Best .22LR ammo for self defense

Best .22LR ammo for self defense

This is a discussion on Best .22LR ammo for self defense within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Okay, I know there have been similar threads, and I already expect the barrage of people criticizing the .22LR as a poor choice for a ...

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Thread: Best .22LR ammo for self defense

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Best .22LR ammo for self defense

    Okay, I know there have been similar threads, and I already expect the barrage of people criticizing the .22LR as a poor choice for a SD weapon, yadda yadda, yadda. What the other threads seemed to be addressing was the round being used in rifle. Well, in this thread I was looking for opinions on which .22LR round is best for self defense when being used in a pistol.

    Now.. before all of the moaning and groaning starts, I'll point out that I usually carry a Glock 19 (9mm) and I'm very proficient with it. However, at times I carry a .22LR. Get over it.

    I thought I had determined from previous threads that the CCI Mini Mags were the best, and that is what I've been buying both to practice with and to carry (they are very inexpensive, after all) However, a recent thread pointed out an incident where somebody (allegedly) was shot point-blank in the forehead with a .22LR and it didn't penetrate the skull of the bad guy. Well, I have no idea what type of round they were using. As most around here know, the differences in the .22LR ammo are quite wide and varied, unlike other ammo. So I don't know if this particular incident was using a solid bullet, a hollow point, sub sonic, super sonic, etc. But upon consideration of all of the types, I would think a solid, supersonic round would be most likely to penetrate a human skull. So maybe that is what I should go for?

    Anyone ever considered staggering the bullets in the magzine, such as one solid, one hollow, one solid, etc?


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    Senior Member Array GoBigOrange's Avatar
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    Don't stagger, pick one you like and practice with it a lot to make sure it's reliable. I've been wanting to know the same thing as you. I'd like to find something for my 10/22 that is better than the standard bulk ammo that I usually shoot with.

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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Hyper-Velocity "Stinger" Hollow point. This is what I have in my Marlin model 60. Good stuff as far as I'm concerned.

    I for one think a .22 LR is better than nothing for self defense. Put a couple in the right spot and it'll even the odds real quick. I think the key words would be " A couple and in the right spot "
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    My opinion from what I have experienced hunting small game with my revolver : CCI mini mags HP It tears them up.

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    You didn't mention what kind of pistol you are using. But most of the .22 semi-autos can be picky when it comes to ammo. So I would find a good high velocity round that your pistol feeds reliably. I think with a .22 you are going to be wanting penetration depth over expansion, so you might just want to stick with non HP rounds.
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    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Check out this Web site for good info: .22LR
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    A 40gr HV solid (Winchester PP's are nice).

    Reason: penetration. I don't think that a lighter wieght HP is going to get deep enough in a human, especially at a handgun velocity.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye .45 View Post
    You didn't mention what kind of pistol you are using.
    Currently, I only have 1 pistol that uses .22LR, that is the Walther P22. I have been looking at some other pocket pistols and even one of those assault rifles that use the .22LR round, such as the Ruger SR-22.

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    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    I have a Ruger Mark II I keep upstairs for protection, loaded with CCI Stinger hollow points...not cheap for plinking (around $6.00 for 50) but pretty wicked for a little bullet
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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Thanks.. there have been some very helpful replies here (which, honestly, surprises me)

    The ballistics gel is very good, I think, for determining what a bullet will do to human flesh, especially in the abdomen area. However, I don't think it is that good of a measure when talking about a head-shot. Sad to say, but I believe if I were carrying my .22LR and I decided I needed to shoot somebody, I think I'd go for the head if at all possible. Then again, some of what I've read here has made me re-think that strategy. So I guess if the choice is a hollow-point .22LR to the chest, or a solid .22LR to the head, the chest is probably best since it presents a larger target.

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    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    Thanks.. there have been some very helpful replies here (which, honestly, surprises me)

    The ballistics gel is very good, I think, for determining what a bullet will do to human flesh, especially in the abdomen area. However, I don't think it is that good of a measure when talking about a head-shot. Sad to say, but I believe if I were carrying my .22LR and I decided I needed to shoot somebody, I think I'd go for the head if at all possible. Then again, some of what I've read here has made me re-think that strategy. So I guess if the choice is a hollow-point .22LR to the chest, or a solid .22LR to the head, the chest is probably best since it presents a larger target.
    Unless you're a Navy SEAL (or other special forces soldier) on the offensive with the element of surprise still on your side, aiming for the head is a terrible idea. If you do happen to be on the offensive with surprise on your side, you're probably hunting or committing murder! Either way, we always aim for COM.

    Example... How many times have you heard about two people standing 5 feet apart yet never hitting each other?
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    .22s tend to bounce around inside the human body - witness the Reagan shooting. They almost never penetrate the head or thorax through-and-through, so my personal choice would be for solids and the fastest ones I could find. Second choice would be Stingers, but be careful if you have a Ruger auto and you like the gun for target work. At least the "target" models have chambers which don't appreciate the longer case length of the Stingers, and a steady diet of them may adversely affect accuracy with regular LR rounds.
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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Hawk View Post
    If you do happen to be on the offensive with surprise on your side, you're probably hunting or committing murder! Either way, we always aim for COM.
    I guess whenever I think about using my gun to kill somebody, the first scenario that pops into my mind is a situation like the Luby's incident we had many years ago here in Texas, as well as several other incidents such as Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc. There is a crazy person out to kill random people. If I'm behind that person and decide to take them out, I've always figured I'd aim for the head. The reason being is that I want them to go down on the first shot. Otherwise I stand a chance of them turning around and shooting back at me. After all, people in that situation are usually in a state of mind that they plan on dying at some point during the rampage, so they will want to take as many people as they can. They will certainly fire back at me if given the chance.

    I realize this scenario is probably one of the less likely scenarios for me to ever be in, but for some reason it is always the first to come to mind.

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    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

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    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    I guess whenever I think about using my gun to kill somebody, the first scenario that pops into my mind is a situation like the Luby's incident we had many years ago here in Texas, as well as several other incidents such as Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc. There is a crazy person out to kill random people. If I'm behind that person and decide to take them out, I've always figured I'd aim for the head. The reason being is that I want them to go down on the first shot. Otherwise I stand a chance of them turning around and shooting back at me. After all, people in that situation are usually in a state of mind that they plan on dying at some point during the rampage, so they will want to take as many people as they can. They will certainly fire back at me if given the chance.

    I realize this scenario is probably one of the less likely scenarios for me to ever be in, but for some reason it is always the first to come to mind.
    True, but I'd still prefer to aim at the center of their back in that scenario, and then continue to fire until he drops. The reason being the amount of stress you'll be under prior to the shot, not to mention the crazy adrenaline dump which will be coursing throughout your veins. The chances of being close enough to a person to make a sure headshot in that situation without them spotting you is also very, very low.

    Just food for thought! :)
    RebelRabbi and Ksgunner like this.
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