New .22 LR Stinger vs .380


Ala Tom
May 17, 2012, 06:02 AM
Many people have accepted the .380 as a defensive weapon. I had one for many years. I thought of it as barely acceptable. A friend had a small Beretta in .22LR for defense and I tried talking him into at least a .380 if not a 9 mm. But recently he showed up with a box of .22LR Stinger rounds by CCI. When I looked up specs on the Stinger, I found it had a muzzle energy of 194 ft lb which is about the same as the average .380 round. These rounds have weight of 32 grams and a muzzle speed of over 1600 fps.

It seems to me they are equivalent to the .380. How do you guys feel?

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May 17, 2012, 07:08 AM
FYI, That 1600 fps is out of a rifle, as most all .22 rimfire ammunition is listed that way. I doubt you will even be close with that short of barrel. You would need a cronograph to know exactly what speed it is running out of whatever pistol you shoot it out of. LM

May 17, 2012, 07:16 AM
He's getting about 950fps out of that little beretta and a lot of muzzle flash!

May 17, 2012, 08:56 AM
I forget who did it, but there is a guy on youtube that showed the difference in a CCI Velocitor from a pistol and a rifle. Though it isn't the Stinger, the same would apply.

May 17, 2012, 10:35 AM
I recently chronographed .22 LR Stingers out of a Ruger SR22 pistol (a longer barrel than the Beretta assuming its a model 21) and got an average of 1085 fps. Running that through an energy calculator gives an ME of 83 ft lbs. A 90 grain .380 bullet starting at 950 fps calculates to 180 ft lbs. of ME.

May 17, 2012, 12:40 PM
Even the .22 WMR doesn't come close to the .380 from a handgun, especiall not one with a barrel under 3". I tested a number of .22 WMR loads in short barrels, at best they mustered just 98 ft/lbs. .380 from the 2.75" barrel ranged from 174 ft/lbs (ball ammo) to 259 ft/lbs (handloaded 102 gr. Golden Sabre).

I have never achieved more than 82 ft/lbs using .22 LR from a 3" barrel. Stingers out of my HP-22A 3" got only 1,030 FPS for 75 FPE.

And then, of course, there's the rimless/centerfire vs. rimfire reliability matter.

If a .22 is all you have, then use it. But it's far from ideal for defensive use.

May 17, 2012, 02:01 PM
I have done them and many others. They are rifle length rated and drop a good bit in a pistol.

Ala Tom
May 17, 2012, 02:50 PM
Thanks very much. I never think of rifle data as I deal generally in centerfire pistols.

May 17, 2012, 02:55 PM
Comparing energy figures is a waste of time anyway.

Energy is not what makes one handgun round more likely to make a bigger deeper hole then another one.

If the .22 expands it will not penetrate as far.
If it doesn't expand, you have a ice-pick wound for blood loss and incapacating shock to occur.

Of course the .22 is probably as likely to kill you as a .380.
Just not as soon.


Ala Tom
May 17, 2012, 03:29 PM
Bullet design does play an important part. But if dealing with the same design at two energy levels, the higher energy level will do the most damage - penetrate deeper including into bone and/or tear up more organs. The Stinger is a hollow point and I would assume any defesive .380 round would be a hollow point.

I went to BBTI and found they are keeping up with the times. They have a section on the Stinger with its 32 gr bullet from barrels from 2" to 18".

From an 18" barrel, the muzzle energy is 162 ft lb.
From an 5" barrel, the muzzle energy is 117 ft lb.
From an 2" barrel, the muzzle energy is 67 ft lb.

Obviously, a short-barrel .22 has very little defense capability.

May 17, 2012, 03:42 PM
22lr rounds from a short pistol barrel do not expand, period!

And from all the ballistic gelatin tests I have seen, velocity and energy from pistol sized guns are a non factor.

May 17, 2012, 09:01 PM
CCI Stingers aren't new...I seem to remember them from two (2) ex-wives ago :rolleyes:

I remember them a very popular loading in the Jennings J-22 :what:

Besides the obvious lack of velocity when not in a rifle and the feeding concerns of any rimmed cartridge, the Stinger adds additional chambering issues with it's longer case.

I also have concerns about carrying a defensive handgun which isn't equipped with an extractor

May 17, 2012, 11:28 PM
I remember them a very popular loading in the Jennings J-22.

The one time I ever had a failure with a J-22 occurred during a run of CCI Stingers. After about half a box, the gun field-stripped itself. This was back around 1988 or so, before I knew not to use "hot" ammo in the gun.
The gun had probably been fired 200 times or so before that, using MiniMags (all that I could get at the local store back then, besides the Stingers) without issues. It has been fired maybe 100 times since, also without issue.

May 17, 2012, 11:43 PM
CCI Stingers aren't new...I seem to remember them from two (2) ex-wives ago

I remember when they came out in the late sixties IIRC. Everything had to be FAST back then, never mind the 33 grain bullet. :scrutiny: I guess there was a general "Super Vel" mania going on at the time. Remember "Super Vel?" .357 magnum, baby! 125 grain bullet at 10,000 feet per second, or something close.:D

A .22 is just a .22 and out of a pistol it ain't even THAT. However, it's still a very useful tool to the outdoorsman, make no mistake, that's why I have so danged many of 'em. I even carry one as a back up just because it's so small and light, why not? It backs up a .38 or a 9x19 usually in my strong side pocket. It's a 5 ounce (+ probably an ounce for the folding grip) NAA mini revolver. It beats my teeth. It'd hurt pretty bad if I screwed it into the BG's ear, way I figure. Hopefully, it'd penetrate his ear drum, give him a headache.

Seriously, a .22LR out of a handgun is NOT a toy. It can kill you. It's just that you're trying to stop a fight NOW, not in a few hours or even a few minutes. I do, on occasion, carry a NAA Black Widow .22 magnum when I need ultimate concealment. It makes right at 100 ft lbs with a Hornady Personal Defense 40 grain JHP. This is pretty close to the 120 or so ft lbs of a .32ACP, but the .380 is over 100 ft lbs up on it. It's quite accurate, though, and that becomes more and more important with smaller calibers. It WILL expand on a center mass shot, something most .22LRs won't do at short barrel handgun velocities.

Anyway, the .380, even the .32, is MUCH preferable to a .22 or .25. the .22 mag doesn't give me thrills either, but then I'd rather carry my 9 than my .380. You carry the biggest caliber you can at the time, make sure you can place the bullet where you need to. I have choices. 99 percent of the time, I can carry a snubby .38 or 9mm subcompact as a pocket gun, not a problem. I have a .380 and a .22 mag for times I can't, but fortunately they don't need to be fallen back on very often.

May 18, 2012, 10:44 AM
I'm much less concerned about the energy transferred than I am about the cavity trauma created.

May 18, 2012, 08:41 PM
I'm much less concerned about the energy transferred than I am about the cavity trauma created.

It's a .22 and from a pistol, it probably WON'T expand. That should answer the "cavity trauma" (I thought it was crush cavity?) for what it's worth. And, my point on the velocity/bullet weight thing, 33 grain slug. Whadda ya figure THAT does for penetration vs, say, even a 40 grain slug?

What I'm trying to say, any way you slice it, the .22 is among the weakest of the weak and the Stinger does NOT help, rather hinders.

May 19, 2012, 12:22 AM

May 19, 2012, 01:13 AM
With the KT P-11, PF-9, the Kahrs, etc, frankly I do not understand why anyone can have any interest whatsoever for sub 9mm Luger calibers in defensive handguns when deep concealement is needed. The only reason I can think of is if we are talking about a very small frame person with very low tolerance to recoil.

I'm on and off tempted to buy a Bersa Thunder 380 as a range plinker....a sweet nice looking little pistol...just to have fun at the range...then I ask myself why bother when I can plink with my nines for even less money?? (I do not reload)

May 19, 2012, 02:46 PM
I have lots of .22s for plinking. I'm not going to dis the .22LR for THAT! I love 'em as general outdoor tools, too. My most recent purchase was a Ruger SR22. The thing is fantastic, decent accuracy in a pocket sized kit gun application pistol. My Ruger Mk2 is MORE accurate, but not pocket sized.

Before the SR22 came out, I was wanting something small and accurate. I'd looked at the Bersas and they make a nice little .22 the size of the .380 that has good reviews. I do handload, but .22s, you don't have to police brass, don't have to bother breaking out the Dillon now and then, just bang away on the cheap! ;) I have a .380, never shoot thing thing, never carry it. I usually have my P11 on me. Now, for cheap centerfire plinking and big enough to carry, though it's sorta heavy vs the P11 or other modern 9s, I bought a Radom P64 in 9x18 couple years ago. This thing is GREAT, very accurate, instinctive pointer, does have some recoil, but a Wolf spring kit and Marschal grips help both felt recoil and DA function. Best part, 9.95 for Monarch FMJ at Academy....even a few bucks cheaper than 9x19. Good thing since the thing slings brass into the next county. I picked that gun up for under 200 bucks at a Gander Mountain. Don't "need" it, but sure glad I found it. And, it is another option to pocket carry if I want, though it offers no advantages on other guns I own for that purpose. But, vs a Bersa .380, I much prefer it. :D

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