Over at shootingillustrated.com, Richard Mann asserts that .22 is a viable self-defense caliber. “Why are [.22’s] often used for self-defense? Well, why do you pick your nose with your finger? It’s convenient at the time.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. But Mr. Mann has a magazine of arguments in his pro-.22 arsenal . . .

“They’re easy to shoot, don’t make a lot of noise and don’t cost an arm and a leg to feed.” “Easy to shoot” as a good choice for accurate shot placement (provided the round ignites). That said, Mr. Mann’s pro-.22 polemic compares the varmint/plinking round to .25 ACP — which is like comparing a Chevy Cruze LS to a Chevy Cruze LT. And reveals that CCI PR guy Tim Brandt doesn’t suggest using their .22 LR loads for personal defense.

So gun guys and gals, what’s your take? If you wouldn’t/don’t keep or carry .22 for self-defense, would you feel comfortable recommending the round to someone else?

116 Responses to Question of the Day: .22 for Self-Defense?

      • A .22 magazine fed semi-auto rifle loaded with quality rounds (like Velocitors) would be decent for defensive purposes. I’d rather have that than a lot of small handguns (like my LCP or 642).

        Low recoil, no muzzle blast, 25 round magazine, not too loud, rapid follow-up shots, rapid target acquisition, easy to shoot, I shoot .22 rifle more than any other firearm, muscle memory, can go into club mode with rifle if needed, expansion and penetration with Velocitor from rifle, gun is cheap, ammo is cheap.

        I’d obviously prefer my AR15, AK47, shotgun, Glock, or full size .357 revolver. (Or a host of other guns)

        Still, the .22 rifle (10/22, Marlin 795, etc.) would do fine in a pinch, especially for the elderly, frail, poor, recoil shy, adolescents, etc.

        • I’ve been carrying a .22wmr all summer so I guess my answer is yes. When in large crowds it’s a backup to something bigger.

          For a long time at the house all we had was a .22 Lr semi auto and a 12ga pump. So my kids all knew how to use the 22 since the 12ga was as likely to hurt them as a bad guy.

          in America today, most people think they NEED a jacked up 4×4 diesel to pull their bass boat a couple times a year.

          Or they NEED. A 5000 sqft house because they might have a party someday.

          Or they NEED 150 rounds of .45acp on body just to feel safe walking around outside.

          I’m not one of those people. 🙂

        • I wouldn’t recommend .22WMR to anyone who is physically/situationally able to choose a larger round.
          (And I’m not implying that you are either.)

          But I will say that it’s a hot round, and under 25 yards, it has a helluva lot of energy for what it is.

    • I guess sister and niece aren’t really dead huh????? They were both shot with a .22cal hand gun . Rest in peace Rachel and Freda. But according to these guys you really aren’t dead after all.

      • Self-defense capability is not measured in the capability to cause a fatality.

        If you can shoot someone with a bullet that causes sufficient damage to kill but insufficient damage to put them out of the fight quickly, the round is not successful.

    • 22LR have been known to take deer, & even a grizzly(on record) Would I recommend it for carry, no way. But it is better than carrying a stick…

      • I dunno, using it for “surprise offensive purposes” or because you’re shooting in an airplane and don’t want something powerful enough to exit the cabin isn’t the same as being a good defensive caliber. They switched to 9mm in the mid 70’s, I believe, as you can suppress a subsonic 9mm about as well and it’s a much more serious and reliable round. And it’s mostly that second part that would keep me from trusting .22 LR. The primers are just not reliable enough for self-defense use. Maybe in a revolver…

  1. .22 can be a viable self defense round … It depends on the bullet and how fast it’s going.

    .22 TCM, for instance, is a dual-purpose round, since out of a 5″ barrel it acts as a flash-bang as well as providing a pretty decent muzzle energy.

  2. I wouldn’t recommend.22LR for the able-bodied, but for the handicapped or elderly it’s perfect.

    My grandmother kept a Ruger .22 understand her bed until day she died. It was all she could handle and it’s better than a pointy stick.

  3. If in some crazy hypothetical situation where all I had immediate access to was one or any of my .22’s, I’d use it, and expect to have a failure to stop, and keep shooting that drill till there is no more immediate imminent threat to my life.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t, and don’t carry a .22 for self defense as my go to plan. Then again, a lot of gun folks disagree with me that with the right load, .380 auto can be a reasonable concealed carry pistol.

    Also having said that, if I know there *is*, no doubt, going to be a gun fight with my name on it, I’m not going to go. I’m not a cop and I’m not a soldier anymore, my only duty is to my family and myself. Avoiding the gun fight is the best way to win. Stopping the threat from the other guy with bunches of my itty bitty bullets from my CC pistol is second best.

    • And there it is.
      I don’t believe any of us are ever likely to go into a gunfight with the weapon of our choice; after all, if we had a choice, why did we go?
      We use whatever is at hand as best as we can. At this very moment there are two loaded firearms in front of me: a .357 snubbie (5shots) and a Ruger .22 Target (10shots), if five rounds of .357 fails to solve whatever problem kicks in my door then the .22 will be used next – not because I want to, but because the universe simply decided to take a dump on me and my rats-in-the-garage gun was all I had left at that point.

  4. If .22 has to be a caliber choice for some reason, I wouldn’t recommend .22LR. .22mag would be my minimum recommendation.

    • TTAG’s ShootinTheBull410 did an ‘Ammo quest’ comparison of .22 cal derringer ammunition.

      STB discovered there was very little difference in velocity between lr and mag in short barrels.

      He also tested a .22lr load developed specifically for derringers, and it was a surprisingly strong performer generating velocities you usually see in longer barrels.

      TTAG has that buried somewhere here in the archives, maybe someone can remember the specific link…

      • …and I *found it*.

        He does them in order of measured performance, the better ones at the end of the video.

        The winner was CCI 36 grain mini-mag hollow point.

        838 FPS, 11.8 inch penetration in the gell block:

        • The Speer gold dot WMR was the 22 mag round that did well.

          14″ penetration with expansion I believe. Itty bitty cute little gold dots.

          They had it where is counts.

    • Well if .22 has to be the caliber choice for some reason, I’d probably go .223 😜 . Or if the rule in this game is truncating the caliber at two 2s than maybe .22 Nosler or .22 Hornet…or .22 TCM if it has to be a pistol. Though .22 Accelerator has always sounded fun!

    • I use .22s for my home defense.
      Well, .24s actually (but really close in size). 21 of them at once.
      #4 buckshot in 12 gauge.

      Seriously, though, if .22 rimfire is what you have, run with it.

  5. .22 wmr revolver as a backup to my backup or when nothing bigger will conceal. But it’s not my first, second or third choice caliber-wise.

  6. I don’t want to be shot with one. Just check out how many people have died or been stopped by a .22. Whatever works. A .22 or for in the shoulder, or body mass is enough to dampen a rapist’s enthusiasm, in the junk, it could stop it for good.

  7. For what it’s worth the IA for CCW permits here where I live, one of the pro 2A counties in CA, won’t allow .22lr on your permit.

  8. I dont recommend it but will help shooters who chose a 22 to use it.

    I would not feel unarmed with my Ruger standard MkII.

    Anyone who thinks a sharp stick is better is an idiot.

  9. I wouldn’t make it my first choice, but a 10/22 loaded with a BX-25 and a mag dump into a perp wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do. It could be done relatively easily too. In my mind, the downside to any rimfire is that it is a rimfire. Too many problems with reliability for me to be comfortable.

      • I’m my defense (no pun intended), it didn’t specify carry, just self defense. If we’re talking only concealed carry, or carry period, then my answer changes a bit, and becomes almost entirely a “no” answer. The fact of it not being as reliable doesn’t change, and probably gets worse in a pistol, not having enough time to build up pressure to blow back the slide or bolt in a handgun.

      • This is an article about carrying .22LR for self defense, so I was just making a comparison (see explanation in video):

        One R.I.P. is equal to a revolver full of .22LR, if five of the .22s are CB caps.

  10. I saw an interview with an ER trauma surgeon, he said he’s seen more patients shot with .22, and lost most of his patients to .22.

    That’s probably because of the high number of .22s in the hands of scumbags (The doctor was in Chicago). I think the percentage of deaths was low, but viable as self defense???? Maybe, just fire a sh17 ton of rounds. I’ve seen .22 LR head shots drop 400 lb hogs for that matter. Shot placement is always key

    • but then, it’s just a numbers game. The common factor among the top 3 fighter aces of all time (well after 20-20 vision) is that they all died the same way…shot down in combat! But then…..the only way to become the top 3 of that “sport” is to fly and fight A LOT OF MISSIONS….Like I sais, a numbers game, statistics catch up the longer you play. So many .22s in gang-banger hands….the numbers catch up

      • Yeah, I’m guessing the ones who took an ounce or two of buckshot from a 12-gauge were more likely to be picked up by the coroner than an ambulance.

  11. Two separate issues as others have pointed out. “Viable” SD round…sure. My Ruger SR22 has been a reliable range gun, and my M&P 15-22 is accurate, takes a large mag, and from a distance provides “AR-like” intimidation. With CCI MiniMag or Velocitor it could certainly be effective.

    “Preferred” SD round? Nope. Especially with relatively soft-shooting 380s like the Glock 42 on the market.

  12. Mr. Mann certainly is getting a lot of press here at TTAG today.

    .22LR for self defe nse is better than a pointy stick, but literally every other calib er is better. If you do chose to use it, I’d recommend full mag dumps.

    • A full magazine of .22LR out of a rifle is pretty darned equivalent to a single 20 gauge shotgun blast of #4 buckshot. I don’t know anyone who would claim that a 20 gauge shotgun blast of #4 buckshot was woefully inadequate for self-defense.

      Of course the trick is getting all of those shots into a typical attacker who probably isn’t going to just stand there while you light him/her up.

      At any rate, while .22 LR is definitely not my first choice, I consider it worthwhile in a rifle if larger calibers are off the table.

      • Actually, in terms of weight, a #4 buck pellet is only about 21gr. #1 buck is about 40gr. Federal makes a 16ga. load in #1 with 12 pellets @ 1225fps (probably out of a 28″ or 30″ barrel). At close range the 16ga. would hit as one mass and make a huge wound. At longer ranges the pattern would spread and many would miss. The pellets would decelerate much faster than the .22’s conical bullet, so the .22 probably wins downrange. Even a short barreled .22 handgun will launch a 40gr slug at 1000fps. 10 +1, +extra mag – 21 rounds of .22. I’d say that’s about as good as a short barreled pistol grip 16ga. double barrel shotgun.

        The shotgun wins on style points hands down though.

  13. A 22 is better than nothing. Also if your recoil sensitive if you’re older or have arthritis or you just can’t handle a 380 subcompact or a 9mm the 22 can be a very effective self-defense cartridge. That being said I believe in shooting what you’re able to control and if a 22 is all you can manage than a 22 is what you should shoot. If you can handle a higher caliber will then I would suggest you go for the higher caliber. But I’ve met and sold many of 44 Magnums Two Fellas wanting something that can stop a semi truck and after spending an hour on the Range they put it back up for sale on consignment.

    • I would try them out on a 380 Compact first, Walther PK380 comes to mind. To bad there is not much of a market in the US for larger .380 pistols. (I know the Bersa is the other choice)

      There is also 38 wheel guns too

  14. “That said, Mr. Mann’s pro-.22 polemic compares the varmint/plinking round to .25 ACP — which is like comparing a Chevy Cruze LS to a Chevy Cruze LT.”

    Car shopping for Lola, eh? 🙂

    Oh, yeah, .22lr for self-defense…

    It’s limited, but has its applications. I carried an NAA-mini dual-cylinder for awhile a a back-up for my Glock 23. But there were times I carried it as a primary, ultra-light self-defense, when the lump of Glock would be a major PITA to carry around.

    .22lr is in the sub-bad-breath range, closer to grappling, ‘Get-The Fvck-Off-Me’ range.

    Jeremy S uses his in board-shorts and sandals or belt-buckle mode, JWM uses his panning for gold. It’s pretty much a go-anywhere as-needed carry…

    • Country boys are comfortable with the .22 rimfire. We know how effective they are. When I go into the hills I don’t feel undergunned at all with a .22.

      My favorite handgun back home was an H&R model 999. Even after i bought my first .357 magnum I still found the H&R to be my go to gun for most every day uses..

      • Everyone of those boys at the 1/4 horse dirt racing tracks had a .22 revolver in their belt and handfuls of money. Seldom were the revolvers pulled, they would have had to drop their money first.

    • I’ve got a .22 Magmum on me right now. Works well in Florida clothing and is much better than not wearing the Glock 26 left in my truck.

      • Take a look at the S&W Shield in 9mm. It has a surprising combination of shootability and concealability, and fires a round that will do more than piss someone off.

        • Thanks Curtis.

          I still wouldn’t get in front of a .22 Magnum, though a 9mm is obviously preferable.

  15. My biggest issue with .22LR is the frequency of malfunctions (failure to feed, failure to extract) i get with semi-auto pistols and I have tried several. Also the big brand black .22LR semi-auto pistols seem a little fragile in construction compared to their bigger brothers. They just don’t fill me with confidence that they will perform in a SHTF situation. I have no experience with .22LR revolvers or derringers, I assume they go pop more reliably.

  16. If it’s good enough for the Israeli Massad to use as a tool of choice suppressed for up close and personal work, who’s to argue

  17. Usable if you had to, optimal far from it. That said, if given a choice between a J-frame in .38 Special or a 10/22 with a BX-25 of Stingers shoved in it I’d be seriously leaning towards the 10/22.

  18. Hold on!!!! In California you can’t have a ccw with 22?!?!? They ban .50 diameter projectiles for it’s effectiveness but ban 22 for it’s ineffectiveness (in a permit scenario) . That my friends is a good example of ignorance about firearms from the lawmakers

    • I don’t think that applies to all of CA, at least I never heard anything about it when I got my permit.

  19. I would not want to be on the receiving end of my wifes PT-22. The person being shot at doesn’t worry about the caliber. All they know is Oh S___.

  20. Better than nothing…I have decided not to go below 9mm or a zippy 38. As mentioned in Chiraq LOTS of folks get shot with 22 but don’t die. That and the lack of marksmenship keeps the fatality rate down. Oh and lots of shooters are slightly built youts…

  21. .22s are great for zombies. Low recoil, fairly accurate and quiet. You just have to crack the brain case and let some air in. Seriously, the best defense round is the one you can hit with. Mother feels pretty well armed with an old Charter Arms Pathfinder in .22 mag as her bedside gun. At 4’10” and 95 pounds she isn’t going to hit much with my .45 or even 9mm, but if the stuff hits the fan some bad guy is going to have a challenging time explaining to Saint Peter where those six little holes came from.

  22. That all depends on what a person wants. Most DGU will resolve at the sight of a gun. Most of the rest will resolve after the first bullet finds flesh no matter the caliber, people don’t want to get shot or shot again regardless of caliber.

    For the bad guy willing and able to fight through the pain and still come get you after being shot, bigger and more holes deep enough to hit vitals you can make the better your odds of survival.

    If you play the odds, then 22lr is a fantastic round for the money and the ease of shooting. That said, if everyone played for the common situation, few would carry. I’ve never shot anyone and I hope I never do. Still, hope for best and prepare for the worst and you’ll rarely be disappointed.

  23. When I first started as City Prosecutor, I carried a Beretta Mod. 21A .22 on my ankle. City policy didn’t allow me to carry. One day, I got on the elevator to go to court when “Fred” got on. He was 6’3″, 240 SOLID pounds (I mean he could bench press Nebraska when he WASN’T having a psychotropic episode!) A paranoid-schizophrenic, the last time I prosecuted Fred, he’d freaked out and despite leg irons and handcuffs it took EIGHT cops to carry him out of the courtroom.I was praying he didn’t remember me. Now he was on the elevator with me, sweating profusely, shaking his head and mumbling to himself. If he decided to attack, my pepper spray in my pocket would would go against me too in an elevator. Could I get to my .22 in time, and if so, would 4 Stingers and Rem.solids STOP him before he throttled the life out of me? The door opened and he got out. It was THEN I saw the kraton-handled, 7″ blade knife stuffed in the back of his jeans. I spread the alarm from the lobby, and he was arrested about 10 minutes later. One cop suffered a separated shoulder controlling him. Because of death threats already from people I’d prosecuted, I’d purchased a Colt Officer’s .45 acp 2 weeks before and was just just waiting for the IWB holster to arrive. I came the next Monday and from then on I had 7 230-gr, Hydra-Shoks plus a spare mag full to deal with any Freds.
    Now, on the off-chance of being with a Fred in an elevator, what do you think of the .22 as a defensive round?

  24. No, unless

    – potential shooter is so recoil-sensitive that he/she is unlikely to train with obvious choices like G19,
    – by some freak of local laws .22 LR semi-auto is only viable alternative to pepper-spray (I honestly don’t know any place where this might be true).
    – and we were able to find gun+loading combination with above-average reliability. Granted, I’ve never shot any .22 semiauto other than Margolin and ISSF race guns extensively.

    It is excellent round for killing paper, small critters.and rats. It is just too unpredictable on anything else.

  25. In my experience .22 LR does not ignite reliably and the rounds are insufficient to stop an attacker. They might ultimately prove fatal, but that would happen long after the encounter. And if you get a dud on the first shot, it’s game over for you.

    I’ll stick with a centerfire handgun.

    • Adub, What kind of sub-bargain-basement Chinesium guns/ammo are you shooting?

      I’ve shot at least a few hundred thousand rounds of .22 product in the last 40 years, and I can count FTFs on my fingers and toes.

      2LR/22WMR is as reliable as quality centerfire in my experience.

      • “I can count FTFs on my fingers and toes.

        2LR/22WMR is as reliable as quality centerfire in my experience.”

        Totally agree.

  26. Well, in my younger days I used to hunt white-tail deer with my .22 rifle.
    Headshot only, of course, right between the eyes. Dropped them where they stood.
    Self-defense against people? Maybe not. Anyone who would threaten me is likely too hard-headed anyway.

  27. Read that .22 (no further identifier) bullets kill more people than any other bullet. Usually followed by the disclaimer, “That’s because more people have .22s”. The latter is apparently an attempt to disparage the .22 bullet. But does it matter if there are more people with .22s? Whether many .22 guns, or few, it seems .22 is an effective threat stopper (presuming the urban legend is near accurate).

  28. Used to hunt white-tail deer in CT with my .22 rifle when I was younger.
    A head-shot was mandatory, of course. Dropped them where they stood.

    Self-defense against people? No. Anyone who attacks me is too hard-headed anyway.

  29. As NRA PISTOL INSTRUCTOR some customers may not be able to deal other calibers. 22 jhp is acceptable round for self defense if u deal w other rounds.

  30. I carry 9mm +p for EDC and in my home defense pistols. The fact of the matter is that, if it’s between .22LR and nothing, of course I’d recommend the .22LR over nothing. It shoots easy, which means shot placement can be had fairly easily, and shot follow-up. I have almost 2000 rounds through my only .22LR chambered firearm (a rifle) without a single malfunction.

  31. Yes, because:

    1) It’s all my wife will shoot. Period.

    Sure, there are better options, but when it comes to guns and my old lady, I’ll take what I can get.

    However, I would have a lot less reservations about it if ignition were more reliable. Even premium CCI stuff has failed me on occasion

  32. I would carry a .22 if that was my only option, yes.

    Most DGU’s end with a shot never being fired, according to the FBI. So just bringing out that pistol or revolver would probably be enough to save someone’s bacon. And if a person did have to shoot, the negligible felt recoil of a .22 round would probably make it highly likely even a less-experienced shooter could put multiple rounds on target quickly in a self-defense situation. Multiple hits probably being the key to ending the threat.

    The biggest concern I’d have is with the reliability of a rimfire cartridge. I shoot a lot of .22, I use CCI Mini-Mags and fire them out of a Walther PPQ .22. Even with top notch ammo and a (if I may be allowed to brag) first-rate pistol, I’ve had a few duds. Not many – about once in every 500 to 600 rounds. But a few.

  33. I’d take my Kel-Tec PMR 30 WMR with a 30 Round magazine over some other if necessary. I have had this gun for 5 or more years and as long as you feed it the recommended ammo and load the magazine as described in the manual it performs with no issues. My wife can’t cycle a semi-auto 9mm very well at all but I’d leave her with the Kel-Tec fully loaded and one in the chamber and just drop the safety. I have also left her with my Dan Wesson .357 6″ on occasion when I am out of town. The issue with that is loss of hearing shooting it in the house, though I have now provided hearing protection for both of us if you have time to put it on. I also have a Kel-Tec CMR 30 that I would be happy to confront someone with in the house. I’ve put a lot of rounds through it and again as long as I put .22WMR CCI Maxi-mags in it the thing works flawlessly.

    • You are me and I is you . These are the words of a wise man , that is to say , I think I is wise . I too carry a PMR 30 , own three of them , prefer my wife to use one for her protection and also own 2 CMR 30’s and you are absolutely correct , flawless performance and very potent defensive choice and finally , as you posted , I too use a 357 revolver for backup and bedside comfort , exception is that I prefer the 6.5 inch Ruger flattop . You do not want me defending my life from you when I have either or both of these tools at my ready , just sayin ……………..or my wife .

  34. Would I ever carry one? Nope.

    But my wife is extremely recoil sensitive, I’m working on it but the biggest gun I can get her to shoot is my .22LR GSG 1911-22.

    So what’s a man to do? I’m considering buying her a double action .22LR revolver. Even a reliable semi-auto .22 falls victim to rimfire unreliability, with a revolver you just pull the trigger again.

    • I had my wife try .32 ACP (Kel-Tec P32), .38 Special (Ruger LCR, LCR-X 3″, S&W 681) and 9mm (Glock 26) and she chose the .32 ACP.

      She’s tried other calibers since, but she keeps coming back to the .32 ACP. It fits her comfort-level and lifestyle. It’s not great, but she carries and 10-round extended mag in her Kel-Tec so at least she can shoot them quite a few times.

      My daughter, on the other hand, had an early preference for .38 Special, but now carries a Glock 19.

      Whatever gets them comfortable enough to get started is great. If that’s a .22 revolver or semi-auto, great.

  35. The definitive question is whether you, faced with the choice of surrendering your vehicle, wallet, purse, cell phone, etc., or else be shot by the .22lr-wielding thug making the demand, would give up said goods or take the bullet.

    If you’d give it up, as most of you would, but still spill virtual ink in these comments trying to caliber shame others into dismissing .22s, then you’re just another jackwagon loudmouth know-nothing, as many POTG are.

    • You may be a bit extreme here. The question of .22 for self-defense is not just a consideration of whether any POTG would willingly eat a .22 bullet. Non-criminals consider things like pain, magnitude of injury, hospitalization, loss of work, permanent disability, as well as possible death. None of the outcomes listed is worth property.

      The criminal, on the other hand has already made the decision to shoot you. A decision that may be reinforced by drugs, belligerence, and possibly experience at shooting other people. In those possible circumstances, POTG could be asking if they believe .22 caliber bullets will effectively stop the threat quickly, given a non-optimal targeting solution. While the caliber wars will never end (I prefer .30-06 rifle rounds in a compact pistol), each person comes to the conclusion of what they think will work best when the chips are down.

      There are people of exaggeration and overblown opinions here, but your brutal conclusion to your comment is also exaggerated and a bit overblown.

  36. I was in the Phillippines during marshal law under Marcos in the area of Zamboanga. Isis is active there now. The 1911 was adopted because of the Moro warriors killing American soldiers armed with .38 smiths. We had multiple kidnapping attempts. One in which my driver shot a kidnapper with a 22lr armed with a AR180. Dropped him like a rock. Never underestimate the 22lr . If you do you may be dead in the afterlife saying I died how? The guy my driver killed is probaly asking why there were 32 other guys standing around looking at each other.

  37. As usual it depends on the shooter’ s ability to operate the gun. 380 caliber can be difficult for many people to rack the slide. 22Lr can be much easier and easier to control. Little short of a center fire rifle round is truly a one shot man stopper. That being said 16 inch navel would be my preference, just difficult to conceal.(Hey do you have a navel cannon in your pocket, or you just happy to see me? 😃😄)

  38. the Isreali Mossad and the sky marshals both used a 22lr handgun. mossad a berreta m70 and their sky marshals, the m71. and they worked for them. and a lot of times I have heard about someone using it and it worked with one shot fired. a lot of times I have read about some little old granny, who had a 22lr handgun and it was the only gun she had. and it worked for her. and Gary Paul Johnson also commented on his investigations of shootings with 22lr handguns . and his take is that all of the shootings he responded to the round worked. now if you came in to my house, and I took out my m71 or Taurus m941 ultralight and pointed it at your face, started to bang off rounds at it, I guarantee you sometime between round one and round nine you will get the hint. their have been a lot of people who at close range who have been fatally shot with both the 25auto and the 22lr from small handguns. and I never heard of anyone running towards the guy shooting the 22lr handgun and wrestling it out of his hands and killing him with it.

  39. For the love of all things sacred we need a company to take the plunge and give the world a .22 lr that is truly fmj.

    • I think the shouldered design of the round makes that difficult. Lead roundnose penetrate just fine for the round’s size if that’s what you’re looking for. I don’t think you’d be gaining much.

      It’s easy to find FMJ in .22 WMR, which lacks the shoulder on the bullet.

      • It can be done cuz it was. The U.S. War Dept./DoD had .22 lr with a full metal jacket; the designation was m24.

        In some cases the gains would be small but in some they would/could be huge. .22lr is frequently too soft to withstand contact at high velocity. The bullets will often shred, splatter, and not hold together thereby reducing penetration.

        The big downside is you would blow through barrels much quicker with a steady diet of fmj. But at least people would have choices 🙂

  40. .22’s are for walking a special someone into the cattails of the N.J. Meadowlands and putting two slugs into the back of that special someone’s noggin.

    .22? If it’s all you got or all you can afford by all means use it, it’s better than sharp stick or rock.

  41. A 22lr lever action rifle would work well as a home defense gun. You don’t have to worry about a dud, as you have to work the action for the next round, they are easy to shoot fast and hold 15+ rounds. Over penetration is minimal, you won’t blow out your ears, and they don’t look scary if you end up in court.

  42. Yes I would but I would explain the benefits of larger caliber guns.

    when I first started shooing I came across a philosphy on gun calibers that really stuck with me.

    Arm yourself largest caliber you can accurately shoot. A 22lr on target is more effective than a 45 you put into a door frame because your not accurate with it.

    Superior ballistics and stoping power are no good if you can’t hit your target.

  43. I’ve had mostly one-shot kills on groundhogs and coyotes with .22 LR and .22 WMR from rifles. Hit them in the right spot and people aren’t much tougher.

    My go-to gun in the home is a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 9mm — quieter than most rifle rounds or a pistol round fired from a pistol. Very light and maneuverable; 31-round Glock magazines; laser and light mounted for ease of use in the dark. I can fire it one-handed accurately from the hip with the laser.

    I have a lot of larger-caliber guns, pistols and rifles and shotguns. but I doubt I’ll have time to put on ear protection, so a pistol-caliber carbine is a pretty good choice. If that’s not enough gun, I’m fighting a small army and hopefully, I’ll have time to break out the AR.

    But I wouldn’t want to be the guy on the other end of my Ruger Mark II, if that’s all I had to hand at the time. I wouldn’t want to catch six rounds of .22 WMR from one of my single-action revolvers. I doubt any burglar I’m likely to run into out here in the sticks will stick around to find out how big my gun is. The few we have are mostly opportunistic meth-heads, trying to grab something they can pawn or sell quick, not someone looking for a fight.

  44. As a concealed carry gun? No. Consider how often the use of a concealed carry gun is at very close range. Maybe as a backup, not as primary. Not if only one round is what you can barely manage to get off… In that scenario, .380 is the rock bottom.

    Things are a bit different when it comes to home defense. I have several firearms for that purpose, with handgun being the emergency, bedside solution. I have a Remington 12 ga, 5+1 870 security shotgun handy. Loaded with #4 buckshot, with five 00 buck on the shell carrier. Protected holographic sight and 1,000 lumen flashlight alongside the mag tube. Backup to the 870 is my old Marlin Camp 9 Carbine. This little rifle has been upgraded and rebuilt. Red dot, flashlight, spare mag carried on the butt stock. My choice for ammo is Speer Gold Dot +P 124-grain, bonded jacket. I like the bonded jacket because the round stays together much better at the high velocities generated in the carbine.

    As Clint Smith likes to say, “pistols shoot holes in people. Rifles shoot holes through people. Shotguns (properly loaded) leave pieces of people on the wall”. I have always preferred a long gun for home defense.

    Yet, we have a problem. My wife, afflicted with aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis, cannot manage the Camp 9, or a .45 ACP Glock, much less a shotgun. What she can manage is a little .22 LR Marlin 795 semi-auto carbine. I made a unique attachment that lengthens the bolt handle, so she can grip it with her diseased weakened hand. It’s brazed on. I have installed Tech Sights TSM200 aperture sights (with protected front post). Three magazines can be carried on the butt stock, although two is what is on the gun right now. I replaced the trigger spring with an MCARBO spring that brings the trigger pull down below 5 pounds. I liked this little rifle so much, I bought another for me. Aftermarket bolt handle, trigger and I installed a red dot in deference to my aging eyes. This requires an adapter from 3/8″ grooved tip-off to a Picatinny rail. $8 on Amazon… Fun plinker and pest control carbine.

    I take my wife to the range to practice running the rifle. She practices double and triple tap shooting. Three closely spaced .22 CCI Velocitors will do very serious damage. She’s gotten good enough to consistently place two of three rapid-fire rounds within an inch or two of center at 10 yards. She’s not even remotely afraid to use the little rifle to protect herself.

    So, while the .22 LR is far from the ideal round for self protection, the proper firearm and ammo, combined with lots of practice makes it more than adequate in lieu of other viable options.

  45. If anyone feels a 22lr is ineffective, they should stand in front of one and prove it.
    We almost lost President Reagan because of one and it’s better than nothing.

  46. a few years ago i read an article on a firearms website it was pretty interesting it was about a study that someone did it may have been john lott i cant find it now but the jist of it was that looking back like 50 years nobody can find a case where someone defensively armed in a home invasion with a .22 caliber firearm died

  47. First rule of gunfighting: first, have a gun.

    a .22 is a helluva lot better than harsh language and dirty looks.

  48. While I have known people to be killed by 22lr… Not sure I would carry it for self defense… but on the other hand, it is better than nothing…

    If I had to choose between nothing and a 22… well, 22 it shall be.

  49. Well , here we go , anyone who sees my occasional comments here will be expecting it on this post .
    My answer in short is YES , absolutely is .
    In long ……….. The 22LR makes a larger wound cavity than a 22 short traveling deeper with greater velocity , the 22 WMR makes a larger wound than a 22 LR for the same reasons . The WMR is comparable to some 9mm ammo , in some testing , when just comparing the energy created on impact of same materials , because , of coarse , of the increased velocity .

    The reliability issue with the rim fire ammo is a non-issue as of this writing , was once , admittedly , and could become again , but is not now , from my personal experience and from what I’ve heard from others . It is dirtier and the magazine feeding issues on semis are always a consideration , but if loaded correctly , drilled properly and maintained regularly , one can feel quite confident carrying a Ruger Single Six or the PMR 30 for self defense .

    I have carried for many years , from a 357 mag revolver to 9mm semis , striker and hammer and since working with my PMRs for the last few years , putting them through quite rigorous workouts , testing their accuracy and dependability with various loads , I feel absolutely defended , carrying one , loaded with 28 in the mag , not the 30 , in a variety of different rounds . I am very comfortable carrying such a light weapon and comfortable with 29 shots before a fill-up and at thirty feet I can confidently shoot a moving silhouette in multiple vitals very quickly with little to no recoil , my follow-ups are great and a head shot with a 22 WMR will deter any attacker .

    Finally , as I have pointed out on here many times , any experienced trauma surgeon will tell you , they would rather see a high caliber survivor enter their emergency room than a 22 caliber . Those little 30 and 40 grainers will bounce around all over the place , creating bleeders everywhere , may enter the knee and end up in the neck , and the WMR variety will penetrate most anything they encounter , with their size and velocity .

    I have no problem carrying my PMR 30 , everyday , and with my oversized mittens , there is nothing else on the market it’s size and weight . It is , the best choice for me , weighing all the pros and cons , of anything currently offered .

    There have been enough people killed with the 22 short to make this question mute . Is it the BEST , for EVERYONE , of coarse not , but it has successfully preformed enough over time to be an unequivocal , YES .

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