Welcome to I Shoot 22!

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re all about shooting .22 caliber ammunition. Why 22? Because shooting is fun and 22 is cheap!

You can get more practice and more practice helps you shoot better.

We’re just getting started but you can expect to see posts on shooting, guns, gear, and accessories. We’re not above selling something or getting paid by linking to an affiliate but that’s not our focus. All we really wanna do is  have some fun.


Safety First – Shooting 22 Caliber Is No Different From Any Other Firearm!

Some of you might ask – why say such a thing? Or more succinctly DUH!
Let’s hope everybody says this! However, it seems to me our wonderful little 22 caliber firearms tend to be plagued with an inferiority complex.

They are underpowered.

They have no “stopping power”

They are rimfire, not centerfire

If you search on the subject, you will be hard-pressed to find any real issues with the “lowly” 22. That said, most of the self-defense crowd will go on for hours about 9mm vs 45 vs 38 vs 380. The 22 rarely gets a kind word. Should it? Probably not.

For most of the reasons above, I do not think it is wise to depend on a 22 cal firearm for self defense in most cases. For those individuals who simply cannot hope to fire a larger gun, the 22 may be their only valid choice. It is better than nothing and I doubt if anyone looking down the barrel of a gun stopped to ask what caliber it is before deciding what action to take or abort.

The whole point of this post is simply  to remind us all that while it may not be the mightiest firearm, it still deserves respect. After all it’s been documented that a 22 has killed bears, even elephants so there! Even if you don’t have any rogue elephants roaming around in your back yard today, keep in mind the four rules of firearms even applies to the 22.

Four rules firearms

      • Always Keep Firearm Pointed in a Safe direction. Never point your gun at anything you do not intend to shoot. …
      • Treat All Guns as Though They are Loaded. …
      • Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger until You are Ready to Shoot. …
      • Always Be Sure of Your Target and What’s Beyond It.

To the above, I also suggest you always wear safety glasses (or goggles, as I must) to protect your eyes. This is especially important when shooting 22 because it is not considered a long range round so the common distance for most practice is 25 yards.  The closer you are to the target, the less distance there is for something to comeback at you.

In addition, I recommend ear protection. Sure, 22s are not nearly as loud as other rounds but they still make plenty of noise – enough to damage your ears, so do it right, follow the four rules and use eye and ear protection.


Please do NOT do this at home… or at the range… or ANYWHERE ELSE!

What is WRONG with this picture?

For those of you who are new to shooting or live under some rock…

    1. That fellow facing us (PLEASE do NOT tell me he is an “instructor”) should not be downrange.
    2. The girl with the gun (BB, pellet, or firearm – it does not matter) should NOT be pointing it downrange when someone is in front of  her.
    3. The fellow should ABSOLUTELY NOT walk in front of the muzzle of this weapon.
    4. The shooter has now eye protection
    5. Neither party has any visible ear protection

There is probably more wrong with this but I’ll leave it to you sharp-eyed readers to add anything more.

Granted, she may have an airgun in her hands. As such ear protection is not as crucial but I contend it is still a good idea for a couple of reasons.

As one forum posted – once lost, you cannot get your hearing back!

The second reason is the same for all those who might be shaking their heads in disagreement, assuming this is indeed an airgun range – bad habits die hard.

Whatever else, this girl is shooting and safety rules for shooting should always be observed.

If you are in the habit of shooting without ear and eye protection you might “forget” when handling more dangerous weapons.

If you are in the habit of ignoring safe weapon handling practices, you are setting yourself up for potential disaster.

One of the most important aspects of any endeavor is muscle memory or practicing something until your body does something without thinking. Muscle memory works just as effectively with bad practices as with good.

Finally, please keep in mind that most “accidents” with firearms seem to happen with unloaded weapons. At least this is the excuse I see most often:

“I didn’t know it was loaded.”

We don’t know if the girl in the gif had a loaded weapon or not. It shouldn’t matter. EVERY such weapon should be ALWAYS treated as if it were loaded.


Virginia Gun Safety Devices Tax Credits

I just came across this. As I am NOT a “tax professional” I’ll explain this as best I understand it in (hopefully) plain English.

If you live in Virginia, pay income taxes, and bought or plan on buying some sort of gun safety device – such as a trigger lock or a gun safe, you could be eligible for a tax credit of up to $300. Okay, so details…

Let’s start with the “UP TO” part. The legislature has capped the total amount of credits allowed at $5 million dollars. These are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis so file early because once that $5 mil is gone, no more credits!

How do you qualify for the full $300? Spend at least $300 on gun safety devices. This can be one or more items. If you file jointly, the other taxpayer can also qualify for a credit. Now does this mean you can go in together on a gun safe? I don’t know. At first I thought not but after reading the code again, well, it really doesn’t say. Personally, I think they just might allow it but I won’t know for sure unless someone puts this to the test.

Understand, you won’t get a dime if you don’t owe any Virginia income tax.

Now when I came across this, it specified the year 2023 so if you didn’t buy something last year, too bad – right? Think again. I had to dig a bit but according to the Code of Virginia this tax credit will be available up to and including the tax year 2027. (It ends Jan 1, 2028 so I’m guessing it won’t apply for the 2028 tax year.)

One other thing you should note – the gun safety devise must be purchased from a federally licensed gun dealer (FFL) so be sure you’re not buying one off the back of some dude’s truck!

If you’ve looked into this at all, you know this stuff can run into quite a bit of money. Even if you can’t spring for that “21 gun safe” you’ve been drooling over this year, any trigger locks, smaller handgun safes for your home and car, etc. all qualify and they add up. Save your receipts. Hand them all over to your tax pro. You can print out the pages from the links above if you like or just bookmark this post.

All said, I highly recommend purchasing as much gun safe as you can afford. Even in this rural area, houses have been burglarized. Not only that but there are lots of thefts of guns left in automobiles reported every year. Even a cheaper safe can prevent a thief from stealing your weapon as thieves are typically lazy critters who prefer easy targets with no work involved. seeing your safe attached to something solid by a thick cable is likely to thwart their “efforts”.  Worst case, you can at least demonstrate to the insurance company that you made efforts to prevent the theft.

Note and disclaimer here: all safes pictured here are from Dean Safe in CA of all places. These links are NOT affiliated links and I receive NOTHING for linking to them here. It is for your convenience only and while I do believe Dean Safe to be a good company offering decent products, I have no basis from which to endorse any of their products.

.22 For Self Defense?

Let’s start where the rubber meets the road – for self defense purposes, a .22 caliber should not be anyone’s first choice. That said, I’d defend myself with a #2 lead pencil if the need arose. How about you?

Stopping Power

This is often the crux of any discussion about self-defense firearms. As such it is generally accepted that the larger the caliber, the greater the stopping     power. Okay. Fine. I get it. I’m sure you do too. Detractors may point out that while such weapons as  the venerable Colt 1911 A1 M1 tops many a list, you’d need to carry three extra mags in order to equal the number of shots of many 9mm and .40 S&W pistols with a single spare mag.  This begs the question – which of the above has more stopping power?

Then there’s the “shootability” issue. Some opt for a .22 because they simply cannot shoot anything larger due to the recoil and the strength needed to work the action. My own experience is limited to the .22, 9mm, .40 S&W, and the .45 calibers – not so much the .45 but I have shot them. For the most part, I think it is safe to say those “in-between” calibers such as the .32 and .380 may also be worth consideration.

Bluntly put, it wasn’t until recently that I even considered how the action of some semi-automatics may be hard to work for some people. I recently visited my local gun shop to check out some options. Sure enough, S&W makes an “EZ” model for their venerable M&P Shield line. Ruger, CZ, and Walther have similar offerings, though these last two might be .380 caliber. The shop had a S&W EZ in .380 and another semi (I forget what one) in a .22 caliber. Both were very easy to rack.

Of course the other, and obvious, solution is a revolver. No racking necessary and they are among the most reliable shooters around. Once again, recoil becomes an issue with the larger calibers. With the .22? Not so much. The other issue, of course is capacity. My old H&R .22 is holds a whopping nine rounds while others vary. Lots of larger caliber revolvers are five or six shots.

What’s the Bottom Line?

The bottom line is if you are thinking self-defense, it’s best to consider what is best for you. By the grace of God, I can shoot most anything, but for price of the ammo – for both practice and daily carry – and capacity, I’m sticking with my .40 S&W for the time being but I’m leaning towards a 9mm just because they tend to have slightly less recoil. That said, I will also load up on some self-defense ammo. Speaking of ammo…

As this blog is supposed to focus on .22’s – what might be some better ammo choices for self defense? In my research I found two that are held in higher regard than the rest. Federal’s 29-grain Punch 22LR Personal Defense and CCI’s 22LR Ammunition Velocitor  40 Grain Copper-Plated Hollow Point. Both currently run about 0.18 -0.20¢ for 50 rounds. While you can pick up regular .22 long rifle ammo for about 4.0¢ per round online (there are some deals for even less but quantities are limited). Expect to pay more at your favorite local establishment, but even the most expensive .22 ammo is still within reach for most of us.

While Federal actually markets a “self-defense” round in .22 caliber, I think we can all agree this should not be the first choice for anyone who can avoid it. Nevertheless, it IS a choice and one I’m glad to have. However there is one important aspect not yet discussed here. Practice.

In my web travels, I recent came upon a post where the author made a very important point – be familiar with the weapon you are using. In light of this discussion, ideally, one should practice as much as possible with your self-defense weapon of choice.  The second best option would be to practice with a lower caliber (like a .22 maybe?) clone. If neither of those options are available, you could at least practice with a similar firearm – a semi-automatic if this is your self-defense weapon of choice, or a revolver. Just keep the differences ingrained in your head. The  poster above lost a shot (at game) because he was carrying his friend’s shotgun rather than the one he was used to. Why did he lose the shot? The safety was in a different location.

No matter what, you’ll at least want to keep your shooting skills as sharp as possible so you don’t have to think about the shot before you take it. Also, regardless of what caliber firearm you are using, accuracy tends to score better than capacity every time. All debate ends up in the trash if you can’t hit what you aim at.



Why Shoot .22?

Someone said a .22 caliber is a “must have” for anyone who shoots. As a .22Colt Government 1911 A11 22 fan boy, how can I not agree? For me and many, many others, it was our first firearm. Because of the sheer affordability of the ammunition, it is also the caliber I’ve shot most.

You might think another consideration is the noise level. I thought so too but after thinking about it, even a .22 is loud enough to bother my dogs, not to mention my neighbors. Fortunately for me, my neighbors aren’t all that close and there’s plenty of shooting going on all around us. Unless I start shooting a bucket-o-bullets every day, I doubt if anyone will complain. Okay, the dogs will complain, but they whine about everything.

What about distance?

If you read my post on the range of .22 caliber firearms, it should be obvious lethality is not an issue. It shouldn’t be an issue anyway but, well, safety. ALL firearms should be treated as dangerous weapons. Then again, so shouldn’t all automobiles. Note that while one must pay a special tax to own a fully automatic firearm, you don’t even need to be able to drive to own a fully automatic automobile, but I digress.

So what IS important about distance? It depends on what your goals are. The greater the distance you want to shoot the more factors loom large for consideration. Sure, it would be great to have ready access to a 300 yard range but then most of us would need some pretty high-end equipment and ammo to even begin to hit the target. Even a 100 yard distance could present a challenge for a lot of us.

When it gets right down to brass tacks (or maybe spent shells?) I’m more into the having fun aspect than the serious shooting bit. I’m delving into this topic so I can get better at everyday shooting with what I already own – NOT with an aim to start collecting $2000+ precision rimfire rifles. My wife just spewed a huge sigh of relief.

After digging online for any reliable information about shooting .22s in competition, I found a few, mostly local, here and there. There are a couple of national organizations but they don’t seem all that organized to me. I’m pretty sure I came across a couple of competitive shooting  programs a couple of years ago but I can’t find them now. My goal was to get some idea of accepted parameters. Oi. What I found is, I guess, a 75 yard distance is okay for rifle shooting while a 25 yard is suitable for pistol. That said, If you’ve only got enough room to shoot at 25 yards, why not go for it? The important thing is to make sure your backstop is sufficient both in size and quality – (dirt is really, really good for stopping bullets) – and other safety factors are observed. Most states have regulations already published on ranges – whether they apply to your own private shooting space or not is more of a legal issue requiring a legal opinion so do seek legal advice. If you don’t have or have overcome any legal considerations, or, if you’ve found a local range or a shooting club to join then distance should no longer be an issue.

One More Distance Consideration

Let’s talk self-defense.  According to Chris Baker at Lucky Gunner who wrote a pretty extensive article on the subject, most self defense situations with a firearm are at a distance between 3-5 yards (9-15 feet).

If that’s the case then shouldn’t one’s self defense practice focus on that distance? Maybe and maybe not. Either way, I think it is wise to keep this in mind when practicing. My idea is to practice at twice the distance you would expect to encounter in real life. Why? Because if I can consistently shoot accurately at 30 feet, then 15 feet should never be a problem.

Plinking or Competing?

You already know my thoughts. I just wanna shoot. Granted I tend to be naturally competitive but when it comes to stuff like shooting, I don’t really care if the guy next to me can shoot holes in his holes. All I really want to do is shoot well. If I can be accurate and fast, all the better, but I’ll take accuracy over speed any day.

With A Range of ONE MILE – How Lethal is a .22 Caliber?

Well that was a loaded question. Pardon the pun. The short answer is “I asked the wrong question.” The long, or should I say long rifle, answerOutdoor Shooting Range follows.

Way back when I remember a neighbor being all worried about a .22 having a range of up to a mile. Pffft! I thought.  A MILE? The bullet would likely bounce off tissue paper at that range. Of course there are other factors of course, like gravity. Now I’ve never done the math but I’m pretty sure most shots would hit the ground long before they passed the mile marker.

Anyway, after an initial search, I found the video below on youtube. Good enough. If you don’t want to watch it right now, I’ll save you the suspense. SPOILER ALERT BELOW THE VIDEO!

How Lethal is the .22?

Ah! There you are. So it turns out this little round is plenty lethal as long as you can reasonably hit what you are aiming for. In the video they went out to 4-500 yards before giving up and they had a very accurate and well-scoped rifle. The bottom line is, if you can it it, you can kill it, so be careful and always, Always, ALWAYS follow the rules of safety – in this case, never aim at something (much less fire) you do not intend to damage.

Maybe someday I’ll get off my sorry, um, carcass, and find out exactly how much damage a .22 can do from a mile out but don’t count on it. I don’t expect to be shooting one much more than 100 yards at this point and even that would be a stretch.