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Read & React: Maine Man Uses .22 for Defense in Home Invasion

by Richard Nance   |  March 4th, 2012 108
Bangor shooting

A Penobscot County Sheriff's deputy cordons the home of Daniel Williams, 24, of Hermon, Maine, who fended off two intruders with a .22-caliber handgun. (Photo by the Bangor Daily News)

Think a .22-caliber handgun is insufficient for home defense?  Don’t tell that to 24-year-old Daniel Williams of Hermon, Maine, whose .22 proved more than adequate in fending off two men during a recent home invasion. 

According to the Bangor Daily News, on February 16, at approximately 9 a.m., Williams was awakened by a knock at the door of his apartment. When Williams answered the door, he saw a woman who he did not recognize. The woman told Williams that she knew the former residents of the apartment but Williams was suspicious of her claim because he, in fact, knew all of the recent former residents of the apartment.

As Williams’ suspicion heightened, two men later identified as 30-year-old Robert Dellairo and 19-year-old Philip McIntyre forced open the door, knocking Williams to the ground. McIntyre rushed into the apartment and punched at Williams as Dellairo stood nearby, clutching a knife. As Williams attempted to fight off McIntyre, Dellairo swung the knife at him several times, resulting in a minor cut to William’s abdomen. During the struggle, Williams wrested the knife from Dellairo.

Williams’ roommate, 24-year-old Luis Ramos, ran out of his bedroom, armed with an electric guitar which he tried to use as a weapon against McIntyre and Dellairo. Unfortunately, one of the home invaders managed to gain possession of the guitar and used it to strike the back of William’s head.

As McIntyre and Dellairo continued to batter Williams and Ramos, Williams broke free and ran to his bedroom, where he armed himself with a .22-caliber handgun equipped with a laser sight. Williams shot McIntyre in the leg then followed him, Dellairo, and the female out of the apartment.  While outside the apartment, Dellairo lunged at Williams with a knife. In response, Williams “fired off a couple surprised rounds,” which struck Dellairo’s hip. As the three fled, they entered a vehicle, possibly with a second female. Williams fired two rounds that impacted the vehicle’s trunk in an effort to aid police in identifying the vehicle.

Police caught up with the female, McIntyre and Dellairo at St. Joseph Hospital, where McIntyre was arrested. Dellairo was transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center, where he died of his injuries. The investigation is ongoing and police have yet to release the names of the two females believed to be involved.

What’s the moral to this story?  Aside from surmising that a .22-caliber pistol makes a better weapon than an electric guitar, we can deduce that any firearm is capable of turning the tide of a deadly encounter. Of course, without proper training and the will to win, your firearm, regardless of caliber, will be of little benefit. What are your thoughts?

  • menajr

    This just goes to show The best weapon is the one you have ON YOU!!

    • Lucypup

      Right-O. Deep issue is 'will to win' No gun, no matter how powerful, will help if no will to win.

  • S&W owner

    Although the .22 ended the home invasion, the bad guys took the conflict outside where innocent people were exposed to gun fire. The Governor would have ended it in the apartment.

    • Karl

      Firing at the fleeing car was not the best idea he had.

      • Richard Nance


        • Colin

          Because when you're in a situation like that…especially after being cut in the abdomen you're thinking completely rationally. (SARCASM) Seriously?

          • Karl

            If he hit a neighbor's kid? Seriously. It could have ended worse for him. I get the adrenline rush. But something to consider.

          • Mark Lewis

            Now you sound like a anti gunner, what if the bullets hit a school? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

          • Karl

            Yes. Every day I leave the house with a gun on me, I think of that and the other inherent responsibilities and obligations that might entail if I had to use it. This is an aspect of training often ignored by the gung ho mall ninja. Basic gun handling rules apply, even under stress. Ignore them at your own peril.

          • Phil

            Interesting, it sounds like you want to judge someone in a life and death struggle and having never having to make that decision, sounds like an case of Obama care.

      • Mark Lewis

        I have no problem with that. The cops would have done the same thing

        • Karl

          Actually a great many law enforcement agencies has specific policy AGAINST firing at fleeing suspects.

          • Mike

            If someone breaks into my house, I reserve the right to empty my magazines (plural) into him and the horse he rode in on.

          • Larsch

            Amen brother

        • Richard Nance

          There is a big difference between an "anti gunner" and a reasonable armed citizen. To fire at a fleeing vehicle for identification purposes is not worth endangering the lives of uninvolved parties. In this case, we don't know what the backdrop was but hopefully Williams took it into account.

          As far as a police officer shooting at a fleeing vehicle in order to help identify the vehicle, I highly doubt it. There are circumstances under which officers from my department would be authorized to shoot at a moving vehicle but not in this scenario.

          • Mark

            As a former LEO I would have shot up the car in an attempt to stop it, not kill anyone. As a civilian in the state of Ohio the law is clear. If you are able to flee the situation then you have to. Shooting the car was a bad idea. Once he was out of danger his right to use lethal force was over. I'm not sure how the elements of the law reads in Maine. Good job to guy regardless.

      • M. James

        The pistol had a laser to assist in aiming.

    • dennis

      shot placement is all u can hope 4,,,,,the governor or the .22 will penetrate walls

  • Karl

    Actually, I think it comes down to "will to win". The gun clearly turned the tide. I get a little concerned about the "proper training" mantra. I think too many people believe that means to become Doc Holliday. Proper training must be defined in accordance with expected use. I don't know what "proper training" this guy had, but it seemed to carry the day. Safe gun handling and basic marksmanship are probably the "minimum required." After that, it is the "fight in the dog." Caveat: a lot of practice on a few necessary skills is always good.

    • Richard Nance

      Good points. The will to win goes a long way but realistic training on a regular basis won't hurt your chances of success. Not training and assuming the will to win will carry you through is definitely not the answer…

      • Karl

        Didn't mean "no training". Just think there is a bit of a Gunsite/Thunder Ranch/etc standard implied in the usual "get training" statements. Nice places but not for everyone. My wife has been trained to use a firearm in the house if necessary. I have her practice key skills occasionally. Realstically, that is the most I will ever get her to do. If she ever has to on her own, the rest is up to her.

        • james

          Perhaps she can take a class with only ladies in it? She may be more comfortable having a female certified instructor.

          Not to say you are not qualified.


  • Karl

    Actually, we should not ignore the "combatives" aspect of this. Modern Army Combatives teaches that the winning side in a hand to hand fight is he one who shows up first with a gun. This guy and his room mate fought their way to the gun. Willingness to fight for your life, whatever the odds with whatever is at hand ALWAYS applies. Basic, No non-sense self-defense classes at least provide a game plan. There was more here than just the gun.

  • Steve

    Aside from the 12ga, I believe caliber choice is not as important as knowing how to shoot your weapon. Operating your firearm understress is hard to simulate. Practice in safety manipulation, for instance. Range time is a no brainer. knowing where you gun is and how to get it into action quickly needs to be practices so it becomes second nature. But, all this is useless if you don't have the will to take a life to defend a life. shooting some one is not an easy task, ethically or morally. At least I hope it is. IF you are not willing to do whatever it takes to win, get a dog. Or a SWAT team.

  • Jack

    Just goes to show, you dont need a AR and 30rd magazine for home defense.

    • Joe

      Well It doesnt meant that you cant have one. I would bet if it was posted in big red letters That he was a gun owner it might not have happened at all

    • dennis

      a man n a apartment woodn use an ar or an ak 4 home defense,,,he wood use appropriate ammo/firearm me out n the country,,,,,i like 2 shoot all my weopons and if someone breaks n,i probabally wood destroy my home and its contents,,,,7.62s,,5.56s,,.357s,,and 00buck and 1 dead thief

    • john

      Yes you do under stress you miss and multiple attackers can need several rounds each.These punks had a knife and he needed LOT OF SHOTS.Never forget the police ran in Katrina and the LA riots.A30 round mag is a very comforting thing when the cops are not there AND THEY AIN'T THERE A LOT. Three people at every crime scene,cop victim and criminal.Guess who gets there last?

  • Al Brady

    While the .22 LR does, indeed, have killing power, it lacks knock down power. A bigger round, even a 9mm, would likely have stopped the fight very quickly. Too bad both didn't know where the handgun was kept. An electric guitar works best when thrown into a bath tub with the bad guy!

  • DoctorWho

    Knock Down power ?? lol

  • ej harb

    nothing short of a thrown anvil has"knock down power"a good caliber gun,eg;45acp stops fights thru blood loss/organ damage and psychological damage(gosh i have a big hole in me perhaps i should fall down)the 22 doesnt cause any of these effects so you have to wait for the organism to know its damaged before it stops.exceptions are head/cns hits,artery hits(still takes a bit but blood spurting is disturbing to some)and body contact wounds where muzzle blast damages are massive even with a 22,but when a 22 is all you have you need to make the most of it and take its limitations into account.

    • Joe

      Let me assure you that In the hands of someone who knows how to use it a single 22 round is enough to stop an eight hundred pound hog or drop a 2000 pound bull.

  • James

    It was a good thing he had a roomate. Otherwise the outcome would be a lot different. Thank goodness for electric guitars even if you get pounded by one.

  • guest

    I would have put the bullets in their chests.

    • Zach

      I do not think the invaders are just gonna stand there and show their chests like a target at a range and wait for the guy to shoot them. He took the best shot he had at the time.

    • leo

      Talk is cheap!

  • Larry

    If a .22 is all you have, you better know how to use it and be a darn good shot. Aim for the "T" zone and a .22 will be quite effective.

  • Bev Harrison


    • John

      Dependons on the state.

  • sgopus

    It's a sad day when people break into your residence, we all should have the right to use whatever force necessary to defend ourselves and our property from those who have no respect and wish to do us harm. Too bad someone lost their life due to a bad decision on their part, hopefully this will be a lesson to others who think it's a good idea to rob someones home.

  • Joe

    The truth is you should always be prepared in the day we live in. Had this man answered the door armed And the way I do a 70 pound black pit Im sure this would not have happend

  • DoctorWho

    My Pitbull lets Me know by a low growl that something is up, however, I don't want him getting hurt, that is what My sidearm is for.
    For indoors work, My pump shotgun is at the ready, any pocket pistol is at least 9mm – 45 acp

  • skip Bleistein

    No matter what you have ,practice is the key.

  • lance

    The comments here remind me how few people have actually engaged in close up struggles with thier lives on the line. In the moment it is very hard to regain composure instanttaneously when the danger has past. The man here had been stabbed and beaten with a significant object, between adrenaline and a probable concussion its understandable that he chose to remain engaged slightly past the point of rationality. I understand that his last two shots were ill concieved but I think you have to take it in context and don't assume that under duress after sustained attack such as this you would do any better.

    • Dan

      Well put!
      Like to think training would take over, but as you pointed out, getting beaten, stabbed, roommate under assault, I think this guy did pretty well considering the situation. IF he had a larger caliber gun available, maybe the encounter would of ended sooner. But if the .22LR was the most accessible at the moment, he used what he had and turned the tide of encounter to his advantage to defend himself and his roommate. It is not like the assailants where going to be nice, line up and stand still for him to take a well placed shot. He took the best shot presented to him at the time.

      • Ceci Pipe

        I know it’s an old comment, but caliber had nothing to do with it. He shot one person in the leg, which from a handgun isn’t going to kill anyone no matter the caliber unless it’s to the femoral artery, and even then it’s not going to kill them quick enough for this purpose.

        The people then retreated, and he fired more shots hitting the _other_ male in the hip and they then got to their car and drove off.

        No matter the caliber, hitting someone in the leg or hip isn’t going to be an instant incapacitation unless it’s a psychological stop, and when there’s multiple targets then again, doesn’t matter the caliber, you actually have to aim and fire at more than one target.

        Nothing would have changed if he had a .2 or a .45, shot placement and actually shooting the other targets still matters.

        And as noted, one of the invaders did in fact die later on the operating table. Maybe he’d have died ever so slightly quicker, but that’s about it.

        Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. And if you aren’t hitting good targets, practice, practice, practice. There are no shortcuts, upgrading to a bigger caliber won’t help because you can’t get a hand held firearm in a caliber big enough to literally blow someone away. Rifles give you more velocity and so more force, but you still need to aim properly or it won’t put people down.

  • Richard Nance

    Excellent points. That's why it's so important to seek quality training. Too many people assume that merely owning a gun ensures their safety. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • lance

    I agree training is a great idea and in typical situation (threat presents, you draw down, threat recedes/surrenders/is shot) it will greatly assist one in staying on the right side of the law. This situation is fairly atypical as it seems to have involved persistent close arms physical combat between multiple defenders and assailents. The "SEEING RED" factor here is off the charts and that is something that can't really be trained for very easily. I mean I doubt many tactitcal training programs have livefire+physical combat sections. Any tactical shooting/full contact krav magra courses out there I should know about.

    • Karl

      You are right about contract training. However, the "seeing red" factor is in fact something that can be trained for, but it takes a certain degree on full contact training while maintaining a degree of safety. You can retain your composure while in contact without "seeing red" and losing control. But you have to be accostumed to contact. Modern LE/Military training programs take this into account. They do not accept "seeing red" as a standard. They have standards to be maintained under stress. That is their job.

      The original question was "what can we learn?" These guys did a whole lot right and prevailed. Shooting at the fleeing car is simply a reponse I would say we do not want to emulate.

      • LostLakeDave

        I agree with just about everything Karl has said. The average citizen might take the adrenaline rush/seeing red factor into account, but the law does not, nor (most likely) will the district attorney. In this instance, the victims could have been hauled into court and probably would have in places like New York or Illinois. They would have been told there were two crimes: (1) the attack on them, and (2) their attack on the fleeing car. I would disagree, as would all of you, but the victims could spend a couple of years in prison and forfeit their right to own firearms for the rest of their lives. That's not Hollywood; it's real.

  • karl

    I really need to turn off auo correct on this i-pad.

  • Bubba

    I bet he has a bigger gun now. That pistol though saved some lives period.

  • lance

    Karl I do understand that modern military and top flight LE training will include high stress training to mitigate the emotional impact of these types of incidents I was just pointing out that it is not part of typical civi hand gun defense training. Short of full contact MMA training not much is going to prepare the average joe to keep their emotions in check after this sequence of event. You can see the difficulty of keeping your head after an intense physical exchange on any given sunday in the fall. Honestly I think that while maintaining control is always the goal ,too much is expected od LEO's and soldiers in this department some times. Adenergic response is adenergic response and this modern expectation that an individual in close combat can pull the final punch because an assailant suddenly says uncle is fighting against human nature.

    • karl

      At the end of the day, we are potentially subject to police, prosecutor and jury judgment, even Soldiers. So with the limited time and resources we have, we need to focus on the essentials. It seems to me that some effort to at least be mentally aware of where the line between self-defense and criminal culpability lies is worth a little time and attention beforehand. Assuming the jury will understand your nerves were frayed is probably risky. I believe there is a pharmacist going to jail because he finished off someone who just tried to kill him. I have no sympathy for the dead perp. I have some for the pharmacist, BUT he changed his life forever when he fired that last round. Not my opinion, just the world we live in.

  • Abnrgr

    A good outcome from a bad situation. These two young men did well, and are alive because they used the tools at hand to survive and fight back. Yes, even .22s can kill and stop an attack. Not the first bad guy to go down by one perpetrating a violent crime. Would a 9mm or .40 been better at it – definitely yes, and would have had a much higher probability of incapacitation too. Yes, he should not have fired at a fleeing car due to possibility of striking innocents, legal aspect, etc. However, following such a combat sequence where he was fighting for his life, it is understandable how under the effects of adrenaline and emotion, he would do so. Training in simple basics and visualizing actions and responses ahead of time is essential and definitely helps, but is not a
    What we re-learned from this is guns save lives and the will to survive saves lives. Bigger guns and better training help, but at the end of the day it's the simple things that count.
    God bless these two young men, I hope neither was hurt seriously.

    • LostLakeDave

      Well said.

  • Jstanley01

    The .22 didn't stop the attackers, they fled. Some won't. And if they bleed to death on the way to the hospital later, it may be too late. Get all the gun you can handle.

    • JimBO

      The .22 stopped the attack..

  • Mack Missiletoe

    My thoughts? .22lr does not cycle sufficiently to be used in a battle!

    I am glad it worked for him, it may work for you. But WHAT IF your .22l guns jams, like all .22lr autoloaders eventually do?

    • victor

      there is extremely high quality auto loading .22 pistols out there.the Ruger Mark series are some of the most reliable handguns made and with quality ammo it is extremely rare to get any type of malfunction.

  • Gene

    While we can debate for days on the perfect home defense weapon, as someone stated above, the best gun in a gunfight is the one you have in your hand. I would rather have more power, but if a 22 is all that is available, I will take it!! In most states, however, once the threat is running away from you, it is well advised not to put anymore rounds in their direction. You are only justified in using deadly force if you or someone else is in direct danger of being injured or killed. The chances of being charged go up greatly if you appear to change from the defender to the offender. Stop the threat and call the police.

  • JebNY

    If training with your gun is important, I would bet you would put a lot more ammo through a .22 than something larger.

  • james

    A .22 DA revolver, loaded with 9 LR hollow points, bad to the bone.

  • Tim

    good thing it wasn't a .357, .44 or a .45 that he fired at them. I don't think it would've ended any better.

  • Bob

    I own and carry a pistol because this world is getting crazier. In fact I carry a 40 cal. What ever happen to the days where you didn't even have to lock your doors? I agree what the victims did. Every American has the right to protect their family and home. Especially when you are attacked. I am tired of hearing poor me poor me when the criminal get what they deserve. If he didn't have a gun- his family might be going to his funeral.

  • Spencer

    like Col Cooper states, the 45 auto is the best handgun for self defense and should be used to allow you to get to a real weapon such as a rifle or shotgun but it will do. We as private citizens still need to know when too shot and when to stop, we are still liable for all the rounds from our weapons. If you can take as many training courses as you can but if nothing else take a CCW course if possable. 10% of our population commits 90% of the crimes. We as a society should be happy that this man just took two bad guys of the streets, one is dead and the other will be charged with 1st degree homocide for his partner's death because it occured during a felony crime.

  • Mike

    The .22 obviously did fine. The only thing that occurs to me is that he could have had the .22 on his person when answering the door. Would have saved his roomie being bashed over the head and loss of the guitar.

    • Johnb

      I always have my s&w model 63 .22 behind my back when answering the door . The muzzle flash and big bang (much less the .22 bullet tearing thru the flesh) will take the fight out of anybody. They will turn tail and run. Even if you have to pump a couple more rounds into them there will be less blood to clean up and less drywall to patch then say, a .357 mag.

  • Dr. C. E. DeLeon

    Whatever happened to the good, old, peep hole-in-the-door?… Don't recognize the individual?… transact through the door!! Just last week I answered a knock… saw this dude wearing a white shirt and cheap tie… he asked me if I wanted to be a Jehova's witness?… I, politely, told him I couldn't because I didn't see the accident!

    • prentice

      some of those guys who claim they are preaching, are actually staking out houses and taking inventory of what you got, and gather info on your habits, wolves in sheep clothing.

      • Concerns citizen

        Ya there's a minister named John Zakhariah that does this off Craigslist then finds what time you go to work. Perfect cover

  • dennis

    got my governor ready to roll at night with buckshot or my seecamp 32 while out on the town

  • Frank

    this was a bath salt deal gone bad, Danny is in court on multiple drug charges, it didnt happen the way he told police

  • 82ndParatrooper

    The .22LR Caliber is an "Okay" Caliber for defense just in the aspect of the round itself will bounce around inside the cavity of the enemy. This could be good because even if you missed a vital organ due to shot placement, you still have a chance of the enemy dying from his wounds. The reason the guy in the story above died is because the .22LR went into the guy's hip. Inside the human hip is a bunch of huge arteries, blood vessels, and nerves. One could imagine that if a .22LR hit a hipbone and bounced around inside the hip, the damage it could do. However the .22LR does not have a great amount of knock down power. If the guy in the story took a .45 or a .40 hollow point to the leg instead of a .22LR, he never would have made it to the vehicle in the first place because he would have a hole in his leg big enough for me to put a soda can in. With that being said imagine if a .22LR hit a guy in the chest, your talking a hole only big enough to fit a nail in on the entry side, and as long as it doesn't hit a bone, it will go out the other side leaving an equal hole on the other side. The energy of the round would not leave a huge wound cavity on the inside, and as long as the guy getting shot is not a little girl, but instead having the mentality of kill or be killed, would continue to drive on in the fight not needing more than a bandaid. If you shoot a guy in the chest with a .45 or a .40, hollow point or not, he will have a huge wound cavity on the inside, and the energy of the shot will literally make him feel as if he got hit with a baseball bat. That's knock down power. If your going to get a home defense weapon, carry weapon, etc. you might as well ensure that the caliber of the round is actually going to be able to end the fight within 1-2 well placed rounds. Your life depends on it. I would not gamble my life on a .22LR in a gun fight, granted I would not want to be shot by any round, I would rather go up against someone yielding a .22LR than a 9mm, .40, or a .45 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    • William D Tipton

      that ‘bouncing around’ thing is another reason I love my 22 mag mini revolver. It keyholes like all hell with the more aggressive rounds. The rounds all really nuts in Ballistic gel. Not sure if its the short barrel not giving the round a lot of stability or what that causes it.
      At the range its pretty accurate. at 25 feet or so I put about 95% of my shots into a 12″ circle pretty easily and firing fairly quickly.

      As far as ‘knock down power’ goes.
      There was a story back in the 80s, if memory serves, of a man who was trying to assault another man. The aggressor was pretty big, I guess. He was shot point blank with a 12 gauge with buckshot and still managed to kill the defender before he collapsed and died himself.

      I stopped thinking about knock down ability and started focusing solely on shot placement.

  • Loser42

    What was the intruders ethnicity?

    • Cole

      What does that have to do with it? Are some races immune to bullets?

      • Admiral Harad

        Wouldn’t that be interesting , selective breeding for bullet proofness. lol

    • Tea Partiers are Obese Racists

      Sorry to disappoint you, but they were white.

    • Ceci Pipe

      Heh. Older comment but not only were they white, the surviving male was involved in a burglary shortly after being released from hospital and was arrested another two times that year alone.

    • Erich S. Knox

      since it was in Maine there is a 95% chane all parties were white.

  • Richard

    Once again … not a matter of what caliber is but :

    – what you have at hand that's ready to fire


    – bullet placement

    Learn people, learn and be prepared.

  • RJB

    Every time the caliber vs caliber argument arises I cannot help but remember the tragic murder of South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Coates. Coates died in 1992 when he was shot with a single .22 caliber round that entered thru the armpit and struck his heart. His killer; however, survived after Coates shot him 5 times in the chest with a .357 magnum…

    • Mickey Sticks

      Wow. Hadn’t heard that story. Talk about kizmet…

    • Erich S. Knox

      i saw the video of that event when I was at the Vermont police academy in 1998

  • Dona

    Everyone should read this….be prepared!

  • Jerry Duncan

    There is one advantage to a 22, it does not kick,and this guy had a laser sight on his, making a head shot very easy. A head shot is not as easy with a 9mm , 357 mag, 38, or 45. while i am not saying a 22 should be your first choice for self defense, One shot to the head and hes most likely dead. J. Duncan, Former U.S. Marine

    • FreeRanger

      Knock-down depends on where the target is struck.

      I used to watch our butcher drop 1,200 pound cows with a single shot .22, using .22 SHORTs, no lees. Struck in the center of the forehead, the cows dropped like a ton of bricks — absolutely stunned ! He would then cut the throat and the still beating heart would quickly pump the cow's blood nearly totally out. However, one cow had such a thick skull that it literally required 16 shots with the .22 shorts.

      I myself have shot over 100 deer, antelope, caribou and elk now, mostly with a .300 Win Mag, and can vouch that stopping power really does matter most of the time.

      If using a .22 long rifle cartridge in a self defense handgun, the hip or groin shot, like the home defender used, is a fine target. The hip/groin area is fairly large, and the pelvis breaks easily, hurts like the devil, and contains lots of blood vessels and whatnot. Shot hip bones also hurt beyond description, and make sensitive attackers quickly turn tail. Finally, a missed shot is less likely to carry a distance since the shot angle would be flat or somewhat downward.

      Perhaps as importantly, .22 ammo is cheap and that encourages practice. Practice does indeed help, since in an emergency, practiced reflexes overcome rational deliberation. You'll do what you have practiced, or at least imagined.

      One more note — most states, like here in Minnesota, require the defender to cease using lethal defensive force as soon as the deadly threat ceases. Even one more shot beyond that point could be grounds for criminal charges against the defender.

      So, know when you may use lethal force, and when to stop. The defense must be reasonable UNDER THE SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES you face.

      Also, most states still require retreat when the defender is in a public place, if a safe retreat is possible. So, if you don't retreat before using lethal force in a public place, have a good reason ready for not having done so (e.g., to old to run, in a wheelchair, can't outrun bullets, no safe place to retreat to quickly enough, can't abandon your loved ones, etc, etc.).

      Your home, or a home into which you are invited, is NOT a PUBLIC PLACE, of course. Most states DO NOT REQUIRE RETREAT from an imminent deadly threat within the home.

      Best to study your own state's laws on these crucial matters.

      Congrats to the successful home defender featured in the story. And good discussion everyone.

      • Hunter 4728

        so some states require you to retreat so he could blast you in the back while you run away? pfff.

  • Pete

    What is telling to me is that the mere presence of the .22 was not enough in this case. He literally had to pepper the guy before he gave up. This is actual evidence for me to give up my silly notion of thinking .22 is enough. It is enough if it's all you have, but my first handgun will be a center-fire, thank you. (saving up for one now, actually).

    Not that I'm bashing the .22 here or otherwise. It got the job done. I just wonder if a bigger gun would have scared the guys off instead of forcing that last confrontations. (which you can't say either way, but for me I'll take the bigger gun. Just in case)

    • William D Tipton

      A 22lr shot to the midsection killed my ex sister in law.
      Sure bigger is better, but that doesnt mean that a 22lr is going to be laughed at.

    • BeGe1

      …this goes on the assumption that the criminals knew it was a .22 and decided to not be deterred by it because of that fact, and would have been deterred by a larger one. Which, frankly, is a preposterous assumption. It’s very hard for a perp to identify what is shooting at them (or about to be shooting at them). I have a full framed .22 pistol that looks a lot scarier than my compact .45 does. Far more logical that he would have had to shoot the invader before he gave up regardless of the caliber he was carrying. So it comes down to the shot doing the job. In this case it did, twice. While one shot with a .22 is definitely marginal….22’s are capable of firing accurately at extreme speeds without throwing off your aim. THAT’s what makes them so deadly: you’re likely to get hit 5 times with the .22.

    • Jason

      I don’t know if a bigger gun would have caused any more fear. having a gun shot at you and you don’t have one yourself logically should invoke a sense of fear. In such a close vicinity if the attacker has the balls to attack you in your home they are probably not committed retreat so easily. Matter of fact in closer quarters in numbers I’d would imagine my odds of survival are better placed fighting for the firearm regardless of caliber, not turning back praying I’m not pursued

  • M corn

    i think its worth noting one intruder died from the shots in his hip

  • William D Tipton

    My BUG is a NAA 22 magnum.

    The rounds I use penetrate about 16 inches in ballastic gel at close range. I can live with that.

  • Fausto Cepeda

    Goes to show. .22? yeah you don’t want it inside you. I use 22lr segmented HV for defense. It breaks into 3 parts upon impact. I hate to be on the receiving end of it, particularly since the 22s don’t have much recoil, you can pump a couple of these close together…believe me there will be no camping.

    • BeGe1

      HP rounds in .22 expand too quickly and too much and don’t penetrate extremely deeply. Most self defense experts generally say that calibers smaller than 9mm or .38 special are more effective when using NON expanding rounds. And .22 is the poster child for it, 22 HP often will break up and only penetrate 2″, where a solid lead round will make a devastating deep would and easily pierce vitals if placed correctly.

      Mini Mags are generally considered one of the perfect self defense rounds for .22. They do not suffer from the myth of rimfire unreliability (there are some target shooters that are going on 1 million+ CCI mini mags without a single misfire) and in non-HP form penetrate very well. And as a plus, while they are not cheap (more like 8 cents a round instead of the cheapo 3 cents of some .22) but they are still cheap compared to some defense labeled .22 ammo, so you can practice with what you’ll shoot.

  • Matt_R2

    I agree that just about any firearm can repel an unarmed bad guy, assuming your goal is repel them and not blow their head off. My goal is strictly to repel. If the bad guy starts running away, I say mission accomplished. Let the police take it from their.

  • rpd

    a well placed shot of any caliber will end the fight….no debate.

  • Hunter8374837

    a .22 magnum is a different story alltogether. That’s my HD weopon. Show me a man or woman that will take a good shot from that and keep coming I’ll show you a flying pig.

  • Louis Lalonde

    Hey! Way better than a BB gun! lol Thats what I got for home defense simply because I don’t have money to buy a real gun. I’m trying to save up and maybe buy a small .22. At least it shoots bullets. I wish I could afford a 9mm Beretta or even bigger caliber. One day…one day.



  • YABD

    . 22 caliber is enough power for self defense. It won’t destroy like a 40 caliber but will do the work.

  • InformationPolice

    Guns&Ammo: update your past articles. It’s irresponsible and you’re spreading misinformation. Frank is right, this man was not a victim. All of these people knew each other. Our heroic .22 wielder was slinging synthetic bath salts. Please be better about keeping correct information posted. Otherwise you just look silly and unreliable.

  • Countryboy

    growing up on a farm I seen 22 & 22mag stop some big animals so if u can shoot the 22 family can kill a man fast

  • Rob Brown

    .22 will penetrate and bounce around or travel through the body after hitting a bone sometimes, not having the force to go all the way through. That may, or may not be a man stopper but it is certainly a man killer. If you are fighting over possession of a pistol with a large capacity magazine filled with .22 lr, you can keep pulling the trigger and not worry about the recoil and noise stunning you. John Lennon was murdered with .22lr. Reagan and Brady were shot by .22lr. Robert Kennedy was assassinated with the most basic pistol, Iver Johnson revolver in .22lr. I honestly think that in a trained, cool and calm hand, a firearm chambered in .22lr is effective for self defense.

  • LibertarianNinja

    Oh my why on earth would you use a drug dealing story to promote the right to bare arms? Isn’t there a better story somewhere in the United States that didn’t involve both parties being criminals? Also everyone who reads Guns & Ammo would know that a .22 can be just as lethal as any other caliber as long as it hits the right spot. If your not an experienced target shooter just aim for the face. Anything going through the face will be pretty uncomfortable. When the hands go up to cover the face start blasting some off towards the groin area . Whether it’s a male or female a nice big bloody pinch there should awaken their fear of a slow painful death. Now before the police get to your house this is your shot to pump a few more in the knee caps it will be fun to hear the tortured moaning and you will be practicing your aim at the same time. If you really want a challenge try striking the funny bone in the elbow area. When you hear the sirens lay on floor and act very hurt and scared! If they seem to be taking their sweet time, quickly take the heel of your foot and extend it up in the air and drop the ball of your heel directly onto his/her “Adam’s Apple” area in a karate chop motion. Now return to the “in shock and hurt position.”

  • ANDY


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