Why I Don't Train With .22 LR Guns
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I train with five calibers: 9mm and its baby brother .380, .223 and 5.56 (happily, my rifle is chambered in .223 Wylde so I can go back and forth), and, when I get to it, .308. I recently picked up a SIG 522 for a ridiculously cheap price and got it set up, but I doubt it’s going to be any more than an occasional range toy.

I used to own .22 pistols and bolt action guns including the iconic Ruger 10/22. Truth is: I rarely ever shot them. I bought them because everyone said I should own a .22 rifle and pistol, but in practice, I used each of them maybe ten times and that was the end of it.

Why I Don't Train With .22 LR Guns

All of my coursework in defensive shooting has been either in 9mm or in .223/5.56. Nine millimeter is the de facto standard caliber for all defensive training courses these days because, for most shooters, the advances in 9mm ammo mean that there really isn’t a compelling reason to carry another caliber.

The reason I train in the caliber that I shoot is that it performs in a way that shooting a .22 isn’t going to teach me. At least that’s my experience. There are also only so many things you can do with dry fire.

Some skills, such as managing the trigger skillfully with a larger caliber simply have to be learned by going through thousands of rounds with that caliber so that you learn the “feel” of the discharge when it’s perfect, the amount of recoil, the direction the gun moves.

I also do dry fire practice, but the truth is, things that are perfect in my dry fire practice break down when live rounds enter the picture. They wouldn’t as much with a .22, but that’s the whole point – I need those things to break down in order to be able to gain the skills to manage them. In order for that breakdown to be experienced and learned from in the optimal way, the actual rounds I’d be shooting with in a defensive situation are the ones that I need to train with.

My teacher, Jeff Gonzales at The Range Austin, emphasizes over and over the need to fail in order to grow and improve. You have to do badly at something in order to find out where the weak points are and strengthen them. Right now I’m working on the fast-slow sequence of draw to fire, multiple shot strings, and trigger control. Next year I plan to enter his once-a-month matches to gain a further level of challenge and fail in new ways in order to continue to improve.

The mastery of 9mm is my current goal and that will probably take me a couple more years of steady training and practice. As they say to me at the Range now and then, “Beware the woman with one gun.”

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200 COMMENTS

  1. Hey I shot 22 as a kid…it taught me NOTHING. You want one-get one. How’s that boyfriend hunt going? Good luck!

    • You lost me at “ I bought them because everyone said I should own a .22 rifle and pistol”

      Experience matters over caliber. I suppose other people told you not to train with an.22.

      Tell us something new. And be tough enough to shoot a .22.

      • Agree, experience over caliber, but many folks here will claim up and down you’re not a person of the gun unless you own a .22. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, you can’t win. I grew up with a .22 Savage I inherited from my grandfather. Love that gun and it is due for some TLC at the gunsmith soon. It taught me to shoot and how to be safe, but it doesn’t prepare me for DFG with a pistol. I didn’t seek out a .22, it is what I grew up with, as I expect many of us from the woods did.

        My Beretta 96 has .22 conversion kit so I can swap out between .40 and .22, but I find that right now I *have* to shoot the .22 before any other handgun caliber or I screw up once I step down to the .22. I can handle the recoil of the .40 and know how to compensate and hold, but switching down to a lower caliber from .40 just throws me off. My experience with the 22 rifle goes nearly 35 years but my experience with 22 in a handgun is only recent. There is value in the .22, esp. in a conversion kit, but I’d rather train more with the caliber I carry defensively.

        • Interesting that your skills drop when you go down to .22 from a larger caliber. Any thoughts on why that is?

          My shooting friends are gun nuts, guys who own a lot of different guns. I do notice that for me, trying to practice across too many different platforms led to a somewhat scattershot effect in skills building. So I stopped doing that, scaled down to just the calibers I know are essential, and got rid of everything else. It’s made the skills building a lot easier as well. It’s a lot easier to handle a firearm when you’ve spent so much time with it that it becomes like part of your body.

          Hell, a friend took me to a carbine match a couple of months ago and I was out on the course, the timer just having gone off, when I realized that I hadn’t turned my red dot up enough to see it and the iron sights were folded down. Went through the course anyway and surprisingly, ended up hitting most stuff. That kind of thing is what happens when you live and breathe one firearm for a while. That said, I would not want to do that again. I actually sort of hate competitions, but I see the value of them too.

        • @elaine
          I am fairly certain that I am anticipating the [non-existing/minimal] recoil. For some reason I don’t do it on my larger caliber pistols or my rifles. I think if I had a dedicated handgun for .22 it might not occur, I believe that I somehow I am expecting it to handle the same way as if I had the .40 barrel and slide installed. This week’s trip to the range I slowed down and was able to get much better groups on the .22, not as good as what I’d get on my squirrel gun, but better than in the past.

      • @Bearpaw

        When you’re new at something, you don’t know, so you do what people tell you you are “supposed” to do. It’s with more experience that you make different choices.

        Had the same experience with my first bike; I was “supposed” to buy a used bike, did so, and ended up with something that wasn’t really right for me that was a struggle to manage and didn’t actually fit the kind of riding I wanted to do. After riding a couple of years, I was able to trade it in for something that’s perfect for me.

    • @ former water walker

      Haha, I already have a guy! A lot of people seemed to have not read that in that piece. Thanks though! Good to see you again on here.

      • Well. Most people didn’t shoot any .22 at all, from 2012 to 2016… thanks to “your” *ahem*, party.

        • @Patrick Hall: “Which party caused the .22 shortage?”
          That depends on just how picky you want to get.
          Was it panic buying, or the anticipating of events that led to the panic buying, or the party that caused that anticipation?

          There was a BBC show called Connections that traced events back to their (supposed) origin. The connections were, at times, very tenuous.
          Sort of how the Dems are blaming Trump for everything bad that happens. You can make connections between any two events if you’re not too picky about how tenuous those connections are. (It even easier to make those connections if truth is a foreign concept.)

          Back to who caused the shortage: the actions of the Dems in promising gun control actions was the proximate cause (if I understand the definition right). IMO.

      • It’s an insect that walks on water. How that insect is able to do that is due to the water tension between the water surface and the feet of the insect:-)

  2. Did you write this article as a response to critical comments on your last article?
    Not judging, just curious.

    • “Did you write this article as a response to critical comments on your last article?”

      She declined to answer the rather pointed questions I posed to her earlier…

    • Not as a response to yesterday specifically, the question about why I don’t own a .22 is one that’s come up before, though not in a while. Yesterday just made me remember the other times it’s come up and write a short blurb about it while it was fresh on my mind.

  3. I’m not sure how to interpret this post. Sure, you need to train in what you carry. Ok, but does that mean there is no place for .22s? I specifically bought a M&P 22C to train new shooters. I also use it from time to time to work on my double/triple tap mechanics. Then I move back to my carry gun. As for rifle shooting, I still think shooting a .22 helps with mechanics. They are typically lighter and thus magnify technique error. So maybe I’m misreading what was said. I’m not giving up my .22s anytime soon. Oh, what shouldn’t go unsaid is…
    They are just darn fun to shoot, a lot.

    • She never said get rid of your .22s, just that she doesn’t train with them. On this we agree. I keep a bunch of .22s around for the following reasons:

      1. Wife
      2. Kids
      3. Kids’ friends
      4. New shooters

      • I used to own .22 pistols and bolt action guns including the iconic Ruger 10/22

        Aside from the obvious issue with the adjective of a 10/22…

        used to own implies does not any longer.

        • @ Elaine

          Truly sad then. I bought a Marlin model 60 when I was 16 from Kmart for $39.95 That was 45 years ago and I still have it and I still use it. With a red dot on it it’s the perfect gun for small pests around the homestead. Stuff that would be overkill for my .357 sig EDC or the AR.

      • My boys went through a cycle of:

        Rifle: Break open .22 –> bolt action .22 –> S&W15-22 –> AR pattern rifle

        Pistol: Walther P22 (excellent for tiny hands) –> M&P22 –> M&P9 (then whatever worked best)

        It worked very well for my oldest who now shoots competitively. The final transition from M&P15-22 to AR, and M&P22 to M&P9 was incredibly smooth. My youngest preferred my SA/DA pistols, so I gave him one of my P226s when he came of age.

    • um yeah … the fun factor is important! .22’s obviously are very cheap to shoot, and fun! I have a couple Mark I’s — damned accurate and fun to shoot — a Beretta 21A which is a gas to shoot, and accurate as hell for a pocket gun, the 10/22. Part of owning guns is it’s fun. It’s a big part of it. And while I don’t carry it, I wouldn’t feel at a great disadvantage carrying the 21A. Eight rounds of CCI stinger isn’t 9mm, but I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of those.

      And in a SHTF scenario, a few .22’s and several thousand rounds will be good to have for whatever purposes might arise.

      Hell, shooting is fun!

      • IMHO the 10/22 with a nice scope is the perfect zombie gun. In the brain pan and swirls all around. Perfect.

    • One underappreciated attribute of the .22LR is that you can shoot your neighbor’s ankle biter when he keeps pooping in your yard without bringing the fuzz around like a 12ga will.

  4. Hey, if any of you want to follow Elain and get rid of your .22s, just let me know, I’ll take EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!

  5. You must not shoot a lot or have a lot more money than most of us. I shoot a lot of 22 because I can do it cheap and it is good practice if you use the right firearm. I shoot my Ruger Mark III 22/45 because it shoots, aims and feels very much like my full size 1911 in 9mm. My 22 LR revolver is good practice that makes my 38 Special revolver shooting better. I have 4 different kinds of 22 rifles that makes my AR-15 and 9mm carbine shooting more accurate. I think shooting a 22LR 5 or 6 times is more effective than shooting a more expensive cartridge once. I shoot my 5.56 and 357 Magnum less than my other calibers because they get expensive for simple practice.

    • I agree. I like to shoot. When I go to the range and that’s twice a week I shoot my 9 and I shoot 250 rounds each time. So that’s 500 a week but like I said, I like to shoot. I can shoot my 22 for what it costs for 100 rounds of 9 and shoot just as much. That’s why I got a 22 for the joy of shooting. Geez. My Ruger Mark III target has over 35000 rounds through it. Man, that’s just a ton of fun at the range. Get off your high horse lady.

      • It would appear that Elaine has decided that if it doesn’t work for self defense, she won’t use it.
        That’s OK, but it is, IMO, her belief that guns are OK for self defense only. She mentions often that she trains for self defense, and her gun choices revolve around that belief. Since .22s are good self defense choices, she won’t own them.
        That reflects the belief of the Dems that guns are sort of OK for self defense (even though that’s definitely what the 2A even hints at).

        • Damn.
          That should have been, “Since .22s aren’t good self defense choices, she won’t own them.”

    • Agreed, I would love to be able to afford to shoot as much 9/556 as i shoot 22. I routinely do a brick a week of 22, but only a few boxes of 9.

    • I shoot about 200 rounds of 9 a week. Two practices, 100 each. I carry daily, so I do what I need to do to maintain and build skills.

  6. If you only own one rifle is should be a 10/22. I would venture to bet most of us have more than 1. Three in our house, all with Nikon P-22 BDC scopes.

    • That can’t possibly be true.

      Heck, we just read an article here last week that said if you can only own one rifle, it should be a .30-06.

      Personally, if someone tells me he can only own one rifle, I will recommend an AR-15.

      • If I could own only one rifle I’d step down to a lever action 38/357 and keep my wheelgun in .357 as a sidearm. AR might have more rounds but I won’t willingly choose that platform, just personal bias and preference.

  7. I find shooting a 22 rifle improves my long range shooting skills. A 250 yard shot with a 22 has an equivalent drop of a 400-500 yards shot with a 243 or 30-06. Since my range only goes out to 250 I would never opportunity to shoot at those distances.

    I also have found that shooting a 1911-22 has increased my proficiency with those pistols. After nearly 50 years of experience with the 1911 platform I know what the recoil feels like.

    • Definitely agree with you on the value of long-range .22 lr shooting.

      My favorite prairie dog rifle is a Browning T-Bolt Varmint in .22 lr with a Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP. I routinely shoot between 200 and 350 yards with this set-up (a Sig Kilo2000 rangefinder and a Hornady ballistics chart* generated for my particular ammo and the fun begins). When you’re dealing with 20 to 60 MOA of drop it forces you to concentrate on your data and the mechanics of shooting – breathing, trigger, etc.

      * check Hornady’s site – best ballistics calculator I’ve found.

  8. I mean, not to sound condescending, but I certainly see value in using a .22 LR for training.

    It’s my go to choice for introducing someone new to guns for a first time shooting experience. They’re also great for teaching the fundamentals, especially for folks that need to learn to work on their grip or control their flinching.

    They also provide value on those months where I don’t want to dip too heavily into my 9mm or 5.56 because I want to keep a certain amount on hand without running low, a brick of .22 LR still costs $20-30 and will last me multiple range trips while still letting me keep my shooting ability from degrading.

    Granted, your right, for professional training centrefire calibers are the way to go, but I certainly wouldn’t say a .22 is not a good gun to train with.

  9. i would say a 22LR is what people should start out on just to get the basics of how guns work and what the controls are so you are not distracted by the stouter recoil from a center fire round. i started my kids on 22LR’s because i remember how off putting it was to fire a 12 gauge or 270 rem 700 when i was taught to shoot, those were what we had so of course after the first round i had no interest in shooting anymore at 10 yrs old. they love shooting that 22.

  10. So the new runners of this site have officially given up on their current readers and are just focusing on being top google results for different questions and starting arguments so the same people come back to the page over and over again in hopes that they click the damn ads. It’s sad.

  11. Every single time you pull the trigger, regardless of what comes out (if anything) it’s practice.

    If your fundamentals from dry firing break down when you engage in live fire, you haven’t practiced them enough.

    With a .22 precision rifle, I can practice the same techniques I need for a centerfire precision rifle, but at shorter distances and for a lot less money. With a .22 kit for a 1911 or CZ 75, I can practice the same grip and trigger control I’d use with the 9mm ammo, but for less money.

    And by practicing with a softer caliber, there’s less chance of developing a flinch, and I can practice longer without as much of a fatigue risk.

    • I can practice longer without as much of a fatigue risk.
      And you bring up an excellent point there. Many of us aging folk can’t practice long with larger calibers. My wife is one of them. She carries a 40 but really can’t shoot it for very long because of arthritis. She can shoot a comparable 22 for hours. I think it is far better to get that trigger time and practice longer even though she carries a 40. In time of need though, her muscle memory will be there and I’m sure the adrenaline will take over and she’ll mag dump just fine.

      • Hell, just the cost makes it prohibitive to shoot extensively with a .40 or .45 in particular.

        Hard to find .40 ammo for less than $275 for 1,000. I shot 120 rounds a couple weeks ago. Roughly $35 in ammo. Not a BIG deal … but if I go every couple weeks …

        .22 at a nickel a round? Can do a couple hundred rounds for $10. I shoot the CCI Stinger mostly, so it’s 10 cents a round. But I’ve got thousands of rounds of .22’s at 3 and 4 cents a round, too. And it works, and it’s fun to feel my guns go bang, and hit something! Or miss and try again!

        Gotta keep this fun, which it naturally is. Shooting stuff up, punching holes in targets, whether it’s with a .22 or a .45 or whatever, is a blast! I want to be comfortable and accurate with my carry gun (Glock 23), and my backup (LCR in .357). And then I want to shoot stuff! I’m not going to go into competition, I’m not going to get trained professionally to know how to respond in ‘what if’ situations. I do want to have fun with these things — and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. But the fun decreases at 25 cents a bullet!

        The main thing is to own guns, love guns, shoot the things so that it’s fun and not just serious … defend the right to own, keep, and use them, carry and be comfortable with it. And if the need ever arises to use a gun in a defensive situation, when we grab whatever weapon it is, it’s natural, and we can pull the trigger if the situation calls for it.

        We’re in the group that isn’t afraid of guns, is comfortable being around them, having them around us, and carrying. ‘Gun control laws’ seem ridiculous — because we’re the genuinely good guys and gals. All we need is the capacity to shoot the bad guys who are out there, will pop up as they always have, and who need to be eliminated, preferably, as opposed to wounded / hospitalized / tried / convicted (or not) / eventually set free again, etc., at a perpetual cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, for the life of a piece of scum.

        Basic stuff. Guns should be a natural part of our lives. That’s all. As natural as the right to defend our lives against whatever threat.

        • M.B.,

          Take a look at the Target Sports website. They have .40 S&W for as low as $212 per thousand…$220 is more common and both prices include shipping to your house…(that is if you don’t live in a Communist-controlled State).

          • Old guy in Montana (man do I love Montana; have done a lot of shooting there) … thanks for the tip on Target Sports. I will check them out.

        • Agreed. Gun folks seem to look for a way to get their panties in a wad and their boxers in a bunch. It’s no damn wonder the 2nd is in trouble.

    • A couple of the gals I have introduced to shooting fell victim to their shoulders and arms getting tired of holding the pistol up before they were anywhere close to being done. Fatigue, especially for a new shooter is a very real thing. Excellent point.

    • “If your fundamentals from dry firing break down when you engage in live fire, you haven’t practiced them enough.”

      I used to think this as well. But after a recent conversation with my teacher, he was specific about the fact that what you do in dry fire has to relate to live fire. I also have had different people look at my dry fire over the last few months and for the most part it looks fine. The problems show up with live fire and especially under time pressure and multiple shot strings, which you can’t replicate easily with dry fire.

      I find dry fire helpful for holster drills and of course regularly practice trigger control as well. The test for me, personally, though, is maintaining crush grip and trigger control through a series of live rounds. That’s where I’m working hard right now.

  12. Obvious side bar coming:
    How many .22s in your home?
    Rifles – 4
    Pistols – 2
    Rounds – >10,000 (yeah we just counted ammo yesterday to see what we need to buy)

    • I have three rifles and a CZ Kadet II kit.
      I think I might have 15k rounds of ammo. When I found out that Federal discontinued Ultramatch, I bought out three online stores that had it on clearance, because it’s the best ammo I’ve tried in my Kidd 10/22 that I use for NRL22.

    • 4 rifles
      2 pistols
      apx 7k rounds.
      I’m suddenly feeling very inadequate about my 22 ammo reserves. Better hit wally world and pick up some more.

    • That’a a good start on the ammo…

      Seriously though, prior to the 1st Obozo election, I bought 30,000 22 lr rounds, 60 lbs of powders and 25,000 primers. I bought 22 and primers during his reign any chance I got. We as a family kept shooting while many of our friends and collegues couldn’t.

      No such thing as too much ammo.

      • Agree, Michael. I have another 10,000+ in 9, .223, .40, .45. And am going to get more of the .22. Hell, in a pinch, the .22 is damned versatile, and plenty deadly by itself. Ammo doesn’t go bad, and depending on what happens, it’s worth its weight in more than gold.

        A friend shared a story his grandfather told him. Back in the depression, his grandfather traded a gun for just two bullets — because he had guns, and no bullets. He needed the bullets to hunt with.

        • Yep….I thought I was stockpiling then i realized i had to roll a lot more to build up a supply. I buy at least one box of 22 every time I am at Wal-Mart…cheapest place here on the Rock

    • Current .22 collection
      3 Rifles
      2 Revolvers
      1 Pistol
      Somewhere North of 5,000 rounds of ammo. It sounds like I should buy some more.

      I love shooting .22s. I shoot my old Marlin 60 more than any other gun.
      I guess I’m not that tactical.😊

  13. Just so beginners like this author know:
    22s teach all of the fundamentals; Sight alignment, trigger control, stance, reloading, malfunction clearing, and much more. It does NOT teach one aspect; recoil recovery. Thus .22s are a very valuable training tool because they equal much more shooting for a given amount of money. Plus, they won’t instill in a beginner any flinching from recoil, which is a very difficult habit to get out of once its been formed.
    But, if a beginner really demands to shoot only one caliber, and can afford unlimited amounts of funds for ammo, go for it.

  14. .38 special in a full-size revolver or 9×19 in a metal full-size auto is what i recommend for first-timers. 5.56 is fine for first-timers. I taught two first-timers to shoot an M1A, and they did fine (but they are big dudes).

    • I generally shoot .357 well, at least decent minute of bad guy groups, but I was trying out some of that Sig Vcrown .38 sp +p this week in my .357 snubby and the results were far better than any 357 I’ve shot recently. In my experience (perhaps the smaller gun and shorter barrel?) I handle hotter loads on lighter bullets in 357 better than full 158 gr rounds. My groups in .357 using Fiocchi in 142 were tighter than Fiocchi in 158. Thoughts? That 142 gr round is hot. I like the power of the .357 but until I can get tighter groups I think I’ll probably stick with the 38 +p for now if I ever use this particular gun as a self defense gun.

      • @Khalil

        I like the Sig Vcrown ammo a lot. That’s what I carry in my .380s. My range is a Sig dealer so sometimes we get lucky when they run specials on that ammo. It’s not cheap but it’s very very nice and definitely my preference in .380, haven’t tried the 9 yet.

        • At this point I carry defensively sig vcrown in 40, 357, and 38 +p. Pretty happy with if for the time being. I also have shot it in 45 colt cause I found some cheap and wanted to see how it ran in my Henry. I’ve never gotten into 9mm or 380, though I will eventually get a CZ that’s on my wishlist and will probably get it in 9mm rather than 40.

  15. I don’t train with .22LR guns either. But I do shoot the hell out of them because they’re so much fun.

    I’ll leave the incessant training to you mall ninjas. When shooting becomes nothing more than training, that’s when I’ll quit shooting.

    • I agree. I mainly shoot for fun, and think .22s are a heck of a lot of fun to shoot. I’ve had formal training, but mainly just love to plink. Plinking with my AR,SKS,AK,Mosin,Glock, or Security Six gets expensive quick.

      I can shoot .22s all day, and not break the bank.

    • “I don’t train with .22LR guns either. But I do shoot the hell out of them because they’re so much fun.
      I’ll leave the incessant training to you mall ninjas. When shooting becomes nothing more than training, that’s when I’ll quit shooting.”

      This, this, and this even more. If, as she seems to imply, the ONLY shooting she does is training for a self defense scenario, then she’s missing the boat by a mile. Incessant training only, for a situation that, statistically, isn’t likely ever to happen is just so much hogwash. Relax Elaine. Smell the roses. Blast a few tin cans just for the fun of it. (but clean up afterwards) 🙂

      • @AnotherKen

        Yep. I train for self defense only at this point. There are good reasons for that, one of the biggest being that as a woman motorcycle rider, it’s not uncommon for you to get approached when you’re stopped at a corner by dudes or homeless people. You’re not in a cage so some folk try to get into your personal space. Happily I have never had to even draw, but I’m always glad to be armed.

        There was a situation in a city a few hours away this year where a guy followed and blocked in a female motorcyclist and then started attacking her. She ended up drawing and shooting him to get him off her. No charges were filed. Self defense. There are some weird people out there.

        • In all probability, you already have the skills that you need to defend yourself. But if you need to train to make yourself feel less afraid, by all means go ahead.

          But the truth about guns is that they are fun. I’m sorry for your lack of joy.

        • @Ralph

          I came into firearms differently than many did. And every teacher I’ve had (five so far, Jeff being the fifth) was and is a VERY serious cat. No playing and no joking around, tons of drills, lots of lecturing and practice oriented toward real world self defense and education. Active shooter SIMS courses, low light SIMS courses, all the things.

          So that’s the way I came into it. Being serious as hell is the way I have always been taught so to me that’s normal. Different than others perhaps, but invaluable to me and I’m grateful for it.

        • Wrong trainers, I put the fun in gun when I teach. Some of them guys get way to wrapped up in stances, scenarios, grip, on and on.

      • Aye! To blowing up tin cans and other such fun stuff to blast! My dad had us shooting guns as kids. .22’s to start. Then he’d let us shoot some of his military rifles once in awhile. I remember shooting what I think was a .45 one time — had some boom to it, alright. Mostly, we set up targets, and plinked away, great fun, great bonding times, great memories — and great exposure to a natural and important part of life: guns. Many vacations back to Montana, many rounds shot up on the farms. Many trips outside of Seattle to ‘the country’ — now developed lands — to set up targets, and shoot for awhile.

        Damned good fun to blow stuff up, whatever our age! I just wish the range wasn’t the only place within a reasonable distance to do some shooting where I live right now.

      • So many morons like yourself in these discussions. Who the hell are you or anyone else to criticize her because she likes to train?! You limp wristed metrosexuals love to plink with .22s. Well have at it. But don’t think for one second because you shoot cans at 10 feet with your .22 that you are skilled to protect yourself or family. Have no illusions, because I train in some form everyday, when the time comes, believe me, I won’t be doing what I do to save sheep like yourself, I’ll be doing it to kill the bad guy.

  16. I am guessing this was submitted in response to my (and other’s) posts on your thread yesterday. In your reply to my post (which was primarily about the importance of owning .22 pistols and rifles as a training tool for other people even more importantly for yourself) you stated that you don’t teach other people to shoot and instead refer them to other professionals. While I encourage everyone to get as much training from as many sources as possible this fails in two very important ways. This is likely because you are newly “out of the closet” and while you have formal training you have far less experience with gun culture than you would have if you had started earlier in life.

    1) Cost. I have taken many people shooting for the first time who would not have gone if it had cost them money. They were curious but not enough so to spend money on it. Others genuinely wanted to learn but had no funds. Others were families who would have had to spend hundreds of dollars their first trip to the range on instructors, rentals, range fees, etc. had they not had a friend to provide them their first experience. At the very least if you own a couple of .22s you can loan them to your friend/acquaintance to use while they are getting professional instruction saving them some of the cost. But that is only half of the cost argument. As you become more immersed in gun culture you will unfortunately see the very ugly side of what is currently the Democratic party trying to keep gun ownership prohibitively expensive and thus, limit it only to those wealthy enough to have disposable income. Huge topic for another conversation but poor people and families who live near the ends of their means in many ways have MORE of a need to learn about guns and responsible ownership than those in higher tax brackets. In your specific case the misguided belief that you don’t need .22s in your life is irresponsible because of #2 which you glossed over in yesterday’s exchange.

    2) By your own description you are (newly) a pro-gun writer on the worlds largest gun blog who advocates everybody who wants to should be trained and armed. If you don’t see the moral disconnect between reason #1 and the previous sentence I suggest some deep meditation, soul searching, several glasses of wine or whatever works best for you as brain food. In a society where the largest entity providing training and promoting safety (the NRA) is vilified daily in every news cast as the actually cause of every shooting that occurs anywhere in the world since David used a sling to drop Goliath, anybody who claims the credentials that you now have should be the best ambassador they can. You now have a larger readership than half of the MSM TV shows can claim these days. “When somebody asks for help learning to shoot, I suggest they start with a couple hundred dollar lesson” doesn’t cut it anymore. As a closet gun owner sure. As a casual pro 2nd person who avoids the conversation unless they know they are in friendly company sure. As a daily contributor to the largest forum in the world on the topic . . . I think I’ve stated my case clearly enough.

    3) I know I said there were only two, but if you don’t see a need to own them, somebody will use that as a reason that nobody needs them. A right not exercised is a right lost. Welcome to the tip of the spear darlin. It’s a messy place.

    • Not everyone comes to firearms for the same reason or trains or practices in the same way.

      I train and practice for one reason only: Self defense. I carry daily. As someone who carries a gun on my person every day, to me part of that responsibility involves having my skills be as good as they can.

      I understand your point about orienting beginners, but at this time I’m focused on skills building. I practice either alone or with my guy, who is a former LE instructor and excellent shot who pushes me to develop to my best. As such the time I have for practice is focused on attaining the level of skill I feel comfortable with as a daily carrier.

      The RSOs at the range I go to will essentially orient a beginner and help them out for free. They don’t have to pay for that help. Shooting in general is expensive and does cost money, though.

      Who knows, possibly down the road I’ll get to a place where it might seem interesting to teach…but I teach in my daily life too, all kinds of things, and it’s actually good to have a place where the focus can simply be on something I’m working on, getting better at it, and seeing the growth.

      • In a SHTF or survival scenario a .22 will go a lot farther than a center fire weapon. What I mean by that? Space and weight. I can carry hundreds of rounds of .22 in the space and weight of 9mm. In a SHTF scenario, which includes short term civil disorder, nobody wants to get shot. A looter will stop looting whether he gets hit by 22 or 500 S&W. Your objective isn’t to kill him. It is to make him stop, go away and discourage his friends. Out in the woods your objective is to feed yourself, which means small game, or drive off two and four legged predators. The .22 will do either except for bear. When space and weight are at a premium and bulk is important .22lr is the best round to carry.

        • I suppose I am not one of those people who prepares for “SHTF” type situations. Are you familiar with C5/Survival Acres’ essays on the subject, starting with “The Fallacy Of Bugging Out”? Those very much influenced my thinking and are interesting reading.

        • Yes I am but from Nutnfancy and my Red Cross disaster relef experience. You only bug out if you have to as last resort but in the stay in your neighborhood scenario you may still have venture out. If you do you can carry 4 times as much ammo as 9mm or about 10 times the amount of 5.56 for the same volume

          Survival doesn’t mean SHTF. It’s called wilderness camping.

      • Yea. You keep saying that, which really only dismisses the first point without addressing it. You have yet to even acknowledge the second point in any post of yours I have read on any thread. Granted I have not read them all.

  17. .22 is what I taught my daughters to shoot with. Once they were comfortable we graduated to centerfire stuff, but whenever they visit nowadays they can’t wait to grab the .22 guns and have some fun. Popping the x-ring or plinking at tin cans, either way, the giggle factor is tremendous. Viva la 22!

  18. Regarding handguns and rifles chambered in .22 LR — as others have stated:
    (1) They are FANTASTIC for introducing new shooters to firearms.
    (2) They are FUN to shoot.
    (3) They are INVALUABLE in a societal collapse.

    Every one of us, yes EVERY ONE OF US, should be offering to take family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who have never shot a firearm to a local range. And since EVERY ONE OF US should be doing that — and because .22 LR firearms are excellent for new shooters — EVERY ONE OF US should have at least one handgun and one rifle chambered in .22 LR for new shooters.

    If you see no value in training extensively with .22 LR, I am good with that. Please do not let that decision stop you from owning .22 LR firearms for introducing new shooters to the world of firearms.

    • If I ever got into longer range stuff, it might become a thing again. All of my training so far has focused on stuff that happens inside of 50 yards, both rifle and pistol. You never know what may happen down the road though…

  19. She’s satisfied with how she does things and you aren’t being compelled to do the same.

    You do you. Choice. Murica!

  20. “The reason I train in the caliber that I shoot is that it performs in a way that shooting a .22 isn’t going to teach me.”

    I can’t recall truer words that have ever been spoken.

    • Exactly my point above…50some years ago shooting a 22 rifle & 6 gun didn’t translate into much of anything. When I got my own guns some 7 years ago I wasn’t prepared for a 380,9mm or 40. Certainly not a 12gauge shotgun! My kids are all grown and the time for teaching is over. My grandkids dad is a fudd who lives 800miles away. Want a 22 get one…

  21. Bottom lines:

    1. Any gun that you intend to use for any serious purpose requires practice

    2. The best practice for any gun is to practice AS YOU INTEND TO USE that gun

    3a. If time is limited and money unlimited, shoot full caliber practice all the time you have.

    3b. If time is available and money is limited, .22 can provide a lot of practice for little money

    4a. Practicing with ANY gun is better than not practicing at all, but…

    4b. Practicing with one gun has limited value towards using a very different gun.

    4c. The more different the guns are, the less that practice with one helps using the other.

    The is absolutely nothing wrong with Elaine’s training regimen — for her — but advocating it for anyone else shows even less understanding than the article itself.

    • Certainly I’m not advocating what I do for anyone else. I’m a civilian defensive shooter; not a hunter, not a recreational shooter or plinker, not former or current military or LE. I do what works for me. There are a lot of worlds within the World of the Gun.

  22. I disagree, for reasons too numerous to count. But, just in case the dreaded “TEOTWAWKI” DOES come, you’re gonna need that .22, for reasons too numerous to count. Just one example: A .22 out distances your hand guns, it doesn’t “obliterate” small game, and it’s real quiet(hell, you can suppress it with a potato). Ok, 3. Sue me. js……

  23. I purchased a S&W M&P 15/22 specifically as a training tool for new AR Shooters, Has the same fit and fixtures as well as operating in the same manner. For a beginner just being introduced to shooting a 22LR is the best training firearm period. Great for teaching the fundamentals without the anticipated fear of recoil. Not to mention the fact that they are just plain fun to plink with. In all the years of shooting in my life I’ve worn out 4 rifles. Shot them to the point of being inoperable. So to just dismiss 22LR for any reason is not only foolish. It shows a lack of good old childish fun we all need from time to time in our lives. Keep Your Powder Dry…

  24. Elaine D.,

    I want to emphasize the point that Ian in Transit made above. Initially, my brain glossed over your position that you do not train people — instead referring them to professional training. To the extent that “training” means teaching basic safe handling and shooting, you are more than qualified to do that. More importantly, you have significant sway with your Progressive peers. Being able to introduce them to shooting at no expense to them (and at minimal cost to you if you use .22 LR firearms) could be the difference being winning them over and forever losing their support.

    If you are serious about building coalitions and strengthening our right to keep and bear arms, I can think of no better approach than proverbially “grabbing the bull by the horns” yourself and taking your Progressives peers to the range to shoot .22 LR firearms.

    • Agreed. I may come to that eventually. Right now I’m in what I feel to be a training tunnel – there are things I’ve been working on that I am finally starting to make some big leaps forward on, there’s momentum behind it, so I’m keeping my eye on that prize until I get to the next plateau. That pretty much takes up the time I have to practice.

      It may also make a difference that I never grew up around recreational shooting or plinking. I came to firearms for self defense and that’s the only kind of training I’ve done. It’s a different mindset than recreational shooting I suppose – not that I would know since I’ve never done the latter.

      • Elaine, I now understand you better. I didn’t realize that you came to shooting later than most of us, or that your purpose in learning to shoot was totally focused on self protection. And if what you are doing works for you, that is great. I’m kinda with Ralph in being sad that you missed the fun we had as kids shooting for fun. Seeing Oreos explode when hit with a .22 is very rewarding to a 12 year old kid. And small game hunting is best done with a caliber that does minimal destruction to the meat. I’m not sure what a 9mm +P jacketed hollow point would do to a rabbit, but I imagine it would be messy.

        • @Bontai

          I’ve only been seriously shooting for about two years, though I got my CHL in 2015.

          Before this thread, believe it or not, I never even knew that people used or grew up on guns as recreation and fun. Hell, I was sitting here trying to remember if any of the people I’ve studied with even cracked a smile during instruction. I would have to say No!

          My first pistol teacher used to yell at me at the top of his lungs. He was a funny old guy. Guess I just figured that’s how it works, not that I mind.

        • Sounds like your first instructor might have been ex-military. They yell at everyone, because they are used to training teenagers with limited attention spans. After 20 years of that, there is little joy left inside them.

          Some of the fun targets we shot at as kids were the aforementioned Oreos, cans, on rare occasions eggs, playing cards, lots and LOTS of paper targets. Never used glass bottles because we had to clean up whatever wasn’t bio-degradable, and shattered glass is never fun to pick up. Later in my 20’s I got into Bullseye shooting which was very popular at the time, hardly hear of it now-a-days. I used to shoot a brick of .22’s a week as a minimum. I got good enough to consistently finish in the middle to upper third of the group. No trophies on my shelf, but I could still shoot the center out of a target. Just that my ragged hole was a little bigger than the top guys and girls. My coaches and mentors were mostly old guys sharing what they knew with me without yelling, except for the deaf ones that yelled all the time because they couldn’t hear.

  25. You dismiss the .22 but embrace the .380? That’s kind of backward, since the only thing .380 is good for is allowing for smaller guns (many of which can be matched with a 9mm these days). Even if you can find a .380 gun smaller than any 9mm, the round is not effective enough to rely on for defense.

    • The .380 is good for little bitty pocket guns (LCP/P3AT/TCP). Even the small 9s aren’t quite that tiny. The LCP type gun can go places that a Shield, G43, or J-frame can’t. I usually carry my 642, but occasionally drop down to the LCP or P3AT.

      I do strongly disagree with Elaine about .22s.
      I love them. They are a ton of fun, and fill a bunch of useful roles. I have multiple .22 rifles and handguns. I don’t really “train” with them. I just love shooting them.

      I also strongly disagree with Elaine about political affiliation. The current Democratic party is insane and evil (while the Republican party sucks somewhat less).

      I’m not too impressed by Elaine’s first two articles. I miss Farago.

      • Is the .380 the smallest non-.2 caliber gun you can get? I don’t know, but having experienced it, I found that the ammo was too expensive and the selection was limited, and that it is really not reliably effective for any purpose, including the most important, of self defense. Not only that, it was not fun for me to shoot (although that may have been more a factor of the gun than the ammo).

        I can’t see ever again having anything to do with .380. If I wanted a compact auto, I’d look into one of the smaller 9mm. for a compact revolver, a 5 shot .38 or better, .357.

        I’d also check out the PKO45, a 5+1 shot .45acp compact auto. If ultra concealment was more important than effectiveness, I’d check out the NAA .22 magnum revolvers.

        • John,

          There are firearms chambered in .32 ACP which is obviously smaller than .380 ACP.

          Whether or not .32 ACP or .380 ACP are viable self-defense calibers depends on your perspective. Consider the following:
          (1) About 90% of all attackers will immediately break-off their attack when the defender draws a firearm and aims it at them regardless of caliber.
          (2) A fair amount of the attackers who did not immediately break-off their attack in (1) will break-off their attack when the defender starts shooting, regardless of caliber.

          Those two facts mean that any firearm chambered in any caliber virtually guarantees that the defender will prevail over their attacker in about 95% of attacks. Thus, from that perspective, firearms chambered in .22 LR, .22 WMR, .25 auto, .32 ACP, and .380 ACP are sensible choices for self-defense.

          • Uncommon Sense, that’s a great comment. Just carry! The discussions over caliber are always interesting — I find them so. And all along, all I hope for is that whoever can carry, does carry. Yes, carry a .22 if that’s what’s handy or it’s what you feel comfortable carrying. Just have a gun! .25 is ridiculed, .22 not so much, and so on.

            Just carry. A Beretta 950 chambered in .22 short? Yes, carry! For your sake, for the sake of family, whoever is around you. Something in any chamber, will win many a day. I have a Beretta 21A in .22 LR. With CCI Stingers in there, and the ability to shoot 8 rounds in about 2 seconds, I’ve felt quite comfortable carrying it the few times I have. I carry a Glock 23 most of the time, but ANY gun will stop most attackers, as you point out so clearly.

            Thanks for the stats and comment, Uncommon Sense.

        • Uncommon sense, you are probably right-ish that many attackers will be scared off by the sight of a gun, or the shots of a gun or even being shot by a (tiny) gun. But not all (I’ll bet more than 5%).

          Some are dedicated enough, enraged enough, drugged enough or otherwise motivated enough to continue what they are doing. And if what they are doing is so terrible that it does not matter if stopping them causes them damage or even death. then I want them to be stopped RIGHT NOW.

          People who want to scare off an attacker may or may not be lucky enough to succeed. Planning on being lucky is idiotic. I’d rather be lucky with a .45 than a .25 (that is, defuse the situation without having to shoot). Because a 45 is more likely to scare someone off than a “mouse gun” and if I’m not lucky (have to shoot to prevent significant harm to myself or another innocent), the .45 will do the job and the .25 very likely will not. And neither will the .32 or the .380 (or even the 9mm with ball ammo). The Rimfires are just as ineffective at stopping, but at least you can afford to practice with them, a lot, and bullet placement can compensate for ineffective bullet design.

          • Good points. Having a gun, any gun, gives you a chance that you can stop things from escalating, or stop the attacker. That said, I carry a Glock 23, sometimes my 21. I figure if I’m going to carry, then carry. Don’t try to save a few ounces, or a bit of convenience, with something smaller. But if someone will only carry a .380 or a .22, or whatever it is, for whatever reasons, then by all means carry that. I wish everybody carried at least something. Personally, I’m with you. I want to be able to do the most damage I can if the situation does arise, as unlikely as it is to ever happen. I carry for the off chance that it does.

      • @Art

        “The current Democratic party is insane and evil (while the Republican party sucks somewhat less).”

        This made me laugh out loud and made my day, since I voted today and so did my Republican sweetie!

        • I’m glad to give you a good laugh. We all need to laugh more. Our “leaders” from both parties are a quite joke.

          Those Sig .380 pistols you mentioned are a great choice. I’m cheap so I wouldn’t buy them myself. Still, they are wonderful guns.

    • I don’t dismiss .22. I simply don’t use it.

      As a tall thin woman, there’s no way for me to even remotely conceal a full size 9. .380 is a good option for me because it not only conceals well, I can easily shoot it one handed and be accurate. I’ve had a few mini 9s and didn’t like them much.

      • Elaine,

        Have you tried the Sig P365? A dear friend who is a defensive firearms instructor tried mine out and found that it was very concealable and controllable for her (she is about 5’8″ and 130 lbs). She invites me to visit her all-women classes with my 9’s that she does not own or have other access to so that the ladies can try out a multitude of differing weapons to find “that one” that tickles their shooting sweet spot.

        It is my fervent hope that, after you bring yourself up to the shooting level you’re striving for, you can get more into recreational shooting…just for the fun of it…paper, steel and the “knock-down pop-up” high density plastic targets are a great way to enjoy owning a firearm with no ultimate objective other than pure enjoyment…all calibers and cartridges are welcome.

        • @ Old Guy

          I have not tried the 365. I used to own the Sig 938 but never quite fell in love with it. I shot the LCP and hated it. Shot the mini Kimber and didn’t fall in love either. Now I own a pair of fancy ass Sig P238s. New York Reload!

          (not really, but it’s a fun idea)

          Agreed that once I get through the tunnel I’ll be able to relax more. I think I could probably do that with carbine now, though I’ve been on a break from carbine to focus on pistol. But having worked my ass off at carbine for about a year, I’m sure that now I could have fun with it without everything falling apart. Thing is, I don’t know anyone with a super cool outdoor setup with all the toys…those steel targets are damn expensive!

          • Agree with your opinion of the LCP…least fun firearm that I own to actually shoot.

            As your skill set increases you might look into 3-Gun matches…they are fun and use all the defensive, speed skills you are currently developing. Strictly pistol competitions include IDPA or USPSA (USPSA is my personal fave as there are matches conducted reasonably close to my home).

            As far as steel…you are correct, it is d**m expensive (that’s why I buy the pieces one at a time on sale or deals like: buy two boxes of rifle ammo and receive a gong by mail for PHS only). There are a number of us old fogey shooters that pool our steel resources once or twice a month for informal shoots (except in winter…the snow gets really deep up here in the Northern Rockies).

  26. Train with a 22? I make my kids do that so they can practice being safe and accurate.
    Why?
    We put thousands of rounds through our 10/22 in April and May to push back the mother truckin hoarde of potguts in the pivots that get water. Poison only gets so many.

  27. I bought a walther PPQ in .22 to train for less money, noise and so far it’s been a good move.

    I’m not sure how you master a particular caliber.

    • I couldn’t care less about mastering a caliber. Hell, I love to shoot any caliber, pretty much. I love to shoot! Give me a gun, give me ammo, and let’s shoot some stuff up! If the only thing we have is .22, let’s go! It’s just fun to shoot. Shoot enough, you’ll be able to handle any caliber. If you haven’t shot it before, you won’t be afraid of it. It’s just another caliber, another gun.

    • @GS650G

      Seems to me from my current vantage point (that of being fortunate enough to know a handful of really good, expert shooters) that you just shoot a lot of it…always practicing your skills with focus…trying out different types of ammo, bullet weights, pressures etc. so that you know how all of those things perform in whatever firearms you would use in a defensive situation. That’s what the deal seems to be from observation.

  28. I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

    Bruce Lee

  29. Train for what? Burn up thousands of dollars in ammo with the hope of a confrontation? Sounds a little strange to me.

    • That’s what defensive shooting is about. Not hoping for a confrontation – never. Being prepared for a confrontation, absolutely.

    • I can explain it to you. James. I can’t make you comprehend it. By the tone of your post my guess you are another one of the keyboard commandos living in your mamas basement. Who like to go to websites and put people’s lifestyles down to make yourself feel better. Try crawling out of the cave and experiencing life instead of putting others down. You might learn something and accidentally have some fun.

  30. Look out everyone, the fun police are coming! Put down them .22’s and wipe the smile of your gob, guns are only for training to operate operationally. What a load of bullshit, not only are they great training guns (and more fun), they also put a lot of meat on my table. Not sure what all this studious training is for, but procuring game is about as real world application you can get with firearms regardless of caliber.

    • @Broke

      Hunting is indeed a great thing. My guy is a bow hunter and will only switch to rifle at the very end of the season if need be. He wants to teach me the art of the bow. I’ve never hunted. Grew up a poor urban kid, ya know?

  31. When I was a preteen, I spent a summer vacation alone with my grandfather, an Olympic competitor, international pistol gold medalist (and occasional rifle champion) and retired naval officer and dentist. He gave me an intense 3 month pistol boot camp. He started me on .22LR pistol, but let me try .38Special and .45ACP. I was already familiar with .22LR from a Ruger 10/22 and my father loved .357 Magnum, so I was familiar with .38 and .357. Although, most of my grandfather’s lessons involved shooting the .22LR pistol, I could see the world of difference with the .45, and he took note. So much so, that when he passed away he left me his competition .45. So, I agree, .22 has its own intrinsic value and in addition any practice is better than no practice; it is probably the easiest caliber for introduction into the world of shooting; it is affordable; it is less noisy and has less recoil so a novice will less likely develop an incurable flinch. However, I believe that one must practice extensively with the caliber and load that one plans to compete with, plink with and carry.

    • @SoBe

      What an amazing guy your grandfather sounds like he was. What an amazing thing to get lessons from such a man! Thanks for sharing that story.

      • He was quite amazing, thanks. But, as you say, practice with the round and load that you intend to use.

  32. I’ve taken a lot of game with a .22 including deer, it’s shot placement not caliber( caliber does help sometimes) but first and foremost is shot placement. The .22 lr to me is a fine teacher of marksmanship.

    • @possum

      Absolutely that about the shot placement! No shot counts for anything if it doesn’t land where it’s supposed to.

      Marksmanship is fundamental; it does seem there are differences in the way the training and practice of it play out, particularly in terms of time pressure, between hunting and long range shooting and defensive shooting orientations.

      • Hitting a red squirrel rapidly running a red oak raceway is not easy, eye shots only.,,, har har,, ,

        • Just wait until it stops and shoot the limb under it, or use a Creedmoor and shoot the tree it is hiding in…I heard the magical bullet will follow the grain of the wood like some sort of squirrel homing missile.

  33. Im not sure that I “train” with a 22, but I shoot them on occasion. First rifle I shot, first handgun i owned ( at 10). Taught me a lot about shooting – sight picture, trigger control, bullet drop ( at distance). Double action shooting with 22 is exactly the same as with centerfire rounds with the exception of recoil. Fine tuning form with a 22 allows working on recoil separately and distinctly. Sjooting 1000s of rounds with a 22 is great fun but also is “practice” for good shooting habits.

    Sounds like a lot of people posting here are just too cool/intense/serious/tacticool to ever shoot a lowly 22. They didnt grow up shooting so they show disdain for those who did. Makes me think they “started shooting”, instead of “learning” to shoot.

    I certainly couldt afford shooting 300-500 rounds of 38 or 357 when i was a kid, but could afford 22 and shot a lot. Even now i probably dont shoot as many 9mm rounds as a lot of folks. I begin most shooting sessions working on something defense-related like drawing and hitting multiple targets or shooting and moving. I finish most shooting sessions with 22 fun “practice”.

    I see a lot of others who practice with 300 rounds of mag dumps on a single target and then talk about having 10k rounds through that gun. Yeah…….

    • Good comment. I think there are lots of us who do not ‘train’ — I don’t, at least in my mind. But when we get a chance, it’s fun to just shoot — and .22’s are fun to shoot because they’re cheap, no recoil, you can shoot a bunch for cheap. Shooting’s fun, and .22’s are the most fun to shoot.

      I have 9mm, .40, .45. They’re my defense guns. I’ll put a few hundred rounds through each. Thousands? No. I just don’t get to the range that often. I, too, am always somewhat surprised when I read someone who has put 10,000 or more rounds through a .45, let’s say. I’m thinking, that’s $2-3k … Or more!

      I’m less prepared than some, more prepared than most.

      Main thing in my mind is have guns, have ammo — lots is good — shoot when we can, carry everywhere, and hang on to our guns no matter what. And have fun with it all — because it’s fun!

  34. Who says all shooting has to be “training”? Lighten up. Stop being so serious.

    Have some fun once in a while, without there necessarily being a purpose to it. Other than some plain ol’ fun. And it can’t hurt. Shooting anything with sound fundamentals builds muscle memory and instinct.

    • @Blammo

      I came to shooting to get rid of a stalker. Then I was in a situation where the office complex I had my business in was (unknown to me and the other tenants) renting empty offices to transients as though they were day hotel rooms.

      This led to a situation for many months where my office was, on a daily basis, surrounded by sketchy people dealing drugs and doing who knows what else. Talking to the management did nothing since they were running the whole deal, which none of us knew. I carried every day during those months in order to protect myself and my clients while I looked for another place to move my business, and also to protect my office neighbor down the row, who was a sweet little lady who made flower arrangements and was nervous as hell about the changes that were happening.

      The final straw was the day I opened my back office door and there was a mostly naked guy standing there high on drugs. I emergency evacuated all of my furniture and other office stuff out of that place that weekend after figuring out what was really going on.

      I also at one point had a client who was being followed by cartel members.
      Happily things are all a lot better now, but it was rough for a while there! But it all was pretty serious from the beginning!

      • Well, that’s some serious shit, right there. Noted.

        But you never know what you might learn from shooting .22 LR. As an example, once I was shooting various rifles at the range. ARs, Mini-14, M1 Garand, M1903 and a 10/22. It was an all-day range trip and I went through hundreds of rounds in all 3 calibers. I went through about 20 rounds with the 1903A3 as the recoil started to grate on me a bit. I was getting fatigued and accuracy was suffering. So, I went right to the 10/22 just to take a break. With the first few shots, I noticed I was flinching a bit. Flinching with a .22!! It was an obvious hangover from shooting the M1903. I learned if I was flinching from the .22, I was certainly flinching with the .30-06, and that was probably why the accuracy dropping off.

        It’s lessons like this we never forget that make us better shooters.

        • @Blammo

          It’s kind of amazing to me that you can spend an entire day at a range shooting so many guns. What distances were you working?

          I find that I get pretty worn out after about 45 minutes of concentrated practice, so I tend to do a couple – three short practices a week and not use more than one firearm in my practice, though I do sometimes bring along the Sig MPX for those four headshots I’m supposed to take at the end when I’m tired and my skills are breaking down. It’s kind of cheating, but ya know.

        • Well, it was most of the day. About 4-5 hours start to finish. Not a lot of places to shoot on Long Island so when I get some time, I make the most of it. If the range isn’t crowded, they don’t time you. I got out of the habit of bringing that many guns. Now, I usually just limit it to 2. Sometimes I shoot with a purpose and sometimes I shoot just to relax.

  35. Seems someone here trains and practices shooting for the express reason of being able to kill people when SHTF. Wonder if they will be able to pick out the real enemy when that happens?

  36. I guess this all depends on where you are on the training ladder. New shooters who are completely new to guns can absolutely get a lot out of training with a .22. Once past the initial training phase, then I do agree…train most with the self-defense caliber you are carrying or see yourself defending yourself with. Realistically, that won’t be a .22.

  37. “…the advances in 9mm ammo mean that there really isn’t a compelling reason to carry another caliber.”

    Oh my goodness can we please stop it with this pseudo-scientific garble!! ANY AND ALL ADVANCES THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN 9MM APPLY TO THE OTHER CALIBERS AS WELL.

    • Yes – but don’t forget the super-special-secret-slossberg study that justifies all law enforcement agencies reverting to 9mm. It has nothing to do with their officers/agents/operators being crap shots and unable to handle recoil from a 40 or 357 Sig.

      No really, nothing to do with it. They will be able to shoot like Jason Bourne after switching from 40 to 9……Really.

  38. Anyone else from the old school kind of snickering at the claim that “I don’t train with a .22,” “I shoot the .223 instead.” Snicker.

      • Side comment, Elaine. As a few others have noted, kudos to you for an article that has spawned quite a thread here, some very interesting discussions of all kinds of things — and you respond with a very cool head. I admire that. You’ve got mostly guys here, challenging you (at the least) on all kinds of points in your article. And one at a time, in a very measured, even tone, you respond with respect and intelligence. Thanks for sharing some of your background along the way. You’ve certainly earned my respect and admiration, and I’m sure many here feel the same.

        • @Michael

          Thank you for that. I was aware, coming into this environment, that there would be a lot of blowback, and I was prepared for that. I’m interested in engaging and respectful discussion always.

          I also know what I don’t know. My lane is small and very specific – civilian defensive shooting. As such I don’t have the breadth of knowledge and experience with the other uses of firearms that many others do here. I find that I learn a lot from these dialogues and that interesting questions get asked that I’ve never thought about before that add to my knowledge of the shooting world and how different people see it: as defense, as a sport, as fun, as a hobby. A lot of what’s outside my lane is quite new to me. So it’s helping me grow, too. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.