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  1. #1
    mantaray is offline Junior Member
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    Would a 22 revolver be a good carry weapon?

    After more research, I've come to the conclusion that for carry purposes, I'd be better off with a revolver (simple, reliable, withstands abuse etc.) And I've also come to the conclusion that I don't want to spend a fortune on the pistol or the ammo - hence an older, quality, name-brand revolver. Short barrel, small etc.

    I would want to be able to enjoy the gun for general shooting purposes (targets at the range), and since it's so small, I'm guessing that a .22 would be the most comfortable for practice, plus it would be cheap enough to shoot that I wouldn't have to break the bank by putting 100 or more rounds through it in a session.

    In all my reading on this and other forums, everyone states that I should be looking at a .357 or a 9mm for self defense purposes. But in reality, would a .22 really be incapable of making an attacker think twice? I mean, having a .22 caliber bullet bury itself into your stomach would hurt. Same for being hit anywhere on your person. For the typical situations I might have the misfortune to encounter - home invasion, street robbery etc. - I'm having a hard time understanding how a .22 wouldn't be effective enough. Sure, a larger caliber and a more powerful weapon would be better, but is a larger caliber and more powerful ammunition simply overkill?

    In other words, is there anyone here who has actual experience of being shot with a .22 or shooting someone with a .22? That's gotta hurt!

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  3. #2
    Arkangel's Avatar
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    I have a friend in Little rock that got shot 8 times with a 22 and he went on to take down the guy who shot him. He now works for a private protection agency.

    So yes, I have seen it. You are wrong. In a perfect world the perp would have shot him 8 times in the head. We don't live in a perfect world.

    Now as to your question, shooting someone in the stomach with a 22 might hurt as you say but it won't stop them. They will walk away or kill you and then bleed out days later. You want a round big enough to stop them. YOu want a round that kills their brain if you hit them in the head. If you hit them in the torso you want a round that causes so much damage that it short circuits the functions of the body and makes them bleed out quick. You want to knock them down thus big rounds.

    If you can't understand that then go for what you know.

  4. #3
    dannyb is offline Junior Member
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    I think that you should do more research. One of the problems with confronting a criminal is that he may be drugged up, but he most certainly is pumping adrenalin. One of the effects of this is that he/she is less likely to even notice pain until after the event is over. That's the "stopping power" argument in a nut shell. It's not the pain, it's the ability to do sufficient damage with a better than marginal hit to stop the attack. A .22 is not likely to produce such damage.

    Most of the books and articles that I have read put the .38/9mm class as the minimum in stopping power. The range of those is from the .380 ACP (also known as the 9mm short and probably a bare minimum at best) and .38 special (which lends itself to snub nose revolvers) to the .357 magnum with 9mm and .38 +P in between.

    Please do more research.

  5. #4
    mantaray is offline Junior Member
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    I'm not convinced. Sure, there's a guy who got shot 8 times and them beat the perp up. But for every one of those (thankfully rare) situations, there's got to be 10 situations where the simple fact that you produce a gun in response to an iminent threat was enough to send the perp running, and there's got to be 10 situations where the simple fact that you shot at the perp was enough to scare him off. And there's also got to be 10 situations where the simple shock of being shot was enough to end the confrontation on the perp's part.

    I can't cover every situation with a handgun. I'm just trying to weight up the benefits of either having a small, reliable, convenient and discrete .22 that'll always be in my briefcase/desk/ankle holster, compared to a 9mm that's expensive to properly maintain my skills on, relatively bulky and hard to carry to the extent that I rarely carry. After all, the first rule of gunfighting is to bring a gun...

    I don't know. Just trying to play devil's advocate and figure out whether or not the ".22 is too small" rule is based on fact or based upon some macho, unscientific idea that's been passed on from owner to owner to owner without anyone bothering to challenge the concept and really think about it.

    I appreciate the input - I'm still not convinced and I'd like to hear the thoughts of other people too.

    Ideally, I guess I'd like to own two guns - a larger gun for occasional shooting and first line of defense, and a little .22 revolver as a backup, deep concealment, no-excuses 100% carry handgun.

    Thanks, and seriously, I don't intend to insult anyone or anything like that - I'm very interested in your advice and I'm open minded as far as what kind of gun to get is concerned.

  6. #5
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantaray View Post
    I'm not convinced. Sure, there's a guy who got shot 8 times and them beat the perp up. But for every one of those (thankfully rare) situations, there's got to be 10 situations where the simple fact that you produce a gun in response to an iminent threat was enough to send the perp running, and there's got to be 10 situations where the simple fact that you shot at the perp was enough to scare him off. And there's also got to be 10 situations where the simple shock of being shot was enough to end the confrontation on the perp's part.
    As you say later in your post, certainly a .22 is better than nothing, but I would not be one to carry it. There doesn't "got" to be any situations where a .22 has been successful, although I'm sure there are (but probably not many). As mentioned by the others who responded, most confrontations involve a perp who is drugged, and certainly is being aggressive (or else there would be no need to use the gun), therefore the adrenaline is "pumping." Although a very well-placed shot with a .22 could do significant damage to stop a threat, the odds of placing that shot in a location where this would occur are much slimmer with a .22 versus say a .380, 9mm or larger. The reason that you are carrying the pistol in the first place is that you are prepared to draw and use it if there is an immediate threat. At that point in time, I wouldn't be relying on the fact that the mere "presentation" of the firearm is enough to diffuse the situation. In the majority of cases, the firearm would be drawn to be fired at the perp, and (hopefully) immediately put an end the threat.

    I can't cover every situation with a handgun. I'm just trying to weight up the benefits of either having a small, reliable, convenient and discrete .22 that'll always be in my briefcase/desk/ankle holster, compared to a 9mm that's expensive to properly maintain my skills on, relatively bulky and hard to carry to the extent that I rarely carry.
    There are larger caliber autos and revolvers that are only slightly larger in physical size than even the snub-nose .22 revolvers (which would also make the .22 round even less effective with that short of a barrel). You could very easily always carry a P3AT or LCP, or a 38+p revolver. Some of these firearms are rather cheap, leaving enough cash to be able to train yourself to be effective enough with them in a defensive scenario. Personally, I would rather have some 4-shot 9mm than a 10-shot 22lr.

    I don't know. Just trying to play devil's advocate and figure out whether or not the ".22 is too small" rule is based on fact or based upon some macho, unscientific idea that's been passed on from owner to owner to owner without anyone bothering to challenge the concept and really think about it.
    I'm sure somebody here knows of tests that have been conducted, I just don't know of them. It's not only the fact of the actual size of the .22, but also whether it could penetrate deep enough into the body (that's if it makes it through exterior layers such as a coat/jacket, etc.). If it makes it that far, it would have to hit some vital organs to stop the threat. No matter how much you practice, shot placement becomes even harder under times of stress. With a .22, your allowed margin of error is much smaller.

    Ideally, I guess I'd like to own two guns - a larger gun for occasional shooting and first line of defense, and a little .22 revolver as a backup, deep concealment, no-excuses 100% carry handgun.
    As I mentioned above, there are larger caliber guns that could easily be classified as a "no-excuses 100% carry handgun."

    Honestly, if you want to carry a .22, than by all means go for it. I would personally never do it. As I mentioned above, the gun is carried in anticipation that if it were to be drawn, it would be fired in defense of an immediate, and serious, threat. There have been cases where larger caliber guns have been used on drugged attackers with no immediate affect, and I wouldn't want to be one with an even slimmer chance that my gun would be effective.

    Just my .02

    -Jeff-
    Last edited by BeefyBeefo; 10-29-2008 at 10:03 PM.

  7. #6
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    .22 is not a reliable defense round, period. The short answer is: Even assuming sufficient penetration (which is very doubtful), it does not create a large enough permanent cavity to provide for rapid enough blood loss to reliably incapacitate the perp. This is why not very many (any?) LE agencies rely on the .22 caliber. Understand that the FBI has studied many thousands of shootings as well as conducting extensive ballistics tests.

    For the long answer, read the FBI report "Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness". It is actually a very interesting read. Here's a link to a PDF file of the report:

    www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

    or you can find the report online at: http://www.gunthorp.com/wounding_factors.htm

    But to save a little time, here is the conclusion:

    Physiologically, no caliber or bullet is certain to incapacitate any individual unless the brain is hit. Psychologically, some individuals can be incapacitated by minor or small caliber wounds. Those individuals who are stimulated by fear, adrenaline, drugs, alcohol, and/or sheer will and survival determination may not be incapacitated even if mortally wounded.

    The will to survive and to fight despite horrific damage to the body is commonplace on the battlefield, and on the street. Barring a hit to the brain, the only way to force incapacitation is to cause sufficient blood loss that the subject can no longer function, and that takes time. Even if the heart is instantly destroyed, there is sufficient oxygen in the brain to support full and complete voluntary action for 10-15 seconds.

    Kinetic energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed "shock" of bullet impact is a fable and "knock down" power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding. Penetration less than 12 inches is too little, and, in the words of two of the participants in the 1987 Wound Ballistics Workshop, "too little penetration will get you killed." Given desirable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of hole made by the bullet. Any bullet which will not penetrate through vital organs from less than optimal angles is not acceptable. Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet.


    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Wyatt; 10-30-2008 at 12:38 AM.

  8. #7
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeefyBeefo
    I'm sure somebody here knows of tests that have been conducted, I just don't know of them.
    ^^^^And there you have it. Wyatt has just confirmed my belief.

    -Jeff-

  9. #8
    Arkangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantaray View Post
    I'm not convinced. Sure, there's a guy who got shot 8 times and them beat the perp up. But for every one of those (thankfully rare) situations, there's got to be 10 situations where the simple fact that you produce a gun in response to an iminent threat was enough to send the perp running, and there's got to be 10 situations where the simple fact that you shot at the perp was enough to scare him off. And there's also got to be 10 situations where the simple shock of being shot was enough to end the confrontation on the perp's part.

    I can't cover every situation with a handgun. I'm just trying to weight up the benefits of either having a small, reliable, convenient and discrete .22 that'll always be in my briefcase/desk/ankle holster, compared to a 9mm that's expensive to properly maintain my skills on, relatively bulky and hard to carry to the extent that I rarely carry. After all, the first rule of gunfighting is to bring a gun...

    I don't know. Just trying to play devil's advocate and figure out whether or not the ".22 is too small" rule is based on fact or based upon some macho, unscientific idea that's been passed on from owner to owner to owner without anyone bothering to challenge the concept and really think about it.

    I appreciate the input - I'm still not convinced and I'd like to hear the thoughts of other people too.

    Ideally, I guess I'd like to own two guns - a larger gun for occasional shooting and first line of defense, and a little .22 revolver as a backup, deep concealment, no-excuses 100% carry handgun.

    Thanks, and seriously, I don't intend to insult anyone or anything like that - I'm very interested in your advice and I'm open minded as far as what kind of gun to get is concerned.
    Like I said, follow your own bliss.

  10. #9
    Todd is offline Banned
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    No way I'd carry a .22 for defense. Period. To me, that's a range gun and nothing more. I'd say all the other guys offered some very sound advice and reasons as why not to carry a .22 as your primary gun and you should take it to heart. But, if you're not convinced, oh well, we tried.

  11. #10
    mantaray is offline Junior Member
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    Actually, I'm kinda convinced now to see if I could get a slightly larger caliber revolver - probably a .357. But from the FBI report, I get the following:

    - we're all very likely to miss our targets completely in the first place
    - if we hit, no matter what size bullet, it's kinda unlikely that it'll instantly incapacitate no matter what and the bad guy will still have a while to stab us all to death before dropping (if he drops at all)
    - a larger bullet is better than a small bullet in terms of damage, but a larger bullet still doesn't do a whole lot if you don't hit the major blood vessels/heart or the upper spine/brain
    - most people are predisposed to "falling down" when shot because they think that's what they should do, regardless of the severity or insignificance of their injuries

    I thought the report was saying "look guys, a bigger and faster bullet will give you a better chance of hitting the proper parts of the body, but there's so many other factors to consider that the choice of caliber really doesn't matter - but go large anyway." In other words, the report was saying (for example) that you maximize your chances of instantly incapacitating someone with a larger bullet, but it's by no means certain.

    I think I'll look at larger caliber revolvers though - something like a tiny .357. But would this kick too much for enjoying at the range?

  12. #11
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    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    Buy a 38SP in a silimar configuration to your 22 revolver... Practice with the 22, and carry the 38SP...

    JW

  13. #12
    Arkangel's Avatar
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    I think you need to do some soul searching about whether or not you actually want to carry a weapon. If you have indecisions about what you are carrying it could cause a hesitation then someone could take it away from you and use it on you.

    One other thing, carrying a gun and using a gun in an altercation does not mean you are going to win. It just means that you have exhausted all other possibilities and you are very sure you are going to die if you don't do something. That means the gun is just a very good tool you use to stay alive. After the gun is empty you are going to pick up another tool like a stick, a rock, or whatever. You have to have that mentality so if you don't don't carry.

  14. #13
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    I would just as soon use a cap gun as 22 for defense. They make noise and are just as apt to scare a BG off as the 22. Also they don't hurt as much if I am pointing at my foot when I pull the trigger.

  15. #14
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Mantaray,

    Actually, some of the conclusions you draw from the report are true, but the point is exactly what is said around here all the time:

    SHOT PLACEMENT IS KING!! And that means training.

    So, the conclusion is to arm yourself with a premium hollowpoint in a sufficient caliber and then devote time to training and practice.

    In regard to .357 snubbie, most guys would not consider them fun to shoot at the range. They do kick pretty hard when firing that caliber. But fill it with .38 +P and it doesn't kick nearly so much, and with regular .38's they are usually quite manageable. It also depends if you get one of the lightweight models are not. Practice with .38's and shoot enough .357's or .38+P's each trip to keep acclimated to that caliber, and then carry the gun with confidence.

  16. #15
    Fred40 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantaray View Post


    I think I'll look at larger caliber revolvers though - something like a tiny .357. But would this kick too much for enjoying at the range?

    Short answer ...yes.

    A snub nose .357 will get the job done a LOT better than a .22 but...
    1) It will suck to shoot at the range.
    2) Definitely cost more to shoot (but I doubt you'd have to worry about that because of #1)
    3) You probably wouldn't be able to hit your target at more than 15ft reliably.

    Why not just find yourself a nice little reliable 9mm?
    1) Fun to shoot and relatively inexpensive
    2) Comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes for easy concealing
    3) Modern defense ammunition in 9mm has shown itself worthy of the task.
    4) You can find some relatively cheap in used condition

  17. #16
    mantaray is offline Junior Member
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    I agree that shot placement is king. That's why I was leaning towards a .22, because that's the caliber pistol I could afford to spend money on learning to shoot accurately. I'm not sure the Mrs. will be too happy to see me spending a huge amount of money on ammo, and that would mean less range time, less shots, and less accuracy.

    On a somewhat limited income (as many of us are these days), which would be better? A .22 that I was very comfortable and confident with, or a 9mm that I didn't have much experience with?

    That's kind of what I'm trying to work through in my head, and I appreciate all the input here - it does help guide me in the right direction.

    Thanks again.

  18. #17
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred40 View Post
    Why not just find yourself a nice little reliable 9mm?
    1) Fun to shoot and relatively inexpensive
    2) Comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes for easy concealing
    3) Modern defense ammunition in 9mm has shown itself worthy of the task.
    4) You can find some relatively cheap in used condition
    +1

    As far as the "defense calibers" are concerned, 9mm is the cheapest.


    Quote Originally Posted by mantaray
    I agree that shot placement is king. That's why I was leaning towards a .22, because that's the caliber pistol I could afford to spend money on learning to shoot accurately. I'm not sure the Mrs. will be too happy to see me spending a huge amount of money on ammo, and that would mean less range time, less shots, and less accuracy.

    On a somewhat limited income (as many of us are these days), which would be better? A .22 that I was very comfortable and confident with, or a 9mm that I didn't have much experience with?

    That's kind of what I'm trying to work through in my head, and I appreciate all the input here - it does help guide me in the right direction.

    Thanks again.
    My first question would be, what type of limited experience are you talking here? How much money do you think you could spend on ammo every month?

    In my opinion, with a 9mm, if you could spend atleast $20 a month on ammo, then you could have enough practice to be efficient enough with the weapon. That would equate to 100 rounds per month in ammunition (9mm).

    -Jeff-

  19. #18
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Well, since you're original post pretty much limited the function to CCW, if it was me I would get the 9mm and then not carry it until I was sufficiently proficient and confident with it. Financially it would take longer, yes. But that's what I would do.

    We are not talking about thousands of dollars in extra ammo cost. You can gain much in terms of trigger control, presentation, acquiring sight picture etc. through dry fire practice and if you practice smartly, you can maximize the benefit/progress (and minimize the cost) of your range time.

  20. #19
    unpecador's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantaray View Post
    On a somewhat limited income (as many of us are these days), which would be better? A .22 that I was very comfortable and confident with, or a 9mm that I didn't have much experience with?
    I would buy a 9mm.

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantaray View Post
    ... I'm having a hard time understanding how a .22 wouldn't be effective enough.
    I haven't personally been shot with a .22, but, I do know of one incident where, before being a reformed gang member, this man was confronted by the owner of a bar with a .22. He was asked what he did and he said he took the gun away from the owner. When asked if he was scared of getting shot, he said:

    "Nope, I knew the gun was a .22. I'm 6'4" and 240 lbs. I knew I could take 2 or 3 hits from that thing with no problem. If he hadn't of given it to me, I would've taken it and bit** slapped him."

    Cured me from any silly thoughts of a carry .22. Just my .02.

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