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By Brandon via

Forty-year-old Billy Winstead has had his concealed carry permit for some time, but the Sequoyah County, Oklahoma man never expected to ever use his firearm to defend himself and his family. That all changed one night last week, but it didn’t come without a huge hiccup. It was late at night and Winstead awoke to his dogs barking, so he got up and grabbed his .22 revolver to go check things out at his front door . . .

“I honestly thought it was an opossum or something getting into the dog’s food, but when I opened the door there was a black male in a black hoodie and dark jeans, standing about three to five feet in front of my door with a pistol,” he said.

That’s when Winstead made the decision to raise his firearm and pull the trigger. (*Note, this article is not meant to go over his decision to fire on someone outside of this home, as this action will stir up a debate. We are simply looking at what happened when he pulled the trigger.)

However when the trigger was all the way back, all Winstead heard was a click. No boom. His ammunition had failed him in a moment where he felt threatened.

“The safety was off but I found out later on that it was faulty ammunition,” he said.  “It has since been replaced.”

Luckily for Winstead, it seems that the man outside made note of his presence at the door and decided that he’d rather run for his life vs go head-to-head with an armed homeowner.

I don’t know what ammo he was using, but it seems that all of the rounds were defective (at least that’s what I gathered from his statement).

In any event, no-bang trigger pulls do happen in real life. If that were to ever happen to you in a situation like this, what’s your backup plan? You have one…right?

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      • My plan B is another trigger pull on a revolver or the next round in the mag for a pistol. Plan C is knife. Plan D is fisticuffs.

        If there’s an armed intruder outside my house with a gun in his hand that’s definitive a justifiable shooting in my book. Especially if he managed to get my dogs.

        And pardon my saying so, but I consider most people wearing black hoodies at night to be suspects. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a suspect description over the police radio of a “black / Hispanic / white male running in X direction with a black hoodie and jeans,”I could buy a couple venti coffees at Starbucks.

        • ever since i got my cold steel zulu spear, short handled version, I think a knife is inferior. as an aside, if you happen to kill a home invader with a zulu style spear, and that person happens to be of african descent, at least its a traditional death right?

        • My two dogs are Plan A. If you get past them, I’m plan B.
          The other armed members of my household are plans C, D and possibly E.
          Plans F and G are in the bedroom closet loaded with Slugs. More of the alphabet is in the safe.

    • I have a couple of center-fire revolvers as do all of my friends. Not saying it is not possible, but I have literally never heard of a single failure among ours in several decades.

      The only failure I can think of is the editor of this site had an admittedly catastrophic failure with the built-in lock on on a newer Smith, but that is (credible) hearsay to me.

    • Cheap rimfire ammo has unreliable ignition.

      There are brands that do.

      Penetration is not an issue; some .22 LR ammo overpenetrates (per the “FBI Standard” everyone likes to think represents something realistic) in gel tests…

        • And how old was the ammo? Even Milspec ammo will go bade after multiple handlings and time. I’ve seen it to many times.

      • FBI standard says (rightfully so) that over penetration is a myth. Hollowpoint fanboys seem to forget that 12″ in gel isn’t the FBI standard, its the FBI MINIMUM standard, with 18″ being preferable and more always being better.

        • Fair enough on the overpenetration statement.

          Point was that “underpenetration” of .22 LR is likewise a myth…at least for certain ammos.

          Part of the problem with stuff like the argument of .22 vs others is too many people distill things down to a single dimension, then apply that single dimensional causal variable when it is the wrong metric.

          In this case, the issue is expansion. With more powerful cartridges, you want expansion. With .22, you don’t, generally. So, if one is “programmed” to think in terms of super-expanding modern hollowpoints, then apply that as the “only proper solution” to .22, the round fails to meet any rational standard of penetration.

          On the other hand, if “tool for the job” is applied in the form of matching the bullet to the cartridge and one relaxes such rigid “one size fits all” thinking, it is found (in both gel tests and real world shootings) that penetration wise, .22 can get the job done. I’ve been to the autopsies to prove that latter statement.

          Said another way, I don’t get how so many people will blather on and on about “carry the right ammo” when talking 9mm or .45, but then seemingly insist that that same ammo is the “best” for .22 and blame the cartridge (across the board) for the failures of that kind of bullet in that cartridge.

        • How ’bout this: the larger the bullet, the larger the hole. The larger the bullet, the more likely any single shot will hit a vital organ (nose cross section being wider in 9mm, etc.). Given bullet dimension, more tissue damage is an advantage of other calibers. Where a .22 misses completely (small nose), a larger caliber just might be big enough to nick a vital. With hollowpoints, the greater than nominal spread of the petals increases the possibility of of a “nick”.

          All that aside, shoot with whatever you have, whatever you can afford, whatever you can control. 40 grains of bullet is a whole lot less than 95+ grains of bullet, but .22 is nothing to laugh at (and the higher ammo capacity allowed by small size is an equalizing force). The article at hand apparently discusses a standard .22 round. The magnum loadings likely go a long way toward improving on the helpfulness of .22 handguns and rifles.

        • “All that aside, shoot with whatever you have, whatever you can afford, whatever you can control. “

          See, we can agree on something! 😉

          The choice is not .22 vs {something bigger}.

          The choice is between .22 and nothing at all.

      • The CCI Stinger .22LR has been around a long time. Don’t know about recent reliability – back in the 1980’s we used that round as the test ammunition for quality control testing of Kevlar fabric destined for use in protective body armor. Thousands of rounds were fired and I don’t ever recall having, or hearing about, a dud. Furthermore, the choreographed velocities of this inexpensive round were amazingly consistent.

        If the consensus opinion is all rimfire .22LR ammunition is unreliable, CCI Stinger ammo should not be included. Unless something has changed in recent times, which I doubt.

        • “choreographed” (chuckle) ah spell check strikes again! I think you meant ‘chronographed’ (apparently spell check doesn’t like the ‘ed’ at the end).

          Either that or you made those .22 rounds dance!

      • Lately I’ve been experiencing misfires with .22lr brands that shouldn’t be having this problem. Quite annoying during a match. I think this sustained high demand might be causing a bit of a quality slip.

  1. Ain’t that a pisser! I’d like to know if he kept pulling the trigger, to see if the next rounds went “bang” or did the black dude instantly split.
    I think it is pretty well known that rim fire ammo is not as reliable as center fire.
    What is the revolver shown? Looks like a lot more than a rimfire. Was that the gun he used?

    • Original article has no picture and no description of the guy’s revolver. Doesn’t indicate whether he tried to fire more than once or not. I’m assuming once was enough in this case.

      • The article mentioned that the “safety was off”. Revolvers almost never have manual safeties. One very common model of .22 revolvers has one “Heritage Rough Ryder”. I’ve got one, and while I like it a lot as a plinker, I’d hate to use it for self defense. Single action, .22lr, only six shots, dorky safety. As .22 revolvers go, I’d much rather use the 9 shot double action NEF/H&R revolvers. Of course I’d rather use my .45,.40,.357,.38 sp, 9mm, 9×18, or .380 than a .22 for defense.

    • What if, as it is for a lot of people, that’s all they have? Or, all they can shoot for physical disability reasons?

      Are we suggesting to people to pretty much play “unarmed” if all they have (can shoot, can afford, whatever…) is a .22?

      Nonsense. A .22 is better than nothing. How about we give more people more encouragement and less judgmentalism?

      • Agreed. I suspect that this fellow simply couldn’t afford more gun. A Heritage Rough Rider (the only .22 revolver I know of with a safety, so it’s a good bet that’s what he was using) is a $100 gun. If your budget is $100, you’re going to have to take your chances with potentially unreliable rimfire ammo, or an almost-certainly unreliable cheapo centerfire pistol. There’s no $100 handgun that doesn’t come with a whole lot of compromises. Double your budget, and you can get something decent in 9mm or .38 Special for around $200, but for a lot of people, that extra hundred (plus increased ammo costs) might as well be a million bucks, because it ain’t happening.

        Kudos to him for being armed, at least. Even people with limited budgets should be able to protect themselves. Hope he saves a couple bucks and buys some Mini-Mags or other good quality ammo, though, and leaves the bulk-box stuff for plinking.

        • “That’s why God invented Hi-Point.”

          And, probably the same bunch that criticizes his choice of caliber would be criticizing his choosing a Hi-Point…I can just imagine the “Geez, get a GLOCK, already” comments.

      • Sure, a .22 LR is better than nothing. Would you use one if you could afford better? Center fire cartridges have provably better reliability and terminal performance. As a general rule, “don’t use .22 for self defense” is sound. Exceptions don’t negate a rule, they just add nuance.

        • “Would you use one if you could afford better? “

          This is the wrong question.

          The question is .22 vs NOTHING.

          We too often get too wound up over “best.” Best ammo, best gun, best holster, best truck, best fishing rod, best this…all the while, every day, people successfully defend their lives and those of their loved ones with firearms and ammo choices that are not “the best.”

          That’s data. Why ignore it?

          “Best” is a theoretical discussion. In practical terms, “sub-optimal” firearm brands and ammunition and calibers and even gunner proficiency gets the job done day in and day out.

          It is my opinion (in case it’s not clear by now) that we could be spending the time and effort we spend nitpicking over “best” on converting non-gun owners to the merits of taking responsibility for their own lives.

      • That’s why I, and some others, are thinking he may have been using a Heritage SA revolver– if I ever get the chance, I figure to use mine on coons and such.

  2. Massad Ayoob has said just keep pulling the revolver trigger until it goes bang, in a revolver failure to fire. He has said police use a 38 revolver as a back up gun.
    In this DGU did the shooter pull the trigger 5 or 6 times and each round failed to fire!!
    That I don’t believe. Was all his ammunition that bad?

    • The author “gathered” that all the ammo was faulty. I dunno, possible that 1 pull and 1 “click” was enough to send the bad guy on his way. In fact, given that there was apparently no “return fire”, that seems to be the logical conclusion.

      • Maybe this a good example of why firearms training should be required for gun owners. Just speculating, but maybe the owner really did not understand anything about the functioning of a revolver. He thinks he hears an animal outside, and takes his gun to the door (just in case? of what?). When he opens the door, he is startled/frightened to see someone standing there with a gun, also. The defender just reacts and pulls the trigger; no noise. This is now a truly “Oh s—t !” moment. Not knowing much about the gun, he goes brain dead, cannot think straight and just stands there, slack jawed. Maybe he was so unhinged by the failure to fire, he figured that if one bullet is bad, all of them are. Or maybe he just thinks, “What now?” No matter, the defender was jammed-up, with no follow-on action plan. Training might have familiarized this guy with his firearm such that he would have the presence of mind to keep pulling the trigger.

        • “Maybe this a good example of why firearms training should be required for gun owners.”


          The man made a choice to defend his home in the way and manner he chose to do it. Why is it any of our business to go further than just study this instance to glean what we can learn from it?

          Who are we to “require” he train? Where does it stop? Should we also “require” cosmetology training for people that choose to cut their own hair? (<– Ridiculous analogy to illustrate the point).

          Maybe he's poor and cannot afford training. Are we then going to subsidize required training? Or, tell the poor they can't get a gun because they can't afford the required training?

          Maybe he's busy with other things and doesn't have time for firearms training? Are we now going to dictate to people how they spend their life's moments…more than we ALREADY do?

          Maybe he has learning difficulties and one (or two) training sessions would not teach him anyway…what's the limit?

          What happens if we "require" training, and the only thing a person "fails" at is "malfunction drill?" Do we deny them the RKBA on that basis?

          “Training might have familiarized this guy with his firearm such that he would have the presence of mind to keep pulling the trigger.”

          Perhaps so, but still not our concern how this man spends HIS time and money.

          “Required” training has a whole host of pitfalls.

        • How many people get driver’s license without taking formal training? Pretty rare around here, to the point of being restricted to people older than 70. And don’t get into ‘right’ vs. privilege, because, as we have seen, concealed carry is not a right; as a privilege, it is legitimate to require training. How much? Where is the authority (beyond political whim) to require any level of schooling?

          While this particular homeowner did not endanger anyone other than himself, untrained gun owners are a threat to one and all. This particular homeowner had/has a concealed carry permit. Somehow he managed the funds for that. Did the concealed carry training include demonstrating the ability to operate, maintain and be safe with a firearm? Don’t know, but there are plenty of places to get combined training with very little difference in cost. If a gun owner cannot clear a malfunction should they be denied gun ownership? Not if they attended gun training that included tap, rack, blam. It is not only the government that can do the requiring. Dealers can require training (NRA protection in the home certificate?) before completing a sale, or firearms instructors can require proficiency before other training begins. Concealed carry training course companies can make gun handling a required element of receiving the concealed carry training certificate. Much can be done to make gun training routine, without involving the Geheime Staatzpolizei.

        • “And don’t get into ‘right’ vs. privilege, because, as we have seen, concealed carry is not a right; as a privilege, it is legitimate to require training. “

          Legitimate in YOUR opinion. That’s not the same thing as objectively legitimate.

          He was not carrying concealed. He was carrying in his own home.

          So, your ‘required training’ is tantamount to requiring training just to own a firearm. Sounds like the paradise that is IL and the FOAD card…or whatever it’s called.

          Here’s a counterargument for you: “Shall Not Be Infringed.” Note that nowhere in 2A is “unless you have the ‘required’ training.'”

          Furthermore, on what basis do you think this training should be ‘required?’ He did not hurt anyone or impose on anyone else’s rights. In fact, without the “proper training,” the only person he stands to “hurt” is himself.

          This is how the cancer of Statism spreads…there’s always an excuse for one person to try to impose their own will on everyone else. It’s bad until it’s “my” idea, which is, of course, perfect and makes “common sense.”

        • The homeowner has a concealed carry license. Concealed carry is a privilege (doesn’t matter the homeowner was not carrying concealed at the time of the incident). As a privilege it is subject to whatever requirements for issue that state wants to put on it (like a driver’s license). Therefore, requiring training and familiarization is not infringing on 2A. The extend and nature of training can be uniform across the country, or location-dependent. What about owners who do not want to obtain a license? Training required by dealers, instructors, ranges, or whatever. Doesn’t need government intrusion. In a free market, a business that offers to ensure the gun owner benefits from formal training in use and maintenance of a firearm just might be an advantage that sells; maybe not. Point is, your neighbor next door has a gun and no idea how to be responsible, other than what he sees on TV. Do you want to bet your neighbor will not put a round through your wall and your daughter, simply because he doesn’t know what he is doing?

        • “Do you want to bet your neighbor will not put a round through your wall and your daughter, simply because he doesn’t know what he is doing?

          Histrionic fearmonger much?

          NYPD has tons of training, and they don’t have the best track record of not straying rounds, eh?

          Or, how about the Elite that is the LAPD…lighting up some ladies in a truck that does not even match the description of the suspect (Dorner) vehicle?

          So, it seems “training” is not the end-all to “not screwing up.” People with “Training” commit stupidity all the time. Meanwhile, people without “training” seem to live their lives just fine.

          On that rational basis, forgive me if I think your “required training” proposal is a bunch of what I found in the woods that came out of a bear. Yes; they do do it in the woods…

        • Well, you finally got me.

          Any idiot, moron, other mentally defective person or simple private citizen should be able to just buy a deadly weapon, and wave it around, bang it on the table, point it wherever, and just treat it as a toy without regard to any knowledge or skill in operating the weapon. It is a natural and civil right to be able to irresponsibly put others at risk (don’t care if they take themselves out) who did not agree to unfettered misuse of the weapon. Yes, po-lease have a terrible gun safety record (not to mention pathetic marksmanship), but dismissing training because one group performs poorly is equivalent to ending public education because schooled graduates sometimes become terrible persons.

        • Any idiot, moron, other mentally defective person or simple private citizen should be able to just buy a deadly weapon, and wave it around, bang it on the table, point it wherever…

          You are describing criminal behavior that would not be allowed or condoned, regardless of training requirements.

          …and just treat it as a toy without regard to any knowledge or skill in operating the weapon. It is a natural and civil right to be able to irresponsibly put others at risk (don’t care if they take themselves out) who did not agree to unfettered misuse of the weapon.

          And given the number of states that are constitutional carry or issue licenses without any form of required training, surely you can cite evidence of such misuse correlating to a lack of such state-required training?


          I didn’t think so.

        • I’d say that if training were funded by the federal government, something they have the constitutional authority to do, then more responsible citizens would be willing to carry.

        • Now there’s an advantage/value I hadn’t thought of. (probably already used-up my allotment of thinking for the month)

        • It was made plain to me when the area Pink Pistols decided for outreach purposes to pay course fees for all members and any friends who couldn’t easily afford a defense course. Their usual attendance for training classes had been six to eight; suddenly they had close to twenty.

          That got me to thinking, and inquiring, and I found that many people I know who can’t afford a gun but would love to have one and would love to have training. Most of them are responsible enough they ought to be armed, but they just can’t afford even a cheap gun.

          An attorney I used to know said the same thing; he had relatives who couldn’t afford guns but were responsible, so he picked eight or so one year and gave them handguns for Christmas, along with coupons for a basic handgun course. From the response, he figured that in Oregon, if some entity would pay for guns and training, we could have a daily carry percentage in Oregon of fifteen to twenty percent even in the cities.

        • So you finally agree that formal education is pointless because too many people do not take advantage of the experience, some misuse it (many have and many will), education is a natural and civil right that a free person may choose to forego because it is othrwise an unfair, useless, infringement on a person’s human rights.

          Training will not eliminate every failure to act responsibly, or result in all trainees being effective responders/self-defenders. But like all training, you address the large majority, and deal with the exceptions individually.

        • Public education is required, is it not?

          You realize you’re asking this question of someone who home-schools his children, don’t you?

          No, public education is not required. More applicable to the topic at hand: public education regarding firearms is not required, and making it required as a prerequisite to exercise the right to bear arms is an unconstitutional infringement upon that right.

        • OK, Chip

          What term should we apply to the requirement that all children be educated through (whichever grade in your jurisdiction)? Wherever the child is trained, it is required by government. Why is that not a restriction/infringement on your rights to decide children can learn just fine by watching parents and family?

        • Earlier, you noted:
          “Any idiot, moron, other mentally defective person or simple private citizen should be able to just buy a deadly weapon, and wave it around, bang it on the table, point it wherever…

          You are describing criminal behavior that would not be allowed or condoned, regardless of training requirements.”

          How do you know these things? Training? Education? Self-taught? An uninformed gun owner who is not required to be trained has no incentive to learn anything about his killing machine. Is it prudent to depend on the good character of people who have good character by virtue of owning a firearm to inform themselves in large numbers? Is it wise to endorse a situation where dangerous habits and notions can result in death or serious injury, yet not require even a minimum of proper knowledge? Again, why is driver training mandatory is so many states. Want to compare rights and privileges? Under 1A, a person has the right of free speech. Yet we require children (and non-English speakers) to learn what is a good use of language and what is bad/inappropriate; which words are helpful and which are destructive. Some will learn, yet reject that learning and find they suffer uncomfortable outcomes. If free speech is an unalienable right, why is there any requirement to learn how to use speech? Speech can result in death or serious injury. Should we allow children and future citizens to walk about using whatever words fall out of their mouths, without educating those people in the intricacies of speech? As I noted under another comment, if training for the use of a deadly instrument should not be required, then required training in any matter of less magnitude is also pointless. Can’t select a favorite area of interest and claim it alone should be free of training and education because it would be useless, people screw up all the time, people make mistakes, people forget their training. Also mentioned under a separate comment, there are non-governmental means of establishing mandatory training without involving the Gestapo.

        • I really don’t feel like dissecting this argument any further today. People take it upon themselves to learn. Government intervention is not needed. If that were untrue, there would be several orders of magnitude more crime and accidental death.

          I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.

        • I will agree with you under one condition: you agree that any and all training is useless because people who go to school, complete training courses, or otherwise educate themselves will make mistakes, screw things up, act foolishly. If training in how to properly manage a firearm is useless, then training for non-lethal activities is even less useful/effective, and a gigantic waste of time, effort and money. If training is not required for possessing a deadly weapon, training is useless for everything of a less harmful nature. Can’t have it both ways. And I am all for establishing a nation of useful idiots who are neither trained nor educated.

    • I know of no common double-action revolvers with a manual safety (which the article mentions his pistol had), so it’s very likely this was a single-action Heritage revolver (which does have a manual safety). If so, it’s a little more complicated process than just “keep pulling the trigger”. In the middle of the night, startled by an unexpected intruder, I suspect he could have fumbled thumbing the hammer on subsequent shots, and after that first deafening CLICK, Mr. Home Invasion was probably breaking world records for sprinting.

      • Indications are that the homeowner is not particularly familiar with firearms (which might not be true). Given that, a hammer block on a revolver might be considered “a safety”. Comes to mind immediately is the S&W 686 now on the market. It has a keyed lock that prevents the hammer falling. There are reports of the hammer block engaging whether on not the gun was ever locked. Am understanding that because Californication and other lefty states insist on every gun having a lock designed to prohibit a person from using the gun in self-defense, several gun manufactures are not producing revolvers with “safeties”.

    • This, if I hear noises I check windows first. I am not exiting my house as it is the best defensible position and has guns and ammo inside. Also, the self defense rules change a bit while inside the house to my advantage.

      • It seems that would depend on where you live and your general lifestyle.

        If I hear a noise in the backyard, I assume it’s the wind blowing the gate. Why? Because my kids leave the gate open and we get a good bit of wind with the way the houses are laid out.

        If some of our friends hear a noise, they assume it’s hogs. Why? They live next to a large park that has wild hogs. They tend to be the local nuisance.

        If some of my co-workers heard a noise, they’d probably assume burglars. Why? Because they don’t have other noise-creating issues and they live in an area with somewhat higher crime levels.

        Each of us plans to react differently. I expect to just pad out in my slippers. The friends are usually expecting to use something with a bit of stopping power. The coworkers are carrying something to intimidate and stop (if needed).

        Do all three of us rely on situational awareness to make any necessary adjustments? Sure. I know what the wind through our yard sounds like. I’m sure the friends know the sound of hogs in the garden or trash. I’d like to think the colleagues are stable enough not to shoot a neighbor’s cat. We know what sounds normal and plan accordingly.

        In this case, it may have been a misreading of the situation and a thought that this was nothing more than a possum, for which 22 would have been adequate.

    • Thank-you.

      First Rule: Have a Gun.

      All the .22 hate is based on FUD and not actual data. There are heap tons of successful DGU’s with .22’s. And, many “failures” of other calibers.

      In an ideal world would I choose .22? No. But then again, in an ideal world, I’d not be in a gunfight in the first place.

      So, maybe we should spend the energy we spend ragging on people’s caliber choices convincing the so-called fence-sitters why ownership and carry are important.

  3. Caliber choices aside (it sounds like this was more of a surprise than not, so he was lucky he had a gun instead of telling his dog to quiet down unarmed) one of the distinct advantages of a revolver is the ability just to pull the trigger and try again. A lot faster than jettisoning a round by racking the slide. I think it’s one of the (few) benefits of a revolver that doesn’t ever get mentioned.

    • I hear people mention it a lot.

      The primary trade-off between revolvers and semi-autos is …

      – more reliable
      – faster recovery from malfunctions (pull the trigger again if it doesn’t fire)
      – less ammunition capacity
      – slower reloads

      semi-auto pistols:
      – less reliable
      – slower recovery from malfunctions (tap, rack, bang)
      – more ammunition capacity
      – faster reloads

      Neither is superior to the other. It is up to each person to decide what is best for them.

      And now to really stir the pot: a good, modern semi-auto pistol that the owner has vetted through firing several hundred rounds of ammunition without any failures — especially their self-defense carry ammunition — is incredibly reliable. And a .357 Magnum revolver with an 8 round cylinder of quality 125 grain semi-jacketed hollowpoints is incredibly reliable for decisively “winning” any fight.

      In other words, if you really like the idea of more ammunition capacity and faster reloads, get a modern, reliable semi-auto pistol and put it through its paces to be highly confident that it will work when you need it. If you really like the idea of supreme reliability, get a modern revolver in .357 Magnum with a six inch barrel and an 8 round cylinder loaded with quality 125 grain hollowpoints and put it through its paces to know that you will stop your attacker/s every time if 8 shots are enough.

    • You can just keep pulling the trigger, if you can get the trigger back in the first place. I had a childhood injury to my trigger finger (dull knives are dangerous, folks) and it’s permanently reduced in strength and range of motion. Single action and striker fired are just fine, I can shoot those all day long. Double action, I can do maybe one pull, over five or so seconds, then I’ve exhausted my finger strength, and the trigger might as well be pinned in place.

  4. This is why the one .22 revolver I have that I’ve used for self-defense fires .22 mag and has twelve shots. If the first one doesn’t go off, I’m already pulling the trigger again anyway, because I was trained to double-tap (and if the guy is really big, go triple).

  5. So many things here that are wrong, starting with a total lack of situational awareness, lack of preparedness, training, etc. You really need to to start a Barney Fife award to go with your Fudd and other trophies. Maybe you could complement it with a a Dirty Harry award too.

    • @Bill: Easy to criticize but it would be great to hear what you would have done or what should have been done instead of what the homeowner did. Step by step, what would you suggest as a better approach in this case?

      • Okay, here goes. Firstly, have a general plan of action around the home for any event, such as fire, injury, and robbery. That means letting other folks in the house know where you are at any time and how to respond it each situation. Know you surroundings and be able to navigate them in the dark. Know where your firearms are and what state of readiness they are in. Practice with those firearms. If you feel the need to go to the door armed, it must be because something seems out of kilter. Again, have a plan in mind. Check a window or peephole before answering the door. If in doubt, just ask who it is and what they want. None of these steps will put you in the sort of jeopardy he faced when he blithely opened the door. It’s the application of common senses, but it works best if practiced first. When the scat hits the fan is the worst time to think of a plan of action. In other words, be prepared.

        • You’re assuming that he didn’t do most of that. Maybe his door doesn’t have a peephole or any windows that would give him visibility to where the guy was standing. Maybe he does regularly practice with his gun and just got a bad batch of ammo. You can’t know if a round is a dud until you pull the trigger on it.

          It sounds like he did have a plan: shoot the vermin that was on his porch. It just turned out to be a different sort of pest animal than he was expecting.

          I try to avoid too much armchair quarterbacking when I read these stories, because my experience with journalists tells me we only have about 2% of the relevant information, two-thirds of which is probably incorrect.

    • aha–I was wondering if anybody else was going to catch that, or mention it. I actually thought of the Heritage SA revolvers, which have a hammer-block safety lever near the cylinder, but your comment is more likely to be the case. Altho if I really thought it was a possum, I might pick up my Heritage to deal with it too, so I guess that could be what it was.

    • That type of safety prevents the hammer from being cocked and or trigger being pulled. The article lacks a certain truthiness.

      • yes it does.

        the comment was designed to slow down comments about “there’s no safety on revolver”, to keep the focus on actions of the homeowner. and to highlight that lack of familiarity and training in self-defense can be dangerous (apparently, there are places a person can obtain a concealed carry permit without actually handling a gun, which may be why the homeowner did not think to keep shooting). the lack of detail in the news article created a usable example of numerous fails that can be helpful to a lot of people.

  6. Sure. Have a gun-and throw it at him. I had a guy knock on my door after dark the other night. I turned the light on and asked him what the hell he wanted(yes I was armed). Goofy guy works for a roofer. And have a gun that works bigger than 22…

  7. According to the research I’ve done,in the US,in a years time,there are more people killed with the 22 cal round than any other,it wouldn’t be my first choice either but there is no doubt that the 22 will kill.

    • Legend has it that the .22 was the caliber of choice for hired killers for the mob. Put the muzzle against the head and pull the trigger. The bullet shatters/fragments entering the skull, bounces around in there, and turns the brain to mush. Drops them like a stone, less messy, and a little quieter than other calibers too.

      • That isn’t merely legend, it’s confirmed by testimony of several hit men, including Thomas Principe (the 22 caliber killer)
        Isreali Mossad and Sky Marshalls also carried .22 LR for many years. Beretta model 70’s. I believe they finally switched to 9mm in the late 70’s.

  8. Personal experience: do not use WD-40 on firearms. Primer will be ruined, even if residual WD-40 is present. It may result in same ignition problems in .22 rimfire.

  9. Have a Ruger SR 22, used it with Lady Shooting League, average 300 down range monthly for two years before converting to higher caliber. Used CCI mini mags, rarely failed to fire or jam.
    Learned malfunction drills, and just grateful for the experience shooting at paper targets.
    It is a really fun pistol to shoot due to low recoil, low bang and flash. Very easy to acquire accuracy with practice.

    Good for self defense? It is if it’s only handgun you have available.
    BTW: you learn the different barks of you dog. The something interesting bark and then there is the stranger danger bark. That’s the one you need to stay in the house and avail yourself with the highest caliber you are accurate with and wait.

    Years ago I heard the danger bark from my Golden Retriever and danger must have heard it too, next morning obvious someone has messed with my car but though better of it and went away. Drama seems to visit when husband is out of town

    • CCI Mini mags are the only 22 rounds I have never had a problem with. I have shot thousands of them over the years with no failures. Even in my barbeque gun, a stainless Phoenix Arms.

  10. Somebody else here, if I remember correctly, preferred a .22lr – the American 180. I’d consider that fairly adequate with good ammunition. Put a bayonet on it (somehow) and you have your back up plan.

  11. I’ve shot all sorts of .22 LR ammo and sometimes you get duds, no matter how many hammer strikes. I would never rely on a .22 LR for a self defense weapon because of it. Heck, I won’t even buy an AR in .22 for plinking because I don’t want to deal with jams.

    One of my Tauri hates hard primers, so I’m careful about which brands of ammo I run in it, but every mag of self defense ammo in every gun I have has had a full mag run through it to verify that it will work.

  12. I caught that about the ‘safety’ as well. However, the article was written by a pair of women, and therefore not really worth taking at face value. (Call me sexist if you like. I don’t care.) We’ve all agreed that .22LR is generally a poor choice for a defensive gun, regardless of type. I don’t know anything about the Heritage guns and I categorically refuse to abide by those damn fool key lock ‘safeties.’ in any gun, revolver or otherwise.

    If it’s 3 in the morning and you suspect someone outdoors with a gun KEEP YOUR DOOR SHUT and call the sheriff. Do keep a proper gun of sufficient caliber at hand while inside!

    I AM glad to hear that Mr. Winstead was unscathed, and somewhat grudgingly, relieved that the perp decided to vacate the premises upon discovering Mr. Winstead was armed.


    • Between his using a revolver with a safety catch, his claim that all rounds in the cylinder were defective and his statement being the only evidence offered, I’ve gotta call shenanigans. Neither circumstance is impossible -we know of one revolver that has a safety and crappy .22 ammo is more likely to fail- but you have to concede that both factors occurring in the same scenario is pretty damned improbable.

  13. The story reads the homeowner never expected to use a firearm in self defense. I read it as homeowner was not prepared. Poor idea to open door w/o checking, poor choice in caliber, poor choice to fire on a person outside house, poor drilling for FTF.

    BTW: I love my .22’s, they are highly reliable with good ammo, dead accurate and are lethal with good shot placement. Still a poor choice for HD use.

  14. Faulty ammo? I’ve been shooting 22lr for about 8 months now, trying a packet of every new load I see (except the $20 match stuff) and haven’t had anything resembling ignition failure. Some FTE, some FTF, some just plain inaccurate (like the spare CBs my uncle gave me, I tell him they’d make a great shotgun load) but every time I pull the trigger it goes bang. I’ve found a few bad centerfire rounds in that same time, too – dud primers on surplus ammo, and surprisingly on some modern premium hunting ammo.

    Maybe I just bought a good gun?

    • I think you have been lucky. If you buy cheap 22 FTF happen, I have a small herd of .22s from 1941 JC Higgins to 2015 Ruger Mk 3 22/55. All have FTF on the cheap stuff (bulk pack 500 purchased on-line or a Wally World, sometimes up to 1 in 50 shots. FTF in CCI minimags or better is rare, can’t even really recall it happening. Feed issues or FTE is much more dependent on the gun (not an issue with a wheel gun of course).

  15. For me, plan A is not to open the door to a stranger late at night. If he breaks in, subsequent plans vary according to the threat he poses.

    Had the homeowner considered the possibility that it was a human trespasser, I doubt that he would have opened the door. He grabbed a .22 because he had already decided his dogs were barking at a small wild animal. Personally, I don’t know why he felt a need to investigate. We have had ‘possums and raccoons on our deck at the same time as our cats. There have been no fights because all the animals have kept to themselves.

  16. Plan A – Sig P290RS + 2 spare mags
    Plan B – S&W 638
    Plan C – Ruger LCP
    Plan D – nearest item not nailed down
    Plan E – fists & feet

  17. Plan A: Polish-made Tokarev TT-33 w/ Prvi Partizan 85gr. JHPs in one hand, an SOG tomahawk in the other. Illumination accomplished with a massively bright LED headlamp which can also securely clip to my belt/shirt/etc.
    (Yes, I am aware of the over-penetration potential of 7.62×25, but it’s far less than my other .30 options.)

    If Plan A fails:
    Throw the now-empty Tokarev at the BG’s head, and finish the job with the tomahawk.

  18. The article goes on to say that after the BGs ran off, the homeowner “found a loaded clip to a .22 rifle in the driveway” Clip??? If the writers don’t know the difference between a clip and a magazine, they may not know the difference between a revolver and an auto.

    • That ship has sailed. Even many POTG use “clip.”

      It rankles, I know, but pointing it out as some big “tell” at this stage of the game is not going to win any points with anyone.

      Now, “shoulder thing that goes up” and thinking that once a magazine has been emptied that it can never be reloaded again…those are “tells” that show ignorance on a grand scale…the kind of ignorance that has to be cultivated and nurtured to achieve.

  19. maybe armscor is onto something with their .22TCM. saw a video where a .22TCM penetrated half a pair of adhered bullet-proof glass plates. wonder if someday armscor will produce a revolver for that round?

  20. My plan A involves speed, surprise, and violence of action. Whether or not I have a working firearm is somewhat immaterial to what I do. (Note: whether or not I have a working firearm is supremely material to how effective my plan A is.)

    Because of the nature of my plan A, there is no plan B.

  21. It bears pointing out that, ammo failure, lack of “proper precautions,” etc. aside, the bad guy *was* successfully stopped. Would the Ultratech HQX-45 super polymer 20 shot death ray, a Kevlar vest, and a tactical light have done a more elegant job of it? Sure. But the Rough Rider got the job done.

  22. “(*Note, this article is not meant to go over his decision to fire on someone outside of this home, as this action will stir up a debate. We are simply looking at what happened when he pulled the trigger.)”

    That’s a bit of a copout. I see what he’s going for: isolating a single point for discussion, so as not to get distracted by the other factors.

    Still, those other points, like whether and when/where to confront or fire upon someone, do influence your options on how to address a failure to fire. These matters are inextricably linked.


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