While most would not recommend 22lr as a primary round for defense... sometimes its all that you have available.
And while any bullet can be deadly if it hits just the right spot or other circumstances line up... There are round choices that help increase your chances of stopping an attacker.
Because 22lr is so much smaller in mass and cross sectional area than common pistol calibers, and the velocity is much less than the closest sized rifle round (.223/5.56mm)... the only thing you can really rely on is adequate penetration for effect on the target. So you need to pick rounds that maximize penetration.
The CCI Velocitors work well in pistols. The short barrel lowers velocity and the bullet does not expand and acts like a solid point. Because of the lower velocity of a pistol, expansion would lead to poor penetration.
Velocitors out of a 3" barrel will penetrate about 15" in gel tests.
I believe they penetrate about the same out of a rifle, with the added benifit of expansion, due to the higher velocity.
If you can not find Velocitors, which is most likely, get some CCI solid point Minimags. Not the hollowpoints, as they will not penetrate as well out of a pistol, and rifles will not let them penetrate much better. About 8" and 12" penetration in gel respectively, if memory serves.
If you can't find those... any 40gr solid point bullet with at least 1200fps velocity should work. The problem is that 22lr is known to have unreliable ignition. CCI is the most reliable, I have never had a round of CCI (not including bulk CCI) fail to fire on the first strike. This is why most people recommend CCI for defense roles if 22lr is all you have.
Most of the quality brands are almost as reliable, so long as you do not buy them in bulk.
If bulk is all you can find, I find the Blazer (made by CCI) to be good, and also the Winchester M-22. Both are 40gr solid points.
But do not forget feeding reliability... any round that will not feed reliably in your gun is never a good choice, no matter how good of performance it has down range on a target.
Last edited by marine6680; March 24, 2013 at 11:38 AM.