0.22 Caliber

Will .22 Stop an Attacker?


Mathew R Reed
October 30, 2022

It depends on where the shot lands on the attacker. To stop an attack, the intruder must either change their mind and flee or involuntarily surrender. The former is more common in self-defense scenarios and it happens when the attacker sees that he has been overpowered.

Given that the .22 has more penetrating power, it will certainly cause pain on the attacker or have them bleed out to a point that they become helpless. This will certainly help you stop an attack. Besides, .22 rifles are easy to shoot, so you can shoot the attacker multiple times and inflict more pain.

Let’s now take an in-depth look at the .22 for personal defense and protection.

Having a 22 rifle for self-defense is better than having no gun at all. Sometimes pulling the trigger is all you need to stop an attacker. You may hit nothing or just the wall, but the sound of the fired shot is more than enough to stop an assault. You can even point an unloaded gun at the attacker and few people are willing to risk staring a gun pointed towards them.

How a .22 Can Help Stop an Attacker

Let’s now look at how a .22 can help stop an attacker either by bringing instant incapacitation or by inflicting injuries that cause involuntary physiological responses.

  1. Damage to the central nervous system. When a .22 caliber round lands on the attackers’ brain and head, it will either cause instant collapse or death. A headshot can also cause superficial wounds.
  2. Damage to the support system. A bullet that breaks through the support structure such as the spine or pelvic support can help stop the attacker instantly. Bone or nerve damage will put the attacker on the floor immediately the bullet hits them. However, you should be careful as an attacker being on the floor is still dangerous especially if they have a gun on their hands.
  3. Involuntary physical response. Another hopeful outcome of shooting an attacker is to have them run away even if they are injured. An attacker might choose flight as a body’s way to react to pain or a subconscious or neurological reaction. Whatever the cause, its unpredictable and unreliable.
  4. Hitting vital organs such as the heart and brain can cause instant death. However, death from a bullet wound takes hours or minutes if the attacker suffers from severe blood loss.

How .22 works in stopping an attacker

If you shoot an attacker directly on the face, the .22 might have a smaller chance of being lethal. However, it has a high chance of inflicting unbearable pain and temporally if not permanent blindness. These three responses should be sufficient to either have the attacker run away or give you time to take another shot. Besides, most people even the old find .22 easier to shoot faster and more accurately.

Final Thoughts

In a self-defense situation, it’s always a matter of life or death. Having a .22 is better for self-defense than having no gun at all. While this might not be the best rifle for self-defense, if it’s all you have, you should go about your life knowing that it can still help you to stop an attack.

So will .22 Stop an Attacker? YES

Mathew R Reed

Mathew R Reed is a professional gun seller who runs a dedicated gun store in the suburbs of Oakland, CA. A hardcore hunting enthusiast since childhood, Reed has ample experience with guns and accessories. He is the founder of ArmorHoldings.com and creates some of the most helpful gun-buying guides and explainers. If not in the gun shop, you can find him on the nearest hiking trail or nearby hunting spot.