Trends in Self Defense Part 2: The Mighty .22LR
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This is the second post in my Trends in Self Defense series. (The first one was: Trends in Self Defense, Part 1: Guns as a Force Equalizer)
In this article we’re going to reinforce the first rule of a gunfight: “Have a gun.”
While the .22lr is far from the ideal choice for self defense, it does have several things going for it.
- Cost: Guns chambered in .22lr tend to cost a good bit less than their full power counterparts. Ammo is a fraction of the cost of centerfire ammo, which allows for far more practice for someone on a tight budget
- Recoil: The recoil of a .22lr is very light, even in small pistols. This allows for people that are recoil sensitive, or have weak grips due to age or injury to get quicker follow up shots
- Availability: You can find .22lr ammo virtually anywhere ammo is sold (Edited for 2013: Well, at least you used to be able to)
- More deadly than you think: According to at least this study, .22lr has more stopping power than you think
- Reliability: While a centerfire round is always going to be more reliable than a rimfire, modern advances in rimfire technology, including better powder, have made modern rimfire ammunition nearly as reliable as centerfire. This is assuming of course that you are using a premium brand of ammo, not bulk pack.
Am I telling everyone to leave your 9mm’s and .45acp’s at the house and get a .22 pocket pistol? Absolutely not. I’ve got a Glock 22 on my hip right now and I have no plans to get my Buck Mark out of the safe today. However, for those on a budget, the recoil sensitive, or for someone with grip problems, a .22lr is better than not having a gun or having a gun that you can’t shoot worth a damn.
In all of the following stories an attack was successfully stopped with a weapon chambered in .22lr. Note that in a couple of cases the mere presence of the firearm was enough to end the incident.
- GA Woman Kills Would Be Rapist With .22 Pistol
- 11 Year Old Girl Defends Home with .22 Rifle (2010)
- 11 Year Old Texas Boy Shoots Home Invaders, Defends Mother (2010)
- PA Homeowner Shoots Intruder With a .22
- CA Homeowner Kills Masked Home Invader With a Single .22
- Chicago Homeowner Fights Off Thieves with .22 Rifle
- OK Homeowner Shoots Daytime Home Invader
- Video: 1969 MI Pizza Delivery Driver Shoots, Kills 3 Gang Members, Goes On To Invent Body Armor
- 15 Year Old GA Resident, Shoots and Kills 1 of 2 Home Invaders Using .22 Rifle
- TX Mother Used .22 To Scare Off 2 Home Invaders As She Got Her Kids Ready For School
- 62 Year Old FL Man Opens Fire With .22 Rifle On Two Shed Thieves
- ID Homeowner Shoots Naked Intruder With a .22
- 92 Year Old WW2 Vet in Kentucky Shoots and Kills 1 of 3 Burglars Using a .22 Rifle
- 68 Year Old Ohio Woman Fires 2 Shots From A .22 Derringer and Scares Off Violent Attacker
- [Video] 81 Year Old Detroit Man Fights Off Intruder With Antique .22 Revolver
- NC Homeowner Shoots Machete Wielding Intruder With Ratshot
- [Video] 72 Year Old Great-Grandmother Holds 2 Robbery Suspects at Gunpoint Until Police Arrive
- [Video] OK Business Owner Uses .22 to Shoot Late Night Burglar – 911 Audio
It should also be noted that I read through dozens of crime reports each day that involve the use of firearms. I have never come across a story where someone tried to defend themselves with a .22 caliber weapon and it didn’t stop the attack.
The bottom line: Having any gun is better than no gun, and the .22 in your pocket is better than the .45 in your nightstand.