.22 magnum for self defense?

This is a discussion on .22 magnum for self defense? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Here's the deal. My wife is not *totally* into pistols and revolvers, but after some coaxing, she has come around to considering getting herself a ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Dandyone's Avatar
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    .22 magnum for self defense?

    Here's the deal.

    My wife is not *totally* into pistols and revolvers, but after some coaxing, she has come around to considering getting herself a carry permit.

    So, we've gone to the range a couple of times, and she enjoys shooting the buckmark .22lr. She's not a great shot, but she always hits the target at self defense distances. Now this thing has a 5 inch barrel and a long sight radius...

    I had her shoot some .380 acp pocket guns, but she was really intimidated by the recoil. I suspect with enough rounds, she'll want to move up to a larger caliber, but I'm thinking about what to do in the meantime. I also think that she would do better with a revolver since she's a bit of a limp wrister.

    Personally, I think the S&W model 351 PD is a beautiful gun, and I'm considering getting this for her. I'm concerned that with it's light weight and the relative power of the magnum, and the fact that it is a revolver might make this gun have too much kick.

    I'm also concerned about the site radius.

    Any thoughts are welcome, and I'm especially keen to hear from anyone who owns or has shot this or a similar revolver.

    Here's a link to the revolver: Product: Model 351PD
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  3. #2
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    Well, how does she feel about the 351 PD?

    Try to expose her to as many firearms as possible, and let her choose her own pistol.

    a .22 Mag is better than no gun.
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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    This lightweight j-frame is not a beginner gun. The recoil will be unpleasant.

    If you want her to enjoy shooting, get her a gun with some more weight to it.

    ETA: I'm sorry, I thought the j-frame that you linked was a .38. The .22 mag j-frame is probably an easy shooter.


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    Last edited by zacii; July 20th, 2012 at 10:00 AM.
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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    If she's gonna carry it, she needs to choose it. IMO a .380 isn't any worse/better than a .22mag. both will work. Expose her to each of those calibers and let her make up her mind.
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    Senior Member Array Dandyone's Avatar
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    Of course she is going to pick out her own carry. I'm just trying to narrow down the field.

    I've never shot a .22 mag, and I'm surprised to hear that it kicks much like a .380.

    As for the comment along the lines of 'any gun is better than no gun,' I could not agree more.

    The only exception, of course is if the BG gets the gun and turns it on you. Along these lines, I advise her that if you ever have to shoot 1 round at a perp, unload the weapon on him/her.
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    How about a Ruger LCR in .38 Spl...loaded with mild 148 gr wadcutters? As she gets used to it, you can step up the load. I carry standard pressure 158 gr SWCs in mine. Not bad at all to shoot.

    I think there is also a version in .22 LR.
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    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    not a bad gun. i would also take a look at the kel tec p32. the 32 acp in the kel tec is like shooting a 22 mag. lite and easy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandyone View Post
    Of course she is going to pick out her own carry. I'm just trying to narrow down the field.

    I've never shot a .22 mag, and I'm surprised to hear that it kicks much like a .380.

    As for the comment along the lines of 'any gun is better than no gun,' I could not agree more.

    The only exception, of course is if the BG gets the gun and turns it on you. Along these lines, I advise her that if you ever have to shoot 1 round at a perp, unload the weapon on him/her.
    I would advise you to find a reputable trainer whom she can attend a class from. Preferably a course where they cover retention techniques.

    It all depends on your state laws, but I would advise that firing to stop the threat is the right number of rounds, no more, no less. But, I am not a lawyer.
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    One option to consider is a Black Widow from North American Arms. It's a tiny gun, but you can get an excellent grip, it is the easiest thing in the world to carry (which is a much more difficult proposition for women's clothing), and the recoil is still minimal. It's obviously limited as a single action only. My own thinking is that you have to weigh the practical firepower vs the likelihood of carry. You give up a certain amount in the unlikely chance it needs to be used, but you are also more likely to be carrying a gun in that unlikely event. Slip it in a remora and it its he easiest IWB or pocket carry that you can imagine. From the website you can get 1000 fps with winchester super x 40 grain out of it's 2 inch barrel (same as 22 mag snubs).

    Just a thought.
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    The Bersa Thunder 380 is a very mild shooting gun. Not the smallest or lightest 380 on the market, but the smoothest shooting in my opinion. It is also a quality reliable firearm at a very reasonable price. You can buy 3 of them for the msrp of the 351PD. They are also not sensitive to limp wristing.
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    Member Array straightshooter's Avatar
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    Is this what you're talking about? This is my daily carry. I know some will chime in and say it's only a .22. I would ask them, do you want 7 rounds of .22 mag? Anyway, very lightweight and easy to shoot ( at least for me).

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    The trigger pulls are heavier in the rimfires from both S&W and Taurus. The reason is reliability in setting off rimfire primers. It makes it harder to get a good trigger pull unless you have a gunsmith who knows what he's doing. If you get a gun plumber to work on it you can easily get reliability problems.

    And let me say that I am not a fan of most Taurus guns, but their small frame .22mags was one of the best rimfire handguns we ever has as a rental when I was working at a range. It held up better than even the 351, for half the $$$. I would carry one if I had to.
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    Senior Member Array Dandyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye .45 View Post
    I would advise you to find a reputable trainer whom she can attend a class from. Preferably a course where they cover retention techniques.

    It all depends on your state laws, but I would advise that firing to stop the threat is the right number of rounds, no more, no less. But, I am not a lawyer.
    Thanks buckeye, for giving me the opportunity to clarify what I was thinlking.

    I should have been more clear. I was thinking more along the lines of empty the gun so long as the perp is advancing. If the advance stops, then there is little danger that the perp can turn her weapon on her.

    I like the advice on getting a professional instructor, and this is in the plan. We both felt it made sense for her to become familiar with firing what will become her carry beofre getting the training, though. I can give her the fundamentals, and she has already begun reading my Mas collection. Real training, however, is best done by a professional.
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    Personally I would stay away from revolvers, very short sight radius, stiff triggers with rimfire rounds especially, and way less than optimal barrel length than necessary for a .22 magnum to be very effective. I don't care what anyone thinks a .22 wmr or lr out of a 1 7/8" barrel isn't good for much... They really excell out of a rifle length barrel.

    I would suggest something in .32 ACP, carried in full metal jackets will do the job much better and more reliabley than any rimfire round out of a short barrel. Beretta tomcat, CZ .32 , NAA guardian.

    Less recoil than the .380, and the heavier guns like the CZ will go to reduce that even more.

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    Distinguished Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    Some questionable advice here, I think.

    The 351PD does NOT have the recoil of a .380 ACP. It has hardly any recoil at all. The hard part might be the trigger pull, which is quite heavy.

    There is self-defense ammunition designed for the short-barrel .22 mag mini-revolvers. It appears to be about as effective as .380 ACP from a 2" barrel.
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