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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since this always kicks up a hornet's nest, I will ask here in the "kinder-safer gun forum"? :D
My 20 year old daughter moved into her own house. As a good dad, I thought a lot about here safety. We got an alarm system and she has a small, but vocal dog. I bought a nice, used 20 GA pump shotgun for her as a home defense tool.

I took her out to shoot it, and the 20 GA just had too much kick to it. Her wrists are weak (damaged in a fall) and she was not able to handle it. OK- the pump is now mine. I next took her to the range and rented a few guns. She first tried my PT709. Nope the 9mm was too much....next was a .380 Bersa Thunder. Nada- same issue. Finally, I had her try a .22LR pistol with a 5" barrel that I use for plinking. That was good on the wrist. She shot a man shaped target at about 10 yards and put about 45 hits (out of 50) on center mass or head. The"misses" were still in the general area.

A .22LR is not my first choice for defense .... or second...or third, but it was the only option that seemed to work.

The question:
How effective is a .22LR at close range in a defensive situation? I calm myself a bit knowing that the presence of a firearm alone, can be a good thing and the dog would be nibbling some ankles. She knows that the cellphone is the best first line of defense, but when seconds count, the police are minutes away.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you tried a larger 9mm like a PT92/99? I find the smaller 9mm and .380's are the hardest on the wrist, a larger firearm won't kick as much.
Good thoughts. I have a friend with a PT-92. I will see about borrowing that this weekend and giving it a try
 

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I would say the 20ga is still the best option for home defense, with the understanding she will only have to fire it once or twice in a home defense situation. As for the 22LR. for personal self-defense is not the best protection, but it is better than nothing. However, shot placement become very important. Center mass will not be as effective as one thinks. A large bodied individual at around 230 pounds or more, a 22LR in the chest would most likely not stop the attack if he is determined to harm you. Therefore, one must place the shot in the head, which is difficult when a person is moving. If you decide to stay with a 22 cal. I would recommend stepping up to a 22 Magnum to obtain the needed penetration; I also recommend that you do not use HP because they will reduce penetration. Just my thoughts.
 

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Anything is better than nothing. If a 22 LR is all she can handle then that's what she should have. 22 magnum would be better and I don't think that recoil would be a problem. The key would be for her to practice rapidly emptying the pistol into the target and not just shooting one or two rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Anything is better than nothing. If a 22 LR is all she can handle then that's what she should have. 22 magnum would be better and I don't think that recoil would be a problem. The key would be for her to practice rapidly emptying the pistol into the target and not just shooting one or two rounds.
That is the same advise I gave her. The pistol holds 10 rounds and I told her to dump all 10 into the bad guy as fast as you can. That is the way she was practicing on the range.

I am still not comfortable with the .22LR, but I do know that the .22 can kill. It has been used as an assassins round for generations but it is still making me nervous.
 

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While the .22lr round is not the most effective round for self defense, I'd rather hit a bad guy with a .22 than miss with a 20g. When selecting and using a self defense gun of any type, one of the most important factors is confidence in one's ability to hit the target in an area where it'll make a difference. While it's "hard" to miss with a shotgun, think back about all of the rabbits or pheasants you've missed with a shotgun. Or all the clays etc. It's more than aiming and pulling a trigger. And it may be more than shooting once or twice. The bad guy is not going to stand there and present a still target. If she has confidence in her ability to use a 20g (I'd suggest a 12 since the 20 has a fairly sharp recoil and is lighter, thus less able to absorb the recoil - personally, I'd rather shoot a 12 than a 20, but that's me) then it is probably the right gun. If she has little or no confidence, than it's is most assuredly the wrong gun. When she is on the range with her .22lr, have her move and shoot at the same time. Then if she has the inclination, have her do the same thing with the 20. One example is worth 10,000 expert opinions. As was stated earlier, I'd move up to the .22 magnum. A little better round than the long rifle. But regardless, don't depend upon other people's opinions for your final decision. Make sure she and not you is confident in her ability and choice.
 

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If she can hit 45 out of 50 times, she could load the perp with lead and slow him down.
 

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Should she decide on the 22 mag for defense, Hornady 22 Magnum Critical Defense would make a good ammo choice.
 

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.22LR is better than nothing.

KSHunter suggested .22 mag - I'd say give that a whirl too.

Have you seen the videos of what a .22mag does to a phone book?

I have a 11oz S&W 351PD 7 round .22mag revolver...zero recoil.
 

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.22 is still better than a rock! shot placement is key!
Exactly! Shot placement is key in any caliber (there are plenty of people in the graveyard from 22's and plenty still walking around from larger rounds). If that works the best, look at high quality ammo for it. That way you know she's comfortable shooting it and will use it rather than something bigger. Also great that you all have those layers of security (dog, alarm, cell and gun). Now make sure she uses them (listen to dog barking, turn on alarm, load gun and keep ready, lock doors). We all know the cell will be charged up and in hand (that's where my kids keep it). :D
 

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I worked in the emergency room at a fairly large hospital in Indiana years ago. The damage that a single .22lr can do is pretty impressive. Where are you in Kansas? I have a Kel-Tec PMR 30 that I would let you and your daughter try. It holds 30 rounds of .22 mag. Yes it got a bad start. Mine with the right ammo runs flawlessly...:)
 

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If you've already tried larger calibers and she still couldn't handle the recoil due to her injury, then you've pretty much already answered your own question.

Seriously, at this point, it doesn't matter if folks here think .22LR is adequate for self-defense because if that's all she can handle then it will have to do.

Personally, I think .22LR is fine for self-defense. It's still a bullet and bullets are intended to be deadly by design, ergo if they couldn't succeed in living up to their own purposes, one would imagine that they would have been discontinued or improved by now. Now I know some folks will argue that .22LR isn't intended for use against human beings but rather small game, but that hasn't prevented it from getting the job done historically, nor has it stopped firearms manufacturers from designing .22 caliber firearms for self-defense against humans such as the ever-popular North American Arms Mini Revolvers.
.22LR most certainly isn't the optimal choice for self-defense, but with good shot placement it will most certainly get the job done, and something folks often forget is that most would-be attackers are just petty thugs looking for an easy target who will either willingly comply with their demands or can easily be subdued by force, and one who will produce a firearm of any caliber when threatened doesn't quite meet their criteria. Not every threat is the illusive 7ft tall/300lb+ Meth-head wearing 5 layers of denim and wielding a car door as a rudimentary shield who attacks at random on the street or kicks in your door at night.
That being said, I would suggest getting your daughter a .22LR rifle for Home Defense and High Velocity ammo just to get the most power out of the cartridge.

If you still would rather your daughter use something more powerful for self-defense, then I would recommend experimenting with some intermediate cartridges which you haven't tried yet like .22WMR or .32 ACP, but failing that, I think a .22LR will serve her well.
 

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Given the situation with her recoil sensitivities, I think I’d try her out with a .32 S&W Long revolver or a .32 ACP pistol. Also, I have a Charter Arms Pathfinder in .22Mag, I’d certainly have her give something similar a try as well.
 

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Like mentioned above - have her try a heavier 9mm - Like a 92, or some of the all metal 9mm's from other manufacturers. My wife hates shooting poly guns, but her personal SD weapon is my CZ75 SP01 tactical all 37 oz's of it when loaded. She stole it from me after I did a trigger job. Arghh..
 
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