Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ruger 10/22 For Defense

Over on THR, a member posted about getting a Ruger 10/22 as his first gun and its suitability for home defense. This is my reply:

A 10/22 is a viable home defense weapon, if not the ideal one.

Keep it simple, don't go crazy accessorizing it if you're going to use it for HD. (Adding accessories can come later once you get something better suited for HD.) There are a few accessories that could be beneficial:

1. A clamp-on weapon light. Most HD situations occur at night and target ID is paramount.

2. Williams Firesight front sight. It's a fiber optic bead that captures ambient light and makes it much more visible. I would avoid a scope or even an inexpensive red dot sight for a defensive gun. A scope's magnification reduces your field of view and slows target acquisition. A cheap red dot make break, the battery may die, or you may forget to turn it on in a SD situation. A peep rear sight coupled with a Firesight bead up front will give you fast target acquisition but good precision as well.

3. RELIABLE 25 round mags. Generally, Ruger 10 rounders are the most reliable but Butler Creek Hot Lips and Steel Lips mags can be very reliable. You'll need to try them in your rifle. Don't rely on any mags until you've put a hundred rounds through them, though.

For SD ammo, avoid the cheap bulk pack stuff. It's often not reliable enough in either functioning the weapon and will have a greater number of duds. My first choice for .22 LR SD ammo would be CCI Mini Mag SOLIDS. .22 LR has marginal penetration so I wouldn't use hollow points. CCI Mini Mag ammo is very high quality. I've shot a lot of it, never had a malfunction in various semiauto .22s, and never had one that was a dud. Mini Mags are more expensive than the bulk packs, so use the latter for practice.


Anonymous said...

i have already told you that i do not think that you need a home defense weapon in the blog about you shooting an uplander so im not gonna preach again. if you just must own a home defense gun i do not beleive that a .22 would be a good choice because it does not have the stopping power of the larger guns that is unless you shoot the guy in the head which would not be the best choice to do cause then you have guilt issues the key to home defense is to stop the attack not to end a life i just think you should really consider if you need to have a gun for home defense

Dave Markowitz said...

Go back and read what I wrote. I said that a .22 is not an optimum home defense weapon. However, it's all some people have.

Go do a Google search for "home invasion." It comes back with over 3.75 million hits.

Home burglaries happen and pretending they don't is pollyanish thinking.

If YOU don't feel comfortable with having a firearm for home defense nobody is forcing you to have one. But don't impute mental health issues to people who choose to take responsibility for their own safety.

Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Jeremy said...

A 10/22 is better than nothing. And for those who say that it doesn't have stopping power...would you like to volunteer to be shot by one to validate this? I certainly wouldn't. Now, that being said, I'd personally go with a 12 or 20 gauge pump action shotgun. Very reliable and easy to operate - you needn't worry about jams (unlike a semi-auto) and it's a short range defensive weapon so you don't need to worry about shooting through walls and inadvertently hitting bystanders or neighbours. And for the anonymous poster who talked about shooting the invader in the head and subsequent guilt issues - the goal is to stop the invader, particularly if he/she is threatening your life or your loved ones' life. I'd shoot to stop the invader (with any means necessary) and worry about the aftereffects later. Otherwise, I could be idealistic and keep myself unarmed, only to die at the hands of a invader.

Anonymous said...

I used to keep a 10/22 for home defense next to my bed. I would keep the breach locked open and insert the 30 round mag when I came home. I would suggest adding a better slide release, the standard one is hard to release when your half asleep; I discovered this the hard way! You could also keep it loaded. I never had to fire it in anger but I can make it sound like a machine gun. I have added many guns to my collection since and I prefer my Smith and Wesson M&P .357 loaded with the .38 FBI load as my on duty gun.

Anonymous said...

Why do I always hear about the lack of stopping power of a .22. I have a 12 ga, a 9mm ruger pistol, and several .22's. I definately dont feel under-matched with a .22. If you put a handfull of shots into the hips, and lower torso of an intruder...its over. And if they are hopped up on drugs, you still have enough rounds left in the gun to put some close up shots in the neck and head area. I can place all the rounds in my gun in a 2 inch circle at 15 yrds and closer. Id say that would do the job. Of course bigger is better, but its all about the user.

Dave Markowitz said...

Nobody wants to get shot with anything.

That said, in order to somewhat reliably incapacitate an aggressor, the bullet must be large enough and going fast enough to penetrate to vital organs. .22 rimfire is very marginal for this, especially if the shootee is large, wearing heavy clothes, or is on alcohol or drugs.

The whole point of this post was to provide information for people who for whatever reason, cannot use something bigger than a .22. For example, some people have medical conditions which prevent them from using a more effective caliber due to their recoil.

Anonymous said...

I agree, .22 A very adequate for home defense. Don't forget a .223/5.56mm is truly a .22 bullet with a much larger casing. While an AR is great for urban combat it's over powered for HD use i.e. under 45 yards. Within it's effective range it can put a lot of lead on target in rapid succession. "Stopping Power" is pseudo science, and what it comes down to is what the bullet does when it hits the target, if you can hit the target. The perimeters being: velocity, mass of projectile (bullet size), shape (FMJ, Hollow Point....), and speed. And finally what does it take to fatality injure a person. Not much, is the answer. A .22 is particularly good at killing due to some of its characteristics. High velocity, and very accurate out to about 100yds. When a .22 hits a person it has the propensity to pierce the body and bounce around inside off of bones causing gratuitous internal injuries. Also, at longer ranges the bullet loose it's aerodynamics and begins to spin end over end tripling it's impact size. As far as the guns you can use, most are lightweight, compact, and accurate. Another benefit is the cost - if you consider owning ANY gun you MUST be proficient in the handling of that gun (it don't mean jack if you can't use it), and that mean going to the range to shoot it regularly - lets say at least 4 times a year.


Dave Markowitz said...

Well, I don't consider a .22 adequate for defense. It's better than a sharp stick and the reason behind this post was to make some recommendations for those with no other choice.

A .22 is certainly a lethal weapon. However, we are not concerned with lethality. We need to stop a threat. In order to do so reliably we need to fire a bullet which will reliably penetrate an assailant and whatever he's wearing, to a depth which can cause some structural harm. A .22 can do that sometimes, but frequently cannot.

As for a .22 pentrating then bouncing around causing internal injuries, that's a myth.

Like I said, a .22 satisfies the first rule of a gunfight: Have a gun. For some people it may be the only option. But there are better choices if one is not limited to a .22.

joey g said...

It always amazes me when the comment is about a alchohol or drug user who is unstoppable,bottom line is whether you are willing and confidently capable to use the weapon, 22lr or larger caliber. I have seen the damage a small rnd can inflict, my mother luckily survived my friend did not.All rnds were fired from a small 22lr pistol and they had no problem ripping thru both torsos at about 5 to 7 yrds.Now as far as the crazed drug user its very unlikely they will try to invade your home when they are high and happy.It will be when they are in desperate need of the drug/money.Be prepared!put your rnds where they need to go and save your loved ones and yourself,one smile from your children or loved ones will erase any guilt in time.As far as caliber,every caliber has killed its a matter of what kind of will and training you put yourself thru. 22lr,380acp,38spl,9mm,40s&w,or 45acp i shoot them all they all do the job.