22 WMR Ammo
History of .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire Ammunition
The .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire was developed in 1959 by Winchester. Soon after Smith and Wesson and Ruger had revolvers chambered for this potent little cartridge. Winchester introduced the Model 61 rifle in 1960. Savage introduced its famous Model 24, an over and under .22 WMR/.410 combination rifle in 1960 as well.
The .22 WMR is popular for its low recoil, modest report and devastating effect on small game. Prairie dogs, rabbits and squirrels are easily dispatched with this powerful cartridge. What is of even greater interest is the effectiveness of the .22 WMR in self defense. According to the Marshall and Sanow studies of shootings as reported from police agencies, the .22 WMR achieved a 42% “one shot stop” rating. This meant that one shot was enough to stop the attacker from continuing the attack 42% of the time. Although this doesn’t compare with the more powerful centerfire cartridges, it does show that the .22 WMR should not be discounted as a personal defense round, especially for those unable to tolerate the recoil of the more common self defense calibers.
Although not as commonly available as the .22 LR, the .22 WMR can normally be found on most ammo retailers’ shelves. The ammo variety is not as plentiful as the .22 LR but even though the choices are limited, there is enough variety to address the needs most shooters will have. Hollow points for hunting, lead and plated lead for target shooting. Bullet weights range from 30 to 50 grains using LRN or HP designs with velocities that can reach upward of 2200 feet per second and the muzzle and energies in excess of 300 foot pounds.
The .22 WMR has been chambered in all rifle and pistol action types. Revolvers and single shot rifles are among the most commonly produced firearms for this cartridge. However, there has been a surge in popularity with the introduction of the Kel-Tec PMR-30 pistol which has a magazine with a 30 round capacity.
Shooters wanting a cartridge that will perform well for shooting related chores around the home and ranch need look no farther than the .22 WMR. It is truly a do-almost-anything cartridge that will take care of small game, help to keep shooting skills sharp and if needed, could be employed effectively as a self defense cartridge.
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- 243dave said: "My old 22 Mag rifle is load sensitive but performs well with the Fiocchi soft points. I get sub-half inch groups at a measured 50 yds from the bench with them vs 1-1/4" from CCI and 3/4" from Winchester hollowpoints. FMJs from both shoot a 1/4" better. I dropped a point on performance because I have not tested it on game animals yet. I don't hunt with this rifle much because I found the hollow point offerings from CCI & Winchester too explosive for squirrels and lacking penetration on larger game like small pigs. The FMJ offerings do not incapacitate small game like squirrels except on direct nrevous system hits. If the softpoints prove to be the compromise I hope they are, I will make an effort to tune this rifle and use it more. FWIW: I also get near benchrest accuracy from the Fiocchi Hi-Vel ammo in 22LR."