Share this on Facebook
download .zip with all pictures
They do kill, but that’s not what stopping power means. Stopping power means “stop him from killing you.” No handgun round is going to “put them on their ass.” That’s not the goal. The goal is to disrupt blood flow to their brain and incapacitate them. Whether or not they die is irrelevant. Whether or not YOU die is the part you need to worry about.
.22s can be a deadly round. No question. What they don’t do is incapacitate someone quickly. It’s not uncommon for people to get shot with a .22 and be perfectly active until days later. They may even walk themselves into the emergency room. If they are amped up even a little bit they might not even notice they have been shot. It might kill your attacker, but unless you get very lucky it will not stop your attacker from killing you.
While we’re on the subject, every projectile will move around once it hits the body. This is not unique to .22 LR, though it is usually more pronounced. However, while this can make the wound harder to treat for a surgeon, it does not make the round more effective. The reason that they move around so much is because they have relatively low energy, and they loose that energy very quickly. For small game this is ideal, but for a human attacker it means that the round is probably going to dump most of its energy into the outer, less vulnerable parts of the body rather than the vital organs. Sure, it might knick a blood vessel, but these are much smaller than a heart, lung, or liver. This is why most defensive rounds are designed to go through the surface layers of fat and muscle and then dump their energy into the part of the body that has large, blood filled, less elastic organs.
Not to mention that rimfire rounds tend to be inherently less reliable than centerfire rounds. You are much more likely to have a malfunction.
There are never any guarantees. No handgun round is especially effective, but your odds of surviving the fight are much better with a round that is designed for the purpose. A .22LR is not.