I came across this video recently and expected a reasonable defense of a .22 caliber pistol for self-defense. Which is perfectly understandable – given that most defensive gun uses (DGUs) don’t involve shots fired and there are many, many people (including women) who can only or better handle a .22 than a larger caliber pistol. But that’s not how Starry Hilder rolls here. She says she carries her Ruger to ward off . . .

bears and coyotes, recommending a warning shot (which violates the fourth rule of gun safety). I don’t think so. I carry a .44 or a .460 when I go where the bears go. And I’d recommend that kind of firepower for anyone, even though follow-up shots are highly unlikely. And I think a lot of people who can’t handle recoil can handle recoil when they have to. (Note: cocking a revolver isn’t difficult and the best place for your index finger is high up on the slide.)

Your thoughts?

123 Responses to Question of the Day: Is A .22 Caliber Pistol Enough Gun for The Great Outdoors?

        • I know a fellow in Maine who would just smile and say “you might be wrong about that.” A retired Maine guide, he has taken bears with a 22lr pistol, moose on the other hand require something more substantial. In his case, it’s true that shot placement is everything. He is an excellent shot.

        • I’d be willing to bet none of the bears or moose were charging him when he shot them.

        • The technique that I heard of for using .22LR for bears actually required that they charge the shooter; it required several shots as well; first was pretty much wherever to get them to charge, next in the nose after they close to the right distance, which (apparently invariably) causes them to rear up and roar, final shot was to the roof of the mouth which has soft stuff between it and the brain. Not sure I’d be willing to attempt that method; especially so if I was as obviously inexperienced as this lady.

  1. When I’m in the woods I try and compliment my primary arm with the side arm – meaning if I’m carrying a rifle, I’ll have my 22 pistol for small game. If I have a shotgun or no long gun I’ll typically have my 9mm. I don’t feel under gunned with that.

  2. Depends on what “Great Outdoors” you are talking about. I sure would want something bigger than a .22 if in bear country, but if the biggest thing you are gonna see is a rat or a snake, then it’s probably fine. (My personal minimum is a 9mm)

  3. Self delusion is often emboldening. If you feel like you’re doing something and its never tested, you’ll go all that time confident that you are in control and correct in your thinking. If however you end up being eaten by a bear, well, your mind will be on other things than how wrong you were and so it will never really be an issue.

  4. I think like most, I wouldn’t feel comfortable using a .22 to ‘ward off’ bears. Coyotes maybe, but certainly not optimal.

    However… I did read something from a hard-core, long-time Alaskan Bush Guide – that he uses a .357 revolver for his bush gun/bear protection. He’s of course gets the question all the time ‘dude – a .357 for bear protection in Alaska???’. His reasoning is that a .357 is the caliber he can control the best and get many shots in accurately/quickly, rather than one big boom from a .454/.460/.500 – with no follow up shot opportunity. And since it’s really more about shot placement anyway, a .357 with the right load in the right place, will stop a bear – more than a big bore with poor shot placement and no follow-up. Anyway, that was his logic. It seemed to have some merit, and his experience speaks for itself.

    • what, exactly is his experience? there are a lot of people with a lot of theories about calibers but I’m interested in hearing about two things; one is the person who successfully used “X” caliber to defend against a bear and two, is the caliber of the firearm found in the bear poo from the person who was unsuccessful in defending against a bear.

      • I’ll see if I can find his webpage again. He explained it better than I did. Basically, it was his backup as any handgun for bear defense is sub-optimal, and he carried a 375 Ruger Boltie. As to STB410s point below, I think it was an 8″ SW 686. I know I’ve seen other Alaskan Guides say this as well, including Phil Shoemaker, who also used to carry a .357 for bear. (I hate when i don’t bookmark something that I later reference ugh).

    • Just pointing out — .357 depends heavily on the barrel length. It is one caliber that benefits enormously from every extra inch of barrel. While most handgun rounds are designed to be basically as good as they’re gonna get from a typical handgun barrel length, the magnum rounds (.357, .41, .44 etc) just get better and better from more barrel (and, conversely, they are hugely handicapped by being used in an excessively short barrel).

      A .357 in a 2″ snubbie revolver? That’s about as powerful as a 9mm pocket pistol (427 ft/lbs)
      A .357 in a 4″ barrel? That’s a manstopper. (693 ft/lbs)
      A .357 in an 8″ barrel? That’s a believable bear round. (947 ft/lbs)

      It’s not going to be competitive with the bigger magnum rounds, of course; a .454 Casull from a 6.5″ barrel delivers about 1844 ft/lbs. But with enough barrel, the .357 is not nearly as under-gunned as folks might believe. Using a solid hardcast bullet that can handle the velocities (about 1750 fps for a 140-grain bullet from that 8″-barrel revolver) it could, with proper placement, get the job done. And the weight of an 8″-barrel revolver would probably lead to better recoil management and therefore better placement than one might get with a bigger caliber.

      So — I’m not endorsing that guide’s choice necessarily (hey, he’s a veteran Alaska guide, I live in Texas, so I’ll defer to his wisdom when it comes to bear defense!) But I can see his reasoning, and it’s ballistically more solid than it might appear at first glance (assuming, of course, that he’s carrying a big-enough gun; a .357 snubbie would be a laughable choice for bear defense!)

      • Given the size and general bad attitudes of some Alaskan bear, I’d feel undergunned with a bazooka. That said, in Brown & Grizzly country it’s a .41 Magnum on the hip and a long gun always close at hand.

        • I think bear attitude has a lot to do with it. Around here (Far NorCal), the bears avoid humans for the most part. I’ve lived up here 26 years and have never seen one, although they are in the mountains all around here, and occasionally one wander into town down one of the ravines when it gets really dry. People who live up in the hills generally just keep dogs, and that’s enough. I’ve never heard of an attack on a human. And they are not very big, so I suspect a .357 or a .45 ACP would be sufficient if the need arose.

  5. In general, I carry a .357 Magnum or a .45 Colt when I am out in the woods, since there are bear, coyote, wild bore, and mountain lions in this area. If I am going in deep for several days on backpacking trip, I will carry a .22 as a survival gun for small game, but only as a secondary defensive gun to my primary revolver. Beyond small coyote’s, I would not want to use a .22 to defend myself from wild critters. I would be better served running or climbing a tree.

      • I do. And as I stated, I still think I would be better served doing that than shooting at the bear with a .22.

      • I only go out in the the woods with my wife . . .she runs slow, well at least slower than me, so I’m ok with running.

        • Good heaven’s man! Your as bad as the dude that would shoot his friend in the leg to slow him down enough to get away from the bear.

          Now, if your talking EX wife, that’s a whole different matter!

      • Uh, yeah, understood. And as I stated, I would still be better served running from the bear than shooting at it with a .22.

  6. A .22LR cal pistol isnt good for most anything bigger than a rabbit other than to piss them off. Many years ago I was rabbit hunting with a buddy who liked the challenge of shooting a running rabbit with a 22 pistol. We saw a raccoon about 20 up a tree so he immediately started shooting it with the pistol to no effect. I shot it once with my .22 rifle and killed it. After skinning the animal I found all 6 bullets he had fired into it and all they had done was penetrate the skin and stopped.

    For me its a .40 or .45

    • I hit a possum with a .40 in the lung area, when it popped back up hissing I shot it in its head which hit up in his jaw area, and he popped up again looking pissed off as ever

      It happens

  7. .22 is fine for the vast majority of what you’ll run into walking around the unpaved-areas of the country.

    Also a warning shot into dirt is guaranteed to hurt nobody, and works pretty well for coyotes and feral dogs.

    Even for the wild animals capable of speech, having a gun, any gun, will get you by in the vast majority of confrontations.

    • “a warning shot into dirt is guaranteed to hurt nobody”

      A dangerous assumption. If there is a rock or other hard object just under the dirt the chance of a ricochet is still quite high.

  8. The .22 is little more than a placebo so the only harm here is if she changes her behavior or lets her guard down because she actually believes she is armed.

    Whatever. She isn’t hurting anyone and probably can’t But now that I think about it she really should get a black frame or perhaps on in FDE. That would give her more a little more firepower.

    • I’ve thought about this myself. Never done it but it’s more of a thought experiment. If I’m really in a place crawling with massive bears and I want a gun that I can really put the hurt on them with, what about a good battle rifle like a G3? Load that up with the meanest .308 available then you have 20 rounds and quick reload out of a rifle. Id prefer that over any hand gun or shot gun.

      • I wouldn’t want to carry a G3 on a hike. Good rifle for pro pest controllers, or 70’s military men, but a bit heavy for recreation. I’d take a BAR (around 7lbs) as I have a personal preference for Browning looks but you could pack a SCAR-H for about 8lb. Your FAL/G3 type rifles will be closer to 10lb.

    • Funny thing, there were some bear sightings around the family’s favorite trail. I’ve slung my Mosin on my back loaded with soft points. It helped mostly with my young daughter who is afraid of bears. Hell, I am too but she turns into a quivering mess at the thought. That’s been my long-gun OC experience and its been universally positive reception from the few people who said anything. Most just ignored me.

  9. The best use of a .22 pistol when being chased by a bear or mountain lion is….. (wait for it….) shoot your buddy in the knee, and run like hell!

  10. For a hike into the great outdoors, a Glock 20 in 10mm with Buffalo Bore 200 grain hard-cast lead loads is my choice. I want more than six chances to put a round into a bear’s skull while I try not to poop my pants.

  11. I’m a gun guy and all, but at hand gun distances, bear spray is a better defense against bears than any hand gun.

    Sure, carry your .22 for coyotes or cougars which still might decide to stalk you after getting sprayed (doubtful. Ask the skunk), but unless you are a very good shot under extreme stress, the bear won’t give a crap in the woods for your hand gun.

    • They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.
      Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear’s sensitive nose and it will run away.
      It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.
      Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.

  12. No. Not for what she claims at least. A bear or cougar won’t even feel a .22. Hell I doubt if it would penetrate farther than skin deep after going through that thick fur. If you’re worried about bears you definetly need .44 mag or maybe an auto in 10mm pistol wise.

  13. Believe it or not , a 22 magnum FMJ from a 4 inch or longer barrel , will penetrate a bear skull , if it enters an eye , nose , mouth or ear , This could theoretically kill a bear but if I was putting myself in a spot where I would most likely encounter a bear , I would carry no less than my .357 magnum , holstered on my side . You don’t want to just piss off a bear . I carry a 22 magnum PMR everyday for personal protection for numerous reasons that I don’t feel a need to mention . Just leads to a caliber war , but I will say that I have carried many other caliber pistols and revolvers over the years and I feel absolutely safe with my PMR loaded with 28 rounds of 40 grainers , alternated FMJ with Speer Gold Dots , that will be traveling between 1750 and 1900 fps and producing between 95 and 135 foot pounds . A 22 mag will also pass through a class 11A body armor at 2o feet .

    • Problem with shooting for the head is the bear isnt going to cooperate with you and hold still like the paper targets at the range does. So the chances of hitting a bear in the eye with a pistol as its charging you is basically zero.

      • You may fool a well trained zoo or circus bear to believe they are going to get their picture taken and pop it in the nose , but this was actually my point , therein the reference to the .357 magnum . A bear , particularly , a momma bear , won’t even care about pain . A 22 will just piss her off .

    • If you’d reconsider, I’d like to hear your thinking on the efficacy of 22lr as a defensive round.

      I’ve considered it, too, and it could have some advantages; which some people may have overlooked.

      • If you are interested, .22 as a defensive round was analyzed here in 2012. It came off well against other handgun calibers.
        http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/06/foghorn/ask-foghorn-22l-for-self-defense/

        The summary is:

        “So, in short, what’s the answer? Is a .22 a good self defense round? According to the numbers, it looks to be among the best in terms of stopping the threat. Add in the fact that it’s lightweight, low recoil and uses firearms that are ridiculously easy to conceal and you can see where a .22 caliber firearm for concealed carry might be a winner.” -Nick Leghorn

      • My sister-in-law carries a little Walther P22. She’s comfortable and accurate with it, and 99.9% of the criminals she might encounter will start looking to be somewhere else when she starts poking .22 in. holes in them. For bear I would want something more substantial.

      • Jonathan , A 40 grain HV HP 22 LR is about half as efficient as a 40 grain HV HP 22 magnum , which is about as efficient as a 115 grain HP 9mm at 20 feet from similar length gun barrels , in foot pounds of energy created on target . The 115 grain 9mm will make a little bigger entry hole and have just slightly more energy because of velocity differences . If you factor in plus P velocity increases for the 9mm you have a significant amount of energy differences between all three rounds . There are many other factors to also consider in these choices however . The shot placement being the most crucial of all considerations . a 400 grain 50 caliber bullet will obviously hurt worse , make a bigger hole and create more destruction than a 30 grain .22 caliber LR bullet , but could you hit your target at 20 feet or closer with that big hunk . Hitting what your are aiming at is the most important criteria in your equation . One head shot with a .22 caliber 40 grain HVHP is better than a missing altogether . Pick a firearm , holster it , wear it . Make sure you can pull the trigger comfortably , smoothly . Make sure you can hit a 2 inch target at 20 feet , repeatedly . Learn EVERYTHING about it . Practice stress shooting until you are as comfortable with it as you were your bicycle . I have no problem recommending a .22 for personal defense but I would recommend trying out more powerful weapons when you comfortably can , you may be a crack shot with a ,45 .

  14. It’s a “Rutger” S22?

    I did not know that North Eastern University was in the firearms biz.

    See the intro part of the vid for this startling revelation!

  15. For fishing this time of year in eastern Oregon, a .22 with bird shot is all I carry. Those rattle snakes are pesky buggers.
    In the fall, mushrooming for chanterelles? 10mm with buffalo bore solids. Bear pills.

  16. I encounter coyotes and black bears at least weekly. They’re always scared shitless to see a human and take off except for one who just walked right past me within and my barking dog within ten feet as though we didn’t exist.

    I have to figure that if you’re in a shoot to live situation with either animal it’s either crazy and a .22 won’t do squat or you did something stupid and probably deserve to be eaten.

    • Shire-man,
      Black bears are scared of you until they ain’t. Every couple of years a black bear mauls someone in the eastern US. And I expect it to happen more often as their range spreads. They are back as far north as southern Ohio, and two or three years ago one was seen in Springboro, Ohio (north of Cincy) headed north. Seen and photographed…

      I carry (9mm HP) in the woods because of coyotes. They’re a scourge to farmers and they are not above attacking people if they are hungry enough.

  17. I believe she said in the video. “I leave the safety off, because it’s double action, and that means it is safe”
    WOW! What was she thinking? How difficult is it to set the safety to “Fire”. I would never carry any gun around with the safety off, unless I was intending to fire the gun at a moments notice, such as an intruder was suspected of being in my house.

    • Meh. The DA trigger on an SR22 is a long 10 or 11 pound pull. Carrying with the safety off is no different than carrying a revolver, as long as you decock it and carry with the hammer down.

        • On an SR22 actually quite difficult, stupid thing needs to be pushed up instead of down like most. Not the easiest to do with your primary hand while gripping the handgun.

        • Gunr, it’s a decocking safety. The pistol can be carried safely by chambering a round, decocking the hammer by using the decocking safety and then switching the safety into the fire position. The hammer remains blocked until the trigger is pressed, and the initial pull is long and heavy, like a SIG and very unlike a striker-fired pistol like a Glock. Most people carry their DA/SA pistols, like SIGs, in this manner.

        • Ralph is exactly right . I carry my wives SR 22 as a secondary sometimes . It is her favorite CCW so we keep it loaded with 40 grain HVHP ammo . We carry just as Ralph indicated and it is perfectly safe . Different theory than say a Glock but not terribly awkward once you’ve practiced with it . My wife and I both can shoot the dickens out of this jewel and I feel it would be quite deadly in a defensive situation . Hammer back and the trigger becomes as smooth as butter , well not exactly but certainly half as much and better than any revolver .

        • In other words, behaves just like a Beretta 92 FS.

          If I ever, for some reason, wanted to carry a pistol in .22 LR, I’d simply use my conversion, since I’d be used to how it feels, and the conversion gets good reviews for being a .22 handgun, even against purpose built .22s.

    • Most people prefer carry guns without manual safeties – One less thing you could possibly forget in an extremely high stress situation.

      • I have a Six 938, which is a 1911 style, single action trigger. When I chamber a round, I can either lift the safety to the on position, or I can lower the hammer manually, slowly I might add.
        With a round in the pipe, I would never leave the safety off, with the hammer cocked. The safety is easy to lower with the thumb, and with practice, I hope it becomes a natural thing, when the weapon is drawn.

  18. I don’t see a handgun chambered in .22 LR being a decisive fight-stopper against any four-legged predator above 40 pounds or so. As for a human attacker, they are only going to stop if your handgun psychologically intimidates them.

    When out in the woods, I would carry nothing less than a revolver in .357 Magnum with a six-inch barrel and full-power heavy bullets — preferably 180 grain hardcast lead with a big flat meplat. A semi-auto pistol in 10mm with a five-inch barrel and full-power heavy bullets (again, 180 grain hardcast) would be fine as well.

    I believe a revolver in .44 Magnum with a six-inch barrel and 240 grain jacketed soft point bullets is ideal for most of the lower 48 states. It might be a little light for really big grizzlies and moose. Otherwise, it will stop anything if you put a good shot on it.

    Do .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum revolvers produce substantial recoil? Of course. Do they produce so much recoil that only body builders on steroids can handle the recoil? Definitely NOT. Any reasonably fit person can handle them. Remember, those Magnum revolvers have some extra weight which greatly helps absorb their extra recoil.

    Takeaway:
    woods carry for women == .357 Magnum revolver with 6-inch barrel
    woods ammo for women == 180 grain hardcast lead
    woods carry for men == .44 Magnum revolver with 6-inch barrel
    woods ammo for men == 240 grain jacketed soft point

  19. Timber cruiser friend carries a 3″ 44 mag for bears etc. He’s in the middle of nowhere in the woods daily for his job. For two legged critters ask a city cop. Small calibers like 25 auto and 22 LR have put down a lot of people. We are not as tough as bears.

  20. There’s some careless weapon handling in the video. The camera operator walks in front of a cocked and chambered pistol being held by an inexperienced user after she fired it, and at 5:42, she lowers the hammer by squeezing the trigger and lowering with her thumb, which is not recommended or necessary as indicated in red text in the Ruger SR-22 owners manual on page 18. It’s a safety thing.

  21. If I in the woods with a .22, I’d probably have an additional 9mm / .357 / .40 / .45 handgun with me. If I’m worried about bears, it’d be a 12 gauge / .30-06, .308 / .460 / .45/70 / .338, etc. Maybe a .44 Mag. Plus a can of bear spray.

    I intend to stay at the top of the food chain.

  22. Last probably smokes pot so how valid is her reasoning and probably a i dont want to hurt the animal mentality

  23. Considering the advice usually given to unarmed people about bears is “make a lot of noise to scare the bear away”, and I’ve never seen a coyote stick around after hearing a gunshot, her advice isn’t the worst in the world. Also, consider the audience she’s talking to. Sounds like she’s talking to newbie/non-gun-owning women, for many of whom the SR22 is an excellent entry into the firearms world. It takes time and practice to work up to a Super Redhawk, and in the meantime, at least she’s armed.

    The likelihood of me seeing, much less needing to shoot, a bear or moose is exactly zero percent, so I don’t feel undergunned if a .22 is all I have with me.

    • They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.
      Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear’s sensitive nose and it will run away.
      It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.
      Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.

  24. Prez Reagan came within a hairbreadth of being killed by a .22. No, it’s not the best round for defensive use, but it can do the trick.

    As for bear, I think it matters which version you’re talking about. A black bear will notice if he’s getting shot with a 9mm or say, a 38Spcl. Again, not preferred, but better than a spitball.

    For Grizz, Polar and Brown…as Bob said above, shooting your friend in the knee might be the best trick.

    • The round that almost took out Reagan was a 40 grain 22 HP short from one of most dangerous 22 revolvers ever manufactured . Made in Germany and Imported to Florida and sold as a Saturday night special for about 40 bucks new . It his the car door first and then entered Reagan under the rib cage and as is the case with most deaths from 22 caliber guns , the President almost died from blood loss . The little 22 bounces around all over the place and makes all sorts of little bleeding holes . I may be a little off on some of this stuff about The Reagan shooting , been years since I read the books , but I am 100 % correct about those little 22 bullets . Doctors will tell you that they would rather work on a 45 caliber gunshot victim over a 22 because they just can’t plug all those little holes up .

        • It was a .22 LR fired at lest than 10 feet. A bear would not even know he was shot.

          Unexpectedly, Reagan passed right in front of Hinckley. Believing he would never get a better chance,[12]:81 Hinckley fired a Röhm RG-14 .22 long rifle[23] blue steel revolver six times in 1.7 seconds,[12]:82[24] missing the president with all six shots.[25][22] The first bullet hit White House Press Secretary James Brady in the head. The second bullet hit District of Columbia police officer Thomas Delahanty in the back of his neck as he turned to protect Reagan.[12]:82[26][27][28][29] Hinckley now had a clear shot at the president,[12]:81 but the third bullet overshot him and hit the window of a building across the street. As Special Agent In Charge Jerry Parr quickly pushed Reagan into the limousine, the fourth bullet hit Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy in the abdomen[26][27] as he spread his body over Reagan to make himself a target.[12]:81[16] The fifth bullet hit the bullet-resistant glass of the window on the open side door of the limousine. The sixth and final bullet ricocheted off the armored side of the limousine and hit the president in his left underarm, grazing a rib and lodging in his lung causing it to partially collapse, and stopping nearly 1 inch (25mm) from his heart.[30][16][19] Parr’s prompt reaction saved Reagan from being hit in the head.[12]:224

      • Good job DMB , actual blow by blow , and that ROHM revolver was a loose , dangerous , lead spitting from the wheel , piece of junk , if you have one of these made between 1965 -1971 , get rid of it or have a qualified smith check it out for you . This company actually produced a fairly decent 22 magnum in the 1970s with a 6 inch barrel that could knock the wings off a fly at 20 feet . I think that Heritage Arms makes the same now , it’s similar to the Ruger Single Six that comes with the two wheels , one 22 LR and one 22 WMR .

  25. Well, I think she’s right on one point – a SR22 is a good choice for a woman who would otherwise not carry a gun because of being recoil or size adverse. But I don’t agree with her idea of just leaving the safety off and assuming it’s going to be off when she draws it. I also don’t agree of course that ‘firing two blasts in the air’ is a viable plan for bear defense. And she also made some safety mistakes (as Mark Lloyd points out above) that were a little cringe-worthy. As she said, she’s not a ‘gun person’. That’s cool. And a 22 for a woman who would otherwise not carry – OK. But I think she is making some otherwise incorrect assumptions there, based on her fondness for that small pistol that she likes because it is small and pink and has no recoil.

  26. I agree that adrenaline will allow anyone to handle the recoil of a 44 mag. But where I disagree is on the range. Women do have issues with the hammer on revolvers. When I first saw a woman having issues with a hammer I though the event was an isolated incident. But as the years passed I saw many more women who had issues with a hammer, even with small pistols similar to a K frame. A 22lr pistol gives women the confidence they need to handle a larger caliber. Inexperienced shooters just need trigger time with any quality firearm. The notion that inexperienced shooter need to use a gun just like the one they use for SD is ludicrous. Inexperienced shooters need to handle enough guns to be able to use any gun they pick up.

    • Maybe not all women , but in my case , you are exactly right . My wife shot my 40 caliber when we first were married and it almost destroyed her confidence . It took me a few years to get her to try a pistol again . I went out and bought her very own gun , a 22 LR with a cc holster and wrapped it up and gave it to her as an anniversary gift . We went out to our farm one morning to get some hydraulic fluid for the tractor and I took one of my long guns with a new scope that I had to sight in so I told her it would only take about 15 minutes since I already had it on paper with a bore sight and that’s when I gave the 22 to her . She was a little apprehensive but once she put 10 rounds in the target she was hooked . We worked our way back up to the 40 , which she still hates and now she can shoot most of my 9’s just as well as I can . I would highly recommend starting inexperienced women out with a 22 .

  27. My choice for woods carry is either my stainless GP100 4″ or my Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colt 4 5/8″, both with heavy, hardcast loads.

  28. The woman clearly states, she’s not a gun expert – she wanted something she could handle and fire well. Her choice,regardless of what we think.

  29. My choice is to stay the hell out any part of the country that has animals big enough to eat me!

    • You haven’t lived until your kid’s grade school calls and asks parents to pick their youngsters up at the bus stop because a cougar is wandering the neighborhood or said kid walks in greets you with “hey dad, there is a bear in the driveway!”

    • My choice is to stay the hell out any part of the country that has animals big enough to eat me! Such as Over The Rhine.

  30. Ahhhh… when you are hiking in bear country with a friend all you actually need is a .22 LR handgun. After all, you don’t have to outrun the bear, just your friend. Shoot him in the leg and he becomes the bear bait and dinner while you skip merrily down the trail.

  31. In bear country, take a .22 and a friend. When bear trouble arises, shoot friend in leg. Remember, you don’t have to outrun the bear, you only have to outrun your friend.

    Arrrrgh! Ninja’ed by jack burton.

  32. A warning shot does not violate gun safety rules if you fire into dirt or some other fairly safe target like a tree. No, it’s not as perfect as firing into a berm at the range, there can be rocks in the dirt, etc., but it’s unfair to say that doing so violates the “be sure of your target and what’s beyond it”/”know where your bullet is going” rule the way firing into the air does.

  33. A question for anyone.
    Why is the “survival rifle” a .22/.410 caliber? Most are. At least they are advertised that way. I thought the 12gage/.22 chiappa rifle was a great idea.
    Is it a weight issue?

    • Grandfather had a Savage .410/.22 combo and originally these were sold for farm small pest control guns. The Savage combo guns were handy around the farm.

  34. You can kill groundhogs, cats, dogs, raccoons, opossum, and other such critters with a .22lr out of a rifle, but it is going to have to be a solid hit in a very vital place. For quicker and less critical shooting, use a center fire rifle or 12 gauge shotgun.

  35. I’m not going to way in on the topic itself, but this:

    …recommending a warning shot (which violates the fourth rule of gun safety)….

    Is an egregious misinterpretation of the fourth rule (know your target and what’s behind it). Simply, if your target is the ground behind, next to, or in front of the bear, then you “know” that and you’re not violating anything.

    • I retract my comment. She describes “popping off a couple rounds in the air.” Now, granted, she’s out in the wilderness and nothing is likely to come of it, but that’s is technically a rule four violation.

      As for the main point, .22 LR is fine for coyotes. Coyotes aren’t tough. They’re not psychotically aggressive predators. They shun painful experiences. They’re after easy prey. So even if it doesn’t kill the coyote outright (and it easily can), it will almost surely end the attack.

      For bears, it’s only a noisemaker. But a noisemaker is probably all she wants/needs. Maybe bear spray would be good for a person like her. She’s not going to carry around a .44 magnum. She’s just not.

    • Ballistics tests have shown that 57’s perform no better than a .22magnum. The only time it beats a .22 mag is when the round used had the AP core and was fired from a rifle.

      • Thanks again DBM +1 Right again . Why are people having to relearn the 22 WMR . The newest ammo in this round is faster and hotter and deadlier than ever . I always loved mine . 43 years a fan . I have shot and owned the 5 7 and wasn’t that impressed .

        • The Maj down at the Hood used it because of its high capacity mag and ease of shooting. It was only effective because he had these people bunched in a corner and was shooting them in the head at close range. Human skull is much thinner than a bears skull.

          BTW Check out this story from todays Israeli Times: Ruger rifles are occasionally used as a nonlethal measure to disperse violent crowds.

          Palestinian man shot dead by IDF during clashes, sources say
          Israeli troops open fire during arrest near Jenin after mob starts throwing Motolov cocktails and stones
          By AFP and Avi Lewis July 22, 2015, 12:39 pm 44

          Israel Defense Forces troops shot dead a Palestinian man near the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian medical and security sources said. Mohammed Alawneh, 22, was killed in clashes that followed an Israeli arrest raid in the village of Birqin, west of Jenin, the sources said.

          According to Israel Radio, a mob of Palestinians greeted incoming IDF soldiers with a hail of Molotov cocktails and rocks. Alawneh was shot in the chest and died shortly after arriving at a hospital in Jenin, the sources said.

          The army had no immediate comment on the incident.

          A security source told Israeli website Ynet that troops fired one 0.22 caliber bullet from a Ruger rifle toward one of the principal instigators at the scene. Ruger rifles are occasionally used as a nonlethal measure to disperse violent crowds. Their bullets travel up to 100 meters and contain less gunpowder than standard 5.56 mm bullets used by most infantry units of the IDF.

  36. Please, do not ever thumb-cock a revolver that might ever be used for personal protection.
    There’s no chance you’ll do it right under life-and-death pressure, and little that you’ll do it quickly enough. It requires fine motor skill that will have departed the scene.
    No thumb-cocking.
    Meanwhile, since the Internet has already proven that 9×19 ammunition is exactly as efficacious as .45ACP, and therefore there’s no reason to use .45ACP, by the same logic, .380ACP has exactly the same useful stopping power as 9×19 and .45ACP. It also follows that .44 Magnum is no more effective than 9mm, either. Since it likewise follows that .22LR is the equal of the .45ACP, you might just as well carry it.
    I saw it on the Internet.

  37. WP, Not trying to what if this to death but when you thumb cock a revolver the bio-mechanics of doing so caused the barrel of the revolver to go way up and to the right. Takes lots of time to reacquire the target.

  38. Say what you want about the validity of using a 22 to ward off coyotes and bears, but you’ll have to admit that her Ruger is color-coordinated with her top, and that probably matters much more to Starry……………….;)

    I would however respectfully suggest that she check out a larger caliber, in maybe the “muddy girl” camo. Muddy girl matches everything doesn’t it?

  39. I killed a black bear with one shot into its right foreside from a .22 Marlin rifle — but I’d slowed it down with a load of 12 gauge buckshot first.

    As for protection while hiking in the back country, don’t bother. By the time I could have drawn my weapon, aimed and pulled the trigger, the bear that mauled me had taken me down and was trying to eat my head for brunch. Your best defense is being aware of your environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *