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Which of the two guys are better off

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Hunter2011, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Well-Known Member

    If you look at the attached photo, the two shots in red are from a .22LR, the bigger holes are from a .38 Special. Yes, training will improve shot placement with the .38, then we all know the .38 is the best.
    But lets say this is the current situation with what you currently have.
    Which one to grab when you need to protect your life?
    I know in a stressfull situation your groups will open up, but lets say these groups were shot in a stressfull situation.
    It is always said either that shot placement is king, or bigger is better, point.
    Now we have actual ''field results'':)
    I welcome any and all comments. Please don't suggest other weapons like shotguns. Just comment on the photo:)

    Attached Files:

  2. Havok7416

    Havok7416 Well-Known Member

    The .22 shots could have been "stopping" shots, but IMO the .38 Special holes would give your target no more than a limp at best. I'm curious as to why your .38 group is so large. Are these hypothetical holes or ones you actually put on target?
  3. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Well-Known Member

    My father shoots like this with his .38
  4. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    If that was the best I could do with each of those guns, I'd opt for the .22, assuming it's a rock-steady and reliable gun (such as a revolver or quality autoloader, and loaded with quality ammo) until I got better with the .38. It would depend also on what guns they were and what the ammo capacity is for each. It's unlikely the .38 holds more than six (was it a five-shot snubnose revolver?). Some .22 caliber autos of similar size can hold ten rounds or more.

    So, what guns are they?
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Were these shot on a "static" range at a fixed distance, or with some movement and stress thrown in?

    Reason I ask is that most bad guys don't stand still with their hand on their hip like waiting to have their photo taken, so what someone's able to do with two guns under "square range" conditions doesn't usually translate very well to how they'd fight and try to defend their lives with those two guns.

    To further refine the point, it is unlikely that your Dad would put two .22s into the heart of a bad guy while under a violent attack. On the other hand, his performance with the .38 could hardly be worse, and if he was attacked at close range (as most violent encounters happen) his accuracy at distance would be less important than the effectiveness of the bullets' wounding.
  6. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Well-Known Member

    I can answer all the questions like what guns it was etc etc. But I don't want to go into what if's or so. I just wanted to get an answer to my question. And I did. Thank you. So it seems shot placement is king in this case? Better groupings with the .38 would have turned the tables fast.

    The .22 is a S&W 422 10-shot, 6'' barrel loaded with 10 Mini Mags. But the capacity does not matter. We are talking about 2 shots only in my question:)
    The revolver is a 5 shotter with only 4 rounds loaded, to prevent accidental discharged when dropped. It was shot in single action mode, so in a attack most people will shoot it in double action mode with even less accuracy...

    Thanks all. My question was answered but if there are more oppinions please post them here.
  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Before anyone places any importance on the "answer", it should be understood that in a real self defense situation (rapidly moving target, very little time to present and fire), the "shot placement" shown for the .22 would represent pure luck at best.

    Sam has already implied that, but it bears repeating.

    There are no modern shot revolvers that cannot be safely carried fully loaded.
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Well, if you set up a rigid defined scenario that you wish to believe is relevant to your Dad's potential gun fight, then you get the answer you already knew you wanted to find. Of course a guy with two holes in his heart is more concerned than the guy with a shoulder wound and glancing abdomen wound.

    The only question that really matters is, what would your Dad actually be able to do with either gun in the struggle that really happens? Unfortunately, that question isn't answered in this test.
  9. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator


    Yep. Unless someone foolishly rendered it otherwise, it's designed to be drop-safe.
  10. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Not an issue
  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Just looking at those two shots, I would think the opposite is much more likely.

    Shooting in SA will often lead to pulling the trigger through anticipation, causing the shots to scatter wildly. Shooting a revolver in DA will often cure this..it could hardly get much worst
  12. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    It seems as though the conditions were different. I can't see this being four shots where the shooter took his time and placed each of the four as carefully as possible. It almost seems like the shooter took careful aim and focused on slowly pressing the trigger with the 22 (both red shots), then took careful aim with the first shot from the 38 (top-left blue marker), and squeezed off the second round as quickly as possible (bottom-right blue marker).

    Either way, none of the four shots would cause a sudden physical stop (I got shot in the spine - my body physically won't allow me to continue my attack). With the shot placement on the chart, the best one could hope for would be a mental stop (Oh damn, I've been shot; I better give up or run away before this guy kills me), which would have me opting for the 38.

    "Shot placement is king." Well, sometimes it is. Shot placement isn't king in a sample of four poorly placed shots. Its only king when comparing a great shot with a shot that isn't. Those two shots with the 22 may be nice and close, but neither represents a great shot - one that would cause a physical stop.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  13. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Well-Known Member

    Sure it could. I've seen folks at the range shoot at targets like that and miss them all together.
  14. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Well-Known Member

    My question is how far were these shots taken? I think should he be shooting at "real world" encounter distances (7-10 feet) his groups would greatly improve. At least I sure hope they would. But as Sam said, real world BG's rarely stand still in an exchange. And if they do, they'd probably not be living BG's for very long. So my vote is for the .38. And practice, practice, practice.
  15. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    The 22 may or may not have the punch to do the job.

    These hits with the 38 will break a rib and or puncture a lung... and the hip shot could shatter the hip. No hip = no mobility and extreme pain, and possibly the bad guy taps out of the fight. Alternately, that abdomen hit is right on the kidney on the left, or if it were on the right might hit the liver. Either one will bleed heavily and the bad guy will tap out.

    There's also the kinetic action and energy dump into the body to consider, and the size of the hole and blood loss, and the psychological effect of being shot and seeing your own blood... for most people this is a problem.

    I'd chose a 38 with those hits over the .22 with the hits you've shown.
  16. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I was asked before, distance is 10 meters. Obvioulsy closer shots will mean more accuracy.
    Where is the best place to put the .22 shots? Won't it penetrate the ribs?
  17. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    Let's first establish and agree that the goal here is to stop the threat.

    Regarding ideal shot placement with a 22 - a shot in the upper half of the head would probably be among the most rapid elimination of the threat. Of course, people have been shot in the head and continued functioning normally, so nothing is certain. Other likely rapid stops would be shots to the brain stem, or upper spine, provided the bullet penetrates with enough energy to fracture the bone and sever the spinal cord itself. This type of shot is referred to as destroying the CNS (central nervous system) and is widely accepted as being the most reliable stop in regards to shot placement.

    Just about anything else would be relying on a "mental stop" - and that's not the technical term for it, but it's escaping me at the moment. The thing is, with a round like a 36-40 grain bullet out of a 22LR, even a shot to the heart or lungs (viewed as an ideal shot for a hunter) is going to be mediocre in a SD situation. It certainly could stop an attacker, but it wouldn't be because it immediately, physically prevented him from proceeding.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  18. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Well-Known Member

    10 meters?!?! That's a poke. Cut that in half and get us another pic of the groups. Also as stated the two shots of the 38 may not be center mass. But he will have possibly hit a lung, broken a shoulder blade, punctured a liver, spleen, or kidney or broken a hip. So I wouldn't say the BG would just be left with a limp. He will be in some serious trouble.
  19. browningguy

    browningguy Well-Known Member

    Forget the arguments that the .22 shots won't happen in a gunfight, the .38's won't either. It's quite possible that if someone is that inaccurate in a static situation with the .38 they won't be even close to the target in a dynamic situation.
  20. limpingbear

    limpingbear Well-Known Member

    If I remember my anatomy lessons right the 22 round would take out a lung and the heart, provided they went deep enough....the 38's look to have holed a lung and spleen/pancreas(?) and broken the hip....All would probably end the aggression. I think personally I would stick to the 38. If these rounds were fired from 10 meters I think I would wait until the perp closes the distance and then use the other 2 rounds to better affect. Provided that the first 2 rounds did not dissuade him from the attack. Accuracy may be king, and a hit from a 22 is better than a miss from a 45, but I like to make larger holes if it come to a live or die scenario.

    Edit to add: taking another look at the pic I am not sure iff those 22's would hit the heart. They may nick it and they would definitely hole a lung. maybe not the heart.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

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