Trends in Self Defense Part 2: The Mighty .22LR

January 21 2012
by GSL Staff
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Stock Gun Photo -  22LR_cartridge_0625This 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.

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.

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