22 mag rifle for home defense?


October 29, 2008, 11:51 PM
I'm a sucker for this kinda stuff. Remember years back when some people were equating a 22mag mini revolver to a .38 special for defense? They were ill-informed but I'm still interested in anyone's thoughts on a 22 magnum rifle for home defense. It's a varmint round, but so is the .223. Who would go for such a thing for, say, recoil sensitive people?

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October 29, 2008, 11:58 PM
The compact semi-autos like the Remington 597 or Ruger 10/22 in .22 magnum could be an ugly surprise for some thug.


October 30, 2008, 12:26 AM
While both the .22 Magnum and .223 are considered varmint cartridges, there is a huge difference between the muzzle energy, as measured in foot pounds, produced by these cartridges. A .22 Magnum will produce over 330 foot pounds of energy when fired from a rifle. The .223 will produce over four times that energy!:eek: Now, I concede that a .22 Magnum round is superior in performance to the .22 long rifle when both cartridges are fired from longarms of comparable barrel length. But reliable .22 Magnum semi-auto rifles are not that common. Look at what happened when Ruger attempted to produce magnum versions of its popular 10/22 carbines. Also, .22 Magnum ammo is not as cheap as that of its smaller rimfire brother the .22 long rifle.

Sure, a Remmy 597 could give an intruder "an ugly surprise", but a more compact firearm such as a S&W 686 could do the same in a smaller package. Now, I like the .22 Magnum cartridge, but I believe there are better calibers for a home defense rifle.


October 30, 2008, 12:31 AM
I wouldn't sneeze at a .22mag rifle for home defense if its what you have, but if you can handle the .22mag in a rifle/carbine, then you can handle a 9mm, which is much better. And the last time I priced a good semi .22mag I found that you can certainly get a Ruger PC9, or Kel Tec, or 2 Hi-Points for the same money, in fact you can come close to a Berreta Storm, and IMHO all will leave you far better off.

October 30, 2008, 09:55 AM
While I have a sweet little Taurus Model 72 Carbine, pump-action 22mag, it is not my bump-in-the-night go to gun. That being said it is ready to go if the need arises.

October 30, 2008, 10:07 AM
As TCB pointed out, a 9mm carbine would be more effective and recoil would be comparable. And rimfires have a reputation for less reliable ignition than centerfires as well, though failures to fire are undoubtedly rare.

If you already have a .22 mag autoloader, it would work in that role, but if you are going to go out and buy one, a 9mm would be better IMO.

October 30, 2008, 10:15 AM
22 magnum for home defense rifle?


Invest in something more suitable.

October 30, 2008, 10:23 AM
I wouldn't recommend it, but it would probably do ok.
For the recoil sensitive, I'd recommend .357 rifle.
.22 mag in a rifle is a good varmit round and seems to work even for large varmits. I like the .22mag for its flat trajectory and accuracy out to 100+ yds. Don't think I've ever had a round fail to fire. It seems reliable enough to me.

October 30, 2008, 10:29 AM
If necessary I would happily use my Henry Golden Boy in .22 Mag for defense. However, given the choice I would pick a more effective weapon.


October 30, 2008, 01:26 PM
If it's your only firearm it's better than a stick, but if home defense is a concern I wouldn't make that your only firearm.
I seem to recall an incident where a homeowner dumped the 10rd mag from his 10/22 (probably 22lr) into a drugged up bad guy and then had to beat him with the rifle to stop the threat.

October 30, 2008, 01:45 PM
If it was the only gun handy, sure. A .223 would be better or .410 semi-auto.

October 30, 2008, 01:48 PM
I would not feel underguned by any means, but not my 1st choice.

October 30, 2008, 02:32 PM
A gun in hand will deter 99% of the criminal element. The remaining 1% it will likely not matter what you have, you will have to use it. A magnum against bare flesh will do just fine, maybe not as well as a 12 gauge but I still would not want to be on the receiving end.

Art Eatman
October 30, 2008, 03:32 PM
Adding self-defense to my list of reasons for a .22 Mag would mean buying a semi-auto.

If I had to use it in that mode, I would have developed the skill to make that little doofer sound like a sewing machine--and a pretty tight group as the result.

"Quantity has a quality all its own."


October 30, 2008, 04:26 PM
If that is all you have, then it's better than a sharp stick. But, how many homes that have guns ONLY have a 22 Mag rifle?

Just about any "beat to hell ugly but still functions" shotgun will beat a 22mag any day of the week and twice on Sunday as an HD weapon of choice.

That said, I do -carry- a 22Mag pistol. Why? Because it fits in my front pocket and it's better than a sharp stick. :evil:

October 30, 2008, 04:29 PM
if you're recoil sensitive just get a .223

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 30, 2008, 04:33 PM
If the magazine holds 20 rounds (tube) or even 10 (clyinder-type), just empty the gun on the bad guy and hope there isn't a second bad guy.

After a few shots to the face, I think the bad guy would get the message that this is not too much fun (that is, if he survives the facial shots):eek:.

October 30, 2008, 04:36 PM
It all depends on what the shooter can handle. I learned a great lesson last night when taking a newb to the range. I started her off on a Glock 19 and it was too heavy for her, she's 5' tall 95 lbs. and very petite. She was happy with a Ruger Mark III.

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