Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent

Rethinking the best home defense weapons: a look at the .22

.22 rifle to protect your homeTo defend your home, you need to be able to stop an attacker. In order to stop him, you need to hit him or to make him want to leave. We’ve been told for years that you need to have a big gun with a big bullet that can pierce through armor in order to defend your home. Who are you defending yourself against, Spetsnaz? Let’s get real for a minute.

I hear the whole 9mm vs .40 vs .45 thing all the time. Just post the question up on facebook one time and see just how heated it can get. It’s all BS. There are differences, but those differences in the grand scheme of things aren’t important enough to make a difference. A round that’ll kill someone in one scenario won’t work in another, and vice versa. So, could something as small as a .22 ever even hold a candle to the others? Let’s take a look.

But Graywolf, How could .22’s ever be home defense weapons?

So I hear some of you saying:

But I’ve been told for years that you need to get a big gun with lots of stopping power and big bullets. One shot one kill. Armor. Mass and velocity. Lots of other buzzwords and statistics that sound pretty convincing

In some situations: yes. In most situations, no.

No, no, no. You need at least a 12-gauge shotgun or a .223. A .308 would even be better. You aren’t carrying a .22 with you over in Afghanistan right now, are you? Have you turned into one of those liberal anti-gun activists now?

Read the whole article before you make stupid comments. This post is to make you think.

Yeah, I have an M-16 and a 92FS on me here in Afghanistan at the moment but I’m not here trying to defend myself against a thug trying to break into my home. When I’m home I’m in the same boat as you.

The Army uses .50cal, .308. .556, 9mm, .45 and whatever else because they are the best against different targets with different defensive and offensive capabilities in different environments. I highly doubt the Taliban is gonna come in and steal your collection of Playboys.  What you need to do is stop listening to everybody’s posturing and listen to what makes sense.

First, let’s get this out of the way first – you cannot compare the damage a .22 can do to pretty much any other gun. It’ll lose. Also, a .22 only has an advantage in a very small set of instances with very few people. What I’m trying to do is get you to think about what weapons you’re using, who’s using them, and for what purpose. With a little training, you shouldn’t be using a .22 to defend your house. It doesn’t have the stopping power of other rounds, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be effective. To understand this fully though, we need to understand a key question:What does it mean for a weapon to be effective?

So let’s break this down military-style with a pseudo-Operations Order, or OPORD. I’m not gonna draft the whole thing up as an official-looking one because quite frankly, I don’t have the time and you don’t need it. There are plenty of books and websites that will tell you how to do a proper OPORD. I need the practice so I’m just gonna put this in here.

Basically, a miltary OPORD has five major sections:

  1. Situation
  2. Mission
  3. Execution
  4. Service and Support
  5. Command and Signal

1. Situation

Situation normally breaks down into three sections:

  • Enemy
  • Friendly
  • Attachments/Detachments
So let’s look at the situation.


The enemy in this case is most likely going to be a robber, murderer or a rapist. If you’re looking to defend yourself against anything else then this isn’t the article for you. Planning on defending your home with a weapon against an army with weapons and armor is an entirely different scenario. Go back to your fantasy world because you’re trying to prep for a scenario that is highly unlikely and one you’re woefully unprepared for. You don’t need to really worry about what kind of ammo you’ll be using, you’d need to figure out how to start an army of your own. This article is about defending your home against the most likely enemy.

Should you prepare yourself for a home invasion by an attacker with armor or a group of marauders hell-bent on taking your supplies in a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI scenario?

I believe you should. The problem that I see with most preppers, even advanced preppers, is that they focus primarily on the worst-case scenario at the expense of the most likely scenario. All you need to do is a quick Risk Assessment to know that your focus is out of whack. Once you’ve figured out how to defend yourself against the most likely scenario, you can move on.

The truth is that you are more likely to face an enemy in your home who isn’t all that prepared and isn’t all that well-trained. Whether they’ll be armed will depend highly on where you live. Your most likely assailant could either be an unarmed punk or a group of gangbangers. Plan accordingly.

So, in almost all cases, your enemy won’t have body armor.

Will a weapon that stops someone with body armor work against someone without? Yes, but strangely enough, not as well in some cases. A bullet that enters the body and expends all of its energy inside, without exiting, can actually be more effective at killing someone, especially if the round expands or the shock wave does enough damage to disrupt vital organs inside. A bullet that just goes in and out at full speed and takes all the energy with it doesn’t do any more damage than just poking a hole through someone the size of a pencil.

It’s absolutely true that a .22 won’t likely expand very far and won’t have a large shockwave to disrupt organs, but that’s not the only goal of shooting at someone.

Your enemy most likely won’t be well-trained in combat tactics.

Ok, I don’t have statistics to give you on this one but it probably wouldn’t be that difficult to research. Let me know what you find out. I’d say that most likely, the guy who breaks into your home has either little or no military experience and if they do, they probably aren’t very good at CQB.

What does this mean to you? Thugs who break into homes are usually expecting to find sheeple at home who will capitulate or will be easily subdued, especially if you live in a city with strict gun control laws. They don’t want to get killed so they’ll usually run off peeing themselves if rounds start flying. They probably won’t even know what caliber weapon you have anyway. All they know is they bit off more than they could chew and they gotta pop smoke.


This is where gotta do your own self assessment. Sun Tzu said:

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

Ok, he didn’t say exactly that, he actually said was:


So WTF does that mean? Sun Tzu said you have to know yourself as well as you know your enemy. In this case, the enemy above is an unknown, so you have to go with the most likely and most damaging scenarios to figure out what gun you want to use to protect your home. You also have to take inventory of your own capabilities and adjust accordingly.

How much training do you have? I’ve spent a lot of time at firing ranges and shoot-houses with people much more experienced at CQB than I am, and I’d still have a hard time hitting a target coming at me at 4am in the middle of the night at my house after I stayed up till 3am playing Call of Duty with my son and drinking a few Guiness Extra Stouts. I know from experience that when your adrenaline gets pumping that you lose your fine motor skills and you resort back to muscle memory.

In addition to gun range training, you should be looking into plans on how to protect your family. Books like Safe: How to Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Your Home can get you started.

So what does that have to do with choosing a .22 over another weapon?

In order to kill or disable an attacker with a gun, you have to hit him. That is, unless you can shoot the support rope holding up the chandalier above his head so it drops down on him, pinning his arms to his side. It’s quite difficult to get them to comply with where to stand to pull this off though. It takes a lot of shaping the battlefield and human engineering, plus a lot more shooting skill than I have. Shot placement is the key (Read this article from policemag about shot placement)

To hit him, you have to point in the right direction. A large weapon may do more damage but it does nothing except scare them if you don’t hit them. If it were all about size, why wouldn’t you just lug around a .50 cal? Because as big as it makes your penis feel to carry that thing around (and it does do that, I assure you), it’s unwieldy around hallways and in stairwells.

You can get more effective shots, quicker with a .22

In order to hit him again, or adjust fire from your first miss, you have to reacquire the target before you fire. A weapon with a lot of kick takes a while to reacquire. A .22 will stay on target with every shot with very little practice. It’s also small enough to carry around a home with no problem and pulling it up to the correct point of aim is very quick due to the small amount of mass the weapon has.

A .22 will fire a bunch of rounds in rapid succession (rate of fire), whereas a bolt-action, pump action or other weapon won’t. Can it fire as many as an assault rifle? No, but most of the rounds of an assault rifle miss if on full auto, which is why they teach us to fire in three-round bursts because it’s a lot more effective than the ‘spray and pray’ method. The only rounds that count are effective rounds. That’s why they call them effective rounds. The more you use a weapon, the quicker you’ll be able to get back on target but physics is physics. If the gun moves less and has less mass for you to have to move back, you’ll get it back on target faster.


We’re not talking about accessories here but other units (people) on your side in a fight. In this case, you’re other units are going to be your other family members and responding police, that aren’t going to be there in enough time to protect you. That’s a whole other debate so we won’t go into it here in an article on what weapon you should choose to protect your home. Just take it as a given that you’re gonna have to defend yourself.


The mission in this case is to defend your home from an attacker who has a weapon or who can easily take you in unarmed combat. To decide exactly what you need to do to defend your home, you need to adjust this mission statement, which then goes outside of the scope of what I’m talking about.

To defend your home against an attacker, you need to successfully stop him from attacking. Remember; you are on the defensive here. To stop him, you need to either:

  1. kill him
  2. incapacitate him so he can’t continue to attack
  3. scare him off.
Any of these scenarios will work to defend your home. In order to do one of these three things, you need to do something with something. In this case, we’re just considering using a firearm but there are many other ways to complete the mission.


Concept of Operation: Well, here’s where the infantry and SPECOPS guys are gonna have a problem with my OPORD format. The concept of operation here is that you need to figure out a gun to buy to protect your home, you need to learn how to use it and you need to train your family to use it. You also have to come up with a plan for your family on what you’ll do in case someone tries to break into your house – or actually gets in. Again, not part of the scope of this article.

Service and Support

Amazon has the stock I use

Amazon has folding stocks

Again, I’m using an OPORD as a theme and not writing an actual OPORD so I’m gonna take a little poetic license here and fit things in as I need to.

A .22 requires very little maintenance. The Ruger 10/22 is one of the best weapons ever invented and has thousands of different accessories you can get to adapt it to what you need for home defense, hunting, SHTF, or whatever. I have a slightly modified one that I carry in my 72-hour bag.

A .22 is very easy to shoot and doesn’t have a lot (or any) kick, so girls won’t be scared to shoot it.

Ooh. I hear some feminists crying out that I went there. Whatever. If you’re a girl and you can shoot, then that statement doesn’t concern you. Care to debate the statistics of the number of male shooters vs female shooters? More women need to get out there and shoot. They’re finally coming around and learning but there just isn’t enough of them. I’ve served with enough females downrange to know that they can shoot well if they want to. Society just teaches them to have other interests growing up. You girls need to learn to defend yourselves and stop relying on a guy to do it for you because he’s not always gonna be around. If you are one of those girls then you should help others to be more self-sufficient.

If you have a girl in your family who’s afraid of guns, or a guy who’s never shot a gun and is afraid to try it, a .22 is a perfect gun to get them over that fear. It’s not all that loud and as I said, doesn’t have recoil. If you’re trying to defend yourself, the last thing you need to be worrying about is missing because you’re anticipating the recoil of the weapon or even worse, shutting your eyes because you’re scared of it.

Command and Signal

Not pertinent here. Have a good commo plan for your family in case of emergency and have some kind of codewords and hand signals to communicate with each other in case someone breaks in. Not relevant for choosing a gun to defend your home unless you need to convince your partner to let you buy one, in which case you have more problems than I can help you with.

Proof that a .22’s can be an effective home defense weapons

Greg Ellifritz wrote an excellent article for the Buckeye Firearms Association, on how effective a .22 is in real-life situations. I’m not gonna just copy his article here because that’s bad form but I will post a quote that speaks about how thorough his resarch was:

Over a 10-year period, I kept track of stopping power results from every shooting I could find. I talked to the participants of gunfights, read police reports, attended autopsies, and scoured the newspapers, magazines, and Internet for any reliable accounts of what happened to the human body when it was shot.

I documented all of the data I could; tracking caliber, type of bullet (if known), where the bullet hit and whether or not the person was incapacitated. I also tracked fatalities, noting which bullets were more likely to kill and which were not. It was an exhaustive project, but I’m glad I did it and I’m happy to report the results of my study here.

I’d say this is exactly the kind of research I like to read. Real numbers and no posturing or penis-measuring contests. Basically from reading through his data, I see no appreciable difference in the effectiveness of using a .22 to stop an opponent. Any deficiency in stopping power is compensated by the facts I spoke about above such as ease of reacquiring the target etc.

The .22 took an average of 1.38 rounds to incapacitate the victim.

Think about that fact for a second.If you had a choice between a weapon that held 8 rounds but was harder to reacquire or one that held 30 rounds but was harder to maneuver around your house at night, do you think they’re still a better choice when you just need to hit them twice on average to incapacitate them with a .22? To be clear now, I’m writing about a .22 long rifle in a rifle and not pistol. The .22 pistol doesn’t have enough oomph to get out of its own way.

Let’s look at the numbers for what everyone considers to be “better weapons” for home defense. The ONLY weapon that took fewer rounds to incapacitate the enemy was the shotgun, which came in at 1.22 rounds. Better? Yes. Can you shoot 1.3 rounds into someone? If so, you’ll be better off with a shotgun than a .22. If not, it’s the same goddamn thing. It still takes two shots on average to ensure the guy is incapacitated, no matter what round you use, except for the .45 ACP, .40 S&W, 9mm Luger, and the .25 ACP, which /GASP!/ all take more than two rounds on average to incapacitate the attacker.

Still think a Desert Eagle or tricked-out M4 are the best choices to defend your home?

As far as accuracy goes, the .22 was wll up there with the big dogs at 76% and I’d say that in a close-quarters battle, it would probably be higher. Think a shotgun has a better chance of hitting the guy? Think again. A 12-gauge shotgun with no choke has no appreciable spread at 10 feet. Sure, that’s bigger than a .22 but isn’t an appreciable difference. It’s not like you can just point a shotgun in the general direction of someone in a room and they’re gonna get hit. Plus, shotguns take longer to get a second round off (rate of fire).

If you’d like even more proof that .22’s can be used in home defense, check out Guns Save Lives. For further research, you can also use their Bullet Energy Calculator. Just keep in mind that it’s the energy that’s retained in the body that matters and not the energy as a whole if the bullet exits.

There many examples of when people have used nothing but a .22 to defend themeselves such as this one from GA and this guy who used .22 ratshot, this story, this one, this one, another, and another, still anotheranother,  and so on, and so forth, and still more. I could easily fill this page with nothing but links to what even the anti-gun news reporting agencies have reported. Here’s a a video concerning just one real-life example of how someone used a .22 to defend themselves if you don’t want to read all the articles:


“Well good luck with bringing a pea-shooter to a gunfight. Your .22 can’t stand up against my .45”

There goes your ego talking for you again. If you’re not armored, I guarantee you I’ll be getting my 2 rounds in your head before you even acquire your target and I’ll have a nice shiny new trophy to put in my break-in-case-of-SHTF cabinet. Don’t forget, we’re talking about going up against the most likely attacker here, which probably isn’t going to have armor on, and no matter how much they work out their face in the gym, it’s not gonna stop a .22 round when I hit it.

And don’t get me wrong, I think the 1911 is the best weapon ever invented. I love mine.


Before anyone decides to take anything I’ve written here out of context, let me get one thing straight. The .22 is NOT the best weapon to use against all assailants in all circumstances because it WON’T penetrate thick clothing very well or armor at all. In a small percentage of cases, the .25ACP, .22 and .32 did not stop the attacker at all. Why? Lots of reasons that the study didn’t have the granularity to uncover but it’s a fact. Does this mean a .22 is the best weapon for you? Probably not. In fact, I don’t think there are many cases (other than maybe some assassinations) where a .22 would ever be the best weapon – and certainly not the best home defense weapon. I just wanted you to get off the whole .45 vs 9mm vs .40mm thing and thought I’d use a .22 to make some points.

There are most definitely cases where a shotgun, large caliber pistol or rifle would outperform a .22 and save someone’s life. What I’m saying is that since you don’t really know what attacker you’re going to be facing or what the exact scenario is, you have to go with most likely as well as worst-case scenarios to defend your home. You have to balance everything to come up with a good overall solution based on the criteria that you decide. Don’t just fall into the trap of listening to people who swear by a certain ammo size.

A weapon is just a tool and you need to use the best tool to suit the situation you’re in. If you’re planning on being up against an armored assailant, then go big but realize it has its negatives. If you’re planning on defending your home against an attacker, consider the .22 but realize it also has its negatives. I haven’t seen any hard facts on the effectiveness of pistol vs rifle when it comes to .22 but even though a larger gun doesn’t make much difference when hit, I’d opt for the rifle. Also, once you gain proficiency with shooting, I’d step up to something larger. Once you’ve learned how to control a weapon, the advantages to a .22 start falling away. Greg Ellifritz had some great points in this article that break down pretty much how I feel about the .22 overall so read that.

When it comes to defending your home against the normal would-be robber, I think the .22 edges out the competition for some people. Would I ONLY use a .22 to defend my home? Here’s my article on the best home defense weapons that I use.

About graywolfsurvival.com

I am a former federal agent and military veteran who has deployed to combat theaters in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and have almost three decades of military and military contracting experience.

My goal is to help families to understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life against real threats, without all the end-of-the-world doomsday crap.


  1. Simply excellent. I had the thought of doing an article on this topic, and I’m glad I hadn’t gotten to it – you’ve done a fantastic job with this and I hope that your other readers take this to heart.

    • Bill Braden says

      I have a ruger 10/22. it has two 25 round clips. back to back. Also its cheap to shoot and way less weight to carry a lot of ammo
      in a survival situation. It will kill almost any animal, if you are a good shot. Believe me. I have sot pigs, deer , turkeys squirrels birds with it. With an intruder you can put a lot of rounds in a person real quick. Semi auto If it jams very easy to eject shell quick with a little practice.. Just keep it clean after every use.

  2. graywolfsurvival says

    Thanks brother. I’ve been a closet prepper for years; long before I knew there was a movement. Now that I’ve had a chance to do some looking at what’s for people, Almost all I see is a bunch of shit that’s been regurgitated by people who have no idea what they’re talking about because they want to get their 300-word clump of keywords out there.

    What I like about schemabyte.com is that you’re clear as to what your opinions are and you don’t try to just write mamby-pamby articles to suckle the masses. I especially enjoyed your article about how people don’t owe you anything.

    My article was mainly a statement about that more than anything after getting an email for help from one of my readers who had just purchased weapons but didn’t know what to do next or how he should have chosen them in the first place. It kind of set me off, especially after digging into what’s been written in the “mainstream” prepper sites and then echoed in the forums.

    • You’re on-spot with that – I monitor over a 100 prepper feeds now and let me tell you, they all repeat like mad. One person does an article on rabbits or whatever, over the next three days I wade through 25 of them. Good thing I like rabbits. 🙂

      Thanks for your kind words about the site; I don’t have nearly the time to dedicate to it that I wish I did, but I do try to keep it real and in parallel with my personal journey. You’ve definitely got a good thing started here, keep up the great work amigo.

      • graywolfsurvival says

        Mmm. Rabbits is good eatin!

      • I STOPPED reading most “prepper” sites because they are full of the “I’m better than you are” and the same old regurgitated tripe. I’m 54 years old and was BORN INTO this lifestyle. Literally. I never knew it even had a name until the word survivalist became synonymous with anti government whack job… I came here because I saw something different. not the “SOS”… Hope it keeps going. there is too much to teach and for people to learn. and it isn’t just about TEOTWAWKI. It’s about living life, NO MATTER WHERE IT GOES

  3. Excellent article. Though I keep a 9mm carbine for my use, I also keep a couple of Ruger 10/22 rifles for the wife and kids to use. One day, it saved my 16 year old boy’s life while he was doing some drywall work at our rent house.

    A hardened “thrill-kill” gang-banger armed with a shank screwdriver and a 9mm pistol came out on the losing end.


    The only thing I would add to your article is to emphasize use of bullets that meet the MINIMUM criteria:

    Weight = 40 grain minimum
    Velocity = 1,200 FPS minimum

    At CQB ranges fired from a RIFLE (not a pistol), this will penetrate ribs and even the sternum. Here is what was left of Jose Castillo the home invader…


    After getting hit, he jumped back like he was struck by lightning and fell dead on his face within 7 paces, then commenced to involuntarily gag-up lung tissue post mortem.

    Never use hollow or fragmenting bullets. They are for small game. You need penetration on a human.

  4. What are you talking about, “full auto” and “three round burst” you have been playing way to much CoD. Who has a fully auto rifle? The paperwork to get one and also the price is insane. Why is it the only semi auto you refer to a .22? What about all the other rifle and handguns, not to mention semi auto shotguns. Oh that would hurt your case. Also I like how you compare the advantage of having a light, easy to maneuver .22, to lugging around a .50 in your home. What about a hand gun in 9mm, 40sw, or even 45acp. Those are light and easy to maneuver. Then at the end you really made me laugh. You were referring to a .22lr rifle this whole time. I would much rather have a handgun than a rifle or shotgun in my house. I only need one hand on the weapon. Which gives me a free hand to: feel around in the dark, help keep my balance, bloke a hit, and even keep room between myself and said intruder. That is why I use an XD40 with Gold Dot Hallow points.

    • graywolfsurvival says

      I know about 10 people who have fully auto weapons. Does the terminology scare you or something that you’d have to start insults about CoD? I’ve been to four combat zones so far and fought in two of them – and you? If you bother to read the whole article and not take things out of context as I mentioned people would do, you’d see that I gave concessions to the other weapons. Given certain situations, the .22 shouldn’t be discounted.

    • First off I own them Legally, and while I too disagree with the .22 and can supply scientific and logical arguments against them and can PROVE them to ANYONE willing to take the time to follow a simple scientific experiment. You need to be dealt with as a detractor of fact. And the fact is unless someone is comfortable with a handgun, they CAN NOT SAFELY USE ONE. it is that simple. And here is another fact if you thing that under stress you can use a single hand grip and be accurate, I don’t want to be in the same county with you when you shoot, YOU are too dangerous to be around, especially when handling a firearm without an external manual safety.

    • Malcolm Stephens says

      Oh whatev Julio…
      Check out the “Buckeye” article above. Then google “the truth about guns” article that references it. Go to the “comments” and check out Dr. Rod’s comments about his experience with treating people who’ve been shot with .22’s.

      .22’s work pretty well, it seems.

      BTW, great article/commentary Graywolf. One of the best ever…completely sans BS. For me, a big reason for using a .22 is overpenetration — when you live in a densely populated urban environment like I do.

    • I Hope your tactics, are better than you spelling. Got sit down armchair commando.

  5. I think you may have misinterpreted some of the conclusions from the buckeye arms paper. If i read it correctly he has a completely seperate catagory for rifles so his data on the .22lr there is from pistols. Your article is fantastic though and really made me think about how i would defend myself and my loved ones. Being on a budget (read poor) addressing training and muscle memory really makes me think about the .22 a lot more seriously. That SR40c wont do me any good if i cant afford to take it to the range every week. A ruger 10/22 takedown is definately on my christmas list this year.

  6. graywolfsurvival says

    Great show by your son, and by you by teaching him to fight.

    As far as ammo goes, there are better penetrating and killing rounds than a .22 but in the right circumstances, given someone who has little or no training, a .22 may be the best weapon overall. I still like the fragmenting rounds for the house so you don’t kill the neighbors but hollow points are definitely better than parabellum ones. They just aren’t going to go through any kind of armor.

  7. Great article. This is something I’ve been hollering about to anyone who would listen for a while now. Yes larger caliber have their place and are very effective as well as necessary on some scenarios. However an overwhelmingly large portion of the scenarios that we all may face some day are best benefitted by the simple effectiveness of a .22. Having been in the unenviable position of needing to defend home and family more than a few times I can say with certainty that both the humble .22 as well as larger caliber guns have saved our bacon. It’s why the .22 is the only gun I’d really count on in a SHTF scenerio.

    • graywolfsurvival says

      The great thing in a SHTF scenario about .22’s is that you can stock up on ammo cheap, shoot and practice cheap with them, and store or carry a lot more .22 ammo than the rest. It’s a great hunting round for small game too and more portable than other rounds or guns.

  8. I love this article! Seriously! A .22 is just right for most situations. Ammo is relatively cheap and you’re best off with a gun you’ve shot a 1000 times then some expensive ammo ‘impress the guys at the shooting club’ beast that you’ve shot twice. So often survivalist think that they’ll morph into Agent .007 or Chuck Norris when and if something happens, when in reality moderation and realism are much, much more effective planning strategies.

    • While I venomously disagree with the .22 for self defense… you are spot on, with the rest. Way too many fools think simply owning makes them experts. While I’ve shot everything under the sun, there are things I refuse to shoot again because of many reasons, but the most common is viability. if you cant handle it and with accuracy. look for something else. BUT make sure IT is up to the job you need it to do, and that means YOU need to know the physiology of the living target you are shooting in order to dispatch it properly, be it hunting or defensively.

    • LOL – Colleen, don’t think Agent .007 is someone I’d like to be compared to. In most movies, he used a .380ACP or a pipsqueak .25ACP.

      • James Bilezikian says

        Wrong. 007 used the .25acp in one movie, only, Dr. No. M replaced that weapon with a Walther PPK, a .32 acp weapon. He replaced it unceremoniously in the face of 007’s objection that the .25acp had worked well enough. M reminded him that ‘well enough’ had carried with it a six month recovery period from 007’s most recent contretemps.
        Ruger now offers a .327 magnum revolver in several different guises. That weapon’s versatility in range of cartridge use makes it ideal as a self defense handgun.

  9. The best weapon is the one you have when you need it!

  10. Bout time someone uses an actual tool (OPORD) to discuss the real situation of home defense. High powered rifles have their place but a home environment with kids in the next room is not one of them.
    I appreciate an article that uses common sense and logical reasoning to validate their argument. The anti-gun, anti-reliance public need more article like these and less “let’s validate our assault rifle” articles.
    So I guess this is where I say I’m recently retired Infantry/Medic with multiple combat tours that will get me some points.
    The article is well written, attempts to use a real standard to evaluated the situation and makes several good points that I haven’t seen from other articles.
    Well done and don’t let the distractors pull you off course. You know what you’re doing. I got your 6.

  11. Excellent article. However, I still prefer a pistol for inside work, as it’s much easier to peel a doorway / tight corner with. I now understand why Kel-Tec PMR30 pistol is so popular that it routinely sells above MSRP. It shoots .22 magnum, which more than compensates for the short barrel (compared to .22 lr out of a rifle) while still having minimal recoil. With 30 rounds in the mag you’re bound to hit something. A flashlight can be attached to its long picatinny rail, which makes it even better.

  12. graywolfsurvival says

    Umm. Ok. Maybe you should read the article before you comment.

  13. right on the mark, it is wise to also remember that most people who buy to defend themselves may shoot the weapon once then it goes into the safe or other storage
    The reason my top pick is the 22 is that even with little or no training it will hit, only a hit really matters, as when they begin leaking body fluids most thugs suddenly remember urgent business somewhere else. Most thugs do not like the sight of their own blood with a good chance of more holes coming. The only disagreement is 22 rifle v pistol. A Ruger mark 1 is beyond doubt the most useable weapon in the hands of a person who does not shoot or even hates weapons. The Ruger is a natural pointer due to the grip angle. Most people including many senior citizens nearly blind I have trained are able to pick the weapon up and hit with it without problem using center of mass targeting.
    One of my trainees was legally blind but could make out shapes he and his wife were the managers at the ZIA motor lodge in Albuqueque New Mexico. One evening two thugs thought they would be easy prey to their loss. When they pushed past the wife into his living room and demanded his pain killers and money, Dory replied with center mass chest hits on both of the thugs who died at his feet. The Ruger Mark 1 placed next to where he sat was more than enough to do the job.
    The problem is that while the 22 pistol works well under a pillow or in the night stand drawer the rifle is not so much so
    The best weapon is the one in your hand or near at hand when the lights are out and the breaking of glass still tinkles in your ears, not the one in the closet behind the junk that got stacked their last Christmas.(oh were did I put them bullets?)
    Remember we are speaking really to the non shooter who may go out once per year or once in odd years or not at all. The guy who shoots every month is better off with what fits him or her best

  14. Carpenter13 says

    Graywolf, excellent article. I think something people need to be told is this: Something you need to prepare for in a home invasion is what to do when you miss. Because with sweat dripping from your forehead, your heart pumping and your arms and legs feeling weak from fear, you are very likely to miss. And that’s when you need a weapon that can fire again, quickly, and without having to reacquire as you say.

    Studies also show that in most cases when firearms are used for protection they are used at a very close range (I think it is within seven feet), there is not much light, and they involve only a few shots fired in just a few seconds. And of course, there are no protective vests involved. So in the most likely scenario you will need a weapon that is quick and easy to aim, does not spray a lot of bullets but can quickly fire off a few bullets, and can do so without much recoil.

    One small thing though: “Society just teaches them to have other interests growing up.” — This is something we hear from leftists so often that we often repeat it without giving it much thought, but of course the bedrock of our behavior is found in biology. Women have always been tied down by children and were therefore inefficient fighters, who shouldn’t be involved in combat because wombs are more precious than sperm. It was therefore the more expendable men who had to develop fighting skills. And that is why we have not only far more muscle mass, but also more testosterone which makes us both better at fighting without breaking down mentally, and more interested in fighting. Women are equipped with other instincts. As research shows, men are also better at aiming at a distance, while women are better at precision work using their fingers to manipulate small objects (think sewing). There is a reason we evolved differently, it would not have been efficient if both sexes had the same emphasis in their instincts. The Left hates this truth, so they say that “society” – meaning evil oppressive conservatives and capitalist advertisement – manipulates women into acting like women, which is supposedly bad. Science (and common sense) shows something else.

    • I know I’m late to the party but this is spot on about “society” and women.
      I also have to agree with graywolf in that more women should have basic knowledge on how to defend themselves with even a small caliber pistol, biological instincts aside.
      Same as a man should at least have some basic knowledge how to cook for himself if he needed to.
      Self-reliance is gender neutral.

  15. Sir ,I am a retired Policeman of 28 years and now serve in Afghanistan as a contractor. Your article is excellent on all points and I will tell you that we worked multiple homicides in my city that were committed with a .22lr. We keep two Ruger 10/22s in our home in easy to reach places for my 14 year old daughter and my wife both of which are excellent pistol shooters. The rifles are easy to handle, have 30 round mags and are deadly accurate. There is no “over penetration” issue and I will tell you that if an assailant is hit with multiple rounds in the chest ,his or her objective changes from rape,robbery. or whatever, to “oh Shit I am shot and need medical attention”. The caliber of the round is insignificant. I will also tell you that I have never heard of a .22lr not penetrating clothing no matter how thick and addressing multiple targets ,which we practice is rather easy with the 10/22s. You have a great site here and I will be a regular member. Please keep up the good work and I am telling the guys on my team about your site.

    • People always tell me how insignificant the 22lr is.
      I bought a Sig Sauer 522 and was pleasantly surprised in the penetration of the little round. i took it out to the country and at my make shift range was shooting through steel drums. This is at 20 to 30 yards with a high velocity, 1250 fps, copper plated bullet. Upon exiting there was a nice dent on the barrel lying on its side behind it.
      If this little bullet can penetrate a steel drum and cause damage to another, wht does anyone think that it will do to something much much softer.

  16. Thanks for taking the time to write this up but it made me realize one thing, people are looking to far into this. Bottom line is protect your home. Be it a bat, handgun of any calibur, shotgun, etc. I’m looking to get a shotgun next for “home defense.”. That’s my excuse anyway to the wife. 🙂

    • graywolfsurvival says

      Absolutely. Training and being prepared is much more important than which gun you choose. Any gun that you practice with over and over is better than a “better” gun to stop someone. There are a lot more variables than just the amount of energy a round puts into someone. The shooter has to be comfortable with the weapon and they have to actually hit the target multiple times. That trumps all unless you start getting into body armor, and even then, body armor doesn’t cover most of their body. If I were to choose something and didn’t have any particular person or situation in mind, I’m going for the shotgun.

  17. I liked the article. But I do feel like you did more proving that a .22 is a good and viable home defense option, more than proving that it was the best option comparatively. You’re absolutely right that the “most likely” scenario is the one where .22 will be perfectly good, and that’s why .22 is definitely viable option. But something like a .223 with defense rounds (which actually are not bad at all about overpenetration in a home) covers the “most likely” as well, but also a few more of the “slightly less likely, but still possible” ones that the .22 won’t. By having a larger range of things it’ll handle, I’d therefore say .223 would be “better” than a .22 (for those that can handle .223 that is, if .22 is all you can handle then by all means, use it). Because of things like that, I’d agree that a .22 is a great home defense weapon, but disagree when it’s taken to the extent of using the word “best” to describe it.

    I do also have to disagree when you say .22 takes less maintenance. In my experience .22’s get dirty much quicker than centerfires and are often even more affected by that dirt. So forgetting to clean your rifle a couple times, in my experience, is far more likely to result in failures in a .22 than in most centerfires. If you’re gonna use a .22 for defense, things like maintenance and round selection become massively important. Some HP .22 rounds out of a rifle can fragment and stop way to early (sometimes within 2 or 3 inches of entrance); they’re made for small game, designed to almost disintegrate on impact. Cheap .22 ammo is much more likely fail to fire than cheap centerfire ammo, so buy good ammo if going .22 (I recommend mini-mags, very reliable). And you’d better keep it clean if you want it to operate at “self-defense” level reliability! And rifle selection would be very important too. I have a lot of .22’s…and they all operate pretty well. But for only 1 of them do I have the 99.999% level confidence, required for defense, that when I pull the trigger twice it’ll fire twice without a failure between. Meanwhile I also have a lot of centerfires, and I only have 1 or 2 of them where I *don’t* have that level of confidence. Now, unreliable centerfires exist, and extremely reliable .22’s exist. Not disputing that. But I am saying that if you don’t know which is which as far as the reliable factor goes, choosing a random gun off the gun-store shelf you are much more likely for it to be a reliable one if it’s a centerfire one.

    Another addition: go rifle, not pistol. The difference between .22 penetration in rifle and pistol is big enough to be important, and straddles the line between “enough penetration to do the job” and “may not go deep enough to really do the kind of damage you need”. .22 rifles also tend to be a little more reliable on average in my experience, and people tend to learn to use a small rifle a lot better/easier than a pistol as well.

    All that said, I do agree with the grand majority of what you’ve said, and I do have a home defense .22. A kel-tec SU22 that has been flawless for me and has been practically 100% reliable, loaded with mini-mag ammo which I have found to be 100% reliable. I consider it a great home defense option. Just not my “best” one 🙂

  18. Excellent article, but I still wonder if a small shot-gun or a gun that shoots shotgun shells like the Judge would not be better? Especially for people with fairly little training (of course ANY gun-owner should have some training, but muscle memory type training, or even how you react to stress can limit your ability to aim accurately). What do you think?

    • graywolfsurvival says

      It’s possible but a judge would not fit most people’s hands and they’re gonna get one shot off if they can manage to do that before they get rushed. Smaller pistols that would shoot a shotgun shell would also kick more so reacquiring is more difficult.

      I think overall, a shotgun is the best home defense weapon but it has its drawbacks when it comes to the people this article is about.

      • Good points, Thanks! This article has me rethinking the .22 for sure.

        • graywolfsurvival says

          Unless you’re very small and have no experience, I’d go with something else. A Mossberg 500 is a good choice.

          • john R benson says

            I have a Mossberg 88 in 12 gauge that sits by the bed at night with 00 buck.one shot to the face will stop any intruder.

      • Hmm, I don’t know about the Judge not fitting most people’s hands. I own one, and I’m a 135 lb. 5’6″ girl, and I can shoot it plenty accurately two-handed and accurately enough one-handed (like, I can easily make a chest shot across the distance of a room in my house). It’s trouble to reacquire the target quickly, because it does kick quite a bit, especially single-handed, but it’s not like I have trouble hanging on to it. Maybe I just have giant man hands and don’t know it? Suddenly I feel self-conscious about my ring size.

        • graywolfsurvival says

          lol. It may fit, but it’s not really a comfortable gun to hold, and certainly not one that you’re gonna hold up for a while. Try holding your arm straight out with it for 2 straight minutes without drooping. It’s pretty damn heavy.

  19. jferello311 says

    Very circular conversation!

    Get to the point…that is, if you have nothing else but a .22, then a .22 will have to do.

    You just need to be very proficient with what ever tool you are using at that moment.

    Pray for peace , pack for zombies!

  20. Richard Hauser says

    Great article and I agree with the probable effectiveness of a .22, but a couple of questions.
    I am no authority, but my previous answer when asked about home defense was to suggest a 20 pump shotgun with a flashlight attached. My reasoning was that due to movies nearly everyone knows the sound of a pump shot gun, so if someone breaks in, I want to grab the gun, flip on the light and then loudly load the chamber. The hope is for the invader to hear the sound, and then reconsider their choice of targets. If that doesn’t work, I can load increasingly deterrent rounds in a shotgun. The first could be non-lethal and the rest could ramp up in lethality. I guess an auto shotgun makes almost as much noise and would certainly decrease reload times, but I’m guessing that unless the intruder is hopped up on something, he is looking for easy prey and that is usually the unarmed kind.
    Also, and I know this makes me sound like a pussy, but ideally I would rather not shoot anyone. It tends to attract lawyers. If I do shoot someone, I want to be sure it is the right someone and then I want them to stop doing whatever they are doing at once and either leave or die. After that I don’t want anyone to sue me and win.
    What are your thoughts on non-lethal rounds? I have two daughters and honestly I’d rather die than kill either of them. That is one of the reasons I like the idea of using a .22, but I think the flexibility of a shotgun could tip the scales.
    Also you picture a pistol grip .22, which is a two handed weapon with limited use as a club for close combat. I have read some discussion of disadvantages of long arms in close quarters because the defender could grab the barrel, say from around a corner. Wouldn’t having a full stock allow the stock to be used to strike such an opponent? Is this unrealistic or do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages?

    • As far as the lawyers are concerned, from what I’ve seen, you’re much more likely to be sued by a survivor and lose than the family of a thug. If they break into my house in the middle of the night, I’m not giving them the benefit of the doubt – I’m killing them.

      Non-lethal rounds definitely have their place in some circumstances though. I wish we would have had that opportunity in Uganda when the riots started and we were stuck in a hotel with just a civil affairs unit and half their infantry backup. I’d rather be given the choice to kill someone or just scare the crap out of them.

      A laser on any weapon is a great deterrent. No matter what weapon it’s attached to. The movies do get that one right. Having a weapon pointed at you is one thing but seeing the laser on your chest from that weapon has a huge psychological effect.

      As far as the sound goes, it only works if they guy is unarmed. If he’s armed then it just puts him on the defensive. It’s better than nothing though but I wouldn’t count on that sound making them run unless they’re just a couple of amateur thugs that thought they’d break into your house because they thought you’d be unarmed.

      If you’re not a small person and you have some practice with weapons, a shotgun is a better choice. Almost always. You might do what we do and mix up your ammo a bit. Maybe put one non-lethal round first and then lethal ones from that point on. My Mossberg 500 has a couple different types of ammo loaded in it as well as on a shell holder. I also have a bandoleer with a couple different types that are easily identifiable.

    • Mark in Colorado says

      A couple of problems in my opinion with your approach.

      1. While it is possible that the sound of someone racking a shotgun will scare off a certain percentage of attackers, what you have done with all that light and noise is just completely given up your tactical advantage. The attacker now knows exactly where you are and if he is armed, chances are high that he’s going to begin sending rounds into your location. Unless your house is made of re-enforced cinder block, you or someone in your family is now in his kill box. It’s not worth risking your life, thinking that maybe he will just turn tail now that he knows you are armed… because if he doesn’t, you are now more likely to be a victim than you would have been.

      2. The only thing you should need to do to bring your weapon into action – is to disengage the safety and some would suggest that this is also not necessary. Most self defense with a firearm cases happen at just over arm’s length. It takes less than 2 seconds for someone to close that distance. You need to retain every tactical advantage you have. Someone breaks into my house, I may, or may not give them a verbal warning, it’s a dynamic situation… but my shotgun will engage them the moment they hit the stairs. With, or without any advanced warning.

  21. Mark in Colorado says

    Everyone can shoot a .22 fairly accurately if they’ve had any training at all. The issue with the .22 is not the fact that it makes tiny holes, expands very little and does *not pass the FBI minimum penetration requirements, although those are all valid concerns.

    The problem with the .22 is that it is a rim fire cartridge and has sub par reliability. If an armed intruder is coming at you and you have a click / no bang event. You are dead.

    While accuracy is critical – reliability takes a close second. Pick the largest *center fire* caliber you *CAN SHOOT* accurately and rapidly. Nothing in this article trumps that advice. If it’s a .22 – so be it, but the only time the .22 is ‘best’ is when it’s all you have. I’ve never met someone that could not shoot a 9mm well, including 9 year old girls. The minimum home defense caliber for me is 9mm because it meets every requirement, including the FBI’s. Nobody would want to be shot with a .22, but it is irresponsible in my opinion to champion the use of *any* rim fire caliber for home defense. More people are shot with .22 because it’s the most popular cartridge in America – not because it is the most effective, and it certainly has it’s problems.

    All you really need to be considered armored when going against a .22, is a decent leather jacket, or just hide behind something, the .22 has terrible barricade penetration. I love my 10/22’s but would never use one in a home defense scenario by choice. I would feel undergunned regardless of penis size. Even a .380 would be a better option in my opinion. If I’m not using my 12 gauge, I’m probably using my .357. When I see the police carrying .22’s, maybe I’ll re-evaluate.

  22. BangSwitch says

    Very good article. In most cases a well placed .22 shot will stop the attacker and cause a turn-around. A .22 is less destructive and less deadly, admittedly, but it’s also nicer to your neighbors and your family behind 2×4 studs and dry walls, in case you miss. I shoot everything between .45 ACP and .17 HMR, but .22s are my most accurate and my quickest follow-ups, for all the reasons in your article. They are also the cheapest to practice with. Converted my 1911 to a .22, which lets me benefit from cheap training and muscle memory no matter whether shooting .22 or .45 in the end. One thing I’d add to the overall strategy of home defense: (1) you either carry your pistol all the time while at home or (2) you have multiple firearms (pistol or long arms) at multiple locations throughout your house (upstairs bedroom, main floor living area/den, and basement). This is only relevant in home invasions while the family is up and active in the living areas, but it’s not to be forgotten. If someone kicks in your front door while you are having dinner or watching the evening news you need an escape path to a safe place where you also find a weapon to hold your defense perimeter while the cops are on their way.

    • graywolfsurvival says

      I would still choose something else though if you can. This article is really just to show that there’s not as much difference in most cases on which round hits the guy if your goal is to just stop them from attacking – and you have little to no training at all.

      The conversion is a great thing. MUCH cheaper to shoot than .45 but a definite difference in reacquiring so make sure you shoot both.

      • BangSwitch says

        my main HD is a HK 416P in .22 – benefit it’s much more accurate, has sights, laser, and optional light, plus with a 9″ barrel, stingers sting… For SD I carry a PMR30, still a rimfire, but really comfy to carry. If you are sensitive to recoil, but want centerfire, an FN is a great choice.

  23. DanielM426 says

    I think another important factor to consider is noise and collateral damage. Imagine it’s 4am and you hear glass breaking. Disoriented, and adrenaline pumping you grab your 12 gauge. You find the intruder in the hallway. BOOM! You’re now temporarily deafened. Not to mention the bloody hamburger that the burglar has been converted into. Imagine the same situation with a 22. Little mess, low noise, and still you have a dead criminal.

  24. Alex Jimenez says

    I live in PR and home invasions are pretty bad down here. Robbers do wear bulletproof vests and are armed with full auto ARs AKs and almost everytime a glock is involved they are usually full auto too. There are three of us and loaded at all times are an h&k p2000 .40 glock 23 a p238 and an AK pistol converted to SBR. Not only because criminals out gun most people here but because they come in 3 4 5 and even up to 10 at a time.

    • graywolfsurvival says

      Definitely have to set up a different plan there. If possible, you need to set up a delay at each entryway that allows you time to get into position once they come in and puts you at a tactical advantage by creating a kill zone. That’s usually pretty difficult to do in a home you actually live in though.

      • Alex Jimenez says

        That idea has crossed my mind but as you say it is pretty difficult to do in a home one lives in. I guess since mostly these things happen at night this could be done once everyone is in the home and don’t plan to leave.

  25. sniffles09 says

    liked the article, i have talked home defense with folks over the years and a lot are of the (gotta have a cannon) mentality, When this ariticle proves its controlability and multiple shots on target. EVEN if you miss, multiple rounds going downrange will scare offf anyone.
    Also i am sort of new to prepping, only doing it a few years and when i mention it to nonprepper types i sometimes get the eye rolls and the (so you hate obama you fanatic) attitude.
    So i say, well remember hurricane Katrina, and years later Hurricane Sandy, they go yes. So i follow it up with, the fact FEMA is still a bunch of govt goobers, and if SHTF you are on your own BUB for at least 2 weeks.
    I cant afford the bug out to a cabin in da woods with a years of food, (actually how many people can) But i am slowly accumulating enough backyard camping gear and food to keep my family safe (includeing a big bin of medical stuff) and fed for 2 months and i am working on supplies for the 3rd.

  26. edwinleap says

    Graywolf, thanks for the great insight. While I’ve never been in combat, I’ve spent the past 21 years as an ER physician. And one consistent theme is this: people who sustain a gunshot wound, and know it, tend to leave the situation and go to the hospital. (Mind you, they seldom tell the truth about how it happened…some dude is usually the culprit, and shot them while they were delivering food and toys to orphans…) But even in relatively minor wounds, individuals are convinced they are on death’s door and try to get away. Yes, I’ve seen people on drugs put up a great fight; they might be different in this respect. But nobody in the civilian world tolerates being shot, unless they’re truly psychopaths or wildly strung out. Years ago I had a Ruger Mark II with a bull barrel. It was incredibly reliable and accurate never misfired, and would put quarter sized holes in the target all day long at 20-30 feet, from a four inch barrel. I always said that I could probably defend my home as well with that (or better) than with a .45. Not saying it’s the most powerful, or even the best round. And I’m no firearms expert; certainly no personal combat professional (I defer to those who are). But I see your point.

  27. As a firefighter paramedic who has seen first hand what each of the above calibers (minus the 50 cal) can do to the human body, I must disagree with your article. You make very valid points, however, leave out one very important aspect. Reliability. A .22, and most rim fire ammunition, can not be relied upon for any type of defense applications. The inherent design of a rim fire cartridge was abandoned by all world military forces as the berdian primed cartridge proved to be more reliable. Other than that, you are correct, the whole caliber wars is a pointless waste of time, but in any situation, any gun is better than no gun at all. I would not advocate employing a .22 for any defense scenario unless it was the ultimate last choice.

  28. I am now 63 years old, but for 22 years I killed and processed an average of 200 head of 1000 lb cattle per year. I had a ruger 1022 a distance of 10 to 25 ft per shot. Very seldom was a second shot ever needed, hit them in the right place and they drop ( between the eyes). I have total faith in the stopping power of the 22, just learn to aim.

  29. I know you wrote this a long time ago, but I’ve just found it and feel compelled to comment. As an average sized woman who shoots occasionally, I cannot agree more with your article. I can barely pull the slide on my husband’s (many) Glocks. Even a Ruger LCP (bought as my concealed carry) is hard to action for me. But I can stick that banana clip in my Ruger 10-22 like a champ and blast away like Bugs Bunny. Heaven help the sucker that tries to break in my house. I might have to shoot him several times, but with the 10-22, it’s just more likely to happen with ease and accuracy.

  30. Great article. As a female Veteran I carried an M16 but that was 40 plus years ago. As a result of age and disease have taken my strength. After multiple surgeries on my hands, I can not turn a round door knob any longer and have adaptive devices on them. Having a 22 is my choice. After all having a gun you can shoot is better than one you can’t!

  31. Accidental shootings are the biggest danger to kids who haven’t been taught gun safety.

    This goes for situations when one is hunting as
    well as just storing your ammunition at home. Knowing all
    the vulnerable areas that can be targetted in an attack usually gives the Krav Maga student the upper hand.

  32. pshhhh… its all relative as well, before i say this, and before anybody laughs at it, you just go and ask any special operator out there yourself and see what he says. – In CQB style combat, even a Knife could arguably be more effective than a rifle or pistol. Especially with a significant knowledge of relevant martial arts. I have been in countless CQB scenarios where the culprit manages to take out half or more of a whole entry team with just 1 nice smooth slash of the blade across the throat from behind, or even in front. No noise generated, and much faster actions than those logging around a heavy piece of weapon system. You obviously need the element of surprise of course to. – So those of you who are laughing at people comparing .22s to .50s, think about it more and know it is always relevant and totally depends on the scenario and variables of the scenario. A .50 will only require 1 shot but will you be able to aim and control that shot effectively before the person with the .22 can get off “many” rounds without any effort? If he pulls up and hits you in the head or face or vital area, you are already slowing down, and then comes another, another, and that .50 becomes harder and harder to lift, then you fall as little pencil heads zip through you.

    • Exactly. OF COURSE a larger bullet will do more damage if hitting the same target but bullets that don’t hit the target just make noise or worse – kill someone friendly. It’s all about putting effective rounds downrange.

  33. Thanks for an excellent article. I’m a 71 year old man who grew up with guns. I’m retired and living alone in a rural area. A couple years ago cancer took a lot of steam out of the body, so I need a weapon that requires very little hand and arm strength to manipulate. I recently tried a Kahr CW9, but found it took more juice than I wanted to expend just to cycle the slide. So my home defense weapon choice has come down to either a lightweight revolver or a short rifle. I also live in California, which requires even more creativity. My current weapons of consideration are a Ruger 10/22 with an aftermarket stock, or a revolver such as a Ruger LCR or an Airweight J-frame S & W in a caliber I can handle. Your terrific article has convinced me the right caliber for me is 22 lr. Thanks very much for your service.


  35. I really like this piece. I fall into the “better a gun then not gun” camp, though I don’t live in high crime areas, I’m still considering a concealed carry. I found a few different guns I liked, the sig sauer P238 being one, and I hope to finally be able to rent and shoot guns, but the event I’ll go to will only have 22 caliber semi-automatics and revolvers available. If I find something I like, I can’t ignore It simply because of the caliber. I may be a first time buyer but I’ve spent a lot of research and looking at guns with best fit for my smaller hands. Now all I need to do is learn, and I have the perfect chance coming up. Then again I could hate shooting such a small caliber but for now, I’ll keep my mind open.

  36. http://youtu.be/glQ5-0lO-1M
    She’s ten your argument is invalid

    • Awesome. You invalidate every person in the world because you can find one example somewhere of someone who’s had direct personal training for months. Good job.

  37. I like the article but I feel like your comparison of a .22 to a fully automatic AR is a little short sighted. considering any full auto fire-arm is illegal for a civilian in the US. your comparison is that a .22 is more accurate than an Illegal fully automatic weapon. Maybe shouldn’t compare a gun that people can buy to the use of a gun that is Illegal to own. Just saying.

    • The point of the article was solely to show that the argument of which caliber is best (which is a never-ending argument) is mostly irrelevant, and even smaller calibers have some advantages that can (though rarely) compensate for larger ones.

  38. Not that any of you might care… but the Chinese original version of “knowing yourself and knowing in enemy…” is as follow…


    Translation is correct. Love the Article. The Chinese version in the article is… a modern “layman’s explanation” of the original Art of War… but as I said… yo’ll probably don’t really care… lol.

  39. 22 revolvers are preferable for home defense because rim fire is not very reliable. But it isn’t a problem with a revolver. Just click again. An again. And again.
    i don’t like semi auto 22, but with a revolver, i agree with the whole article.

  40. Reed Cundiff says

    Was LRRP team leader in RVN (173 Abn). We had discussion on home self defense at an N Ranger reunion a few years ago and most agreed Ruger 10-22 was ideal for family home: accurate, controllable, no excessive penetration through neighbor’s bedroom, and two or more thoracic hits should be sufficient to dissuade most intruders. Intruders are not dedicated military professionals.

    The English military historian Michael Keegan had an excerpt from a British battle surgeon of Napoleonic Wars. He had worked on men who had taken torso hits from a two pounder (14,000 grains and 2.5″ diameter) but no survivors from a three pounder (21,000 grains and 2.9″ diameter). There is your dividing line for definite stopping power

  41. Reed Cundiff says

    I was a LRRP Team Leader with 173rd Abn Bde LRRP 66-67. We were having a discussion concerning home defense at an N Ranger (173rd LRRP/74th LRP/N Rangers – just change of name) reunion a few years ago and almost everyone agreed that a 10-22 was an excellent choice: accurate, non-excessive penetration, and hearing will not be permanently impaired. Main purpose of home defense firearm is crisis control and not killing intruder. To be noted is that several of those in the discussion are in Ranger Hall of Fame and all have engaged in close quarters combat.

  42. Courtney Zevallos says

    Hi graywolfsurvival. Are you still checking for comments on this?

  43. I feel most comfortable with my .22 Marlin Model 60 rifle — learned to shoot well enough to hit groundhogs at about 75 feet or so– no scope. Very little kick. Feel confident for protection. Thanks for the article.

  44. I once went to an old fashioned slaughter house. Cows, bulls. Farm animals past their prime but their meat and organs are still good to eat! They lead the animal along the chute one at a time. At the end the animal’s huge, thick, hard, bony skull is forced down and they shoot the animal in the head. One shot, one instant kill. .357 magnum? 30-06? Nope. One cheap .22 cal LR round. Instant kill. Body armor and in my apt? I’ll shoot you in the head since yer only 12 feet away anyway. Plus if I miss, the round won’t go thru the walls and killing some kid 2 apts down the hall!
    Enough said.

  45. ProtectYourSelf says

    The smartest thing you can after something like is to never talk to the public about what you did. Do not talk to the cops until representation is present. The cops aren’t your friends. The media is your worst enemy. Even if you aren’t brought up on criminal charges, the family members of the attacker can file a civil suit against you.

  46. Wiliest Hiker says

    My 9, 38, and 357 are SO LOUD indoors and often come with very bright muzzle flash on every shot. It’s my guess that FOR ME it would be almost impossible to reacquire my target after the first shot because I’d be blind and deaf. Now I do keep electronic ear protection at my safe but in an emergency I may not get them on before I need to respond.

    My 10/22 takedown on the other hand? It’ll be loud, sure, but not like my 9. It’s small. light, maneuverable, and insanely reliable (for a 22). It helps that I put some high-end aftermarket guts into it. And my accuracy with that vs. any of my hand guns? Night and day. I can ping a bouncing bottle at 50 yards all day with my 22.

    Finally, I do have neighbors who are nearby and I’d hate to end up with rounds in their walls. A 22 round just is far less likely to get that far.

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