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My very first choice (one of which I do not have) would have to be a Ruger MK III 4" bbl. - the one I used to have would digest ANY ammo without question - or something like it. Next would be a Browning Same-o.




But not having those, I guess I'd opt for the Harrington & Richardson Mom and Dad carried with them on their honeymoon in 1930. (9 shots, DA/SA, break-open and fast reload). Has that strange-looking upright grip.

Or one (or both) --- High Standard Supermatic Trophy 5" bull-barrel, and Supermatic Tournment 6" tapered bbl, - 10 +1, extra mags, shoot anything with dang near perfect reliability even on Federal bulk ammo, and still able to hold 3" groups at 25 yds. Both of these are a darn-sight heavier than the H&R.

Choices are limited, here, and so I'm not at optimum, but things would prob work. The first paragraph is the WISH-LIST.
 
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If your only choice is a 22 the most important thing is shot placement ! Whatever your choice is can be reliable but if you can't put your shot where you need it you will be wasting your time. While a 22 can get the job done you have to put it where it will do the most damage. I would only want it as a last ditch backup gun to be used when I could get close enough that I knew I couldn't miss. That is a lot closer than I ever want to be to someone who is giving me enough reason to shoot in self defense. I have had to do a lot of things that I didn't want to over the years but I hope that is never one of them !
 

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Wahlter P22 loaded with High Velocity CCI Mini-Mags if i have to go .22 LR. It's my only regular sized .22 pistol i have, the PT22 Poly isn't that friendly to me in terms of reliability to save me.

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I'll have to say it would be my Ruger SR22. It's reliable and much easier to conceal than my other .22 handguns.
 
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For concealability and reliability, I would go with my Taurus 942 snubbie.

Accuracy and light weight would be my S&W 422.

My PT92 with 22lr conversion would be my choice for a full size 22 pistol. It eats anything.

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Not sure what I'd choose but, whatever it was, it would have a moderator and I'd load with British Eley Subsonic 42grain rounds. Double tap in the mouth, and they'd never hear where it came from. Either that or kneecaps..

But the most aggravation I'm likely to experience here is the milkman making too much noise at 2.00am..!!
You still have milkmen? Wow.
 

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What would it be?

Parameters for the question; ammo shortage is driving you to .22. Yes, I hear all you guys who wake up at 2AM and punch out another 1000 .4ACP by 4AM because reloading is in your blood. You've run out of components, because rats peed in your powder and made off with your primers. You've fired or sold your entire stash of factory or reloaded centerfire handgun ammo.

You're able bodied - no problem racking slides or pulling DA triggers. You just have to use a .22 for defense. No rifles; you need to be able to put it in a holster on your hip.

Let's get speculating. What's important? Capacity? Tolerance for different .22 loads, from standard speed to hypervelocity? Accuracy? What's it gonna be?
Ok... you are talking about .22 so I'll take that as .22LR / .22 Short or 22 long and not .22 WMR/MAG.

Your question... hits close to home as you and others know that (for a time) I thought that ,22 LR was going to be the only caliber that I could shoot. Even though I can shoot other calibers now (like happy .38 spl) I still at times have my Taurus PT22 with me in regards to my lines of work (which I won't get into).

There is "two choices" I would go for in regards to on the hip in a "holster".

Most gun manufacturers do not recommend "hyper velocity" ammo in there guns. So regardless of the gun, that's off the table (and no, I'm not going quote any metrics, sorry.)

1) "IF" .22 LR was available still, I would choose a high velocity hollow point round and use my GSG Firefly (10+1). At times with my old eyes, I can get a bit less than 25 yards, center mass with hollow points... and those are "good" hollow points CCI Mini mags with copper jacket / plated nose. Also Aguila makes a great hollow point with copper jacket / plated nose. With a 6" barrel, you still get expansion.

2) "IF" .22LR was beginning to be "hard to find" including "hollow points" and / or high velocity... I would switch to the "forum favorite" here... the Heritage Rough Rider Revolver. Fires Standard and High Velocity rounds... and ALSO .22 Short as well as CB / Subsonic. Not to mention bird / rat / snake shot loads... if you need that.. and those are always seem to be around as well (would not want to get hit in the face with that stuff). Even though people will argue that single actions are too slow... from my practice (and without fanning the hammer) I can put three rounds down range into target before any "would-be" attacker can take three steps towards me... that's good enough... again practice is key.

The other thing to note, Using .22LR (or ,22 Short) hollow points.. in a defensive capacity "is better" for home defense... IF... you live with houses "close by" like right next to you in regards to preventing over penetration through your wall of your house and into your neighbors house... not "guaranteed" but the lack of energy of the .22 LR (or Short) hollow point would be less than compared to say... a 9mm round... for example.

My 2 cents.
 

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If your only choice is a 22 the most important thing is shot placement ! Whatever your choice is can be reliable but if you can't put your shot where you need it you will be wasting your time. While a 22 can get the job done you have to put it where it will do the most damage. I would only want it as a last ditch backup gun to be used when I could get close enough that I knew I couldn't miss. That is a lot closer than I ever want to be to someone who is giving me enough reason to shoot in self defense. I have had to do a lot of things that I didn't want to over the years but I hope that is never one of them !
I was shooting with a guy in Homeland Security. He showed us a "head" target they practice with. Look up T-Box. If the round goes through the tip of the nose it will hit the Medulla Oblongata. That's the top of the brainstem. Shoot him in the forehead and you may confuse him (C'mon man.. You know.. That thing!) but he may continue the attack. Where I grew up, Mafia hits were done with 22s to the rear base of the skull. It was called a Pacman shot because it kept ricocheting inside the skull.
 

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Double tap in the mouth, and they'd never hear where it came from. Either that or kneecaps..
Po-tay-to / po-tah-to. But I think there is too great of a chance of a ricochet off those yellow, meth-stained teeth. Tip of the nose would be my choice. If he's only armed with a club, taking out his knee gives you a chance to scamper away. If he's showing a firearm, I wouldn't be aiming at his kneecap.
 

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Beretta M9A1 .22 w/15rd magazine. She's a sweet shooter and very accurate (even for me).
I don't have, but a SA Ruger Wrangler now, as far as .22LR goes. That Beretta is the next pistol I will buy, when money allows.
 

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My Rossi Sportsman DA revolver is very accurate. I reckon it'd make a decent .22 caliber defensive revolver. BUT, I THINK i'd go with the Ruger SR22.
 
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Every time I see this posted, "Let's say you have to resort to a .22 handgun for self defense", all I can think is that I must have blown through one heck of a lot of ammo to get to that point.
 

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I'd have to go with my Ruger SR-22. I've run 3-4 different brands of ammo through it and it hasn't skipped a beat on me yet. For me, it's sized right and is just fun to shoot. I don't think it would ever be a target gun, but for closer, personal work, it's more than adequate. My Browning Buckmark is more accurate and has a better trigger, but is a little big for extended concealed carry.
 

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1. Walther P22 with Crimson Trace laser (point and shoot) with 10+1 rounds CCI Mini-mag 40gr copper plated round nose.
2. Henry H001 lever action with 17 rounds same ammo.
 

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Like others have said, I would have to shoot a lot of other ammo or break a lot of guns before I had to resort to a .22 for self defense.

In a EOTWAWKI situation, I might carry a threaded and suppressed Ruger MK III/.45 as a quiet offensive weapon.
 
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20200904_014719.jpg 20200904_014741.jpg
Heritage Rough Rider - comes with two cylinders, one LR, the other WMR.
It's loaded with the WMR, and sits next to my recliner in the den, with a straight shot to the front door and any unwanted intruders.
 
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I have a 10-round, FIE E22 which I can carry in a Sticky holster inside my left pocket with 4 extra 10-round mags inside my right pocket. The mags are loaded with either CCI Stingers (32gr HP), CCI Velocitors (40gr HP) or Win Super-XX Hyper-Velocity (40gr HP).

E22.jpg
 
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