View Full Version : Weapon choice is dictated by requirments

February 28, 2012, 12:46 PM
Researching S&W revolvers I came across this story. A Man attacked by a drunk and shot his attacker 7 times with his S&W 0.22 revolver. The attacker strangled him in spite of his wounds, then rode 30 miles before he died. The only modern 0.22 incident I know of is Ronald Regun was shot with a 0.22 and I'm very happy to say survived. Obviously the 0.22 should not be the weapon of choice for defense or attack. Yet S&W sold thousands upon thousands.
The object of my research was to gauge the popularity of the S&W No3. in 44 Russian by the numbers sold. In 44/45 caliber the colt is much more popular, however it seems the No3 (Break open type revolver) was sold in many calibers the most popular being S&W 38 (not 38 special) in this caliber numbers sold rivaled the Colt.
The 38 special is a more powerful modern round. Its power seems to be about where serious self defense starts (depending on who you talk to). I found myself asking why was the No3 so popular in 38 S&W. Here is my best answer. You don't (shouldn't) shoot at anything unless you want to kill it. A S&W 38 can be a small easily concealed weapon, so you don't advertise you are armed. It is way more powerful than a 0.22 or 0.32. It is lethal and can be shot accurately with little practice required. It must have been a very good compromise for a town dweller or back up gun. It's not going to stop a bear in its tracks, neither is a Colt 45, but the Colt will kill it faster.
I use a modified Taylors Knockdown to grade firearms effectiveness. One reason is the table for animals, Coyotes require 3-5. My personal opinion is you need 6 on target for a man (same as an antelope).
.22 from a rifle = 1.3 app 32 S&W(85gr,50yds) = 2.4 38 S&W = 4.9(50yds) 38 special = 5.8(50yds) colt 45 = 14app

February 28, 2012, 01:51 PM
I don't see you taking into account bullet type, construction and velocity, and in my opinion no rating system is accurate without doing so.
Can't just do a flat comparison between calibers.

February 28, 2012, 02:31 PM
Out here in rural America, I have seen 1800 pound bulls drop in their tracks from a single .22 round in the forehead. It isn't just caliber, along with what DPris said, placement helps too.

4V50 Gary
February 28, 2012, 02:56 PM
Thank you MJN77. The lesson we learned as instructors is that bullets don't work. You cannot count on any single bullet to stop an assailant. Happily, most of us will never have to go beyond academic debates on this issue. If you must defend yourself, Use more M-1 Abrams.

Doc Hoy
February 28, 2012, 05:25 PM
...where this information came from.

But some years ago I read a story about the process that the navy went through when trying to replace it's single shot fifty cal. pistol with a revolver.

In considering the .36 caliber Colt, it was noted that a combattant emptied a .36 cal. revolver into the body of an attacker and that failed to take all of the fight out of him.

Take this coment as hearsay since I cannot cite the source.

BTW, I would be happy if someone who read the same article and has the citation could provide it.

February 28, 2012, 05:44 PM
During the Crimean war (1853-1856) some British officers privatly purchased the Colt 1851 navy revolver. In combat, it was reported that sometimes the officer would empty the contents of the revolver into attacking sepoy (Indian soldier) but the sepoy would still cut the British officer down before dying. A lot of "brits" bought Colt Dragoon revolvers after a short time in combat. By the way, the British officers did NOT have the same problem with the Dragoon.:D Does this help Doc?

February 28, 2012, 06:28 PM
I wasn't trying to start a debate on stopping power Taylors formula is bullet weight(grs) x Velocity9ft/sec divided by 7000 times caliber(ins). You can adjust it for lead bullets by multiplying by 1.25, or 1.5 for expanding bullets.
Used as a comparison all the bullets used were lead(which fits the period.
Some people like to use energy to compare power, Taylor's formula may not be perfect but I think it is better.
Donald Featherstones book "The Victorian soldier" states:- British officer shoots Sepoy with at least 5 of 6 bullets, center chest hits and was cut down by the Sepoy before he died.

What I was trying to say was a little gun can often be good enough, and when you need more power it could be a good back up.

The Sepoy was according to the book crazed with Hashish so perhaps what was needed was a 455 Webley (I know it came to late). Anyone I spoke to who would admit to using it (Hash) said when under the influence they wanted to be everyone's friend.

February 28, 2012, 07:03 PM
As a Law Enforcement Officer I've shot people at longer ranges, I'm not sure 50 yards is as realistic a distance for a civilian self defense shooting. I'd be comfortable carrying a .38 Spl but haven't carried less than a .40 in years.

February 29, 2012, 05:10 PM
The only modern 0.22 incident I know of is Ronald Regun..

Bobby Kennedy was shot 3 times with a .22 and died a few hours later.

But he was certainly in no shape to fight back either way. One to the head, two entered through the armpit. The head shot was point blank behind he ear. He did talk a little bit.

February 29, 2012, 08:12 PM
Besides, in 1856, the .22 was all there was in terms of metallic cartirdges, besides the "old tech" C&B revolvers - quick to fire, reload, AND very inexpensive (comparitively, when joe worker was lucky to bring home $1/day.


March 2, 2012, 05:27 PM
You have to view the .22 and .25 as a long handled dagger and then you will understand how weakly you are armed.
I DO carry a Beretta .22 Tomcat often as it is light and fast shooting and holds 7 shots. However I don't expect it to make one shot stops, just to buy me some time to vacate the area. I use face and center mass as target spots, hoping for good effects!
I also carry a Cobra .38 Special Derringer sometimes and am always aware of the 2 shot capacity. Again, a gun to just buy time for escape,not for a prolonged gunfight.
In any case I'd much rather have my .357 Magnum Vaquero (because I am very familliar with the single action) but it's sorta bulky for daily carry...

March 4, 2012, 11:07 PM
In this 19th century scenario of a man being shot 7 times with a .22 rimfire, I believe there are other factors:

1. The cartridges were loaded with black powder. Today's smokeless powder .22 rimfires tend to have higher velocities.

2. The likely caliber was .22 Short. Between its introduction in 1857, until 1887, the standard load for the .22 Short was a 29 gr. lead roundnosed bullet over 4 (that's right, four) grains of black powder.
The .22 Long, which used a slightly longer case than the Short, and the same 29 gr. bullet, was loaded over 5 grains of black powder.
It wasn't until 1887 that the .22 Long Rifle was introduced, using the longer .22 Long case and a heavier, 40 gr. bullet. However, the .22 Long Rifle cartridge didn't receive widespread chambering in revolvers until the late 1800s. It was primarily a rifle cartridge for many years.
In 1930, Remington introduced the first high velocity cartridges in .22 Long Rifle. In fact, when introduced the new high velocity (and higher pressure) .22 Long Rifle cartridge was found to be unsafe in some current guns. Even the Colt Woodsman semi-auto pistol had to be redesigned to take the new, higher-pressure round.
Today's high-speed .22 Long Rifle cartridge is much more powerful than the .22 rimfires of the 19th century. The old .22s loaded with black powder were pretty anemic.

3. People tended to wear more clothing of heavier construction: wool, thick cotton, leather, overjackets, vests, etc. Even the most recent bullet penetration tests show that clothing can affect penetration.

4. Cartridges were not as reliable. While primary weapons were probably fired often enough for fresh ammunition to be used regularly, I suspect that hideout guns like a seven-shot .22 were probably carried for long periods with the same cartridges.
A half-hearted primer or damp powder would affect velocity (the Kerplunk Factor).

5. Much of what was recorded in the 19th century cannot be believed, particularly in the newspapers. Newspapers often filled their pages with "whoppers" to sell more papers. A competing paper would pick up the story, and embellish the tale even more to trump its competitor.
From this we get tales like Mastodon being seen by explorers in the early West, mysterious flying machines, giant apes (which became Bigfoot stories 50 years ago), lake monsters (such as Ogopogo), etc.
The most accurate soures are probably diaries and official reports, but even these contain heresay and perpetuate rumors.

Is your story real? Perhaps. It sounds plausible, but the source would have to be known. It may just be a 19th century Rural Legend.

March 4, 2012, 11:10 PM
Incidentally, did the shooter die?
You said he was strangled. Strangled always means, "killed by choking."
Or was the shooter choked and survived?
Did the story say?

March 4, 2012, 11:28 PM
During the Crimean war (1853-1856) some British officers privatly purchased the Colt 1851 navy revolver. In combat, it was reported that sometimes the officer would empty the contents of the revolver into attacking sepoy (Indian soldier) but the sepoy would still cut the British officer down before dying.

Methinks you have your wars mixed, there .....

The Crimean War was Russia vs. an Alliance which included Brittain ..... no Sepoys ..... The Sepoyswere indiginous Brittish Colonial Troops in India, who revolted in 1857-1858 .....

March 5, 2012, 01:06 AM
Any Caliber is OK if it starts with a 4

March 5, 2012, 08:01 AM
Methinks you have your wars mixed, there .....

Very possible. Not a war I have studied. Point still stands though.

March 6, 2012, 10:28 AM
The attacker strangled his man poured another drink for himself and rode off. I agree it is difficult to know how much real truth is in this story but it is not a good advert for selling 22 pistols.

March 6, 2012, 07:40 PM
For general carry, especially when it might get rainy, sweaty, or dirty I carry a Glock. Mostly I carry a Single Action of some type in .45. If someone notices my gun I really don't care.