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Old July 12, 2010, 10:02 AM   #1
Sig_Dude
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.22LR, .25 Auto effectiveness throughout history

Was talking to someone who was thinking about getting a Beretta .25 Auto the other day. I tried to talk him out of it, saying that the .25 is by far the most...disrespected pistol cartridge of all time, and that he would be better off with a .22 or .22 Magnum if he wanted to go super small. Personally the smallest I go is .380 during warm weather and 9mm during cold weather.

Anyway, we got to talking and apparently, there have been (correct me if you feel I am wrong) a LOT of people killed by the .25 Auto and a WHOLE lot of people killed by the .22, in fact there have been more people killed by the .22 than any other round. Now of course all of those fatalities were not "good" (the word "good" being used with extreme caution) as probably well over half were murders ...and NO, this is not an anti-gun thread.

My question is, how does the most "deadly" round in the world and it's slightly bigger brother get such a horrible, horrible reputation?

Ragardless of the answers, I am never buying a .25 so don't worry

We may as well leave out the "any gun is better than no gun" reply as that goes without saying.

edit: this quote from Wiki: "Both rounds certainly pose an effective psychological threat against attackers not armed with a firearm."

Now THAT quote was obviously not written by anyone in-the-know. Yea, the effect is purely psychological IF: you are immune to severe pain, the bullet misses a rib, hits your throat, your face, your groin, an artery in your arm or leg, your eye, goes into your mouth, your ear....

Last edited by Sig_Dude; July 12, 2010 at 10:08 AM.
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Old July 12, 2010, 10:12 AM   #2
DanThaMan1776
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I don't know if you are right about the number of people killed by 25 auto and 22 lr being prodigiously high, but I can only guess that if the 22 lr statistic is correct it's because most gun owners (at least the ones i know) have a 22 lr in their collection. Many people start on 22s. So if the 22 lr is as omnipresent as I believe it to be, the number of deaths due to mishaps, and perhaps not mishaps (murders) will be high.. but not relative to other calibers.

Regardless of what the real answer is, don't mistake statistics for being comprehensive facts. Look at the terminal ballistics of the 22 lr and 25 auto and then look at the 9mm or 45. It doesn't matter what the numbers say when the facts say something else. I bet bladed weapons have caused even more deaths than the 22 lr over the course of history.. doen't mean carrying a knife is better than a gun.
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Old July 12, 2010, 10:23 AM   #3
Sig_Dude
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A knife in the hands of one who knows how to use it is more deadly than a gun, just as a broad-headed (razor-type) arrow is more deadly than a gun. Reason being, a surgeon has a HELL of a time repairing all the internal lacerations caused by either before the patient bleeds out.

That being said, don't bring a knife to a gun fight! *Or a bow to a gun fight either.)
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Old July 12, 2010, 10:27 AM   #4
aarondhgraham
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There is an old joke,,,

Never shoot a man with a .25 cartridge,,,
If you hit him he might notice it,,,
And get real angry at you!

There is a school of thought that to have stopping power an SD round must:
Create a hydrostatic shock that breaks all of the fingers and toes,,,
Knock the person hit with it backwards, at least 5 yards,,,
And leave a bowling ball sized exit hole in his body.

The .25 will not do that so it can't be an effective SD cartridge.

It's all about wanting that mythical property of "stopping power".

And hey, if someone feels they need a hand cannon to feel properly armed,,,
This is America and they have the right to feel that way and carry one.

I'm a little more moderate in my SD choice of cartridge,,,
I prefer a .38 Special revolver with LSWC,,,
But often carry a .22 revolver.

On a more serious vein,,,
Unless you get the best shot placement possible,,,
A .22 LR or a .25 ACP do nothing to immediately incapacitate an attacker.

Some folk believe,,,
In a worst case scenario,,,
A 275 lb attacker strung out on PCP,,,
Might not even notice 6-7 rounds of .22 or .25 to his chest.

They make valid arguments for the need to,,,
Penetrate deeply and make a large wound channel.

In a lot of those arguments though,,,
They also say my .38 special isn't enough gun.

There will never be a consensus on this topic,,,
It's too fraught with the person's individual paranoia level,,,
Even though the people love to quote from one FBI study or another,,,
It will always remain a matter of personal preference and individual prejudice.

My question to you is,,,
Where did you get the information,,,
That the .22 is the deadliest round in the world?

.
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Old July 12, 2010, 10:34 AM   #5
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Speaking about hydrostatic shock, I thought that myth was busted? Again, I may be wrong.

I did some more thinking and reading after I wrote the original post. The main reason more people have been killed by a .22 LR than any other caliber is because of how common the gun is.

It's sort of like how the Boeing 737 has had the most crashes...but the Concorde is (was) the most deadly aircraft design ever, after the one crashed...

Well wait, maybe that analogy doesn't belong here.

Anyway you get the idea
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Old July 12, 2010, 10:36 AM   #6
stargazer65
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Quote:
most gun owners (at least the ones i know) have a 22 lr in their collection
Exactly. I would expect just based on the prevalence of 22lr it would have the highest fatality rate. How many 500 S&W are out there? Probably a pretty small number by comparison. Probably the fatality rate is pretty low for 500 S&W. Yet it would be silly to think that statistic means it's less deadly or effective.

It also astounds me that people are surprised at the fact that people have been killed by .25 or .22. They're not toy popguns. They may not be the best manstoppers, but they are deadly.
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Old July 12, 2010, 04:23 PM   #7
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if any of you have ever read about Richard Kuklinski - the polish hitman for the italian mob - you will know that he preferred to use a .22 to kill his victims. walked up to numerous unsuspecting victims sitting in their car, put the gun up to their ear, and pulled the trigger. he, being an experienced killer with over 200 kills under his belt, said that the .22 pistol was the most effective gun he used to kill people with. it was quieter than other calibers and created less of a mess. some seriously messed up stuff there.
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Old July 12, 2010, 04:39 PM   #8
aarondhgraham
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Hello Sig_Dude,,,

Quote:
Speaking about hydrostatic shock, I thought that myth was busted?
You are correct as far as I can tell,,,
I was trying to be over the top facetious with that,,,
Hence the "Knock the person hit with it backwards, at least 5 yards".

In Europe the cops have always gotten by just fine with the .380 as a standard,,,
Their police forces consider the 9mm to be the upper max needed.

Our cops in general think the .357 Magnum is the minimum,,,
And something bigger is almost always preferable.

I don't know what the reason is,,,
But for us Americans, bigger is always necessary.

Stillwater county sherifs used to carry Model 29's,,,
I think they saw Dirty Harry too often.

But it's all good,,,
I just have a different mind-set is all.

.
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Old July 12, 2010, 04:58 PM   #9
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A reason there are so many .22/.25 fatalities is because they're cheap, readily available, and most frequently used by criminal gang-bangers and street thugs because that's all that they can afford. The people getting shot with these mouse guns aren't typically incapacitated immediately, but linger and die in the hospital later on.

Do you want to halt the threat now or later?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven_Seagal
if any of you have ever read about Richard Kuklinski - the Polish hitman for the Italian mob - you will know that he preferred to use a .22 to kill his victims. walked up to numerous unsuspecting victims sitting in their car, put the gun up to their ear, and pulled the trigger. he, being an experienced killer with over 200 kills under his belt, said that the .22 pistol was the most effective gun he used to kill people with. it was quieter than other calibers and created less of a mess. some seriously messed up stuff there.
In an interview on A&E tv with this psycho, Kuklinski, he admitted that there was a big guy that he shot at from close range using a .22 where none of the bullets penetrated his skull and he had to knife him.

..and a .22 bullet doesn't riccochet around inside a person's head because it doesn't have enough energy to penetrate both side of the skull.. That's fabricated mobster nonsense
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Old July 12, 2010, 05:10 PM   #10
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in fact there have been more people killed by the .22 than any other round.
I'm very skeptical of this claim. Some 60 million were killed in WWII, and I doubt that even a tiny fraction of a percent of those died from 22lr wounds. Many millions claimed by 7mm to 8mm rifle/machine gun fire and 9mm to 45cal pistol/submachine gun fire. Many more millions to fragmentation/explosive weapons. The 22 just wasn't a factor in history's largest and deadliest conflict.
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Old July 12, 2010, 05:27 PM   #11
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As I noted in the thread I started on "22s for Self Defense", while they not the best choice they sure beat fists, feet, a cane, an umbrella, etc. Also I recall Charlie Askins' definition of a "belly gun"-"You put it against your enemy's belly and pull the trigger." I think we have gotten so mesmerized with "one shot stops", "magic bullets", "stopping power formulas", the caliber wars, revolver vs. semiauto, etc. that we forget that tactical employment and above all a combat mindset ( thank you, LTC Cooper) can make up for inadequacies of caliber and action. Jim Cirillo did just fine with a 38 Special.
As Bill Jordan said, "Speed if fine but Accuracy is Final."
Regarding Kuklinski, in a real gunfight/self defense situation I don't think too many people will have the opportunity to place their firearm against an enemy's skull and pull the trigger. There is a big difference between self defense and a "hit". And I think there will be some legal complications from doing that.
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Old July 12, 2010, 06:15 PM   #12
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IMO the reason more people are killed by the .22LR because of two things. Its prevalence, everyone seems to have at least one of them in their collection and the second reason is people underestimating its lethality. I've heard several anti gun people who have no problem with a .22LR and several people I know have ignored general safety rules because in their words "Its just a .22." So I think people don't respect the caliber as much and don't handle them as safely as they would a 9mm or a .45 for instance. The round looks miniscule and almost laughable compared to the larger centerfire rounds available. But it is still deadly and just as much care should be taken as with it as any other round. As for the .25, its a belly gun pretty much. I have one that I pop some cans with occasionally, it was developed in the early part of last century and ultimately stuck around due to its ability to be chambered in very small guns and still be called a centerfire. By the time a larger small caliber came around like the .32 or .380 the .25 had a niche and wasn't going anywhere.
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Old July 12, 2010, 06:37 PM   #13
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If they had not worked, they wouldn't still be around.
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:05 PM   #14
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I don't know about that. The .22 lr is a tremendously useful cartridge, and I am not convinced that defensive use factors into its popularity.

I also wonder how the .22 lr compares with 8mm Mauser or 7,62x54r in terms of total kills.
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:27 PM   #15
KyJim
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Quote:
in fact there have been more people killed by the .22 than any other round.
Absolute bunk unless you count centerfire .22 caliber rounds like the .223/5.56mm.

However, both the .22 rimfire and .25 acp are quite capable of killing a person. For example, Robert Kennedy was assassinated by a man with a .22 revolver.
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:28 PM   #16
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The 22lr has a nasty habit of being easily deflected.For example Pres Reagan was shot with one It went into the chest cavity , hit a rib and bounced back and punctured his lung.Autopsies of those shot with a 22 are difficult because the bullet , after entering , can be almost anywhere. People shot with them often feel little or no effect but hours later they may die.
As far as hitmen the 22lr is quiet, and at point blank range it works well.
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:33 PM   #17
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One of my first handguns I ever purchased was a Taurus 25 auto. It jammed alot and the bullet actually "tumbled in the air". Once while shooting cans i noticed that the entry point was oblong, almost like the bullet had actually started "rolling in the air".

Having owned a 25 auto ( sold it to a friend ), I can say that I wouldnt want it as my carry weapon. However, I wouldnt want to be shot with one either.

It all comes back to shot placement. I agree that someone on PCP might not immediatley notice that he had been shot several times in the chest with a 25. That being said, I would rather be shot in the leg with a .357 mag than shot in the face with a 25 auto.
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:33 PM   #18
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yes but effective for removing the threat

Everything said here about 22 or 25 being less than adequate for stopping power is physically true. They are portable. The value of the anemic little calibers is the surprise and proximity in which they are deployed. In a defensive situation I don't care about it being lethal, I just want to make the bad thing go away, or stop long enough for me to exit. I'd rather have a 45 in hand, but a half-dozen or so rounds of said mouse gun is a big surprise for, and very hard on whatever is at point blank range. Nope, don't expect to hold up in a raging firefight with a NAA 22 mag, or Beretta 25; but don't expect more than one or two close up problems. If they aren't close up, I'll run the other way. They make sense in a lot of everyday situations. In house or car, something bigger is eaiser to have on-hand. If I went to a known bad place, I would take a big bad gun.
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:41 PM   #19
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Tenusdad

Quote:
I'd rather have a 45 in hand, but a half-dozen or so rounds of said mouse gun is a big surprise for, and very hard on whatever is at point blank range. Nope, don't expect to hold up in a raging firefight with a NAA 22 mag, or Beretta 25; but don't expect more than one or two close up problems. If they aren't close up, I'll run the other way. They make sense in a lot of everyday situations. In house or car, something bigger is eaiser to have on-hand. If I went to a known bad place, I would take a big bad gun.

Well put
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:42 PM   #20
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in good hands , all handguns can be deadly ,the right shot , in the right place.
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:50 PM   #21
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Sorry, dup post.
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:52 PM   #22
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Quote:
In a defensive situation I don't care about it being lethal, I just want to make the bad thing go away, or stop long enough for me to exit.
I'm not a fan of the .22lr or the .25 as a SD round. There are better options out there. With that, either one can certainly work well as a SD round.

Case in point, I work with a gentleman who was accidentally shot with a .22lr at point blank range. He said that he felt like he got stung and grabbed his chest and said "Something just stung me.", staggered and then dropped.

The shock of being hit didn't drop him immediately and as he said, he wasn't aware he'd been hit, but it did drop him. If he was shot in a SD mode, that would certainly have allowed a person to make a safe exit.

By the way, he bullet didn't hit any thing major and he made a full recovery.

Again, neither is the best choice for SD, but either will do the job with proper shot placement.
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Old July 12, 2010, 09:30 PM   #23
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In the day of the LCP and P3AT sub $300 mouse guns, I don't see that it matters, anyway. Yes, the .22lr or .25 ACP can kill, but my mouse guns in that size are long locked away and will probably never leave the house again.

I have to believe a large hammer hurts more than a small hammer.
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Old July 12, 2010, 10:51 PM   #24
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The Iceman Tapes...... He killed guys with a .22, .38, knife, blunt objects and barehands.... Hell he even shot an ice cream man in the head with a crossbow 'to see if it'd work.' He was possibly a TRUE sociopath. The guy "worked" Christmas Eve, went home and put his kid's new bike together. And opened presents the next morning with his family like any regular guy. For all his sickness and faults, he was the epitome of a professional. If you haven't seen this interview rent/buy it. The words "eeriely calm" describe him perfectly.
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Old July 12, 2010, 11:09 PM   #25
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im thinking alot of you guys are mis under estimating the .22 lr... the .22 is notorious to bounce around inside the body when it hits bones... there been cases were a bullet enters a leg and gets pulled out in a different part of the body.... me personally i rather carry my 9mm with sd rounds but the .22 is known to do wat its supposed to do...
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