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.22 for defense if necessary

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Andy W, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Andy W

    Andy W

    Dec 4, 2006
    Would you feel confident in using a .22 in a defensive situation of that was all you had available at the time? Obviously it's not ideal but is there any reason it wouldn't do the job if you could hit what you needed to? Personally, I don' know. I think I'd do sort of a modified Mozambique drill. Fire 2-3 shots center mass as quickly as I could get the front sight on target and then if he didn't drop or give up, attempt a head shot, which would probably also turn into a small volley of fire, rather than a single shot. That's the main advantage of a .22. There is almost no recoil so you can shoot a lot of rounds very quickly and accurately.
  2. G31

    G31 Millennium Member

    Jun 27, 1999
    NE FL
    The round will work, just not with the reliability as, say, a 9mm. Your shot placement with a .22 will be more critical, as you will not have the extra penetrating ability to help prevent deflection or stoppage of the round, should it hit dense tissue. You will also be less able to reach vitals from oblique angles. If it hits something vital, it will do the job. I'd follow the same line of reasoning as you, and fire multiple rounds into the same area, then moved to the head, if possible. The heart and aortic arch would be my first target, since there is little protection there from bullets.

  3. Glock26z


    Jul 17, 2010
    I just got a LCR in .22 magnum and with 200 rounds from Hornady Critical defense ammo,It does what I need to do with it. I am disabled and some times,loading up a Glock or any hi-cap magazine is hard for me. I am in a wheel chair most of the time now. Because my prosthetic leg is in the shop and my ostheo from when I was on dialysis hurts when its real cold. or the weather changes. I also carry a North American Arms .22 magnum 5 shot revolver that is single action. Only had to use it once on a mugger. Mugger is dead,cremated and,I survived with a justifiable homicide and no charges filed against me.
  4. jamstutz

    jamstutz CLM

    Jul 13, 2000
    NE Indiana
    Rimfire ammo is usually not as reliable as centerfire ammo, but if you have a handgun/ammo combination that you trust to function when you need it, by all means use it.

    The secret to defense with small calibers is shot placement and multiple hits in a vital area. While not ideally suited to the role of defensive pistol cartridge ballistically, the .22 LR / .22 WMR is relatively inexpensive [making practice more economical], has a low recoil impulse [making accurate fire more likely], and is usually available even when other handgun calibers are difficult to find.
  5. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011

    Right. The bad person is just going to stand there and let you do this. :upeyes:
  6. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    If it's all I have, I will make it a 9 shot revolver most likely.
  7. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH
    Andy W..."Would you feel confident in using a .22 in a defensive situation (of) if that was all you had available at the time?"

    Let me start off by saying is there a better choice? Yes. Is this what I would carry...No. However as the question was asked If that's all I had... absolutely!

    First off I purchased one of these not too long ago;

    Since then I have tossed several thousand rounds down range, and this pistol operates flawlessly and is not too terribly picky about what ammo you run through it. With a 5" barrel I can keep a fairly tight patter even out to 25 yards without too much effort.

    Secondly out of all the .22 LR ammo I have tested and for the question posed, I have confidence in the CCI Stingers both in reliability and effective use. They penetrate well enough, expand and can cause considerable damage.

    I feel this is worth mentioning here, the purpose of a "Self Defense" round your purpose as well is to stop the treat, not blow the guy to bits (although sometimes that would be a bit more desirable). If a .22 is all you had, than make sure what you have will stop the treat posed to you. I use Federal .22 LR in the Bulk Pack for target rounds but what I keep loaded in a mag near by the pistol is the CCI Stingers.

    [ame=""]CCI Stinger .22 LR 32 gr Hollowpoint in SIM-TEST* Ballistic Test Media - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  8. When I do some trail walking I'll occassionally carry 10 + 1 rds of CCI Velocitor in my Bersa Firestorm.

    I imagine if I did my part, the potential attacker (2 or 4 legged) would lose interest real quick.

    Sure beats a sharp stick.
  9. moonwilson


    Jan 22, 2013
    My Dad has CCW carried a 2" barreled S&W 317 in the warmer months forever, and I have no doubt it would do the trick if he needed it. He's freakishly, ridiculously good with it though. He was on the Army pistol team for years and was even on the Olympic shooting team for a while back in the 70's. He put down four large feral dogs at once with it one time when they were menacing him on his property, and has even taken a few deer with it. All head shots. He shoots squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks and birds with it all the time. Dude can SHOOT. I would not want to be a bad guy standing in front of him when he had that little gun in his hand.

    If you have that level of skill, then I think the .22 makes perfect as a defensive round. A 317 gives you 8 shots, and it's super light and trim. No recoil, not much muzzle blast and it won't blow your eardrums out if you touch it off indoors. It takes decades of training and practice, and no small amount of innate talent to shoot that well though. I certainly can't shoot that well. A few hundred more foot pounds of muzzle energy is required if you can't trust yourself to hit the X ring every single time you pull the trigger, even under stress. I probably wouldn't trust my life to a .22, unless there was no better option. These days with 9mm, .40 and even .45 pistols getting as small as they are, why would anyone bother carrying a .22? Unless you're a freak like my Dad.
  10. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    "Perfect"? First there is no "perfect" handgun round, and .22 certainly isn't even high on the list.

    Second, if someone is such a highly skilled shooter, why wouldn't they be using a better caliber anyway?

    Third, shot placement? Have you seen many videos of real life shooting situations? Shot placement is a total crap shoot 90% of the time.
  11. moonwilson


    Jan 22, 2013
    Dad just likes his 317. He's a big gun collector and owns all sorts of other stuff. He has a S&W Bodyguard, Kimber Solo, Ruger LCP, other J frames, micro 1911s etc. He doesn't like Glocks (although I'm slowly wearing him down on that) He has a laser on the 317 because he's getting on in years and can't see the "sights" as well as he used to. It's light, and the ammo is cheap. He lives on a large property and that little .22 has long been his go-to "ranch gun". It's worked well for him for years. He has worn through the clear coat and it's down to bare metal all over the place. It looks horrible, but he loves it.

    Dad's a freak. He knows what he's doing. What works for him won't work for most other people.
  12. robhic

    robhic WOLVERINE!!!! Platinum Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    If -- and that's a very big "IF" -- I used a .22 for this reason, I would also go with the "Velocitor" or Stingers or other higher "fun factor" round.

    Good shot placement is critical but making the placement with a really snappy round seems like just a good idea.
  13. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    If I were limited to .22 I'd go with the CCI Stingers.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  14. Bean Farmer

    Bean Farmer

    Jan 9, 2013
    I wouldn't want to go into combat, or a fire fight with a .22 But for a every day gun I never feel alone when I carry my Model 94 Taurus (.22 cal. 3 inch barrel 9 shot)
  15. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    But I wish that my Ruger MkII was a bit smaller . . . . . .
  16. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    If it was all I had, sure. You better forget any COM shots IMO, go straight headshot. A big guy can shrug off 22lr impacts & not even know he is hit. So after he kills you, he may bleed out, but a 22lr is a terrible choice a a general rule. Why anyone would puprposly choose it is beyond me. Even a 38sp target wc is a better tool. I would even prefer 380 ball & I hate 380 ball.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  17. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    If you just "have to" yes. I would prefer the 22mag out of even a little snubby...

    Ask my buddy out here if a .22lr round works..

    He's been in a wheel chair, paralyzed from the waist down, since about 1988, from a single shot in the back from an angry girl friend with a 22lr pistol !

    As someone here said, Head shots would be the choice of the wise, if one is carrying a 22 for SD. Again, I opt for the 22mag, and still a head shot. No HP's either.

    This is just poker table last ditch effort. They can and do kill, but why carry one if you can carry a larger caliber? :dunno:

    Friends don't let friends carry mouse guns....!

    Even though as I stated above, they 'can be deadly', it sure ain't the "choice" to leave home with.


    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  18. concretefuzzynuts

    concretefuzzynuts Brew Crew

    Dec 27, 2011
    [ame=""]Mouse Guns - YouTube[/ame]
  19. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    Until my wife got some practice in and got better with handguns I kept a Ruger SP101 .22LR on her nightstand while I worked nights. I loaded it with CCI Stingers and felt better than if she was unarmed.

    I stuck with the revolver after I was confident of her abilities. I got her a 4" S&W model 10 and loaded it with Gold Dot .38spl+P.
  20. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    A far better choice. That is my point though. Even a 38snub w/ 148gr WC is a better bet by a good margin & just as easy to shoot. I can really see no point in the 22lr for SD but in a survival situation where that is your primary weapon.