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Can .22LR penetrate human skull?

Discussion in 'General Rifle' started by phrogg, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. phrogg

    phrogg G&G Newbie

    It's an odd question, and possibly slightly disturbing, but can a .22LR fired out of a typical little pocket .22 pistol penetrate a human skull? If I buy a .22 to carry, is it completely useless trying to aim for someone's head because the bullet will just glance off their skull?

    I'd probably be using nice, hot ammo, if that matters.

    I'm definitly not going to rely 100% on a .22 for self defense for my entire life, or expect it to work with one shot, but when I turn 21 (California - ugh), I'd probably have an easier time convincing a local sheriff to let me carry a $100-$250 .22 than a nice $600 .45ACP.

    On top of it being easier to conceal, cheaper to buy, and far cheaper to practice shooting with, it'd be convenient, even though not the most effective. Hey, I'd have something, right? Better than a knife, that's for sure.
  2. practical

    practical G&G Newbie

    I'd go bigger if it were me. 357 hammerless snubnose is the way to fly. Small, reliable, and powerful.

    On the original issue, I think a 22 would definitely penetrate a human skull.
  3. phrogg

    phrogg G&G Newbie

    Yeah, I was thinking a Glock 26 or 27 (subcompact 9mm or .40) would make a nicer carry for every day. I'd probably go with the G26 - 9mm isn't huge, but $10 for a box of 100 at Wal-Mart, hey, why not? I'm not too shabby with double taps, and I'd get a good amount of practice.

    For wheelguns, yeah, the .357/.38 revolver would be the way to go, unless I can find a cheap .44 snubby (I love lots of kick, although the .44 is freaking loud... scares the heck out of me hearing one going off from 30 feet down the line).

    Anyone sure on the .22 penetrating skull, or at least something more durable?
  4. Logansdad

    Logansdad Guest

    Many people have the mistaken belief that a 2 1/2-inch handgun chambered to fire the .22 Long Rifle cartridge is superior to a 2 1/2-inch handgun chambered to fire the .25 ACP cartridge. These tests show that when you fire .22 LR from a .25 ACP sized handgun, you should expect nothing better than .25 ACP-like performance. When fired from small handguns, .22 LR is virtually identical in performance to .25 ACP.

    We like to think of small automatics chambered in .22 LR, .25 ACP and .32 ACP as "shoot and scoot" guns. They're best used as a means to escape deadly danger. They're not gunfight guns.

    Finally, the Beretta M21A, chambered to fire .22 LR, is not a good choice as a personal defense handgun. The reason is because the Beretta does not have an extractor. When a cartridge misfires, the firing pin swages the rim of the cartridge to the breech, and the faulty cartridge must be either pried from the chamber with the blade of a knife or removed by inserting a cleaning rod down the bore. If you're considering the Beretta M21A pistol as a personal defense weapon, we feel you'd be better served by choosing one that's chambered to fire .25 ACP.

    If you're contemplating .22 LR as a personal defense cartridge, we advise you to consider a revolver instead of an automatic pistol. Rimfire ammunition has a higher incidence of misfire failures than centerfire ammunition. With a revolver, when a misfire is encountered, the problem is solved immediately by pressing the trigger again.
  5. NorCalAshnjikov

    NorCalAshnjikov G&G Newbie

    I recall several movies/tvshows (CSI, Law&Order) discussing that a 22LR from a handgun at close range has just enough zip to punch through the skull once, so it enters the head and bounces around poking holes in your brain (that combined with quiet report is apparently why hitmen chose 22lr revolvers).

    I also recall reading about some Alaskan aboriginal chick
    picking off a grizzly with a 22 to the skull.

    So as a weapon of last resort, a 22lr to the head is just fine.
  6. pball942

    pball942 G&G Newbie

    If you do decide to use .22LR, go with a Hyper Volicity rounds such as CCI Stinger, or Remington Yellow Jacket. Not that I would condone useing a .22 fin such a way. But if it's all you got, it's better then nothing.
  7. Outriderdark

    Outriderdark G&G Newbie

    The weapon of choice for organized crime hits has always been a .22 (usually behind the ear). So I'd say yes.
    Practice your shot placement ad nauseum...until you can point and shoot in your sleep.
  8. Despoiler

    Despoiler G&G Enthusiast

    I really don't know if a 22 can penetrate a human skull or not, but the biggest problem is getting the permit to carry, I live in your county and I have been trying to get a permit for nearly 6 years. I guess I have not contributed enough cash to Sheriff Lou Blanas campaign to qualify for one. But good luck with that.
  9. .22>.45

    .22>.45 G&G Newbie


    A .22 will go through a skull at closer ranges very easy, If it will go through a 1" thick hardwood board a skull should be no problem.
    It also is something I would not want to "test" out !
  10. Logansdad

    Logansdad Guest

    I have a little bitty .22lr's a Sterling..stainless steel..German company but I'm not sure it was made in Germany..loaded with Remington Yellow Jacket hollowpoints :right: but I don't think I'd carry it..I might get the crazy idea I was armed :rolleyes:
  11. Bountyhunter

    Bountyhunter G&G Newbie

    That is what google and research is for.

    .22 LR either hollow point or solids do not mushroom usually. They will penetrate 7" of pine, 10 inches of geletin, at least 6 gallon jugs of water, amongst other things.

    The Special Forces used them in Europe for counter sniper operations. Ofttimes the Krauts would leave snipers in the trenches. The SF would get in behind them and cap their butts just under their coal buckets.

    The Mafia still uses them. Like the man said, it has enough power to make a hole in and then it spins round and round inside the skull cap. Also it doesnt make much noise.

    Its a **** poor choice for self defense when .38's are available. Obviously, you arent old enough to have a gun, but if you live long enough to reach that age, and you want one, then get one that will work and leave the .22's to the target range.
  12. phrogg

    phrogg G&G Newbie

    That's the bit that'll kill me.

    Ahh... yeah, if the only guy qualified to give out CCW permits in Sacramento County is being anal about it, I may as well forget it for a few years.

    I'm moving to Nevada, eventually, though. I don't know what exactly I'm doing after high school soon here. I want to be a heli pilot in the army and I'm smart enough, but I don't know which of the many routes I'll be taking to get there. Nevada is shall-issue, last I checked, so long as you can prove you're not just a moron with a gun.

    Anyway, cool. That means I can just get a .22 and load it with hot ammo to use as a nice backup weapon or slightly less lethal self defense weapon - and I'd be able to go to the range a lot easier.

    Thanks guys.
  13. iflylow74

    iflylow74 G&G Enthusiast

    My family has slaughtered hogs for years by shooting them in the head with a .22. I would say a typical hog has a harder skull that a human so I would say yes. IMHO, more people have been killed with a .22 (neglecting war) than any other caliber due to the fact that everybody has one.
  14. hounddawg

    hounddawg G&G Enthusiast

    Well sir, that all depends. I know a few individuals who I'm pretty certain will bounce that .22 bullet with their skulls. In any event, even if they don't it would not make a bit of difference.

    On a more serious note though, I would rather recommend you use a .22 magnum if your choice was restricted to a .22 caliber.

    Alternatively, try to obtain a fully-automatic belt-fed shotgun. 8 gauge should do the trick:kinky:
  15. Full MeTal Jack

    Full MeTal Jack G&G Evangelist

    What about the #1 Question?
    Is a 22 handgun lawfull for CCW?

    Texas CHL, Conceled Handgun License, minimun caliber is .380.
  16. Father Time

    Father Time G&G Newbie

    There isn't a size limit in Michigan that I'm aware of. I have often carried one, and several people in my last CCW class qualified with one.
  17. Troy

    Troy G&G Newbie


    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    Yeah; but they'd have one !!!! of a headache.
  19. Troy

    Troy G&G Newbie

    and be vewy, vewy, angwey. (sorry, lousy elmer fudd impression)
  20. troy2000

    troy2000 Suspended

    Personally, I'd say that in most self-defense situations you're going to want to be aiming for center of mass, instead of getting cute with a head shot.
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