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Thread: .22 for Self Defense?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    .22 for Self Defense?

    If you carry a .22 for self defense, you might find

    Howard


  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
    rintinglen's Avatar
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    A 10-22 and a 25 round mag might be just the ticket for some body who was elderly or otherwise recoil adverse. Back in 1983 I witnessed the result of a shooting wherein the victim took 3 hits from a small 22. He survived, but was clearly incapacitated nearly immediately and likely would have passed on if not for the prompt response of LACO EMT's.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by rintinglen View Post
    A 10-22 and a 25 round mag might be just the ticket for some body who was elderly or otherwise recoil adverse. Back in 1983 I witnessed the result of a shooting wherein the victim took 3 hits from a small 22. He survived, but was clearly incapacitated nearly immediately and likely would have passed on if not for the prompt response of LACO EMT's.
    This is exactly the issue of trying to justify the .22 as a defensive round. Attempting to find a "niche" it fits in.

    There are two issues with a .22....one, a rimfire is more prone to a FTF....then is its power/penetration.

    As for use by the frail, a better option than a 10-22 is a pistol caliber carbine. Some of them are a tad difficult to operate by weak folks due their blow back actions but an M-1 carbine style would address that. And for a pistol, if a .22 is good enough, a .32 revolver might be a bit better while still not having too much recoil and be easy to use by someone with poor strength.

    The comment about not wanting to be hit by a .22 is a given. Heck I do not want to take a strike from my air gun.

    If forced to carry a .22LR, Eley ammunition would be something to consider. When I shot Bullseye, I had very few FTF with it. Go to a match and see how many folks using "cheap" .22's have alibis during Timed and Rapid Fire events. And a FTF during a "situation" is not a good thing.
    Don Verna

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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I once had an elderly retired doctor attend one of my classes. His physical condition had declined to the point where he walked with a cane and needed to use it for support. The cane, obviously, occupied one hand any time he was standing. He also had limited hand strength to be able to control anything, to include firearms. He attended the class with an old Ruger standard 22 pistol. While shooting, and supporting himself with his cane, he proceeded to shoot the center out of a target 7-yards away while firing the pistol with his other hand. Was that the most effective weapon for him to employ? I don’t know. What I do know is I didn’t want him shooting it at me.
    Howard

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    I carry my LCP .22 with Aguila Interceptor 40 grain quite a bit. Out of that short barrel they clock 1000 fps across my chronograph and are centerfire reliable. With 10+1 on board you can get alot of fast follow up shots.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, 6.5 Creedmoor, .30 WCF, .308 WCF.

  6. #6
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    Well, I'll stipulate right off that one should use the most powerful gun that one can manage for defensive purposes, but a 32 S&W Long revolver will generate a lot less energy than HR got with his 22 LR Carbine, have a double action trigger twice as heavy (or more) as a 22 Rifle and hold fewer rounds. A 32 H&R or a 327 will be more powerful, but will have more kick. I also have to concede that Rimfire Ammunition is less reliable, especially the bulk pack stuff, but I also have had much better performance from premium Brands, including CCI Stingers.

    All told, my 75 year old cousin keeps a Marlin loaded with "Hollownose", and she sleeps well with it in her closet near at hand. She shoots it well, has used it for pest control in years gone by, and its use is familiar. For her, it is probably good enough.

    I, on the other hand, keep a S&W 15 shot 9mm pistol ready, and seldom carry anything smaller than a 38 Special, save on really hot days when the LCP comes along for the ride. But I am a Firearms fan, not someone to whom a gun is merely a tool.
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    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Call me crazy( and many folks do)- but I'd rather have my Nylon 66 loaded with CCI MiniMag hollow points in my hands than any handgun if bullets are flying in anger.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

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    Any gun is better than no gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    Any gun is better than no gun.
    ^^^^^This^^^^^

    While it wouldn't be my first choice, at least it is a choice. If it was all I had and the chips are down, 22LR to the rescue.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    A Ruger 10/22, provided you can find one that is reliable, would be easy to handle in close quarters and more than accurate enough for home use.
    CCI Mini Mags would be my cartridge of choice.
    Any semi auto 22 rifle with a full load of Mini Mags would likely do the job. Intruders rarely stay around when bullets start going off, even if they aren't hit by them.
    By my bed, I have a 9mm pistol and a 12 gauge shotgun. I will pick up the one I feel I need at the time.

  11. #11
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    My dad had a friend when I was knee high, who was the Panhandle of Texas head Ranger. He carried a Colt .45 ACP on his hip - but he had a 22LR mini pistol mounted on a Big Silver Belt buckle he wore as his "Hide Out Gun" similar to this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  12. #12
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    If you're gonna carry a .22 for self defense, should it be loaded with HP's or solids?

    Assuming equal reliability, I'd go with solids. If the HP's expand, I'd bet they under-penetrate. The solids should go well beyond 12" with a "tumble" in the middle.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Call me crazy( and many folks do)- but I'd rather have my Nylon 66 loaded with CCI MiniMag hollow points in my hands than any handgun if bullets are flying in anger.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk
    Apples and oranges....if I can use a rifle, I have better choices than a .22 LR.

    But you make a good point. Most people cannot shoot a pistol well and cannot make hits when it counts. A rifle is much easier to shoot accurately. But it sure is tough to carry one around sometimes.
    Don Verna

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  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    A Ruger 10/22, provided you can find one that is reliable, would be easy to handle in close quarters and more than accurate enough for home use.
    CCI Mini Mags would be my cartridge of choice.
    Any semi auto 22 rifle with a full load of Mini Mags would likely do the job. Intruders rarely stay around when bullets start going off, even if they aren't hit by them.
    By my bed, I have a 9mm pistol and a 12 gauge shotgun. I will pick up the one I feel I need at the time.
    When I lived in the burbs, I was similarly armed for home defense. Now that I live rurally, I added an AR. It is nice to have options. Even nicer not to ever need them.
    Don Verna

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  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pettypace View Post
    If you're gonna carry a .22 for self defense, should it be loaded with HP's or solids?

    Assuming equal reliability, I'd go with solids. If the HP's expand, I'd bet they under-penetrate. The solids should go well beyond 12" with a "tumble" in the middle.
    Years(decades) ago, I shot a squirrel through the head with a Remington hollow point 22lr. The squirrel was lined up such that the bullet went down it's neck and stopped under the skin on it's hind leg. Penetration was roughly 12 inches. The bullet was perfectly mushroomed.
    I still have that bullet around somewhere.
    That would give a good idea of how a 22lr hollow point might penetrate.

  16. #16
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    There are interesting videos on performance in ballistic gel. Worth looking at.
    Don Verna

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  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Lucky Gunner has some ballistic gel tests using various brands of 22lr in some handguns on his site.
    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/poc...-results/#22LR
    Nothing there for rifle that I saw.

  18. #18
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    For most sane people getting shot with anything is a significant demotivator. For the crazies, druggies and the highly motivated even a center mass 12 gauge slug may not provide a instant stop. An LE friend of mine put a slug through a bad guy's lung while it killed him he was on his feet for at least 30 seconds but turn and ran away before piling up.

    Interesting read here https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/sh...-happens-next/
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  19. #19
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    I believe the whole point of this exercise is not to qualify the .22 as your main defensive weapon but to show in a pinch or out of necessity it is not wholly inadequate. I think he proved that point quite well.

  20. #20
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    I carry a .22 often. Took a class at our gun club with it. Instructor chuckled at my choice (PPK/s) at the beginning of class but part way thru, he quit. I use the Browning HP ammo, but have been known to use Mini Mags.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check