If you had to choose between these 3


January 9, 2003, 02:21 PM
For self defense. Lets say home invasion and you had to pick between a Ruger MKII (or other .22 pistol) with ten shot clip, a large caliber 2 shot Derrenger (sp) and a black powder cap and ball revolver in .44, which would you choose for home defense?

I would take the .22 pistol because it would be easy to shoot rapidly, accurate, low noise and muzzel flash and holds 10 shots. The derrenger would be last on my list.

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January 9, 2003, 02:38 PM
What you have is a choice between a 10 shot gun, a 2 shot gun, and a 1 shot gun. You won't be able to see to get an aimed second shot off after shooting that charcoal burner.
Take the .22 with a mag full of high velocity solids.:rolleyes:

January 9, 2003, 02:45 PM
The .22 but shoot the flamethrower first to scare the beejesus out of them.:evil: :D

January 9, 2003, 03:25 PM
I would choose the 10 shot .22 over the others...
I like the idea of 10 shots over 1 or 2.

January 9, 2003, 03:32 PM
Quantity wins out in this case. I'd go w/ the 10+1 semi auto 22lr.

Mike Irwin
January 9, 2003, 03:37 PM
RCL, a .44 cap and ball revolver is a 5 or 6 shooter (depending on how many chambers you have loaded/capped).

I'd be very tempted by that.

January 9, 2003, 04:03 PM
Around the house, given the choices, I think I'd be more comfortable with the .22. But, on Main Street at high noon, give me that .44!

January 9, 2003, 05:03 PM
I'd use the .44 first, then take the .22 out of my belt if it was still needed.

January 9, 2003, 05:42 PM
I'll take the .22 pistol.

January 9, 2003, 05:50 PM
A .22 semi-auto, of course. :cool:

January 9, 2003, 06:06 PM
.22 would be my choice!

January 9, 2003, 06:11 PM

January 9, 2003, 06:12 PM
the 44.

The one shot will knock the stuffings out of them, and the flash will set them on fire!

Seriously, the 44 is the best chance to stop further unpleasantness.

January 9, 2003, 06:12 PM
Mike, I realize the cap and ball gun is a 5 or 6 shooter. What I was refering to was the target being obscured by smoke from the blackpowder in the enclosed space (he said home invasion).:)

Neal Bloom
January 9, 2003, 06:16 PM
Make sure the .22 is a MarkII or other quality .22 that you know will work and not some cheap .22 that is going to jam. If it is a jam-o-matic that the 'charcoal burner' would be my choice.

January 9, 2003, 06:59 PM
.44 for me. A solid hit with this and one should be enough on someone. Big flash and boom would be useful to disorient BGs.

I'd use the smoke cloud to my advantage and be moving anyways..

January 9, 2003, 07:15 PM
I'll use the .22 to get to my shotgun

January 9, 2003, 08:30 PM
If it's a 5-shooter, I'd take the .44 ;)

The 22lr IWB

And the derringer in my front pocket. :D

Standing Wolf
January 9, 2003, 09:09 PM
I'd recommend a twelve-bore shotgun.

January 9, 2003, 09:40 PM
If it came down to it, I'd rather defend my home with an unloaded 12ga. pump than any .22 Long Rifle firearm.

No sound in the world says "GO AWAY" like the chack-chack of a pump gun being cycled.
Odds are you'd never need the ammo.
(Of course, I do have ammo, for the particularily obstinate critters.

January 9, 2003, 09:45 PM
i'd take the cap'n ball .44.

they worked great in their day and would be just as effective today.

January 9, 2003, 11:01 PM
If the black powder revolver was a quality gun like a Ruger Old Army I would use it. If not I would grab the Ruger MK2.

January 10, 2003, 02:17 AM
Without a doubt that .22

January 10, 2003, 03:11 AM
Cap and ball revolver all the way. Only the very determine home invade would stick around after a volley of that sort, even if your didn't hit them. and If they were to stick around I have a smoke screen to escape through.

Seriously though in 12 years I've never seen a smoke thrower used in a crime so the accompanying flash and noise will probably scare the complete blue hell out of anyone not familiar with said firearms.

January 10, 2003, 03:17 AM
I would take a tuned up .44 percussion revolver.

January 10, 2003, 07:06 AM
the .44 c&b, and cock the hammer and pull the trigger as fast as possible. I only have to hit him once with the .44 and one of the six chambers is bound to go off.

January 10, 2003, 07:14 AM
Sell all three and get a better gun!:scrutiny:

Kahr carrier
January 10, 2003, 09:28 AM
Mk-2,use the derringer as a last ditch gun.:evil:

4v50 Gary
January 10, 2003, 02:06 PM
22 LR. Head shot affair. Second choice will be the cap n ball. Per Jim Keenan, it was good enough for Huff to kill Stuart.

January 10, 2003, 02:53 PM
No contest, C&B .44. We seem to forget that these firearms were extremely effective "back in the day" and that effectiveness will only be better today with modern powders, caps, metals, and replica guns built to much better standards.

I am sure the .22 would kill the intruder with enough shots but I just do not trust it to induce enough trama to stop the threat quickly enough, not to mention it just doesn't have the scary look of a big bore revolver and sometimes the mental aspect of getting shot by what is perceived as a very deadly gun can incapacite as well.

All that being said 6 shots of .44 is nothing to scoff at.

Besides if you run out of ammo what would you rather beat the battered and bloody intruder with a little .22, a microscopic deringer or a big honkin' piece of .44 caliber steel and wood. Once again for the Thwackum stick I still go with the .44.

January 10, 2003, 04:11 PM
I haven't shot derringers, but I have a good bit of practice with my 1860s, and a a ton of practice with S&W 41s (.22 semiauto). I'll definitely take the .44 revolver.

January 10, 2003, 06:03 PM
Ruger Mk II.

OUTSTANDING pistolas! :cool:

January 10, 2003, 06:19 PM
"If it came down to it, I'd rather defend my home with an unloaded 12ga. pump than any .22 Long Rifle firearm.

No sound in the world says "GO AWAY" like the chack-chack of a pump gun being cycled."

Good plan.

I'll tell you what, you get an unloaded pump shotgun and I will take a .22 and we will see who wins the gun fight.:neener:

I can't beleive you wrote that!:scrutiny: I think you have watched too many movies.:p

January 11, 2003, 12:00 AM
Given that I've had tons of practice with all manner of .22 pistols, and absolutely none with the cap 'n' ball revo's, I'd have to go with the .22.

Fire 10+1 rounds, reload, repeat as necessary.

Ala Dan
January 11, 2003, 12:43 AM
Ruger MK-II KMK-512! As its very affordable and requires
very little up-keep.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

January 11, 2003, 12:52 AM
For serious social work a well maintained cap and ball is the way to go. Ask Wild Bill Hickcock.

January 11, 2003, 09:48 AM
I'd go with the .44 revolver, as well. The vast majority of HD situations will be settled with a few shots, regardless of the outcome. The .44 revolver is also more intimidating (to the home invader) in a gunpoint situation than a .22 or a little derringer, though obviously you can't count on just scaring 'em.

Yes, these revolvers will belch flame and smoke. But people managed to get by using them throughout the 1800s, in "shootouts" that took place in saloons, homes, stores, etc. I think I'd manage, too. I do shoot these guns with some frequency as a consequence of my employment, so I am pretty familiar with them.

I recall Jeff Cooper mentioning that he'd rather have a cap-n-ball .44 than a Beretta 92. I'm not at all enthusiastic about the Beretta, but I wouldn't go quite that far!


January 11, 2003, 05:26 PM
My first choice would be the .44, then the .22. I'd probably unload the derringer and throw it at the BG. More accurate that way.

January 11, 2003, 05:58 PM
The .44 revolver


Dave Markowitz
January 11, 2003, 08:40 PM
No question -- the .44 cap and ball revolver. My choice in that type of firearm would be my Ruger Old Army, or possibly my Uberti Second Model Dragoon.

The Dragoon can take a load of 50 grains of 3Fg powder underneath a round ball. That is some serious power for a handgun. And if the 6 shots don't do in the BG, the fumes will! :D

January 11, 2003, 09:06 PM
.22, after lots of practice

Shootin' Buddy
January 11, 2003, 09:16 PM
forty-four for shore

if that sentence doesn't make sense to you, say it outloud fast.

January 11, 2003, 10:59 PM
I'd like to see some of you guys who chose the cap&ball .44 try to reload one of them in a hurry. Even with a spare cylinder, it's going to take a lot longer than reloading any modern firearm.

If you're 100%, Absolutely, ironclad certain that you'll only need 5 or 6 shots the .44 is a better choice--no question.

If there's ANY chance you might need to reload, the .22 semi auto is so much better of a choice that it's no competition.

January 12, 2003, 10:49 AM
"the forty-four spoke and it said 'lead and smoke' - seventeen inches of flame"
Marty Robbins "Mr. Shorty"

"oh he might have went on livin' but he made one fatal slip: when he tried to match the ranger with the big iron on his hip"
Marty Robbins "Big Iron"

Anyone guess what I would choose ...?

January 12, 2003, 10:58 AM
Ruger. I don'rt like the grip angle, but mine is deadly accurate, reliable and with the bull barrel makes a damned good club when the magazine runs dry.


January 12, 2003, 12:22 PM
--.22 Pros--
- Accurate
- Reliable
- 10 shot magazine
- Quick reload via new mag
- Usually good sights
- Can remain in a "loaded" condition for years if necessary.

--.22 Cons--
- low relative power factor,,fatal to be sure but poor stopping even w/multiple hits. My half-fast guesstimate is 3 shots min/ 5 to 10 shots max per "target" YMMV but before you decide take a look at the energy figures.
- Small caliber means exacting placement of shots,,,"head shot" doesn't cut it,,,think in terms of occular or nasal cavity (people wonder why I shoot at pennies as targets,,,well,,there you have it,,a penny is about the size of the eyeball or the nostrils.)

--Derringer pro(s)-
- Large caliber
--Derringer cons--
- Too many to list,,,,just shoot one and you'll figure them out PDQ.

--Cap and Ball Pros--
- Excellent stopping power. Pretty much on the same power level as the .45acp.
- Mulitiple shots. (If the smoke is in your way, you're likley to be dead anyhow,,,,move to cover, move to cover, move to cover,,don't just stand there. Even at that, the smoke isn't quite as bad as is made out.)
- Smoke. Yes, it can obscure YOUR movements as you,,,move to cover, move to cover etc.
- Accpetable accuracy at HD ranges.
- COM shots are possible due to caliber/power level.

-- Cap and Ball Cons --
- Smoke. Yeah, it does smoke more than the others,,, and it can obscure the target.
- Prone to jamming from bits of the percussion cap falling into the works. Mine did that quite a bit.
- Prone to misfires from the grease used to seal the chamber mouths seeping into to chambers. Criso works fine at the range and in the field. It melts pretty easy into a liquid if you keep the thing too close to your body. Using round balls and a felt pad can eliminate the need to grease the chamber mouths, but you pay for it with a less effective bullet.(sumptin 'bout no free lunch)
- Slow to reload.
- Limited time for remaining loaded. BP and it's substitutes are hydroscopic. They'll pull moisture out of the air given half a chance. Keeping a cap and ball revolver loaded and ready to go is pretty much a short term affair....personally I don't think I'd keep them that way for more than a week.
(Last but not least)
- Price. A good quality BP revolver, like the Ruger is expensive. Ruger lists them for ~$500.00. The Italian made ones aren't made for long term use/abuse. *and yes, I own 2 of the Italian ones.
- Safety--- BP is nasty stuff. No, let me rephrase that,,,BP is REALLY nasty stuff. Most users of modern firearms and ammunition don't really understand how dangerous BP can be. The common ammunition/smokeless powder practices I see and read about both on-line and in the real world would be extremely iffy using BP.

Bottom line,,,I'd pick the .22 overall. As always, YMMV.

January 12, 2003, 10:32 PM
Can't imagine being in that situation.

January 12, 2003, 10:34 PM
Can't imagine being in that situation.

January 13, 2003, 12:01 AM
I'll pick the .22. Easier to shoot, so the probability of hitting the BG is greater. I heard that people who are shot makes an attitude adjustment in a hurry! I'll also try to aim at the head, that way he/she would really know they had taken a shot.

January 13, 2003, 01:49 AM
I would choose the 22 MK 2 . It's more accurate than the derringer . And if you know how to place them i don't think any attacker would keep coming , after 3 or 4 shots .

January 13, 2003, 01:58 AM
I would choose the 22 Mk 2 . It would be much easier to actually
hit the attacker , than the derringer would . Especially from across
a room , and if you could place the shots correctly such as head
shots , which would be very helpful in a 22 . I dont think any guy would keep coming .

January 14, 2003, 12:31 AM
Well, I'd probably have to go with the Ruger as well. Just don't have enough experience with cap & balls to rely on them. Maybe after 200 or 300 rounds with no failures...

January 14, 2003, 01:37 AM
Revolver with bad load? Keep pressing trigger/working hammer and the cylinder will revolve until fresh round is selected. Advantage of revolver over semiauto.

This is true for C&B as metallic cartridges.

Doubt if the Ruger MKII would jam though, just don't trust the .22lr to be an instant incapicitator...

January 14, 2003, 01:57 AM
I'll go with the Model 8 Derringer in 357 or 45. No Jamming and a big ol nasty bullet. Reloading ain't tough either, if needed.

January 14, 2003, 09:45 AM
No contest.
6 shots of .44 should put em down nicely.

January 16, 2003, 11:42 AM
When it was the only handgun I had, the 1858 Army Rem in 44 was quite nice to have. 'Course, I also lived out in the sticks, so firing each day and then a cleaning and fresh load was no problem. Pushing a pure lead ball w/30Gr or so of P Pyrodex was fairly effective.

And, I have never been very good with the sub-mini rodent weapons. :D

January 17, 2003, 10:32 AM
I remember reading on more than one occasion (on TFL and in Gunrags) where someone would ask if their black powder revolver was adequate for self defense... The answer was ALWAYS NO!

Reason was the humidity in the air cause the primers to deterioriate, and could dampen the powder, etc...

So if I had not personally loaded that capNball myself that evening, I'd grab the .22. If I HAD loaded the blackpowder revolver myself that evening, I'd STILL grab the .22, because I've never loaded one before, and would most likely $crew it up :D

January 17, 2003, 06:50 PM
Definately the MKII.
Rapid semi-auto fire will supress about anything.

January 17, 2003, 06:59 PM
Howdy Howdy, .44 charcoal burner(loaded with .44 pyrodox pellets and a round ball)# 11 cap and it will go BOOM and smoke um out of their holes, THEN finish um off with the .22

May 9, 2006, 12:19 PM
I keep a 1860 Colt Amy Revolver loaded and ready for home defense. The reason why you may ask? Well, it's the gun that I am the most profecient with.

I've seen arguments about why people would use the .22 or the Deneringer or the Cap and Ball Revolver. The thing that no one seems to keep in mind is that no one really has easy acess to additional ammo. Chances are if you shot all your bullets and still have a threat to deal with you are SOL. I'd recomend keeping what ever gun you were the most accurate with. With my cap and ball revolver I could have a bullet though the heart before he knew what hit him. The smoke which really isn't that bad wouldn't be a factor and I could still get aditional shots of accutatly.

The other thing is how likley is a home invasion robbery. I have been robbed quite a bit when I lived in downtown Los Angeles. Out of 5 times being robbed I had never been home once. Most theives are cowards and will choose an easier target. I finally got wiser and moved to a better neiborhood.

I work nights and my wife is at home by her self. We live in a very good neiborhood. There is not really any threat of robbery or rape. She keeps her single shot 12 Ga loaded and on the wall. She is a crack shot, and It stays loaded with buck shot. We both feel confident that she is defended even with just one shot. The neibors would be calling the police as soon as the gun fired. If the guy was still Alive he would be making his retreat. or she would be beating him with the rifle. Rember the days of meele combat?

Anyway what ever gun you choose pratice is reallly important. People who buy a gun and never shoot it untill they need it get killed. Shoot every weekend for a year before you feel confident enough to be protected with a gun.

robert garner
May 9, 2006, 12:46 PM
Three shots from a fourty-four
no Les
no more!
Had my ruger loaded once for nearly 3 yrs
one chamber didn't fire,till the second try!
the round ball IS highly effective for the same reason it is ballistically inferior,
it is as wide as it is long.
and very soft.
keep'em tween the nipples an chin!

Brian Williams
May 9, 2006, 12:50 PM
Hi and welcome to THR mrelijahgardner,

My thoughts about this, give me the 22, My Colt Woodsman will put your eye out at 25', Not sure about blackpowder, It should be reloaded just about every day as the lube from the bullet or from the front of the cylinder would eventually mess up the powder, if the humididty didn't. Blackpowder is Hygroscopic, it picks water out of the air, which will cause it not to fire when needed.

just a mild suggestion about thread dredging, this thread is 3+ years old and some are not here any more.

May 9, 2006, 03:29 PM
The .22 pistol.

May 9, 2006, 03:50 PM
I am puzzled as to why you have given us three crappy choices.:scrutiny: .....Go out and buy a REAL defensive pistol. None of those are ideal for home defense.:neener:

The .22 may misfire,The black powder may fail for so many reasons mentioned earlier and the derringer is just silly.

May 9, 2006, 04:27 PM
Out of the 3 guns you listed, I think the .22 rimfire is less proned to misfires and other problems.

May 9, 2006, 05:12 PM

I think I'd pick the large caliber 2 shot Derringer. :eek:
A chest full of 000 BUCK SHOT will wreck a home invaders whole day for sure! :evil:


May 9, 2006, 10:32 PM
I think this a great thread! The classics really are the best. Great ideas never go out of style.

Anyway, I think the Ruger MkII would be the best choice because it is fast. I could empty 10rds into the attacker's chest and then even I could out run the guy! :neener: My wife and dogs are probably faster than me, so no need to worry. I will come back in a half hour and see if he is still around.

Matt King
May 9, 2006, 11:00 PM
I would take the .22lr

Ol Retired Gunney
May 10, 2006, 01:01 AM
One solid hit and the fight is over.:rolleyes:

Kramer Krazy
May 10, 2006, 10:29 AM
I'd probably also have to go with the .44 C&B. My "little" Euroarms .44 is a pretty decent shot with some Triple 7 and Hornady round ball. I'd trust those six shots before I'd bet my life on the derringer or the little 22 (eventhough I really like my 5.5" Mark II bull-barrel with Hi-Viz front sight).

May 15, 2006, 02:16 AM
Govern'ed by the options I'd go with the .22 using .22 Federal solid's. The .22 is definately a kill pill; I speak from what I've seen. Light recoil, it can be aimed and fired accurately. Terminal performance, while certainly not a "stopper" it is a very acrobatic pill, and that is it's strength. Given the choices I'd stake my life on my old Ruger T512A.

May 15, 2006, 02:26 AM
The .22 is the best choice only if solid lead rounds are used; they are definetly a kill pill. While not a stopper, a 22 solid is an acrobatic round and that is what makes it effective. I have an old Ruger T512A that is used weekly and I would hang everything on it in a pinch. Solids only!

May 15, 2006, 02:32 AM
Redundant but consistant!

May 15, 2006, 02:45 AM
OK, I', a confused amateur here. .45 or 9mm? 1911, wheelgun or what? I live in Californastan, so concealed carry is out, but when I can move back to the US, do I carry the full-size gun I know I can hit with, or something smaller that I am less sure of? How would I conceal the full-sixe gun, and how many rounds do I carry without looking like I'm 'alooking for a fight? I'm sure this has been discussed to death before, so forgive me. I'm new here.

May 15, 2006, 02:58 AM
Very few problems cannot be solved with 6 rounds from a .44 cap and ball revolver. Since there isnt an option of reloading with either weapon I will go with 6 .44 caliber balls over 10 .22s It is an easy choice for me, but you could do worse than having a .22 pistol.

May 15, 2006, 09:20 AM
What you have is a choice between a 10 shot gun, a 2 shot gun, and a 1 shot gun. You won't be able to see to get an aimed second shot off after shooting that charcoal burner.

Only if you load one chamber and leave the other five empty. :rolleyes:

I've kept a .44 cal '51 navy loaded before. Problem with black powder is every other day or so, you need to shoot it empty, clean it, and reload it with fresh black powder. Black powder is hygroscopic, absorbs moisture from the air. This is why every morning ol' Wild Bill would go out back and empty his Navy Colt, clean, and fresh load. He took no chances in his line of work. Sitting inside in the AC, it'll go up to a week without too much worry, but I'd feel better about emptying it every other day or so.

So, if you're willing to do the work to keep the thing fresh, I'd say cap and ball over any .22 autoloader hands down. I'd prefer either my Ruger Old Army or a '58 Remington copy, myself. I like those guns. I've currently got the hots for a 5" Remington which would make a decent defensive gun. Also, for a few hundred bucks, you can get a cartridge conversion cylinder for said Remington or Old Army to convert it to .45 Colt. If I get that Remington, might do that with it. I'll keep the BP cylinder, too, of course.

Now, I'm not sure how 777 would sit up in the gun, might be less prone to misfire from aging in the gun, don't know. I'd have to study that one.

May 18, 2006, 05:02 AM
Give me the smokepole every time. Even IF I miss all six shots, I can bludgeon the cretin to death with it.

May 18, 2006, 10:49 AM
what he said

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