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22 Magnum Cartridge Realistic?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by fz6rider, Mar 2, 2009.

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  1. fz6rider

    fz6rider Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    Just joined & looked around briefly, but couldn't see if there were any threads on using the 22 mag. as a carry load. Specifically, I'm looking for something as small as I can get that would be reasonable as a carry weapon. Really don't like to carry big guns at all & here in the SW it's too hot for anything other than a short-sleeved Tee shirt. Can't cover much w/that.
    At the risk of flaming I was actually considering the North American Arms "Black Widow", 2", 22. mag.
    Now for the comments.
  2. Action_Can_Do

    Action_Can_Do Member

    May 28, 2005
    It's better than nothing. I would recommend stepping up to a 38 special snub nose.
  3. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

    Apr 9, 2006
    22 mag is better then nothing, but rimfire priming reliability is an issue.

    If you truly want to carry a 22mag, investigate the 7-8 shot da snubby revolvers. May not be as small in size, but youll get more heft for shooting pleasure, and an actual gun handle to hold.
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    The .22 Magnum is a pretty wicked little round...even fired from a short barrel. Not a .45 +P hollowpoint by any means...but fully capable of ruining your entire day. Bullet placement is the main thing.
  5. feudalson

    feudalson Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    1911tuner has it right ... shot placement is key to every engagement.... a 45 that misses it mark is useless.. a 22 mag that strikes true is bad guy be good blessing... 22 mag is a good round ... i will say that there are some issues with rimfires and reliablity but this is easily fixed imo buy getting top shelf ammo... i commend anyone who finds a gun in whatever caliber let them carry it everyday and everywhere... ppl need to stop buying full size combat pistols and trying to conceal them.. after a month they just end up leaving them behind
  6. Big Bill

    Big Bill Member

    Dec 13, 2008
    The 22 mag round is plenty potent. I used to carry it exclusively when hound hunting mountain lions years ago.

    But, you should ask yourself this question. If you were in your bank with that rig and ammo as your carry weapon and two BGs came in to rob the bank and they were locked and loaded with .45 ACP XDs, would you feel like fighting back with that gun and ammo?
  7. goodtime

    goodtime Member

    May 30, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    The 22 mag will kill an adversary . . . but on the operating table 3 hours later. Immediate stoppage is what you want in a self defense weapon. With pinpoint accuracy, (such as in the eye socket) it will stop someone immediately, but in a self defense situation, it isn't practical to rely on such shot placement. The 22 mag is pretty good as far as self defense weapons go in general, but against the wrong guy, it could be ineffective as a threat stopper without that pinpoint shot placement.
  8. gazpacho

    gazpacho Member

    May 28, 2004
    Yes, I realize this is a revolver thread but . . .

    If you are looking for tiny and ultra concealable, you should be considering any of the current crop of 380 acp mouse guns. With an appropriate pocket holster, they will go anywhere a wallet can.

    I live in Vegas, and most of the time I carry a S&W 340pd in a Galco SOB holster. I buy my T-shirts from the Duluth Trading Company, which has T-shirts that are about 2" longer, to help conceal my CCW. But when clothes or situation requires it, I switch CCW to a Keltec P32 (or up to 4 P32s if I feel like it) which give me even better concealability.
  9. St.Pete7

    St.Pete7 Member

    Feb 3, 2009
    St. Petersburg, Florida
    Thanks for asking the question. There was a recent home invasion in a County just South of mine that enlightened me on this subject...

    About 6-8 months ago, I was watching a morning news station running a sory on a vicious Home Invasion involving two armed thugs and an elderly homeowner.
    The story was, the older gentleman, probably in his late 60's, heard a knock on his door around 8pm. His wife was out and he lived in what he thought was a good neighborhood so he opened the door without hesitation. As soon as he opened the door, one of the young scumbags hit him in the head with the claw end of a hammer.
    The elderly victim dropped to the floor and the crooks, one holding a gun, started ransacking his place looking for God knows what while assuming that the homeowner was dead or at least unconscious. Anyway, the "victim" pulls out a little 22 Mag SA revolver and fires a round at the gut holding a gun, severing his spinal cord at the base of his scull, killing him instantly.

    Hearing the gunfire, the other dirt bag makes for the door while still holding his hammer. The old-timer fires three more rounds at him as he's trying to make his getaway. Two of the Three shots found their mark. Turns out that he would have surely bled-out and died if not for the Emergency Vehicles responding to the shots-fired call.
    The morning after, the news crew asked the lucky homeowner for an interview. With fresh staples in his head and a Big Ol' County Boy Grin on his face; he calmly pulled the little 22 Mag revolver out of his pocket to show the camera. Confidently, he said "I don't go anywhere without having this little fellow with me". Man! I love when the good guy wins!
    I became an instant believer in the 22 Mag for a "pocket-pal" if you don't have access to some of the pistols recommended in previous posts.
    My pocket carry is a S&W Model 37 airweight in 38 special but I'm looking to get a little 22 Mag for my dad.

    Good Luck,
  10. johnnylaw53

    johnnylaw53 Member

    May 12, 2007
    I have a NAA 22lr that i carry when in the yard working and if I go somewhere where I don't want to carry anything bigger like to shoot a little pool. Began carrying it back when I was in narcotics if I had it to do over again I would of gotten the .22 mag with the little longer barrel I don't fool myself and think the NAA in either caliber is a good ccw all the time but it does fit the bill when nothing eles will do normally I just carry a 642.

    be safe
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    Well...If you plan on going into a gunfight with a gang of miscreants...you don't want to do it with a .22 Magnum. Actually, you don't want to do it with any handgun...but that's meat for another debate.

    For an up close and personal/last-ditch defense against an attacker who got under your radar and gained an edge...pressing the muzzle against his groin or lower abdomen and emptying the gun...it'll do the trick.

    Granted, I'd prefer to have a snub-nosed .38 revolver for that scenario, but wouldn't feel at any great disadvantage with a 6-shot .22 magnum.
  12. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts

    The plain truth is that only a small percentage of us have a genuine
    need to carry a sidearm.

    We carry because:

    A. We can.
    B. It comforts us.
    C. Because it's better to have it and not need it than vice-versa.

    But mainly because it comforts us.

    It's been said that a defensive sidearm is like an ambulance. We
    don't often need one, but when we do...we need it badly and we need it
    immediately. So, we carry. Not because we have a pressing need...but
    because we want to be prepared. Being prepared is a good thing.

    By and large, not even the all folks who have a CCW permit don't carry 24/7/365.
    Let's face it. Carrying a gun all the time is a chore. Carrying 45 ounces of
    loaded gun is a bigger chore...and it gets to be a real hassle as the day
    wears on into 14 or 15 hours. Add another 16 ounces for the spare ammo...and it gets
    old pretty fast.

    Conversely...It's much less of a hassle if the gun weighs half that much and is
    half the bulk...not to mention being easier to hide under clothing. The problem is, that
    with reduced bulk and weight, comes either a reduction in power or a sharp increase in recoil.
    The average Joe seeks to strike a happy medium...or he too often leaves his gun at home.

    Enter the small, light pistol or revolver that we can comfortably carry day in and day out.
    Underpowered by OK Corral standards, but far from useless in the unlikely event that we come
    under personal attack at close quarters.

    For the record, I most often carry a full-sized 1911/.45 ACP...in Condition 1.
    Around the ol' homestead, takin' care of the dogs and mendin' fences...
    I generally slip a single-action revolver into the front of my belt and tend to business.
    The current one is a Cimarron Model P .44 Special, necessarily carried hammer down
    on an empty chamber...stoked with "Skeeter's Favorite" of a cast 240-grain SWC and
    enough Unique to give it authority. Yeah, I know. Handloads are a big no-no...
    but I'm at home, and I'm more concerned with feral dogs, coyotes, or a rabid raccoon than
    anything else.

    I guess 5 rounds puts me at a tactical disadvantage...but as the old gunfighter mentioned:

    "If ya can't do it with 6, ya probably can't do it."

    When I go to town, or beyond...I carry the .45 automatic. I might carry a spare mag, and I might not...
    depending on which part of town and/or how far beyond I plan to go.

    But...not everybody is as dedicated as I am. If carrying the "big gun" is a chore...
    they'll often leave it at home, or they'll opt for something a little smaller.
    In that light, a .22 can not only be a great comfort...it can be a life-saving tool.
    If one of the cops in the saga of "The Onion Field" had been packing a hideout
    .22 Derringer, the outcome of that story would have likely been much different.
  13. JR47

    JR47 Member

    Aug 16, 2008
    N. Georgia
    That seems to be a mantra whenever anyone suggests anything but one's own favorite caliber. Shooting a bad guy 17 times in the arms, legs, and other peripheral areas will result in that same scenario described. In the meantime, the dying bad guy will return the favor to you.

    Actual trainers will tell you to use the largest caliber that you can control, and hit with. You can't miss fast enough to catch up. IF the .22 Magnum is what your personal limits are, and you are comfortable with those limits, you're better armed than the person who simply listens to dogmatic statements, buys the caliber XY death-ray blaster, and flinches every time that he practices with it (twice a year, religiously).

    I routinely carry .40 S&W, and .45 ACP handguns. However, for those runs to grab a can of seasoning at 1800 hours, Wednesday night, I will sometimes slip a Kel-Tec P32, in a Galco pocket Holster, into my pants. I can COM a magazine-full into a B27 target at 25 yards, with a pulse of 100+ (exercise created). I'm also not living in an area where robberies are prevalent.
  14. doc540

    doc540 Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    this for last resort/contact range


    put a piece of the rough plastic side of velcro on the handle so it won't slip from your pocket

    better than a set of car keys in your fist (but not as good as a .38 snub)
  15. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Western Slope of Colorado
    From Brass Fetcher:


    What they said:

    The .22 Magnum cartridge is a longer version of the .22lr and operates at a slightly higher pressure as well. While the velocities obtained from firing this cartridge from a pistol are higher than the .22lr, the expanding/fragmenting bullets that are generally used in commercial ammunition for this caliber offer too shallow penetration depths in gelatin to be generally considered to be effective.

    Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) bullets in this caliber are generally recommended for handguns. These bullets can almost universally be counted on to yaw/tumble inside of the target (creating greater damage) and to penetrate deeply enough to reliably incapacitate the target.
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    The little Smith Air weight would be my choice and suggestion. I think it's a perfectly good choice for a carry gun. It is not like you are fighting a war.

    The issue on 22 rimfires is generally the bullet diamter and the primer. Many of the Remington duds that some of us try to shoot actually contain no primer. So I would test a couple from that box of shells and if you are using a revolver, you still have 4 or 5 more chances of getting it right.
  17. easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca

    easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    Apparently you have not yet purchased a gun. I'd forget the .22 Mag as a SD/HD caliber just because it is a rimfire and less reliable than a centerfire.

    Buy a lightweight S&W .38 spl snubby. You still have to hit the target, so practice shooting quickly and accurately regularly.
  18. Sailor99

    Sailor99 Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    Another alternative would be a 32 caliber snubbie. You can still find some of the S&W J frames in .32 H&R magnum in some of the shops. Fits the gap between a a 22 magnum, and a 38 special nicely.
  19. fineredmist

    fineredmist Member

    May 3, 2006
    Wethersfield, Ct.
    I have been carring a NA .22 mag for many years and have not had the need to use it in self defense. It is a small revolver that is hard to handle out of the box. It requires the optional rubber grips to make it handle properly and a little work on the rear of the cylinder with a stone. The edges of the cylinder are SHARP and they will bite if you don't dress them up. It is not a big operation and can be done in less than 20 minutes. The bite of a .22 mag is nasty as is the muzzle blast and flash.
    You need to practice with this as well as another firearm you carry.
    Put one in you pocket (in a holster) and you don't even know it's there.
  20. Andy W

    Andy W Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    LaGrange, KY
    I would rather have a 22 than nothing at all. A J frame in a front pocket holster conceals well without a cover garment. You need a 6" pocket opening, Docker type pants work good.
  21. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Sep 8, 2005
    NAA publishes ballistic data.

    Look and decide for yourself.


    Note that these are rifle rounds and velocity drops a lot in a short barrel like the NAA.

    I would not be too concerned about rimfire reliability. WMR rounds are higher-end than cheap bulk .22 ammo. Decent non-bulk .22 ammo is quite reliable in my experience. Any failures I've ever had are due to a failure of the primer compound in cheap .22LR, which means you can cock and fire again safely.
  22. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    Unless you get something longer than a 2" don't expect any expansion. It's a hideout gun, but better than nothing.
  23. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    W. Washington
    Really? I wonder how it is that after several years I'm still carrying my 5" 1911 everywhere I go except work?

    Edit to add something OT:
    I shot a friend's NAA .22LR last week. We're both pretty decent shots, but at about 20' we could barely keep our shots on paper. At about 3' it was fine, and that's about as far as you'd likely use one of those. The real issue was that it failed to fire a number of rounds. This was bulk Remington stuff, so your luck might be better with premium ammo. But, as others have said, rimfire ignition reliability is just not very fantastic.
  24. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Sep 8, 2005
    At 20 feet I can hit cans with mine. Any farther and it's a crapshoot.

    No problems with misfires, with good ammo. CCI Velocitors offer about the best performance in the .22LR, and I've had no problems whatsoever with those. With bulk stuff, yes, but there's no reason I'd use that for anything but plinking.

    Is it a "manstopper"? Hell no.

    Could it kill at close range? Definitely.

    Could it save your life by causing debilitating pain in a violent attacker? Most assuredly.

    Would it discourage a rapist or mugger? Oh yeah.

    Is it a mostly a novelty? Yes.

    BTW you can get a traditional derringer, too, if you want a tiny gun that shoots a not-so-tiny cartridge.
  25. rishooter

    rishooter Member

    Dec 25, 2008
    CCW Reasons

    I have a CCW permit because I locked up some nasty people and still live in a place where I can run into some of them any time.I also have medical problems that limit my ability at defending myself physically.I live a quiet lifestyle and never frequent places where trouble occurs,but I am not gonna get caught shorthanded if either myself,my wife,or my grandaughter are put in danger. I ignore road rage idiots and basically am courteous to people.I just don't plan being a victim.I was in so many physical fights during my 26 years in LE that it's a little hard to accept being slowed down by heart problems and some other stuff.
    If I am in a bank being robbed,I am not going to shoot it out with any bank robbers,thereby endangering bystanders.If I am caught in a robbery where it is apparent the actors want to start hurting people,I will do what I have to because then it's not about some bank money that's insured anyway.
    I started in LE in 1971 after serving in Vietnam,and I have no tiny iota of Wyatt Earp syndrome left in me.
    I also like to go to remote spots with my wife to enjoy birds and scenery,and a carry piece is good for rabid creatures,which aren't scarce here.
    The idiots who are so concerned about CCW should realize that most permit holders are people who would never think to do them harm or break the law.
    That said,22 Magnum isn't a bad little round-just don't ever rely on an Automag II-it is strictly a range gun.
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