.22 for Home Defense

I am an NRA Basic Pistol Instructor and USCCA affiliate instructor. I mostly work with local churches because I also work with FEMA and they have an excellent program for strengthening church safety.

I have had students come to the course with weak or compromised wrists. Rather than tell them they are “just out of luck” or have them rely on someone else for protection, I turn to the .22lr.

Walther, Glock, Ruger, and even Smith & Wesson all have their signature pistols chambered for .22lr. Visually, you cannot easily see the difference between the Q5 Match in 9mm and its .22lr counterpart. The same for the Glock 19 and the Glock 44. This is also true with the other manufacturers. I just cannot see a bad guy taking the time to determine if that S&W EZ pointed at his chest is in .22lr or 9mm.

I first picked up a Colt Gold Cup 1911 in .22lr that was the mirror image of my Colt Gold Cup .45acp so that I could practice a whole lot more for a whole lot less $$$. Since that time, I have done the same with my G19 and G44. I get a ton more range time shooting .22lr than either 9mm, .45acp or especially 10mm. Even CMMG has a .22lr conversion for my Daniel Defense Mk4 in 5.56 mm!

Copper’s rules for surviving gun fights makes mention that you must always bring a gun to a gun fight. Other Big Name Instructors have said that 10 hits with a .22lr are infinitely better than 10 misses in any other caliber.

If a .22lr is all you can handle, and you shoot very well with it and are extremely confident in your abilities, then I say “Welcome to the gun fight!”

Unless of course you are shooting bear. In that case, “your out of luck!”


In my county we have to list the guns we qualify with on our permit. We’re only allowed 3 and the ones listed are the only ones we can carry. Ten years ago, when I first got my permit, I listed a Sig Sauer 1911 .45 calibre, a Springfield XD 9mm with a 3" barrel, and a Browning Buckmark …22. I passed live fire qualification with all three. I only owned those three. When I went to pick up my permit, the detective in charge asked why I listed that .22. I replied “It holds 10 rounds and would you want to get shot with one,” He thought a minute and said of course not. That 1911 and the Buckmark both have long barrels and less recoil than the short barrel handguns. They’re also more accurate under stress. I retired the Buckmark a few years back, but as it was my first gun purchase, I plan to keep it. I still qualify with the 1911 but have added a Sig P238 to my permit. I have several of the sub-compact guns now. I find them to be challenging to shoot well. But, I like the challenge. I should mention, I’m a 75 year old great-grandmother. I applaud all you guys concern about your women being able to defend themselves. Starting with a .22 is great, but don’t let them fear the larger calibers.


I love it. I’ve always argued, carry what you are comfortable and proficient with. If that means a .22 caliber, then find the most reliable ammo/gun combo you can, and practice until you can do it in your sleep. .22 rounds bouncing off bones and ricocheting around the chest cavity will do the job 99% of the time. Because just what caliber does a Bad Guy like to be shot with? The correct answer is none.

My preferred caliber is 9mm, however I do keep a .22 pistol handy as a BUG, just in case. I’m confident it will stop a threat if needed.


Thanks for the chuckle !!!


Same. :laughing:


My bedside safe has two 9mm pistols, a Walter P22, magazines for two .22 rifles as well as mags for my AR.

My first go to will be the Glock 19, but I may as well have magazines loaded and ready for those rifles, right? =)

And this way, I can arm the whole family if necessary.


Any gun is better than no gun if you are ever in a situation that calls for defending yourself against great bodily injury or death.

A .22LR is better than nothing, a well placed shot is just as lethal against most invaders. However, don’t think for a second that it is quiet. It can be uncomfortably loud even suppressed.

A 5.56 rifle is no harder to shoot than a .22LR IMO. The recoil is not the problem. The problem is muzzle brakes they put on pretty much all of them these days. If you are in a confined space, or even just next to a guy with a horrible muzzle brake when he shoots in open air you will feel the concussion of the exhaust coming back at you. That concussion is what makes it feel like there is a lot of recoil. The shooter flinches from the concussion hitting their face causing the gun to move as if it were recoiling.

I was in the lane next to one this morning at the range and my AR with a flash hider seemed quieter when I shot it than his with a brake on it did, but we were shooting the same ammo with the same barrel length. The total energy of the compression wave is the same, mine was just dispersed in all directions by the flash hider, his was focused to the side parallel to the ground by the muzzle brake. At 20 yards they probably would sound identical, but within range between walls of a home the muzzle brake is dangerous. Also the flash hider preserves your vision.

This video shows slow motion fire with a muzzle brake and a flash hider:

Watch the guys shirt sleeve on top with the muzzle brake, you can see it get blown around by the compression wave. On the bottom with the flash hider the lighting isn’t as good, but it isn’t moving anywhere near as much. Also the recoil looks less obvious. My personal opinion is that it’s not actually recoil on the top, because that should be mitigated by the muzzle brake. He is flinching from the muzzle brake because of the concussion wave being focused.

Also this:

.22LR has the added benefit of probably not hitting your neighbor’s house if you miss, but don’t miss. If you miss you haven’t defended yourself.

It all comes down to training. Anyone(literally anyone) can learn to shoot any gun accurately and with speed, but that doesn’t mean they will commit to the training enough to do so. Training is a huge force multiplier.


I actually shot at a guy using my .22LR back in college. He raped a nursing student and threatened to kill her if she reported it to the police. She had room mates, so that didn’t fly.
I was the apartment house janitor so I volunteered to spend the night in the vacated dorm room.
The .22 pistol is all I had.
The perp tried breaking in to the dorm and I got one shot off but missed.
The perp lit the afterburners and was gone.
The next morning the chief of the campus PD called and suggested I get myself a bigger gun.

My point is, if a .22 is all you have or all you can handle, it is better than nothing and may very well put an attacker to flight. Maybe.


10/22 with a 110 round mag and binary trigger makes a somewhat scary defense.


Nancy’s (My wife) 10/22 w/ATI stock, Red Dot, Nebo 3 position Light and 25 rnd. BX mag w/CCI Velocitor 40 grn. I also installed the Ruger BX Trigger. She loves it. :us:



I have the same stock setup on mine. I put a Franklin Arms binary trigger in mine (it was on sale about 1/2 price at my local range) it’s pretty fun to set up multiple targets for fast plinking; 110 rds go out fast, though. At least it’s .22 and not more expensive ammo. I buy from CCI about 1x/month. It’s the only ammo that goes through my 10/22.


Might have to check out that trigger. I have used CCI Stingers for hunting for many years up to Coyote, but switched to Velocitor for home defense. :us:


I like to ask this question, would you like to get shot with a 22LR hollow point? It’s been touched on before, the middle ground would be a 380, R likes her Springfield 911. Small enough to conceal, manageable recoil and a fair amount of punch.


Personally, I was born with a set number of bodily orifices and have endeavored to not have that number increased. As such, I have an distinct aversion to have additional orifices forcefully added, regardless of caliber. I would hope that those who would attempt to add to that number would be afflicted with that same aversion.