Ohio County, KY — A man believed his family was in danger, and shot a prowler four times with his 22 caliber handgun.
Sheriff Tracy Beatty said that about 9:50 on Thursday evening his officers responded to the report of a prowler at a home in Centertown. At some point while on the phone with dispatch, the wife told the dispatcher that her husband had shot the prowler.
Once deputies arrived, they found Adam Hardin of Livermore next to the front porch with several gunshot wounds. Mark Stewart, the homeowner, explained to the officers that, after a verbal confrontation near the back of the house, he retreated to the front door.
Stewart, armed with his 22 pistol, told Hardin to stop or he’d shoot, and told Sheriff’s Deputies that he believed his family was in danger. Hardin advanced up and onto the porch, where he was shot.
The suspect was brought to the regional hospital and is listed with life threatening injuries. The Sheriff said he believes that Hardin was under the influence when the shooting occurred.
This incident is under investigation.
We don’t usually get to hear the specifics about the caliber being used in a defensive gun use. And, when we do hear a caliber being listed, rarely is it a 22.
In this story, however, we know not only the caliber of the gun used, but also how many shots were fired. This does two things for us. On one hand it helps to settle the debate on is a 22 sufficient for self-defense or not.
It can be an effective round with proper shot placement and enough rounds fired — in this case, four shots fired seemed to do the trick and the bad guy is listed as having life-threatening injuries.
On the other hand, however, The homeowner clearly felt he needed four shots to stop the threat of a single bad guy who was under the influence. What if there were two? What if they were under the influence of methamphetamine?
Why does that matter if the 22 sufficiently stopped the threat? It matters because many of the 22 handguns out there hold a max of 10 rounds. Yes there are some out there that hold more, like this Kel Tec PMR 30 (that’s our review, BTW), but most only hold 10 rounds or less.
This means that he could have been screwed if there was more than one prowler. Thankfully, this seems to have ended well and the prowler was stopped.
So, is a 22 sufficient for self-defense? Sure, it can be. However, it should only be your choice for self-defense if there is a reason for it–like you’re recoil sensitive or something similar. In that case, having the ability to defend yourself regardless of the caliber of gun is more important.
That being said, if you can choose a more potent handgun round that also offers a higher capacity, please do.
Leave your thoughts on this story in the comments below.