So how low in caliber should one go before your personal defense firearm is too light? Would you carry a .22 Shorty or a Knife?

a Knife for Personal Defense

The .22 Short was developed back in 1857 for Smith & Wesson revolver. Created for the metallic cartridge with a 29-30 grain bullet, pushed by 4 grains of black powder.
This was mainly developed for self-defense in the early days, modern day standard – this cartridge has little penetration and knockdown power. Back in the past this caliber was used in a few pocket pistols and mini-revolvers. Consider a quiet round among recreational shooters.
Due to its low recoil and good accuracy the .22 short was used for the Olympic 25 meter rapid fire pistol event until 2004.
These .22 short can be seen in starter pistols with blank cartridges and in some powder-actuated nail guns as a power source.

22 Short, left; .22 Long Rifle, right (Wikipedia)
Hunting Round
Some hunters have made use of this shorty from their long barrel rifle. The high velocity hollow point Short is useful only for small game such as tree squirrels and rabbits. They say in the south, the .22 Short hollow point is still very popular for use on raccoons, which are treed at night using dogs and shooting is at close range.


Though the .22LR is more popular than the shorty, the caliber is still being manufacture in a wide variety. Which is good news for the small game hunters.
Most manufacturers utilize the standard 29-grain (1.9 g) solid round nose bullet and 27-grain (1.7 g) hollow point bullet weights for the .22 Short. Here are some of these loads:

Several types are made by CCI:
CB Short at 727 ft/s (222 m/s), target Shorts at 830 ft/s (250 m/s), their standard Short round with plated round nose bullet at 1,080 ft/s (330 m/s), and a high speed hunting load with plated hollow point bullet at 1,105 ft/s (337 m/s).

Fiocchi makes their Exacta Compensated Super Match SM200 with lead round nose at 650 ft/s (200 m/s). Remington produces a high velocity plated round nose at 1,095 ft/s (334 m/s).


Aguila makes both a match lead round nose at 1,095 ft/s (334 m/s), and a “high speed” round with plated bullet also listed at 1,095 ft/s (334 m/s). Also available is the RWS R25 match ammunition at 560 ft/s (170 m/s).

Eley also makes their rapid fire match cartridge at 750 ft/s (230 m/s).
For hunters, the shorty is still useful.

For Personal Defense
As you can see the .22 shorty have its place with hunters. But, what about for the average Joe willing to carry it in a short barrel pocket size pistol for personal defense. Maybe this lower caliber is too light for personal defense. Many CCW shooters are whispering, how low in caliber should one go before your personal defense firearm is too light?
Availability wise, finding a pistol that shoots these shorty is hard to find. One currently available out on the market is the NAA Mini-Revolver(NAA-225) from North American Arms with a 1.13″ barrel and 5-shot capacity.
Unless, you’re fortunate to get one from the past like this 6-shot Belgian .22 Short mini pocket revolver.

Or, a “Little All Right” 5-shot mini-revolver from the early 19th century.

Bulk Ammo In-Stock

Here’s one perspective from Youtuber mark3smle doing some ballistic gelatin test with this .22 Short.

Loads that were shot from the video.
-22 CP short – 4 inch penetration
-CCI 20 short 27 grain High Velocity – Copper Washed hollow-point – almost 7 inch penetration
The ideal penetration depth is 12 inch if we’re going by the FBI standard for effectiveness.

Short Video Narrative
Overall the .22 penetrated 4 inches through a pair of pants into the gelatin.
mark3smle goes onto comparing a knife penetration could do the job as well.
There’s going to be different views on this.
A knife fighter with training would probably boast his skill set as superior at close range.
However, with a .22 Short you can still tactically use it without the bad guy knowing it until its too late during that close encounter.
What do you all think?, Would you go with a .22 Shorty for personal defense or a knife?
Here’s what they’re saying about this on Social Media: