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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a lady friend that purchased a 22 revolver pistol that was recommended by a person. The person told her that a 22 revolver would be fine as a self defense gun (compared to a larger caliber) because you can use "high powered" 22 ammo in it.

I am familiar with +P and +P+ ammo for 9mm, etc. Does "high powered" 22 ammo exist and if yes what is it called? She never fired or rented the gun before she purchased it and she has never fired it yet.

I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!
 
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By "high powered" they may have meant that it is a 22WMR (22 magnum) vs a 22LR which is the standard 22 round found in most rifles and pistols labelled as 22. If he meant 22 WMR, then yes it is potentially more powerful than a standard 22 LR, but in a short pistol barrel, the difference it not very significant. On the topic of its use as a self defense gun, I am in the camp that having anything of any caliber is better than having nothing. There are certainly factual cases where a 22 did serve well as a self defense gun. However, there will be some, rightfully so, that will say having a higher caliber is rarely a bad thing, and probably more often a good thing....unless the shooter has a condition that would preclude being able to shoot a bigger caliber.

A 22 can be effective, the higher caliber he is talking about may be a reference to the 22 magnum. Or maybe not.
 

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If indeed they were telling her a .22 (as in .22 long rifle) was sufficient then she would be looking for CCI Stinger, CCI Velociter or similar. Some .22LR cartridges have velocities approaching 1400fps, out of a rifle barrel, but likely not close to that out of a pistol.
 

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22 stinger , 22 mini mag ,,22lr velcoter and the agulia stuff ..Do note that some of the 22lr guns wont take the very hot HV stuff
 

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Her friend was probably referring to "High Velocity" .22LR ammo. It is sometimes a little "hotter" than a Standard Velocity .22LR, but still falls way short of the centerfire defensive calibers. A lot of the HV stuff gets it's velocity at the expense of bullet weight; with bullets in the 30-36 gr. range, they are faster, but not really a lot more "powerful" than a plain-jane 40 grain.

If the gun is a .22 Magnum, that's a big step up. It's important that she know what the gun is chambered for, and use only the correct ammo. You can not shoot .22 Mag ammo in a .22LR, and you can't safely shoot .22 LR in a .22 Magnum gun.
 
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Her friend was probably referring to "High Velocity" .22LR ammo. It is sometimes a little "hotter" than a Standard Velocity .22LR, but still falls way short of the centerfire defensive calibers. A lot of the HV stuff gets it's velocity at the expense of bullet weight; with bullets in the 30-36 gr. range, they are faster, but not really a lot more "powerful" than a plain-jane 40 grain.

If the gun is a .22 Magnum, that's a big step up. It's important that she know what the gun is chambered for, and use only the correct ammo. You can not shoot .22 Mag ammo in a .22LR, and you can't safely shoot .22 LR in a .22 Magnum gun.
^^^THIS!^^^
 

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High velocity .22 ammo is pretty much the default these days and has been for decades. Ask for .22 LR at any sporting goods counter and assuming they have any, they'll point to a HV load. It seems you have to ask specifically for standard velocity or anything other than HV. Thus my two-bit wager is on "hyper" velocity ammo like CCI Stinger or similar, as Tally noted above.

But moving one step past that question, while a .22 rimfire is better than a police whistle, I'm not a fan for defensive purposes. The reliability of a rimfire cartridge is nothing I would stake my life on, given a choice. A .22 revolver is a good intro to shooting handguns, which is one reason there are 3 of them here, but in the revolver format I'd rather see your lady friend armed with a .32 S&W Long than a .22 rimfire. Neither is what I'd call a definitive fight-stopper, but the reliability of centerfire ignition puts the .32 well ahead of the .22 rimfire in my book.

A late friend back east started a gun club at his job and hosted several women-only permit classes. He routinely borrowed a couple of my guns for his classes, and he had his students try guns in .22, .38, 9mm and .357 Magnum. His observation was that once the women stepped up to the centerfire calibers, they didn't want to go back to the .22s! If you have the opportunity, I would encourage your lady friend to try something in a heavier caliber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for your excellent information and comments. I also learned a lot about .22 caliber.
 

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CCI Stinger was designed in the 70's to try and make up for the velocity loss when shot in a revolver. It and the velocitor have been good game getters for me. If I were going to use a 22LR for self defense I would use either of them. DR
 

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As far as defensive ammunition, "high power" .22 like stingers or mini-mags are like high octane fuel in a moped.

gasmitty had a great recommendation. I'd say let her try a .38 spl in a heavy revolver.
 

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I would discourage anyone from using a 22 for self defense unless you're trying to defend yourself against mildly perturbed raccoons. They lack the energy necessary to stop a fight, even when you make a critical hit. Yes, people die from being shot with a 22, but there are a lot of stories about people continuing their attack because they didn't even realize they were hit.

My minimum caliber for self defense against a human target is a 380 and I only go that small when I can't conceal a 40 caliber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Does anyone .22 in a hollow point?
 

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Does anyone .22 in a hollow point?
A lot of Remington 22lr rounds are hollow points, IIRC. Hollow point in .22lr isn't really the same as in a pistol caliber. I occasionally do carry CCI Stingers in my Taurus PT22 when I carry it, and I wouldn't think of using 22lr hollow points. They are meant for small game, like rodents.
 

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Does anyone .22 in a hollow point?
Sure, for hunting critters I'm not going to eat, and some of the ammo my guns like happens to be a hollow point flavor (American Eagle 38 gr).

For defensive purposes against humans, hollow points or solids in .22 rimfire is realistically a second decimal place effect. The .22 lacks the weight and velocity to drive the bullet straight after it enters the body; instead, it tends to bounce around and hit organs, nerves and blood vessels randomly. Recall Ronald Regan's assassination - the .22 slug that nearly cost him his life ricocheted off the limo body before hitting him, and once it penetrated, it didn't move in a straight line.

I'm sure some will be adamant about the "need" to use HPs for a defensive .22, but I don't believe there is a convincing body of evidence available to support that conclusion. My opinion? I'm not using a .22 unless it's the only gun available, and at that point, I'm not selective about ammo. I'd love to get an eye socket hit but I'll settle for center of mass.
 
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