This often-underrated and underappreciated round is usually relegated to the status of plinking and barn varmints, but I (John Lovell) pretty much don’t go anywhere without a suppressed .22 handgun stowed in my EDC pack. There’s a number of legitimate defensive and training reasons for everyone to add this to their arsenal.
Why Own a .22 Handgun?
Reason 1: The .22 Caliber is Perfect for Shooting Instruction
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the .22 round could only be found in some very basic long rifle and pistol platforms, but now many manufacturers carry a line of .22 guns. So for young shooters or first time shooters or would-be shooters who are scared of guns (or anti gun), now you can hand them a Glock or an AR chambered in .22.
They’ll learn to safely handle those platforms and how to deploy them effectively on the range without the startling kick and sound of more powerful rounds. It’s great for the kids and the reticent wives. Get them out of indoor ranges and onto an outdoor range or some rural property. That way the concussion, the noise, and all that indoor range drama won’t scare them off.
If you’ve got a suppressor, even better.
And in this era of Black Rifle Phobia and inflation of bullet prices, it’s not going to break the bank to train someone on a couple hundred rounds in a weekend. The .22 round is a strong tool for expanding understanding and support of gun owners and the Second Amendment.
So, speaking of Black Rifle Phobia and the Second Amendment, a while ago I was working at a range at the same time that a History Channel crew was there shooting a documentary. As you might imagine, there were quite a few anti-gun individuals in their group.
I decided, "I'm going to make these guys gunners." It was real easy. I put a silenced .22 in their hands and the result was remarkable. There was this kind of stoic, grumpy looking guy that seemed especially irritated about the whole idea—until he pulled the trigger a few times.
He looked back and smiled at the crew. I thought Yeah, I got him, baby. Then the other staffers did it. I knew the curiosity of these moviemakers would turn them into another new group of people who’d have to wrestle for the rest of their lives with the reality that shooting was really fun.
The whole time I’m thinking I got you. It was really cool.
Reason 2: .22 Caliber is Easy to Stockpile for the Apocalypse
The .22 is a niche caliber that allows you to accomplish something that none of your other guns are allowing you to do. It’s perfect as a survival round.
It’s ideal for harvesting small game and it’s easy to purchase and stockpile thousands of rounds. It’s size and weight also make it more portable in larger quantities. You could conceivably fit a box of 500 rounds in your cargo pocket—though I’m not recommending this.
You might look like a tool, but for the same bulk as a handful of .556 or 9mm you can carry a few weeks’ worth of squirrel rounds in your kit. For the preppers among us, this strongly commends the .22. You may not be taking down the most desirable, delicious venison, but you’d have the option of living on birds, squirrel, rabbit, etc. until the world comes back.
Reason 3: .22 is Economical
As I mentioned before, the cost of a little .22 pistol and a few thousand rounds is extremely low, especially compared with the rising cost of everything else. You could really stockpile thousands and thousands of rounds without breaking the bank and without devoting huge amounts of precious space in your home or truck.
Bonus Reason: Stealthily Silencing Zombies
A suppressed .22 with subsonic rounds is amazingly quiet. So if times get desperate and the zombie apocalypse has arrived, you could take them out one by one without awakening the hoard. You could knock out zombie lights and take down zombie sentinels before anyone knew you were there.
I mean. I’m kidding. Sort of. Sometimes it’s fun to imagine I’m in one of those 1980s movies stalking the enemy like a ghost. Pulling that silenced .22 out of its secret compartment in my pack and making the cartel wonder what happened to their friends. Yay for that.
Train hard. Train Smart. Stay Free. Buy one today.