Using a .22 long rifle for self-defense

For a little over 11,000 years humanity used the venerable bow and arrow for everything from self-defence through hunting. As an implement of war it was vastly superior to the spear and sword for ranged conflicts. With the introduction of gunpowder into the “west” as we know it now the bow became a second choice and eventually was outpaced by the firearm. wpid-img_13392751342773.jpeg

As a weapon of self-defence and hunting the firearm is superior to all other implements used by individual humans. The lowly .22 was created as we know it today in 1887 by the Stevens Arms and Tool Company. With a velocity ranging from subsonic through 1300+ feet per second the round has many available applications and can function in many roles.

The .22 long rifle based solely on range, speed and energy of bullet is vastly superior to the arrow shot from even the most advanced bow known to man. The only real drawback is that you cannot re-use a bullet once shot and there is sound issues as well.

Let us take a look at the facts,

  1. Standard .22 lr are 40 grains, solid point with a median muzzle velocity of 1200 fps averages 104 ftlbs of energy with standard penetration of 16″+ inches (as long as it is within 100 yards)
  2. A 250 grn arrow shot from a 60 lb draw bow with a 28″ draw averages 48.06 ftlbs of energy with penetration completely reliant on distance and substance being penetrated (standard distance less than 75 yards)

Of course the next argument that invariably becomes a talking point for the proponents of bigger is better with firearms is the potential for reliability issues with the .22lr. It is a well known fact that the standard big box .22 ammunition will see failures to ignite in one in 100 at a bare minimum. However, with more care invested into the process of loading these rounds you can easily obtain a one in 1000 failure rate which is perfectly acceptable for self defence, hunting or any real life application. IMG_8039

As someone who occasionally carries a .22 lr for self defence; I have tested tens of thousands of rounds from many manufacturers and representative of many load types. As a result I would suggest that those individuals interested in utilizing a .22 lr for self defence utilize Ely primed or high end “hunting/varmint” rounds from the various manufacturers. I have had great results using Ely primed ammunition manufactured in Mexico by the Augila ammunition company.

Cost these days is negligible as you can generally purchase 9mm for around the same price as .22lr in many cases thanks to scaremongering and government restrictions. The real benefit is the availability of .22 caliber firearms on the open market and the general disdain shown it by both governments and individuals. This means that in almost every nation and land mass around the world you may be able to locate for personal use a .22 rifle or handgun. IMG_1929

What is important to be understood with a .22 lr firearm is that what may be concealment for most rounds is almost always light cover from a .22, this simply means that accuracy is essential. You must be able to place rounds in soft tissue and blood carrying organs and vessels of your chosen target at distances between zero yards and 25. Practice and understanding of your firearm and its limitations is also essential. Many modern cars that are not armoured will not provide cover even from a .22lr, however, in some cases even a small plastic cup can deflect a bullet regardless caliber.

Accurate reliable shooting is essential with any personally carried projectile weapon. More so with a .22lr, there are those who will never be able to see facts. However, there are also those who believe as I do that the individuals freedom is something that must be protected at all costs. The result is simple, always be ready and able to defend yourself. Additionally if one lives their life with facts as primary focus, a .22lr becomes an essential tool for the kit. EDC

On the physical side even a small child can learn to shoot a .22lr handgun or rifle accurately and with a little proper education will end up being far safer and even more accurate than the cream of the states crop of Sturmabteilung. An elderly man or woman can easily manipulate, aim and shoot a 22lr as can any human with physical ailments that would restrict them from shooting or defending themselves with other methods.

And so my hat is off to the venerable .22lr and I salute its designers for the good they did in inventing this tiny popgun that works. Remember, bleeding is what causes death. Perforate large blood carrying and pumping organs and death or disability will come rather quickly. Lungs, heart, lower limbs and even necks are all prime areas for targeting. If the target is armoured or partially hidden, shoot the parts that are exposed. 20130302-093034.jpg

As for those who will surely launch into a variety of reasons why a .22 should never be used and only a .45 or larger works to knock them off their feet…please do not bother. I base my instruction, writing and beliefs in what has been proven. Thanks for looking and reading and remember, stay FREE!

If you desire additional information, statistics, facts and or evidence with regards to firearms and training ask. Otherwise feel free to research myself by simply using the search function and my name. Or click on my training website linked here.


Free the mind and the body will follow


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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