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Old December 11, 2005, 07:06 PM   #1
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.22 MAG for carry?

What do you all think of the .22 MAG as a personal protection caliber? I'm thinking of a revolver for my main carry weapon when my CHL arrives, and am looking for something small and easy to carry and conceal.

My main concern is that "small" means a barrel so short that most of the extra power of the magnum load would be lost.

So, I have two questions:

1. Is the .22 MAG a good choice for self-defense?
2. If you think the answer to #1 is "yes", what is a good gun to choose? I'm thinking revolver, but if you would recommend a semi-auto, I'm open to that, too.

Thanks all,
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Old December 11, 2005, 08:01 PM   #2
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A .22 Mag would not be a good choice for defense at all. It would serve to annoy the bad guy and only allow him to shoot you faster. The .22 just is not big enough to cause the damage that larger rounds can. I would certainly not use it for self-defense...9mm or bigger is the way to go.
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Old December 11, 2005, 08:04 PM   #3
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this man says 22 is not enough for personal protection? why have many a people lost their life to this "lowly" cartridge? thats just 22lr in my opinion 22mag would lay a hurtin on somebody if not kill em. that said i think that there is better calibers for it but thats not to say that 22 mag wouldnt do the job.
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Old December 11, 2005, 08:24 PM   #4
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It's been said in many, many other places than here, but it bears repeating.

The first rule of gunfighting is "have a gun".

Additionally, a .22 Magnum that you'll actually carry beats the pants off of a .45 that you leave at home.
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Old December 11, 2005, 08:36 PM   #5
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for others reading the thread

I showed this to ArcherandShooter in person, since he's sitting across the living room from me. But for the rest of you, here is the relevant data:

In these tests, the .22 does just fine. Counter-intuitive? Yes, but a .40 did very little more in the water jugs than the .22.

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Old December 11, 2005, 09:15 PM   #6
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Although it's a small caliber meaning it possibly will do less damage it can be shot accurately giving you a better chance of putting the bullet exactly where you want ot go. One negative about it is the fact that it's a rimfire cartridge which doesn't have the same ignition reliability as a centerfire cartridge.
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Old December 11, 2005, 10:26 PM   #7
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There are better alternatives, but I wouldn't hesitate to carry one in the summer when I'd refuse to wear heavy clothes to conceal a bigger gun.

The mag with a good bullet inflicts some pretty nasty (but usually shallow) wounds.

It's a belly gun fo' so'. Aim for the face, close.

I'd definately use a revolver for this task (for ignition issues stated above.)
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Old December 11, 2005, 10:46 PM   #8
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The .22 mag is a better choice than nothing, but as far as comparing it to other rounds it is a poor choice.

The fact that there are many people killed with the .22 (either LR or mag) is misleading. What should be looked at is not just that they died, but how long it took them to do so after being shot. An injured person is still capable of fighting. The point here is not just to end the fight, but to do so as quickly as possible. This is why larger claibers are desireable. They tend to end fights more quickly. There is no guarantee this will happen, but it does turn the odds more in your favor. Bigger holes tend to bleed more.

You would be better served with a good .38 or, at least a .380.
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Old December 11, 2005, 10:55 PM   #9
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I used to carry a NAA Mini revolver in .22LR as my deep cover backup weapon, and eventually upgraded to a Walther TPH in .22LR when I retired. Would trust either weapon to get me out of anything I couldn't avoid.

Nowadays I carry a Kel-Tec P-32 -- actually smaller than the TPH, with a considerably more potent cartridge. Would recommend you look seriously at a P-32 or P3AT from Kel-Tec.

FWIW, the mini in .22LR was fairly easy to shoot accurately, but the .22 Mag has considerably more recoil, and is difficult to shoot accurately at anything beyond arm-reach distances.
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Old December 12, 2005, 10:51 AM   #10
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I have no problem with using a 22WMR for a carry gun. I certainly wouldn't want to get shot by a 22 mag handgun. You might be surprised with the penetration and damage inflicted by the 22 mag round. Smith has the 351PD which is a nice little 7-shot revolver. Gunblast has a review of the NAA mini-revolvers. Read other reviews, all pretty much say the guns are fairly accurate for the size, but are difficult to shoot due to recoil and the size of the grips. Hence, I never bought one, but I keep looking for some odd reason.

I like the 442/642 (38spl+P) Smiths a lot. A little more power and perhaps more reliable from a misfire perspective. But with a revolver, you can always just pull the trigger again if you have a misfire. Other than just liking revolvers, this is the main reason I choose the small revolvers.
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Old December 12, 2005, 09:12 PM   #11
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No one wants to get shot... period! If the .22 is what you feel comfortable with, than as has been said, a hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .45! Would I personally carry a .22 mag? Nope. I can handle my 9mm and a .45 just fine and either of those is what I would carry.

Think about what you feel is acceptable and comfortable for you and go with it. THAT is the only thing that matters! And no matter what caliber you choose, as long as you can hit the CV triangle reliably, your chances of going home are pretty damn good.
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Old December 12, 2005, 09:55 PM   #12
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I have read all the replies and there is some good info. However, we need to realize that there is a BIG difference between KILLING someone than STOPPING someone with a handgun. We all know that handguns lack true stopping power. Knowing that, why would anyone carry a small caliber just for convenience? There are too many choices out there to just settle for a 22 mag. But, if all you have is a 22 mag or that's the only gun you can shoot well, then by all means carry it. If you can find and carry a service caliber gun then do so. 9mm/38spl +p or bigger is prefered. Good luck.

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Old December 12, 2005, 11:23 PM   #13
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A .22 Magnum out of something like a four inch barrel is nothing to sneeze at. I'm always surprised when I fire my Colt Frontier Scout in .22 WMR. I just expect it to be "a .22 LR" but it certainly is not!

My biggest problem with it would be that it is a rimfire. I don't have any hard numbers but I bet I have 10x more misfires/duds/whatever with rimfire than I do with centerfire. If you are constantly buying new 500 round bricks, you know what I mean. Every now and then, one just doesn't go off. At least with a revolver you can pull the trigger again and try the next one!

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Old December 13, 2005, 02:04 AM   #14
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Don't sell a .22 mag with good ammo short by any means. Is it the best choice for personal defense? No, of course not. Is it reasonably effective for that purpose? I would argue that it definitely is. Choice of a personal defense weapon is always a series of trade offs. Smaller caliber normally means a smaller, more easily concealable weapon, but less stopping power; conversely, a larger caliber is more effective, but usually more difficult to conceal or, if it's packaged in a very small handgun, more difficult to shoot accurately. Choose your weapon based on its circumstances of use. For a "house" gun, I would never choose a .22 mag because a larger, more powerful handgun is just as easy to keep handy. For concealed carry, I will sometimes carry an NAA Black Widow because that's all I can hide easily.
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Old December 13, 2005, 08:53 AM   #15
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A .22 Mag would not be a good choice for defense at all. It would serve to annoy the bad guy and only allow him to shoot you faster. The .22 just is not big enough to cause the damage that larger rounds can. I would certainly not use it for self-defense...9mm or bigger is the way to go.
What a load of brown smelly stuff this poster was talking! .22 LR is reknown for being damaging and penetrative - it was the calibre of choice for Mossad hit teams against Black September, etc. .22 Magnum would be better still.

When you get to it, putting the bullet in the right place is what matters - not what size it is.

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Old December 13, 2005, 09:13 AM   #16
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A 22mag is ok if you know what your doing and know how to place your shot.
(a 22 through a tear duct is better than a 45 in the arm, Jeff Cooper).

I sometime carry a S&W 650, 3 inch barrel for deep cover. We all know that shot placement is paramount. Put a 22mag round in the right place and you're ok.

That being said, be sure you know what you're doing and have the training to keep your calm while you make the shot.
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Old December 13, 2005, 09:47 AM   #17
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Here Archer&shooter check this one out.

I don't know of any semiautos out there in .22 mag, Also and I know a few guys have them, I would not recommend the tiny NAA revolvers in .22 magnum. They are a pain to hold on to when you shoot them, and you definately need the extended grip. Don't listen to these ".22 is a useless round" people. I challenge any one of them to shoot themselves with a .22 and report back to this website uninjuried because the bullet bounced off their skin. I'm assuming you will lose some power coming out of a short barrel with .22 magnum , however at close range I don't think it matters much. The big disadvantage to the .22 mag is the recoil is a lot heavier than a .22LR, its not too bad (the revolver above will probably kick a little less than a .38 snubby), but you will lose that almost zero recoil accuracy you get with .22LR. I'm guesstimating recoil however I never shot anything other that the NAA revolver and rifles in .22 magnum.
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Old December 13, 2005, 09:58 AM   #18
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I'd like to see what the velocity numbers are for hot .22mag out of a 2" barrel, like the 351PD.

Everyone seems to forget that 5.56 is also .22 caliber, just moving quite a bit faster, and .22mag isn't a heeled bullet meaning you can actually get jacketed or *gasp* hollowpoints to increase effectiveness.

Plus, get close enough and you might set their clothes on fire
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Old December 14, 2005, 02:19 PM   #19
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What are the 22 mag choices?

1. J frames or Taurus analogs - well, if you carry one of these - why not a 38 SPL or even the 32 HR mag. The gun price is equivalent. So to buy a new 22 mag J for carry isn't sensible unless you have some physical problem like arthritis in the hands.

2. The NAA minis - if it is a deep bug - then it makes sense.

While as in the other 22 thread running - the gun has much utility but if you can do better, why not?
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Old December 14, 2005, 02:25 PM   #20
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.22 mag.

I would personally feel safer with a .22mag. as opposed to a .25 auto or .32 (excluding .32 mag. I havent checked them out yet) but if I had to go below a .380 I would probably go with a .22mag. w/a light hollow point.
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Old December 14, 2005, 02:52 PM   #21
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Re .22 mag for defense

See the attached link for some information on the .22magnun round.
Most people advise that the .380 is the minimum for self defense. I would add that the gun needs to be comfortable in your hand and you need to be accurate with whatever caliber you choose. Shot placement is critical.
Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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Old December 14, 2005, 08:00 PM   #22
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.22 mag

A LOT of people carry those super small NAA .22 mag SA revolvers in their pockets. It is better than a rock!
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Old December 14, 2005, 08:24 PM   #23
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I think the 22 mag would be great in a rifle. Handgun ballistics leave a lot to be desired.
The muzzle blast from these shells in a handgun would cause a lot of damage to you. It's far worse than some larger calibers. The only real advantage of the 22 mag would be in countries where centerfire handgun ammo is restricted, times when you need to carry a LOT of extra ammo for your pistol, or you need an eight shot Taurus compact revolver with a 3 or 4 " bbl.
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Old December 14, 2005, 11:00 PM   #24
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Another vote for ... .22 mag is certainly sufficient for concealed carry. More is always better, but it would be enough.

Some nice .32 and .380 option out there too, though!
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Old December 15, 2005, 12:25 PM   #25
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I have other guns that I carry when I have the opportunity, but none of them go everywhere with me except my NAA .22 Mag.
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