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Thread: .22 Magnum Ammo quality & group expectation...???

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    Default .22 Magnum Ammo quality & group expectation...???

    Not looking for an ammo advise per'say, but what should be expected. As a general rule is the .22 magnum more or less accurate than a .22 Long Rifle. Yes, just cheapish ammo, not $32.00 a box ammo.

    My point of reference is that today I was shooting my S&W Model 17 that I had reamed out to .22 Magnum. It has an 8 3/8" barrel and (today) I shot both Long Rifle and Magnum cartridges through the magnum cylinder and both did very well (By my standards).

    So my question is: As a general rule is the .22 magnum more or less accurate than a .22 Long Rifle. All things being as equal as possible.

  2. #2
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    In one conversion cylinder gun I've owned the .22 Mag cylinder was scary accurate- more so that the .22LR cylinder. Why that would be positively escapes me. Other samples of .22mag handguns I've had have been so-so to less than stellar.

    In rifles my .22LRs have always been more accurate. Again- no idea as to why that would be and it may be particular to the individual rifles I've owned but IMHO .22mags are less intrinsically accurate than .22LRs.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    I gave up on the 22 WMR many years ago, several Colt New Frontier conversion revolvers and some Marlin, Colt and Winchester rifles. I never found one that gave me the kind of accuracy that made its increased performance beneficial. That may have changed in the last ten years or so, but for me if I need the extended range in a rimfire I'm a 17 HMR guy.
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    Today at 21 Yards, the .22 Mags consintly shot groups 1/2 the size of the .22 LR and remember this is from the same .22Magnum revolver. I was very impressed with both types of cartridges. Also shot both at 55 Yards, and the Magnum groups were 1/3 the size of the Long Rifle groups.

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    back when I started shooting alot of rimfire ammo the WMRF was sporadic in it's accuracy but I think that has, for the most part, changed - I never ever got results in any firearm with the CCI stuff but Federal and Winchester 22 mag ammo now gives "me" outstanding results in rifles - In revolvers not so much but the Federal stuff has been better - As far as terminal results (as in carnage) with 22 mag vs. 17 HMR I will take the 22 mag each and every time - I love the HMR and it's cool to see a rock chuck puff up and cowboy off a ledge when hit with a 17 HMR out to 125 yds but for "kill effect" I personally will take the 22 WMRF

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    My CZ 452 22LR shoots better than a buddy's Marlin Microgroove magnum. But then again I haven't given his a trigger job or anything else. I love the way the CZ shoots.

  7. #7

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    Interesting question.

    Back in the 70's I gave the 22 mag a real going over in a bunch of rifles, including an Anschutz sporter. Yeah, the ballistics promised great things on small varmints out to 150 yards or so, but not even that Anschutz could have hit a ground squirrel reliably much past 50 yards. We're talking 4-5" groups at 100 yards with any ammo, any rifle. Chronographing revealed velocity variations as much as 100 fps in almost every single shot string. The rifles included some gooduns, but the ammo stank.

    Turn the calendar ahead 4 decades, and it's almost as if the 22 mag is a brand new caliber. Same rifles are producing groups that actually are usable on ground squirrels at close to 150 yards. And the Anschutz will do it to 200 if your holdover is right and you dope the wind right. Haven't chronoed any of it, but I have to believe the ammo manufacturers finally got off their hineys with this one, and I'm guessing it's due to the accuracy of the 17 HMR and interest in it.

    I'm thinking now may be the time to try it in revolvers again. I have three of them, and they haven't popped a cap in close to 30 years. My bad, it sounds like.

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    Member markopolo50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    In one conversion cylinder gun I've owned the .22 Mag cylinder was scary accurate- more so that the .22LR cylinder. Why that would be positively escapes me. Other samples of .22mag handguns I've had have been so-so to less than stellar.

    In rifles my .22LRs have always been more accurate. Again- no idea as to why that would be and it may be particular to the individual rifles I've owned but IMHO .22mags are less intrinsically accurate than .22LRs.
    I believe all cylinder conversion guns should be more accurate with the 22mag versus the 22lr, fact is that the bullet is closer to the rifling in the 22 mag. Probably why 22 shorts, shot from a rifle that shoots 22 short, longs and long rifle, will not be real accurate as the bullet has too long of a jump to the rifling. Just an opinion of course but usually the same reasoning for controlling the OAL on centerfire cartridges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markopolo50 View Post
    I believe all cylinder conversion guns should be more accurate with the 22mag versus the 22lr, fact is that the bullet is closer to the rifling in the 22 mag. Probably why 22 shorts, shot from a rifle that shoots 22 short, longs and long rifle, will not be real accurate as the bullet has too long of a jump to the rifling. Just an opinion of course but usually the same reasoning for controlling the OAL on centerfire cartridges.
    I think Sir; that you just nailed it. I should have thought of that, but I did not. That explains to my satisfaction why in the exact same M-17 with the exact same cylinder the Magnums are more accurate. This is the value for forums. Thanks Again, rep point sent.

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    If I had it to do over, I would only ream out (5) five of the cylinders to .22 Magnum, and leave one as a .22 Long Rifle chamber. This project was one of many to create an accurate "Survival" handgun, with small & light cartridges. I have one more S&W model 17 that is on consignment at WWG, I might start over on this project.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I think a lot depends on if the barrel is bored for the mag or lr round.My old Ruger single six is bored for the lr and I fit a mag cylinder to it and its very accurate
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    I think a lot depends on if the barrel is bored for the mag or lr round.My old Ruger single six is bored for the lr and I fit a mag cylinder to it and its very accurate
    Also if I recall correctly a .22WMRF is slightly bigger than a .22LR due to the difference in bullet designs- its not much difference but it would make a tighter fit to the rifling. I want to think the bullet diameter of the .22WMRF is .224 and the LR is .222.

  13. #13

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    Sidebar: I have had good luck shooting 22 WRF in the Marlins 22WMR, seem to shoot better at 50 and 100 yds. They did not want to feed from a tube feed M25M though. Lead flat point bullet of the 22WRF works good on rabbits too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allen-ak View Post
    Sidebar: I have had good luck shooting 22 WRF in the Marlins 22WMR, seem to shoot better at 50 and 100 yds. They did not want to feed from a tube feed M25M though. Lead flat point bullet of the 22WRF works good on rabbits too.
    That was my solution for using my 22 mags to hunt snowshoe hare. Really nice round for the job without the usual blood shot from the mags. Then they quit making it. Ratz! I heard a brief run was made a few years back, but at higher than mag prices. I never unlimbered the checkbook to do anything about it though.

    Anyone making it again today that you know of? My Anschutz would get real busy again if so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    My Anschutz would get real busy again if so.
    Which Anschutz do you own........? I think I have a Model 15-16 (Not sure).

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    I would think you would be lucky to get even halfway good accuracy shooting 22lrs in a 22mag cyl as they would be very loose in the chamber and throat.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    I would think you would be lucky to get even halfway good accuracy shooting 22lrs in a 22mag cyl as they would be very loose in the chamber and throat.
    Why would they be loose in the throat........? It was a .22 LR and only the cylinders were opened to .22 Magnum.......????

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Which Anschutz do you own........? I think I have a Model 15-16 (Not sure).
    It's a 1522D Custom I got way back when. IIRC I paid right at $700 for it back when that was REAL money for a 22. It's a dandy, and all this talk has inspired me to dig it out of the back of the safe and give it a workout with the new ammo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Why would they be loose in the throat........? It was a .22 LR and only the cylinders were opened to .22 Magnum.......????
    The 22 Mag. is a beeger cartridge than the 22 LR. A 22 LR would fit LOOSELY in a 22 Mag chamber, and should NOT be fired in one. The case might very well rupture.

    The accuracy would seem to be IFFY, too.

    It's OK, to use a 22 LR cylinder in a revolver with a 22 Mag. barrel, but not vice versa.

    When Ruger came out with the Convertible 22 Mag./22 LR Single Sixes, it was the 22 Mag. dimensioned barrel they used.

    You could buy a 22 LR cylinder for a 22 Mag, but they wouldn’t do a 22 Mag. cylinder for a 22 LR Single Six.

    IIRC, the 22 Mag barrel is larger and the bullet is a tiny bit smaller & harder plated, than the 22 LR, but since the 22 LR bullets are softer, they work fine in the Slightly larger 22 Mag. barrels.

    I dunno the exact barrel diameters for the 22 Mags, or the 22 LR.

    The 22 LR bullet is listed to be .223, and the 22 Mag, .224, although IIRC, back then, it was SMALLer, according to the American Rifleman, back when they produced good firearm information, rather than just pictures of themselves.

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    [QUOTE=Smitty of the North;968662]The 22 Mag. is a beeger cartridge than the 22 LR. A 22 LR would fit LOOSELY in a 22 Mag chamber, and should NOT be fired in one. The case might very well rupture.

    The accuracy would seem to be IFFY, too.
    Smitty of the North[/QUOTE


    I hear this all the time............And yet I have fired over 300 maybe 400 rounds of .22 LR ammo through the Magnum cylinders on the reamed out S&W Model 17 with a 8 3/8" barrel. Groups are about 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" fr six shots at 21 yards. Groups are only slightly better shooting Magnum ammo at the same range. Note: this is with the target sights & target trigger. Again the goal was a versatile "Survival" firearm. I am happy with how the project truned out. I might end-up putting a 2.5X fixed Leupold rifle scope on it.

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