I'm not a doctor either, but I do not believe that one to three shots fired from a .38 special, .380 or smaller caliber, from within a vehicle would cause permanent hearing loss. This is just my opinion from a non-expert and open to correction from those who have better information about such matters. But as has been said many times on TFL, one's choice in a defensive firearm is a highly individual decision. I would go with the .38 special, but perhaps if I were the conductor of a symphony orchestra, I might feel differently and go with the .22 lr, or some other means of self-defense. There is such a thing as a "psychological stop;" meaning a person hit by a bullet (even if the wound is not life threatening) is likely to stop whatever they were doing in order to avoid being shot again. I'd prefer the .38 but I would not feel unarmed with the .22. Why not carry one and keep the other in the car? From my understanding of what happened at the Wisconsin State Fair and several other incidents around the country that summer, a quick reload (New York or otherwise) may have been necessary.
Last edited by Rifleman1952; November 27, 2012 at 04:58 PM.