Being by far the most popular cartridge world wide should be enough, but there’s much more.
Indisputably the most versatile caliber, the 22 LR is a terrific general purpose round.
Left to right: 22LR, 9mm, 357 Magnum, 308W and 12 Ga.
Don’t let size fool you. Even though not the most appropriate for the job, the 22LR has saved more than enough lives in self defenses encounters since its creation.
1)It’s cheap, small and light. And not only cheap, no other caliber comes close in terms of bang per buck.
Today this is an issue of great importance, and will be even more significant as the crisis gets worse: Even these days you notice it in the firearm’s forums. More and more people can only afford to shoot only 22LR, and maybe an occasional big bore box once in a while.
Regarding wieght and size; Remember when you just want to go for a walk and maybe shoot something that seems to require shooting? like a twig, leaf, frog, or mouse that happens to run by? The little rascal is just begging for it. He’s probably thinking “you’ll never hit me! you’ll never hit me!”.
Other calibers would mean considerable weight to be carried, but with the 22LR you just brag a handful out of a 550 Value Pack, and throw it in your pocket or in your bag and you’re good to go, knowing you have about 200 rounds of ammo. More than enough to spend the afternoon plinking. 200 rounds in their cardboard boxes take somewhat the same space than a box of 50 rounds of 9mm. Something to consider when backpacking.
2)It’s great for plinking. There are hardly better ways to spend and afternoon than plinking with your kids. Try shooting balloons, sticks, or invest in a couple of metal targets in various shapes, or do some of your own. The “cling!” sound never gets old.
3)Perfect for pest control. Even though air rifles are good enough for smaller rodents, the 22LR has more authority and can even manage medium sized animals with the right ammo if the shots are well placed.
4)For occasional warning shots (in a safe direction) to send the right message to the occasional poacher or petty thief, without wasting a hard earned dollar every time you do so. (Warning: What you read here is for entertainment purposes only. Respect the laws that apply to you. Don’t do stupid things that can land you in jail)
5)Finishing wounded game or farm animals for butchering, killing sick animals with a merciful head shot.
6)It works for self defense. You usually have 10 rounds in autos an 9 or 11 rounds in some revolver cylinders. The 22LR sure isn’t perfect but as they say, still more effective than a sharp stick or foul language if you ever need to defend yourself.
I’d go for Stingers or even better, the slightly heavier CCI Velocitors. Remember: 22LR kills people everyday.
7)Almost no recoil. Just perfect for the novice shooter, specially those that are a bit scared about guns and/or recoil sensitive. Some people just can't handle anything bigger or with more recoil because of health issues. For them a 22LR loaded with good ammo fits the bill.
Bersa 22LR pistols.
I knew how important it was to own a 22LR but it took me a while to find one I really liked. I tried and owned many, and there was always something I didn’t like.
Usually it’s a matter of reliability. 22LR guns are very picky and not nearly as reliable as big bore calibers. The ammo itself is of questionable quality sometimes, specially in their bulk presentation where you’ll often find rounds that either need an extra strike or just refuse to fire at all.
I owned some that were very accurate, but weren’t reliable enough, and the commands where just too different.
Customized Bersa Thunder 22. Aluminum frame, steel slide
Bersa 23. Steel frame and slide.
Both use the same 10 round magazine. Except for the slide release, all other parts are interchangable.
I wanted accuracy of course, but I also wanted something that had the typical controls found in a defensive auto.
I also wanted it to be reliable and if it ever had to fill a defensive role, a gun that could be carried in the pocket for social purposes. Of course there are much better alternatives, but 10 rounds of CCI Velocitors will ruin anyone’s day.
The Bersa Thunder 22 falls easily into a jacket pocket. It’s accurate enough for small critter and the occasional medium range shot around a farm. Get some old cans and sticks placed against a safe background and it’s a great way to spend the afternnon with some buddies without hurting the wallet to much.
The Bersa is surprisingly accurate for its size, most reliable 22LR handgun I ever owned.
I came close to putting several bucks down on the counter and buying a nice Ruger, but why fix it if it ain’t broken? I just bought another Bersa 22LR (the blued one).
The blued one is actually a model 23, prior to the Thunder series and has no slide release lever which I don’t care for much anyway. Both have adjustable sights and the Thunder had quite some customization done by a previous owner which makes it a tackdirver. It has a red plastic insert which helps during fast shooting. You shoot when the round dot comes at eye level.
Customized red plastic insert in the front sight.
I have an IWB (inside the waistband) for them, so it can be used to practice defensive shooting drills.
I highly recommend the Bersa to anyone looking for a general purpose 22LR auto.
I also like the idea of a 22LR revolver, but had a Taurus )4 that would fail to shoot half the cylinder ( so much for the revolvers never fail load of bull) A S&W 22LR revolver with a 3 or 4 inch barrel might be just perfect. If you find any of those old “Kit” guns in good conditions they are worth buying.
The steel frame makes it heavier, but it also means it can take a steady diet of Hiper velocity ammo with no concern.
The survivalist side of me wanted something that would last forever. That could take hundreds of thousands of rounds and never worry about an aluminum frame stretching.
The 23 is a bit heavier, but the all steel construction makes it such a gun. Solid as a brick. Heavier, but still as compact both easy to carry and shoot.
That’s it for now guys.
Take care folks, and have fun!
Edited to add: Ammo for the Bersa: If I remember well, Bersa recommends heavier than 38gr., High Velocity. The customized Thunder 22 is very sweet, and will shoot anything.
The blued Model 23 has a slightly stiffer spring and I've had a couple failures with lighter and standard velocity. It needs a bit more power. With high velocities of 38 gr or more I never had a problem with either gun.
I read somewhere (was it the Model 23 manual?) that Bersa tests their 22 LR with Remington Thunderbolt 40gr., and that's the type of ammo that functions the best. I never had problems in either Bersa using that ammo. GO heavy and hot.