Thoughts on the .22LR for self defense


I know – “Why would anyone in their right mind ever consider the .22LR for self defense?” Using the .22 for self defense is a frequently discussed topic and often creates huge augments.  I try to base my opinions on facts and logic with a dash of common sense thrown in.

Here are a few thoughts:

  • An extreme high volume of .22LR rounds can be thrown down range upwards of 100 yards give or take – accurately.
  • Generally most .22LR firearms are lighter than larger caliber firearms.
  • Many that are scared or apprehensive to shoot larger caliber firearms find it easier to shoot the .22LR – thus the “First rule of a gunfight is to have a gun.”
  • Many real life self defense encounter video’s have the criminal element running at the first sight or sound of a firearm.
  • Statistics show that the .22LR provides a one shot stop nearly 40% of the time.
  • Many .22LR firearms are less expensive than their larger caliber counterparts. This increases the chances of actual firearm ownership.
  • While compared to other handgun calibers velocity of the .22LR is on par or even higher in many cases.
  • The mass of the .22LR is significantly less than typical self defense calibers such as 9mm, 45ACP, and 40S&W.

Let’s just cut to the chase – the .22LR is not the ideal round for self defense whether at 7 feet or 70 yards. What it most certainly is is an option. It’s an option that in thousands of cases has worked – and in others it hasn’t – just like every other caliber that is available.


I’ll take my S&W M&P9 9mm or my Springfield Operator 1911 45ACP over any .22LR any day. I’ll take my Mossberg 930 or any of my AR’s as well. I would also feel fairly well armed with one of my M&P15-22’s loaded up with 25 CCI Mini-Mag’s.



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