Shot Placement With 22 EDC Pistols

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For those of us that shy away from medium and large frame handguns for our everyday carry, we have our own set of problems. Namely, by choosing a small caliber 'mouse gun' we are forced to make our rounds count.

Why even carry a 22?

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(For many of us, a firearm has to be small enough to fit into our lifestyle to be carried everyday. This often means making choices that include 22LR/WMR pistols and revolvers)

There are several different reasons to carry a small caliber, compact firearm. Some of us, especially if suffering from repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel, arthritis, or just carrying many years around with em, cannot comfortably handle the recoil of a large caliber firearm. In addition, firearm size concerns are another common reason for carrying so called 'pipsqueak' .22 caliber pistols. There are an entire line of very small (pocket sized) guns like the NAA Mini-Revolver, various Derringers, and the Beretta Tomcat/Bobcat/Minx series that offer options that go even smaller than a subcompact Baby Glock or LCP. Being smaller, they are able to hide in a much more varied array of clothing choices.

The small Beretta Model 21 type pistols are a good choice for those wanting a very small EDC gun. The Beretta has a nice beefy grip for such a small gun. Its tip up barrel also allows it to have fewer FTE/FTF jams since it is not encompassed by the slide. You get a 5-inch, 11-ounce eight shot pistol that, if using HV ammo, is wonderfully reliable and reasonably accurate. They run used for about $200-ish, which is a deal for the quality of this little gun.

Ammo choices and realizations

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The seminal research done by Marshall and Sanow of over 4000 documented shootings found that your average .22LR was capable of making a 'one-shot-stop' meaning producing death from a single hit, in 31% of cases. While not very comforting to know that in 69%, someone took a .22 and kept breathing, it is still confirmation that these rounds can be very effective if delivered right. This means concentration on central nervous system shots.

You can of course augment your mouse gun with some super food, like CCI Velocitor, Stingers, or the like.

The hard shot

When carrying a .22 for personal defense, bottom line is that you need to be able to make shots to the central nervous system of your assailant. Yes, this means your aiming spot is from the bride of the nose to the top of the forehead. This is critical for ensuring your survival in a fight. Center mass aim points are still viable and will surely help in the 'get off me' department, if not outright stop the threat.

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The author's Model 21 at work. Eight CCI Stingers in three seconds from 7 yards, drawn from deep pocket concealment. The cyclops smiley face on the target was not intentional. A backup magazine is a good idea when carrying one of these small guns just in case. If you carry a mouse gun, be prepared to put the range time in to be able to make it roar.

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December 2, 2013  •  03:26 PM
Retired so I am no longer feeling compelled to "make do" with my Walther TPH. It has become more "just for fun" and "can I still shoot the dang thing" type of gun. Surprisingly accurate and dang dependable, but it did tale a whi;e to figure it out. It is one of those light weight recoil opperated semi autos. Because of its light weigt, your hand must supply the inertia so the spring could work. Absolutely no limp wristing allowed. The magazine worked best with only 5 rounds loaded. The front sight needed to be lowered (Alhman"s in Morristown, MN). Still no problem keeping all 5 on a critical mass target at 40 yds.
Having a job is good, having a job which requires stupid stuff and yet forbids you to be armed necestitates the "mouse gun "approach.