Thoughts On Small Caliber Handguns

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by kilogulf59, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    This started out on ICCF as a reply to Mouseguns for Self-Defense - Selection and Tactics which was written by one of our members who owns that site.
    The thread was inspired by the conversation between oscarmayer and myself in another thread here.


    As far as my personal sentiments on the subject are concerned, I will surmise as follows:

    1. .22, .25, and .32 caliber pocket-type weapons do have a niche, albeit a small one.

    2. Most people do not truly understand their limited application and therefore the guns are, or can be, misused.

    3. I consider guns of this type as contact weapons more than true combat pistols.

    4. The only target that should be considered is the face/head area and at arms length. Honestly, I always assumed if I ever had to use mine, it would be tucked under my assailant’s ear or chin, more of a knife that goes band.

    5. Use the hottest and finest ammo you can get, as you need every edge you can with the diminutive calibers.

    6. Small caliber hide-out guns need to be absolutely reliable (as do all weapons). By the time these tools of last resort are deployed it is already too late for any malfunction corrections and they’re too light to use as a sap.

    7. Do I advocate their usage? No, certainly not nonetheless, if it is all you have at least have some idea of how to use it and what to expect from its use.

    8. .22’s, .25’s, and .32’s are effective killing rounds, as are any firearm cartridges, but they are not so-called stopping rounds. You may very well be dead before your attacker.​
  2. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I have something to say here, first several hits on an an attacker with any calibre will have a many fold greater effect than one. So if one is using a small calibre go for multiple hits.

    Second I respectfully disagree about head shots, a good secondary target but in self defence I would recommend good solid torso hits, preferably several. Reason: The head is a small target that moves around a lot, and quickly.

    I cant disagree with a larger calibre being better, but only hits count. For many a smaller calibre is easier to shoot well with. I suggest a couple of hits with a .22 is going to have more effect than a miss with a .45acp.

    Lastly some of the best security services in the world have used .22s to good effect, using quick, accurate multiple hits. They know what they are doing.

    Hey, this is my 1000th post, woopie.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2008
  3. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    as i made note in a prior post the mosad has been known to use 22 walthers for their wet work. nothing wrong with a few well placed small rounds. 22.25,32 they will get the job done and are best at arms lenght. and at arms lenght a head shot is a bit easier i've been trained to aim for the eye scoket.
  4. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    by the way there is an excellent web site called www.mouseguns.com tons of useful information there
  5. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    Well Happy K Tranter…and to address your points…

    > I believe that multiple rounds fired is implied with any caliber weapon. That is important and thanks for the clarification.

    > You will note in my summation these statements: “I consider guns of this type as contact weapons more than true combat pistols” and “The only target that should be considered is the face/head area and at arms length. Honestly, I always assumed if I ever had to use mine, it would be tucked under my assailant’s ear or chin, more of a knife that goes bang”.

    > Torso hits with small (and sometimes large) caliber pistol bullets are essentially bleeders, nasty ones, but bleeders nonetheless. Please refer to No. 8 above.

    > Only effective hits count…I don’t care what happens if I’m dead already. In the greater scheme of things, even big bore handguns are marginal stoppers at best.

    > Security forces, and “other” agencies, use .22’s in two primary areas, one, as silenced assassin’s weapons to terminate sentries, guard dogs, or important and/or uncooperative targets. This is done at close if not contact range and generally with headshots. The second is as a marker to “tag” dissident leaders in protests and riots. The Israelis are famous for this using silenced Ruger 10/22 rifles and shooting for the lower body or legs. The reasons are several, but mainly that the .22 causes them to require medical attention thus making apprehension safer and two, because the little wounds are nasty but generally not terminal unless left unattended. Either way the Israelis win…

    In all Trantor, I think perhaps we are looking at this from two different perspectives. Your statements make me think of using a .22 instead of a .38 for a carry piece or house gun. I am talking strictly as a self-protection weapon, no deterrent effect intended. The thought of firing at an assailant at over arms length distance never occurred to me, unless it is just to make noise. I would not do that because then I’d be down a few rounds that he would have in his head…
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Oscar, that is a good site with tons on info. That link in my first post is from there and Marshall, the admin, is a great guy.
  6. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    On balance you and I are on the same page. I accept much of what you say. You clearly have the training and the good sense to practice what I take to be a high level of ability.

    Not everyone has this ability however and I think in the hands of those with less ability, and strangely in the hands of those with above average ability small calibre handguns do have a place. For example an 75 year old woman could easily pump 5 or more .22s into an intruder, whereas a .38 or 9mm may only allow her one stable aimed shot before she became disorientated.

    I must disagree over firing at arms length. While I accept few street thugs have proper training, get within arms length of some folk I know, and they will have your gun, not you.

    Like you and given the choice I would select a larger calibre, nothing less than a 9mm or .38, both of which I am sure we can use quite well. :)

    Just for the record, Israelis used .22 Beretta's, they may have used Walthers but my contact says he never saw any.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2008
  7. Sound advice, Tranter, and congrats on the 1000th post! I've always believed that so-called "mouse guns" do have their place under specialized circumstances. Generally speaking, the more powerful the caliber, the larger the weapon needed to fire it. Sometimes concealment outweighs the added stopping power of the larger weapon. Personally, I will carry a .32 Beretta Tomcat under such circumstances. I think the .32 is the best of the small-caliber lot, though I would never sell a .22 short either. Multiple hits are indeed essential with any diminutive caliber. Shoot the SOB until he's on the ground and not moving!
  8. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    Well Tranter everyone’s conditions are different. That’s why my motto is “remember, what works for you may not, necessarily, work for me – keep an open mind”. My version isn’t completely right or wrong however it is based upon personal exeriance and technical research. When using so-called “mouse guns” (or any gun for that matter) one must prepare for the worst and pray for the best.

    ”I must disagree over firing at arms length. While I accept few street thugs have proper training, get within arms length of some folk I know, and they will have your gun, not you.” True and this is where all the non-physical aspects come tinto play prior to confrontation, i.e. Awareness/Alertness, Self control (Coolness)/Acceptance (of the situation), Decisiveness,Willingness (to do whatever it takes), et alii.

    Sometimes we tend to focus on the confrontation itself instead of the total package. If the homework is done upfront and properly there’s much less chance of needing the physical aspects.
  9. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    i do believe i stand corrected. beretta model 70 ? not walther, have to forgive my old memory,and it was a rather quick meeting in passing while shooting the breeze with a few guys after a training day in a little berg named basingstoke ? the exhaustion and mental draining i recall as if it was yesterday small facts remain fuzzy.
  10. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    [​IMG]

    This pistol Oscar?
  11. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    yep it sure looks like it. however my disclaimer in case i'm wrong is that it was oh sooooo many years ago. and the guy didn't introduce himself to me as hi i'm so and so from the mosad lol it was just the rumor at the time. his primary handgun was a browning hi-power of that i 100% sure.
  12. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    I think of small calibers, .22 specially as a dicotomy: They are excellent as a beginners gun, but just for learninig to shoot. If they will be used for defense, (or killing for that matter); they are better of in the hands of really experts. (Ask the Mossad)
  13. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    i believe that is the point of this thread. but expert or not they have their place. i'd venture a guess that more 22,25 and 32's are carried than most any other caliber. i look at them as last ditch/get off me firearms. something to stop the threat and allow for retreat.
  14. Gene Seward

    Gene Seward Member

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    As a teenager I worked for my local police dept. as a radio dispatcher and had a guy turn himself in for shooting his sister (about 300lbs). His weapon of choice was a .25 auto with one well placed round right between the eyes. That is about the only way I would want to shoot someone with a small caliber gun. However, several have been shot several times with .22 only to be really P.O.ed. It is better than nothing BUT.
  15. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    Well, I see the small calibers as a way to assure that you actually have a handgun on you. I'm not going to take the time to take on and off an IWB rig every time I get out of my vehicle to make a trip into the store. If I did I'd be paranoid about printing in my pants and shirt, and I don't usually wear a shirt tail out either so that's another issue. In my opinion, the IWB rigs that are tuckable are just a big sign that says, "what are those 2 clips on his belt?" I don't have the discipline nor patience for that. I do have the discipline to keep a loaded .380 KelTec (although a bit larger than the .32 listed in this thread) with a spare magazine in my bluejeans pocket with little worry of being exposed by some jabber-mouth soccer mom. The thing disappears in loose-fitting bluejeans like a carpenter jean.

    It's for this reason that I try to talk anyone buying a concealed handgun into purchasing at least one pocket gun. It's fine if it's your first handgun and you need to get more acquainted with shooting on a larger frame, but you WILL NOT carry that gun at the same frequency that you would a smaller pocket pistol such as a S&W J frame KelTec, etc... I just watched a coworker acquaintance purchase a full-size Bersa .380 that he will likely never carry because of its size, except in the winter. If you're going for a .380 in that large of a frame, consider something larger in caliber. Heck my Taurus PT145 fits the same IWB rig that my Bersa .380 does, although the Bersa is a bit lighter and slimmer (a bit mind you).

    Ok, I drifted from the point of the thread a bit but I felt those comments were possibly useful... Maybe not... :)
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  16. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    I think a 22 is great for self defense against marauding squirrels and thieving woodchucks. Having said that there are people that cannot handle anything larger due to infirmities and a mousegun has it's place there. I personally would rather have one good hit with a 357 mag or 45 acp than 3 with a 22 or 32 or even the 380 auto. If you are capable of handling a larger caliber then there are plenty of large caliber alternatives that are as light as the 12 Oz S&W 340 Ti so I see no reason to go small caliber.

    Now for the confession I walk 4 to 5 miles each day normally in running shorts and t-shirt and I carry a 5 shot NAA 22 mag while doing that. My everyday gun is an SP101 and I pocket carry that in the summer and OWB in the cooler months.

    To summarize if you can handle something larger carry it, if not carry something.
  17. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

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    Well, in my opinion, 'most any small calibre beats a rock.
  18. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I have something to add, ask yourself 'what's the best handgun and calibre?' Well the best answer I have to that is another question, 'what do you want to do with it?'

    Almost every calibre and type of gun has a role, has a place. Most often it will end up a compromise. The good news is most of you in the US get to choose. I say try anything and everything that looks promising, then buy several.

    Choosing has to be half the fun.
  19. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    quote.... "i see no reason to go small caliber" and you state one of the many reasons you yourself carry a naa 22 mag
  20. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    You must have read his post too quickly. If you re-read, he said "if you can handle something larger carry it, if not carry something"....which ain't bad advice.
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