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Discussion Starter #1
I have been working with a Rem Model 597 22 Mag rifle lately, and am very surprised by the power and reliability of this round in this rifle. The 20-inch bbl gives 2300 fps with CCI MaxiMag +V ammo, and the effects on groundhogs are devastating.

The latest application has been to the fine Virginia tradition of shooting down mistletoe, for which this combination is without peer. Recoil is so light, and bullet impact is so great, that one can just walk across the limb with a low powered scope. I can cut a 3-inch diameter limb with 4 shots. One such 4 shot effort recently yielded 6 pounds of the beautiful green gold, which sells like hotcakes for $25 a pound. My own 23 acre farm has at least 1000 pounds of the stuff, and most property owners will allow limited harvesting for a pound to keep for themselves. The use of anything but a 22 results in a flat NO.

My local game warden friend says that 70% of all deer poaching is done with the little 22 Mag, and he keeps one in his vehicle to dispatch injured and wounded animals. He said that most of the poaching is done over bait, and there are more lung shots than head/neck shots involved.

This led me to some experimental tactical shooting at the range, and almost anyone can put 3 quick shots into a 4 inch square at 25 yards using a Red Dot scope- by quick, I mean 1 second. Given the simple but effective Rem trigger lock, and the utility of the clip feed, I am somewhat persuaded that this little rifle is suitable for home defense. The explosive bullets will not penetrate walls, and the liability aspects of a 22 are about as low as you can get. Practice is cheap and fun and even a novice can master it in a few hours.

The Rem receiver and action are easily adaptable to smaller, lighter rifles, stocked with pistol grips and 16 to 18 inch bbls for this application, as well as the survival gun market.

Please offer opinions on this, as I am no expert in tactical defense matters. I hear that 22s are not good for defense, but my experience with the 22 Mag in this rifle leads me to believe otherwise.
 

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I agree with your idea of using a light rifle for home defense but have had too many, brand-new rimfire rounds fail to fire makes me not want to rely on one for home defense when you may only get one shot.

One of the new pistol caliber carbines by ruger or my lever action .357 maybe.

Any gauge shotgun loaded with light target loads even better.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Interesting, I have not had a 22 Mag misfire in the 597 yet, although I do get them with 22 LRs in some semiautos. Better shoot up a couple of cases of CCI 22 Mags to be sure.

I have tried both the Hi-Point and Kel-Tec 9MM Carbines, and they are formidable and very, very reliable. Both have pistol grips and 16 inch bbls. The down side is that they both look and act like assault rifles, and there is a liability issue there. I can get the female members of my family to shoot them, but they really like the 22 Mag because it looks and acts like a squirrel gun.

Also, I can't get them comfortable with pumping or levering. They just don't shoot enough.

In any event, your selection of alternatives is a good one, and I would go in that direction if I were the primary defender. For me, it would be the 12 guage Coach Gun with 20 inch bbls = forend mounted flash light. 100% reliable, low on liability and big on intimidation. Some walpapering job if you have to use it though!
 

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Having some experience and training from my law enforcement days, I could not recommend any .22 rimfire for a defensive round. Hard statistics are a good indicator of how poor the 22s are as fight stoppers. Granted, it would be better than a sharp stick. But there are a lot better choices out there that would be just as easy to master with a little practice. A reliable pump 20ga would be hard to beat for a house gun and could be used by the whole family. If you would rather use a rifle, a lever action 357 would be a good choice. My choice in a handgun would be a 1911 type 45 acp, although would require some range time to master. These are just my personal choices, but the statistics show that a shotgun load from typical home defense ranges is the king, followed by the 125 gr. 357 mag, then the 45's, which are one shot threat stoppers about 90% of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ted H -

Good advice. I might stay with the 9MM in one of the carbines, as +P+ 124 gr XTPs do 1500 fps out of them...pretty much the same as the 357 125 gr load you mentioned. No pumping or levering, and very reliable.
 

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If you really want to stay away from the "assault style" carbines, take a look at the ruger 44 mag carbine - loaded with .44 specials it would probably not be too much for the lady's.
 

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loader,
Another good choice would be one of the Marlin Camp Carbines. {semi-auto} I used to have one in 9mm. It was completely reliable and does not have the assault rifle appearance.
 

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Good advice TedH, I wouldn't want to stake my life on a .22 either. Those Marlin camp carbines are light, fast and pack a heck of a punch especially if you can get one in .45 auto. CEJ.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
These choices are all very good, and I accept the reasoning.

I must say, however, that the power of a 22 Mag in a rifle is quite unlike any other 22 rimfire. From an energy perspective, they are equal to a 9MM pistol (350 fpe), but far more destructive. In my 20 inch bbl the Maxi Mag +Vs do 2300 fps and spin at over 130,000 rpm, and they leave a wound channel the spitting image of a 357 mag pistol pushing a 125 gr HP. How it does yhis, I have no clue. Penetration should not be their forte, but they blow through very fat groundhogs amidships, leaving a cloud of red gas in the air.The same loads leave a quarter sized exit hole in 4X4 pressure treated posts - go figure...

That said,I also have read the disclaimers and doubts about 22s for defensive work, so I am also a doubter in the 22s.

I just wanted to make sure we were all talking about 22 Mag loads in a rifle before I gave up on it. They act deadly and my girls shoot 'em like lightning from a semi-auto.
 

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loader, about 16 1/2 years ago my cousin's husband was killed with a 22 short. by his father in law. an "accident". but i would not depend on any 22 rimfire for a home protection caliber. they can be easily stopped by anyone wantint to cause mischief.and i also know several folks who are still carrying 22 cal. bullets in parts of their anatomy.
my ak-47 is a very good homeland defense carbine. MY HOME AND LAND. light on recoil, and of course very capable. and ammo is very cheap as well. fwiw
 

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i am looking at getting a .22mag for my conceal and carry handgun. however, as far as a rifle goes, i think everyone agrees shotguns are number one. the problem with rifles, including that ak47 is they have a direct line the bullet will follow. so unless you are able to pump out numerous ammounts in only seconds, the shotgun would be a better defender. and as everyone knows, the cycling of a shotgun is the best way to scare off an intruder.
 

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HOME DEFENSE!........I'll tell you right up front that a .22mag is LUDICROUS as a "self defense gun" in slamming a person down for the count.

You don't want this intruder getting to your with a knife, axe, hammer etc while your putting little .22 cal bullets into him, which is exactly what can happen in such a break in at your home. A .22 cal just does NOT have the Energy Levels stop a human being, in their tracks. My suggestion would be to get yourself a good pump 12 gauge shotgun or at least a double barrel 12 gauge with 20 inch barrel length.

My other suggestion is to get yourself a good "wheel gun" double action revolver in a .357 or 41 mag, as Skeeter Skelton once said: If your going to bet your life on a pistol, then make sure it is a WHEEL GUN!!! Then practice practice and more practice.
 

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I'm with loader on this - a 22 Mag is not a 22 LR - it's in a different category of energy transmission. If for some reason I didn't want to use a 20 ga pump, I think a 22 Mag rifle would be my second choice.

I care about handguns, but my wife doesn't particularly. She doesn't work the action, fit her hand to the grip to ensure she can do it in the dark, nor does she practice loading in the dark or clearing malfs.

A pump 20 ga with #6 shot (or #9 at arms' length house ranges) is likely best, and will survive a courthouse better than most anything. I think at three yards range, however, the shotgun will have a (maybe) three-inch spread; one can miss with a shotgun at close range. Nothing will allow a follow-up shot faster from an inexperienced shooter after a miss than a 22LR/22Mag.

My concern re 22 Mag has nothing to do with its terminal effects, but with its reliability. Loader's failure-free experience isn't my impression of the general run of 22 Mag rifles.

Those of us who own our houses tend to want to keep them, rather than deeding them over to a miscreant who sues us for excessive force. I read many years ago that even a "good" shooting will cost upwards of $10k; any question at all (custom grips on the handgun, or a "hair trigger," for instance) could run it up to over $50k, and those figures were 10 to 20 years ago. I can't wite a check for that - I'd have to borrow against my house.

I'll have my Kahr with me, but I'll be carrying the shotgun (or possibly a reliable 22 Mag) as primary.

Jaywalker
 

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I carry a .45ACP pistol, "9", .357, .38spl, and .45Colt occasionally at work, hunting, and target shooting. I deal with a lot of law enforement personal who have very strong opinions on what they consider "lethal" guns in experienced hands and "non-experienced" hands (read poor shots). Most agree that bigger is better if you can handle the caliber and shoot it enough to be accurate. Rifles and shotguns are hard to put into use if the environment involves close quarters or rapid deployment; thus, pistols or revolvers are usually the weapons of choice. While a pump shotgun is certainly intemidating when the action is "racked", having time to rack is may take enough time to get you killed. While I too am very impressed with the demonstrated power (terminal results) of the .22 magnum, you are not going to get the same results with a short barreled pistol that reduces the velocity to the same as a .22 LR in a common rilfe barrel. And, using a .22 Mag rifle goes back to the problem of trying to get the weapon into action in an emergency. On the other hand, a small .38 revolver is a viable alternative for any person, regardless of gender, who does not shoot very often. It is probably the safest, most reliable action made that has very little muzzle blast and recoil compared to the bigger or smaller guns. It can be "mastered" with very little practise (I've taught many a non-shooter on our range) if they have the desire to learn how to protect themselves. If the person is not convinced to use a bigger gun and is willing to risk their life on a rimfire "autoloader", then the .22 Mag in a rifle certainly has the power to cause a "nasty" wound if the target stays far enough away to put the gun into action. Dispatching injured animals are not the same as dispatching an "intruder" who is bent on your distruction. My advice is to buy a gun designed for the task at hand; not a gun that might work. My 2cents - Riley
 

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If you are going to use a .22mag for home defense, I would recommend trying to get a Grendle handgun. It was sold prior to the ten round clip ban and had a clip capacity of 30rds. Might be back in production.
 

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Swany said:
If you are going to use a .22mag for home defense, I would recommend trying to get a Grendle handgun. It was sold prior to the ten round clip ban and had a clip capacity of 30rds. Might be back in production.
Swany,
I think that kind of misses the point. The idea of the rifle is to gain the velocity benefits of a rifle and the courthouse benefits of a .22 rimfire. A handgun loses both of these advantages.

Jaywalker
 

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The .22 magnum rimfire has been advertised as a handgun defense cartridge off and on for Many Years. I bought a S&W stainless .22 Mag revolver 8 years ago, and while I have fired it a good deal I still find myself not completely trusting of it as a manstopper, not like I would feel with a .44 Special or .45 ACP. Have seen what a .22 magnum does to rabbits and woodchucks - messy - but just do not feel comfortable with the little round as my only defense. (The S&W still lives in the vault) LLS
 

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Well interesting thoughts by everyone. I have to say if you don't have anything else or can't afford anything else a 22 mag would have to do.

If you can afford a different weapon almost anything would be better. Pump shotguns first, double action revolvers second (nice one hand use) Pistols third in calibres and gauges that are proven stoppers.

If your idea is to stop someone entering your home and harming you or your kin then you have already made the decision to kill to protect yourself and your family.

If your going to kill I would think well my choice of weapons. There is a wealth of litrerature out there on home and self defense and not much of it recommends the 22 magnum as a defense round.

Reguardless of how you feel and how easy to shoot a weapon is there is a point where you and your families lives may depend upon it. This being a free country you certianly can disreguard facts, but I wouldn't want my life or my wife and childrens lives to depend upon a 22 magnum.
 

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I believe Loader was looking for something that his GALS would shoot. Since they are not interested in shooting in general, but do like the .22M then this is what they would probably do best with under the extreeme stresses involved WTSHTF.

Very few attackers (in the home) are wound out on PCP's, Meth, etc. They are preditors, not fighters. If proper and I might add inexpensive precautions are followed, there wont be any bedside visits. Otherwise, their breaking in well be noticed.

Most here seem to be of the mind set (sorry if I'm wrong) that
COM is the only target. More people are killed every year from .22LR's than anything else. No matter the caliber, when shooting starts the perps tend to take off.

The only ones that continue to press an attack are usually knowen to the intended victum, and are there for the express purpose of doing them harm, not robery or even rape. These are stalkers, ex's step siblings, etc.

A neighbor of mine some years ago was faced with this situation, she used a plain Rugar 1022. She just pointed at his head and let 'er rip. She just emptied the clip, she didn't need to, but stress causes "funny" things to happen: This is why they debreif cops a t least a day or so after a shooting, but want you you to talk it up right away. This is also the reason you should keep your mouth shut until you've talked to a Lawyer. HE was finished by the second or third shot, hard to tell....he had three that made brain contact that I know of, the left ear was notched, one took a divit out of his jaw one hit him high in the chest and one broke his collarbone, the rest were misses.
.22M ammo isn't loaded as fast nor are there the high numbers involved. More care is taken when the priming compound is spun into the rims. In the better grades of .22 ammo considering the bizillions of round made, how relitively few misfires there are. But for .22LR target or .22M ammo, I have never had a misfire, never. And I have no idea of how many bricks I've burned up over tge years.

Using quality ammunition, I've had several FTF's with Centerfires in several calibers, including the two I carry regularly: .38+P and .45ACP+P.

Respectfully, Dan
 
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