22lr as a self defense round - Page 3
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:04 PM   #21
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When it comes to the debate of how effective a .22lr can be for defense, let me ask you this.
If you woke to the sound of an intruder in your home and you knew he was armed with a .22lr handgun, would you have any less fear or react in any way different than if you thought him to have something bigger?
For me that puts things in better perspective.
Great way to paraphrase/restate the tried & true "I don't know anyone who wants to get shot by one" argument. To my knowledge, no one has declared the .22 lr a safe alternative to be shot with.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:42 PM   #22
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first of all, is the 22 inadequate for SD purposes? IMO, yes it is. but if the only gun i had in my hands was a 22lr to defend myself, it is what i would use.

someone posted a thread last year on given a choice, which would you choose, a 9mm or a 22lr? given a choice? hmmm.....i guess i'll have to choose the 9mm of course.

now, in all fairness, given a choice, a 22lr firearm would never be my first choice for SD usage, but if it was all i had, yes i would use it without a doubt.

i read somewhere many years ago in a gun magazine, that there wasn't a living creature that walked the earth that couldn't be killed from a round to the head from a 22 rimfire. now, i have no proof this is true, but lets just suppose for the moment that statement is true. how many people would want to get close enought to a lion or tiger or rhino or a bear to have to put a killing shot in their head with a 22 rimfire? it won't be me for one trying to prove such a statement out for sure! there is a reason hunters of large and dangerous game use large calibers or magnums to hunt such animals.

then the very essence of SD usage comes into play. what is the goal of SD? to stop a threat. in an article i read last year in the American Rifleman magazine, they reported there were three ways a gun stopped a threat.

1) the mere presence of a gun or presenting a gun and the attacker leaves. so even if all a person had was a 22 pistol, then in this first case, yes a 22 would be adequate.

2) shooting and wounding the attacker and he leaves or abandons any further action because he has been shot. again, yes the 22 could apply here, depending on the where he was shot, his frame of mind and many other factors. but personally, not something i would want to bet on if the BG was hopped up on mind altering drugs. even if the shot were fatal with a 22, it might not be for hours, and if the BG was on drugs, he may not even notice he had been shot to begin with.

3) serious damage to the attacker such as instant incapacitation due to a huge blood blood loss or CNS shutdown. again, yes possible to achieve a CNS shutdown with a 22, but IMO, much harder to achieve. huge blood loss, with a 22, as i am not a doctor but have seen wounds from a 22, IMO, not likely. possible, but not probable. again, if the BG is on drugs, i seriously doubt anyone would want to handicap themselves to a 22 for SD usage if they have other alternative calibers to choose from.

but the key factor is stopping a threat, period. a 22 rimfire would never be my first choice by any means. the goal of SD is to survive a threat, not to kill the threat. carrying a 22 and using one for SD, well it could play out really bad for the person carrying. hypothetical situation to ponder. suppose a person was carrying one and shot a BG hopped up on drugs and even though the shot proved fatal to the BG hours later, but the person carrying ended up dead, did the 22 serve it's purpose as a SD caliber? not in the least. the goal for anyone carrying gun for SD is to survive the encounter, not to kill someone.

and it can be argued that people have died from a single shot from a 22 rimfire and yes that is very true, but also, people have survived being shot multiple times with much larger calibers as well. so IMO, that is a poor comparison to reason upon to carry a 22 rimfire for SD. it's just not a credible arguement in the least.

some have said recoil as being a good reason to carry a 22 fro SD. again, i would have to disagree. simply because i have seen feeble older people shoot larger calibers and even small children as well. even my nieces, both well under 100 lbs. can shoot a 9mm, a 32 acp, a 25 acp and even 38 spl. loads from pistols with no problems from recoil.

so in no way would i handicap myself to using a 22 for SD purposes if more adequate calibers were at my disposal.

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Old 06-20-2014, 08:42 PM   #23
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The person you describe is probably better served with pepper spray. They are untrainable and an example of why some people shouldn't own firearms. Sad but true. I have a hard time believing anyone with those issues could be reasonably described as a competent gun owner.


Depends on what you consider macho I guess. There are plenty of low & mild recoil calibers out there that are clearly superior to the .22LR. Would anyone complain about the horrific and terrifying recoil of a .22 WMR? Seems to me a a Ruger LCR or Charter Arms in .22wmr would be a performance upgrade. Especially with actual ammo designed for short barrels and SD use.
Out of a tiny little pistol, the .32 acp is superior to a .22LR. I don't recall much in the way of physical trauma for people who have been subjected to that horror.
One need not be subjected to traumatic levels of recoil to gain a performance upgrade over .22LR. Hell, a .38 special w/ low recoil loads is pretty manageable for all but the most infirm and/or incompetent.
So in your opinion if someone doesn't choose a caliber you approve of they shouldn't own a gun? What kind of statement is that? I can understand your dislike of the 22 lr. But to go on to say that a certain group of people shouldn't own a gun is a hypocritical.

My daughter is not recoil sensitive but she is sensitive to loud noises. When she was a kid I had to go somewhere else to shoot anything louder than a 22. She was in her 20's and away from home in college before she asked me to teach her to shoot a gun. She did learn to shoot a gun and she owns centerfire pistols now. She is still sensitive to loud noises but she has learned to protect herself from the report of centerfire cartridges and shotguns. I can't say she has learned to like shooting but she realizes that being proficient with firearms is a necessity in today's world, especially for an outgoing young lady.

Now if a person that has the same aversion to loud noises but didn't have anyone to teach her/him to deal with the noise they would end up with a 22. I guess they shouldn't have a gun either. Yes, I know their are instructors out there but not all of them have the patience or aptitude to teach someone with extreme issues. Some instructors might be like yourself, quick to pass judgement on who needs a firearm.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:32 PM   #24
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The question is not whether the .22 is lethal. The question is how quickly will a wound from a .22 cause sufficient loss of blood to stop the person from being a further threat. I doesn't matter if he dies in two hours if he has 15 minutes to wail on you before he passes out.

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Old 06-21-2014, 12:28 AM   #25
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The question is not whether the .22 is lethal. The question is how quickly will a wound from a .22 cause sufficient loss of blood to stop the person from being a further threat. I doesn't matter if he dies in two hours if he has 15 minutes to wail on you before he passes out.
I agree with your point. If someone freezes after the first shot with a 22 it might not end well. But most people are aware they are shooting a 22. They would likely keep shooting until the attacker goes down.

Really you could say the same thing for any pistol caliber, even a 44 mag. All pistols stop an attacker by blood loss or a CNS hit. If you freeze after the first shot will they keep attacking you for 15 seconds or 15 hours? If your HP bullet fragments on impact or you have a Glaser Safety Slug they are more likely to stop attacking you due to gangrene or old age.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:35 AM   #26
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I agree with your point. If someone freezes after the first shot with a 22 it might not end well. But most people are aware they are shooting a 22. They would most likely keep shooting until the attacker goes down.

Really you could say the same thing for any pistol caliber, even a 44 mag. All pistols stop an attacker by blood loss or a CNS hit. If you freeze after the first shot will they keep attacking you for 15 seconds or 15 hours? If your HP bullet fragments on impact or you have a Glaser Safety Slug they are more likely to stop attacking you due to gangrene or old age.
so which JHP rounds do you think would fragment on impact?

because IMO, any JHP round that would fragment on impact would be a poor choice in use for SD.

theonly use i could possibly see for a round that fragments would some very specialized uses where penetration was undesireable, like an Air Marshall on an airliner. possibly some other uses as well.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:11 AM   #27
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There is one problem. The total number of shootings per caliber are not the same.

The more you toss a coin, the greater chances you have of obtaining a 50-50 head vs tails.

Now, if there were a study of 1000 shootings per caliber and the results broken down (as in the second reference), then I would tend to believe the results more that the .22LR is a formidable SD caliber if the results remained the same. But to compare 154 shootings to 85 shootings is like comparing apples to oranges.
My thought exactly when I read the original post. Not to mention a perk getting shot, then killing your whole family, then dying in the hospital the next day after he leaves your house and decides he needs medical help-to me this is not stopping power. However, if you stray away from all the numbers and oss% and all of that and figure that you can put 8 rounds in the body and 2 in the head before Mr. BG even begins to fall because of lack of recoil in a .22, than yes, it can be adequate for SD (if) you know what you're doing.
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:25 AM   #28
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Most members of FTF see the 22 lr as inadequate for a self defense round. Yet, statistics prove otherwise. Surprisingly, every caliber that begins with a 4 (.40 S&W, .45, .44 Mag…) performed worse than the .22 caliber firearms in terms of putting the opponent in the dirt for good.

I was quite surprised by the results of this study. Maybe this information will allow us to make better recommendations based in fact for recoil sensitive shooters, instead of our personal opinion.

This isn't a gelatin test. This is a people shooting study, ultimately that is all that matters. Over 1,800 shootings over the course of 10 years were analyzed in this study.

Here is the condensed version:
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/06/foghorn/ask-foghorn-22l-for-self-defense/

Here is the actual study. The raw numbers are much easier to read in this article.
http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7866
22 is very lethal but the issue with it is it is not a quick incapacitor. if you shoot a goblin with a 22lr who is beating you to death. you will have your autopsy and be buried about the same day the goblin keels over from his gunshot wound...

lethal yes stopping a threat quickly no.

that is the issue.

second problem is reliability. 22lr is rimfire its a less than steller performer in the area of igniting powder. on top of that is 22lr in the best of the offerings is often of varied charge weights making them very unreliable in cycling handguns especially small ones.

combine all that and you have a round that does an astoundingly poor job in stopping threats with a high likely hood of causing a malfunction.

thats why its considered an exceptionally poor choice for a defensive round.

no one disputes its lethality, but lethality is NOT what is needed in a defensive round. you need the round to stop the threat NOW, not three days later when the goblin dies of blood loss or infection...
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:36 AM   #29
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so which JHP rounds do you think would fragment on impact?

because IMO, any JHP round that would fragment on impact would be a poor choice in use for SD.

theonly use i could possibly see for a round that fragments would some very specialized uses where penetration was undesireable, like an Air Marshall on an airliner. possibly some other uses as well.
From the bullets I have found around my spinners anything can happen to a HP. I have shot those spinner with every popular brand of ammo on the market. Most of the time a hollow point expands perfectly. But I have found pieces of every brand of hollow point where the bullet did fragment. You can argue I am shooting a steel spinner. But when someone attacks you they are going to assume a blade stance. One can punch, stab, or kick harder from a blade stance that allows them to step forward as they deliver the blow. Plus the blade stance makes it easier to deflect your blows or harder to hit with a gun. It is a good chance you are going to shoot them in the arm making the bullet expand to the breaking point before the bullet strikes the goblins body. You have the same issue with barrier penetration. Nothing is perfect in this world. Especially with bullets flying around at 1,300 fps or faster. Murphy is everywhere.
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:51 AM   #30
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Would I ever choose a .22 LR as a SD round? Sure- if I could choose one of THESE:

american 180.jpg

American 180. Full auto, 1200 rounds per minute, 275 round magazine. But they are getting pricey, and with the cost of .22 LR nowadays....


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