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22 mag rounds for revolvers


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#1 chippinslag

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 07:09 PM

So on a previous thread I talked about getting my hands on an old Colt revolver. Thought it was 22LR but was lucky enough to notice it's cylinder was actually 22 Mag before I shot LR's through it. Never owned a 22 Mag so I'm wondering what 22 mag works best. Now I realize asking for best 22Mag ammo in a rifle is a pointless question, but for revolvers there must be a general rule of thumb. I'd figure that physics would dictate what is usually the best. My instinct would be that lighter loads (30gr) would stabilize quicker out of a short (~5inch) barrel vs. heavier loads (40gr). My instincts also tell me that slower is better. Am I correct? I'd appreciate any advice. I'd would really like to avoid buying 5 or so different loads because this stuff isn't cheap. I'm seeing 12 to 17 bucks a box around here.

Thanks
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#2 noshow

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 05:50 AM

So on a previous thread I talked about getting my hands on an old Colt revolver. Thought it was 22LR but was lucky enough to notice it's cylinder was actually 22 Mag before I shot LR's through it. Never owned a 22 Mag so I'm wondering what 22 mag works best. Now I realize asking for best 22Mag ammo in a rifle is a pointless question, but for revolvers there must be a general rule of thumb. I'd figure that physics would dictate what is usually the best. My instinct would be that lighter loads (30gr) would stabilize quicker out of a short (~5inch) barrel vs. heavier loads (40gr). My instincts also tell me that slower is better. Am I correct? I'd appreciate any advice. I'd would really like to avoid buying 5 or so different loads because this stuff isn't cheap. I'm seeing 12 to 17 bucks a box around here.

Thanks
<><


If you've never fired a 22 Mag handgun, you're in for an unpleasant surprize! They are LOWD and FLASHY! Shooting without ear protection could easily cost your hearing. I would never consider using one for home defense because firing indoors would likely blind and deafen you at least temporarily. That being said, there are ammo sources that
lesson these risks. Winchester Dynapoints are the most user friendly 22 Mag from a handgun, with Federal 50grs being a close second. For plinking, Winchester WRF are just slightly more offensive than 22LR. 22Mag is a rifle cartridge and from a handgun, they make more noise and flame than a 357 Mag. However,there is no recoil to speak of. I hope this helps.

#3 Carl

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:53 AM

I'll second what noshow said! Only cartridge I've been around that is as bad or worse for noise is the .30 Carbine in a handgun. It seems to be a high pitch BANG and is actually painful on the ears. I shot one a lot without ear protection (who used ear protection back then?) when I had a magnum only Single Six in the early '60s. May be why my hearing is going south on me.
I now have a convertable Single Six but have either 2 or 3 shotshells and 2 or 3 .22WRFs loaded as one of my home defense guns. Being an old 3 screw, I only load 5 and have the hammer on an empty chamber... probably not nesessary when not being carried afield, but old habits die hard.
As for accuracy, nothing is accurate for me in a handgun Posted Image , so I can't help you there.

Added: BTW, the flash may not bother a welder (chipinslag)Posted Image
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#4 chippinslag

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 03:03 PM

Thats too bad. Its odd that 22 mag revolvers are so common if its not appropriate for revolvers. My dad is way too old fashioned to pull out some ear plugs or muffs if he so happens to see a nice cotton tail he can't resist. I sure wish this old Colt had a Long Rifle cylinder, but I'm afraid I'm stuck with it and its magnum cylinder. I've looked for one of these for years and I just never see them.

I didn't know much about 22 WRF so I looked it up and was pretty excited about them. I had remembered seeing them in Cabelas. I thought that would be the perfect solution. Called Cabelas up and they are out. Checked Cheaper than Dirt, Midway, etc and now I just can't find any. Man I can't get a break. Then to top it off it appears Winchester isn't making any, only CCI makes them and their's states on the box "NOT FOR USE IN REVOLVERS". Jeez!

I'm starting to think I should have told my Dad he'll just have to settle for a Ruger Single Six. Only thing is he really missed his Colt and that thing was so accurate I don't think a ruger could come close to it in accuracy, although I've never shot a ruger 22.

#5 noshow

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:29 PM

Thats too bad. Its odd that 22 mag revolvers are so common if its not appropriate for revolvers. My dad is way too old fashioned to pull out some ear plugs or muffs if he so happens to see a nice cotton tail he can't resist. I sure wish this old Colt had a Long Rifle cylinder, but I'm afraid I'm stuck with it and its magnum cylinder. I've looked for one of these for years and I just never see them.

I didn't know much about 22 WRF so I looked it up and was pretty excited about them. I had remembered seeing them in Cabelas. I thought that would be the perfect solution. Called Cabelas up and they are out. Checked Cheaper than Dirt, Midway, etc and now I just can't find any. Man I can't get a break. Then to top it off it appears Winchester isn't making any, only CCI makes them and their's states on the box "NOT FOR USE IN REVOLVERS". Jeez!

I'm starting to think I should have told my Dad he'll just have to settle for a Ruger Single Six. Only thing is he really missed his Colt and that thing was so accurate I don't think a ruger could come close to it in accuracy, although I've never shot a ruger 22.


I believe Winchester still makes them. They make a "run of them" every so often. You want these! They are a very nice step up from 22LR and a pleasure to shoot. Many claim they are very accurate as well! They can be found at gun shows and online for about $35 for a half brick or sleeve of 5 boxes of 50. At $7 per box, the're right in between 22LR and those Dynapoints I spoke about. By the way, they are a downloaded 22WMR round that also have a 45gr lead bullet that is tolerable from a handgun. I suggest you pick up a box or two for now and keep your eyes open for the WRFs. They are out there, don't give up yet

#6 Carl

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:36 PM

Called Cabelas up and they are out. Checked Cheaper than Dirt, Midway, etc and now I just can't find any. Man I can't get a break. Then to top it off it appears Winchester isn't making any, only CCI makes them and their's states on the box "NOT FOR USE IN REVOLVERS". Jeez!


here ya' go...... http://www.midwayusa...ring=653***7547***

If you read the specs here, it says the CCIs are "not for use in WRF revolvers"... should be okay in a magnum revolver if you want the hollow point. They are more expensive though. I have a couple bricks of older Winchester reproduction ammo which is not as fast as shown here. This is shown as 1300 fps and I believe the older repro ammo was about 1050, or not as fast as HV Long Rifle. They do show the Winchester and CCI as outof stock, but the CCI is okay to backorder. When Midway says okay to backorder, it means they should have it in stock within 30 days.
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#7 noshow

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:46 PM

Here's a link to Graf & Sons who will back order the Winchester WRF for $7.19 per box of 50:

http://www.grafs.com...productId/19271

I have dealt with them in the past and rate them highly. They don't charge for shipping, but impose a small handeling fee.

Edited by noshow, 03 May 2010 - 07:07 PM.


#8 cp1969

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:40 PM

I remember them being about .30-30 loud, if that is a way to describe it. By that I mean the same noise that a .30-30 makes when fired in a carbine.

I had a Colt New Frontier with .22 LR and .22 Mag cylinders. Even with the LR cylinder, that gun was LOUD. It must have had a big barrel/cylinder gap.
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#9 chippinslag

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:14 PM

AAhhhh so they can't be used in WRF revolvers specifically. Well heck! All their box says is "Not for use in revolvers". Didn't make a damn bit of sense to me. Thanks for the enlightenment. I feel better. Thats my mission then, load up on a thousand or so rounds of WRF and call it good. My dad will be happy knowing he not only has a Colt Frontier Scout again but will also have one with a little more oomph. The good thing about this ordeal is I've really learned something thanks to you guys. I've loved 22LR so much I've never bothered learning about any other rimfires.

Next step - suppressors.

#10 noshow

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 04:39 AM

AAhhhh so they can't be used in WRF revolvers specifically. Well heck! All their box says is "Not for use in revolvers". Didn't make a damn bit of sense to me. Thanks for the enlightenment. I feel better. Thats my mission then, load up on a thousand or so rounds of WRF and call it good. My dad will be happy knowing he not only has a Colt Frontier Scout again but will also have one with a little more oomph. The good thing about this ordeal is I've really learned something thanks to you guys. I've loved 22LR so much I've never bothered learning about any other rimfires.

Next step - suppressors.


I'm not so sure about that. The CCI round is a jacketed bullet (.224) while the Winchester is a lead bullet(223) with a copper wash. The possibilities of excessive pressure pose a safety risk in my opinion. Others, more knowlegable, should be able to comment on that. Or you should call CCI.

#11 Carl

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 12:36 PM

I'm not so sure about that. The CCI round is a jacketed bullet (.224) while the Winchester is a lead bullet(223) with a copper wash. The possibilities of excessive pressure pose a safety risk in my opinion. Others, more knowlegable, should be able to comment on that. Or you should call CCI.



The revolver in question is a .22 magnum, not a Long Rifle, so it should have the bigger bore than a LR. Nominal bullet size for a WRF and WMR are both .224. Bullet manufacturers sometimes vary a little from nominal for whatever reason. For example, Lapua makes a M or L bullet for their Master and Midas loadings that are .001" different, .2225" vs. .2235" if I recall correctly. .22 Hornet started out as .223 and later changed to .224. Evidently .001" does not make enough difference in pressure. Now, shooting a Magnum or WRF in a LR barrel might, in some equipment, make enough difference to be dangerous. I have a Ruger S/S that was a LR and I have a magnum cylinder machined to fit it. I have not shot, and probably won't shoot, this with magnum bullet loads, but have shot it with magnum shotshells and copper washed WRF bullet loads (see earlier post).

Still, to be sure, it might be wise to check with a competent gunsmith. Checking with CCI might get you a "standard answer" from someone that doesn't really know, but is reading the company's CYA policy.
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#12 chippinslag

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 03:27 PM

This is what CCI told me.

"some gun makers put 22 Long Rifle barrels in the 22 WRF guns,
thus the revolver Warning on 22 WRF as the barrel diameter is smaller in
22 LR. Bullets are larger in diameter in the 22 WRF than in the 22 WMR
and use is not recommended of the 22 WRF in guns marked 22 WMR."

Not very good English but I get his drift. The 22WRF is a larger diameter than 22LR OR 22MAGNUM. I don't understand how this makes their ammo only contraindicated in revolvers and not 22mag rifles as well.

Would the Winchester brand 22 WRF be ok in this revolver?

#13 Carl

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 04:01 PM

This is what CCI told me.

"some gun makers put 22 Long Rifle barrels in the 22 WRF guns,
thus the revolver Warning on 22 WRF as the barrel diameter is smaller in
22 LR. Bullets are larger in diameter in the 22 WRF than in the 22 WMR
and use is not recommended of the 22 WRF in guns marked 22 WMR."

Not very good English but I get his drift. The 22WRF is a larger diameter than 22LR OR 22MAGNUM. I don't understand how this makes their ammo only contraindicated in revolvers and not 22mag rifles as well.

Would the Winchester brand 22 WRF be ok in this revolver?


So what CCI is telling you is their jacketed bullet for the WRF is larger than .224", because that's what a WMR is. The Winchester is not bigger than .224" and being a lead bullet (copper washed) would probably be okay even in a .223" LR barrel... I know I have shot them in a LR barrel. If CCI's bullet is in fact larger than .224", or if your Colt has a LR diameter barrel, yes it could be a problem being a jacketed bullet. I guess I would then also be careful about what magnum load I shot in the Colt if the barrel is for a LR and the magnum bullet is .224". I wouldn't shoot a jacketed bullet that is .224"... lead should still be okay. I guess to be safe, I'd stick with lead and stay away from jacketed WRF or WMR.
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#14 Carl

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 04:19 PM

Just got curious about some sizes. I have a B&S mic that has a tenth scale (1/10,000) and measured some bullets. CCI .22WMR hollow point jacketed is .2241". Winchester copper washed .22WRF solid lead bullet measures .2238". The WRFs are from a 1994 LImited Edition run. "Back in the day", Winchester made a special run of WRFs every 10 or 15 years. Not sure what they do now.
These are the only WRF or WMRs I have on hand at present. In the interest of time, I only measured a couple of each caliber.
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#15 noshow

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 05:12 PM

I would definately back order (or add to your wish list) the Winchester WRFs. As I mentioned, Graf normally stocks them and they are very reasonably priced and dependable. They will be fine in your gun and will be available in the not to distant future. They have not been discontinued, but have been out of stock for a few months now. Be patient and order a good supply as they don't manufacture it on an ongoing basis. I'm sure your patience will be rewarded and you will be very pleased with your gun and ammo. Hope this helps

Edited by noshow, 04 May 2010 - 05:13 PM.


#16 JBubba57

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 11:05 PM

And there's a huge amount of sound difference in the 22-wmr shotshells from the solid or hollow-point rounds! (shotshells LOUD but still not as LOUD LOUD as standard rounds)

#17 noshow

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:17 AM

There is some good news for 22WMR revolver fans! Both CCI and Hornady have introduced new loadings of this caliber that are optimized for use in short barreled revolvers. CCI will make a 40gr Gold Dot and Hornady will make a 45gr Critical Defense. They both claim less noise and flash with better penetration and expansion from revolvers. We'll just have to wait until they are available. I will be anxious to try both of them. Has anyone seen them yet?

#18 Quick Trigger

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:06 PM

I haven't seen the new ammo yet, but i do shoot the Win 22mag 40gr FMJ, CCI 40gr FMJ, and the 30gr V-Max from Hornady.

All 3 of these will cut holes on paper through my Tarus Tracker and i rarely ever fire a handgun without ear protection, so that isn't an issue. For plinking fun, the 22mag is a little bigger boom, and even though it isn't cheap anymore its still fun.
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#19 A square 10

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:26 PM

if i have this straight - 22LR & 22WMR are same dia . but 22WRF is larger dia. ? that has been my understanding for years , the WRF was an attemt at a propriatary cartrige if i understand correctly , is not the case also slightly oversized ?

#20 Karl

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:00 AM

I have a S & W .22 mag and I don't remember it as being that bad. I almost always wear ear protection but when I am hunting or in the field I will fire a round or two without ear protection. It is nothing like a .357 magnum or a .44 magnum.

By the way, last time I shot it in the field I got a nice fox with it. Worked just fine.

#21 Carl

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:31 AM

A square 10.... .22 s-l-lr bullets measure .222" (vary a few tenths depending on the manufacturer) and the .22WMR measures .224" like .22 cal. centerfires (except early Hornets which were .223").

Karl.... I don't think its actually the loudness of the report, but it's a "sharper" bang and I would rather shoot my .357 without hearing protection than my .22WMR. The WMR is actually painful to my ears... .30 carbine handguns do the same.
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#22 Karl

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 10:51 AM

I may know why I am different from the rest of you. At some frequencies my hearing is normal but at others I can’t hear. Maybe this “crack” is in a dead range.

#23 Carl

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:35 AM

It's probably not unusual for different frequencies to affect different people different ways. I had a .22WMR Single Six back in the day (early '60s) before the convertable models, and it actually hurt my ears to fire it. Sold it to make a down payment on an engagement ring for my girlfriend. Now SHE hurts my ears from time to time, but in a different way... and she's usually right :rolleyes:
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#24 Randymac

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:56 PM

You haven't heard a loud 22mag untill you fire one of these.
Posted Image

Edited by Randymac, 27 January 2012 - 05:14 PM.


#25 Carl

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:36 PM

OUCH!!! That hurts my ears just looking at it.
I actually have a convertable Single Six now, have owned it for probably 20 years and still have not shot it with WMR loads except to test the pattern on shotshells. I have shot some of the lower power re-pro Winchester WRF loads, but they aren't much more than LR rounds, 45 grain bullet at about 1050fps.. I keep the S/S loaded with a pair of shot and 3 solid WRFs as one of my home defense guns... figure a shotshell in the face at less than 10' will hurt.
BTW, I remember reading a test article many, many years ago comparing the WMR HP rounds to ball service .38 Spl. for defense, and the WMR was way more devastating.
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#26 Karl

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 03:35 PM

Speaking of self defense;

Kmow how people fire a round into the ground and say "one step further and the next ones in you".

I think that it is better to fire one right next to his ear and say "damn, I missed".

#27 Randymac

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:21 PM

It's been many years since i shot that derringer.... but i haven't forgotten how loud it is.
i have a high standard revolver with both cylinder's, once in awhile i'll buy a box of mags and change cylinder.

Edited by Randymac, 27 January 2012 - 05:22 PM.


#28 Komitadjie

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 01:20 AM

I've got an NEA Earl with the 4" barrel. That sucker is NOISY! I'd never shoot it without my muffs, the bark is more impressive than my .38 SPL Combat Masterpiece by far.
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#29 Big John

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 04:18 PM

1007101438a.jpg

I have a NEA Mini in .22WMR. About the only pistol I own that is that is louder is the 4" Tracker in .44Mag, and I think that's due to the porting. The mini isn't painfull to shoot, but it moves around in the hand and I have to readjust my grip while cocking it after every shot.
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#30 secondamendment

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:50 AM

Loud? Try an AMT pistol in 22 Mag. The only thing louder is a blackhawk in 30 carbine. The critical Defense ammo shoots really well out of my NAA mini revolver - not as bad as Winchesters and CCI's.
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#31 dbp1stltartillery

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 12:14 AM

I believe Winchester still makes them. They make a "run of them" every so often. You want these! They are a very nice step up from 22LR and a pleasure to shoot. Many claim they are very accurate as well! They can be found at gun shows and online for about $35 for a half brick or sleeve of 5 boxes of 50. At $7 per box, the're right in between 22LR and those Dynapoints I spoke about. By the way, they are a downloaded 22WMR round that also have a 45gr lead bullet that is tolerable from a handgun. I suggest you pick up a box or two for now and keep your eyes open for the WRFs. They are out there, don't give up yet

The Winchester-Western are VERY accurate..I used them in Hunter Pistol Silhouette in a Thompson (1" to 1.25" at 100 from sandbag rest). Never had a problem hitting the Rams when I did my part and would consistently knock em over...Dave
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#32 A square 10

A square 10

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:37 PM

ok , 22wmr is based on the 22wrf case so they are similar dimensions and the 22rem spcl is same as 22wrf , these are both lower power than wmr , none of these three fit in the 22lr , and as far as i can see , the 22lr bullet is .222 / neck is .226 / base is .226 , the wmr bullet is .224 / neck is .242 / base is .242 , and the wrf bullet is .226 / neck is .2435 / base is .2455

thus depending on the barrel one could have issues with a wrf that might slip into a wmr chamber [ it should be a tight fit in it] if it will go at all , its likely that a revolver that has a lr & wmr cylinder has a bbl for the wmr , so accuracy with the 22lr should be less , and the use of wrf could result in overpreasure ?????




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