The .22 Long Rifle as a self-defence round


The .22 Long Rifle, or .22 LR, is a popular and widely used calibre for sport and self-defence. It is a small, lightweight cartridge that is easy to handle and shoot, making it ideal for novice and experienced shooters. However, it is vital to consider the pros and cons of using a .22 LR for self-defence, mainly because most civilian self-defence encounters occur at close range.


  • Low recoil: The .22 LR has very low recoil, which makes it easy to control and shoot accurately. This is especially beneficial for novice shooters or those with weaker hand strength.
  • Affordable: .22 LR ammunition is widely available and is generally less expensive than other calibres, making it a cost-effective option for those who want to practice shooting frequently.
  • Lightweight: .22 LR ammunition is also light, making it easy to carry many rounds.
  • Quiet: .22 LR ammunition is also relatively quiet compared to other calibres, which can be an advantage in certain situations, such as trying to avoid alerting others to your presence.


  • Limited stopping power: The .22 LR is not considered a powerful cartridge and may not have the stopping power needed to incapacitate an attacker in a self-defence situation.
  • Limited penetration: .22 LR rounds are not designed to penetrate through hard surfaces or heavy clothing, which might be ineffective when a barrier or heavy clothing is present.
  • Limited range: The .22 LR is not designed for long-range shooting, and its effectiveness drops rapidly beyond 50 yards.

In conclusion, while the .22 LR has its advantages, it is not considered the best choice for self-defence, especially if you are looking for a cartridge with more stopping power. However, if you are looking for a cartridge that is easy to handle, affordable, and quiet, then the .22 LR may be a good option. Ultimately, the best choice for self-defence will depend on your individual needs and preferences. It is essential to consider your situation and to choose a calibre and weapon that you are comfortable and confident using.