.22 Winchester Magnum for Personal Defense?

David LaPell writes [via ammoland]

In this day and age of high-velocity small bore rifle cartridges that have speeds advertised as almost capable of breaking the space-time continuum, older and slower rounds that while dependable are often shoved aside as being obsolete, and one of those is the venerable .22 Magnum . . .

History

Developed by in 1959 by Winchester, for their Model 61 pump rifle, the .22 Winchester Magnum, also called .22 WMR or Winchester Magnum Rimfire was a rimfire round designed for small game. Especially varmints like fox, raccoon, and even coyotes out to 100 yards, without doing a lot of damage to the hides.

The .22 WMR was very important thirty and forty years ago when fur prices were much higher. These days hunters don’t worry as much about the pelt damage. In the last sixty years, dozens of new rounds have been introduced that are both faster and more destructive than the .22 Magnum. So what does the little rimfire round offer in this day and age?

While the .22 WMR Magnum might not be the fastest and most glamorous round out there it does make a very decent all-around survival and personal round in a rifle.

So why would someone want a .22 Magnum when you could instead choose something like a .223 or a round reasonably similar? One of the reasons to have a survival round is that you want to be able to shoot game with it and that includes small-game, and while you might get some bloodshot meat on a squirrel or a rabbit with the .22 Magnum, that cannot compare to the damage of a higher velocity .223.

The .22 Magnum Rifle for Survival and Personal Defense

I was once given a whitetail deer that had been struck by a car only enough to break its leg. It had to be dispatched by a sheriff’s deputy with his .223 carbine. The deer had been shot in the head from about 15 yards away. Most of the skull on the left side past the eye and to the ear and nearly halfway across the top of its head was just gone.

That swore me off ever wanting to shoot a .223 at any small game animal that I intended to eat. I once shot a squirrel back when I was about nineteen years old with a .25-20 rifle. It was a clean shot right behind the shoulder, and afterward, there was no shoulder or much of anything else.

This is important because the .25-20 has less than half the muzzle energy of a .223 round. If you were to shoot a small animal you wanted to eat with a .223 or something like a .17 WSM, .204 Ruger or .22-250 you can bet there wouldn’t be enough left of what that critter to make even a small pot of stew.

.22 WMR Ammunition for Personal Defense?

When it comes to personal defense, granted the .223 is hard to beat with its proven track record, the .22 Magnum is not as anemic as one would think. A 40-grain bullet from the little rimfire with a muzzle velocity of 1,900 fps has 325 ft. Lbs of muzzle energy.

While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s more than the .380, the .38 Special and is knocking on the door of the 9mm. The .22 Magnum is simply not the weakling you might think. There are a variety of rounds out there, everything from a 30 grain V-Max with a muzzle velocity of 2,200 fps to a slew of 40-grain bullets like the soft-jacketed point, jacketed hollow point, and full metal jacket, all averaging around 1,900 fps.

The .22 Magnum Rifle for Survival and Personal Defense

.22 Magnum Ammo Price

Another reason to pick a .22 Magnum: the cost of the ammunition. It might not be as cheap as it once was but I can still find a box of fifty rounds for about $15 or so. Ammo for the .22 Magnum takes up a heck of a lot less room than fifty rounds of even the smallest of centerfire rifle rounds; convenient if you want to keep the gun in a truck or take it on a long hike.

Just about every gun maker offers a .22 Magnum, from semi-autos like the Savage A22, the Remington 597 Rifle and the CZ-512 Semi Auto Rifle to a number of bolt actions from Mossberg, Marlin, Ruger, and others.

The market also offers lever action .22 Magnum rifles. Henry Repeating Arms makes them, along with a pump action .22 Magnum, a rifle that evokes the good old days when Winchester made the Model 61 pump.

I decided to take a pair of .22 Magnum rifles to the range that couldn’t be more different from one another: a Henry lever action with a 20 ½ “ octagon barrel that holds twelve rounds and has an MSRP of $550 and a Keystone Arms Crickett rifle (no laughing please), a single shot bolt action with a 16” barrel and has an MSRP of $179.

Great results shooting the Henry Repeating Arms Lever Action Rifle in 22 WMR.

Results shooting the Henry Repeating Arms Lever Action Rifle in 22 WMR.

Shooting the Keystone Arms Crickett rifle in .22 Magnum .

Shooting the Keystone Arms Crickett rifle in .22 Magnum.

One persistent and long-standing rumor about the .22 Magnum is that it is not very accurate compared to other rimfire rounds like the .22 Long Rifle and the .17 HMR and that has some truth to it. The rifles in .22 Magnum seem to be most sensitive when it comes to which ammunition and which it will shoot accurately.

I found that neither the Henry nor the Crickett liked the Hornady 30 grain V-Max bullets; in fact, the Henry seemed almost allergic to them. At 25 yards the groups were terrible, and the rounds were not only landing left, but they were also keyholing. The Crickett was slightly better, but just with a pretty broad group opening up.

David LaPell

On the other hand, both guns did well with CCI 40 grain JHP loads. At 25 yards the Henry put out a three shot group of only ¾” with the factory open sights, and the Crickett with the same ammo shot a one-inch group. Most of the .22 Magnum rifles I have shot over the years all seemed to shoot better with 40-grain bullets versus the lighter loads, but you need to test out which work best in your gun.

The .22 magnum round started life almost sixty years ago as a small game and varmint round for those who wanted to use it on furbearers when the prices for pelts brought you more than just the cost of a Happy Meal. That time might be passed but .22 Magnum ammunition can find a new life as a survival rifle and if need be for personal defense, something that few other rounds can do and do well.

About David LaPell:

David LaPell has been a Corrections Officer with the local Sheriff’s Department for thirteen years. A collector of antique and vintage firearms for over twenty years and an avid hunter. David has been writing articles about firearms, hunting and western history for ten years. In addition to having a passion for vintage guns, he is also a fan of old trucks and has written articles on those as well.

comments

  1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’ve got an older Grendel .22 mag pistol that holds 30 rounds. It’s a real fire breather. Hardly any recoil. It’s reall loud and lots of fun to shoot. Just picky about ammo.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      STB410 did a 22 ammo roundup on the NAA mini-revolver. 22WMR powder has a burn rate better suited for rifle-length barrels.

      Out of an NAA-mini, muzzle velocity was in the 22LR range. STB410 tested a personal defense 22LR load that out-performed (if memory serves) 22WMR in his NAA-mini convertible.

      What would be interesting is if someone would develop a specific derringer load for the NAA-mini in .22WMR.

      Now *that* would be, as Artie Shaw once said, “Veddy interesting…”

      1. avatar Joel says:

        STB later tested the CCI gold dot in 22WMR. It penetrated 15” and expanded to about .32 cal. Hornady and Winchester also made self defense oriented 22 WMR loads but neither preform as well as the gold dot load.

  2. avatar The Rookie says:

    I’d still have concerns over it simply because it’s a rimfire cartridge. At least in a semi-auto.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      The downside of a rim fire revol ver is they need heavier hammer springs and produce heavier trigger pulls than centerfires. A .22 mag revolver would be a good choice for someone who is recoil sensitive or too weak or arthritic to manipulate a slide, but if your hands are in that bad of shape you’d likely have trouble with the heavy trigger pull, at least in DA.

      1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

        I agree with trigger weight but most could shoot it SIngle action ( cocked hammer). Unfortunately for the extremely arthritic there aren’t a lot of options. I have a friend that went with a berretta tomcat in 32 acp due to the tip up barrel, the danger is having to correct a malfunction because of the weight of the slide. Basically that is a mag dump and pray solution.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          There might be some centerfire revolver options. Usually you’re looking at 10-11# DA pull out of the box, but that c an be dropped down to 7-8# and still get reliable primer strikes. Rimfires tend to run 16+# DA triggers. If you can’t manipulate a slide you might have trouble thumb cocking a hammer and are certainly likely to have trouble with a 17# DA trigger. Maybe something in .32H&R would be light enough in recoil. The tomcat is a great option though.

    2. avatar TruthTellers says:

      You’re right to have concerns. During the panic, .22 Magnum was nearly impossible to find. .22 LR was crazy expensive, but you could find it. The manufacturers will make rimfire ammo that’s in highest demand and .22 LR is always in higher demand than .22 Magnum.

      For self defense? Forget about it. The .22 Mag JHP for short barrel ammo was even more impossible to find. Literally went 3 years without seeing any. When I finally did find some Speer Gold Dot, I bought 200 rds for my NAA revolvers.

      For a pistol or a snub revolver like the LCR, you’re better off choosing a centerfire, non-rimfire round. Better reliability, better performance, better triggers. Leave the .22 Mag to where it functions best: in a rifle.

      1. avatar BLAMMO says:

        … During the panic, .22 Magnum was nearly impossible to find. .22 LR was crazy expensive, but you could find it. …

        I recall just the opposite. Most on line ammo suppliers were always out of stock on .22 LR (or sold out in minutes, or limited you at 1 box). But they usually seemed to have .22 WMR in stock. Few people even own a gun chambered for .22 WMR but everybody has a .22 LR.

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    I’d get a Keltec 30round pistol for fun but not for defense. I’d get the CMR too but not what they sell for…personally wouldn’t go below a 38 for carry.

    1. avatar Clay-in-UT says:

      I own a PMR-30, and use only CCI and never had an issue with it going bang. The issue I have is with the rounds comming out of the mag. So it is considered a range toy, and boy is it fun.

      1. avatar Joel says:

        A friend of mine had a PMR. apparently the trick to reliably feeding maginzines is in the loading. It’s very easy to bend the 22 WMR cases when loading the magazine. Next time you have feeding issues, look closely at the cases and I bet you will discover that you have little dents in the casing where the rim was pressed against the round below it when loaded.

        1. avatar Joel says:

          And yes, that is one fun pistol to shoot!

  4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Yes, a .22 mag FROM A RI FLE is knocking on the door of a 9 mm FROM A HANDGUN. From a handgun it’s probably more like knocking on the door of a .380. But if you’re recoil sensitive it beats a pointy stick in the eye.

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      .22 mag from a handgun is about like .22or from a rifle.

      From a rifle, .22mag is a petty decent defensive round.

    2. avatar Joel says:

      22 WMR from a handgun usually produces around 100 foot pounds of muscle energy. It is hardly something to get excited about. It does penetrate reliably though. And with careful ammunition selection also has a tiny bit of expansion.

      The fact that it’s also rimfire means a revolver is preferable to a semi auto. (I do think this point can be negated by using quality ammunition from a reputable manufacture. Unfortunately, rimfire revolvers traditionally have terrible triggers in DA and are best thought of as single action guns with double action capability, not the other way around. A DAO rimfire is best left in the store.

      If it sounds like I’m bashing 22 WMR, I’m not. (I carry a Black Widow, sometimes as a primary, sometimes as a backup), but it’s important to know the limitations (and strengths) of any gun you carry for self defense.

      Out of a rifle, (the point of this article,) it is an amazingly versitle cartridge.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        I was just poking around Real G uns and he tested the LCRx in .22 mag, 3″ ba rrel. 16lb, 5oz DA pull. But he did get around 130-140ft/lbs of energy, so like Art said, that basically makes it a .22LR car bine. For a car bine though I think it might actually make more sense than a 9 mm, since they will only produce 400-500ft/lbs anyway.

      2. avatar Cody says:

        Gold dots and Hornady critical defense rounds expand drastically and reliability out of longer barrel handguns. They’re pretty impressive.

    3. avatar FlaBoy says:

      And you didn’t mention the great fireball and noise, when fired from a short barreled revolver.

  5. avatar Madcapp says:

    No rimfire for defense unless its in a wheelgun. The new 10 shot Ruger GP100 might work, but if its too heavy, maybe the 8 shot GP101 instead. The .22 LR CCI segmented P/N 0072 might be more effective then .22 Mag as well as it segments real quick and dumps all its energy up front, rather than overpenetrating like a .22 Mag probably would.

  6. avatar 16V says:

    The only thing I would offer is that they can be pretty darn accurate.

    A buddy of mine smithed an old .22 LR gallery pump into mag. That thing is a 50-100 yard laser. 2 inch pipes at both distances – rack, fire, ring the bell. It almost got boring it was so easy to shoot. Blew through a 500 of Velocitor, laughing my ass off

    I do wish there were more competitors in the pistol space in this caliber.

  7. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Five rounds of 22 magnum from a North American Arms revolver will convince any attacker to stop and go away to bleed out.

    1. avatar S says:

      That’s just delusional. A 22 may have killing power but that doesn’t mean that it has stopping power.

      The only thing worse than carrying an enemic round is to combine it with a short barrel.

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        Any gun is better than no gun. Depending on how you dress it may be your only option. How about the Beretta 21a. A 7, 22 long round gun? Or any 22 caliber gun??

        The VA Tech shooter used a 22 and a 9 mm to kill thirty people.
        The shopping mall killer in Washington state used a ruger 10/22 rifle to kill seven and wound eight people.

        Terrorists in Bangladesh have used homemade AKs clambered in 22 caliber to kill nearly 300 people. They carried more 22 ammo than the 9mm for their hand guns.

        The 22 caliber bullet is a proven killer when that is all you have.

        1. avatar S says:

          A 22 has killing power, but little to no stopping power. There is a big difference. Nobody was attacking the VA Tech killer. He just executed them.

          When a 250lb maniac is running at me with a club, the last thing that I want to defend myself is a 22.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Last thing I want is harsh language.

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        I just read a lot; no multi-gun experience. But there have been several analyses of FBI data regarding killings ascribed to handgun rounds. The .22 seems to top, or be at the top of the lists. That tells me .22 is an effective killer. “Stopping power” escapes me because the data point to a true lack of any “stopping power” from a handgun caliber. By “stopping power”, the definition seems to be “one-shot; DRT”. That definition seems to border on the fantastical, compared with the FBI data (for our purposes, we can rely on the FBI data gathered years ago). So, it would seem the advantage goes to “number of kills”, vs. “stopping power”.

        Oh, and there is the article produced by STB410 regarding “stopping power” to consider. http://shootingthebull.net/blog/?s=stopping+power

        1. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          FBI data list deaths regardless of how long it took the subject to die, or the related factor of how much injury they may have been able to inflict before being incapacitated by their wounds.

        2. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          .22 is likely at or near the top of the list because so many people have them on hand, so they get used to shoot people more than other guns.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Wouldn’t that mean the .22 is an effective caliber for defense?

        4. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          Buckeye Firearms article notes that failure to stop attack rate for .22 and the like is about twice the rate for generally-recognized defense calibers.

          Also, does not appear that .22s were separated by type of gun, so unknown what portion of those shootings were with rifles vs. handguns.

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          You are correct about “failure to stop”, but .22 is still the most commonly held, and not at the bottom of the kill rate list. It is simply illogical to dismiss firepower that serves so well. Since shot placement is “king”, it would seem that being able to consistently hit your target is as important as mass. Is not a bullet in the eye better than .454 in the arm (or the wall)?

        6. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          “Wouldn’t that mean the .22 is an effective caliber for defense?” – That is not a reasonable interpretation of the data. The data merely support that a lot of people have been killed with .22’s, but indicate nothing about what proportion of shootings were fatal or what proportion of deaths occurred quickly enough to stop an attacker. Clearly, getting shot with a .22 is potentially fatal, and should be avoided by those concerned about their health.

    2. avatar Madcapp says:

      NAA revolvers are finely crafted toys, they’re interesting novelties and conversation pieces, but they most certainly are NOT a defensive weapon…unless you cram a dozen of them in a blunderbuss and fire them at someone.

      1. avatar Cody says:

        Yawn. It turns out most people stop what they’re doing when a gun is pointed at them…any gun, and even more are convinced when they’re shot. Finally, you have a chance of hitting something critical if you’re shooting, even if it’s .22. So is a NAA mini mag going to be my first choice? Nope, but it’s most definitely not a toy.

        1. avatar Rabbi says:

          “most people stop what they’re doing”

          While I won’t say “MOST”, many do. But a 22 is the last thing that I want when I have to face someone is not stopped by a gun pointed at them.

        2. avatar Cody says:

          There’s many things I’d rather have, but I’d also rather have a NAA with good ammo over a lot of things as well. Say, for instance, my finger pointing at them while saying “bang”.

  8. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

    I have a heritage single action only 22 lr/mag. It’s a blast to shoot with the mag, more accurate then LR and a great way to warm up on range days. If someone was recoil or practice I would say get a 22 mag wheel gun (not single action of course) for home defense because; guns and ammo are cheaper, it generally has more rounds then center Fire, isn’t intimidating to shoot but offers decent bark and penetration. * a word of caution in my experience 22 mag out of less then a 3in barrel tends to keyhole and also loses a lot of its ballistic punch.

    1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

      *Recoil or practice adverse

    2. avatar Pat H says:

      I’m sure the 22 mag is more accurate because it is about one thousandth of an inch larger in diameter. The 22 lr rattles around in the barrel a little.

  9. avatar Joatmon says:

    Better than no firearm or as in the pointy stick reference, better than throwing rocks.
    My ex wife has a Ruger 22lr pistol that she keeps in her apartment for self defense. Only pistol her tiny frame can handle and manipulate.

  10. avatar GS650G says:

    If stopping power is utmost then use a shotgun with slugs or buckshot. Go for several tons of muzzle force.
    Or a .30 rifle.

    1. avatar DrewR says:

      “Go for several tons of muzzle force.”

      So… elephant guns? a 12 gauge slug is around 3000 ft-lbs, which is a ton and a half, and the only .30 cal rounds I could find that produce over 4000 ft-lbs are the .300 RUM and the .30-378 Weatherby. and since “several” means more than two, but not “many,” even these don’t apply. To get “several tons” you are looking at .378 Weatherby at a minimum.

      However, if you are defending your house with a .378 Weatherby I wouldn’t want to have a nasty thought within a thousand yards of your place!

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        You seem to have trouble with exaggeration and sarcasm.

  11. avatar adverse5 says:

    Need a grading of which cal. will kill: dead………deader………deadest…..

    1. avatar Joel says:

      “ This one is just mostly dead! If their all dead, there’s only one thing you can do…”

  12. avatar Kendahl says:

    The .22 WMR has potential in a rifle although I would be careful that the bullet met the 12″ to 18″ penetration standard. In a short barrelled pistol, like the LCR, it loses so much velocity that I would rather have eight rounds of .22 LR than six of the magnum.

  13. avatar Kenneth says:

    Sorry, but I just can’t agree. While I’ve repeatedly stated that there are no BAD guns(or calibers), the .22 WMR is at the bottom of my list. Everything positive said about the 22WMR applies doubly(or more) for the 22LR: cheaper, easier to find, quieter, better for small game and meat damage, and will still drop a 1K lb steer with a single solid into the brain(that’s exactly how I always butcher my beef). And you can still find a box of 50 for 15 bucks if you look hard enough? That’s what I pay for 5.56mm… and I don’t have to look very hard either.
    The only real utility I can see for the WMR is if one insists on having only one rifle for everything from gophers to deer. Then, maybe. Luckily, that is not my situation. I think everyone needs at least five(5) firearms, minimum. And even then I’d still recommend a 5.56 or .22-250 instead. I’d just include that if one insists on only one gun, then learn to handload for it. One can load any caliber down to whatever power level desired, but you can’t load higher than a caliber can withstand. So, if a handloader, no caliber is too stout for any purpose, but it can easily be too weak.
    But the WMR still makes a fun range toy. There are no bad guns. But some are better, and more useful, than others…

    1. avatar Fit2BTyed says:

      I agree, and well said.

  14. avatar Lucas D. says:

    Different strokes and all that, but I’d really like to know what deranged universe some PotG live in where their only choices for defense are .22 pocket guns and forceful language.

    “Any gun is better than [x].” No shit? Here I was, thinking a friendly smile would do the trick! Yeah, some things aren’t so simple they’re brilliant, guys; they’re just plain simple. Know what is so simple it’s brilliant? Not picking just “any” gun to trust your life with in the first place.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Well, yeah, but a lot of people buy/own guns without ever considering “trusting their lives” to those guns. I owned and fired guns for fun for 20+ years before I ever even considered self-defense. Then the transition was easy, since by then I had discovered I had the most fun handloading for and firing a 4″ Python.

  15. avatar Reuben Geiser says:

    The power factor is not the problem. Problem 1 is notoriously unreliable rimfire ignition. Problem 2 is rimmed cartridges integrate poorly with magazines. Power factor, cost (anything other than 22lr), and all other relevant details just add to the preclusion from any serious primary defensive purpose. The only way I would carry a rimfire of any kind would be as a backup/last ditch gun, such as an NAA mini revolver in an ankle holster or similar. Rimfire is perfect for plinking and varmint control, it has too many problems for defensive use.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      I’ve not had a rim fire dummy load. I’m sure It happens but in 25 years I’ve never found one that didnt go off.
      YMMV

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I’ve been doing this for a good 55 years. Rimfire ammo did have a well deserved rep for duds. But all ammo, including the rimfires have improved dramatically. I figure it has to do with the computer controlled machinery in the factories.

        Except for some really old and suspect commie surplus ammo I haven’t had a dude in many years.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “… I haven’t had a dude in many years.”

          You’re in California, a personal ad should cure that problem for you.

          *snicker* 😉

          Anyways, yeah, .22 LR is better than it has been years back, but I still manage to get a few duds in cheap bulk-pack ammo.

          And roughly 50 percent of the duds I have found will fire if chambered again.

          (The odds of your dude ‘firing’ again depends on how nice you are to him… 🙂 )

  16. avatar TommyJay says:

    Instructor Greg Ellifritz has compiled stats on thousands of shootings via police reps. and ME reps. The major center fire pistol calibers 9mm, .40SW, and .45ACP have about a 15% failure to incapacitate, whereas .22LR has about a 31% failure to incapacitate. So .22LR is much worse, but it’s not super bad.

    Out of a short barreled pistol .22WMR is only slightly faster than .22LR. A long barrel pistol or rifle is much better for WMR.

    I’ve had more stove-pipes out of my XD 9mm than I’ve had failure to ignite out of the thousands of .22LR I’ve shot. Of course, the recoil spring on the XD is too darned stiff and I only recently found a fix (wolffgunsprings). To be fair, at least with a stove-pipe you get one round off.

    My newer CZ-75B has been nearly flawless, except I had a bad failure to feed just last week.

  17. avatar Hoyden says:

    Having touched off my NAA WinMag without hearing protection I’m hoping the noise and flash will be enough.

    Ouch

  18. avatar Joel says:

    The little NAA revolvers have a place. That place is “I don’t want to carry a gun today, so I’ll carry this.” It’s the perfect gun for people who will almost never find themselves in a threatening environment, but still want to be prepared.

    Yes, it has severe limitations. But it has advantages too. It’s a great running/biking/hiking gun, it can literally go almost anywhere unnoticed, and several models have quality sights on them, that allow shooters to take advantage of the mechanical accuracy they possess. There is no reason not to carry it. Even if you have a bigger gun on body already.

    1. avatar DrewR says:

      True, and I want a Ranger II quite desperately, but I pocket carry an LCP II everywhere and everyday, and find it to be no more obtrusive than the Freedom Arms mini revolver (the guys NAA bought the patent from) that I used to have.

  19. avatar 22lr passion says:

    I carry a Ruger p89 with 15/20 rd mags on an owb holster. In my pocket a Phoenix arms hp 22 loaded with mini mag hp. One day I was taking out the trash and didn’t have my 9mm. I found myself confronted by two large angry/hungry dogs it was kind of dark they could’ve been coyotes living on the edge of the desert in Arizona and all. Needless to say two mini mags persuaded them to move along. I don’t know if the shots put them down eventually as I didn’t persue them into the darkness. But if 22lr is good enough for charging critters I think its good enough to change the mind of a two legged critter with a bit of sense.

  20. avatar GS650G says:

    My ruger single six in .22 mag is capable of serious damage on small game at distance. While not a good gun for self defense it is capable of defending yourself.
    Beats a stick or club.

  21. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    Momma’s (4’10”, 95 pounds, celebrated her 70th birthday today) night stand gun is an old 3″ barrel Charter Arms Pathfinder in .22 mag. She can put six into a 3″ circle at across the room distances when firing single action. Probably not as tactical as the arm chair commandos would want, but its all this petite lady can handle and I wouldn’t want to be combing six .22 mag hollow points out of my eyebrows.

  22. avatar Aaron says:

    a .22 WMR is better than harsh language.

    plenty of mo-fo’s been put in the ground with weak-ass .22 LR’s and .25 ACPs.

  23. I have a NAA Black Widow w/2 inch barrel and I have a very nice 10 oz S&W M351pd ( with exposed hammer, Chief Special like) 7 shot 22mag that I really like. I carry it a lot when I am home or out in very hot weather. and also as a back up . yes it does have a “22 trigger” but I got used to it. I like the CCI ammo and use that in it. recoil is like nothing. and I have the old style skinny grips on it. I like the gun a lot, just wish they made speed loaders for it.

  24. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Not my first, second, or third choice.

    But if that is all you have or can handle, then yes.

    All firearms are deadly. They just may not stop someone before they do you harm.

  25. avatar ozzallos says:

    Just going to say nearly any caliber of respectable size or velocity is going to tear apart a deer head from fifteen yards away. I mean come on. Throw some nin mil into a carbine and see what happens. And okay, so you annihilated the head. Rest of the animal is still good, right? Might be ugly, but i can almost guarantee that was vaporizing the head with a 223 was about as humane as it gets. Nope, not a meat round, but I’m kind of at a loss with you and the splattered deer head horror.

  26. avatar Hannibal says:

    Can (CALIBER X) theoretically function in (ROLE Y)? Probably.

    But is CALIBER X significantly outclassed by other options for that role? In this case, yes. I have a .22 Magnum rifle. I wouldn’t want to be shot by it… or anything else including a good pellet gun. It’s also probably the very last gun I would bring to a fight. It has penetration going for it but that’s about it. If you make a object fast enough and small enough, it’ll penetrate anything but that doesn’t mean it’s effective at stopping someone. Sure, an attacker might decide to break off his assault once he realizes you’ve shot him but why not pick a weapon that will work faster even if he doesn’t decide to give up?

  27. avatar WILLIAM ENTERS says:

    I have both a S&W model 48-4 and a Ruger Single Six with .22 WRM cylinders and if I shoot more than 40 rounds from either one the cylinders have to be cleaned from discharge build ups because it becomes impossible to insert new rounds into them. Cleaning them with a brass brush doesn’t really do the job, I actually have to use a split rod with crocus cloth to get them back into operating order But both are a blast to use and seem to be very accurate in use. The Smith uses model 48K HKS speed loaders. In twilight conditions there is a nice fireball when you shoot.

  28. avatar Zebra Dun says:

    I own a Winchester 9422 Magnum, It has the power if you needed it for Self Defense but no matter what brand of ammo accuracy was lacking for small game, too explosive for Squirrels and Rabbits.
    I came away wishing I’ got that lever gun in regular .22 lr.
    As for defense against people, pistol/revolver or long gun I can hit inside a six inch circle rapid fire with almost every gun I have that can do it.
    It’s not the weapon or ammo it’s the accuracy and dedication of the shooter that counts.
    Once you get over BB gun in caliber.

  29. avatar James Ivy says:

    One day out hunting a tree stand with my cva wolf 50cal a squirrel I named Effrem decided to sing to me all day , he sang so well no deer wanted to come and join the party! So I decided to let the wolf carry a tune in the key of really loud and turned Effrem into the funniest ploom of pink mist. Do I feel bad for it? Only for a day because back in the stand his brother Otis decided to sing his former brothers song all day to me as well and didn’t you know it I learned what deja Vu was

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