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22pistolpenetration/lethality

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by rabbit, Aug 22, 2005.

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  1. rabbit

    rabbit member

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    I have a longbarrel ruger semiauto rimfire. I have always been curious about 22 pistol penetration and lethality. Does anybody know what brand is the best penetrating? And will a 22 fmj usually penetrate most of the way through a torso or skull (and cause death)? There is alot of stuff on this when I search but none of it seems to answer basic questions about bullet penetration, which is pretty frustrating. My own definition of lethality is "anything that will come out the other side", which keeps me from dealing with long long long long dissertations on bullet expansion and knockdown and all that. So please, I just want the answer to the simple question if anyone knows. Thank you.
     
  2. GregGry

    GregGry Member

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  3. rabbit

    rabbit member

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    No joy Greg, spent 20 minutes of my life looking for something on 22 penetration. Not a thing. I do not require hard data; anecdotal will suffice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2005
  4. GregGry

    GregGry Member

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    Woops, it wont let me direct link it, sorry.. I will try to copy and past it tomorrow..

    EDIT: Try clicking on Special Agent Urey Patrick's Paper on FBI Handgun Wounding Factors & Effectiveness at the top of the page. It talks some about the .22. After doing my own research, the 22 is certainly lethal if you hit the head, but chances of killing someone with any sort of reliability with something other then a head shot, is slim. Not to say people don't die from .22 shots, more people probably die from .22 shots then any other round. That probably has a lot ot do with the fact criminals are cheap.
     
  5. mete

    mete Member

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    The problem with 22 'penetration is that it has a habit of deflecting in people .While it doesn't have much 'stopping power' it tends to cause little immediate effect but may cause death a couple of days later. While it may enter at one point it ends up somewhere else because it deflects When Pres Reagan was shot with a 22 the bullet entered the chest cavity , bounced off a rib and penetrated the lung.This has been known for many years.I once shot a woodchuck with a 22 and the bullet killed it but was deflected 45 degrees and exited !!
     
  6. rabbit

    rabbit member

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    I dont know Greg, a .22 hole in your heart and a .357 hole would seem to me to be about equally lethal. The .22 might take 60 seconds instead of 30 to bleed out from but...you know what I mean. The only thing that will "reliably" drop a person is to hit their spine (or certain parts of the brain of course) and then they drop like a puppet whose strings have been cut- or so I have read. Everything else is a gamble- from a 250 pound guy getting dropped from a .25 ACP to a 125 pounder fighting back after multiple .45 hits to torso and head (amazing). I absolutely agree that a bigger gun is going to be better, but only in degree, not absolute effectiveness. It seems like random chance has alot to do with it. I just want to know which .22 ammo penetrates the best (and if it will go out the other side).
     
  7. Greybeard

    Greybeard Member

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    From what informal "testing" I've done with lumber and such, the Aguila "subsonic" 60 grainer pokes a mean hole. It only starts out around 950 or so fps, but the weight and shape seem to contribute to performance like a minature shotgun slug. Case looks to be about that of a 22 short. I shot mostly out of rifles and revolvers. Cycling might be a prob. with some semis.

    It's been a year or three since I did any serious playing with 'em, but the CCI Velocitor was also a pretty good puncher. IIRC, it's a 40 grain Gold Dot at about the max velocity that anyone's been able to get out of a LR case. I suspect the load would cycle fine in your semi but the only way to know for sure is to try 'em.
     
  8. rabbit

    rabbit member

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    That is very interesting. 60 grain subsonic huh? Hmmm. Maybe that extra weight makes the cross-sectional so and so really good. Have to try some of that. You would think the hi-velocity stuff would penetrate better but it aint necessarily so I guess. I will try that other hot stuff to.
     
  9. Wiley

    Wiley Member

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    For what it's worth, I have heard (from people I trust) that .22's are commonly used by poachers. Short range, eye shots on deer. Up untill the last few years the only commonly available .22's would have been .22LR lead.
     
  10. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    A .22 caliber bullet at 1100-1200 FPS has no where near the hydraulic shock of a .357" 125 gr. bullet at 1400 FPS. It also will not cause the same temporal cavity stretch. Lastly, a .22 HP is likely to expand to a mere .4" at best, while a .357 JHP can reach .8". AS has been stated, while .22 Rimfires can certainly be lethal, they often have minimal immediate effect, especially on a hostile, adrenaline driven threat. While it beats the hell out of a sharp stick, I much prefer something larger. Most knowledgable folks will tell you a .380 ACP is minimum for self defense, and it has twice the energy a HV .22 LR has when fired from a similar handgun.

    Asassins and poachers are quite another story. When you are on the offensive end, you can plan a hit that will kill instantly, even with the lowly .22. But defensive shooters seldom have the luxury of a point blank peanut shot.
     
  11. sumpnz

    sumpnz Member

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    Well, I've shot a couple bunnies with Federal HIgh Velcoity Copper Plated Hollow Points (IIRC 36gr). One was body shot just behind the front shoulder. The bullet carried about 1/4 of the internal organs in front of the diaphram out of the exit wound. The other was head shot just above the eye. Not much face left on the exit side. Both were about 7-10 yards away when shot. The body shot bunny was finished with a contact distance shot to the head, but he was basically dead anyway. The head shot bunny twitched for a minute or two and that was it.

    FWIW when I took hunter safety they showed a video where they shot a .22 through about 4 or 5 2x4's and then into a soda can. It still had more than enough energy to blow the soda can apart.

    Basically, I would figure that almost any standard or high velocity .22 from a rifle would have more than adequate penetration potential against people. Whether it would exit would depend heavilly on what it hit. A thigh bone will definatly stop it, as would a rib bone and then the spine. It may, or may not exit on a head shot depending on the individual instance.
     
  12. Horsesense

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    Hydraulic shock and especially temporary stretch cavity are not relevant when discussing most handguns.

    The only reliable way to stop a threat is to hit the central nerves system or heart/artery.

    As for penetration, I have shot full-grown cows in the head and the bullet travel all the way threw the critter and exit the tail, with a .22 rifle. On the other hand I have shot plenty of small game, with a .22, and bullet not go all the way threw. Usually using whatever ammo was the cheapest at K-Mart.

    I have a Ruger Mark 2 and it cycles the Aquilla (sp?) fine, but I would recommend that you try a lot of different ammo and pick what you can hit the best with….until you can get a bigger gun.

    There are some good links to research if you do a search within THR, basically, I think you will find that shot placement, penetration and expansion, in that order, are the key things you need to concern yourself with.
     
  13. 444

    444 Member

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    I have never seen a .22 completely penetrate a person (that I can remember), other than someone that might have shot themselves in the foot or hand. I have seen a couple people shot in the forehead with a .22 handgun and the bullet traveled around to the back of their head, under the skin and never penetrated the skull. I have seen people shot in the face with a .22 just below their mouth and the bullet followed the jaw down to the neck where you could feel the bullet under the skin.
    All that being said, I have seen dozens of people killed with .22s (almost all handguns).
     
  14. miko

    miko Member

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    .22 through the heart is not necessarily lethal. My friend who is a surgeon showed me pictures from an operation he performed retrieving a 9mm bullet from inside cavity of the heart and the patient lived.

    Israeli assasins prefered .22 cal pistols - whith ammo loaded to lower velocity, to reduce sound. Such .22 bullet shot point-blank has enough energy to penetrate the skull but usually not enough to exit. Instead it bounces inside a few times turning brain to mush.

    On the other hand, Israelis tried to use a modified 10/22 as a low-power sniper weapon for crowd control but did not like it. It was too lethal when mere wounding was required but not lethal enough when situation required quickly stopping an armed enemy.

    miko
     
  15. el44vaquero

    el44vaquero Member

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    A nasty little round

    I once heard a story where a guy was shot in the head with a .22lr. It went in through the back of his head, but didn't have enough power to come out the front. So the little sucker bounced around in his head, tearing as it went.
     
  16. Rich K

    Rich K Member

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    I had a patient once that shot himself in the forehead with a .22,and it travled under the scalp along the bone.All he said was"Man,does this hurt." :D
     
  17. middy

    middy Member

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    Sure, a .22 can be lethal, but how long will it take to kill, or even incapacitate, a goblin?

    It's like the old Marine sergeant said when they turned in their .308 M14s for .223 M16s, "I don't have time to wait for them to bleed to death!"
     
  18. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    That was a result of poor/insufficient training. The purpose of the suppressed 10/22 was short-range sniping, to incapacitate leaders of riots without necessarily killing them, by shooting them in the leg. Unfortunately, the 10/22 was considered a "non-lethal weapon" or somesuch, and most snipers figured that non-lethal means non-lethal, and shot people in the torso when leg shots weren't feasible.


    Hard data on .22 penetration can be found here http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/22lr/gel22lr.htm
     
  19. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    I have shot more than a couple bunnies with .22 rimfire, and they all died, some instantly, some twitched awhile or even ran first. None were what I'd call spectacular kills. A couple weeks back, me and a buddy were walking back to get some stuff from the rear of his property. I plump little cottontail stopped about 15 feet away. I pulled out my 10mm compact and drilled him. The hole where the bullet went in was about 3" and oblong. There was no "exit wound"; the entire right side of the 3-4 pound bunny was gone, splattered all over the wood pile he was in front of. Needless to say, he did not move one bit (well, the round did roll what was left of him back about a foot).

    As I said before, a .22 can certainly be lethal. But it will not give the destruction or instant results a centerfire handgun will, especally .357 or 10mm.
     
  20. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    I was watching that show 'Dr. G Medical Examiner' the other night. Some guy dropped his .22 revolver, and it went through his friend's forehead and lodged in the back.

    Seems the round split in half at the scalp, travelling along the outside of the brain. It didn't penetrate his brain though, but still killed him somehow. :confused:
     
  21. gm

    gm Member

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    a 22 is lethal in the personal and up close range...but not quick.
     
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