Originally posted by Gazrok
Why does everyone say a Ruger 22?
Reason: They are cheap ($200), they are reliable, they come with 10 round magazines and you can get 30 round. Ammo is cheap ($15 for 1,000 rounds) so you can practice inexpensively.
You can stop and even kill humans with a .22. The bullets are small but they do create very bad wound channels. A direct hit to the head will kill or at least render someone unconscious. They can be shot very accurately up to about 75 yards. You can take small game with it and even deer with head shots.
In self-defense situations it;s not who has the bigger gun that wins, it;s who can put in the first accurate shot. You probably won't drop an opponent in his tracks with a .22 but you can certainly wound them badly enough they will pose no further danger to you.
Handguns are different in that the short barrel length does not allow for sufficient pressure to build up making the impact much lesser than the same round from a longer rifle barrel. That;s why I would choose something 9mm and up for a handgun, for stopping power.
The Ruger 10/22 is probably the worlds most popular survival rifle for many good reasons.