In defense of the 22 LR

This is a discussion on In defense of the 22 LR within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; As my formerly stronger right wrist degenerates with age, I can see myself toting a .22 LR Beretta Cheetah on that side, eventually. The snappy ...

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Thread: In defense of the 22 LR

  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    As my formerly stronger right wrist degenerates with age, I can see myself toting a .22 LR Beretta Cheetah on that side, eventually. The snappy .40 is already too much, the mellower .45 is getting to be too much, and I fear the day 9mm becomes too much. I do plan to keep carrying something more powerful for the other hand, such as .38/.357 revolvers. (I am not blaming the .40; most of the damage probably dates to my big-bore magnum revolver days.)

    I already practice, mostly, with .22 LR, with a K-frame S&W Model 17 and a .22 conversion unit on a 1911. I am in an austerity period, but if enough of my holiday-related overtime pay makes it past federal withholding, I might layaway a Cheetah next payday.

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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Col. Jeff Cooper wrote at least one article/chapter on the defensive .22 LR pistol, and he actually advocated the .22 LR over other pocket pistol cartridges. (Keep in mind that JHP development was much less-advanced back then.) His anecdote told of what a farmer's wife accomplished with a .22 pistol, against a group of terrorist guerrillas in Africa, when they they came calling as she was alone at the farm. If I recall the story correctly, she killed them all, leaving no survivors.

    Col. Cooper recommended the Walther PP in .22 LR, which, of course, reflected the time he wrote the words, 1980s or earlier. Finding a .22 LR Walther PP today would not be easy, and would involve paying collector-level prices.

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Speaking of the Henry, in there 22 mag version, if we look at current velocities, some 22 mag rounds reach over 2000 fps.

    If you look at the standard 5.56, out of a 20 inch barrel, you are getting about 3100fps.
    Now, the AR, with the M4 version that is the current fad, as a 16 inch barrel, and dome have even less using the muzzle compensator to make legal limit. This cuts down on that 3100 fps into the 2700-2800 fps range.

    At some point in that light, you have to scratch your head and wonder if 600 fps makes enough difference to justify the now thousands of dollar difference in the rifles and ammo.

    Give me a 30 caliber, or give me a 300 dollar 22 mag and 50 rounds of ammo at 10 bucks.
    600 fps is only half the story. You're also comparing a 30 grain to a 55 grain bullet.

    But, the AR isn't limited to 55 grain fmj, surplus ammo. Getting up in the 60 and 70 class of premium bullets the .223 becomes a different animal.

    You're right about the basic costs, though. For the cost of an AR, not to mention mags & ammo, you could get a nice 22 WMR lever action and a lot of ammo. In the latest ammo panic, everything is gone on the shelves except for .17 HMR, .22 WMR, and popular hunting rounds like .30-30, .270, '06, and even some .300 Win Mag. Any of which could be argued to be more effective (not to mention more available) than .223/5.56.

    If a person reloads, it makes more sense to go with a centerfire, IMO.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Speaking of the Henry, in there 22 mag version, if we look at current velocities, some 22 mag rounds reach over 2000 fps.

    If you look at the standard 5.56, out of a 20 inch barrel, you are getting about 3100fps.
    Now, the AR, with the M4 version that is the current fad, as a 16 inch barrel, and dome have even less using the muzzle compensator to make legal limit. This cuts down on that 3100 fps into the 2700-2800 fps range.

    At some point in that light, you have to scratch your head and wonder if 600 fps makes enough difference to justify the now thousands of dollar difference in the rifles and ammo.

    Give me a 30 caliber, or give me a 300 dollar 22 mag and 50 rounds of ammo at 10 bucks.
    Where are you getting $300 .22 magnum rifles?

  6. #20
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    I would again like to remind folks that do carry (or keep handy) a .22 (for defensive purposes) to at least invest in MATCH GRADE ammunition since the QC during manufacture is much tighter with Rim-Fire ammo classed as Match Grade.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array mulle46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I'll say this; a 22 out of a rifle is a big difference than one fired from a handgun. I would not hesitate to use a 22 rifle in self defense, and would be very optimistic about the outcome.

    My choice would be a jacketed HP, or a lead solid for these purposes.
    Aiming points would be the soft tissue of the neck, or mouth and eyes.

    I would expect several shots fired in quick volley at the chest area to work well also.

    A Henry lever is your friend. If for some reason you would get a dud, a quick down-up motion and you are right back in there without ever losing your sight picture.
    or a good pump action rifle.
    You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

  8. #22
    Member Array GlennO87's Avatar
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    I agree. I have a Ruger MK3 22/45 pistol. Yeh .22 aint the best round for self defense but pop off 5 rounds into center of mass into someone and they are gonna drop and probably die. Unless they are on meth, then you want a .44 magnum minimum. Then again people on pure rage and adrenaline have been shot up to 17 times, like that guy who got in the fire fight with that cop. The cop shot him 17 times and had to head shot him to stop him. That guy was only on adrenaline. In my opinion it is a decent defense round. But probably the bottom pick. A lot of people would choose the .22 over a 25acp 32acp and even a .380.

    I can pop off 10 rounds into a 3 inch group as fast as i can pull the trigger at 15 feet. And i would NOT wanna be infront of it.

  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    The .22 is a beautiful little round. Plinking, cheap range practice, small game, survival, it fills many niches. Self defense is not one of them. First, use a center fire cartridge. Second, find a service caliber you can operate. Don't buy into the "recoil sensitive" baloney. Yes, there are physical disabilities that prevent control of certain recoil (as Rexster is unfortunately experiencing). That is a special circumstance. The rest of us, including the petite woman who the gun shop guy points to the pink .25 ACP, can train to control a service caliber.

    A .22 is fine to begin your training. I have a Sig Mosquito. The goal should be to advance toward a service caliber at your own pace.

  10. #24
    Senior Member Array rugergunner's Avatar
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    I would not feel a bit scared if all I had was a .22 to defend myself, especially if it was my 10/22 with the 25 round magazine in place. I also carry a large knife and pepper spray. What the .22 bullet might not finish off, the pepper spray and CRKT would.
    I would rather die on my feet, than to live on my knees.

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array bklynboy's Avatar
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    This is a timely topic. This weekend I was thinking its time for me to get a 22. I happended to read the entry on Wikipedia and found this entry:
    Because a .22 LR bullet is less powerful than larger cartridges, its danger to humans is often underestimated. In fact, a .22 LR bullet is capable of inflicting very serious injuries (e.g. the four people wounded during the Reagan assassination attempt) or death e.g. the Kauhajoki school shooting (11 killed and 1 wounded), the Jokela school shooting (9 killed and 12 wounded), or victims of Brenda Ann Spencer (2 killed and 9 wounded) as well as the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.
    20 dead kids and a Senator!! this cartridge is much too powerful to be in the hands of civillians, they'll be coming for it next

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