"Better Than Nothing": Fact/Fiction .22


Mad Magyar
September 23, 2005, 03:07 PM
From gun magazines to forum posts, the expression for a compact .22 is the standard, "Better than nothing". I've used this Beretta over the years as my plinking in the desert at lizards, occasional rattler, futile attempts at jackrabbits, and cactus: it stands still. Originally purchased for my wife to have in an auto confrontation: she has resisted any efforts to handle a firearm.
Since these small blow-back compacts have a history of "jamomatics", tried to establish once and for all whether I will be trading this off at a future gun show.
Surprisingly, this Beretta at 10 paces shot about where I aimed. I used Thunderbolt ammo. Someone on another post said it was good and I happened to have a box in my stash. I cleaned and lubed the pistol real well.
Results: I had 3 Failure to Feed on about the 5th rd. of 7 + 1. Strange, when I rapid fired, the jams were not there. The FTF was the nose would strike just above, and with a slight tap inserted itself.
Conclusion: Yes, I have to agree that when you have a misfire, it's something that I cannot count on regardless of the calibre, "But, Better than Nothing." http://tinypic.com/dxof35.jpg

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Double Naught Spy
September 23, 2005, 04:35 PM
How to say this nicely...

Better than nothing is just that, better than nothing. A fart is better than nothing, but you don't want to stake your like on a fart defense. "Nothing" is the wrong end of the scale of which you want to be comparing defensive capabilities.

I hear it a lot, that folks carry tiny calibers because they are "better than nothing." You know, with only slightly more effort, you could be carrying a gun that is "better than a lot of things."

While all firearms calibers are potentially lethal, pistols don't have the greatest reputation for stopping threats or attackers and .22s really can't even be counted on to stop large snakes, much less bipedal snakes.

Remember, it doesn't matter how you feel about carrying a .22 or little Beretta. People on the forums seem to put a helluva lot of stock into how they feel about the performance capabilities of their guns. How a person feels about a gun, however, doesn't determine the performance of the gun or caliber. The critical factor is how the threat being shot feels about being shot and how long the threat will be able to feel it before incapacitation.

Also, a lot of folks seem to believe that the way to win a gun fight is to shoot the opposition. It isn't a game where winning is determined by shooting the opposition. In fact, good guys often shoot the opposition and end up dead themselves as a result of wounds they received in the battle. Even though the opposition died first, maybe, does that make the good guys the winners? What good is being a dead winner? Discharging a firearm (if you have one) is simply an option, not a requirement, in a fight.

When carrying a .22 pistol and encountering a threat situation, knowing your gun is better than nothing, you then have evaluate which better than nothing options you should exercise and in what order. Do you draw your gun and shoot the crazed guy, possibly stopping him or possibly making him mad at you where he then turns and proceeds to shoot you, stab you, chainsaw you to into pieces or maybe do you exercise your better than nothing option of flight? Your best better than nothing option may not be to try to do harm to the crazed guy as what you really need to survive the fight is to not be harmed by the crazed guy. An excellenet way to keep from being harmed is to extract yourself from the situation as fast as possible.

September 23, 2005, 06:45 PM
I have a little experience of being shot with a 22. I was shot in
the back with a 22 rifle on New Years eve day in 1965, and let me tell you your immediate thoughts are not for anything except getting some good medical care ,RFN!!! Everything else takes a quick trip to the back burner.!!! I have a Phoenix 22 auto that holds 10 rounds and is very reliable. It will even feed 22 ammo that will make a 10/22 choke. These being Winchester Experts. Great little handguns as far as I can tell. :) And they are pretty in-expensive to. Mine was $114 dollars plus tax. :) in either Black or Satin nickle..

September 23, 2005, 07:44 PM
It is said that JMB invented the .25ACP because he couldn't make 22LR feed reliabley enough in a small pistol.

Think of a .25 or .22 as a single shot shotgun that fires serially and its pretty durn effective against a single opponent.


Bullet Bob
September 23, 2005, 08:19 PM
I treated maybe 10 people in USAF emergency rooms ove 14 years who had been shot with a .22. They didn't like it.

By the way, in my layman's opion, Thunderbolt's blow. Try some good ammo.

Tom Servo
September 23, 2005, 11:47 PM
I treated maybe 10 people in USAF emergency rooms ove 14 years who had been shot with a .22. They didn't like it.
But I'm willing to guess they made it. The thing here is stopping power, and though it's not guaranteed with any handgun caliber, the .22 just lacks the punch to deter someone with a great deal of determination.

Plus, I imagine it'd be easier to sell it to the jury if I fired 2-4 rounds of 9mm/40/45 into someone than 12-14 rounds of .22.

BTW, what's up with the guy on the target. Looks like a bad combination of Fu Manchu and Billy Ray Cyrus. Or perhaps John Travolta in Battlefield Earth (now that I mentioned that movie, I feel the need to go wash my hands).

Mad Magyar
September 24, 2005, 09:10 AM
Eric F, that's funny....I hear that the poster guy is a LEO from back East, no longer undercover....
Appreciate the replies, but the main points I am trying to make are:
A. 6% FTF is not acceptable despite my best efforts in cleaning & avoiding "limp wristing", etc.
B. The vast majority of owners of .22 compacts tell similar stories.
C. Would not use this pistol even as a "back-up" unless I had no others in the arsenal.
D. Using different types of ammo will not change my results in this Beretta: I've used American Eagle, Remington, etc...Same outcome. Few years back, sent to Beretta in MD, no charge, but came back the same way....
E. These pistols were not designed to be a carry gun and was not used that way. My desert days are far & in between and the pistol serves no real purpose.
(Sell/trade at next Gun Show or Pawn Shop)

Dave T
September 24, 2005, 06:47 PM
When I was my department's firearms instructor I always advised against the small "pocket" 22s as back-up or off-duty weapons. I have little confidence in their stopping ability.

After retiring I taught CCW classes for 10 years. On several occasions I had elderly ladies in my classes who were not going to carry on their person but wanted a gun in their vehicle and at home for protection. Age and physical condition made use of any center fire extremely difficult, even down loaded rounds like target wadcutters.

My recommendation was a 4" Ruger MK II (either the standard grip or the 22-45 grip). First it fed more reliabily, had better sights and a much better trigger than any of the pocket guns. It held 10 rounds (Erik F, where are you getting a 12-14 round 22??) and looked much more substantial than any of those little pocket "mouse guns". I advised each of the ladies to practice head shots and work toward emptying the gun into the face as fast as they could. Even if they missed half the time, five high velocity 22 HPs in the face (or throat since most people shoot low under stress) would give the bad guy something to think about other than his intended victim.

Not a perfect solution, maybe not even a good solution but way ahead of dialing 911 and waiting while some scumbag is in the house.

Just my $.02 worth,

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