22lr for defence


swiss 210
April 22, 2007, 09:39 AM
i have read a few letters obout 22lr for a back up round or a second gun and the general opinion seems to be that its not big enough and a bigger hole is always better though i have not seen any comments about last weeks shooting and 32 deaths all shot with a 9mm thats big enough but also with a walther p22 in lr !!!!!!!!:( :(

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April 22, 2007, 09:55 AM
I was under the impression that the Walther in the VT shooting wasn't used at all, but maybe I'm mistaken. I've kinda blocked out any more of the news. A BUG is a last resort. Ideally it should be smaller than your carry gun, but as always, personal preference is paramount. I'd pick a 380 for a BUG, as they are often cheaper than the Walther P22, which is the smallest auto-loading 22 i've seen. If you're going for your BUG, chances are it won't matter a lot what you shoot. A 380 is probably the lowest to go for effective stopping.

Not to mention the Walther is a bit ammo-tempermental, in my experience.

April 22, 2007, 11:39 AM
I have carried a .22 mouse gun in my pocket when I couldn't carry anything else. It was also used to walk to the mailbox, mow the yard , ect.

It's better than a sharp stick. ;)

Ala Dan
April 22, 2007, 12:09 PM
In 20+ years as a LEO, I've seen more people killed with a .22LR projectile
than any other caliber~! :scrutiny: :eek: ;)

April 22, 2007, 12:23 PM
No no....

You use a post hole digger for de fence. You might use 22lr for de offense.

You might even consider using punctuation, capitalization and all of those other inconsequential little items that add to the impression that a posting makes of one's age and education.

Not that it's really any of my business.


Okay... grammar nazi rant mode disengaged.


April 22, 2007, 01:27 PM
+1 on the above comment. Not that is any of my business either, but I am a public school teacher (math, not English). I still have problems with incorrect use of grammar. It's not just here, but everywhere.

Here's a quote from my 7th grade language arts teacher when giving three spelling words on a test: Put defeat over defense and step in the occupy. I can't believe I still remember that sentence after almost 40 years.

swiss 210
April 22, 2007, 01:30 PM
If MR. Meef has nothing better to write then i think there is no point in repling . This is a world wide forum O.k. Some of us can speak more than one langage.

Nomad, 2nd
April 22, 2007, 01:45 PM
IMHO the 'problem' with using a .22 for self defense is 2 fold:
1. It is a rimfire... if you have shot alot you know what the problem is... uncertain ignition when you NEED the round under the hammer to WORK!

2. Sure alot of people are KILLED by the .22, but are they STOPED?
-Are they gonna kill you and them bleed out 6 hours later...

April 22, 2007, 01:49 PM
Welcome to the forum Swiss 210. Spell defense in the English manner (defence) if it pleases you. To answer your question; generally the opinion for the .22 LR cartridge is that is not an effective fight stopper. It certainly can kill people, but often that happens minutes or hours later. A defensive weapon needs to STOP an adversary from doing harm immediately (or as soon as possible). The .380 ACP or 9mm Kurz cartridge is typically considered the minimum effective caliber for that purpose. It is a subjective opinion though and you will get varying viewpoints some of which say even the 9mm Luger is ineffective in this role (it isn't - in my opinion at least).

The most popular backup or pocket carry guns in the U.S. presently are the KelTec P3AT (.380 ACP) for autoloaders and the Smith & Wesson Model 642 (.38 Special +P) for revolvers. Regardless of caliber, shot placement and the ability to accurately hit vitals rapidly with more than one shot while under stress determine a person's effectiveness in defense using a firearm.

April 22, 2007, 03:01 PM
My take on the .22LR for defence is while it is a long ways from ideal, it is a viable alternative (and certainly much better than nothing). When it comes to the truly small handguns, they are all basically stick it in their eye (or ear) and pull the trigger--a the .22 is a good in that mode as a 10mm (and a lot handier).

When it comes to larger frames, the .22LR can, with practice, be shot faster and more accurately than any of the traditional service calibres. When I venture forth with a .22LR (of the larger framed variety), I know (plan, practice and train) to place all rounds a between the bridge of the nose and the outside of the eye sockets. With the .22 that is entirely possible.

April 22, 2007, 03:44 PM
I don't think anyone would say its good for self defense.sure better than a stick. but it would be very good for keeping their heads down while reloading your (insert favorite SD caliber here)

April 22, 2007, 06:47 PM
Here is my take. I wouldn't purchase one for defense but at the moment a .22 is all I own (beside a .38 derringer) so that is what I must use. I don't feel entirely naked as it is a 9 shot (carry only 8 due to design) so if I get a missfire I just pull the trigger 7 more times. The 38 is the backup in this case. Kind of an interesting roll reversal as cartidges go.


Jim Watson
April 22, 2007, 07:10 PM
To cite two authoritative sources:
Paris Theodore, father of the Asp 9mm pistol and Seventrees holsters, carried a Walther PP .22 lr for self defense on the basis that no pistol calibre was a true stopper so he had just as well use something he could shoot very accurately; a portable launcher for a "supersonic telephone pole" not being available.
Jeff Cooper, Guru of the 1911 .45, said that a .22 would be suitable for self defense if you could hit a tennis ball from anywhere on the court. And presumably would use that accuracy to make good hits on an assailant.

Which brings up an interesting legal point. To STOP with a smallbore, you must KILL with it. You have heard .22, .25, and .32 pistols called "face guns?" That is because they can be counted on for immediate effect only if you shoot an assailant in the face and put a bullet up his nose or through an eye into his brain. Does your DA know or care?

The technical argument against a .22 for defense is the rimfire cartridge's lesser ignition reliablility than a centerfire. Distribution of priming compound can be uneven, as can brass rim thickness. I have seen many a .22 fail to fire on the first attempt but shoot when rehit at a different location on the rim. The 1860 Henry .44 Rimfire Flat had a double firing pin for good reason. The Freedom Arms .22 has one, too, but it probably is meant to get better accuracy with two site ignition, not reliablility in combat.

April 22, 2007, 10:07 PM
After seeing my oldest son shoot his s & w .22 semi auto (not the new pos, but the older one - you know - the one made out of real steel. I would not want to be on the receiving end at all. You folks got to remember that most things are easy to kill with proper shot placement. Someone mentioned missfires (probably remington's famous golden bullet). OK, rimfires are more prone to missfires but you can practice more with them so your accuracy/confidence level goes way up. Personally I like my .38 snubby, but most often carry my kel tec .32. It's almost as good as a baseball bat.

April 22, 2007, 10:22 PM
A .22 is better than nothing, but if you have one shot at a bad guy, and he puts his arm up you're going to wish you had something other than a .22 (they don't recommend 15" of penetration for nothing). It is (as always) about shot placement, but when the s**t gets crazy, you'll have to be perfect under extreme pressure with a .22, if you carry a better caliber, you'll have more margin for error.

April 23, 2007, 02:41 AM
My 22s consist of a Walther TPH, Beretta 21, and a Tarus copy of the Beretta which is DAO. Also got a S&W M18 for training. All of the small autos have been broken in and shoot very reliably-make no mistake-they MUST be broken in for about 300 rounds of the ammo you will use before they can be considered reliable. But once that is done, they are all accurate enough for head shots at 20 yards. And a couple of head shots will get someones attention iin a big hurry. Yes they might not kill or stop like now, but they are an "always" gun. That is one you can always carry, which is of course the gun you need.

Dirty Bob
April 23, 2007, 09:55 AM
Welcome, Swiss 210!

As others have mentioned, a .22LR has killing power, but not stopping power. A move up to at least a .32ACP (7.65mm) would be a good idea. Centerfire rounds feed more reliably -- in most cases -- and have fewer misfires.

Personally, I'm not willing to carry anything smaller than a .38 Special Airweight or a .380ACP (9mm Kurz). I've found that a S&W Airweight revolver is about as small and almost as light as most .22 handguns I've tried, and I have a lot more confidence in it for self-defense.

This is ultimately a personal decision, but I'd advise you to choose the most powerful caliber that you can shoot well and carry with reasonable comfort. A .22 is great for practice, though.

BTW, is your name a reference to a fondness for one of the finest 9mm pistols ever made, or are you Swiss? I have family in Aargau Canton and in the Geneva area. Switzerland is a beautiful country, and I love to travel there.

Dirty Bob

April 23, 2007, 12:22 PM
the 22 has long been a decent choice when you need the absolute smallest and concealable pocket mouse gun, a stopper it is not, but it beats throwing rocks, if you can fire the stingers they are about the best 22 for defense, second only to a larger caliber, there used to be a couple companies that made modern pepperbox style pistols that were about the size of a derringer, with 4 barrels that would fire either simoutaneously, of 2 at a time, couldn't find a pic of one, but this is a 22 pocket pistol from 1860's


April 23, 2007, 12:34 PM
Not that it's really any of my business
that wood bee my thoughts on the subject

If you can I would use as self defense a gun with a more powerful round than a 22 but a 22 will drop a 200 pound animal like a rock if shot in the brain, If shot into the chest cavity most any mammal would die without medical attn. sooner or later.
I always figured if one was being shot with even a 22 it would be many a times greater deterrent than say, pepper spray or anything held in your hand , such as a stick or knife.

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