TNS0038, I'm not "picking on you" but I don't want to get in a gunfight, even with my .357 Magnum.Sure I would not like to get into a gun fight with a 22 LR, but I’d rather have one in my pocket than a 357 back in the truck.
I am an advocate of carrying the biggest gun you can effectively conceal, within reason. What I mean is, I believe in carrying a "Duty Size" weapon if at all possible, and maybe a BUG too.
I shoot my 3"-4" Revolvers, Government Model 1911's and Glock 19's better than my J-Frame "Snubbies", Kahr PM9's or Officer's Model 1911. Since I believe "accuracy is final" it seems crucial to me to have the gun I am most accurate with that I can still effectively conceal.
Many people carry a gun as a "Good Luck Charm" thinking that they are well protected because they have a gun. Truth be told, it's not the gun but the person behind the gun that makes the difference. I will not go someplace that I wouldn't go without a gun and if I "knew" I needed a gun I definately wouldn't go there unless I was "on the clock" and getting paid to go there and had ample "support" and the necessary "tools".
Many calibers will "work" the question is, will they work quick enough to stop the attack? To me the 38 Special/9mm is the bottom of the ladder for a self defensive "Primary Handgun". Yes, a .22 may work but since all handguns are relatively poor stoppers, in relation to long guns, I want to "stack the deck" in my favor as much as I can. Also, I can't effectively conceal my 12 Guage Riot Gun or my .223 Autoloading Rifle.
"A gun should be comforting not necessarily comfortable." Clint Smith said that and I think it's a very true statement that I try to emulate. My off duty "Primary" is either a S&W 22-4, Glock 19 or soon, Ruger GP100. With good leather they are all easy to hide if one dresses around the gun.