Tactical .22 Caliber Rifle: a Home Defense Option?
For decades the M16 and later the M4 style “Armalite Rifle” (AR) was the proven mainstay of our military forces and a vast number of law enforcement tactical units, even though the high velocity.223 caliber/5.56 mm bullet it fires is about the same size as a .22 caliber rifle. Then came the invention of the “Weaver” and “Picatinny” rail systems, and it enabled the user to quickly and easily install a plethora of practical defensive attachments to the rifles, so they became even more popular with the military, tactical units and to those interested on personal protection.
However, about three years ago, several firearms manufacturers started marketing .22 caliber M4 style “Armalite Rifles”. This was mainly possible, because the .223 caliber/5.56 mm bullet is about the same size as a .22 caliber bullet. Originally, these rifles were marketed as a low cost practice alternative to the full size .223 caliber/5.56 mm, because the .22 caliber ammunition is much cheaper, and they could utilize the “Weaver” and “Picatinny” rail systems for all the practical defensive attachments as well.
The same reasons that make the new .22 caliber tactical rifle a good practice option for law enforcement also makes them a good practical option for personal home defense.
For example, one of the most practical reasons for choosing one of the new .22 caliber tactical rifles is the fact that any personal defense attachments designed for use on the full size ARs can easily be transferred to the .22 caliber tactical rifles. These attachments include:
- Quick target accusation sights
- Pop up back up iron sights
- Collapsing stocks
- Front fore grips
- Flash lights
- One point slings
The tactical .22 caliber rifle ammunition also has far less penetration than the .223 caliber/5.56 mm round even with personal defense ammunition. And, this can be a very important consideration, when you’re deciding on a personal defense weapon for urban or residential application. The last thing you want is for the bullet you fired to go through the attacker, penetrate the interior drywall of your house and strike a family member, or miss the attacker with a bullet and have that bullet go through the wooden exterior wall of your house and penetrate into your neighbor’s house striking your neighbor’s family member.
The semiautomatic operating system of the tactical .22 caliber rifle allows very fast multiple shots on target, and this multi shot ability increases internal body damage. This is what we refer to as multi shot lethality.
There is far less recoil with the .22 caliber ammunition, so there is greater controllability. This is especially true for senior females or those with diminished strength due to a physical or medical condition. This increased controllability and the multi shot lethality makes the tactical .22 caliber rifle a formable defensive weapon.
Furthermore, its reduced recoil is less intimidating for women, especially senior females and first time shooters. Since the rifle is more controllable and less intimidating, the shooter will enjoy firing the rifle, and therefore they will be more willing to practice with it. Increased practice will lead to more confidence and better proficiency.
The cost of the .22 caliber tactical rifles and ammunition are much less than their full size counterparts. The reduced ammunition cost will lead to more practice, and as we said previously, this will bring about more confidence and proficiency.
The .22 caliber ammunition is also much smaller in comparison to the .223 caliber/5.56 mm ammunition; therefore, it takes up far less room, so you can store much more ammunition in the same amount of space.
We only recommend using the best quality high velocity .22 caliber ammunition for personal defense. Due to the rim fire design of the .22 caliber cartridge, the lower cost .22 caliber ammunition is more prone to miss-fires. Our interviews with emergency room physicians verified that higher velocity bullets cause more internal damage to the human body. This increased damage is caused by the enlarged temporal cavity formed around the bullet which tears and rips apart organs, nearby blood vessels and major arteries causing quick incapacitation and death.
Now that you’ve had a chance to see the positive advantages of the .22 caliber tactical ARs, you may begin to see why it should be considered as a practical firearm option for personal home defense.
One point sling attachment