Okay, more than a word. I was out target shooting earlier this afternoon. (It's amazing what I have time to do when I only have a full-time job to go.) I took the Ruger 10/22 that I used the laser bore sighter on to get the scope pointing to where the bullet should be going--and it's amazing how much better it does for plinking.
I also took the little Walther PPK copy to shoot as well--and the first three rounds were completely dead. Even pulling the trigger a couple of more times--absolutely nothing. The fourth round worked fine, and the other two magazines worked fine. Remember that rimfire ammunition, like .22 LR, is not as well sealed as centerfire ammo. When you clean and oil a gun, some of the oil from the chamber and barrel are going to work their way into the rounds that are closest--in this case, the chambered round and the next two down the magazine.
Once I was using the non-damaged rounds, this little American Arms pistol worked like a champ. I think I paid $124 for it back when I was a dealer. It is awesomely accurate for a gun this tiny, relatively quiet, and without any significant recoil. I can afford to shoot through a box of ammo daily, if need be, and even though .22 LR is a "stupid" choice, I suspect that few rational criminals would choose to continue an attack if they were looking down the barrel of it.
The .22 LR is a very tempting cartridge. It is not a toy (although many people see them as almost in that category). It is amazing how often this "useless" cartridge is successfully used for self-defense (and murder--very popular with Mafia hitmen, because it can be silenced with improvised devices). The poor sealing of the cartridge means that relying on it means replacing the cartridges in a carry gun frequently, and verifying on a regular basis that the ammunition is still ready to fire.
Why would anyone carry a .22 LR handgun for self-defense? Perhaps that is all you can afford. Or perhaps someone finds the recoil for a 9mm intimidating. You can even talk yourself into believing that you will be so much more accurate with a .22 pistol that it will make up for its unreliability as a stopping cartridge. Another rationalization is that the ammo is so cheap that you can afford to fire a thousand rounds a month, and be really good with your gun. There are even people who live in places where a concealed carry permit is simply not available, except to the politically connected, and figure that if they get arrested, they would rather not have an expensive gun confiscated.
There are, unfortunately, a lot of tempting reasons. But if you do so, fire the ammunition at least once a month to make sure that you cycle through the cartridges in your gun, and that they work reliably.