This blog was generated after reading about a fellow who purchased a 22LR pistol for a self defense weapon. My first response was that it’s better than nothing. But after further consideration, I’m not 100% convinced.
#1. The purpose of a firearm carried for self defense is to protect you and your company from death or great bodily harm. The purpose is not to be lethal.
#2. While a 22LR round is lethal, so is cancer, a BB gun, a drug overdose, a rope, a bucket of water, poison, etc. More people die from 22LR than any other round. But a 22LR is not effective at stopping an attacker regardless of the shot placement. Even a shot to the head possibly will not penetrate the skull. 22’s can ricochet right off bone if the angle is not right.
#3. It’s illegal to hunt deer with 22LR. Why? Because it is inhumane to shoot and animal that may kill it but even with a well placed shot where you are conscientiously aiming may take hours to drop much less kill the animal.
#4. Personal defense is not solely about saving money. Just because the rounds are cheap does not mean you sacrifice good old common sense when it comes to protecting your life. That doesn’t mean you have to have the biggest most expensive gun/rounds out there. But if you need to save money, use a balanced approach. Practice your skills and shooting fundamentals with the 22 and the cost effective ammo, but trust the rounds that are designed to stop.
#5. 22LR is designed for two things: target shooting and small varmint hunting. A bad guy does not have the same structure as a rat or prairie dog. And a bad guy is not made out of paper or cardboard.
#6. Would you pull a pocket knife out to defend yourself against a robber in your home who has a machete? So why pull a 22 against someone who potentially has a 38 sp or bigger?
#7. For those who talk about well placed shots, that simply does not happen in a self defense situation. A head shot is about the closest to a guaranteed stop with 22LR, but it’s difficult enough to hit a stationary target at the range when you are taking time to aim. Picking up even the front sights when an assailant is running at you is hard enough, so you want something that is powerful enough to break bone, destroy muscle, and disable a crazy bad guy by shooting center mass, not something that with a perfect shot will be lethal within a few hours. Put the bad guy on the ground quickly!
#8. Would law enforcement carry a 22LR? Not on duty for sure. I would question the wisdom of any LEO or any self defense person who would recommend a pea shooter 22LR for defense against another human.
#9. It’s arguable that it would be better to have nothing than to have a 22LR for personal defense. You are introducing a potentially lethal weapon that could be wrestled away from you by a bad guy and used on you before you can stop him. Consider the implications of putting 4 or 5 22LR rounds into a BG who wants to rob you with a knife, he continues coming now even more angry, he takes your gun and puts a bullet in your head. It might have been better to give the dude what he wants and then cry later.
#10. Any sane person will run away if you shoot at him even with a 22. A drug addict or mentally disturbed individual intent on harming you is not going to be as likely to run, and surely will not feel as much pain as a “normal” assailant. Consider your adversary a machine without ability to feel pain or fear. You have to have the tools that will disable his mechanical function. You don’t want to simply change his mind. Stopping power is very important.