With the same feel and weight of a larger caliber revolver, the Pathfinder in .22 LR offers inexpensive training for anyone who carries a Charter Arms handgun for self-defense. The guns have a 2-inch barrel topped with a fixed ramp front sight. Made of stainless steel, these 19-ounce revolvers come with full-size rubber grips to make recoil light and easy to control. Charter Arms also offers a Pathfinder chambered for .22 WMR.
If you carry a compact 1911 pistol for self-defense, the Rimfire Compact Conversion Kit from Kimber is a worthwhile training investment. The kit converts the company’s Ultra, Compact and Pro models to .22 LR. Additionally, the kit will work with compact 1911 handguns made by other companies. It takes less than one minute to convert a gun to the rimfire round. The kit comes with a slide and barrel assembly plus a single magazine.
The first rule of a gunfight is to have a gun. Since the North American Arms .22 LR Mini-Revolver is so easy to conceal, everyone should be able to satisfy the first rule with this handgun. Overall length is only 4 inches, while the gun weighs only 4.5 ounces unloaded. The five-shot revolver has a 1.1-inch barrel topped with a blade sight. An optional holster grip allows the gun to be clipped to a pocket or belt and unfolded for use like a knife.
A perfect companion for the .38-caliber LCR, the Ruger LCR-22 is a double-action-only (DAO) revolver chambered in .22 LR. The gun shares the same look and feel of the more powerful LCR, giving the owner a great opportunity to train with the less-expensive and milder-recoiling rimfire rounds. However, the gun should not be ignored as a possible defensive gun itself. It holds eight rounds, comes with Hogue Tamer Monogrips and has a very useable, pinned front sight.
If you are looking for an inexpensive semi-automatic pistol to improve your handgun accuracy, the Ruger SR22 is worth your consideration. The gun feels good in the hand, points well and comes standard with three-dot, adjustable sights. The gun also comes with swappable palm swell grips to help fit the gun to the shooter’s hand. Both the manual safety and the magazine-release button are ambidextrous. One of the gun’s best features is its reliability with all kinds of .22 LR ammunition.
Building on the strengths of the popular M&P series of full-size duty and self-defense pistols, the new M&P 22 Compact from Smith & Wesson adds an interesting new dimension to the line. Scaled at 87.5 percent the size of a standard centerfire M&P, the .22 LR rimfire pistol features a single-action, hammer-fired system that mimics the operation of the standard striker-fired pistols. The pistol features an ambidextrous frame-mounted safety, a 10-round magazine and outstanding handling characteristics.
Sig Sauer saw amazing success with the introduction of its P238 and P938 pistols in .380 ACP and 9mm, respectively. With the new P938 in .22 LR, shooters have a chance to get a lot more practice in with this pistol platform. The rimfire P938 sports a black finish with a very attractive set of Rosewood grips. Ambidextrous controls and SIGLITE Night Sights carry over from the centerfire-caliber guns, giving the shooter a perfect replication of the more potent guns in practice.
One of the lightest rimfire semi-automatic pistols on the market, the Taurus 22 PLY is a polymer-framed handgun chambered for .22 LR. The gun features a tip-up barrel for easy loading, which may be an important benefit for people with impaired or reduced hand strength. A shooter can tip up the barrel, drop a single round into it and then snap it closed. No working of the slide is needed, and with a full magazine, the shooter is ready for the range or carry.
Suitable for practice or carry, the Model 94 from Taurus is a very soft-shooting nine-shot revolver. Unlike some lightweight guns, this wheelgun is made of stainless steel and weighs in at 24 ounces. This additional weight helps absorb recoil, turning the relatively mild .22 LR into a true pleasure to shoot. A full-size rubber grip further reduces felt recoil, and it gives the shooter a solid grip on the revolver. A full-length underlug protects the extended-length ejector rod.
While a good gun to shoot in its own right, the Walther PPK/S in .22 LR is an excellent training pistol for anyone who already owns a PPK or any other PP-series handgun for self-defense. Combining the semi-automatic action with the 24-ounce weight, recoil is very light in this rimfire pistol. Two versions are offered: one with a black finish, the other with a stainless finish.
Underestimation can prevent you from using an object to its potential. Do not underestimate the value of the pocket rimfire pistol in your defensive handgun lineup as it can serve as a highly effective training tool.
Occasional ammo shortages notwithstanding, the .22 LR cartridge tends to be very affordable to shoot. A rimfire version of a defensive pistol can allow the shooter to improve both accuracy and weapon manipulation skills.
In addition, for anyone with significant upper body strength deficiencies or physical ailments, a gun chambered in .22 LR might be the only handgun that can be reliably operated. While few people would claim that a .22 will be as effective as a 9mm or .45 ACP at stopping a determined attacker, a pistol loaded with .22-caliber rounds and effectively employed can be a life saver.
Scroll through the gallery above for a few of the .22-caliber rimfire handguns on the market that are worth your consideration when it comes to CCW self-defense.
For More Information
Charter Arms Pathfinder
Kimber Rimfire Conversion Kit
North American Arms .22 LR Mini-Revolver
Sig Sauer P938 22LR Rosewood
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact
Taurus 22 PLY
Taurus Model 94
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by Personal Defense World / Nov 21, 2014