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Selecting a second handgun for use by the family…

Question:  I’d like to buy a second handgun and want to make a smart and efficient purchase for multi-use cases.  I am looking for something small enough for my two kids (ages 9 and 11) and wife to get familiar with.  I would also like a backup pistol for personal defense or something my wife would feel comfortable using if she needed if for protection.  I’m leaning towards a high quality .22LR semi-auto Sig, S&W or Ruger.  I’m I off base thinking this will serve all the functions I want?  I was hoping quality JHP in a .22 would be OK for personal protection in a pinch.  Or is a .22LR just a ‘plinking’ gun?

Answer: The .22 sounds like a good call if you are thinking of something for your wife and kids to use for practice and familiarization.  All of the brand you mention are good quality.  The Ruger and S&W are more suited to target shooting.  A SIG Mosquito could be used for either target or carry, however it would probably not be a good choice for a backup gun.  The .22 caliber round just doesn’t have the ballistic characteristics to do much good in a real gunfight.  Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely better than no gun at all, but I’d probably look for a pistol in .32 caliber or .380 at a minimum for a secondary pistol.  Kel-Tec makes a pretty nice semi-auto for a backup.  I have gotten good results with the Kel-Tec P-3AT in .380 ACP.  It is very concealable and the .380 caliber has reasonable ballistic characteristics.   You could also get a snub nosed revolver for a backup.  My personal preference in a revolver is the S&W Model 649 Undercover in .38 special.  Overall, it is really more about the right tool for the job.  For target shooting and getting your kids and wife familiar with shooting, the .22 is a great choice.  For a secondary pistol, you really need something more than a .22 caliber in my opinion.

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