Carrying a 22

We at JM4 have seen an uptick in the carrying of 22LR/22Magnum pistols in the holster purchases. While these fun little guns are not recommended for day-to-day against bad people with bad intent, there are some really good reasons to get and carry this caliber. For one they are versatile, being able to dispatch small game, or carry snake shot, or target shoot. They are also great to teach new shooters how to shoot, and they are a ton of fun to practice your fundamentals. Finally, if you couple these with a good sound suppressor (silencer), you have a fun little game-getter without the recoil and ear pain. Here are some great models to look at if you decide a 22 is right for you.

North American Arms 22MAG/22LR

This little pocket cannon is the best for concealability and taking up a tiny space. These miniature handguns offer 5 shots of 22MAG and are a favorite of mine for the snake/small animal dispatch should I need to go that route. They are small and can fit in small pockets, but we HIGHLY recommend a holster to prevent debris and accidental contact with other items in your pocket. Also, this revolver has you carrying ON a rimfire round if fully loaded, which can be dangerous, so most people I know that have these carry with the hammer on an empty round.

Ruger 22/45

Ruger makes some awesome pistols, and one of them is the 22/45. This gun is more of a target pistol than an everyday carry gun, but it has room for Picatinny rail-mounted optics, a threaded barrel, and great sights. If it is not your style, maybe look at the SR22 which is a little better for carrying on the daily.

Browning Buckmark

If you want variety, there are dozens of models of the Buckmark, ranging from tactical to target to carry-ready. This little gun has been around and has a fantastic trigger. This particular model has been around since 1985 and has an incredibly reliable feeding system from my time using them, with a trigger that is as good or better than most guns I have tried in the same category. Similar to the 22/45 you can get models with rails as well as threaded for suppressor fun.

1911 Conversion Kits

You know that I am a huge proponent of training with the weapons you are going to shoot on the daily for self-defense. However, in the age of inflation and ammo availability issues, sometimes it is too costly or not smart to shoot up all of your real ammo. One option is the 22lr conversion kit. I am not going to mention any specifically, but there are some reputable companies like CMMG, Palmetto State Armory, and Advantage Arms that offer different packages to put a new slide on your 1911 to practice. The best part is most of them are cheaper than buying a new pistol.

Ruger GP100

Revolvers and 22LR are a great match together and this is no exception. The GP100 is a very popular pistol design, with the most common being in 357MAG, however, the Model 1757 is a 10-shot 22LR that is a great design and a ton of fun to shoot. Unlike the NAA it is a bit safer and beefier (with a 5.5” Barrel). This is not light or small, but with 10 rounds, it is a great gun for plinking and carrying when out in the field if looking for a reliable game-getter.

While 22LR/22MAG may not always be the best man-stopper, it is a great caliber for practice, and if you are recoil sensitive, it is better to have one of these and 10 rounds of self-defense rounds compared to nothing at all.

Author: Ian Bolser