I'm planning to buy a S&W M&P 22LR pistol. Using hollow points for defensive loads. I know the 22 is not considered a defense weapon and has been called not a "real gun"...but why would it not be a good weapon for home defense? I would think it would depend on what the owner is comfortable with, as some may be fine with shooting 40's and 45's, but others can shoot better with a lighter load. I was looking at it this way. If I can put 8 of 10 rounds in a tight group from 20-25' away, not jerk from the recoil, and control my weapon better, I would think that would be what counts. Not to mention the cost of practicing is much lower. Thoughts? :scratchchin:
At one time I considered the same. At first I scoffed at .22 for defense, then I bought a .22 pistol for fun and realized I could put all ten rounds on target in about 1.5 seconds - That no-recoil thing is kinda neat. I kept it loaded along side my 9mm at one time, but when things when bump in the night, in that moment I knew I didn't feel as secure as with my 9 in my hand.
Personal story aside - I think one of the most effective things about having a gun for defense is that even if you don't make a hit (especially in the home), the BG is generally going to run away the moment he knows you have a gun or fire the first round. Especially true if it's really loud, and the .22 isn't. The other problem is the allegedly well documented unreliability of rimfire cartridges. I say alleged because I can't believe hundreds of witnesses don't know what they are talking about (including some I have a lot of trust in), but on the other hand, I can't recall single a failure to fire in tens of thousands of .22 rounds that I've sent downrange. Why some people find several rounds per box and I can't find any, I don't know, but it is generally accepted that they are less reliable than centerfire cartridges.
I have a 380 auto, but I can't seem to get the best groups with it. I was hoping with a cheaper load, with less recoil for myself,such as the 22lr, I could easily put more practice time in and get much better groups. My way of thinking is that something is better than nothing, and if that something hits you in the chest with all ten rounds, I would think it would hurt... :smile:
Re: 22lr ammo
No way I would use 22lr, unless it's all I had. And, 22 out of a rifle would be a lot better than a pistol.
There's no reason that anyone can't put every shot in a fist sized group at 20 to 25 feet using standard defense calibers.
Practicing with a 22 is fine, but get an M&P of a more potent flavor for the real deal.
I have experienced many, many rimfire malfunctions over the last 20 years.
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You should take the time to read about the 22lr as a defensive round. I used to be a caliber snob until I did. Let me say that I really liked Ronald Reagan when he was our president. You know he almost died from a gunshot from a nut. The gun used was a snubnose 6 shot 22lr handgun. If you watch the video of the shooting, the shooter dropped 4 men with six shots. I feel bad using this as an example, but it does show the power of the little 22lr. When I can't carry a larger caliber weapon, I am very comfortable with one of my little revolvers. The biggest problem I do have with a 22 as a defensive weapon is depending on a semi. I would suggest a good 22 revolver. They are going to fire regardless of the quality of ammo, a semi-auto will be a bit more picky. Good luck.
I'm debating between the 9mm and the 22lr. Cost of ammo is the issue. We'll see what happens. :smile:
The recent self defense shooting in Georgia had a lady with a 6 shot revolver with 38s. She hit the guy five times in the neck and torso, I believe. It knocked him down and she escaped to a neighbors house. He then got up and drove away. A 22 may kill someone. It may just make them made. A 9mm may do the same. But, it is more likely to take them down and keep them there.
A heavier gun is easier to shoot accurately and quickly than a lighter, smaller one. Most 22 pistols are actually heavy for the caliber and power of the bullet, making them much easier to shoot.
You might want to consider a .22 Magnum revolver. There are several made by reputable manufacturers and the cost of ammo is not that high. The recoil is not significant, noise is louder, and good hollow point ammo is readily available (caveat: All ammo is in short supply now so you might have to look a little).
I have fired thousands of rounds of rimfire ammo and the only brand I have ever had FTF's (failure to fire) is Remington. Other Remington ammo is pretty good but their .22 is about the worst on the market. For dependability I prefer CCI ammo.
Remember the object is to stop an attacker, not necessarily kill them.
The point of a defensive handgun is to prevent you from getting hurt or killed.
A .22 may be easy to shoot, but is it the best choice for...
Stopping a person at arms length from stabbing you? No
Stopping someone high on bath salts, meth, ect... from attacking you? No
Stopping a larger, aggressive, mentally unstable attacker? No
Ideally, a defensive handgun will incapacitate, or at least make the attacker stop, preventing additional violence against you.
They may die from a .22 later, but that isn't the goal; the goal is to prevent injury (or additional injury) to yourself.
Even a well placed shot from a larger caliber (40, 45) handgun may fail to stop an attack, so speed & accuracy of follow up shots are a consideration.
A .38 special or 380 would obviously offer increased stopping potential over a .22
However, a .38 snub is not all that pleasant to shoot and most regard the 380 (and even the .38) as "back-up" or "pocket" calibers.
Find a pistol or revolver that feels good in your hand and seems to point naturally.
Shoot enough ammo through it to be comfortable that is is reliable (people frequently cite a minimum of 200 rounds for a semi-auto)
Shoot the ammo you will carry.
My wife prefers a Kahr P9 (9mm) loaded with +P ammo; the Kahr is her preferred pistol because of the grip, feels best in her hand.
As suggested the 22 mag might be a good solution. I carry a 9mm but my wife cannot use a auto pistol due to arthritis in her hands. Ruger has a nice revolver in 22mag. LCR-22MAG | Model Number: 5414 | Caliber: 22 WMRF
Get a 9mm AND a .22. Then you can shoot .22 at the range for cheap, and still occasionally practice with the 9mm. If recoil is a concern then get a full size 9mm and don't expect to be leaving the house with it very often. Something in the 2+ pound range would be good - look for something made entirely of metal.
Looking for one gun to "do it all" was the first mistake I made.
Re: 22lr ammo
Look at it this way:
There's a raving lunatic trying to beat down your door to get to you.
There's a 22 & a 9 mm at your disposal. Which are you gonna grab?
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And on the reliability question, I've found 22 ammo (even the cheap stuff) to be highly reliable. I will usually only get a few bad rounds in an entire box of 500 of the cheap stuff.
However, centerfire ammo is better than highly reliable - it's extremely reliable. It would be rare to get a single bad round, or extraction, in 500 rounds especially if you're dealing with a reliable gun that isn't too tiny for the caliber.
IMO, there is an important difference between highly reliable and extremely reliable when it comes to self defense. And that's not even mentioning the "too weak" arguments for the .22LR.
I've shot revolvers and autos. I like both. I own both. I also like the M&P 9, just not liking the cost of shooting with it. I want to be accurate and really know the weapon I chose to carry, which means shooting it often. I can't afford to buy both a 9 and a 22lr, not to mention the ammo needed to practice with them both. My 44 revolver is expensive enough. (Can't carry that,...barrel length is an issue) Until I decide which to buy, I'll carry my 380 auto. I really wish there were more ballistic tests with the 22lr's. Not just ballistic gel, but one that shows bone and organ damage, like on that one show called "deadliest warrior". So I could see the damage and difference between something like the M&P 22lr and their 9mm.
I've fought this same battle. I know how you feel. If you are not comfortable and confident with your weapon/caliber I think it is useless. My wife just can't handle a 9mm at this point. I got her the M&P 22. With the recoil of a high power semi auto FTF/FTE would always be a worry due to her grip.
Another thought would be a full size all steel 38/357. I have a 4 inch S&W 686+. I'm just getting into reloading and am going to try to work up the lightest .38 special I can for her. I know ammo makers market .38 +p. maybe you could find some light .38's.
Whatever the case the best gun/caliber is the one you are confident/competent to shoot. If you can't go through magazine in a 9mm without malfunctions then the .22 is a better choice.