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My wife wants a .22 WMR pistol for self-defense. Now what?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Abominable No-Man, Oct 17, 2003.

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  1. Abominable No-Man

    Abominable No-Man Member

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    In past threads I have made references to my wife. She is a small, petite girl, and recently has shown a great deal more interest than earlier about guns and shooting. Guess I'm rubbing off on her.

    She has shot everything I own, pistol, rifle, and shotgun; she shoots very well, but recently has come to the conclusion that her favorite caliber to shoot is a .22 (She's already made me promise to get her the Browning Buckmark carbine when the tax return gets in......), and she very much wants a self-defense pistol.

    Now to the question at hand. I would very much like for her to get an auto
    in .22 WMR for an around the house pistol. She thinks it's a great idea.

    Problem: I don't know of any, and since I never have encountered a discussion like this before, how does the WMR fare in self-defense, and what pistols are chambered for it?

    So, gang, please put your heads together and give me some ideas?

    ANM
     
  2. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    There have been only a couple of .22 Mag autoloading pistols. One was made by AMT and the other was the Grendel P-30. Neither have a reputation for being quality, reliable firearms. The majority of .22 Mag handguns are single action revolvers, e.g, the Ruger Single Six. S&W does make the Model 648 double action on their K-Frame, though.

    As a defense round the .22 Mag isn't the worst choice but neither is it the best. One thing to be aware of is that in short barrels, it's quite loud.

    She sould be better served with a 9mm if she is worried about recoil. It would be much more effective, and in a medium-sized gun it's very pleasant to shoot.
     
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    That saidâ„¢, I doubt it's enough caliber to stake her life on. If the lady wants a .22 magnum, by all means, she should have one, but I think she ought to have something else, too.
     
  4. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Apart from the limited choice for auto . there is the ''rimfire factor'' ... sure they'll ''go'' most times but I'd prefer to rely on centerfire!

    A 9mm would I'm sure be manageable but perhaps go down in size a tad and try a smaller piece in .32acp, .380acp .. etc .... KelTec maybe.

    if she is set on the 22 mag tho then I think a revo would be better but as said . unless tube of reasonable length . those suckers are noisy .... really, a much better rifle round IMO than handgun.
     
  5. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    If you're going to stake your life on a rimfire pistol, it should be a revolver, not an auto.
     
  6. sm

    sm member

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    brain fade...?

    Was it Bill Jordan that suggested that a 22 mag revolver would be an ideal BUG?
    IIRC not long ago didn't Taurus come out with one and Ayoob do a test, (maybe even mentioned the Jordan reference). Someone here will know.

    I would suggest good hearing ears , them thangs loud , just so the noise doen't cause a flinch.

    rule 1 have a gun . Good rule of thumb let a person, especially a lady choose her own, especially a lady one is married to. Revolver the way to go.
     
  7. J Miller

    J Miller Member

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    .22 Mag in any length revolver + no ear protection + enclosed area = Severe hearing damage.

    .22 Mag in any length revolver + no ear protection + outdoors = severe hearing damage.

    I have shot several revolvers in .22 mag. All single actions. I suffer from severe high pitch hearing loss because of it. No body told me just how loud a .22 Mag is. I found out the hard way. Six rounds and my ears were in screaming (litterally) pain. I thought the pain would never stop. And when it did, the constant ringing of tinitus didn't.

    As for a self defence gun, I suppose it's better than nothing. But I would not allow my wife to choose one specifically for defence. As a man who values my wifes life I'd work seriously on getting her into a DA revolver in a minimum of a 38 Special.
    No shorter than a 4" and made from steel.
    Then teach her to use it. If she ever needs to defend herself at home, this is much better than a .22 mag.

    I've owned autos too over the years, (but for simplicity, think being woke up in the wee hours of the morning groggieness), a revolver can't be beat.
    Even when I owned autos my house gun was always a revolver.
     
  8. Delmar

    Delmar Member

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    why not a 44? Thats just a 22 twice:D
     
  9. sm

    sm member

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    Yep 22 mag, like I said, loud. Not many 22mag semi's, even so the reliabilty is what concerns me.

    Still think a Model 10 with target load of WC is a better choice for recoil shy, the MOA is simple, one can work up to a better load.

    On occasions either due to surgery, or really bad arthritis, folks will fall back to a 22lr semi. Duramatic, Woodsman, Buckmark, MKI or MKII. Granted not my first choice, however the first rule is have a gun. These examples seem to be quite reliable with the ammo they like. In the elder bunch, at least they can shoot something, and can afford to practice. Aging and arthritis sucks I'm told.
     
  10. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    Don't get an AMT for self defense, I can tell you that. The one I've seen has been ultimately finiky. Sometimes it's rock solid, others, jam-o-matic, the light-strike-o-matic. Then fine again for a while.
     
  11. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Long skinny straight-walled cases are a "worst case scenario" for semi-auto feed reliability. Any kind of bottleneck, no matter how slight, helps.

    Several rifle makers have been able to get the 22Mag to work in a semi-auto but it's still far from perfect.

    And yes, the little boogers are loud.

    That said, the Taurus 4" barrel 8-shot 22Mag DA built on the same frame as their five-shot 38s has a lot of potential in a low-recoil defense gun. Run CCI MaxiMag +Vs or +V/TNTs and you'll get about 1,400fps with the 30grain JHPs, basically on the high end of 32ACP performance but with more penetration.

    I do agree that a good 38Spl with a 3" barrel and wadcutters is probably a better bet. If she can work her way up to 38+P, she'll be in very good shape indeed.
     
  12. valnar

    valnar Member

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    A smith model 64 or 67 in .38sp would be better. Heavy gun with medium caliber. Get her some of those magic recoil reducing grips and voila! You can even find the 64 in a 3" if 4" is too long.

    Not bad at all, yet powerful enough for SD.

    -Robert
     
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Abominable No-Man:

    One of the problems with using the .22 WMR cartridge in a pistol is the cartridge’s length. If the magazine is in the handle, which it usually is, you end up with a pretty large handle. Then in addition you have to have a long slide travel. Pistol cartridges - that is to say, ones’ designed to be used in pistols - have short overall lengths and are rimless. So far no one has succeeded in making a compact pistol chambered to use the .22 WMR that is reliable, and I don’t think anyone will.

    I would ask, “Is your wife especially sensitive to recoil? If so I would consider a revolver chambered in .32 H&R Magnum (which will also use .32 S&W Long and .32 S&W cartridges). Why? Because the recoil is lighter they a .38 Special, and you gain an extra round (6 rather then 5). I do not subscribe to the theory advanced by some, that nothing under .38/9MM can possibly be considered for self-defense.

    If your wife is intent on getting a pistol I would consider getting one in .32 ACP or .380. However be aware that in a blow-back action pistol the felt recoil of the .380 is markedly more then a .32 ACP.

    If recoil isn’t a substantive factor in her choice you could consider a larger cartridge of course.

    I could make more specific suggestions concerning a choice of handguns, but I won’t because I have no idea how much you may have budgeted for this “project.â€

    Last but not least, it is always advisable to let the lady do her own choosing, after giving her an opportunity to see (and hopefully try) the different options.
     
  14. Byron

    Byron Member

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    As previosly indicated, the 380 is a good choice. If this is for while she is at home, consider a larger 380 such as the Browning 380 or the Bersa. Byron
     
  15. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    im not going to babble about the other calibers since your question is .22mag. if figure you already know what is better and have settled or she has. since she is the one the gun is for and she is the one who will have to use it and she is the one who will have to carry it..........


    someone said it already, get a revolver for defense over a semiauto in rimfire.

    if i were to have to get a .22rimfire for home defense and ccw, it would be the taurus ultra light 8 shot .22mag with a 3" barrel if available.

    heavy none expanding ammo for adequate penetration. and the .22mag indoors w/o hearing protection.....bla bla bla same can be said for those who recommend any other gun.

    actually, if in a life and death encounter, your body actually shuts down certain things as an automatic defense mechanism... you will hear the shot but will not seem to be as loud, your finger movements will be clumbsy, you will get tunnel vision, you will be holding your breath for the first 30 seconds or so........

    its a weird thing when you are in it for real without any warning and only have your training to rely on. it is what will make the difference between hestitation and reaction.
     
  16. Keith

    Keith Member

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    If it's an "around the house" gun, why consider ANY handgun?

    Get her a rifle (not a .22) or shotgun.

    Keith
     
  17. jercamp45

    jercamp45 Member

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    Yeah....

    .22 mags are LOUD....
    and out of a short barrel of a handgun, it produced quite a fireball...not really a good thing in a dark house.
    It throws a little bullet, which MIGHT do the job. But I personally would not want someone I love carrying one to defend her life.....
    No good quality autoloaders were made for it....

    But I guess if that is what is on the menu....S&W used to make a Kit gun that used the round......Taurus makes a small snubby too.

    But, I'd get something else........
    Jercamp45
     
  18. TooTech

    TooTech Member

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    Why not a revolver in .32 H&R Magnum?
     
  19. BryanP

    BryanP Member

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    You're probably thinking of this:

    Taurus 941

    8 shots, available with 2, 4 and 5" barrels. I don't have one, but I do have the 94 which is the same revolver in .22lr with 9 shots. Nice little shooter.
     
  20. larryw

    larryw Member

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    Another way of looking at it: buy her a Buckmark, Mk II, 22/45 or whatever 22 auto she wants and load it up with Velociters, SuperMax or any other of the hyper velocity 22LR loads. Approaching WMR performance with a much wider variety of platforms from which to launch it.
     
  21. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    You know, that's a good point: those who REALLY can't cope with recoil are well-served by the Buckmark or other aluminum-frame, 5" barrel 22LR target pistols. The Rugers aren't really a good choice because racking the slide is unusually difficult.

    With this class of critter, you've got 11 rounds on tap (10rd mag plus one up the pipe) and a light crisp trigger. Accuracy varies between "good" and "shockingly excellent"...throw 11 CCI Stingers into some clown's boiler room or brainbox and he's in real trouble. The sights are generally superb.

    The mistake is to get a "vest pocket grade" 22LR for defense. With a 2" barrel, ballistics are just lousy and they're usually a DA trigger pull for the first shot, SA thereafter. I believe this operating drill to be a stupendously bad idea in a fighting handgun of any caliber, and I'm not the only one who thinks so.

    But a big lightweight Buckmark or similar still fits in a fanny pack or purse just fine and has enough firepower to be a threat so long as the VERY BEST 22LR loads are carefully picked. The Remington Yellowjacket is another good one, if they'll feed in your particular gun...the nosecone shape is seriously weird. The Stingers are of a much more conventional shape and work GREAT...and in my experience, CCI rimfire ignition is extremely reliable, right on par with most centerfires.
     
  22. ddflorida

    ddflorida Member

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    For a .22 semiautomatic...

    I'd go with the Phoenix Arms HA-22. Great little gun, very accurate, not expensive, quite small, easy to break down & clean, cheap ammo. My wife loves hers, has a 3" barrel, but has an optional a 5" barrel for range plinking. She keeps it handy for carrying around the house. She's not as intimidated shooting it as she is with the big guns. Being dead-on accurate with a .22LR hollow point is much better than missing everything with the big rounds.
     
  23. SDC

    SDC Member

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    If she absolutely HAS to have a 22 Mag, why not a Charter Arms Pathfinder? It wouldn't be my first choice, but if she's happy with it, why not. You could see if she likes the Taurus PT-22 (22 LR) as well; nice and light, DAO, and it's got an open-topped slide so you're less likely to have an empty case hang up inside the pistol.
     
  24. p35

    p35 Member

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    I used to have a 941 and got rid of it b/c I couldn't stand the noise and flash even with hearing protection. It would be the ideal gun if she HAS to have a .22 Mag. You might look at the Walther P22- slick da/SA trigger setup with an exposed hammer, choice of 3.5" to 5" barrel, customizable backstrap, 10 rd mags. Good compromise between the Berreta style tiny .22s and the full size target/plinking guns.
     
  25. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    I thought for sure I commented on this. I'm a female shooter, small and petite as well. No way in Hell I'd use a .22 for self defense of allow someone I love to either. I use Beretta compacts type M -- small, compact, slender, and user friendly. Also very accurate and in a 9mm -- which has very little recoil and cheap ammo to practice with at the range. Do not allow her to buy a gun to keep in the draws. A gun that is not used at the range is a waste of money....

    If she prefers a revolver -- the Ruger GP 100 in a 3" barrel is a good option. It's a .357 but you can shoot .38's through it which is a very gentle load. It's a lot of fun to use it as well. If it's strictly home defense, the 4" is great too -- feels wonderful and not heavy at all. I loved using this gun myself when someone allowed me to fire his. It's going into my collection when I get the cash...:D
     
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