Matt over at the Jerking The Trigger blog recently posted an article on the use of a .22 LR carbine (like the Ruger 10/22) as a home defense tool (link). In the article he points out several reasons why it might not be a bad choice. Those included:
-The low cost of acquisition and ammo
-Low recoil and ease of use, especially for non-gun folks and younger family members
To be honest, when we were first married Wonderful Wife and I did not have a lot. We didn’t really worry about being robbed because we were the poorest folks in the neighborhood. Just about everything in our home was a hand me down or freebie of some sort or another. We had so little to worry about losing in those days we didn’t even lock the door when we left the house about half the time.
The one thing I could not countenance losing was my wife and kids. Those I would do everything within my power to protect and the old Louisville slugger that protected me when I was single was demoted to “option two.”
Given our finances, “option one” was a Marlin Model 989 that I picked up used for maybe $50 (which was still a stretch for us).
Because of the low cost of ammo, I could afford to practice fairly regularly and I was pretty good with that little gun. Loaded with CCI Mini-Mags in a 20 or 25 round magazine it served the family well. It was brought out on any number of occasions when something went “bump” in the night. During the big flood in the mid-1990’s the little carbine came out of the closet and stayed on my shoulder most nights as the gun battles between looters and the sheriff’s department could be heard throughout the night.
On the many occasions when I had to work nights I knew that Wonderful Wife and each of of the kids were well protected because each one was able to operate it quite well. Each one of the kids had been taught safety as well as the operation of the little carbine, by the way.
The little carbine remained our defensive tool of choice until just a few years ago when it was retired in favor of more capable tools. At that point it was just Wonderful Wife and I at home and we were both well versed in more potent weapons.
Is a .22 LR carbine the best choice ballistically? Of course not.
Is it the most reliable choice? Probably not but they are better than some higher priced alternatives.
Will it do the job if need be? Dang skippy, as long as you can do your part.