Please don't count on head shots with your .22

Please don't count on head shots with your .22

This is a discussion on Please don't count on head shots with your .22 within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This is inspired by another currently running thread and the fact that I've seen a number of members post that when a .22 is their ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Please don't count on head shots with your .22

    This is inspired by another currently running thread and the fact that I've seen a number of members post that when a .22 is their weapon of the moment, that they plan on head shots for stopping effect. The story in the above thread is that of a former Spec forces guy who shoots a young scumbag in the head (direct hit) with a .22 pistol. The round did not penetrate. Didn't glance off, simply didn't have the energy to penetrate. This has also been my experience in the field with a .22LR (out of pistol) direct hit to the forehead. (Never seen one out of a rifle, article did not say if a LR orshort was used)

    I'm not trying to argue or play "your wrong, I'm right." I just don't want one of my friends (that'd be you) to waste time giving the BG what amounts to a punch in he head instead of actually doing damage. As a friend I'm asking you to consider multiple COM (or even better, IMO just above the sternum) shots as a better method of incapacitating a BG. I have seen this stop a person.
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  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Indeed, head shots from a 22lr have been known to hit the skull bone, then spiral around the outside without penetration. Same goes for a pointed pellet instead of a flat nose in an air rifle on vermin. Unless the round hit's the eye socket, chances are 50/50.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array jeephipwr's Avatar
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    Iwonder if 22 mag ball ammo will penetrate bone better.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    While it is not a recognized approved test, I always test the ammo I carry in my 22LR NAA by shooting it into a 2x4… If it punches through with a nice big hole on the other side, I figure it will bust through the chest, or head of a BG.

    Don’t get my wrong, the only reason I ever carry the NAA 22 is when there is no way to keep a 380 or larger concealed.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Not strictly the topic here, but I don't ever see the need to use such a small round for anything but practice. Don't get me wrong, I love the round, and I will NEVER relinquish my beloved .22's, but I've never carried my Mark II as my CW - in fact, I'm pretty much ALWAYS carrying something in .40 or bigger (Kahr makes very concealable pistols).

    That said, I have considered a Skyy or a KelTec (9mm and .32) recently because the thought of another summer like last one is bummin' me out a little bit. So, those are pretty tiny. With stuff like that available CHEAP, I wonder why you'd go with the .22 (not intending ANY disrespect here...please don't think that for a second).

    Oh, one point I think is worth mentioning - I don't think you can rely on ANY round to end things 100% of the time. Your chances of a single round succeeding are directly proportional to the caliber of the weapon - as the caliber goes up, the one-shot-to-the-head ending is more and more likely (I think...I'm not reading any hard facts off or anything, but it seems to follow). But to say 'x' is the end-all-beat-all is folly. And, as always, a well placed smal round is much more effective than a hundred big 'uns!
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    I totally agree, a 22LR is by no means a preferred caliber, and just like any mouse gun, they should only be used as a backup or when no medium size pistol can be carried.

    But there are times, its better than nothing.

    Example: I was working for the Feds and I had to go to a meeting, where I knew that when I entered the building the BGs security would remove my G19 from my hip.

    While I thank God, I never needed it, that little NAA 22LR in my back pocket sure helped me feel just a little bit better.

  7. #7
    Member Array gotammo's Avatar
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    you have to use what you have, I have no problem with using a 22 for defense as a 45 can be deflected off the skull just as easy. I can get off 10 22s faster than 3 45s with the same accuracy and if 50% hit you in the head I doubt you will wait around for the reload.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotammo View Post
    you have to use what you have, I have no problem with using a 22 for defense as a 45 can be deflected off the skull just as easy. I can get off 10 22s faster than 3 45s with the same accuracy and if 50% hit you in the head I doubt you will wait around for the reload.
    A neighbor shot a burglar with a .44 when I was a kid (.44 special, 4" revolver). The burglar was shot from across the room, ten to fifteen feet away and the shot deflected off his supraorbital process (the bone your eyebrow usually grows over).

    Now, the burglar was in a great deal of pain and floating in and out of unconsciousness. I suspect, the same shot with a .22 would have only made him very very angry. Regardless, I think the valuable lesson that everyone has been sharing in both this thread and the other one mentioned, is that you cannot count on putting someone down, no matter what you're shooting, but you can stack the odds in your favor.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    I wouldn't consider the 22 for any serious work.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Not advocating the use of a .22 for a primary weapon, nor did I mean to imply that I think any shot with any caliber could be "counted on." Perhaps a better title would've been

    "Please don't waste valuable time with headshots when a .22 is what you've got, because it MOST LIKELY is not gonna do the job that multiple COM shots would, which is a much easier target anyway."
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    I would not consider a .22 either if I had a choice. The rimfire misfires too often. All I have to do is look at the ground at the range and I see a fair number of .22s that have had a good strike, but did not fire.

    In spite of what some seem to think, head shots in the proper area are not easily made under stress and especially if the head moves. I would not depend upon a head shot to stop an attacker. It is not that easily done on the range at over about 7 yards, and that with a stationary target when you fire fast as if being charged. The credit card is not a large target.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  12. #12
    Member Array Tenring's Avatar
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    I wouldn't normally carry a .22 either, unless I had no other choice. But sometimes one doesn't have much other choice unless one breaks the law.

    Here in North Carolina, it is illegal to carry a pistol in the woods on state or federal lands other than a short barreled .22 (exception: certain limited circumstances during deer season). It must also be with open carry.

    It's a lousy law, but it's the law. No doubt any bad guys with evil intentions will disregard it and are happy about it. Police in our local Sheriff's Department have said never go in these woods unarmed - but the law doesn't give many options. So, I always carry my Ruger Mark II with 10 rounds of .22 and a spare magazine at hand. It's better than "nothing" ( like in New York where I used to live).

    My wife used to think I was a bit paranoid until the recent murders by that serial killer near where we usually hike. Now she sees the sense in going afield protected with more than a walking stick and the hope everybody we meet is friendly.
    "The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that . . . it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. . . ." Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Justice John Cartwright (June 5, 1824)

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    a 22lr in hand is better that two 45's back home. some will make fun of a 22lr. but I do not see any one volunteering to get shot by one. so make fun of it all you want.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    MY Father in Law is ex Chicago cop and retired FBI. He had discussions with fellow officers in both agencies about getting shot. All of them would rather be shot by a .32 or larger than a 22. The .22 in a COM hit (or any soft tissue) has a tendency to move like a moth around a light and rarely exits the body. Starts in your abdomen, stops by your shoulder after moving through several organs. It is that lack of bone penetrating power that makes it a blender.
    Sticks

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