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Old 08-29-2010, 09:48 PM
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Exclamation .22 caliber revolver for self defense

Dear Smith and Wesson Fourm i have a hypothetical question would a Smith and Wesson .22 caliber revolver be a good weapon for self defense? any and all help would be greatly appreciated sincerely and respectfully mg357 a proud member of the Smith and Wesson Forum
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:50 PM
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It is better than nothing but that is about all. I suspect that few, if any, on this forum would choose it deliberately when .38 Special on up is available.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:01 PM
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It's better than tossing a rock at somebody. The up side is you can fire a volley of shots in a hurry and keep them on target due to the lack of recoil. The guy that shot his family in a land dispute the other day used a .22 target pistol to kill 2 and wound 4 before the cops shot him, so it can do the job. If that's all you can carry due to size/weight limits with your attire, then it's fine, but if you can carry something a little bigger, then I'd recommend it.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:08 PM
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A .22 is definitely sub-optimal, but one could argue that about any handgun caliber. I often carry a NAA Black Widow in .22 Magnum in my pocket, but I sincerely hope that if I ever run into someone who intends to do me grievous harm I have something more potent at hand.

Rimfire ammo isn't as reliable as centerfire, so I'd definitely go with a revolver, and I'd want as many shots as possible. Given that, I'd vote for a 10-shot Model 617. If I wanted to carry concealed, I'd grab one of the 8-shot 3" Model 63s when they finally appear.

Would either be *good*? No. But, as others have said, either would be better than nothing at all.

EDIT: I just realized you said .22 *caliber*; if you include magnums in the equation I'd change my vote to the 351PD. A .22 WMR fired from a short barrel is *loud*; it might be enough to make the bad guy change his mind even if the bullet headed his way doesn't.

Last edited by Frailer; 08-29-2010 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:36 PM
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Default Offensive .22

A .22 is better than nothing. It can make a great offensive weapon, BUT... if a bad guy has his "X" caliber in your face. I would want to shut him down! For self defense (the BG has brought deadly force upon U) I want a caliber that starts in FOUR.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:05 AM
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Nobody likes to get shot with any caliber.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
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Nobody likes to get shot with any caliber.
+1. Getting shot is one of those things that I found to stop being fun the very first time! I don't recommend the experience to others.

I have seen a number of very ugly wounds produced by .22 LR handguns. The little slugs don't have the ability to inflict the type of tissue damage that results in rapid incapacitation but they are not toys by any means.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:03 AM
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I know 3 people who carry a .22 revolver for their Pocket CCW.
One of them has rat shot cartridges for the first two - mostly for snakes but said if had to use to defend self / family against deadly threat; "How many people would still be a threat after being shot in the face with snake shot - followed by 3 to Center Body Mass?"
Sounded good to me - but I'll stick with my .45 or .38.

I believe this link shows the revolvers they carry:
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:48 PM
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amunition is everything with a .22. We had two shootings in a week, one with a .22 and the other a .22 magnum. Both at pointblank range. Neither penatrated the skull. Both were with lead softpoint ammo. Iv'e seen several shootings with .22 hollowpoints that were fatal, but none of them quickly.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:01 PM
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You could do worse than a 22 - you could be without a gun. To your question about a S&W 22, I don't know the answer. I own a couple but neither is small enough to work as a carry piece. If it had to be a 22 I guess I'd go with the Walther P22 (made in part by S&W). I've really enjoyed mine for casual plinking and target practice. I can dump 10 rounds out of it in the blink of an eye and the muzzle never moves. Assuming all of those went into a live target I imagine it would be all over. About like being hit with a load of #3 buck from a 20 gauge.

Still, there are many better choices available.

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Old 08-30-2010, 11:51 PM
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The Smith model 17 with a 6" bbl. is the best .22 Smith makes for self-defense because after you run out of rounds, you can do a lot of damage to someone by striking them with the empty gun repeatedly about the face and head. Due to its mass it will due much more damage than the Smith model 63 kit gun which holds the same number of rounds.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:02 AM
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I looked at some energy figures for some of the ultra-velocity .22 LR ammo available like the Aguila Interceptor , and was shocked that this ammo delivers more ft. lbs. than a .32 Auto. The Interceptor is the hottest .22 LR currently available.

Stuff like CCI Stinger and Remington Ultra-Velocity is no joke either, you won't see me raising my hand to volunteer to take one. .22 LR is available in much more powerful loadings these days, in other words "these ain't your grandpa's .22's"

All the people who write .22's off as "pop guns" or "toys" would change their mind if they were shot with one.

I also have some of the 60 gr. Aguila "SSS" ammo, basically a .22 short case with a very long lead .22 slug in it. These hit pretty hard. I wouldn't want to soak one up.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:55 AM
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not a good round for self defense...go with a 38 sp.or heavier
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyb View Post
not a good round for self defense...go with a 38 sp.or heavier
+1 Here.

Yes it's better than a stick. But not much better.

There are no guarantees with any handguns.

A 22 with definately kill someone. But it may not change their channel quick enough.

The odds are greatly in your favor if you step up to a 38 or bigger.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:12 AM
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All of the above being agreed with, Bill Jordan thought the .22 Magnum adequate for defense in a S&W snubbie. The Model 651 was briefly made, 3" barrel fixed sight, stainless steel on the J frame. Last time I saw one used was at an estate sale via a major local gun shop. Bidding allegedly went OVER $800!
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
I looked at some energy figures for some of the ultra-velocity .22 LR ammo available like the Aguila Interceptor , and was shocked that this ammo delivers more ft. lbs. than a .32 Auto. The Interceptor is the hottest .22 LR currently available.

I also have some of the 60 gr. Aguila "SSS" ammo, basically a .22 short case with a very long lead .22 slug in it. These hit pretty hard. I wouldn't want to soak one up.
Were the numbers on the Interceptor from a rifle or a pistol? I have shot some out of a couple pistols and it seemed rather underpowered to me. I suspect that the power they are using really needs a longish barrel to really get up to speed.

The SSS is a very interesting round. I did some limited wetpack testing with it and it penetrates pretty deeply for a 22 and tumbles at bit. When it is going sideways through the target it makes a much bigger hole.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
All the people who write .22's off as "pop guns" or "toys" would change their mind if they were shot with one.
And it has nothing to do with the question. I would love to ban the phrase "do you want to get shot with one" I don't want to be shot with a BB gun - so what - that's an absolutely meaningless statement. The idea is to stop the threat as quickly as possible - not something any 22 handgun loaded with anything is very good at. This isn't the movies people; when you shoot someone with your 45ACP Hammer of Thor you best be prepared for the possiblity of having fire returned and perhaps taking a hit. Be resolute & keep shooting until the situation is resolved. (Handguns aren't really the best choice in the first place, however it's kind of hard to conceal a battle rifle.)
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:36 PM
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What about the FN FiveSeven? It's basically a longer, hot .22 (more or less). It's got a 20 round magazine and the round claims a barrel velocity of something like 1750 ft/sec? It has very reduced recoil with the high velocity approaching that of a rifle. I'd imagine should be able to stop or otherwise convince an attacker to stop.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitstream View Post
What about the FN FiveSeven? It's basically a longer, hot .22 (more or less). It's got a 20 round magazine and the round claims a barrel velocity of something like 1750 ft/sec? It has very reduced recoil with the high velocity approaching that of a rifle. I'd imagine should be able to stop or otherwise convince an attacker to stop.

The 5.7 is a another discussion itself.

Many don't like or see the need for it. Some claim that with the standard 5.7 ammo it's no different than a 22 magnum. I have been told that the 5.7 was used in a recent hostage situation in Europe with very good results. However, I don't know how many rounds it took or if the FN pistol or rifle was used.

I came real close to buying one but didn't see a need for it.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:32 PM
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I've investigated more homocides with a .22lr pistol than any other caliber of weapon. Some the folks were DRT, some they died at the scene after telling me who shot them and some lingered for a day or two. I worked one where the Perpress said that John Eddie dropped to the floor and did not quiver after she shot him with a Ruger Mk II, the round entering just under his nose, dead center of his upper lip. I was impressed.

Rule 303
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamedic View Post
amunition is everything with a .22. We had two shootings in a week, one with a .22 and the other a .22 magnum. Both at pointblank range. Neither penatrated the skull. Both were with lead softpoint ammo. Iv'e seen several shootings with .22 hollowpoints that were fatal, but none of them quickly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule 303 View Post
I've investigated more homocides with a .22lr pistol than any other caliber of weapon. Some the folks were DRT, some they died at the scene after telling me who shot them and some lingered for a day or two. I worked one where the Perpress said that John Eddie dropped to the floor and did not quiver after she shot him with a Ruger Mk II, the round entering just under his nose, dead center of his upper lip. I was impressed.

Rule 303
I, too, have had a few people on the autopsy table who died of 22 wounds. Sometimes, especially with the "standard velocity" LRNes, the bullets will travel in some interesting paths. Sometimes this is attributed to bouncing around inside the body, and sometimes (and this is the opinion I agree with) the fluid dynamics of the internals of the human body combined with a higher velocity elongated RN projectile made interesting, sometimes curvy, paths through the body. They certainly can be fatal; I can attest.

Also, don't forget that John Hinckley incapacitated four people with a 6-shot 22 l.r. revolver. (Of course, shooting exploding bullets, but it's also my understanding that most of them didn't explode and acted like LRNes anyway...)

The bottom line is, and Rule 303 is really getting to the heart of the matter, that the 22 L.R. will kill, but it's very inconsistent on speed (and sometimes the effectiveness) of the demise. If you want a real defensive gun, you should get something bigger, but the 22 L.R. will work better than a poke with a stick.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:23 PM
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I think in a roundabout way everyone is trying to say that.....

What are you gaining by carrying a 22?

And what are you losing?

It's a game of percentages.

How much of a chance are you willing to take I guess is the real question.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:27 PM
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The .22 LR is the supreme "Man-Stopper" par excellence!
I've even used it with great success on the Dark Continent for cape buffalo and rhino. Stops 'em right in their tracks.
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:58 AM
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what is a fair price for a S&W model 63?
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:52 PM
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YES ... but remember, shot placement is everything. You have to be either skilled enough for a double-tap head shot while under the influence of adrenalin or concentrate on the pelvic area. Forget about center-mass, chest shots ... to many bones.
I'd feel a whole lot better if you armed yourself with at least a .32 magnum right up to a .45 and anywhere in between. Just my two cents.
Monte
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:41 AM
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On my chrony, i'm getting 1425 fps with a Mk 2 using Aquila hyper vel (1400 with the cci stinger) and I even get 950 fps out of and old RG snubbie that I keep in my vehicle as a BUG. I actually know what its like to get shot (accident) with a 22 lr.

It HURTS BAD AND IT BURNS BAD!! and if you get hit just right (like I did) you will see a gush of blood every heart beat...you will go into shock fast. I ccw a 9mm or sometimes a 380 but if it wasn't so big, the 6 7/8 barrel Mk 2 would go with me a lot of places.
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:49 AM
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While a . 22 would not be my first second or third choice for CCW...I probably went to more murders where a .22 was used more than any other caliber....especially in the day of the SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:12 PM
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My Dad lived all but the last few years of his life with nothing except a K22. For some reason, he bought a Browning BDA .45 in his later years. He was never much of shot with the BDA but it never worried me because he still had the K22. A couple good hits with the K22 would beat the heck out of miss with the .45.

I would prefer a good quality .22 to a .25 - probably .32 auto, too.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:01 AM
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My thoughts on a carry gun are these...

Pick one or two cheap, manageable, and common rounds.

Find a reliable/durable gun that encourages alot of shooting.

Choose one that you will carry 24/7.

Practice, practice, practice.

9mm and .22 fit this bill nicely for me.

I'm considering a J frame .22 as a BUG

I carry a Glock 26.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:15 PM
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The only good thing about a .22 is that you can practice a lot for cheap and shot placement is all that counts. IIRC, Jeff Cooper said something to the effect that a .22 in the region of an eye socket beats a miss or marginal hit with a .380 any day.

Anything you get you need to practice. practice, practice.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:22 AM
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IIRC, Mr. Cooper also said, when asked about the .25 ACP as a defensive round, which is in the same league as the .22LR, that he would rather have a stout cane.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:41 AM
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Yeah, the good colonel really hated the .25 ACP! I can't post his exact quote (Forum copyright rule) but he wrote about the subject in "Guns and Ammo". Cooper had no love for any small caliber handgun (and he considered the .380 to be in that category) but believed the .22 offered accuracy, no recoil to speak of, cheap ammunition for lots of practice, (3 things a small .380 didn't offer)and that it would penetrate a human skull not always but most of the time.

I for one believe he was right. I'd rather fight against someone armed with a .380 that they may run 50-100 rds through a year that someone with say an old Ruger .22 auto that they shoot 1500-2000 rds a year with.
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:53 AM
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While I might put 2 shots in each of a BG's eye's with my Ruger 22/45 (w. red-dot sights), I'd much rather have my 629 Classic with 240 gr. Keith's loaded at 1,000 fps. to absolutely keep him down.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:01 AM
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While I would not call a 22LR or a 25 ACP a "stopper", I have seen several people killed with both of them.

Many times with only one shot.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
While I would not call a 22LR or a 25 ACP a "stopper", I have seen several people killed with both of them.

Many times with only one shot.
I've seen people killed from cancer. They both take about as long......
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Old 10-02-2010, 04:40 PM
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I ran into a surgeon from South Africa while in Viet Nam. He told me a story which impressed me (and I'm pretty hard to impress).
It seems that an older lady lived on a farm in Kenya during the Mau-Mau days. There were heavy-duty weapons around the place but she preferred her .22lr revolver. She practiced every day until she could shoot the (insert anatomical term) off a Tse-Tse fly.
One day, while her husband and brother were away, the farm was attacked. She was able to kill ten machete-wielding thugs with multiple shots to the head from her .22.
I suppose that proves that .22's can kill, but also that steady nerves and lots of practice are the answer to self defense.
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:14 AM
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This comes up every once in a while just about everywhere.

To use a 22 LR for defense against human-sized predators would require a magic bullet to be reliable. If you have to use a 22, try to use a HV lead round nose or copper washed bullet modified to have a partially flattened and cupped tip.

I can testify from experience that the Accurizer, which was used to modify the bullet seen above, works very well at improving accuracy but they may not feed reliably in some autoloaders. The improved terminal effect on small game is impressive. I've never tried it on a human being and never will unless the only alternative is harse language.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:06 PM
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I havent read all the threads, but years ago I worked with a friend that was retired from the indiapolis pd as a homicide lt. He said the .22 was a nasty cartridge to get hit with as they usualy rickoshayed from rib to rib every direction. On the other hand he said his partner got hit with a .22 and they took him to the hospital and they ended up putting just a band aid on the entrance and exit wounds and sent him home as the bullet never hit a bone and no damage was done!
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:39 AM
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A fair number of 317s were sold as BUGs/carry guns when they first came out. I had one. Bought it used and unfired for all of 250 dollars. Hard trigger pull, but that came with better reliability for iffy rimfire ignition. (Rimfire ammo isn't as reliable as centerfire in terms of a means of priming and QC on .22LR isn't always the best.) Shot mine quite a bit, used it as an understudy to a 337. Eight rounds of .22LR... Eh, it'd do if someone was recoil sensitive and needed a light gun.

Otherwise I'd opt for a 30/31 or 432 loaded with .32 SW Long. Not very noisy, centerfire, low recoil, and pokes a nicer hole.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:33 PM
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Just the other day there was an episode of the TV show "The Best Defense" broadcast in which drills were described and demonstrated using .22LR in a self-defense role. They advocated extensive practice and focusing on rapid multiple head-shots, coupled with the use of moving targets to simulate head-bobs and ducks of an assailant. They were using a .22 semi-auto, but it seems to me that the same principles would hold true for a .22 revolver. As others have said, I'd not choose the .22 as a primary SD gun, but in a pinch I'd rather have one than nothing by far, and I suspect that in the hands of a well-trained shooter using proper technique it could be very effective.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:48 PM
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I had a old friend many years ago that had worked for iver johnson as a machinest. If I remember right I belive the factory was at wochester mass. I may be wrong on the town, but think I am close and too lazy to google it. Anyway I belive he told me they gave the town police dept to carry .22 iver johnsons, and the department carried them! This must have been in the late 30s as he went to war and after that was a deputy in colorado and later worked with me.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:10 AM
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IMO, a .22 should be limited to shooters who cannot effectively shoot a centerfire for whatever reason (e.g. lack of strength).

However, a .22 revo has a pretty heavy trigger pull, so I'm not sure a .22 revo is a great answer for someone with limited hand strength either.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:25 AM
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NO, but better than nothin
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:57 AM
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Default .22

People always say things like "it's better than nothing", "it's better than throwing rocks", "it's better than a stick but, not much." I wonder how many have been shot by a .22 or a .25 or a .32 and how many would volunteer to be so shot. My housemate was shot with a 5.7 X 26 - basically a super .22. It was a nasty nasty nasty wound. Tore her arm up. The same intruder shot out the back of his skull and 1/2 of his brain with the same gun. I know because he left them all over my den floor. I have a friend who was in special forces in Vietnam. After that he worked as a mercenary for unnamed foreign powers. Somewhere in there he did "contract work" for certain U.S. agencies. For concealed carry, he carries a .22. This very thread mentions people killed by .22s. Lots of people are killed or seriously injured by "small" guns - guns that are "little better than throwing rocks" - .22s, .25s, .32s. I may be mistaken but, believe that virtually all police officers prior to the last 1/2 of the 20th Century carried .32s. I believe that the .32 was standard Nazi issue for quite awhile. Hitler killed himself with a .32. But, hey, these gun sites are full of experts who will tell you that those guns are essentially "useless" for self-defense. Well, I'm not an expert. In fact, I freely admit that I don't know anything. So, ignore me. Listen to the experts.
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  #45  
Old 04-24-2011, 08:09 PM
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It is better than a stick, but I would hate to have to depend on one.I have some revolvers and some Semi-Auto's.I don't like the misfires.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 6thtexas View Post
The only good thing about a .22 is that you can practice a lot for cheap and shot placement is all that counts. IIRC, Jeff Cooper said something to the effect that a .22 in the region of an eye socket beats a miss or marginal hit with a .380 any day.

Anything you get you need to practice. practice, practice.
+1. I shoot my .22's much more than my .45's or any other large caliber. $$$ It stands to reason then that I'd be more accurate and comfortable with the .22. Yet, I still carry a .45 hmmm makes me stop and think, but just for a second
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  #47  
Old 04-25-2011, 12:57 AM
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mg357,
If you think you can only carry a 22 due to its size, etc., look at an NAA mini-revolver. Using the oversized rubber grips, you'll have five
rounds of 22 mag. It can be carried in any location due to its size,
and the ammo allows up to 1100 fps out of a 1-5/8" barrel. Tiny, and
doesn't weigh more than your wallet. JMHO, TACC1
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  #48  
Old 04-25-2011, 07:42 AM
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If your idea of self-defense is last option, close-up and personal (as opposed to defense-of-the-free-world gunfighting) a .22LR or, better, .22WMR will suffice. Few will survive a shot under the chin, in the eye, in the throat or up the nose.

Is it optimal? No. Winter clothes will all but totally defeat it. But, at mugging distances... it will suffice. As others have pointed out... the .22 can make an ugly wound.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:13 AM
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Default I do very occasionally carry a .22 LR revolver...

but not a S&W. I own a 1955 High Standard Sentinel 9 shot DA revolver, and load it with solids for more penetration than HP's. This gun can use the HKS speedloaders designed for the H&R 9 shot revolvers...I have 3 of them. The gun has an aluminum frame and a 2 1/2" barrel, and it pretty light and very reliable and accurate.
If you decide to carry a .22, I recommend the following; Practice as much as you can, practice dry firing using snap caps (NEVER with empty chambers to avoid damage to the gun). Accurate shot placement is everything with a very small caliber...actually with ANY handgun-none of them are magic.
DO NOT carry hollow points-solids only. You need that small bullet to get as deep as possible. Practice with the ammo you will carry.

IMO, Mr Cooper was a blowhard who was selling his books...

Practice till you can do it in your sleep.

mark
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:55 AM
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IMO, Mr Cooper was a blowhard who was selling his books...
Whew! Now there's a topic for another discussion if I ever heard one. I have heard a lot of people state they like s0-and-so better or who have found they have to adapt certain Cooperisms to meet their own needs, but never met anyone who used that statement.

Cooper, Keith and Jordan laid the groundwork for every aspect of modern day defensive shooting and there isn't a "modern" system that does not incorporate their teachings at some level or another.

I presume, by your statement, you think Gunsite a kindergarten of misinformation?

Well, sorry - didn't mean to hijack this thread... Cooper is another subject altogether.
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