.22 for defense/house gun. who has one?

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Feb 1, 2009
ok, i know don't use a .22

is there any way to determine lethality of the .22 when multiple shots are fired on target at one time ?

i have a ruger charger (10" barrel) with red dot and a 30 shot mag for a house gun, i think three rounds minnimum at once if i'm shooting at someone.

multiple shot damage has to be serious even with a .22, i'm more concerned with running intruders off, with a barrage of .22's coming at you it's time to leave. :what:

i would never fire only one .22 round and expect a kill......
The question of stopping power comes up a lot. Perhaps a better discussion would be stopping time. Good shot placement will greatly reduce the oppurtunity time an attacker has to harm you. A 22LR in the eyeball will drop someone in their tracks, but an eyeball is a small target that is hard to hit in a stressfull situation.

The velocity of a .357 in a hollowpoint has been considered the best round for stopping power/time.

Don't get me wrong, I think that any bullet will get the attention of an attacker, but if the attacker is close enough and gets hit but not hurt I think they will calculate that it may be better to get that gun from you, and since he was just shot he will be more determined.
I know of an instance down here where someone unloaded a .22 into a relative during a domestic dispute. When the police showed up, the shootee was chasing the shooter around the front yard. Gun lore is full of stories where people were shot with .22's, continued their attack or ran off, only to die in the emergency room hours later.

IMHO, lethality is not a consideration for a house gun. The primary consideration is stopping the threat. A .22 can stop a threat, but only across a much smaller range of circumstances. Better than nothing? Yes. But just about any other firearm will do better.

Then there's the generally greater unreliability of a .22 compared to a centerfire. .22's have much more failures to fire than even the cheapest range fodder centerfire ammo. .22's also seem more prone to jam. Over the course of 1000 rounds in my Glocks, Beretta, or 1911 I may get one failure to fire from a dud round/hard primer. I also average perhaps one jam on average per 1000 rounds.

In my .22 rifles or pistols, I usually expect 5-10 duds round per 1000 with mid-range ammo and 20-30 plus using bulk stuff. I usually get at least a few jams out of 1000 rounds as well in my .22 rifles or pistols.

The old addage "Carry the largest caliber you can shoot well" still rings true to me. As such, unless I was disabled, arthritic, or otherwise unable to handle the recoil of a good centerfire, I wouldn't even consider using a .22lr.
22 rimfires are certainly lethal. That is not the real issue. You need to be concerned with how fast you can neutralize a deadly threat.

As a sheriff's deputy I was assigned to duty in a Mississippi criminal court once where a man (guy 1) was being arraigned on a charge of murder. He lived in subsidized housing. One of his neighbors (guy 2) was mowing his lawn. The guy 1 went outside to tell the guy 2 to turn off the mower because guy 1 was trying to sleep. They argued. Guy 1 retreated to his home. Guy 2 followed guy 1 into his home. Guy 1 shot guy 2 with a 22 rimfire rifle twice. Guy 2 leaves the home and goes to his home asks for help. He dies a short time later. Guy 1 pleaded self-defense. He was found not guilty. The 22 was lethal. However, it took a minute or more for guy 2 to become incapacitated and longer to die. If guy 2 had been armed or really intent on fighting he could have continued for at least 15 to 30 seconds.

If all you have is a 22 Ruger Charger like the pic above then by all means get the best ammo and keep it handy. I think that a bullet designed for penetration would be better than a hollow point design. That 10" barrel will limit your velocity to some extent.
i was mostly thinking that the low noise/flash/recoil and high capacity of the charger would work well. i need a light and laser also. i don't want to much penetration, the houses here are close. reliability would be number one over anything else.

i know normally you want a .45 hollowpoint or 12 ga slug. i use to carry a glock 27 with corbons.

the charger is my do everything gun including something my kids can shoot at the range. otherwise i would have a regular defense gun.
thanks for the pic, i can't get my digital to work. i'll post a pic if i can.
I have a .22MAG located in my house... not at my bedside.

Watched forensic files last night, couple killed... .22 pistol... Mark II I believe was the weapon.

At the distances you would encouter at your typical home, I think it would do.

I used my Savage .22lr rifle to defend my house against a rabid racoon that waddled inside the front door....does that count? One shot stop with those goofy Aguilla SS 60 grain .22 shorts. I should add that my wife was backing me up with a .357 magnum revolver, just in case it didn't fall to the headshot (which racoons sometimes do!).

The closest I'd get to a .22 projectile on a human would be a load of #4 buckshot, which packs 27 .22 projectiles.
Size . . . . . . Nominal diameter . . . . . Pellets/oz
000 ("triple-ought") - - .36" (9.1 mm) - - - - 6
00 ("double-ought") - - .33" (8.4 mm) - - - - 8
0 ("ought") - - - - .32" (8.1 mm) - - - - 9
1 - - - - .30" (7.6 mm) - - - - 10
2 - - - - .27" (6.9 mm) - - - - 15
3 - - - - .25" (6.4 mm) - - - - 18
4 - - - - .24" (6 mm) - - - - 21
All my guns are for home defense. ;)

The plus side of a 22 is the accuracy you're likely to have when you empty the magazine. And since a 22 like the MK II has about the same recoil as a cap gun, you can put most of your bullets in a very tight grouping.

The down side is that it is a really small bullet even if you are using hollow point. That's fine for shooting something like a prairie dog. But ask yourself this, would you use a 22 to try to stop a wild boar? No, you'd use something more appropriate to the size and danger of the animal.

Now, unless you're worried about your home being invaded by a bunch of prairie dogs or the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz, pick something more suitable for stopping the "animal(s)" that will break into your home. I use the "(s)" because there can easily be more than one. And where you might stop one with a clip of 22lr, you're going to have a harder time stopping two.

There is also a psychological factor to consider. In numerous Armed Citizen articles, I've read about people who shoot at the criminals and miss, but they run off anyway just from the gun being shot at them. Now, if a criminal hears a little pop pop pop from your 22, he might not be as scared as hearing BANG BANG BANG from your 9mm/45/etc or BOOM BOOM BOOM from your shotgun.

So, in conclusion, yes you can use a 22 as a home defense weapon. Like I said, all my guns are home defense weapons. If the SHTF (like hurricane IKE), all my guns are loaded. But the 22 would probably be the last one I'd grab. And it wouldn't be my bedside or primary home defense gun.
If a .22 is all you have, then use it. That said, almost anything else is a better choice. Personally, I believe the 12gauge with #4 shot to be the best home defense weapon available. I would follow that up with an AR-15 M4 as a good second option, with a .40-.45 or .357-.44 special as backups of choice.

FWIW, you can find a decent shotgun for little more, and sometimes even less than a good .22. Shotgun shells still represent a decent value as well. I got a brand new pump action with shorter barrel for under $200 at a local gun show. Not the fanciest gun out there, but it is completely reliable and accurate.
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another vote for the S&W 317.

Fantastic little gun. 1 3/8" barrel and I can spin this little plastic animal target at 25 yards. Not a single problem in some 700 rounds. Still looks good as new. Easy to carry. Great "kit" gun (to take camping, hiking, etc.) Weighs only like 11 oz.
I got an H&R Pardner Pump, 12 gauge, 18 1/2 inch barrel, at Gander Mountain for $180. Black, synthetic stock. It's UGLY. Which makes it a perfect HD weapon. 3 X 2 3/4 inch #4 followed by 3 X 2 3/4 inch 00. It's a lousy hunting shotgun, but it was designed as a close range, SD/HD weapon and it's less than $200 including ammo.
I have to confess, I keep my S&W model 617 with the 10 shot cylinder under my side of the bed, and my better half keeps her 317 under hers. Our drill is to just roll out of bed to the floor if something goes bump in the night. That puts us in easy reach of our guns.

Since I retired, living on social security is a little tight. I've had to cut a corner here and there, and spending big bucks for center fire ammo is one. Besides, at this point in my life, all I really want to shoot is my .22's. I go to the range at least once a week, twice in warmer weather. I burn up a bulk box of Federals every week. Thats 550 rounds, every week of the year, exept for really freezing weather that bugs my arthritis. The wify is right there with me, being an avid shooter as well. The wife as well is a fan of .22's, and does not own any other caliber guns.

Our guns are part of us, we use them so much. At any one time, it's been only a few days since our last range trip, so if we grab our gun, it's like its still fresh from pactice. There's no way we would be that practiced with center fires. If it comes to it, an intruder will have both of us to deal with. After almost 40 years, we make a pretty good team.

The other thing is, even if we had shot center fire all these years, we would be at point where we would be going to .22's anyways. Besides the cost, the better half has developed problems with rumitoid arthritis in her hands, and some things are hard for her. She's on medication that helps a great deal. My left hand has been out of action for two months because of a tendon problem, and they just operated on it last week. It will be better, but I still have some problems with ostio arthritis in my knuckles from turning wrenches for 40 years. Large caliber bothers me these days.

A few years ago I sold my .357, wify sold her 9mm Glock, and we have no regrets at all. We're having a ball shooting more than ever before, and shooting better as well.
i would never fire only one .22 round and expect a kill
There's a good chance of a kill, but not so good of a chance of a stop. Also, I wouldn't count on firing even a .45 ACP just once.

But if the .22 is the only gun you have, then use it. But you can pick up a shotgun for not too much.

and a 30 shot mag
Make sure it's a reliable one!
low noise/flash/recoil and high capacity of the charger would work well
You can get high capacity in other calibers.

The low recoil means you have a heavy gun, a well designed semi-auto, porting etc, and/or the round lacks power.

I'm not really sure how bad the light would be on centerfires, but why are you concerned about the noise?

A writer on the subject of self-defense, Massad Ayoob, said that a deer rifle's noise, when fired indoors, will stun you, but didn't say that about .38 revolvers, which were what he reccomended for CCW in his(by now somewhat outdated) book. He also didn't seem to mention that as applying to shotguns, but I'm not sure, because they seem pretty loud.
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If you must use a .22 for defense, I think the Charger with 30 rounds and a red dot is probably about the best you could do, aside from a GSG-5 and red dot. I would load it with Aguila 60 grain SSS, because it does some weird things and is also the heaviest bullet you can get for a .22LR. Solid too, probably get you the best penetration you can hope for in a .22. Dominated a groundhog with it this summer.
If you are at home, then logic dictates that you choose the largest caliber you own to defend yourself. If that is a .22lr, then fight with it. If you own something bigger, then use that.

People who point out that .22lr can put groupings the size of a quarter into a target -the problem is that real BGs are moving fast and possibly returning fire or stabbing you at the same time. You will also be so pumped with adrenaline that you will probably be shaking.

Do not make the mistake that you will have time or opportunity to place nice accurate groupings with a .22lr under stress -you need to transfer as much energy as possible from every single bullet in order to maybe stop the attack.
the houses here are close
How close, and what are they built of? Brick houses are not the same as houses with walls that consist of 12 layers of sheetrock are not the same as those that consist of 4 layers of sheetrock.
sounds fine to me.

a dozen .22s flying at an intruder should
convince them they picked the wrong house.

...a cheap shotgun would help as a "backup".
Have you ever shot a center fire pistol at a indoor range without ear protection :eek:.what you say .i will take a rimfire noise any day inside my home .with lots of ammo .if it needs to happen .too big of a family too track down.
i have a ruger charger (10" barrel) with red dot and a 30 shot mag for a house gun, i think three rounds minnimum at once if i'm shooting at someone.

Now I'm not trying to be a smartass but with the money you have in the Ruger you could sell that and get a used S&W Model 10, likely for less than $300. This would give you a decent .38 Spl. which is a useful stopping round (unlike the .22) with minimal penetration (with the right ammo). This would leave you better protected than with a .22.

If you are often attacked by rats, squirrels or raccoons the .22 is the go to piece. For something larger like, well people, at least a .38 is better and likelier to get you the results you want and be economical.

I wouldn't use the .22 for home defense unless it was the only gun I owned... and if it was, I'd be saving to buy a more suited gun for home defense.
Have you ever shot a center fire pistol at a indoor range without ear protection
No, but I have at an outdoor range. (I know that the difference will be incredible, but I have at least a little bit of experiance here.) The only reason to avoid a really loud cartridge in a defense situation is to avoid being stunned by the noise. Massad Ayoob said that happens with rifles, but seemed to imply it didn't with shotguns and .38 revolvers.

I'd rather lose a little hearing than some blood.
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