tipoc: So.....shooting someone in the head area with a .22lr for close-range assasination purposes is effective, but shooting someone in the head with a .22lr for self-defense is ineffective?
A couple of things to note:
One: It's not as easy to shoot someone in the head during a rough and tumble fight than some sometimes think it will be. It's easy to make a head shot when the fella is stationary and you are close to them or you have time for a good aim. Not so easy when both shooter and shootee are moving. The head is a small and bony target. This is one reason we are trained to shoot center of mass.
Two: We spend a lot of time in self defense speaking and training about the importance of shooting to stop aggressive action. In the ranking of calibers more likely to stop a violent person with several shots the .22 is down towards the bottom of that list. It does not penetrate as deeply as service calibers nor disrupt as much tissue. The 22 is a deadly caliber, but not as deadly as others.
Three: A .22 may be just as much a deterrent as any other gun. It could be. But it's not wise in my opinion to count on any gun being a deterrent. You don't carry a gun in the hopes it will be a deterrent. You carry for the time you will need to shoot it to stop someone from being violent to you or others. Don't count on shooting a fella in the butt and he will stop. Assume it won't work and act accordingly.
Four: Most folk who want to carry a gun for self defense or want one for home defense, and who will likely ask our opinions on the matter, are not trained fighters, James Bond Jr. or master assassins. I think we can be more realistic. A round with more pop than the 22 will likely do better. I don't recommend the 22 for that role.
Five: We emphasize the importance of good shot placement. The reality in defensive encounters is that the majority of shots that hit are less than very well placed. There are more near misses from vital areas than hits on vital areas. This is another reason that rounds other than the 22 are better suited for self defense, they simply do more damege when they do hit.
I've carried a Ruger Bearcat, my Mark II, a Browning Buckmark, a S&W M17 and others while out hunting or hiking or around camp etc. They have a role and I've used them. But for defense against humans there are better choices I believe.
Fellas will carry what they like. If you feel the 22 is just as good as a the .380, 9mm, 38Spl., etc have at it.