Just to prove that the lowly .22LR is no slouch . . .

. . . here’s evidence of how deadly it can be.  Remember this when someone dismisses the round contemptuously as “Oh, that’s only a .22!”  It can still kill you.

I wrote a couple of years ago about ‘.22LR as a defensive round‘, pointing out that with proper training, it could be deadly efficient and effective.  I’ve seen no reason to change my opinion of it since then – and I still have more firearms chambered for .22LR in my gun safe than for any other cartridge.



  1. I was once on a jury in a murder trial in Los Angeles. One gang member shot another through the door of the Cadillac he was driving. After going through the door, the glass of the rolled down window, the inner door panel, the 22lr bullet entered the side of his chest cavity and killed him. It was fired from approximately 100 feet away.

    I’ve respected the 22LR ever since.

  2. Unless your rooms are only 4 inches wide the test is flawed.
    Still nobody likes to get shot, regardless of the caliber and a well placed 22 will end a violent conflict pretty quickly.


  3. No one with a lick of sense wants to get shot which applies even to most criminals.
    The sort of drugged up crazy who would charge .22lr fire would do the same for .45acp.
    That said, all a firearm really is is a kinetic energy transfer device, and while the video aptly demonstrates a .22s penetration that 40 grain or less bullet just does not have all that much energy to transfer.
    The ballistics field typically separates into three areas: internal, flight, and terminal. How does the bullet act while in the firearm, what characteristics does it exhibit in flight, and what effect does the bullet have on the target.
    I would certainly not feel defenseless with a high quality reliable .22 firearm, but in the crunch just a tad happier with a 12 gauge pump holding #4 Buck and a bandoleer of extra rounds.

  4. They do have penetration, but not the terminal ballistics of a larger round. Having said that, I STILL wouldn't want to get shot by one!

  5. Does anyone remember the big push to get "Saturday night specials" off the streets? The biggest menace on the street was the .22 or .35 pocket piece pistol, a deadly killing machine with statistics to prove it.

  6. Any LEO with any street experience will tell you that the .22LR is an over-penetrating SOB. It falls in a "sweet spot" velocity wise where the bullet holds together as it penetrates. There's a reason why the Israeli Mossad and the American mafia used it extensively. It combines low recoil, relatively soft report, extreme accuracy in a small package that's easy to shoot well.

    There's a lot to like in the .22LR. If I was forced to choose just one long-gun, I'd be hard-pressed not to choose the .22.

  7. The only advice I have on .22s for defense come from Jeff Cooper — shoot multiple rounds, and shoot for the eyes. Makes sense to me…

  8. If you look at the 'one-shot stop' statistics, generally it takes between 2 and 2.5 hits with .22LR to stop an assailant.

    Sure, it's not as good at .45 or .357 mag, but you're supposed to be staying on target and pulling the trigger until the perp falls down and stops moving.

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