Why, you might think, should you bother having a .22 pistol? The rounds are small, the bullets light, and the power or terminal performance is widely regarded as not enough to depend on your life. However, looking at it from some different angles, you might want to reconsider this opinion. A .22 handgun can be your ideal problem solver for any purpose and that the whole year and every year, from plinking to hunting to personal protection.
This holds even more true if you are a rather outdoorsy person. Here, such a little companion can be the perfect truck gun, trail gun or your gun for your survival. Of course, especially when it comes to activities in the wild, one might think of something with a lot more oomph. This might be a rifle or an oversized revolver. With it, you can easily drop a grizzly or show a biker gang that they chose the wrong guy or gal to mess with. Then there is the survival situation ranging from your personal apocalypse all the way to the end of the world as we know it.
However, putting your focus on real life situations, you might very fast find out that there are not a lot of us living in bear country. Also, it is not all too common to have to fight with a biker gang. Talking about the apocalypse, it might be a flat tire far from a gas station or any other kind of help, but much less unlikely the end of civilization.
That being said, you might want to consider something more pedestrian than a hand cannon or the biggest, baddest, most vicious rifle you can find on earth. That does not mean to go completely unarmed. Just dial it down a notch or a few notches. This brings us back to the nice little caliber .22, be it as .22 LR or .22 WMR.
In fact, these little punchers might be closer to Jeff Cooper`s idea of a general purpose gun than anything else. If you get stuck in the middle of nowhere, you can use these rounds to hunt enough little game to survive. You do not need to wait for the bigger ones with too much meat to eat in one day for you anyway. Rabbits, Squirrels and the likes are not only much more often to be encountered but also more than enough when on a survival diet in the wild.
Defending yourself against two legged predators, nothing beats shot placement. For this, you should be close and shoot something with low recoil. The .22 caliber fits the bill perfectly. As you might have to carry everything around while walking yourself, you might opt for something light, and almost nothing that you can shoot beats the .22 LR here. Last but not least, the ammo and the guns are dirt cheap, so it is easy to stock up in case you actually do have to confront what is left after the end of the world.
.22 Pistols for Plinking
Firearms are tools for self defense and for hunting. However, plinking allows you to let off some steam while at the same time training for the day that hopefully never comes. With .22 bulk ammo, which is dirt cheap, everyone can afford it, and you can even stage competitions. This way, you and your family and friends all improve their skills at the same time while having some great fun.
With plinking in mind, you also stock up on ammo quite nicely so that you automatically are set up if push comes to shove. Now, you might think that bulk ammo is not necessarily the best when it comes to depending on it, but in these numbers that you can afford, it is no problem if a few are duds. If you chose a semi-automatic as your gun, be sure to also train the drill to clear the gun in case of a jam as these rounds tend to fail more often then others. In the end, they are rimfire cartridges. If you chose a revolver, just pull the trigger again if you encounter a dud and shoot the round from the next chamber.
.22 Handguns for Survival
Speaking of survival, you can forget most of the scenarios associated with it. There are no biker gangs in the middle of the dessert fighting for the last gallons of gasoline. Instead, it would most probably be you stuck somewhere far away from civilization because your car died or you took a wrong turn on your last hiking trip.
In such a situation, the biggest problems you encounter are rabid foxes, venomous snakes, and hunger. For that, you need something with enough light ammo to take these relatively small animals out or hunt equally small game without blowing all the flesh over the prairie. In both situations, .22 LR is just unbeatable. Light, cheap, easy to shoot and to hit with, it gets them away from you and gets you something to cook.
Now you might want to bring up the danger of something bigger, like a cougar or again something with two legs. Here, the .22 WMR will do a good job. While you might think that you have to make a decision for .22 LR or .22 WMR or otherwise be stuck with two guns, there is another solution in the form of the Ruger Single Six Convertible. This single action revolver is dependable, rugged, and absolutely accurate. Even better, it comes with two cylinders. In one, you can shoot .22 LR and with the other you can shoot .22 Magnum rounds. You can choose between 11 variants with different barrel length and finishes. It is even possible to get one with an integrated scope mount.
.22 Pistols as Trail Guns
What is a trail gun? That is a light gun you can count on when you need it and forget that you carry it when you do not have to call on it. You have it on you when you walk through the wood, follow a river, or hike somewhere with your friends. It does not take up too much space and is not burden in any other way. If needed, you can even conceal it reasonably well if your friends are more from the frightened by guns faction of this world.
Normally, you might not encounter any big threats, but coyotes and the two-legged kinds can either be dropped or scared off pretty easily. Of course, you can also shoot a rabid dog or racoon before it gets too close to you. In such a case, do not forget that rabies is a 100 percent fatal once clinical symptoms appear, so in other words.
In other words, a rather small gun with light ammo is more than enough to help you and convenient to carry and conceal. One example is the Browning 1911 22 Compact, that weighs less than a pound and has only 85 percent of the size of a Colt 1911 Commander. It comes with a capacity of 10 rounds, and is in every way as ergonomics as its bigger brothers.
.22 Handguns as Truck Guns
IF you live in a jurisdiction where truck guns are legal, they are just a good idea. Granted, a truck has no problem to carry something around for you that is bigger and badder with much more firepower. That might be a shotgun or a fully fledged rifle. This might even be advisable or right out necessary depending where you live. If you drive around in Alaska in the middle of bear country, do not hesitate to carry something with a big bore and very hard-hitting rounds preferably as hard casts.
However, if you are not there where self defense means shooting heavy fast and pretty strong bear, you might just go for a .22 pistol. It is handy and good to conceal. The latter is important when you think about not provoking unwanted intention.
What would you use it for? Imagine you just ran over a deer. You can put it out of its misery with one clean shot. Also, you can fight of two legged predators with it even while driven and shooting with only one hand.
Finally, if you truck breaks down, you will not be weight down by your gun that you have to carry when you hike to wherever you can find help. As a truck gun, a good old revolver, like the Smith & Wesson Model 63, would do a great job. In double action, you will not pull the trigger by accident while holding it and driving, and you can shoot it incredibly accurate in single action mode.