post protected by a shroud and a rear sight that consists of three folding notch sights to compensate for the 22 LR’s ballistic drop at 25,50, and 100 yards distance. It also features sling studs and a trapdoor in the butt that was originally used to store a cleaning kit. It also has a rail to mount optics though standard 3/8 inch rimfire mounts are too big for it.
These guns retail for about $125-200 these days while they were a bit cheaper when the rifles first came into the US after the fall of the Iron Curtain. This solid rimfire rifle was able to keep the majority of a ten shot group into four inches using my pet coyote load (Remington Viper 36 grain hypervelocity rounds) and a three inch group with Remington lead round nosed 40 grain rounds. All shooting was done at 100 yards, a distance some consider impractical for the little 22 LR round. You can expect better groups with match ammunition and closer ranges.
Photo credit: Terril Hebert
Is the m69 a Good Prepping Gun?
The m69 proved accurate at the a farther reach for a 22 LR, easy to use, durable, and very reliable. Given it is a bolt action weapon there are few parts to go wrong and it can cycle any ammunition including subsonic for discreet game hunting and pest control. The trapdoor in the butt is handy for storing gear and forgetting about it until the need arises. The rear sights really win me over and it allows you to shoot well at reasonable distance without having to hold up or down on the target. The twenty-three inch barrel allows for very accurate shooting for anything you could use a 22 rifle for.
About the only knocks on the rifle is that it require special mounts for optics (if that’s your thing) and it uses magazines that hold only five rounds. While its not the best game, its hard to break, easy to use, and is slightly attractive just like all Communist block firearms. With some nice features at a good price, the m69 is a winner in my book and it might be a winner in your’s too.