"Let's make a realistic and fair comparison of the 22 Mag and the 38 Special when fired from a defensive handgun..."
To be fair, that intro should have been:
"Let's make a realistic and fair comparison of the 22 Mag and the 38 Special +P when fired from a defensive handgun..."
I don't see why I shouldn't use the best ammo available in the chambering, but it's a nit fairly picked. So let's shop around a bit for standard pressure 38 Special loads:
110 grain at 989fps from a 2" barrel for 238 ft-lbs
It's hard to find ballistics quoted expressly for a 2" barrel, but there are lots of standard pressure 38 special loads that are in the 250 ft-lb area and would still be over 200 even after the losses of a 2" barrel were factored in.
No matter how you slice it a 22 mag from a pistol is nowhere near as powerful as a 38 Special.