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Training with a 22, not your carry gun

Grumps

Operator
With 9mm still hard to find, and a little on the high side.

I'm starting to look at a 22 to use for range time instead of my 9mm.
Looking around I can find 22 pistols and rounds cheaper then I can find 9mm rounds.

My line of thought is all the fundamentals are the same, are am I missing something here?
 

10mmLife

Hellcat
Founding Member
With 9mm still hard to find, and a little on the high side.

I'm starting to look at a 22 to use for range time instead of my 9mm.
Looking around I can find 22 pistols and rounds cheaper then I can find 9mm rounds.

My line of thought is all the fundamentals are the same, are am I missing something here?
If you having a hard time finding .22lr ammo checkout CCI's website because you can find some there that isn't overpriced, though the shipping takes up to 20 days which is brutal. I just bought 500 rounds of CCI Quiet .22lr ammo from them for shooting suppressed.
 

Snake45

Operator
I'm a HUGE believer in building trigger time with a .22, provided you can find one that matches your "real" gun as closely as possible.

It's important to keep in mind when shooting one that it doesn't recoil much--you have to consciously remember to grip it just as hard as you do your centerfire, otherwise you're building a bad habit.

Another option these days is a CO2 pistol. These are made in an amazing variety of authentic replicas these days, and many of them have "blowback" action that actually gives a little felt recoil and knocks the sights out of alignment. I've been enjoying shooting a couple of them in my basement for a couple months now, for just pennies, and rain or shine.

Here are some of my favorite .22 "understudy" guns. They're all .22s and they've all been shot a LOT.

22Pistols.jpg
 

TSiWRX

Custom
Look at it this way, @Grumps - the 2004 Steel Challenge was won by an airsoft shooter from Japan ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatsuya_Sakai_(marksman) ), and the field he played against wasn't exactly no-names, either.

And yes, this is a T.Rex Arms video, but the validity of the idea doesn't really depend on which YouTube Channel it's hosted on....


Sub-caliber training has always been a thing, be it .22LR - or airgun (and in the last 20 or so years, airsoft). But it does have its limitations.

With the .22LR, the biggest difference will come from recoil and muzzle blast. This should come as no surprise, as a lot of experienced shooters prefer to start novice shooters with .22LR for this very reason. Back in the shortage/craze at the beginning of the last decade, things got so bad that we saw even high-end training schools allowing students to shoot .22LR in place of centerfire defensive/duty calibers. Towards the end, even Larry Vickers allowed the use of .22LR in his classes (although he discouraged their use: overall, simply realize that every instructor has his/her own beliefs, which are based on their personal experiences: Vogel places high value on dry-fire, and even continues to press the trigger to simulate follow-up shots after the striker has released - but he says that airsoft is of virtually no value; Hackathorn believes that dry-fire is really of higher benefit to novices and beginners; etc. ).

Also, unless you are using the same fire-controls, you won't get 1:1 benefit in terms of the specifics of that trigger path. That said, a trigger path is a trigger path, and practicing towards the perfection of executing the trigger path will benefit any shooter. This can also be said of other marksmanship fundamentals, even if there's some differences between the sub- to full-caliber platforms.

Note that depending on the specifics, some .22LR (or even airsoft) "training guns" will not operate in completely the same way as their full-caliber counterparts.
 

HansGruber

Hellcat
While it’s a solid idea, and I do it myself…I already have the pistols and a lot of .22 ammo.

You might want to crunch the numbers to see what a good trainer .22 will cost, as well as a good supply of .22 ammo, and compare that to how much 9mm that will buy you…considering I’ve seen case lots of 9mm for under $400 delivered now, it might not make as much sense.

Really, the time to think about this is when .22 is cheap and plentiful—not when it’s scarce and expensive(as it is right now).
 
I will shoot my 22 when I feel I am getting sloppy with my fundamentals. I also shoot my 22 rifle before any rifle shooting on the range which I feel allows me to set my fundamentals/rhythm for the bigger guns.
Such a great idea. I have a 22cal air rifle that I shoot and that extra little bit of smoothness on the trigger and hold really make a big difference when I shoo my rifles.
 

Snake45

Operator
Some might argue that one of the more capable .22 rimfire cartridges could be your carry gun.

Might have to work the double - triple tap more aggressively.
The problem is that no .22LR ammo I've ever found is inherently reliable enough to depend on for SD. WAY too many misfires, and that's before we even get into feeding and extraction problems (remember that the .22 RF cartridge was never designed to work in semiauto actions). It's actually amazing that they work as well as they do, all things considered--but it's still not reliable enough to suit me.

FWIW, the most reliable .22LR ammo I've ever found was CCI MiniMags, and I wouldn't even trust them.

If for some reason I absolutely HAD to rely on a .22LR for SD, it would have to be in something that doesn't rely on flawless feeding, and that wouldn't be stopped by a misfire. That narrows things down to a revolver--preferably a DA carrying 8, 9, or 10 shots.

Just my opinion, worth exactly what you paid for it.
 

HansGruber

Hellcat
The problem is that no .22LR ammo I've ever found is inherently reliable enough to depend on for SD. WAY too many misfires, and that's before we even get into feeding and extraction problems (remember that the .22 RF cartridge was never designed to work in semiauto actions). It's actually amazing that they work as well as they do, all things considered--but it's still not reliable enough to suit me.

FWIW, the most reliable .22LR ammo I've ever found was CCI MiniMags, and I wouldn't even trust them.

If for some reason I absolutely HAD to rely on a .22LR for SD, it would have to be in something that doesn't rely on flawless feeding, and that wouldn't be stopped by a misfire. That narrows things down to a revolver--preferably a DA carrying 8, 9, or 10 shots.

Just my opinion, worth exactly what you paid for it.
I’ve found that anything with Eley priming to be exceedingly reliable as far as rimfire ignition goes.

I carry a S&W 43C fairly often. 8 shots of Aguila (Eley primed) Interceptor gives me no worries.
 

SimonRL

Custom
I’ve shot a lot of .22LR over the last year through my TX22s and for me, bottom line is they make a trip to the range an absolute hoot. They are a ton of fun. My TX22 Competition has a compensator on it and doesn’t even rise when you shoot it. I like to watch other people shoot it because the only movement is the casing leaving the chamber.

Would I train with one? Absolutely, why not? Trigger time is trigger time. Would I carry one for SD? Heck no, that’s what I’ve got big guns for. Would I shoot a metric sh#t tonne of .22LR because it makes me happy? You betcha!
E68C83FD-09F0-4512-9EF8-485D6659A18C.jpeg
 

TSiWRX

Custom
Some might argue that one of the more capable .22 rimfire cartridges could be your carry gun.

Might have to work the double - triple tap more aggressively.

-and-

The problem is that no .22LR ammo I've ever found is inherently reliable enough to depend on for SD. WAY too many misfires, and that's before we even get into feeding and extraction problems (remember that the .22 RF cartridge was never designed to work in semiauto actions). It's actually amazing that they work as well as they do, all things considered--but it's still not reliable enough to suit me.

FWIW, the most reliable .22LR ammo I've ever found was CCI MiniMags, and I wouldn't even trust them.

If for some reason I absolutely HAD to rely on a .22LR for SD, it would have to be in something that doesn't rely on flawless feeding, and that wouldn't be stopped by a misfire. That narrows things down to a revolver--preferably a DA carrying 8, 9, or 10 shots.

Just my opinion, worth exactly what you paid for it.

Indeed, the use of the .22LR as a defensive weapon -specifically in the context of those with compromised physical capabilities (i.e. insufficient grip strength to manage recoil typical of modern defensive calibers) has been something that's been highly contested in the industry.

Overall, the main concern that I personally align with is the .22LR's lack of consistency in ignition, as well as the oftentimes fickle nature of .22LR autoloaders (be it handgun or rifle).

The former is often improved with the better manufacturers, but in my limited personal experience, it's still less reliable than even "range-fodder"-grade centerfire 9x19, .38 Special, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP. That said, there also remains a possible compromise between centerfire and .22LR in the .22 WMR cartridge which, at least in terms of penetration (in calibrated ballistic gelatin), measures up to modern defensive caliber standards (expansion, however, is lacking).

The hardware issue is in my view probably the simpler of the two to fix: as @Snake45 and @HansGruber noted, one's odds can be improved significantly with weapon selection, specifically in terms of the flyweight snub revolver. Greg Ellifritz as well as other SMEs also suggest that for those who are able, to entertain the possibility of carrying *_two_* of these firearms, versus carrying loose reloads.

And it is really here that we come to the crux of the discussion - whether if "compromised" defenses are somehow worth the effort/expense. Here I found myself agreeing with the likes of Craig Douglas (ShivWorks - who lent his expertise on this now nearly 10-year-old M4C.net thread: https://www.m4carbine.net/showthrea...e-22-LR-handgun-for-age-physically-restricted) - that "a gun" is better than no gun.
 
I’ve shot a lot of .22LR over the last year through my TX22s and for me, bottom line is they make a trip to the range an absolute hoot. They are a ton of fun. My TX22 Competition has a compensator on it and doesn’t even rise when you shoot it. I like to watch other people shoot it because the only movement is the casing leaving the chamber.

Would I train with one? Absolutely, why not? Trigger time is trigger time. Would I carry one for SD? Heck no, that’s what I’ve got big guns for. Would I shoot a metric sh#t tonne of .22LR because it makes me happy? You betcha!View attachment 20635
I love my TX-22 .SimonRL add some more fun and get the Tandemkross magazine extensions. 21 rounds between reloads.
 

KillerFord1977

Hellcat
Founding Member
I’ve shot a lot of .22LR over the last year through my TX22s and for me, bottom line is they make a trip to the range an absolute hoot. They are a ton of fun. My TX22 Competition has a compensator on it and doesn’t even rise when you shoot it. I like to watch other people shoot it because the only movement is the casing leaving the chamber.

Would I train with one? Absolutely, why not? Trigger time is trigger time. Would I carry one for SD? Heck no, that’s what I’ve got big guns for. Would I shoot a metric sh#t tonne of .22LR because it makes me happy? You betcha!View attachment 20635
It had so little recoil that you only knew it fired because you actually pulled the trigger 👍👍👍🤯
 

David N.

Professional
Founding Member
I’ve shot a lot of .22LR over the last year through my TX22s and for me, bottom line is they make a trip to the range an absolute hoot. They are a ton of fun. My TX22 Competition has a compensator on it and doesn’t even rise when you shoot it. I like to watch other people shoot it because the only movement is the casing leaving the chamber.

Would I train with one? Absolutely, why not? Trigger time is trigger time. Would I carry one for SD? Heck no, that’s what I’ve got big guns for. Would I shoot a metric sh#t tonne of .22LR because it makes me happy? You betcha!View attachment 20635
Nice background.
 

Snake45

Operator
Indeed, the use of the .22LR as a defensive weapon -specifically in the context of those with compromised physical capabilities (i.e. insufficient grip strength to manage recoil typical of modern defensive calibers) has been something that's been highly contested in the industry.

The hardware issue is in my view probably the simpler of the two to fix: as @Snake45 and @HansGruber noted, one's odds can be improved significantly with weapon selection, specifically in terms of the flyweight snub revolver. Greg Ellifritz as well as other SMEs also suggest that for those who are able, to entertain the possibility of carrying *_two_* of these firearms, versus carrying loose reloads.
And here we hit another snag, namely, the little .22 revolvers often (usually? always?) have a very heavy mainspring to ensure ignition of the .22 RF ammo, which means a heavy DA trigger pull, which is going to be just that much harder for someone with compromised hand strength to use.

I do like the idea of carrying TWO such things, though, especially since .22 speedloaders aren't that useful after firing the first cylinderfull.
 
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