Maine Man Uses .22 for Defense

in Home Invasion

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. 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.

Trooper Shoots Perpetrator 5 Times

With .357 Magnum and is killed with one

shot from a .22

Corporal Mark Coates was shot and killed after stopping a car for weaving in traffic on I-95 near the Georgia border. During the traffic stop the suspect began to struggle with Corporal Coates and they both fell to the ground. The suspect fired a .22 caliber handgun into Corporal Coates' chest, but the round was stopped by his vest.

Corporal Coates was able to force the man off of him and return fire, striking the suspect five times in the chest with his .357 caliber revolver. As he retreated for cover and to radio for backup, the suspect fired another shot. The round struck Trooper Coates in the left armpit and traveled into his heart. The suspect survived the incident and was sentenced to life in prison.

Corporal Coates had been with the South Carolina Highway patrol for 5 years, and had previously served with the United States Marine Corps. He was survived by his wife, two sons, parents, sister and brother.

15 Year Old GA Resident, Shoots and Kills 1 of 2 Home Invaders Using .22 Rifle

A 15 year old GA boy used a .22 caliber rifle to fight off 2 home invaders. He shot one of the men at least twice. The intruder who was shot was ruled dead on the scene. The other intruder escaped and is not believed to be injured. The boy and his father, who was also home at the time, were not injured.

92-year-old homeowner shoots,

kills intruder

One man is dead and two more are behind bars after a World War II veteran took matters into his own hands when a burglar broke into his home. 

Boone County Police say a man broke into the basement of a home in the 15000 block of Violet Road in Verona just after 2 a.m.

The homeowner, Earl Jones, 92, was awakened and grabbed his .22 caliber rifle. Thieves targeted Jones’ farm at least three times recently, stealing guns, money, even cattle. This time, Jones woke up when he heard intruders in the cellar.

When the intruder came through the door from the basement, Jones fired a single shot, police said.

Jones immediately called his neighbor, who then called 911. When deputies arrived, they said they found the outside basement door ajar but no one other than Jones at the home.

Police say the wounded intruder was carried off by two other accomplices. They say those accomplices, Ryan Dalton and Donnie Inabnit, put him in their car and took off. They got about a mile when they stopped on Courtney Road to call 911.

When Kenton County Police responded to the call they found a deceased male, along with Dalton and Inabnit in a 2001 Chevrolet Impala. The deceased male has been identified as Lloyd (Adam) Maxwell, 24, of Richmond, Kentucky.

Ryan Dalton, 22 and Donnie Inabnit, 20, both of Dry Ridge, Kentucky, are charged with Burglary 2nd degree (complicity) and Tampering with physical evidence.

Jones is a 92-year-old Air Force veteran who worked on planes, including the Enola Gay that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. He will not be charged.

There was a time in this country, when almost every home in America had either a shotgun, or .22 (or both) in it. The ammunition for these two can be purchased in places you probably wouldn’t expect to find it, like hardware stores and gas stations. Individually, and collectively, they are the most widely distributed and used long guns in the world. Unless you go on an accessory buying binge, there will be nothing unusual or overtly threatening about these two, unlike “black” battle rifles, bristling with accessory rails laden with 10 pounds of do-dads and gizmos. Purchasing, or owning these innocuous tools will not raise any red flags or eyebrows, nor will it place you on anyone’s radar screen. The fact that it can be instantly pressed into service in a defensive, or offensive role with little more than a shift in the operator’s mindset, is what makes them such perfect choices.

A relatively inexpensive and durable .22 rifle is an unassuming, somewhat innocuous, and totally capable tool that should be on the top of your firearms list. It will meet your immediate, and long term needs should it ultimately wind up being your only firearm purchase. If you never get beyond this simple and inexpensive little rifle, you will have within your means, the ability to harvest game, defend what is yours, and keep safe those under your protection.

For most people, a handgun can be used effectively out to about 25 yards/meters. Can you get good hits beyond that range with a handgun? Yes, you absolutely can. But I'm talking about MOST people. Moving to a long gun extends that effective range out to 100 yards/meters and beyond. Handguns by nature and design, are short range defensive weapons (with certain exceptions). Long guns can serve the same purpose, but extend your capabilities to longer range defensive/offensive weapons if need be. That third contact point at the shoulder, and longer sight radius, make all the difference in the world when you have to reach out and touch someone.

The little .22 rimfire is the most widely

distributed and used cartridge on earth.

It is dismissed out of hand

for it's assumed lack of

power, and relegated to

second class status by

many. With the proper

ammunition, it is far more than just

‘adequate,’ and I can assure you, it is a heart breaker,

and a life taker. If it were all I had, I would indeed sleep

well at night. More miscreants in this country have been stopped, and/or dispatched with the .22 rimfire since its introduction in 1858 than any other caliber. The ammunition is abundant and relatively inexpensive. The round is inherently accurate in the hands of a skilled operator. I am a true and genuine fan of the .22 rimfire, and I believe it to be the most under-rated cartridge in the world. It is the cartridge most of us start with, and many of us end with. Firearms that chamber it are inexpensive and well made. In the hands of someone who has trained with it, it will consistently shoot very tight groups out to 100+ yards/meters, and well beyond from a good rifle. One or more of these in your face at that range will absolutely ruin your day and bring your participation in the proceedings to an abrupt and permanent conclusion.

The .22 Long Rifle (LR) is a light cartridge (approximately 3 grams with a 40 grain

bullet).  When most of us think of light rounds, the .223/.556 comes to mind. They

weigh, on average, about 12 grams per cartridge (four time the weight).

1,000 rounds of .22LR weighs 6.61 pounds. 1,000 rounds of .223/.556 weighs

26.44 pounds. 6.61 pounds of .223/.556 is 250 rounds and takes up twice the space

of the thousand rounds of .22LR. The thousand rounds (two bricks)

of .22LR is no larger than three or four stacked 30 round magazines for an AR

platform weapon. For the price of 1,000 rounds of .223/.556 (currently about

$450.00), you can buy a nice .22LR rifle AND 1,000 rounds of .22 LR ammunition

(currently about $60.00). Just for the sake of argument, if I had to shoot you three

times with the .22LR to achieve the same result as shooting you once with the

.223/.556, I’m still way ahead in the game (and as an aside, three separate wound

channels will always beat a single wound channel, especially if they start in your

eye socket).

Most of these .22LR rifles weigh between four and six pounds and cost between

$125.00 and $400.00. The average .223/.556 AR platform rifle weighs between

seven and nine pounds and costs between $700.00 and $1,800.00. They are all .22 caliber rifles (yes, I know that all .22 cartridges are not the same).

Ponder this... In a SHTF scenario, which would you rather be humping when you’re trying to move fast with everything else you have to carry? Please tell me the weight isn’t a problem for you when you stop to take the tooth paste out of your pack because it weighs four ounces.

So, you’re going to ‘live off the land’ with that .223 are you?  Shoot yourself a rabbit, a squirrel, or a bird with that gun and all you’ll be having for dinner is a few tufts of fur, or a handful of feathers, unless you get really lucky and find yourself a beak, or maybe a foot.

There is no one in your family, circle of friends, or group you may find yourself in, above the age of eight, and below the age of two hundred who cannot learn to quickly, safely, and accurately use a .22 rifle if it has an adjustable, or youth length stock on it that will fit them properly. The noise signature is relatively low, the dependability factor is high, the manual of arms is uncomplicated, and the recoil is nonexistent.

I’m not trying to tell you that a .22 rimfire is a better choice for combat than an AR platform weapon chambered in .223/.556. What I am telling you, is that for 95% of the things you will need a gun for,

the .22LR will provide the necessary means to achieve your goals, and do it all with a lot less mechanical and logistical problems. The simple and rugged blow-back actions of these guns are inherently reliable. There are 20 year old .22LR guns out there that have had tens of thousands of rounds through them, and they’re still going strong. Sometimes simple is good (contrary to appearances, this rule does not apply to Presidents).

Shot placement with the .22 is critical (as it is will all rounds), but it's an easy cartridge to shoot well, with a low noise signature (which can be lowered further still, with the proper sub-sonic ammunition and/or a legally purchased suppressor). Again, recoil is nonexistent. The .22 requires multiple hits to be absolutely effective (as do more calibers than most will care to admit), but those hits are easy to make very quickly if you’ve practiced shooting triple taps. It is the round of choice in most alphabet agencies for close up and personal "wet work" for a good reason. It works. It was used to great effect as a suppressed, shorter range sniper rifle in Vietnam (which brought a whole new meaning to the term, “trail gun”), and a scoped, suppressed version is currently in use by Israeli Special Defense Teams. A brain shot though the eye with a .22 will put down everything from a mouse to an elephant.

It is not the firearm, the bullet design, or the amount of money you can spend, but rather training, dedication, and skill that elevates the .22 from plinker to life taker... It is as always, shot placement, together with applying the medicine until the cure is found.

Personally, I would much prefer to be fighting alongside someone who can quickly put 10 rounds of .22 rimfire into a soup can lid, (or the bad guy’s very expensive, but very cool, designer sun glasses) at 50 yards/meters, than someone who can't hit the broad side of a barn with a big old centerfire, or is spraying 30 round magazines full of battle rifle rounds in the general direction of the threat with high hopes and a low probability factor.

The .22 is only an ineffective, short range

round in the mind of someone who will not

acknowledge its potential, or won’t/hasn’t

trained to take advantage of

its capabilities. .22’s, more so

than many other guns, will

prove to be incredibly accurate

over long distances with one

particular brand/type of ammunition. Put as many different brands/types of

ammunition through you gun as you can under controlled conditions, until you

find the one it loves for long range work. The differences will be dramatic, so pay attention. Your preferred defensive rounds should be reliable, heavy for caliber (40 grain), fast hollow points. CCI Velocitors, and Aguila Interceptors both meet this standard (proper expansion and the required penetration). There are other brands that are equally dependable and effective, as well.

If you choose the proper ammunition for a self/home defense scenario, each of those bullets will be producing close to 200 foot pounds of energy on the target from a rifle length barrel in a close quarter engagement. That’s centerfire territory, including the .380 ACP, light 9MM’s, and light .38‘s. The difference is that you can do it ten times with a semiautomatic shoulder mounted .22 rifle in the time it will take you to do it two, or three times with the centerfire handgun (if my onboard calculator is functioning properly, that would be approximately 2,000 foot pounds of energy on the target in about a second and a half). I can certainly live with that, as long as I’m on the quiet end of the rifle.

The range of available .22 semiautomatic rifles is broad. Makers such as Marlin, Mossberg, and Ruger, among others, offer compact, light, and highly effective guns that range in price from about $125 to $300+ new. Should you choose to purchase a .22 rifle for every member of your family (and you should), don’t make the mistake of buying several different types, or brands. You should strive for the standardization of magazines, parts, cleaning and maintenance procedures, and manual of arms for everyone. Used .22 rifles are available in mind boggling numbers if you just look around. Only buy used guns that have been well cared for and appear to be in excellent condition. Test fire them as soon as possible. If a problem presents itself, return it whence it came and have it rectified. Manuals for used guns can be downloaded in PDF format from most manufacturer’s websites free of charge.

Learn to maximize its advantages and minimize its disadvantages, and it will serve you well all the days of your life.

Lest you think that the little .22 will be ineffective, let me, once again, make the point that shot placement is far more important than caliber, and caliber will never be an acceptable substitute for the incompetence of the operator. Should you doubt me, I suggest you reread the story of a young man named David (1 Samuel 17), who immortalized the theory by making his one small stone count... With perfect shot placement.

The .22 rifle, with sufficient stores of ammunition, will provide you with the tools to help keep you out of the victim’s column. I urge you to make the necessary adjustments in your lifestyle to acquire at least these firearms, either new, or used, as soon as possible, and add ammunition for them to your stores on a regular basis. They are the cornerstone of any assemblage of firearms. Rest assured, that you will be sufficiently armed to put meat in the pot, and defend yourself and those you are responsible for, and that's a feeling money can't buy.

Should you choose a .22 that uses magazines, buy as many as you can, budgeting for them one, or two at a time. There is no such thing as too many. If your rifle is tube fed, I would urge you to purchase two, or more Spee-D-Loaders for it. Pick up an inexpensive arrow quiver, and you’ll always have your Spee-D-Loader with you.

I suggest you equip each of your long guns with an inexpensive sling, so that like a handgun, it can be with you when you’re hands are full, and you’re busy with other things. With a little practice, you can learn to bring a long gun to high ready, or shoulder point from either the American carry (muzzle up), or African carry (muzzle down) slung position very, very quickly.

There are many who will decry the advice given herein, and urge you to make your first purchase an assault rifle in one caliber, or another. I cannot, and will not dispute their usefulness in a force on force encounter. But, that will hopefully be a rare occurrence. Your day to day needs will more probably be protecting livestock, children, and family pets from predators and vermin, or putting a little extra meat in the pot. When you have the resources to add that battle rifle, several dozen magazines, and several thousand rounds of ammunition to your inventory, by all means, do so. The guns referenced here are not the end all, be all of firearms. They represent a reasonable, and relatively inexpensive starting point for individuals and families with limited resources and a desire to start at the beginning. Become skilled in their use, learn to appreciate their versatility, and you will have the means at hand to deal with most all of what may come your way.

Should you believe that these guns are insufficient to fend off an attack, or defend innocent life, I will again remind you that there are very few among us, regardless of the firepower they have accumulated, who will be able to prevail with firepower alone in a full on assault by a group of individuals comparably equipped, and dedicated to the mission. These tools are just that, tools. You would be better served by understanding that the only weapon in your inventory that will provide a true advantage, and help level the playing field, is the one God endowed you with. The one between your ears. Planning, practice, training, and a comprehensive understanding of tactics and their implementation have usually been, and will usually be, the deciding factor when the dust finally settles. More tools may help, but will never be the final answer. Study, and practice employing/deploying alternate firing positions, perimeter warning systems, non-lethal booby traps, fall back defensive positions, sniping hides, the willingness and commitment to act decisively without hesitation, and all of those things that will give you the home field advantage. The easiest fight to win, is the one you can avoid with preemptive action. Improvise, adapt, and overcome. Out think them, instead of trying to outgun them.

We must all, unfortunately, accept the fact that life is not fair, nor is it always kind to the righteous of this world. Being a good and honorable person, and trying to do the right things, in and of themselves, will not keep you from harm’s way. Accept, and plan for the eventuality of having to protect and defend who and what you are, what is yours, and those who look to you for protection and comfort in a world that may be fraught with danger.

Find a Certified Instructor that will teach you firearm safety, proper handling techniques, and allow you to fire a number of different guns before you make your purchases. Many Instructors/Training Facilities, offer courses pertaining to employing these guns in a tactical/defensive role, and they have proven to be very effective in the hands of a trained, and skilled operator.


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© 2014  •  R.F. De Mott, CFI
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