Best 22 Pistols For Self Defense 2020: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

1. Smith & Wesson SW22 2. Rough Ride Bore3. Smith & Wesson 617
Smith & Wesson SW22 Best 22 Pistol For Self DefenseRough Rider Small BoreSmith & Wesson 617 Handgun 22 LR

Self-defense is something that you cannot ignore; apart from installing the best security system and finding the right handgun, one also needs to have the best 22 pistol for self defense.

The pistols are small and yet powerful and a useful part of your armory. It is just the right gun you need to protect yourself against wild animals or thwart a menacing attacker.


It sure can be an overwhelming task to pick the best 22 pistol for self-defense. Even the most expert and knowledgeable expert on firearms finds it a daunting challenge to make the right choices.

However, now that you are on this page, make good use of the comprehensive guide here to make the right selections and a good decision. Why not start with having a look at the most popular models in the market for the best 22 handguns?

Top 20 Best 22 Pistols For Self Defense 2020

1. Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory 5.5inch

Smith & Wesson SW22 Best 22 Pistol For Self DefenseSW22 victory model of Smith & Wesson seems to be a solid performer. With an impressive capacity of 10+1-round, this is the best 22 pistol. Constructed on a single-action and blowback semi-automatic design, the SW22 Victory is equipped with some great features. Its innovative design plus the match-grade barrel ensures much higher accuracy.

The simple one-screw takedown design carries a sleek satin stainless finish. This is a splendid pistol with a versatile design and supports the needs of the customer with a wealth of accessories and modifications.

Manufactured in the USA, the length of the pistol is 9.2,” and the included magazine features 2 x 10-round. It features a removable magazine type and a plain muzzle with an adjustable rear sight. It is light to carry and weighs weight: 2.25 lbs. The single-action pistol comes with two 10-round magazines and a Picatinny rail.

The removable side panels allow for more customization. This pistol is made of stainless steel that offers glaze and durability. Moreover, the ergonomic design ensures that you can easily shoot with it, and it also gives the user more confidence while using it.


  • Sleek build and finish
  • Impressive capacity
  • Match-grade barrel
  • Innovative design
  • Adjustable rear sight
  • Very easy to clean


  • A bit small for larger hands

2. Rough Rider Small Bore

Rough Rider Small BoreAnother model of the best handgun for self-defense comes from the Heritage Manufacturing company that has been in production since 1992. They are known to make guns that stand the test of time and imitations of old west single action revolvers.

The rough rider small bore model is an example of precision machinery, and the historical revolver has managed to keep its reputation for being the most accurate and reliable. The company takes no shortcuts when making a pistol that offers optimum accuracy and perfect timing. As it locks up securely, you need not get anxious about any unforeseen incidents.

This gun is one of the best buys when it comes to budget; it is a bit heavy, which reduces the recoil and also makes it a safe gun to use. The ergonomic wooden handle gives a proper grip and also helps you hold the gun with confidence.

With a blue finish and 9.5″ length, the 22 handgun carries a capacity of 6-round, and its 4.75″ barrel is micro-threaded before getting implanted at a precise depth into the frame. What you get as a result is maximum power as it adjusts the barrel to cylinder gap.

Enjoy extra protection because of the frame-mounted hammer block with a red pointer. The western/single-action revolver has the .22 Mag cylinder as well, and you need not fear any blowbacks on the face, as it often happens with the cheaper firearms. With the firmer wood handgrip and nice finish quality, the single-action revolver certainly dominates the crowded field of competitors.


  • Old west rough look
  • Most accurate and reliable
  • Secure lock-up
  • Extra protection
  • Less pricey than most
  • Firmer wood hand grip


  • The longevity of the gun is questionable

3. Smith & Wesson 617 Handgun 22 LR

Smith & Wesson 617 Handgun 22 LRThe Smith & Wesson 617 is a medium frame model that is chambered for 22 LR. This is a predecessor of the Smith & Wilson Model 17. It is seen as the best 22 pistol as well as perfect for target competition.

It is seen as one of the most significant inventions in Smith & Wesson history, and the pistol was specifically built to handle the .38 S&W Special cartridge. The military and police professionals have preferred the K-Frame, ever since its inception in 1899. Even the target shooters and enthusiasts have favored the K-Frame over the others. Today, the K-Frame is accessible in .22 LR, 38 S&W Special, and 22 LR.

With a 9.13″ length and a 10-round capacity, the pistol comes with a cool satin stainless finish. The fixed magazine type .22 revolver is indeed one of the best in the industry. This is a heavy and reliable gun for shooting; because of its weight, you don’t have to worry about the recoil.

Each and every part of this revolver is put together properly, and hence everything works fine and in unison. Read the Smith & Wesson Manual to get valuable information and look for any ammunition restrictions. Do not dry fire this one even though most gunmakers state that you can fire any of their .22’s. However, Smith & Wesson does not recommend this as it could damage the revolver.


  • 10-round capacity
  • Cool satin stainless finish
  • Perfect for target competition
  • Fixed magazine type
  • Heavy and reliable gun


  • Be careful about proper seating of the rounds

4. Ruger Mark IV Tactical 22 LR

Ruger Mark IV Tactical 22 LRRuger Tactical 22 LR, MARK IV model, will take you back to the simpler times of the 22 long rifles when the rural population used these guns for their protection. It is considered to be the best 22 handguns for self-defense and for good reasons.

The MARK IV model comes with a blue finish, and the Strategic model comes with top and bottom Picatinny rails. It is perfect for new as well as experienced shooters. Moreover, it is easy to take it down and clean.

Standard features of the 8.5″ length Ruger Tactical 22 include a capacity of 10+1-round and a barrel length of 4.4″. The simple, one-button takedown allows for easy operation and easy field-stripping. The recessed button in the back means you can tilt the upper receiver without the need for any tools. The smoothly contoured CNC-machined grip frame and checkered grip panels mean a natural feel and firm grip.

Explore the higher accuracy potential because of the internal cylindrical bolt construction that is a lot superior to the conventional moving slide. You can look ahead for durable and dependable operation because of the easy-to-grasp bolt ears. The fixed sights on the sighting system ensure an easier mounting of optics. The push-button magazine on the left side promises a safe ambidextrous manual.


  • Strategic model
  • 10+1-round capacity
  • One-button takedown
  • Smoothly contoured checkered grip
  • Higher accuracy potential
  • Easier mounting of optics


  • A bit heavier for some

5. Ruger Wrangler 22LR 4.62inch

Ruger Wrangler 22LR 4.62inchIf you are looking for a single action revolver at a budgeted price, then this is the one for you. The compact Single-Six chambered single-action Ruger – Wrangler 22LR is looked upon as the best 22 pistols for self-defense.

It is indeed a success story, and numerous configurations in this model have been released over the years. The Ruger Wrangle22LR is simply a great choice for an affordable range, and because of its great finish and stylish looks, you certainly feel confident and secure when you have one of these.

Whether you are a seasoned shooter or a first-timer, the new Wrangler revolver makes for the right choice as it is both durable and affordable. If you are a fan of Ruger Single Six, then this gun gives you the same feel but at a lower price. Also, the grip is interchangeable, so you can buy another grip and mount it on this pistol.

The action wheel gun Ruger Wrangler revolver comes with a 4.62”-barrel length and a 6-round capacity. Made of aluminum, the gun features polymer grips that allow a firm hold and feel on the revolver. As its overall length is 10.25 inches and it weighs just 1.87 pounds, it is easier to handle and work with.

The 22 LR enthusiasts, who carry the limited experience with single-action revolvers, can certainly give this model a try. Plus, this pistol is made of aluminum alloy that maintains its sturdiness and also ensures that it is durable. You are sure to fall in love with the comfortable balance and the clean trigger pull of the revolver.


  • Great finish and stylish looks
  • Six chambered single-action
  • Affordable and durable
  • Polymer grips
  • Low ammunition sensitivity


  • Zinc alloy grip frame doesn’t look too solid

6. Glock 6 G44 22LR

Glock 6 G44 22LRGlock is known to build the most popular handguns in America, and it is no surprise to see the G44 22LR model in the list of the best 22 pistol. It is popular among shooters because of the right size and capacity and the comfortable balance it provides.

The lightweight gun is fun to use and handle and is just the ideal choice for those who want to practice and enhance their shooting experience. The compact size pistol can fit in almost any hand size, and the firm grip and easy handling mean greater accuracy and precision when shooting.

The G44 features: 7.36″ length, a 10+1-round capacity, and a barrel length of 4.01.” This is a lightweight gun that offers low recoil functionality in the chambered hybrid steel-polymer slide. Thus, you can be sure of getting an opti8mum control and functionality because of the innovative design of the gun made of hybrid steel-polymer.

As the model has been tested thoroughly with a wide variety of ammunition, you can look ahead for maximum performance with different ammunition.

The G44 comes equipped with two load-assist magazines and adjustable rear sights. It can be used as an excellent trainer for the newcomers, and one can fire a number of rounds with these guns, and they boast of a staggering performance.


  • Innovative design
  • Very popular among shooters
  • Right size and capacity
  • Comfortable balance and grip
  • Greater accuracy and precision
  • Low recoil functionality
  • Tested thoroughly


  • Not a rimfire version
  • Sights are difficult to adjust

7. Walther Arms Inc Colt Govt 1911 A1 5inch

Walther Arms Inc Colt Govt 1911 A1 5inchThis amazing gun manufactured by Walther and sold as a Colt 1911-22 is the best 22 pistol. Its model and design are based on a specialized 1911 frame, which is famous for Airsoft guns. Its controls and the trigger work just like 1911, but the recoil is significantly lighter.

This is a complete metal gun that weighing 36 ounces without ammos. It is built with a zinc alloy frame. Even the internal components are made of metal, making it different from the others in the league.

This model was used by the U.S. army in numerous wars. The Semi-Automatic Pistol is manufactured by Walther and exclusively under Colt license. If you are looking for an authentic Colt tactical rimfire replica, then this is the one.

The legendary Colt 1911 handgun is an all-metal gun with a matte black finish. Its length is 8.6″ while the barrel length is 5″ and the capacity is 12+1-round. The traditional full functioning thumb grip safety makes it easy to handle and work with.

Some of the other noticeable features of this pistol are adjustable front sight and rear sight and an authentic half-cock mechanism. There’s no denying that this is the perfect gun, as well as the most fun gun out there. This is a gun that will give you value for money and looks, feels, and behaves like a great gun.


  • Semi-Automatic Pistol
  • Awesome model and design
  • Specialized 1911 frame
  • Genuine Colt tactical imitation
  • Matte black finish
  • Easy to handle and work


  • Some extra cleaning efforts

8. Ruger Mark IV 22/45

Ruger Mark IV 22 45Ruger Mark IV is not just the best 22 handgun for self-defense, but great fun and easy to shoot with. It is economical and reliable and cleaning it like a breeze. The 9.75″ in length model supports a barrel length of 5.5″ and 10+1-round capacity.

This pistol is very easy to clean; with just one button, you can easily take this gun down and clean it from chamber to muzzle. You can tilt the upper receiver with the help of a recessed button in the back. What raises its accuracy potential is the internal cylindrical bolt construction.

The easy-to-grasp bolt ears allow for much better operations. Mounting the optics becomes a lot easier because of the fixed sights for Weaver or Picatinny-style rail. The Mark IV features a push-button magazine release in the frame towards the left side.

Customers who have bought Ruger – Mark IV™ are very pleased with their buy as the gun is very light and with no recoil. Thanks to the excellent ergonomics, it is amazingly accurate and fully reliable. Buying this gun is a positive experience, and customers highly recommend the Ruger Mark IV 22/45.


  • Economical and reliable
  • Easy to clean
  • Simple, one-button takedown
  • Faster field-stripping
  • Higher accuracy potential


  • Accuracy could be tuned up a bit

9. Ruger SR22

Ruger SR22If you are looking for a pistol that can prove to be good for high-velocity ammunition shooting and even bulk shooting, then the SR22 is the right choice for you. Packed with versatile features, Ruger – SR22 is indeed one of the best 22 pistols for self-defense. It is a semi-automatic single action and double action pistol.

It is just perfect for anything, target shooting, and small game hunting. It is fun to shoot and easy to field strip, and will work reliably with different ammunition. The easy-to-handle pistol comes with a back finish and features an aluminum slide and black polymer frame. For short-barreled 22, the pistol is compact and very accurate. This is just the rig size for beginners looking for some practice.

The.22-cal. Semiautomatic pistol boasts of 10+1-round capacity and 6.4” length. As it accepts a variety of .22 LR loads, that adds to its versatility. It is indeed simple and easy to shoot with this pistol because of the single action and double-action trigger. Look forward to easy cocking due to the smoothed spur on the outer hammer.

You can find a clear safety mark in red color on the pistol that will let you know when the gun is ready to fire and when it’s safe. The good part is that the pistol offers two grip options, one for the slim hand and the other for the wider hand. The numerous cross slots on the Picatinny rail can easily accept sight and light accessories.

The aerospace-grade aluminum slide with serrations allows superior grip and slide manipulation. The rubberized grip makes it easy to hold the gun and gives you more confidence while shooting. One can mount the most popular accessories across the multiple cross slots.


  • Fun and easy to shoot
  • Rubberized grips
  • Black polymer frame
  • Compact and accurate
  • Single -action and double-action trigger


  • Pricey

10. Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider Small Bore22 LR

Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider Small Bore22 LRHeritage Manufacturing offers the next model of the best handgun for self-defense. This pistol is perfect for the ones who have just started off shooting or the ones who are under training. With a flawless blue finish and an unfinished stainless-steel hammer, the pistol indeed carries lots of character. No shortcuts have been taken in the manufacturing of this model.

The historical revolver carries a length of 9.5″ and a barrel length of 4.75″ and a 6-round state. As the Rough Rider locks up firmly, you can look forward to optimum accuracy and perfect timing. The machined, micro-threaded barrel is implanted into the frame and under controlled depth.

The sights are simple and fixed, as well as very effective. Customers love the old west look for the large caliber single-action revolver. To sum up, this gun has a wooden handgrip, and the steel barrel with the aluminium frame gives it a sturdy finish. You just cannot go wrong with the Rough Rider from Heritage Manufacturing.


  • Large caliber single action revolver
  • Flawless blue finish
  • State-of-the-art machinery
  • Greater precision and accuracy
  • Machined barrel


  • The cylinder is fixed and doesn’t swing out for you to load the ammos.

11. Volquartsen Scorpion, .22 LR 1911 Style

Volquartsen Scorpion, .22 LR 1911 StyleIf you are looking for a lightweight pistol, then this is the one for you. Scorpion, .22 LR 1911 is the ultimate target pistol and the best 22 pistol for self-defense. The 22 LR is based on a lightweight VC Target Frame.

As the 1911-style frame moves the balance toward the rear, it is faster to align the sights on the target quickly, and as a result, you get less tired during the long shooting sessions. The Volquartsen – Scorpion.22 LR makes a cut above the rest on the shooting line and when hunting small game.

The compact gun feels light and weighs approximately 2lb. This is indeed a great gun for shooting practice and can make its mark in the competition with the right accessories.

The 6.5″ Volquartsen Scorpion features a barrel stainless steel of 4.5″ and carries a capacity of 10+1-round. The pistol with a non-reflective matte black finish has an adjustable trigger plus a break crisp and fast reset.

What makes it special is the Exact Edge Extractor and SureStrike Firing Pin that is a unique feature of Volquartsen and ensures outstanding reliability in cycling.

The Extended Bolt Racker is machined into the bolt and improves the manual operations significantly. It looks remarkable because of the Green anodized finish on the receiver. Get excellent grip and control because of the comfortable Hogue grips.


  • Compact and light
  • Non-reflective matte black finish
  • Stainless steel barrel
  • Adjustable front and rear target sights
  • Additional accessory rail


  • May need a small learning curve

12. Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact FDE 22

Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact FDE 22When it comes to choosing a brand that offers the best handgun for self-defense, then Smith & Wesson is the name to trust. Its compact M&P 22 model is sleek but a highly effective pistol. Smith & Wesson M&P 22 has been created for precision and is among the most accurate firearms in the industry.

You can go for as many rounds as you want with the durable and comfortable gun. M&P22 pistols are engineered with superior ergonomics and attention to detail. The compact pistol maintains the stringent design features and of standard M&P and includes some impressive specs. It is a fairly impressive gun in its own right.

The 7.3″ long M&P22 pistol is made in the USA and comes with a sleek back finish. It boasts of a 10+1-round capacity and 3.5″ barrel length. The threaded barrel is equipped with a thread adapter and what is included with the product are a manual safety and two magazines.

Other features include a reversible magazine release, an internal lock, and a picatinny-style accessory rail. The pistol will not fire without a magazine inserted, and it is a lot easier to assemble and disassemble because of the recoil guide rod & spring. S&W &P 22 is a legitimate winner as it works as advertised.


  • Optimum precision and accuracy
  • Superior ergonomics
  • Compact and light
  • Reversible magazine release
  • Made in the USA


  • Pricey

13. Bersa Thunder 22 3.5IN 22LR

Bersa Thunder 22 3.5IN 22LRBersa Thunder .22 is another fine example of the best 22 pistol for self-defense. Bersa, a leading manufacturing company of arms and guns, is well known for making high-quality pistols and at affordable prices. Thunder .22 is referred to as a cousin of the beefier Thunder .380 and is almost identical to it.

This is an all-metal pistol. It has an aluminium alloy frame and steel side. This one has an ergonomic design that can easily fit in your hand, and you can shoot with more confidence. The gentle, continuous curve fits naturally into the hand and is a pleasure to hold. It reflects the businesslike aesthetics of a classic and cool pistol because of the frame and steel slide, and black plastic grips. All its controls where they should be.

The compact pistol carries a length of 6.6″ and a 10+1-round capacity. Other features and specifications include checkered polymer grips, a combat trigger guard, and an extended slide release. The pistol boasts of a number of safety features. The position of safety/ locker allows easy access.

The alloy frame/steel slide and notched-bar dovetailed rear sight only add to its capabilities. While the pistol may not be a competition-ready winner, it is capable of extreme accuracy. Even if you are a nonspecialist, this gun will help you shoot with confidence. This is a pistol that defies categorization and offers a less-expensive platform for shoot training.


  • Sleek and compact
  • Impressive ergonomics
  • Checkered polymer grips
  • Combat trigger
  • Extended slide release
  • Micro-polished bore
  • Integral locking system


  • Double-action trigger pull is a bit heavy and long
  • Not designed for lefties

14. Bersa Thunder 22 3.5IN 22LR Duo Tone

Bersa Thunder 22 3.5IN 22LR Duo ToneIf you are looking for the best performing pistol at the right price, then this is the right pistol for you. Bersa’s Thunder .22 Duo-Tone is the smallest semi-automatic handgun that is considered the best handgun for self-defense.

Manufactured with precision and great care, the lightweight shooter could be a plus to anyone’s collection of guns. If you are looking for overall superior precision, sturdiness, and comfort, you are sure to find it in this .22 LR handgun.

You can rely on it for higher accuracy, reliability, and versatility, and the lightweight, compact design only adds to its attraction. It is a hot favorite among professional and sport shooters alike and has been popular for generations.

The Thunder .22 model carries a unique duo-tone finish that adds to its elegant looks. With a barrel length of 3.5”- and 3.5”-barrel length, the alloy frame/steel slide, the pistol has been designed to deliver pinpoint accuracy.

This is a lightweight handgun that offers lower recoil, which is going to make it an absolutely friendly gun. Its rugged reliability is meant to last the toughest conditions. Its numerous valued features such as notched-bar dovetailed rear sight, blade integral with slide front sight, combat trigger guard, and checkered polymer.

The extended magazine bottom only makes it easier to work with. This is indeed an economical pistol to shoot with, but one has to keep in mind the high ammunition prices.


  • Lightweight, compact design
  • Caliber semi-automatic handgun
  • Manufactured with precision
  • Superior accuracy and durability
  • Duo-tone finish
  • Combat trigger style
  • Economical


  • Ballistics could improve

15. Bersa Thunder 22 3.5IN 22LR Matte Black

Bersa Thunder 22 3.5IN 22LR Matte BlackArgentinian company Bersa is known to offer quality defensive pistols, and Thunder 22 3.5IN 22 LR is looked up not to be the best 22 pistol for self-defense on the market for several years now. The model comes with a top-notch set of features and is comfortable, convenient, and economical.

This one comes in a matte black finish, which gives it a sleek and stylish look. The checkered polymer grips offer comfortable and secure handling. This pistol is well made and accurate and is highly recommended as it works flawlessly. It may not be a target pistol but is great for self-defense and almost as accurate as the 380.

You are going to get impressed by the series of numerous touches and upgrades on this pistol that is 6.6″ in length and carries a barrel of 3.5″. The Thunder 22 model carts to 22 long rifle cartridges and comes with a capacity of 10+1-round.

Other top-notch features include micro-polished bore with deep rifling, integral locking system, extended slide release, and a combat style guard. The front and backside of the grip frame are grooved for enhanced purchase. Customers are thoroughly satisfied as this is a great pistol to shoot with and can fire different types of ammo with no issues.


  • Comfortable, convenient
  • Micro-polished bore
  • Combat style trigger
  • Integral locking system
  • Highly recommended


  • Magazine spring is a bit stiff

16. Browning Buck Mark Contour URX 5.5IN 22LR

Browning Buck Mark Contour URX 5.5IN 22LRWhether you are looking for a great gun for a new shooter to get started or the best handgun for self-defense, the Browning22 LR makes the right choice. It is the top rimfire handgun in the market. This one comes with a wooden grip and finger grooves that make holding this pistol easy.

This is an obvious choice for shooting fundamentals or practicing target work. The pistol is universally praised for its design and performance and is well known for its quality, reliability, and accuracy.

It is assembled and finished immaculately and feels very comfortable, either in the right or left hand. The narrow profile and the textured surfaces make the pistol comfortable and secure for all hand sizes and in any condition.

Made of the aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy and CNC machined to challenging tolerances, the buck mark contour URX model carries a matte blue finish. One of the best features of the Browning is the single-action trigger with a light, crisp break.

Other specs are equally impressive such as hand reamed chamber, adjustable target sights, and more. It carries a 10+1-round capacity and suitable for 22 long rifle cartridges.

The Ergonomic Interactive Surface with grooves and wave patterns in the grip only enhances the shooting experience. As you get a firmer grip, it will result in improved accuracy and more intuitive shooting.


  • Improved design and performance
  • Matte blue finish
  • Immaculate finish and assembly
  • Crisp single-action trigger
  • Hand reamed chamber
  • Adjustable target sight
  • Ergonomic Interactive Surface


  • Could be cheaper

17. Browning Buck Mark Practical URX 5.5IN 22LR

Browning Buck Mark Practical URX 5.5IN 22LRAnother best 22 pistol for self-defense is the Browning – Buck Mark22 LR model. The Buckmark pistol is immaculately finished and has been nicely assembled. The gun offers a rubber grip and is ambidextrous.

Browning Buck Mark certainly leads the industry when it comes to top-quality, reliability, and accuracy. It is ready to work with and have some fun with right out of the box. The narrow and compact-sized gun can fit in any hand size.

Crafted from a solid piece of aluminum alloy that is aircraft-grade 7075, the pistol has been machined to demanding tolerances. The model carries a 9.5″ length, a barrel length of 5.5, and boasts of a capacity of 10+1-round.

Other useful specs include hand reamed chamber, single-action trigger, adjustable target sights, and target crowned barrel. The light, the crisp trigger, is the best feature and combined with a quick re-set and soft recoil, it is incredibly easy to fire shot after shot.

This pistol offers a fully adjustable Pro-Target rear sight and TruGlo/Marble Arms fiber-optic front sight that makes shooting with this gun a bliss. The stylish wave patterns and finger grooves in the grip allow you to enjoy a much more comfortable and solid grip.

Thus, you can look forward to improved accuracy along with instinctive shooting and feel secure in any condition.


  • Compact and comfortable
  • Greater reliability and accuracy
  • Target crowned barrel
  • Hand reamed chamber
  • Adjustable target sights
  • Single-action trigger


  • Design seems unnecessarily complex

18. Browning Buckmark Hunter Semi-Auto 22LR 7.25

Browning Buckmark Hunter Semi-Auto 22LR 7.25Finding the right shooting gun can be a daunting task, especially if you are a first-timer. But, with this pistol by Browning Buckmark, you cannot go wrong.

There could be nothing better than shooting a .22 pistol that is both accurate as well as attractive. Browning Buckmark Semi-Auto 22LR is seen as the best handgun for self-defense and is highly popular among the customers.

The model offers you the reliability and accuracy you are looking for in a 22 LR pistol. The straight blowback action proves to be ultra-reliable.

The skeletonized stock structure and the high-comb walnut short stock are the most eye-catching characteristics. The matte blue finish gives it a silky-smooth appearance. This is indeed a perfect option for those looking for a rimfire pistol.

The 7075-aluminum alloy pistol farm features ambidextrous rubber grip panels with finger grooves that offer a firm grip, no matter what hand you use. That instinctual hold improves accuracy as you can keep the hand in a similar place and with a firm grip for every shot and in any shooting environment.

The 10-round magazine within a durable body and coil springs ensure reliable pressure at the proper angle. With a length of 11.25″ and a barrel length of 7.25″. It is easy to clean as both dissembling and assembling are like a breeze. Browning has always been known for its clever design.


  • Buck Mark hunter pistol
  • Machined aluminum alloy frame
  • 10-round magazine
  • Adjustable iron sights


  • A bit more expensive

19. Charter Arms Pathfinder 4.2IN 22LR

Charter Arms Pathfinder 4.2IN 22LRCharter Arms revolvers are known for a very safe action, and as it cannot fire unless the trigger is pulled, that makes the revolver totally safe. If you are in search of a great revolver for a novice, then the Charter Arms Pathfinder is indeed a great choice.

It is a relatively inexpensive one but carries the look and feel of a higher-caliber revolver. The stainless finish gives it a classy touch, and it is indeed among the most affordable .22 revolvers on the market. It makes great sense not just for the new shooters but also for experienced shooters.

It is seen as the best 22 pistol for self-defense and for good reasons. The .22 Long Rifle model with its 4.2-inch barrel and adjustable sights has been designed to improve accuracy potential without adding weight. The .22 Long Rifle version weighs 24 ounces and comes with a capacity of 6-round.

It has a length of 8.5″ while the barrel length is 4.2″. The double-action design makes it simple to operate, and as there is minimal muzzle blast with this gun, there is almost no recoil. All those above factors combined indeed make the Target Pathfinder a pleasure to work with and shoot.


  • Totally safe action
  • Stainless finish
  • Great revolver for a novice
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Double-action design
  • Adjustable sights


  • Aesthetics could improve

20. Chiappa Single-Action Revolver 1873-22

Chiappa Single-Action Revolver 1873-22Another brand that makes to our list of best handgun for self-defense is Chiappa. This Single-Action Revolver is one of the most precise reproductions of the 1873 Single Action. A blend of modern technology and the look of the Old West.

While it preserves the true classic design, it is crafted with a specially formulated alloy for greater ductility and flexibility. Thus, you can expect much higher reliability and durability with the revolver with a steel rifled barrel. The price of the Chiappa revolver is sure to fit the budget of any shooter and without sacrificing quality.

Now shooter can have a taste of the old West but without the added expense of using centerfire cartridges and minus the recoil. Chambered in. the widely available 22 LR, it is a great choice for shooting on the range.

The new shooters prefer the great little pistol that carries a 6-round capacity and a barrel length of 4.75.” due to the low recoil, they can enjoy plenty of training and learning. Shooters find it easy to handle and highly recommend this gun.


  • True classic design
  • Based on modern technology
  • Special formulated alloy
  • Low recoil
  • Higher reliability and durability
  • Affordable and reliable


  • Heavy on the weight

Factors To Look For When Buying The Best 22 Pistol For Self Defense

Buying the best pistol for self-defense requires careful thinking, and planning and choosing a gun s is indeed a very personal thing, especially if you are considering the safety of your life. Here are some key aspects to look for and evaluable when buying a good quality 22 pistol:

1. The Size and Weight

One of the first things that you would want to consider is the size and weight of the gun. The weight impacts the recoil of the gun, and hence, you must not ignore it. Compact sized handguns are the right choices as they are easy on hands and feel comfortable to use.

As a general rule, go for a full-sized handgun for defenses and keep away from the smaller size as they can be more difficult to handle and create more recoil. The larger-framed guns need less effort to realign and have less recoil, but they can be intimidating for the inexperienced.

The weight of the gun matters, for if the gun is too light, it can create more recoil and movement, and that may affect accuracy. Look for a sturdy gun frame made of steel that improves weight and accuracy.

Search for the right size and weight of the gun that you feel comfortable with, and it should be able to bolster your confidence, especially when facing an intruder. Even if the gun is small and compact, it should pack in the necessary fear factor.

2. The Ergonomics

A pistol that is ergonomically designed will easily fit in your hand so that you can have a good grip and feel more confident while using the gun. It should be easy for you to slide over the features of the gun and reach them comfortably. For example, you will need to reach the various controls such as safety, mag release, slide lock lever, etc., while shooting.

A gun with improved ergonomics improves pistol grip and hand controls, and if the gun feels good in your hand, and the recoil feels acceptable, you can feel sure and confident about the gun. Ergonomics are important as they enhance the ease of use, which is important in a defensive handgun and allow the shooter to shoot fast and in a natural manner.

3. The Caliber

Another essential factor when looking for the best 22 pistol for self-defense is the caliber of the gun, which means the exact cartridge designed for your defensive handgun. This choice is critical as it will impact the effectiveness of the handgun and the level of recoil in a defensive situation. The caliber goes higher with the increase in diameter, weight, and velocity of the ammo.

The most often recommended calibers for defense are .9mm and .45 ACP. Moreover, these are common calibers used by law enforcement. For most people, .9mm is the right choice as it has better velocity, greater capacity, and less recoil. .22 caliber rimfire pistols are a very nice choice for target shooting as they are accurate, and are the ammunition is quite cheap when compared to centerfire ammo.

The caliber chosen should be appropriate for you and your preferences. Most shooters prefer 9 mm as it creates less movement, less recoil, and offers higher accuracy. The larger caliber pistols come with greater power and are reliable and long-lasting.

4. Accuracy, Durability And Reliability

The best 22 pistols should be consistent when it comes to accuracy and reliability. As a buyer, one should try out different guns for the same distance, speed, target, grip, etc., to make good comparisons.

Study the workmanship, design, and detail of the gun to get an idea about its durability. Thanks to the advancements made in material and design, today, one can count on maximum accuracy, durability, and reliability in firearms.

Consistency over repeated trials will help you narrow down your research to find the best 22 pistol. A gun that is easy to handle lowers vibration and allows the sights to be adjusted themselves can indeed spell higher accuracy.

While it may not be 100 % vital to have a -point accuracy, it is nevertheless important as your life would matter in one of those defensive situations. Look for pistols with a no-nonsense design and greater reliability.

Always buy from a reputed manufacturer who is known for quality construction and use of top quality materials. The gun should be made from solid materials and very well built and give a robust feel in hand. If the pistol stays stable in your hand, it would naturally improve accuracy.

5. The Concealability Factor

It is useful if your defensive gun carries the concealability factor and how concealable the weapon is how you carry it or where you place it. Your body type, the type of clothes you wear, and where you carry the gun on your body can impact the concealability of the gun.

Those looking for concealability should choose a firearm based on how and where they intend to place it on their bod, so that tin can remain hidden. A smaller gun is easy to carry and conceal. The size, dimensions, shape, and color of the gun certainly affect the factor as to how easily you can hide a gun.

6. The Additional Features

As a buyer, you should focus on other factors such as trigger press, barrel length, sights, capacity, safety, and more. This is vital, especially for those looking for the best 22 pistol for self-defense.

The trigger press can be short and light or long and, based on your desires. The barrel length under 4 inches is known to create more recoil and movement, and those aspects can impact your accuracy. Bullets in guns with longer barrels exit with higher velocity and shoot flatter at longer ranges.

The night sights and fiber-optic front sights should be appropriate and as per your eyesight or any other medical conditions. You may require night sights on the defensive weapon and get protection for yourself even under dim light conditions. The higher mag capacity allows you to engage multiple targets at the same time.

External safeties are not recommended for beginners as in a defensive situation those features are often forgotten or may require extra manipulation.

7. The Cost Of The Gun

Last but not least, it is essential to talk about the costs of the 22 pistols for self-defense. While you may save some dollars buying a cheaper gun, you will not be able to buy the confidence. Thus, if you want a gun that you can trust your life with, you should look for a better-quality gun, even if it costs slightly more. That doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and spend a ton of money.

When considering cost, keep the cost of ammo in perspective, and typically, the 9 mm ammo costs are lower than .40, .45, .38 ammo. The lower the ammo cost, the more you would be able to practice. The 22 pistols are reasonably priced when compared to similar competing models. Do not just look at the MSRP but the actual purchase cost.

Finding the best 22 pistol for self-defense relies a lot on your personal taste and needs, the budget, and aesthetic preferences. Whether you are a man or a woman, a beginner, or a seasoned shooter looking for a semi-auto or a revolver, we are sure that the above section will steer you in the right direction. Just follow those guidelines and make the best decisions.

Freedom And Limitations With 22 Pistol

We have discussed the top models for the best 22 pistol for self-defense in the market are in the market and how to look for them, it is equally essential to understand the pros and cons of these guns. While there is a lot to love about these guns, there are some noteworthy limitations that you should be aware of as a buyer.

Advantages Of .22 LR Handguns

There is no denying that the demand and popularity of the 22s are here to stay among shooting enthusiasts. The ammunition manufacturers have already expanded their production capabilities to meet the increasing customer demand. Here are some of the main advantage s of buying the 22s.

  • It is less expensive as compared to other arms and guns.
  • The cartridges costing lies somewhere between $0.05 to $0.20 per shot
  • Customers are able to make some neat savings when shooting with 22 LR.
  • The handguns are not just affordably priced but lightweight as well.
  • It is a favorite because of the mild-mannered shooting characteristics and the low recoil and soft report.
  • These guns are a great option for new shooters who are looking for less expensive shooting sessions.
  • They have low recoil and doesn’t produce ear-splitting sound
  • The seasoned enthusiasts can use the 22s to hone their skills further.
  • 22 handguns provide a better shot placement because of their low recoil.
  • Limitations Of .22 LR Handguns
  • The .22 LR pistols have several key advantages; there are some restraints that come with them.
  • The design of the .22 caliber rimfire dates back to 1850, and that can raise some reliability issues.
  • It is essential to test the 22 pistols with a wider range of brands with bullets of varying quality, velocities, and weights.
  • More testing is needed to ensure fire reliability, despite the advances in manufacturing processes.
  • The common strategy of firing additional rounds when defending yourself comes with its own limitations.
  • More rounds mean an increased possibility of a bullet missing the target and causing unintended damage or injuries.

Even with those limitations, it doesn’t mean that you should not carry a .22 LR revolver for personal defense. These are perfect when it comes to training, hunting, and self-defense. And as a small gun, the 22 pistols are an excellent choice for self-defense as well as taking down small game and animals.

The 22 handguns are not about having an intimidating design or huge firepower. These guns are loved because of their low price point, higher reliability, and ease of use.

Both beginners and advanced sportsmen look for the best 22 handgun that can give them the best and accurate shooting experience. This is a pistol that you would love to own, take good care of, and feel proud to pass it down to the next generation.

Get The Utmost Of Efficacy With A Perfect 22 Pistol

Now that you have gone through the guide, we are sure that you are feeling a lot more confident about your choices and how to look for the best 22 pistol.

Each gun offers a different experience, and you are sure to develop a special affinity for it, especially if you have made careful selections. As each customer is looking for something different, it is essential to know and understand the different options available in the market.

Self-defense has become a prime concern amongst many, and if you are looking to buy one for yourself, then you must consider the above-mentioned options.


Q1. What Do Caliber And Gauge Mean When It Comes To Guns And Shooting?

Caliber is a dimension of the diameter of a bullet and is usually given in metrics inches or millimeters (based on whether the manufacturing has been in Europe or the US). Thus, you will come across bullets with 22 caliber or 9 mm. Bullets with a higher caliber are naturally more fatal as compared to those with a lower caliber.

The gauge is the measure of the inside diameter of the barrel. A gauge number of 12 represents the number of spherical balls that could be prepared from one pound of lead, and each ball would precisely fit the barrel. A 12-gauge is bigger as compared to an 18-gauge.

Q2. What Is The Difference Between Rimfire And Centerfire?

The difference between rimfire and centerfire is the location of the primer and firing mechanism. In the case of a rimfire cartridge, the primer is situated on the edge of the shell casing and where the priming compound is located. As the firing pin makes an impact with the rim, it ignites the compound and propellant. As the rimfire cartridge is a single piece of metal, it cannot be reloaded.

The rimfire can only support small calibers, but centerfire can be easily accommodated in the caliber of all sizes. It makes centerfire more suited for self-defense and shooting. Though rimfire would be cost-effective, if you are looking for a durable option, then centerfire should be your pick.

Q3. How Can Bullets Cause More Harm?

Bullets can cause more harm when or damage once their velocities increase. The speed of a bullet relies on the amount of gunpowder in the round and the length of the firearm barrel.

Hence, the lengthier the barrel and the more the gunpowder, the higher would be the velocity of the bullet.

The longer barrel gives the mounting gases more time to accelerate, and the more gunpowder creates more force, and that results in faster bullets and more harm.

Q4. What Is The Best 22 Pistol For Self-Defense For Women?

So, which is the best gun for a woman for self-defense and protection? Those who think that women are somehow less capable of guns need to rethink. Given the right training, knowledge, and guns, they are as confident as men on the field. Just because you are a woman doe ant meant that you need toys, kind of guns or something smaller and with lower caliber.

Women look for and need equally effective 22 Pistols for their protection. They will choose third guns based on the same factors a man would look for in a gun for self-defense, such as the quality, size, and caliber. A .22 caliber gun with suitable ammunition can be good enough for any woman.

A lot relies on how the woman intends to use it. The final decision is based on specific needs, likes and dislikes, and physical traits. You must also consider the weight of the gun and its recoil before buying one for yourself. There are revolvers and semiautomatic pistols available with smaller barreled options, and the most recommended self-defense calibers include .22, .380, and 9mm.

Q5. What The Legal Process To Buy A Gun?

As different states can vary regarding laws about the types of guns one can buy, it is essential to know about the local laws before you start looking for the best 22 pistol. Some states, such as Chicago and San Francisco, have banned most of the guns.

While the typical age limit for buying guns is a minimum of 21, in some states, people 18-21 can buy rifles and shotguns for hunting.

One should not have any felony on their record or be mentally incompetent. A criminal background check is essential in all cases. Some states will require registration of the gun with the serial number, that will go in the government database.

Q6. Who Are The Leading Manufacturers Of The Best 22 Pistols?

Some of the leading names in the industry include Smith & Wesson, Rough Rider, Ruger, Glock, Walther Arms, Heritage Manufacturing, Bersa Thunder, Browning – Buck, Charter Arms, Chiappa, Beretta, Mark IV, and some more.

These brands dominate the weapon market that is worth billions of dollars and manufacture automatic rifles, assault rifles, machine guns, rifles, handguns, carbines, and long-guns.

Q7. What Aspects Need To Be Kept In Mind When Using A.22 Pistol?

Now that you have bought the best 22 handgun for self-defense, you need to be aware of some aspects. To begin with, accuracy is of the highest importance.

While the 22 LR and .22 WMR carry calibers with less penetrative ability, these are effective in preventing someone from attacking you. However, you need to be accurate with your shot, and that means loads of practice.

A good 22 pistol with a good bullet becomes more viable, and those faster rounds indeed perform a lot better in the actual field.