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22 magnum as a self defense round

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by vito, Oct 19, 2006.

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  1. vito

    vito Member

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    I have several guns that fire 22 LR, but have no experience with 22 magnum. Is this a useful round for self defense? What gun would you recommend for use of this round? I'm guessing that its not a popular defense round since I almost never see in mentioned in this forum.
     
  2. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    Probably not mentioned very often because .22 mag seems to be relegated to rifles, not handguns (probably a revolver with an interchangeable cylinder for .22mag, 22lr, and there's the Automag in .22 magnum). The .22 magnum is seen as an overpriced 22 to some people.
    If you use it for SD, try and find a revolver that takes it.
     
  3. Timthinker

    Timthinker Member

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    Vito,

    Some years ago, I recall reading an article that addresses your question. From what I can recall, that article stated that a .22 magnum round fired from a handgun, with a barrel length of 5 plus inches, was comparable to a high speed .22 long rifle cartridge shot from a rifle. This should give you some basis for comparison. Some of our senior contributors may be able to verify what I have posted. Good luck with your inquiry.


    Timthinker
     
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    .22 Magnum

    Hasn't been mentioned yet...in case you don't know and opt for a .22 magnum...The .22 rimfire S/L/LR ammunition isn't interchangeable with it in the same way that .38 Special ammo can be fired in a .357 magnum revolver.
     
  5. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Hi Vito...

    Gotta say - there are so many rounds that are so much better than the 22 WMR I really doubt there is much real value in considering it for SD. Even the 22 long rifle probably gets a higher rating simply because you can get it in many fine automatics which provide firepower that (arguably) offsets the lack of cartridge power. I'd say, unless you're expecting an attack by the Keebler Elves, just politely salute the 22 WMR and then move on and buy something that was actually designed for SD in mind.

    Local opinions may vary. :)
     
  6. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    More useful than a sharp stick, but far from the best choice.

    While at work, I carry an NAA mini .22 mag with folding grip. The nature of my job requires something very discreet that cannot damage a finish if it contacts one. The folding NAA mini's look like thick pocket knives when IWB or in a pants pocket and have plastic belt clips, so they fit this bill. Only someone who knows what they are could identify one when carried this way; most people have neer heard of/seen one.

    Any other time, I'm carrying a 10mm.
     
  7. UncleBob

    UncleBob Member

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    I would never carry a rimfire round for self defense unless it was the above situation.
     
  8. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Ammo is very expensive for what it offers from a pistol.
     
  9. sm

    sm member

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    .22 magnum.

    Matter of Perspective I suppose.

    Bill Jordan was one proponent of the .22 Magnum in a snubby for defensive use at close distance.
     
  10. weregunner

    weregunner Member

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    True. Bill Jordan was shown animals that were shot with the 22 magnum as well as cadavers. The extreme damage and long wound track were supposed to have been accomplished with short barreled revolvers(snubbies included). These were not contact shot wounds. He is said to have commented that the wound destruction was just as much or more than most centerfire handgun cartridges could accomplish. What loads were used to create the horrific wounds were not reported. Much info on what he saw was not included nor was there enough info to base any kind of relevant findings. At least not in the report in the gun mag I read. Makes the skeptic in me wonder if he was shown rimfire rifle wounds or centerfire round wounds and then have the cliamant give a false story. Could be a lot of pertinent data was left out somehow. Maybe others can shed light on this. He did recommend that based on what he saw officers should carry .22WRM snubbies as backups or off duty armament. Taurus 941s with 8 shot cylinders would have been better backed up with speedloaders. But, alas, there seem to be no 8 shot speedloaders available nor were any then either. If I counted on a rimfire revolver for defense I would rather it be the magnum over the 22 rimfire itself just on ballistics and and bullet weight. Have had to rely on the rifire for a few months as my defense round until .357 magnum revolvers were purchased due to funding. Budget concerns and people who are physically unable to operate a semi-auto may have to use a rimfire revolver. Plenty of documented cases in Rifleman magazine and Combat Hanguns in past issues prove this out. Especially senior citizens. So one has to make do with what they have on hand and can afford to operate.
     
  11. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    Is a .22 magnum any more effective than the .22LR out of a snub-nose revolver or is the extra powder unburned?
     
  12. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Effective?

    makorovnik...Theoretically, any increase in velocity or bullet mass will make a round more effective...theoretically. Will that increase be enough to make a telling difference? The answer is...maybe and maybe not.

    Several years ago, a publication by Marshall and Sanow...which is NOT definitive, by the way...showed that there was a slight increase in effectiveness between the standard-pressure .38 Special 158 lead SWC over the158-grain lead RN bullet. About 2 or 3% if I recall correctly. I tend to feel that that would be pretty close, since the only real difference is in the SWC's flat nose. Since the RN's statistics placed it at about 50%, the increase wouldn't make a practical difference in the real world.
     
  13. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Ballistically, a little bit. 20-40 ft/lbs. from my 1-5/8 NAA mini, depending on brand.

    Phsycologically, yes. MUCH bigger muzzle blast/flash. While I wouldn't count on that to stop the attack, it's bound to have some effect.
     
  14. Headless

    Headless Member

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    I've been considering getting one of those 8 shot .22 mag's as a BUG. I certainly would not want to get hit with 8 .22mag rounds at any distance from any barrel length. I think people underestimate the .22... the .22 can get the job done.

    http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/women/wuornos/3.html
    1. "...He had been killed with three shots from a .22."
    2. "...Spears had been shot several times with a .22."
    3. "The nine bullets found in the remains were damaged by the decomposition, but were determined to have come from a .22 caliber weapon."
    4. "...He had been killed with two shots from a .22 caliber gun, one to the chest and one to the back."
    5. "...Six .22 caliber slugs were recovered from his body; the seventh went through his wrist and was never found."
    6. "...He'd been shot four times with a .22. "

    Or at least, it worked well enough for her... and that wasn't even a .22mag. Granted, we don't know how long it took any of them to die, so i wouldn't exactly expect the round to be a quick stopper. That said, none of those 6 people in this case were able to stagger to help or even call anyone on a cell phone before dying.
     
  15. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Yes, the .22 RF can kill you. Killing is not the point of defensive shooting. Your objective is to stop the threat as quickly as possible. Whether the BG dies or not is inconsequential, so long as he was stopped before you were seriously injured or killed. BG dying 2 days later in the hospital isn't going to help you if he split your mellon with a crowbar before going down.
     
  16. rob_s

    rob_s Member

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    I carry a .22 mag NAA revolver when I absolutely can't carry anything else. I actually carry that rather than a Keltec in .380 or .32 simply because I have more faith mechanically in the NAA than I do in the Keltecs.

    I also shoot the NAA in our IDPA bug matches and/or stages that we have from time to time. Not too shabby at contact distance.
     
  17. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    I get velocities in excess of 1400 fps out of my 4" J frame. In my Blackwidow with its 2" barrel I get aound 1200 fps. I stagger my ammo with the 50 grn federal and Maxi CCI load. As someone said its better than a sharp stick, much better IMO.

    Jim
     
  18. ronto

    ronto Member

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    IMHO, a 22 Magnum out of a short barrel weapon is:
    (1) Much more expensive to practice with, and if you use a 22 for self-defense you need ALOT of practice to get those head shots on a moving target.
    (2) Makes alot of noise, so I guess you can frighten the BG to death with it.
    (3) Is generally less accurate out of a handgun (see comment #1 above).
    (4) Isn't SIGNIFICANTLY better than a good quality 22 LR hypervelocity round out of a handgun.
    (5) And lastly, the 22 magnum round was developed for use in a long gun, not a handgun.
     
  19. Headless

    Headless Member

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    I'm aware, which is why this statement in my post:
    None of these people got to a hospital and died days later. They all died at the scene. Without even calling for help, or stumbling to the road or anything else.
     
  20. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    Any time you can get more energy out of the barrel up to a certain point, it will benefit you in a defensive situation. The .22 magnum is a nice hunting round for small game and has been used successfully as a defensive round. Keep in mind that any rimfire will be less reliable than any centerfire. I've seen many stories of the Ruger Single-Six .22 mag being used against bad guys, even terrorists. Like the smaller LR, it enters the body, but doesn't have the energy to exit most of the time. That said, the .22s lethality is often greater than its initial stopping power.

    If I were alone at night somewhere, I'd feel comfortable with a Ruger Single-Six .22 loaded with the magnum ammo.
     
  21. Hobie

    Hobie Member

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    In certain circumstances the .22 WMRF may be ideal as a self-defense round. This is especially true when it is all you've got. Put it in a S&W 51 and you might have the ideal self-defense gun for somebody with certain strength or manipulative limitations. Such a person is probably particularly needful.
     
  22. ModernTechnician

    ModernTechnician member

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    Actual shooting with a .22 magnum

    A few years back I had the privilege of knowing a tall gent that used to sell discount leather goods at gun shows through out the Southwest. I believe his business was called the Holster Lady (after his wife.) I must have purchased dozens of his holsters and belts and considered him a good friend.

    At one gun show a very bad representative of the 2nd amendment community violated strict gun show rules and carried a high standard .22 magnum derringer loaded into the show. He then handed the loaded weapon to my friend asking him if he had anything for it and the idiot recalling that he hadn’t unloaded the derringer pulled it back by the trigger while the holster man had it in his grasp, scanning his inventory and bang the weapon discharged into his hip at an arms length. The round was a CCI hollow point one of the more efficient offerings.

    The thing I recall most is that his response was to start packing up his inventory so that he could get medical attention without loosing any of his goods to thievery! He was a little disoriented and of course not very comfortable but he remained on his feet and had he been an armed evildoer he’d have killed the .22magnum wielder! (He was convinced to entrust neighboring dealers with his inventory and in fact attended the next day and continued selling leather goods without any losses!)

    Some time ago I saw a huge capacity .22magnum autoloader replete with plastic frame involved in a local lawsuit for not successfully stopping an attacker. If I recall correctly 30 shots were fired, probably was a good example of a tremendous failure of planning and ability as much as inappropriate caliber! Note the words ‘tremendous failure of planning’ and ‘inappropriate caliber’...

    ‘Probably better than nothing’ is poor comfort in my neighborhood, a good .38 with wadcutters with regular practice would be far superior! And offers a chance to grow into the +P FBI loads that are appropriate for protecting ones self or loved ones.

    My young lady and kids have no problem with carrying and using weapons starting with a 4 (.40 .41 .44 .45 etc.) It saddens me to hear that there are others that don’t believe they have that capability or common sense.
     
  23. 115grfmj

    115grfmj Member

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    About 1450 fps....

    out of my 4 5/8" ruger sss, aint nothing to sneeze at. Power wise about the same punch as a 380 in a much smaller profile round. It also has an actual copper jacket unlike 22lr. I would guess that fmj would be overpenetrative, but sp would do nicely. Again not my choice, but if it's all ya got...run what ya brung.:D Also to those with stories of bad stopping power, consider this.
    All of the most common defensive handgun rounds (9mm ,40S&W, .45 etc)
    are anemic at best. You don't get real power unless you graduate to rifles
    or SG's. That being said handguns in general are a compromise, do not expect the power factor of any handgun round to produce a stop. The only thing that will ensure a stop is getting your round to land where it will stop you attacker.
     
  24. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I'm of the other camp. I've got a .32 Kel-tec as a pocket pistol. I've shot it slow fire, rapid fire, everything. Never failed to go "bang"

    Load it with hyper performance .32's and it matches a 38 Special in performance.

    Perfect?? no. Adequate? hopefully.

    Personally, if I had a choice between a .22 mag and a .32 (or much preferrably a .380), I'd take the Kel-Tec in a heartbeat

    That said, a .22 will drop a 1,200# steer as fast as the hammer of Thor if you whack 'em between the eyes. Done it several times at the meat locker.

    YMMV
     
  25. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    Re the 22 Mag handgun-22LR rifle debate, here are some chrony results using a 3.5" model 51 S&W and a 16.5" Marlin Papoose. These are 5 shot averages. (edited to add stuff)

    22Mag
    Win 45gr Dynapoint 1090 (119) energy (ftlbs)
    Win 40grJHP 1172 (122)
    CCI TNT 1428 (136)
    Fed 50gr 985 (108)

    22LR
    40gr CCI Subsonic 1060 (100)
    40gr Win Wildcat 1165 (121)
    40gr Velocetors 1217 (132)
    Looks close enough to me.

    38Special +P 158gr SWCHP fired from S&W342 745 (195)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2006
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