best $300 22lr pistol


November 1, 2009, 08:49 AM
Id like to get some type of a 22 pistol for target and home defense.What is a good pistol in the 300$ range

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November 1, 2009, 08:52 AM
Second, .22 for home defense isn't particularly wise. There's a reason centerfire ammunition is used in serious defensive and hunting calibers - and it's reliable ignition.

You're looking for a 'one size fits all' solution, based on price alone. That's rarely a recipe for success.

That said, if you're positively stuck on this idea and budget, go .22 revolver. At least then you'll generally be able to make a second or third or fourth shot after the first round fails to ignite.

November 1, 2009, 09:02 AM
.22's are absolutely inadequate for home defense, they are low power, and more likely to fail than centerfire guns, unless you're shooting premium ammunition like Eley.

However, for competition, practice, plinking, and general fun, you can't beat them. For $300, you should be able to find an adequate one. The most popular models are the Ruger Mk. II and III, and Browning Buckmark models.

November 1, 2009, 09:17 AM
Personally I wouldn't go below a .380 for self defense.
My wife carries a Beretta .380, 13rds loaded with Hydra-Shoks.
Look into good used guns or maybe lay-a-way.

In my home we have several firearms
but what I grab when I hear something outside is a Street Howitzer
(Short double barrel shotgun.)

November 1, 2009, 09:27 AM
+1 on .22 not the best choice for home defense. That being said, ruger mkII's are wonderful range guns!

Here are a few very good inexpensive choice's for a HD pistol Used beretta 96d .40...$240!

or this ruger 944 .40 for $200

Taurus 617 CCW
November 1, 2009, 09:36 AM
You can get a used Glock 17 for around $389. Then you can get a .22 conversion kit for it later and have the best of both worlds.

November 1, 2009, 10:46 AM
Not to start a caliber war here; and mindful of the original poster's question in this thread; and mindful, too, that better calibers certainly exist for self defense, it's still worth mentioning that the lowly and oft-criticized .22 round can do the job.

In 2007 and again in 2008 in Finland, 18 people were killed in total in two separate school shootings. The guns used were a SIG Mosquito .22 and a Walther/Umarex P22. The shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre also used a P22 as one of two weapons. The High Road Forum carried a news story and lots of discussion a couple of years back about a retired pastor who used a P22 to kill a would-be robber during a home invasion, IIRC.

Were it me, I'd look for a used Ruger Mark series or Browning Buck Mark pistol; you can't beat the quality and reliability.

chris in va
November 1, 2009, 12:32 PM
But...while 22 can certainly be lethal, it has nearly zero 'stopping power'. Most victims simply bleed out later on.

November 1, 2009, 02:07 PM
If the closest gun I can reach in a HD situation is a .22lr...then that's the one I'm using to send a wall of lead toward the attacker.

Aside from the Ruger and Browning, the S&W 22A is a nice shooter. It's probably the cheapest by around $25 NIB compared to the other 2. Mine works well, very accurate.

November 1, 2009, 02:22 PM
If you can find one, how about a Sig P6

November 1, 2009, 02:24 PM
Here's a good .22 for plinking :

It's a Browning Buck Mark - costs around $275.

I wouldn't trust any rim fire gun for self or home defense.

S&W has a sale on their Sigma line of guns in 9MM & .40 Cal for $275 with a $50 mail in rebate = $225 my son bought one Saturday:

If you want to carry concealled carry - the Ruger LCP in the .380 cal is a Excellent choice.

All three of these guns fill your $300 target.

Good luck in your search.

November 1, 2009, 02:49 PM
Smith & Wesson Sigma's are becoming prolific since they show up for @ $300 to $350 NIB; only drawback is heavy and long trigger dynamics; trolling your local shops for used semiautomatics and revolvers in very good shape and mechanically sound condition is time consuming but often yields great results; nice to see someone else that likes .257 caliber longguns (I derive that you have a .257 Weatherby Mag; I have a .25-06 that I enjoy more with each range session)

November 1, 2009, 03:04 PM
I'd consider a S&W .22 revolver, except I just did a quick price check and you don't have the cash for that. Maybe a used .22 revolver?

If you want the semi, go with the Buckmark.

Also consider a Rifle chambered in .22 LR; it will provide better velocity with a longer barrel, and it'll be a lot of fun for target practice.

Edited to add:

I have a .25-06 that I enjoy more with each range session

What's the recoil like compared to the .243?

November 1, 2009, 03:18 PM
For a simple HD gun under the $300 sticker price, I routinely only see two steady options:

1) Police turn-in semiautos like the S&W 910s, etc. in 9mm - usually from J&G Sales and similar wholesalers/dealers.

2) Police/security guard/c.o. turn-ins of S&W Model 10s, 64s, etc., in .38 Special usually starting under $200. J&G has a huge selection of these now, too.

Places to shop include J&G, CDNN, SOG, etc.

November 1, 2009, 03:20 PM
Another vote for the Ruger MK II. Later on you can buy a gun for self defense.

November 1, 2009, 03:35 PM
The most popular models are the Ruger Mk. II and III + a million!!!

most of you guys who say a .22 is inadequate don't know if he has a rabid squirrel problem, them rabid squirrels are dangerous:)

Seriously I prefer a bigger bullet at a faster velocity something like a 180 grain .40 cal bullet moving at 1100fps. I think you should check out used revolvers or used centerfire pistol for defense. But you could get heritage rough riders in .22/.22 mag for around 200 NIB.

November 1, 2009, 03:37 PM
I agree with most everything everyone has said

I would say, get the .22. You chance of having fun with the gun, then eventually getting something with more power is a LOT greater than ever needing it for home defense.

Priority number 1 is having fun. specially when you are just starting out.

And if you actually DO need to use it, the .22 is a LOT better than a sharp stick, and will get the job done. 40 grains at 1400 fps is nothing to snort at.

But yeah, go for fun and economy first.

November 1, 2009, 04:26 PM
But...while 22 can certainly be lethal, it has nearly zero 'stopping power'. Most victims simply bleed out later on.

I quess I'll have to disagree with the "zero 'stopping power' " comment. Watch the Reagan assasination vid to see the lowly .22lr stops three grown men in their tracks, down on the ground and out. The forth almost done in by a ricochet. I do not underestimate what a .22lr can do.

To stay under $300 I'd recommend the Beretts NEOS or a used Buckmark.

November 1, 2009, 08:10 PM
You couldn't go wrong with a Ruger MK II or III. And take what you read about stopping power with a grain of salt. Who says you have to fire only one round, keep squeezing that sucker till it's empty or the threat stops. You have to play the hand you got. vow

November 1, 2009, 09:37 PM
The Bersa .380 is very popular. I bought a FEG PJK-9PH a while back for about 225. It is a great copy of the Browning HP. Mine shoots like crazy. Another great option is the Makarov. Its also a great shooter.

November 2, 2009, 01:27 AM
Not to start a caliber war here; and mindful of the original poster's question in this thread; and mindful, too, that better calibers certainly exist for self defense, it's still worth mentioning that the lowly and oft-criticized .22 round can do the job.

You are not taking into account that a SD/HD gun needs to be of an effective-enough caliber to stop the assault, presumably against another armed person(s).

The examples you list are instances of planned murder against unarmed people, not against other armed people intent on doing harm to you and your family.

For home defense, you want as big a caliber as possible for better chances to stop an assault, especially since you don't need to carry the weapon.

For $300, I'd prefer a 12ga shotgun followed by a used Ruger or Glock in 9mm.

November 2, 2009, 02:15 AM
I'll echo CWL.

$300 gets you a bottom-rung defensive pistol or a smooth as butter 70s or 80s 870 Wingmaster and a couple cases of defensive ammo.

For $300 you could also get a Tokarev and some ammo (about $250 for the tok after shipping and transfer, then $50 for ammo to practice) but the rounds don't expand and are even smaller than a 9mm. Plus the trigger's heavy, which can be challenging for a beginner.

The current S&W Sigmas, I've heard, are a great value for what they offer. No experience there though.

You could get a high point pistol and a truckload of ammo, but they're so bulky you might as well get the universally acclaimed carbine.

Speaking of which, you could get a Universal M1 Carbine for about $300. I got mine for just under that.

I suppose the point of this ramble is; for home defense on a tight budget, why a pistol? Long guns are less expensive, more powerful, and thanks to a shoulder stock and longer sight radius easier to aim under stress to those without as much training. Plus, if you had to, most can be employed out to 100 yards. Not that home defense happens at those ranges, but still ;)

For a trainer, I do love the idea of a .22, but that's really not what you asked for.

November 2, 2009, 04:13 PM
S&W Sigmas can be had for around $300 (or less I've heard) new with the $50 rebate.

November 2, 2009, 04:32 PM
Honestly buy what you want first. If you can only afford one pistol and you want it to be .22lr I would rather grab it and a couple loaded 10 round mags than nothing. It is far from ideal but it is sure better than nothing. A friend died from a .22lr. He was shot through the right shoulder, passed through his heart, and lodged in his left shoulder. He was dead almost instantly. While it may be a rare occasion and certainly doesn't have the energy or wound channel of other rounds it is a HELL of a lot better than nothing. Ask any of these people who claim the .22lr to be far too weak to aim at a person if they would mind standing on the other end of one and see how many volunteers you get.

November 2, 2009, 04:36 PM
You cant go wrong with any Ruger Mark I, II, or III. The same goes for any of the Browning Buck Mark pistols too. If a .22 pistol is what you are looking for I would choice one of those two.

November 2, 2009, 09:38 PM
22 pistols, target, home defense, under $300:

Keltec PLR-22

Barretta U22 Neos

Chiappa 1911-22


Smith and Wesson 22A

November 2, 2009, 09:44 PM
The police trade-in Glocks sound like a great idea. Get a Glock OR a 1911, and you can get a .22 conversion fit to shoot all the .22 you want. Eat some mac and cheese, bite the bullet, cover your serious defensive needs FIRST, THEN get a .22.

November 2, 2009, 09:46 PM
I have a Taurus tracker that I picked up slightly used for $300, and a Walther P22 for about the same. Im pleased with both.

November 2, 2009, 10:02 PM
Actually I just found this:

November 2, 2009, 11:06 PM
A .22 is better than nothing, especially for sd/hd. A bang is a bang is a bang. If someone hears it pop than they will most likely run.


November 2, 2009, 11:16 PM
Well if the sound is effective, why not use blanks?

November 3, 2009, 01:28 AM
The MKII Ruger is my preference and is an excellent choice for anybody.
Regarding self defense a .22 is certainly not the best caliber but if it were all I had I'd use it.
One thing about a semi auto is you can fire multiple rounds very quickly. Three or four .22 hollow points into the chest will definitely make most any BG want a doctor if he's still standing.
If you're new to handguns I'd recommend starting with a .22. It takes much more ammo than a rifle to get any good at shooting them. Ammo is cheap so you can practice. You can get a center fire gun later. The extra cost of .38 Special ammo would cost as much as a gun more than the .22 ammo to get any good with a handgun at all. In effect you would get a free centerfire handgun if you buy the .22.

November 3, 2009, 04:36 AM
While I wouldn't recommend a .22LR pistol for home defense they do make for an inexpensive day at the range. I like the Browning Buckmarks. They are right around the price range you're looking at. I own a couple and both are very reliable and accurate to boot. I've mounted a scope on one of mine for plinking/hunting out to 75 yards and then some. Good value for the money.

November 3, 2009, 06:23 AM
YOu could find an old H&R 929- .22 for $150. They hold 9 rounds and are uber reliable,
Here is one:

November 3, 2009, 07:09 AM
I have to agree with previous comments.

I wouldn't recommend a .22LR for HD, but, it's is a great beginner pistol and you can always buy a centerfire handgun in the future.

I would look for a used Ruger MI-III. I have a MKI and MKII. They are great guns and can be had for well less than $300 in good condition. It's a gun that you will shoot a lot, a very good idea for HD training, and cheaply.

If you're looking to move up to a centerfire caliber for HD, a used S&W K-frame (Model 10 -19) is a great choice. Police trade-ins are still showing up and will run $150-$300. These revolvers are very reliable and an excellent choice for HD.

Another option, as stated by others, is the S&W Sigma line of semi-auto pistols. New with a rebate, they are a very good deal. Yes, the trigger is problematic in the length of the DA pull and the weight. I have a .40SW VE I use for HD. 15 rounds of .40SW in a dead reliable platform. I have run well over a 1,000 rounds through my Sigma, and, while I don't like the heavy trigger, it's never failed me. The heavy trigger does offer confidence that you won't have an accidental discharge as might happen with a lighter tirgger. I chose the Sigma for the HD role over 1911's, Beretta 96, Glock, Sig, and many revolvers because of the reliability and trigger pull.


November 3, 2009, 02:35 PM
I disagree. If you are an adult, and ready to think about SD/HD, this means you have a need to be filled right now. This poster has demonstrated that he doesn't really want a .22 so that he can upgrade later, he wants one so that he doesn't HAVE to upgrade later. I feel I need to repeat, get the real gun now, fill the defensive need, if you want to get the .22 later or even at the same time go ahead. Don't get the .22 so that you can say to yourself everything is fine.

November 3, 2009, 09:04 PM
I commend those of you who actually answered the OP's question without challenging him on it. If he's smart enough to figure out how to find us, register, and post his inquiry, I'm sure he's already seen at least ten percent of the eleventy-billion posts here that say a .22 can never serve as a defensive round.
While I routinely carry a .38 or a .380, and keep a 4-inch .38 (.357, actually) with +P ammo for HD, I do keep my .22 guns loaded. The best defensive gun ever will be the one you can get to or have when you need it and, in my house, several guns stand ready, regardless of caliber.
There just aren't enough BGs around that would actually continue to march onward through a hail of .22LR bullets just to get at my meager possessions to make me discount the round. Any that would do so would likely not be felled by any of my other available rounds easily, either.
As far as round reliability goes, in some 8,000 or so rounds of .22LR fired, I've had one jam (a FTE in a Ruger Mk II with Winchester Super X, not the gun's favorite ammo), and no misfires.

November 3, 2009, 09:10 PM
Used Ruger Security Six, 357 mag. Will last you forever.

November 4, 2009, 03:45 PM
S&W 22A for a good .22 semi-auto. i have one with the 5.5inch bull barrel and its a absolute tack driver. i got mine for $180 lightly used.

November 4, 2009, 04:18 PM
I feel I need to repeat, get the real gun now, fill the defensive need, if you want to get the .22 later

A .22 isn't a real gun, eh? Fascinating.

I'm going to start keeping a rocket launcher near my bed just in case the Russians are coming. I guess my P22 is worthless, the bullets will bounce off the intruders and they will casually backhand me to the face while they steal my belongings and force me into Communism.

November 4, 2009, 09:15 PM
If he's got a "working man's" price limit, he probably isn't gonna want to spend a lot on ammo, which means little or no practice. I'd rather see someone get one they'll shoot enough to get proficient with. Once he gets bitten by the bug, he'll be much more likely to upgrade later, more than if he gets turned off entirely by being put down by gun snobs and web-warriors for his selection.

November 5, 2009, 01:56 AM
+1 MedWheeler:D

November 5, 2009, 02:20 AM
I really like my Ruger MKIII that I got for 300 bucks new. Very accurate and reliable.

While a .22 isnt a great HD round it still will kill you rather easily if placed correctly. Ive seen it at work a few times. Out of a pistol it actually has a surprisingly good amount of penetration. Shot placement counts much more than caliber.

Personally if I was using one for HD, I would be more worried about reliable ignition over the wounding ability. Thats the reason I wouldnt trust one to it.

November 5, 2009, 03:57 AM
I really like my Ruger 22/45. It's a nice pistol but it's a bit of a pain to reassemble after cleaning. (nothing's perfect) I got it new, pre-Obamaphobia, for around $250 so hopefully it'll still be in your ballpark.

I picked it because the mag release, safety and slide stop/release are in the same place as most other automatics. That way if you do move up to a bigger caliber you won't have to learn where the controls are all over again. Under stress, you will forget until you put hundreds of rounds through a new type of gun.

Unless you're sold on autos, there are some nice new & used revolvers out there. I find they are easier to use for a beginner and they have only 1 malfunction drill: pull the trigger again. In a small pistol they are also much easier on the hands than the .38SPL or .357. They are easier to clean too, with very little or no disassembly required.

I carry larger calibers, but I shoot 10X more .22 than any of them simply because it costs so much less. Lower cost leads to more practice. More practice = MORE HITS.

November 5, 2009, 04:15 AM
Your mistake was using the term "home defense" in your question. If you hadn't added that, you'd have gotten recomendations and not lectures.

The Ruger (MK I, II, or III, doesn't really matter) and the Browning Buckmark are about the top of the heap. You might have to look used to get in under your budget, I haven't priced any lately, but I'd probably look used for myself anyway. You might find some others too. Revolvers are generally more expensive.

With good ammo, like CCI mini-mags, I've never found 22's to be any less reliabe than anything else.

November 5, 2009, 08:29 AM
Stingers would be my choice of .22lr defensive ammunition.

November 9, 2009, 01:01 AM
I sleep well with either a Delta Elite 10mm or a Browning buckmark loaded with 40gr Velocitors under my bed.

November 9, 2009, 08:11 AM
I totally second what rogertc1 said, with an addition:

Since self defense was one of the requirements, I'd go with an H&R or High Standard convertible. They're all double action; H&Rs were six shooters while High Standard's Double Nine held nine. I have an H&R 676 with a 7.5" barrel, an awesome gun. Very accurate. The Double Nine isn't nearly as accurate but would be much better in the self defense department with 50% more capacity. However, the H&Rs are a bit sturdier. If you diligently hunt around on line, you'd stay within your $300 budget. The Double Nines are going up, though. Get 'em soon.

My Double Nine:

November 11, 2009, 08:56 AM
I currently carry SW Model 60 .357 3-incher but I would be most comfortable with the Ruger MKIII. Probably 100% stopping power with good head shots. In my experience the MKII is much less reliable than the MKIII. And I would surely prefer it to the Sigma which in my case in highly unreliable. Remember the .22 pistol is the only autoloader that fires a rifle bullet.

November 11, 2009, 09:04 AM

All you need to know. :D Mess with the rest, but eventually you'll buy the best.

November 11, 2009, 10:27 AM
Another vote for the Ruger Mk 1-3 series of pistols. the 22/45 series from ruger is also excellent. On that budget, your also talking Smith and Wesson's 22a, and probably a walther p22. Not sure what the beretta Neos retail at- they are not that popular by me.

November 11, 2009, 11:24 AM
My humble 1/50th of $1...

If my Single-Six or MKII was what I had in hand when "Vigoro Strikes Mixmaster", well that is what i would use...

My preference, for home/self defense, though is my Springfield Armory 'GI-45'.

Back to the original question, I like my MKII Ruger as a fun plinker...Single-Six whne i want the 'Cowboy Feel' for cheap shooting.

November 11, 2009, 11:28 AM
Ruger 22/45 bull barrel with target sights.

VERY reliable, very durable, very accurate, and cheap.

Not the prettiest gun, but IMO it is the best value.

Try and find the Mark II version (just called 22/45, not 22/45 Mark III) for the most simplicity.

justashooter in pa
November 12, 2009, 01:02 PM
if you don't mind shopping used, look for a Beretta 70S in 22LR. they are the most reliable 22LR semi-auto pocket guns out here, and more accurate than you can shoot. they are manageable for just about anyone, and have simple controls. they are heavier than most pocket guns, on a frame large enuf to handle 32 and 380, with grips of a reasonable size.

for a newb a 22LR is better than something that costs $.40 a round to shoot. at a nickle a round you get enuf familiarity that you are comfortable with your gun.

November 12, 2009, 02:15 PM
Beretta 70S in 22LR

Great pistol.

November 13, 2009, 11:09 AM
I don't know about .22 semi-autos for self-defense. The jam possibility always exists. I like mine for plinking but I'd go with a revolver for absolute reliability in a sticky situations.

November 15, 2009, 02:35 PM
I did not know the Mosquito was used in the Finland school shootings and all those other murders that were commited by .22LRs were interesting facts as well. I always treated my Mosquito like a pretend gun, but now I'll be changing that tune.
The Mosquito is exactly $300 ($299.99 at Academy) and as long as you use CCI Mini Mags, it is pretty dependable. I would not want to trust my life on it, but I keep it loaded in a spare bedroom and have two other magazines in the case with it just in case. I completely agree that a gun you can get to is much more valuable no matter what the caliber. and the Mosquito is really good looking as well. If you didn't look at the barrel it would be easy to mistake it for a 226.
I found a crazy cheap gun at my local range the other day, the High-Point C-9 it's ugly as sin doesn't hold many rounds, and the way you have to take the magazine out and put it back in just to slide the action is strange, but they were selling them for only $133 each. That's two 9mm's and three 50 round boxes of wally world 9mm for under $300. crazy

November 16, 2009, 12:42 AM
If 22lr is the way you are going just be aware of what everyone has posted. It is a very lethal round in the right hands but does not have the knock down power, and whatever you do make sure you have premium ammo on the magazine at night for home defense. Buy only the bulk for practice. With the price you quoted I highly recommend the browning buck mark. I personally have one and it is accurate as hell, plus has a nice trigger out of the box. My browning shoots everything so far and have not had any ftf's or fte's. Just remember that with cheap ammo in a life and death situation the rimfire may not go bang when you need it the most. So keep your gun clean and only use premium ammo for defense. The ruger MK II or III is another pistol you could go with for that price range. I have no experience with it but what I have read it becomes a matter of personal choice between the browning or the ruger. Good luck in your quest.

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