Best .22 Pistols for Self-Defense [2023]

Best .22 Pistols for Self-Defense [2023]

When it comes to concealed carry, the clear defensive options are typically .380 ACP, 9mm, .45 ACP, 10mm, etc. However, there are times when things go south, and you find yourself in a close-quarters situation. For this reason, .22 pocket pistols can make a great last-ditch belly gun self-defense option.

10 .22 Pocket Pistols for Last-Ditch Self-Defense

1 – Bond Arms Honey B

Bond Arms has well established itself as a leader in the modern pocket derringer field. This is properly demonstrated in its Honey B, a mashup of the Stinger series and the new B6 grips. Rugged and substantial in the hand, the pistol provides a solid and secure grip via the diamond texturing and palm swell of the B6 grip.

Part of what makes the Honey B a great choice—as well as most Bond Arms—is its modularity. The two-shot derringer can be chambered in your choice of .22 LR, .380, 9mm, or .38 Special. However, whatever caliber you choose, you can quickly and easily change the barrel to another caliber, depending on your needs.

But it is worth noting that if you would like a .22 LR, you have to start with that barrel. It is not available as an accessory barrel.

MSRP: $320.00

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2 – Bond Arms Stubby

Bond Arms Stubby.

Another model based on the Stinger line from Bond Arms is the Stubby. Focusing on concealment, the stubby removed the trigger guard and placed thin nylon grip panels on the standard-size grip. As a result, the Stubby still provides a full grip while remaining able to hide easily away in the pocket.

Like the Honey B, the Stubby offers caliber modularity between .22 LR, .380, or 9mm by swapping out the barrels. However, unlike most Bond Arms pistols, the Stubby is not compatible with other Bond Arms barrels. But, the company suggests that it will potentially come out with more barrels for it in the future.

MSRP: $297.00

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3 – Standard Manufacturing Switch Gun .22 WMR – Stainless or Blued

Standard Manufacturing Switch Gun .22 WMR - Stainless or Blued, in .22 pistols for self defense story.

The ultimate stowaway gun, the Switch Gun from Standard Manufacturing, has concealment down to a science. Not much larger than a cell phone, the Switch Gun folds neatly into itself for hidden pocket carry. And, with the switch of a button, the pistol opens and is ready to fire, like a switchblade.

Featuring a five-round cylinder, the Switch Gun delivers .22 Magnum firepower via the .22 WMR chambering. Although the .75-inch barrel is not designed for distance, it is fast and at the ready for close-quarters scenarios. Additionally, the large handle provides ample grip for a secure purchase when firing.

MSRP: $449.00

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4 – Trailblazer Firearms LifeCard .22 WMR

Trailblazer Firearms LifeCard .22 WMR.

Coming in as the smallest pistol on the list is the LifeCard from Trailblazer Firearms. Even smaller than a cell phone, the LifeCard is more akin to a stack of credit cards in size. However, the diminutive pocket pistol delivers a single shot of .22 WMR magnum firepower.

The LifeCard folds in half and almost disappears in your pocket, but can be opened fairly quickly with some practice. However, it doesn’t snap open automatically, like the Switch Gun, but it is much smaller and takes up less space. Once open, the LifeCard is easy to handle and contains a compartment for three extra rounds in the grip.

MSRP: $399.00

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5 – North American Arms Wasp Magnum

North American Arms Wasp Magnum, in .22 pistols for self defense story.

North American Arms is a name synonymous with pea-size pocket revolvers, and the company gets it right. With dimensions of only 4.63×2.81×1.06 inches, the .22 Magnum Wasp slips easily into any pocket without taking up much room. However, rubber pebbled grip panels provide a secure grip on the tiny shooter.

Featuring a five-round cylinder, the Wasp fires .22 Magnum from its 1.13-inch vented rib barrel. Likewise, on this particular model, the cylinder and cylinder pin include stylish accents. But, the accents on the pin provide more than just looks. They also offer a better purchase when removing the cylinder.

MSRP: $300.00

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6 – Beretta 21A Bobcat Covert .22 LR

Beretta 21A Bobcat Covert .22 LR.

Taking things up a notch is the Beretta 21A Bobcat Covert semi-automatic. Measuring an overall 5.42 inches, the Bobcat provides 7 rounds of .22 LR and slips easily into the pocket. Housed within the slide with rear cocking serrations is the 2.9-inch barrel for a little longer reach.

The barrel also features 1/2×28 threading for attaching a suppressor or other muzzle device. Just in case you want to make this your go-to spy gun. Rounds are sent downrange via a DA/SA trigger.

MSRP: $649.00

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7 – Ruger Lite Rack LCP II .22 LR

Ruger Lite Rack LCP II .22 LR, in .22 pistols for self defense story.

For some, racking a slide on a semi-automatic pistol is not as easy as it is for most. Whether due to carpal tunnel, age, strength, or another reason, the Lite Rack helps overcome this with aggressive forward and rear cocking serrations and a lighter recoil spring. Likewise, the textured grip frame also provides a secure and comfortable grip with a better distribution of recoil forces.

Featuring a very pocket-friendly 5.20-inch length and 0.81-inch width, the Lite Rack offers a 10+1-round capacity in .22 LR. Additionally, rounds are delivered via Ruger’s Secure Action fire-control system with a short, smooth pull, clean break, and positive reset.

MSRP: $439.00

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8 – Ruger LCR .22

Ruger LCR .22.

Let’s face it, revolvers are simple and simply reliable, and Ruger has a solid reputation in the revolver market. The LCR .22 is constructed of aerospace-grade, 7000-series aluminum, keeping it to 14.9 ounces. Additionally, the Hogue Tamer Monogrip helps to reduce perceived recoil when firing.

Chambered in .22 LR, the LCR .22 provides an 8-round capacity in its high-strength stainless-steel cylinder. A patented fire control housing holds the fire control components while reducing weight and reducing recoil. Likewise, the patented friction-reducing cam delivers a smooth, non-stacking trigger pull.

MSRP: $739.00

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9 – Smith & Wesson 43 C AirLite

Smith & Wesson 43 C AirLite, in .22 pistols for self defense story.

Another name synonymous with the revolver is Smith & Wesson. The company has been producing J-Frame revolvers since 1950 and has made them even more pocket-friendly with the AirLite series. Based on the Centennial model, the 43 C AirLite is built on an aluminum alloy J-Frame and is chambered in .22 LR.

Featuring a synthetic grip, the 43 C provides a secure and comfortable grip when firing. The double action only trigger sends rounds downrange via the 8-round capacity cylinder. Providing the aim of the 1.88-inch barrel is an XS Sights white dot front sight coupled with a fixed u-Notch rear sight.

MSRP: $759.00

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10 – Taurus 942 .22 WMR Ultra-lite 2 in.

Taurus 942 .22 WMR Ultra-lite 2 in.

Finishing out the list of .22 pistols for self-defense is the Taurus 942 Ultra-lite 2in. As the name implies, the Ultra-lite features a 2-inch barrel chambered in .22 WMR. Sitting atop the barrel is a serrated ramp front sight coupled with a drift adjustable rear sight.

Featuring an aluminum alloy frame, the Ultra-lite comes at a pocket-friendly 17.80 ounces. Providing 8 rounds, the revolver delivers rounds downrange via a DA/SA trigger. Finally, the textured rubberized grip with a grooved backstrap provides a secure and comfortable grip while firing.

MSRP: $409.99

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