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Old November 16, 2012, 12:28 AM   #1
ShotgunHunter
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22 cal power

So if I can pump 3 or more shots into an intruder with my 22 pistol at point blank range is this as potent as one shot from a 9mm or 45?
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Old November 16, 2012, 12:34 AM   #2
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I don't know. But B4 you hammer the BG the 4th time you might want to ask him so then we will all know.
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Old November 16, 2012, 12:41 AM   #3
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The 22 lacks the power to immediately stop an attack. If you use a 22 for defense, you run the risk of getting shot before the threat has been eliminated. The larger centerfire rounds have a much better chance of giving you that quick, ultimate knock down power. Im not saying that you cant defend yourself with a 22, but you stand much better odds with something more powerful. If a 22 is all you have, by all means, use it. But if you have something, anything more powerful than a .25ACP, use that instead.
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Old November 16, 2012, 02:02 AM   #4
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So if I can pump 3 or more shots into an intruder with my 22 pistol at point blank range is this as potent as one shot from a 9mm or 45?
It all depends on where you place those shots. And the question is little pointless; at close range you're going to be able to get off a lot more than one shot of 9mm/.45 in the same amount of time as three shots of .22 LR. I can hit a silhouette target center mass with a 9mm almost as fast as I can with a .22.

But let's pretend that this ratio is accurate and that three shots from a .22 is the same as one shot from a 9mm. That would mean that to equal the capacity of a Glock 19 you would need a .22 pistol with a 45-round magazine. Also, I think the goal of any self-defense shooting should be to put two or three rounds into the center mass of your attacker as quickly as possible. If we keep using our ratio, that means you'll be using up to nine rounds per attacker with a .22, and most .22 pistols only hold ten rounds.

A .22 is not a self-defense round. Sure, it can cause wounds that can eventually be lethal, and it can even stop the threat immediately in some cases; but compared to a 9mm, .40, or .45 it is extremely deficient at immediately stopping a threat.
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:23 AM   #5
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+1 Theohazard. In addition...

Choosing a self-defense or home-defense weapon is all about compromise. A .22LR handgun IMHO does not measure up to a 9mm or .45ACP handgun, but then again, none of the above will measure up to a 12ga shotgun, a .44Mag lever rifle, or a .223/5.56 carbine. However, a .22LR pistol is far better than nothing at all.

Gun forums are rife with attempts to conjure up some sort of "magic factor" to equalize broadly differing firearms. Many of these discussions begin to border on the absurd if they continue long enough. There is no magic equalizing factor. The question is what compromises YOU are willing to accept.

That being said...

IMHO the main advantage of .22LR for SD is that it will fit into extremely small pocket-sized "mouse guns" like the Beretta 21 or Taurus PT-22. However, as the gun gets larger, .22LR pistols are at a capacity disadvantage because it is inherently difficult to stack rimmed .22LR cartridges in a magazine that will fit inside a pistol grip. Consequently, as the gun approaches even so-called "compact" size, you'll encounter numerous 9mm models that hold 12-14rds- more than virtually any .22LR pistol on the market. At this point, there is little reason to choose .22LR unless the shooter is very recoil-sensitive and/or has an extremely limited ammo budget.
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:42 AM   #6
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The first big problem with .22 LR is penetration. Especially when fired from a short barreled pistol. Even if you hit the right spot, it might not penetrate deep enough to do the damage you need it to.

The second big problem is reliable feeding in an automatic. Rimmed cartridges can get stuck on each other easily and cause "rim lock". Which can cause a malfunction.

Heavy clothing, wierd angles, large body can cause a failure to stop with any caliber, but with the .22 LR at the low velocity it will achieve when fired out of a handgun increases those chances even further.

Really, when you are using a .22 LR, you are making a gamble that whoever you are shooting doesn't want to get shot, and the threat of or actually being shot will stop the agression. (That is probably a pretty good gamble honestly)

That being said, if that is all you can afford/manage, then it is better than cussing.
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:59 AM   #7
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^I have cussed 5 guys out of my front door at 5 in the morning. There had been a conflict at a party next door and these guys had come back a couple hours after the party ended to jump these people in their beds or something.

I am not a big guy. But I stood my ground started yelling about how they had broken into the wrong house and to look around and see that they had kicked their way into the wrong house.

They backed out the door. Cops called and they arrested 3 of them.

Needless to say, I started keeping a loaded 12 gauge shotgun.
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Old November 16, 2012, 11:13 AM   #8
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alex0535, I am glad that you got out of that OK but I still feel safer being a mediocre shot than a prolific cusser.

A large majority of people can find a 9 mm pistol that they can shoot accurately, comfortably, and rapidly. A .22LR pistol certainly can be effective, but a person has to be much more skillful, with a measure of luck thrown in, to be as effective as the same person with a center fire pistol.

If you are going to use a .22LR, you should probably fire until empty and look for an opportunity for a head shot somewhere along the way. Absolute answer to your 3-to-1 question would depend on placement. CNS shots: probably yes. COM shots: probably no, at least with regards to immediate incapacitation of an assailant.
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Old November 16, 2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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Bottom line is I would not deploy a .22lr (and I love the caliber) for HD/SD. Perhaps as a BUG but now the .380's are small enough to render the old Bobcats/Pt22/25's etc. tactically inferior IMO.

Now, if a 10/22 were to be used as a HD choice I would have much more faith in the .22lr but still would not opt for it as my first choice.
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Old November 16, 2012, 11:40 AM   #10
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Yes, your .22 will work fine- as long as it's reliable and you do your part. A bigger caliber will give you a slight advantage. People have been effectively using .22s for defense for over 100 years.
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Old November 16, 2012, 01:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crow Hunter:
The first big problem with .22 LR is penetration. Especially when fired from a short barreled pistol. Even if you hit the right spot, it might not penetrate deep enough to do the damage you need it to.

The second big problem is reliable feeding in an automatic. Rimmed cartridges can get stuck on each other easily and cause "rim lock". Which can cause a malfunction.

Heavy clothing, wierd angles, large body can cause a failure to stop with any caliber, but with the .22 LR at the low velocity it will achieve when fired out of a handgun increases those chances even further.

Really, when you are using a .22 LR, you are making a gamble that whoever you are shooting doesn't want to get shot, and the threat of or actually being shot will stop the agression. (That is probably a pretty good gamble honestly)

That being said, if that is all you can afford/manage, then it is better than cussing.
Good points.

The .22 is much less than adequate and the centerfire service calibers (9mm - .45ACP) are much better options for so many reasons.
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Old November 16, 2012, 03:48 PM   #12
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At my father-in-law's farm, I once shot a 60 lb sow right between the eyes with a Ruger .22 pistol loaded with high-speed HPs. The bullet bounced off. I could hear it whistle as it tumbled end-over-end out into the corn field.
She squealed and ran a few feet, then shook it off and went back to eating. I shot her twice through the lungs. She didn't seem to mind very much. Finally, I got a slug into the back of the skull and she went down.

Needless to say, I don't think much of the .22 as a SD cartridge.
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Old November 16, 2012, 06:35 PM   #13
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Yes, your .22 will work fine- as long as it's reliable and you do your part. A bigger caliber will give you a slight advantage.
Yes, with any round you must do your part and place the shots accurately. But to do your part with a .22 and have it work fine you're going to need to be extremely accurate and fast; and even then you might need to be lucky, too. A bigger caliber like a good 9mm is going to offer much more than a slight advantage.
Quote:
People have been effectively using .22s for defense for over 100 years.
True, but that doesn't mean there aren't better options, especially with today's hollow point 9mm, .40, and .45 ammo.
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Old November 16, 2012, 06:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
At my father-in-law's farm, I once shot a 60 lb sow right between the eyes with a Ruger .22 pistol loaded with high-speed HPs. The bullet bounced off. I could hear it whistle as it tumbled end-over-end out into the corn field.
She squealed and ran a few feet, then shook it off and went back to eating. I shot her twice through the lungs. She didn't seem to mind very much. Finally, I got a slug into the back of the skull and she went down.

Needless to say, I don't think much of the .22 as a SD cartridge.
Two mistakes, HP bullets and shooting a hog between the eyes. It's all we ever used but we shot LRN bullets, usually Remington but really weren't fussy. Some from a revolver some from a rifle but all at the same point on the hog. From behind a neck shot below the skull or between the eye and the ear on the side of the head. Forehead is massively thick bone and has been known to bounce bullets from much bigger guns than a 22. If you shot her where you would shoot a deer you were way behind the heart.
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Old November 16, 2012, 06:57 PM   #15
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Some points:

The front of a pig skull is very thick...

Lung shots are ineffective in general...

The CCI velocitors can penetrate 15 inches in ballistics medium from a Ruger SR22 pistol. From the tests people have posted online.



A 22 is not the best defensive round, but if it hits something important it will do the job. More rounds doesn't really mean much, though it will cause more pain as the count rises, which may stop a threat. It also increases your chances of hitting something important, but this is true of all calibers.

As was said, it beats having nothing at all, but there are better round choices, and they offer distinct advantages.
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Old November 16, 2012, 07:10 PM   #16
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I have put down a lot of whitetail deer with my little NAA 22lr. Head shots of course either on car/deer collisions or final hunting shots. I generally carry it everywhere loaded with hyper velocity yellow jacket.
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Old November 16, 2012, 07:18 PM   #17
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Old November 16, 2012, 08:47 PM   #18
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Thanks to all for your responses.

I actually posted this to get your opinions for my daughter.

She is dead set in her belief that a 22 is all she needs for protection. She cites numerous statistics about how the 22 kills more people every year than any other round. I can't get her to move up to even a .380.

Try as I might, I can't make her understand that only a head shot from a 22 will instantly incapacitate an offender, and under the stress of being attacked she would be lucky to get one.

Now she's a great shot with her pistol on the range. She can reliably bust up the heads of her targets out to 25 feet. And she loves to prove it to me.

But I can't make her see that shooting at moving targets under extreme stress is another matter. She can't bank on a head shot. She'd be blessed to get a body shot. And a 22 body shot may not stop a determined bad guy.

"But dad, I've got 7 shots with my gun, I'll empty it in him."

And I'd like to repute that argument, but I think that she probably could empty a whole clip into an intruder. She's a pretty cool customer.

So again with the question I originally posted...would 3 or 4 shots from a 22 be as potent as 1 from a 9mm or 45?

Is my sharp shooting daughter wrong? If she can reliably unload 7 shots on an undesirable is she "relatively" safe?

Incidentally, I'm not as confident as she is. My home protection is a Mossberg 500 24" slug barrel loaded with quail shot, and my Ruger .223 Range Rifle.
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Old November 16, 2012, 08:52 PM   #19
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I guess I should have done a better job of explaining my point in the pig story, so here it is:

A hit between the eyes or through the lungs with a serious SD caliber would have done the trick on that little sow. I’ve shot much bigger pigs through the head with .357, .44 and .45 handguns and never had the slightest trouble with bullets bouncing off.

The .22LR is a joke compared to a modern SD load in 9mm, .357, .40 or .45. Will it kill? Yeah. The question is, what will the BG be doing to you while you’re waiting for him to die?
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:04 PM   #20
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And I'd like to repute that argument, but I think that she probably could empty a whole clip into an intruder. She's a pretty cool customer.
Take her to the range and have her do several pushups or jumping jacks then shoot at the target at the longest distance that she might have to use her firearm.

Then tell her to make her eyeball shot. Assuming that doesn't convince her. Let her shoot again, but right as she is getting ready to shoot. Scream really loud or use an air horn, something to startle her. But be ready to keep the gun pointed down range if she jumps and tries to turn.

Lastly. Ask her, if the .22 LR is as useful as she is thinking it is, why it isn't used by police/military all over the world as a defensive weapon. Because nothing is a cheap or easy to shoot as a .22 LR so why not use it.
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:10 PM   #21
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Good point. The OP answere is .....NO. The 22lr is a terrible primary defence round. A pencil behind the ear will kill but unless your daughter has special forces training and is able to precisely make a head shot under diress, a 22lr is gonna **** off the bad guy and could escalate his intentions. A burglary could easily escalate into a murder. Tell your daughter more people are statistically killed with a car. Either carry a proper caliber starting at a 380acp and get serious with firearm expectations or carry a can of bear mace.
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:35 PM   #22
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So if I can pump 3 or more shots into an intruder with my 22 pistol at point blank range is this as potent as one shot from a 9mm or 45?
22 LR, 40 gr LRN bullet 104 ft lbs of power per hit

380 95 gr FMJ bullet 155 ft lbs per hit.

38 spcl, 158 gr FMJ bullet 158 gr 200 ft lbs per hit

9MM 124 gr FMJ bullet 351 ft lbs per hit

45 ACP 230 gr FMJ bullet 365 ft lbs per hit

Additional hits with a 22 do not equate to a single hit from a single larger caliber bullet except for making more holes to bleed out of. Waiting for a bad guy to bleed out is not conducive to the welfare of his intended victim.

A 38 spcl with a good defensive round in it will beat the number I posted and would be the minimum I would feel comfortable with.
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Last edited by Old Grump; November 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM.
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
...She cites numerous statistics about how the 22 kills more people every year than any other round...
I want to preface this statement by first stating that I am a big-time fan of the .22lr for so many reasons and even do not categorically discount it as a SD caliber in certain circumstances (for that matter, I often carry a Bobcat 21A as a BUG mostly because I haven't picked up a .380 yet).

But I have to say that there is absolutely no empirical data available for the continued "old-wives-tale" and seemingly perpetual myth that the .22lr caliber is responsible for more (recorded) deaths than any other caliber. Again I ask (plead) for a LINK to the empirical data that speaks to such. I, and as far as I know at least up until now, no one, has been able to produce said data--it's my belief that's because it's not true.

I get where the "belief" comes from in that the .22lr is very $cheap$ in all respects from the guns to ammo and, hence, it's quite popular in the inner-cities where the crime rates are "Beirut" like sky-rocketing (no, I don't buy the Feds stats that purport otherwise anymore than I buy their "shrinking unemployment" data).

Sorry if I went off on a tangent but I would really like to see the data that proves me wrong--otherwise it's time we put the "myth" to bed, if you will.

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Old November 16, 2012, 09:51 PM   #24
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Either carry a proper caliber starting at a 380acp and get serious with firearm expectations or carry a can of bear mace.
So now pepper spray beats a 22???

Quote:
So again with the question I originally posted...would 3 or 4 shots from a 22 be as potent as 1 from a 9mm or 45?
That's been answered, but the question should be: Would a .45 or 9mm be as effective if she couldn't shoot it well because she didn't practice with it because she didn't like the recoil and her dad made her choose that over the 22 which she was awesome with?

Haven't we all been down this road recently: A woman likes a certain type of gun, but the man in her life says it's no good. A woman can shoot a gun well, but according to her father/husband/boyfriend, she'd be better off with what he believes is a better option. Where's that Cornered Cat everyone calls when these threads pop up.

Let her shoot what she wants to shoot, choose what fits her best, and shoot what she can handle best. Then buy yourselves matching guns.


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Old November 16, 2012, 10:04 PM   #25
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The big advantage of the 22 cal handgun is accuracy due to minimal recoil. Everyone's heard of the case of the South Carolina state trooper who shot a perp 6 times, 357 Magnum 158 gr hollow-point rounds, 5 hits center mass, afterwards the perp returned fire with a 22 cal NAA mousegun...hit the trooper in the heart, the trooper collapsed and died at the scene. Or how about the perp in Colorado Springs who shot 4 people in a bar and then 2 more at a convenience store with a 22 cal Ruger. All were knocked down instantly, 5 died immediately, one survived, but suffered amnesia. I can go on and on. Police tell me the shell casings they find most often at crime scenes are 22 cal.

If the young lady can shoot, with a 22 cal handgun she has a fighting chance.

For Christmas, surprise her with a Sig 238.

Women shoot the 238 really well.

Good luck.
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