Saturday, October 31, 2015

Interesting theory, but not one I'd bet my life on.

For self-defense, select a nine-shot, .22-caliber revolver

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Taurus products, in my experience, are a crapshoot. Some will work just fine. Others, especially their revolvers, will lock up after a few rounds and the cylinder will not turn. Then, you ship it all the way to Miami and wait. I have had this happen and know others in the same boat. Their semi-autos with tip-up barrels, on the other hand, will make it easier to clear a malfunction.
People, do not bet your life on something that may fail. For a few extra bucks, you can go on Gunbroker or Guns America and purchase a good, used S&W revolver. I own several. I bet my life on them when I was a peace officer in SoCal for thirty years. They work and their customer service/support is very good. And, even with my old, arthritis-ridden hands, I can still shoot .38 special all day long.
If recoil is an issue, then a smaller caliber is a must. But, the key to carrying any caliber or type of handgun is practice. Practice, practice, practice.

WarriorClass III said...

Nothing beats a well made 1911 in good ol' .45 ACP. Its slim build, and single stack mags are easy to conceal. But no matter what you carry, training is the most important element.

As Col. Jeff Cooper said, "Owning a gun doesn't make you ARMED, any more than owning a guitar makes you a MUSICIAN."

Unclezip said...

I suppose if everything looks like a snake, then - OK.

Anonymous said...

Expect more of this type thing. As the realization sets in that the Heller straight left and the McDonald right hook combination sets in, some will abandon outright confiscation attempts and jump to the "more moderate" position of championing small caliber arms. The purpose is to, yes, play the "moderate" and "compromise" card but also to avoid being at odds with the new level of gun control - ammunition control.

The new and improved gun control will indeed be ammunition prohibitions.

Notice that this piece recommends relegating your own self defense to among the hardest ammunition (which was once so readily available that nobody ever contemplated it being hard to get).

Not saying this is written by a anti gunner, just saying this is the new track. Watch for it, there will be much much more of it coming to a theater near you.

Anonymous said...

It seems that about 55 years ago that hit men were using a 9 shot .22 mag revolver as their weapon of choice. I think it was a cheap one that they would use one time then throw it away. I was a pre-teen back then so my memory is hazy.
Maybe somebody else can add to this.

Chiu ChunLing said...

A .22 revolver has merits for a light-weight self-defense option. If you are only ever going to have one gun, it is probably the best choice. Anyone's first gun should be a .22 simply because the low power and light recoil helps train certain good shooting habits which higher power firearms tend to degrade. The (even now) relatively inexpensive ammo also makes range time more affordable.

For experienced and confident shooters, a more powerful weapon is in order. If you have more than one handgun, a .22 shouldn't be used for your primary self-defense option anymore, it should be mainly relegated to inexpensive training. So if you intend to get a slender profile semi-auto later, a .22 revolver is not as good a first gun or trainer as a semi-automatic. Some of the mentioned weaknesses of such a weapon as a primary self-defense selection make it a better training weapon, but mostly they are only worthwhile if you are training to use a heavier semi-auto. If you are more inclined to stick with revolvers, which do have advantages, then a .22 revolver is a fine first gun.

But for anyone that is already very familiar and confident with many kinds of firearms, .22 revolvers don't have any real advantages as a primary self-defense option to offset their low power. I wouldn't use one myself, but I do see the merits.

Anonymous said...

No theory. According to the FBI, the .22LR cartridge kills more people than all other calibers. That could be because there are more .22LR firearms out there than any other kind. I've dropped a white tail deer with a single .22 round, so I believe in the killing potential in the tiny little cartridge. Aquila makes a hyper-velocity, 36 gr. .22 LR hollow point round that clocks in at over 1700 fps.

When used in a "triple tap" or head-shot scenario, the .22 LR has plenty of kill power. And with practically no recoil, second or third shots on target are easy. It may not have the knock down power of a 45 ACP, but it will kill just as dead as a 45.

MikeH. said...

Me thinks John Howell is a leftist plant... as is potentially obvious by the Phd after his name.

If a .22 were the only firearm I had access to; I would, only after great tactical deliberation, use it in such a manner as to facilitate an "upgrade" to something with a tad more get up and go. But for anyone to suggest a .22 as a primary weapon is either drug addled or, trying to create a poorly armed populace. (or both)

In the words of the only great American patriot to come out of Hollywood, Bugs Bunny; "What a moroon!!!"

MikeH.
A Geriatric Threeper

Anonymous said...

When our special ops guys need to carry out a sanctioned kill, and do it quietly, they are usually equipped with a .22 LR caliber AWC Amphibian, integrally suppressed pistol.

Anonymous said...

I would, and have.

jeffrey mcfadden said...

You bet a .22 revolver can do alot of damage. Just look at Sirhan Sirhan and his 8 shot revolver.
Look at all the damage his 12-18 shots did.

Anonymous said...

.22 magnum maybe, otherwise you may get half a dozen "lethal hits" but the person you shot won't know it for 10-15 min.

FedUp said...

What about the PMR-30?
If it's dependable enough, 30 rounds would be a lot of firepower, if not potency, and the recoil should be very manageable.

Anonymous said...

I'm told the Inuit sometimes hunt polar bears with a .22LR. The modus operandi is to get as close to the bear as you can stomach, go for a head shot, and then run like hell. Hopefully the bear will get tired before you get caught. At which point you ease up close and give the bear another. Then run like hell again. Supposedly they take bear this way. But as a former supervisor once said "Some days you eat the bear. Some days the bear eats you!"

Dakota said...

Although I advocate revolvers, especially for women who are starting out carrying, I would never recommend a 22LR, 22 magnum, 25 ACP, 32ACP ...period. The absolute smallest pistol round I would condone is the 380 ACP. Everyone can say what they want to about successful "hits" by 22 carrying hitmen it is too small to stop someone that has caused you to get your handgun out in the first place.

Most people who carry cannot react in time to actually get a shot off before they are within 6 feet and that is too damn close. And you mean to tell me at 6 feet you feel a 22 will stop someone cause you put one in the left lung at best? Both of my daughters carry 38's with the hottest ammo available and they practice with that same ammo too. Double tap, move and then double tap .....if necessary.

Y'all can do whatever you want to ....you are the one that must ultimately pay for your decisions.

CowboyDan said...

Anon 1146, weren't OSS button men supplied with hi standard .22 autos? I found one in a pawnshop once with a multi drilled barrel that I believe was to keep things quiet. I went to an ATM to get the money, and the owner was writing up a 4473 on that very gun when I got back.

I may have been gone ten whole minutes. I don't think it was any longer than that.

Anonymous said...

I'll stick with my 50 cal beowulf AR pistol ....

Anonymous said...

I am utterly amazed by the ignorance that spills forth from so many people who either mean well or are pretending to be gun experts who say a .22 is "a good choice" for a defensive weapon. Is not. It is a terrible choice. Now, in some cases, it may be your ONLY choice and if that's the case, then it's better than nothing. But let's face it, there is no argument to be made that a .22 revolver is any more reliable than a semi-auto. In my experience ANY Glock will perform as reliably as any revolver. If you cannot afford a Glock, then fine. However, if defending your life or the lives of loved ones is your primary concern, at $499 a Glock is hardly expensive and only slightly more money than "cheaper" firearms. If you are elderly or suffer from some madly that prevents you from using anything other than a .22 caliber firearm, then by all means, arm yourself with what works for you -but can we cease with the BS that a .22 is in any way a "good choice"? It's a lousy choice. It may be the only choice you have but if that's the case, I feel sorry to you.

Anonymous said...

I met a guy in church from Sudan. During the civil war he had to run with his family from his house to chad. The only weapon he had access to was a 25ACP pistol and about 50 rounds of ammo. Many people tried to either rob them or kill them and he fought them all off with that little pistol.He said he didnt know if he killed anyone but when someone gets shot all fight goes out of them and everyone else runs away.

Galaxie_Man said...

I have three .22 handguns and two .22 rifles. They are for plinking, target shooting, and small varmint control. None of them are EVER used for self-defense. Even while at the shooting event, I am armed with something significantly larger on my hip that is for defense only, not to be shot at that time.

When it comes to a defensive handgun, I say "Go Big or Go Home!" and carry the largest caliber handgun I can conceal.

Doug Rink said...

A few years back, a woman in suburban Atlanta successfully defended herself using a .22 revolver. She put nine rounds into her attacker, and the attacker still managed to retreat from the house before collapsing and dying. Ultimate outcome was good, but it may have been because all nine rounds were delivered, more or less, on target.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/police-woman-shot-intruder-9-times-in-self-defense/nFB7g/

Another downside for .22LR is ammo availability. Supply creeps back, but can still be spotty. There's no reloading .22 rimfire, so you may but out of luck if new commercial supply dries up again.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dakota, you listed 22 mag, 22 LR, 25 acp and 32. You don't know your guns, buddy. The .22 LR and .22 MAG will the 25 and the 32 to shame. I have a baby browning 25 ACP. You can 'catch' the bullets with a catchers mit. I don't know much about the 32, but I think it's in the same class as the 25...both of which are great for pissing off your adversary. But both of those .22s are killers. Saw a test once where a big piece of meat was shot with a .22LR from over 100 yards away. The penetration on the meat was scary from that distance.

Go ahead and knock the .22s at your own peril. When the shit hits the fan, you will be amazed by the kill total racked up by great stalkers armed with .22s.

Anonymous said...

I have a Ruger MK 1. I once fired 10 shots out of it fairly accurately in 1.1 seconds. You wanna go up against me with your 45?

JohninMd.(help!?!!) said...

The allusion to hitmen's success with .22's forgets that the victim is always taken by surprise, from ambush. It is, and will be, used to successfully defend from attack, even if not the best choice for the role. But it beats the snot out of harsh language.

Chiu ChunLing said...

As far as reloading goes, .22 lr requires a specialized kit because the basic principle of replacing the primer is different, and most shooters haven't found it worthwhile to reload .22 in the past because of the very small savings per round.

But it is very possible to reload .22 and it's actually not at all difficult. For survival/self-sufficiency needs, a .22 lr reloading kit is probably a very good investment (depending somewhat on your local varmint classes), and not at all expensive.

.22 lr has survived despite its inherent limitations because it also has inherent strengths, and serving as a fine first/training gun is one of them. But for self-defense carry, an experienced shooter is going to want something with a lot more power. A .22 allows an less experienced shooter to put more rounds on target in a highly-stressful situation for a number of reasons. That is not at all a bad thing. But a single hit from a .45 does about ten times as much damage as a .22 lr fired from a pistol length barrel. A .22 mostly works for self-defense if a combination of fear and pain can cause the assailant to flee, and given the innately cowardly nature of criminals it usually does. But if you need to kill an assailant, you need a very good shot, and potentially more than one.

The only reason a .45 won't work is because you're unable to place any rounds on the target at all, but that is a very real concern for novice gun-owners in a life and death situation. The inhibition against shooting at all when using such a powerful round, combined with the greater physical difficulty level, makes powerful handguns a poor self-defense option for less-experienced gun owners.

You need to pick a gun that works for you, size, weight, power, operation, they all have different solutions for different individuals in different situations. I say that as someone who goes with a shot-gun/combat knife duo under my pillow and a scoped rifle in my room (because sometimes having several completely different options is what you want). My carry option is my little secret, which people only find out by being real stupid. None of these would be a solution I'd recommend universally to everyone else as best for them, it's just what I feel works for me.

Woodcanoe said...

I have seen some 22's do some phenomenal things. When I was a kid it was legal to hunt deer in Maine with one but the law was changed to 22mag sometime in the 70's. Nevertheless I have seen quite a few deer taken by 22LR, basically requires hitting the animal in the head. I have read the story of an Indian woman who killed a grizzly in Alaska with a 22 rifle, though the normal weapon is a 12ga magnum shotgun with the most powerful shells you can buy.....and hope you NEVER have to use it!

While any gun in 22LR would NOT be my choice for a self-defense weapon, if it is all you got by all means carry it, and use it if need be. My carry gun is a 38spcl revolver. My entire family reloads so we can create some pretty potent stuff. Wad cutters and things with holes in them are great as when they hit bone they spread out and do lots more damage, just what you want. Even so I am looking to go bigger. I have heard the stories about the guy who was loaded with meth and took 14 rds of 9mil and kept coming at the cops. Takes a big piece of lead to stop a pissed off bull elephant for sure.

I grew up in the 50's and 60's when Elmer Keith wrote in the gun magazines. I was fascinated by his stories and his exploits. I became a revolver fan for life! I wanted to hunt deer with a handgun, a large revolver like Elmer did. It was in vogue to put scopes on revolvers then for that purpose. Redfield made a 2 3/4x pistol scope they called the "Widefield" as you could easily pick up your target through it. All this of course has little to do with self defense but serves to point out that a revolver is a much simpler and more reliable weapon if you want to throw large pieces of lead. A Desert Eagle is NOT my choice of carry gun! A guy can buy a pretty good revolver in 44 special that is not too big. 44 special can by hopped up to perform real well. That is what Elmer Keith was working with when they came up with the 44 mag. Suited the "Son of Sam" in NYC pretty well!

Personally I very strongly believe that anybody who carries a gun for self defense should carry whatever it is for a weapon that he/she likes and feels good about. For most women, including my wife, I advocate for a small revolver in 38 special. This can carry a pretty hotly loaded round if desired and is very practical, after all it was the police choice for many decades in this country. A revolver (good name like S&W) is dead reliable. For a woman a double action revolver is simply point and shoot, no cocking needed. In a panic situation, the least one has to think about the better.

One of my sons carries a Kimber in 45acp. I think this is an excellent choice for semi-auto though it is heavier than I want to carry.

I have a little 22 revolver that I can carry in a pocket when I am working in hot weather in a tee shirt and a bigger gun is harder to conceal and less comfortable. It is not my favorite choice but way better than nothing.

If new to carrying, ask people you know what they carry and why, read all the info you can get, try different guns to see if they are comfortable or not, then make up YOUR own mind and stick with what you feel good about...and stop reading what others are telling you that you SHOULD be carrying. America is a great country, created by strong individuals. What you should carry is a decision you have to make for yourself ultimately....and that is the way it should be.

WC

Robin said...

I'm getting along in years and find anything above a .25 is painful. I've given it a lot of thought and figure if I have to defend myself, I'll use a .22 Ruger and shoot at faces, a lot. Lots of bullets equals lots of ducking, or hits, whatever works.

Jonathan H said...

I agree that 22 is better than nothing - but you better have plenty of shots available and be ready to run away while shooting!
I wonder if supporters of big government are going to push small, less effective, calibers since they see them as less of a threat to the government? They are easily stopped by vehicles, cover becomes concealment, and body armor laughs at them. In Thailand, the only semi auto rifles civilians can currently buy are 22 LR - the government is concerned about heavier weapons in the hands of civilians in the ongoing unrest there.

Sedition said...

While I still hold the opinion that ANY firearm is better than no firearm at all for self defense, there's no way in hell I would trust my family's life with a .22 as a defensive weapon other than for its use as suppression fire while I bring the big-bores to bear.
Life's too short to rely solely on a mouse gun for protection.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11:10 -
How predictable that some pea-shooter advocate would turn this into some kind of pissing contest. Did someone hurt your feelings? Can a .22 kill a person? Sure it can! So can rocks and hammers! As a matter of fact, I would bet a good 23oz framing hammer is FAR more deadly than your .22. Do you think its a "good choice" for a defensive weapon? Maybe if nothing else is available? Just because a weapon "can" kill doesn't mean it's the best choice. If .22 was considered to be effective, it would be carried by LEO and military. It is not and the reason is that anyone with sense understands that a larger, more powerful round is more effective at stopping your enemy. Go ahead and rely on your .22. It is better than nothing, but it is not better than 9mm +p JHP of .45 ACP JHP. And if you think it is, then go ahead and try your luck with someone who shoots just as well as you do, if not better, who has thirteen rounds of 235g projectiles to throw at you and knows how to place them. I certainly can. You are a fool to invite that kind of a contest. You will lose and probably be dead before the second round slams into your face.

Deadmeat99 said...

That post is so full of fail it's hard to pick a point to begin. That he ends it with "I personally have a Taurus" is a great punchline.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:02
A lot of cops and military carried other than max taxe down handguns.(and some still do) 22lr,25,32 and .38 were all quite common in the past Today everyone seems to want overkill. Large calibers are more effective at killing instantly but not necessarily necessary. Then there is a large crowd of people out there who morally object to killing someone yet still want to defend themselves.

Ed said...

I used to recommend that people considering a particular pistol caliber read Greg Ellifritz’s study “An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power”:

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alternate-look-handgun-stopping-power

The blog “Shooting the Bull” had a different view on Greg Ellifritz’s study – “An Alternate Look at “An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power””:

http://shootingthebull.net/blog/an-alternative-look-at-an-alternate-look-at-handgun-stopping-power/

So, what is right?

Remember that the first rule is “Have a gun”. The second rule could be “If possible, have a back up gun”.

.22LR in either gun? Not my first choice, but if that is the only option, see the first rule above.

Anonymous said...

who can even FIND .22 in reliable supply anymore? It's essentially become a bastard caliber because it's being hoarded and resold on auction sites for 3x the retail price by neckbeards who troll walmart sporting goods aisles like a pedophile stalking a kiddie-pool.

I have over 20 firearms in .22 caliber that have essentially been rendered useless clubs for everyday shooting because I will not continue using up my existing supply of ammo with no way of replacing it.

I shoot exclusively centerfire now, and reload several calibers.

9mm is the new .22lr now

Anonymous said...

Anonous at 1:45 -

Bullshit!

Anonymous said...

Not my first choice, but better than unarmed. I have a Taurus 941UL .22 Magnum. I've seen what a .22 Magnum RIFLE will do to flesh for nearly 40 years now, its impressive. Catching a few of those would definitely have me thinking a change of location would be an excellent idea.

White Bear said...

I don't know what Mr. Howell's PHD is in, but I'm betting it's not in physics or ballistic science. Will a .22 kill you? Hell yes, if it hits the right spot. Will it quickly incapacitate an attacker? Maybe if you're proficient enough to put it in the brain. Otherwise, not so much.

I spent my career as a cop and saw a lot of shootings. Yes, I've seen fatalities from being hit with a .22, but rarely were they efficient quick stops.

That said, a .22 is a hell of a lot better than no gun at all, so I'd never discourage someone from carrying one. If you're worried about size and weight though, there are other revolvers, the Ruger LCR for example, that are the same size and weight and pack a much more effective caliber.

One man's opinion...