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Are .22 rounds deadly?
Topic Rating: +5 (5 votes) 
May 22, 2012
5:52 am
SEB2011

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I bought an off brand .22 rifle that looks like an AK-47. Thought it was kind of cool. My question is, is the .22 lethal enough for home protection, or do you think I need more?

May 22, 2012
8:21 am
powerlifter
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SEB2011 said
I bought an off brand .22 rifle that looks like an AK-47. Thought it was kind of cool. My question is, is the .22 lethal enough for home protection, or do you think I need more?

 

Well, first off, learn your new rifle, get good at shooting it, enjoy it, but be safe with it.

 

As far as home protection, lets hope that situation never arises. But if it does, I believe you will discover the .22 is marginal.

Bob 

May 22, 2012
8:25 am
bluewater
Ringgold, Louisiana

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SEB2011 said
I bought an off brand .22 rifle that looks like an AK-47. Thought it was kind of cool. My question is, is the .22 lethal enough for home protection, or do you think I need more?

Although .22 lr can be lethal, they are usually not considered powerful enough to be a good home defense gun. I suggest you get a pistol that is a 9mm or larger.

May 22, 2012
9:39 am
Editor
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SEB2011 said
I bought an off brand .22 rifle that looks like an AK-47. Thought it was kind of cool. My question is, is the .22 lethal enough for home protection, or do you think I need more?

Any round in the right circumstances has the potential to be lethal. That being said, I think the question should be are .22 rounds reliably lethal? I have had two female hand to hand combat students who were shot at point blank range in the head and survived. One of them wears the lead and bone fragment on a chain around her neck. The argument could be made that women are hard headed but I would also say that it is proof that you cannot depend on the round to get the job done. I know many who have never been in a gunfight will tell you "shot placement is everything," but consider that up to 78 percent of combat shots are misses, and that number is among "professionals" so pucker factor is more constant than accuracy. You need a round sufficient to stop an attacker quickly no matter where you hit him. A .22 may kill someone, but they may not die for 10 minutes to an hour and there is a lot they can do to kill you in that time. Massive wound trauma is the key to incapacitation. Even if he isn't dead, you want the bad guy focusing on how badly injured he is and not on continuing to attack you. After saying all of that, the best round continues to be the one you have at hand when you need it and a .22 is far better than positive thoughts and wishful thinking when the poop hits the fan.

Dan Kidder Managing Editor Sportsman's News —– "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves."
May 22, 2012
9:42 am
sl-eye_noyes
Oregon

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bluewater said

SEB2011 said
I bought an off brand .22 rifle that looks like an AK-47. Thought it was kind of cool. My question is, is the .22 lethal enough for home protection, or do you think I need more?

Although .22 lr can be lethal, they are usually not considered powerful enough to be a good home defense gun. I suggest you get a pistol that is a 9mm or larger.

I agree, if you are proficiant with the .22lr it could work, but like bluewater said I would look into something a little larger. 

May 22, 2012
12:07 pm
shiveley
Sacramento, CA

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Editor said 

SEB2011 said 
I bought an off brand .22 rifle that looks like an AK-47. Thought it was kind of cool. My question is, is the .22 lethal enough for home protection, or do you think I need more?

Any round in the right circumstances has the potential to be lethal. That being said, I think the question should be are .22 rounds reliably lethal? I have had two female hand to hand combat students who were shot at point blank range in the head and survived. One of them wears the lead and bone fragment on a chain around her neck. The argument could be made that women are hard headed but I would also say that it is proof that you cannot depend on the round to get the job done. I know many who have never been in a gunfight will tell you "shot placement is everything," but consider that up to 78 percent of combat shots are misses, and that number is among "professionals" so pucker factor is more constant than accuracy. You need a round sufficient to stop an attacker quickly no matter where you hit him. A .22 may kill someone, but they may not die for 10 minutes to an hour and there is a lot they can do to kill you in that time. Massive wound trauma is the key to incapacitation. Even if he isn't dead, you want the bad guy focusing on how badly injured he is and not on continuing to attack you. After saying all of that, the best round continues to be the one you have at hand when you need it and a .22 is far better than positive thoughts and wishful thinking when the poop hits the fan.

To add to Dan's point, my grandmother was actually shot in the head with a .22 from about two feet away and walked away with little more than a pretty nasty scar on her forehead. It obviously left a really nasty head wound, but it was nowhere near fatal since she lived for another 50 some-odd years after the incident.

May 22, 2012
1:20 pm
colorado hunter
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Dan made some comments already that are right on track with what you're asking and he is probably the best qualified SD guy amongst us.  

My only input is that a .22LR round is plenty lethal enough but it does depend on precise bullet placement for a quick take-down.  A hit that is not right where it has to be can still be lethal but it won't be as quick as it needs to be in a SD/HD situation, where you want the bad guy to hit the floor right away.  There just is not enough energy in a .22 for that.  For that, you are gonna want a larger caliber weapon.  I personally think a pump shotgun in either 12 or 20 gauge fits the home defense requirements perfectly.

Besides, this means you get to buy another gun!  Wink

May 22, 2012
9:40 pm
m gardner
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SEB2011 said
I bought an off brand .22 rifle that looks like an AK-47. Thought it was kind of cool. My question is, is the .22 lethal enough for home protection, or do you think I need more?

Seeing that it's a rifle in 22LR it is about as effective as the 22 magnum in a pistol which helps some (it has about a 40% one shot stop rate if memory serves me) but it still is somewhat anemic. I'd use a shotgun myself. There's one in our bedroom along with the handguns.

May 23, 2012
11:51 am
scarlino
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Seeing how good of a shot you are Mark anyone would be crazy to try to break in to your house.  A great use for your .22 is wilderness survival.  You can carry a lot of ammo in a small lightweight package and it is perfect for taking small game when you need to eat in a survival situation.

May 23, 2012
3:36 pm
sl-eye_noyes
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scarlino said
Seeing how good of a shot you are Mark anyone would be crazy to try to break in to your house.  A great use for your .22 is wilderness survival.  You can carry a lot of ammo in a small lightweight package and it is perfect for taking small game when you need to eat in a survival situation.

It is a great round to learn on. Wink it is a nice little wilderness gun if you don't run into anything like a bear or couger.Yell

May 23, 2012
9:32 pm
elkmuzzleloader
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I dont really think of it as a SD/HD round although have seen it kill several people and a few that survived.  All were self inflicted wounds. I really like my .22s great to shoot, and cheap.

Do more than what is expected of you.
May 23, 2012
10:12 pm
bluewater
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I have a .22 magnum that I have carried in the past, but my primary weapon for home defense is a .45 ACP.

May 24, 2012
12:21 pm
scarlino
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I don't think anyone would want a .22 round bouncing around inside thier skull.Cry

May 24, 2012
5:51 pm
m gardner
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scarlino said
I don't think anyone would want a .22 round bouncing around inside thier skull.Cry

I had one friend that in 1989 had a 22LR enter his skull and just run around the inside of it. Didn't bounce around. Barely realized he was hurt.  He's still alive. Another was shot in the knee (1994) with a 22LR and it went completely through barely injuring him. Just slipped through the joint. Try that with a centerfire hollowpoint.

May 24, 2012
6:00 pm
AKmom

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A 22 round can kill a moose…that deadly enough? lol….its all shot placement!

May 24, 2012
6:02 pm
AKmom

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However, speaking of home or personal protection, I would definitely use a heavier round.  Thats just me…the faster I stop 'them', the less chance 'they' have of hurting me or my family. Know what I mean?

May 24, 2012
8:46 pm
elkmuzzleloader
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m gardner said

scarlino said
I don't think anyone would want a .22 round bouncing around inside thier skull.Cry

I had one friend that in 1989 had a 22LR enter his skull and just run around the inside of it. Didn't bounce around. Barely realized he was hurt.  He's still alive. Another was shot in the knee (1994) with a 22LR and it went completely through barely injuring him. Just slipped through the joint. Try that with a centerfire hollowpoint.

 

My minor in college was forensics and I saw many pics of skulls that suffered this type of trauma.  It looked like a race track had been grooved into the skull.

Do more than what is expected of you.
May 24, 2012
9:30 pm
scarlino
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Sure are deadly on those squirels.  But for HD or SD it would be a bad day if I had depleated all of my other ammunition and was still fighting with a .22, but at least I would still be fighting. 

May 25, 2012
5:23 am
m gardner
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scarlino said
Sure are deadly on those squirels.  But for HD or SD it would be a bad day if I had depleated all of my other ammunition and was still fighting with a .22, but at least I would still be fighting. 

If you were effective during the fight I'm sure you could obtain a better weapon from one of the not so fortunate. A good reason to know how to use any weapon.

May 25, 2012
9:53 am
bluewater
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scarlino said
Sure are deadly on those squirels.  

They're not always deadly on squirrels. I once shot a squirrel with a .22 rifle, the bullet hit at an angle, entering behind the right eye and exiting on the right front of it's head. I had to shoot it a second time to kill it. One shot with a .22 through the rib cage doesn't always kill them either.

May 25, 2012
2:14 pm
sl-eye_noyes
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bluewater said

scarlino said
Sure are deadly on those squirels.  

They're not always deadly on squirrels. I once shot a squirrel with a .22 rifle, the bullet hit at an angle, entering behind the right eye and exiting on the right front of it's head. I had to shoot it a second time to kill it. One shot with a .22 through the rib cage doesn't always kill them either.

I had to hit my first squirrel twice as well. the first was a chest shot and it was still alive, so I had to take a second.

May 25, 2012
2:41 pm
AKmom

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DANG!!! How big are those squirrels down there? I shoot squirrels here in Alaska all the time cuz they get into insulation & in general just make a mess. Can't say i have ever needed to waste more than one bullet on a squirrel..lol. One clip can take down a whole mess of 'em. 

May 25, 2012
4:53 pm
scarlino
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You have not heard of big game squirrel hunting?

May 25, 2012
4:56 pm
scarlino
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Anyone familular with the .22 WMR.  I saw a feature on guns and ammo tv with Hornady Critical Defence ammo for the gun.  They say it is a good personal protection round what is the difference between that and a .22 LR, and .22 Mag?  They were shooting it out of a snubby S&W revolver.

May 25, 2012
5:21 pm
AKmom

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The .22 WMR is more commonly known as the .22 mag.  Difference with the .22 LR is that its a 222" bore & the .22 WMR uses the 224" bore so it not only has a larger length but diameter as well.  Can see how you might not wanna trade ammo on those..LOL. Personal protection? Go with the 50 grain (3.2 g)  instead of the 30 or 40 grain. Also with that…… .22 WMR is not available in as large a variety nor is it as inexpensive as a .22 LR round. Course in the L-48 might not be such an issueLaugh

May 25, 2012
5:35 pm
bluewater
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There is no difference between .22 WMR and .22 mag. If I remember right WMR means Winchester Magnum Rimfire.

May 25, 2012
6:48 pm
FlattenedGravy

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/……um_Rimfire

 

Here's the description of the .22 WMR (22 Mag). 

May 25, 2012
9:58 pm
m gardner
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The 22 rimfire short , long, and long rifle are the old heel base bullet design (the base of the bullet is smaller than bore diameter so it fits into the case) where the case is the same diameter as the bullet. the 22 magnum is a conventional design with a modern bullet loaded into the case so the case is a larger diameter than the bullet. The 22 rimfire is the only holdover from the black powder rimfire era.

May 26, 2012
11:00 am
elkmuzzleloader
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THanks Mark I had always thought about that but never enough to do any research.  

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May 26, 2012
10:28 pm
scarlino
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Cool thanks I had never thought of it like that.  It is such a cool round and the fact it has been around so long is a also neat.

May 27, 2012
9:12 am
bluewater
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I believe the first American metallic cartridge was the .22 short invented by Smith and Wesson.

May 27, 2012
2:02 pm
FlattenedGravy

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bluewater said
I believe the first American metallic cartridge was the .22 short invented by Smith and Wesson.

".22 Short is a variety of .22 caliber (5.6 mm) rimfire ammunition. Developed in 1857 for the first Smith and Wesson revolver, the .22 rimfire was the first American metallic cartridge."

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.22_Short

June 4, 2012
2:01 am
shooterxdm
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A .22 LR is not a SD or HD round, unless you have nothing else. It is however a deadly round. There are survival stories of all calibers. There is some debate on the .22WMR or mag. Kel-Tec now makes a PMR 30 semi-auto pistol in .22Mag. It holds 30 rounds that could help out the knock down. The hard part is finding them. For just home defense, the 12GA shotgun is a great choice. They are cheap to buy, ammo is cheap, they dont over penetrate, and its really hard to miss the bad guys!
For home defense, any .22,.25, or .32 are just too small. .380 is pushinga it, but betterI than the others. Whatever you do use, make sure your using high quality ammunition, your life may depend on it.

June 7, 2012
7:06 pm
rokurota

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Ugh. Not this debate again. Carry whatever the heck you want. I'm satisfied with my Remington 597 and my old Stevens 66B as SHTF guns. Plus, it's more fun to shoot when you don't see dollar signs flying out of your ejection port.

June 8, 2012
7:56 am
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I've seen grouse's heads taken off with a ruger single six, and a .22 is usally the gun to use when an animal must be put down.  So I would say its deadly. 

June 8, 2012
9:56 am
bluewater
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NEILT said
I've seen grouse's heads taken off with a ruger single six, and a .22 is usally the gun to use when an animal must be put down.  So I would say its deadly. 

Years ago I had to put down a German Shepherd that had been ran over by a motor-cycle. I shot it in the head with a .22 pistol loaded with .22 LR hollow points. The dog whined an tried to sit up. I had to shoot it a second time to finish it off. If I ever have to do it again I won't use a .22. They can't always be depended on for one shot kills, even on small game like squirrels.

June 22, 2012
8:51 am
tonyegg

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bluewater said

NEILT said
I've seen grouse's heads taken off with a ruger single six, and a .22 is usally the gun to use when an animal must be put down.  So I would say its deadly. 

Years ago I had to put down a German Shepherd that had been ran over by a motor-cycle. I shot it in the head with a .22 pistol loaded with .22 LR hollow points. The dog whined an tried to sit up. I had to shoot it a second time to finish it off. If I ever have to do it again I won't use a .22. They can't always be depended on for one shot kills, even on small game like squirrels.

+1

June 22, 2012
11:44 am
m gardner
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tonyegg said

bluewater said

NEILT said
I've seen grouse's heads taken off with a ruger single six, and a .22 is usally the gun to use when an animal must be put down.  So I would say its deadly. 

Years ago I had to put down a German Shepherd that had been ran over by a motor-cycle. I shot it in the head with a .22 pistol loaded with .22 LR hollow points. The dog whined an tried to sit up. I had to shoot it a second time to finish it off. If I ever have to do it again I won't use a .22. They can't always be depended on for one shot kills, even on small game like squirrels.

+1

If you are going to kill anything with a 22LR you must be highly skilled to do it. Just like the guys on Swamp People who regularly kill alligators with them. A 22 is like a 410 shotgun it is useful in the hands of an expert but usually is given to the beginner shooter because it has little recoil.

June 22, 2012
3:16 pm
1015811414
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Let me think.  Yes they are deadly.  Perhaps not a lethal at distance, but still deadly close up.

June 22, 2012
3:27 pm
tonyegg

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1015811414 said
Let me think.  Yes they are deadly.  Perhaps not a lethal at distance, but still deadly close up.

… and depending how many times you shoot it/them.

June 22, 2012
5:50 pm
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Ya know, its interesting to read what everyone has to say about the deadliness of a .22 round. No matter what type it is. Up here in Alaska…the .22 isnt the most common weapon for big game, however, I know a girl who shot & killed a full grown bull moose with one round from a .22…..& yet also, know a guy who shot a full grown bull moose with 8 rounds from a 30.06 (180 grain hollowpoint) & STILL didnt kill the moose (3 of those shots were in the head at almost point blank range).

So, yeah….a .22 can be deadly in the right hands!! LOLWink

June 22, 2012
5:59 pm
wyflyguy
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Yes.  Any weapon can be deadly if used properly.

June 22, 2012
8:41 pm
FlattenedGravy

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A Nation of Plinkers

http://www.americanhunter.org/…..-plinkers/

 

I read this and thought it would apply to the .22 thread.  Wink

June 23, 2012
7:09 am
colorado hunter
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Some of these posts surprise the heck out of me.  I killed hundreds of small game – squirrels, rabbits, and groundhogs mostly – with a single-shot .22 when I was a kid hunting in the Kentucky woods where I grew up.  I don't remember ever having to shoot one twice.  I've also killed many hogs and cattle for slaughter with a .22 to the head.  A .22 LR is a real penetrator and has more than enough energy to put down a pretty fair sized critter.  It wouldn't be my first choice to hunt anything large but if you put the bullet in the right place it will kill reliably.

June 23, 2012
3:49 pm
tonyegg

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colorado hunter said

Some of these posts surprise the heck out of me.  I killed hundreds of small game – squirrels, rabbits, and groundhogs mostly – with a single-shot .22 when I was a kid hunting in the Kentucky woods where I grew up.  I don't remember ever having to shoot one twice.  I've also killed many hogs and cattle for slaughter with a .22 to the head.  A .22 LR is a real penetrator and has more than enough energy to put down a pretty fair sized critter.  It wouldn't be my first choice to hunt anything large but if you put the bullet in the right place it will kill reliably.

+1 . Good to hear this experience

June 23, 2012
4:33 pm
m gardner
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colorado hunter said
Some of these posts surprise the heck out of me.  I killed hundreds of small game – squirrels, rabbits, and groundhogs mostly – with a single-shot .22 when I was a kid hunting in the Kentucky woods where I grew up.  I don't remember ever having to shoot one twice.  I've also killed many hogs and cattle for slaughter with a .22 to the head.  A .22 LR is a real penetrator and has more than enough energy to put down a pretty fair sized critter.  It wouldn't be my first choice to hunt anything large but if you put the bullet in the right place it will kill reliably.

It's the difference between being able to shoot well or knowing how to kill well. Most hunters have little idea how to kill because it's not a subject for polite conversation anymore.

June 23, 2012
4:55 pm
AKmom

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This horse dead yet??? LOLWink

June 24, 2012
8:11 am
paul
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AKmom said
This horse dead yet??? LOLWink

Doubt it, and it probably never will be. For the new shooter with no experience it's a very real question. For those of us here that have more than a few years of guns and hunting under our belts, we've put it to rest but tend to forget that we started out with the same questions.

June 24, 2012
2:57 pm
AKmom

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paul said

AKmom said
This horse dead yet??? LOLWink

Doubt it, and it probably never will be. For the new shooter with no experience it's a very real question. For those of us here that have more than a few years of guns and hunting under our belts, we've put it to rest but tend to forget that we started out with the same questions.

Yeah, I hear ya. Sure hope I didn't come off as rude or anything.

June 24, 2012
10:34 pm
FlattenedGravy

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Here's a good video I found that talks a little about the .22

Firearms Facts Episode 1: The .22 Long Rifle

 

 

feature=g-vrec

June 25, 2012
2:08 am
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In Afghanistan, we have found suppressed .22LR rifles in insurgent hands.  They have been using them to shoot at us behind the ear from distance.  One of the only places we don't have armor…that, or in the armpit when we reach up to grab something.  

June 25, 2012
4:52 am
Shielded

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sig383 said
In Afghanistan, we have found suppressed .22LR rifles in insurgent hands.  They have been using them to shoot at us behind the ear from distance.  One of the only places we don't have armor…that, or in the armpit when we reach up to grab something.  

That's dirty pool, Punks. I admit that really ticks etc… me off! Yell Please stay safe & Thank You for your service!!

John 3:16, Support the Second Amendment, or lose it!
June 25, 2012
10:04 am
paul
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AKmom said

paul said

AKmom said
This horse dead yet??? LOLWink

Doubt it, and it probably never will be. For the new shooter with no experience it's a very real question. For those of us here that have more than a few years of guns and hunting under our belts, we've put it to rest but tend to forget that we started out with the same questions.

Yeah, I hear ya. Sure hope I didn't come off as rude or anything.

Not in the least. Sometimes I get cranky and can be a pain in the patoot when it comes to stating the obvious. Unfortunately there is a large group of people that is either naive or misinformed so it never hurts to restate the basics that all guns and calibers can be dangerous and deadly, as our fine folks in the military and police know all too well. It also doesn't hurt to remind those of us that have been around the block a few times but have become a bit lax in our attitudes even though we may moan and groan about it. If I offended, it was not my intent and I do apolligize. I'll get off my soapbox now, sorry.

June 25, 2012
7:28 pm
AKmom

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No apology necessary…all good!>>>>Paul

June 25, 2012
11:33 pm
scarlino
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Latest update on my S&W M&P 15-22 status.  Still waiting on the order to be filled by S&W.  I guess thier FFL computer had a meltdown and the ordering process had to be started over.  With such high demand for the rifle it could be 18 month before I receive it.  I have been waiting 11.5 months so far and I can't hardly wait any longer.

June 26, 2012
1:46 am
sig383

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Shielded said

sig383 said
In Afghanistan, we have found suppressed .22LR rifles in insurgent hands.  They have been using them to shoot at us behind the ear from distance.  One of the only places we don't have armor…that, or in the armpit when we reach up to grab something.  

That's dirty pool, Punks. I admit that really ticks etc… me off! Yell Please stay safe & Thank You for your service!!

I guess I worded that a little funky…I'm actually home now.  But thank you anyways, and I will pass it on to all my brothers in arms that are over there now.  I love what I do, and I appreciate being able to do what I do to keep my citizens and my country safe. 

June 26, 2012
6:59 am
ky breed

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I wouldn't bet my life on it!<img class="spSmiley" title="Wink" onclick="spjEdInsertSmiley('sf-wink.gif', 'Wink', 'http://sportsmansnews.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/', 'Wink');" src="/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-wink.gif" alt="Wink" />

June 26, 2012
7:50 am
sl-eye_noyes
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scarlino said
Latest update on my S&W M&P 15-22 status.  Still waiting on the order to be filled by S&W.  I guess thier FFL computer had a meltdown and the ordering process had to be started over.  With such high demand for the rifle it could be 18 month before I receive it.  I have been waiting 11.5 months so far and I can't hardly wait any longer.

It seems like quite the ordeal. hopefully they will get everything going a little quicker than 18 months.

June 26, 2012
10:13 am
Editor
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sl-eye_noyes said

scarlino said
Latest update on my S&W M&P 15-22 status.  Still waiting on the order to be filled by S&W.  I guess thier FFL computer had a meltdown and the ordering process had to be started over.  With such high demand for the rifle it could be 18 month before I receive it.  I have been waiting 11.5 months so far and I can't hardly wait any longer.

It seems like quite the ordeal. hopefully they will get everything going a little quicker than 18 months.

It might not really make you too happy to know then that it looks very much like the July gun of the month will be a 15-22. Then again, it might. Wink

Dan Kidder Managing Editor Sportsman's News —– "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves."
June 26, 2012
10:30 am
tonyegg

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Editor said



It might not really make you too happy to know then that it looks very much like the July gun of the month will be a 15-22. Then again, it might. Wink

Something to look forward to!

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