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Old February 8, 2011, 11:24 PM   #1
Lokpyrite
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22LR vs 22mag

Hi folks, could anyone tell me the difference in terminal effects between 22 mag and 22lr when fired from a 6" barrel? I have a revolver with interchangeable cylinders and was wondering if there was enough difference to make up for the cost difference.
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Old February 8, 2011, 11:41 PM   #2
DMZX
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From a 6.5" barrel

CCI Stinger (32gr) 1485 fps 145 ft/lbs muzzle

Rem WMR (33gr) 1400 fps 144 ft/lbs muzzle

Source: http://www.handgunsmag.com/ballistics/ballistic-tables/

The .22 WMR was developed to be fired from a rifle.
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Old February 9, 2011, 12:30 AM   #3
Action_Can_Do
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According to that site, those CCI stingers are going a lot faster than the standard 22lr load through a handgun. The 22 mags seem to average 200-400 feet per second faster. That's an appreciable difference.
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Old February 9, 2011, 01:46 AM   #4
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I guess it depends on what you want to shoot with them. Plinking and small animals at short ranges, 22lr all day. If you are pushing the limits on range or animal size, then it is worth the extra cost. The range and animal size are really for you to decide. As far as I am concerned, the 22 magnum doesn't have a whole lot to offer over the 22lr.
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Old February 9, 2011, 02:32 AM   #5
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hold on now

I have shot a 6.5 inch Ruger Single-6 for 8-9 years now and installed the .22 mag cylinder simply to experiment. Since then I have dispatched a variety of pests. I feel very comfortable in saying that the .22 mag HP's (Win) are better killers on the likes of armadillo's, feral cats, rats, etc, than a std .22lr high velocity HP.

I have NOT tried the "ultra high velocity HP's like the "stinger and yellow jacket" from the revolver, and do not have a chrono to determine actual velocity. I did buy a box of the plastic tip/light bullet .22mags, but could not get the sights adjusted elevation wise (they shot to low) to bring the slug up to point of aim at 15yds.

I would think the velocity issue would be very varied, gun to gun, especially in revolvers, due to variations in barrel cylinder gap.

As a plinker, the .22 mag is a no no. Ammo cost is not worth it. But I am sure it is a better performer on pests.
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Old February 9, 2011, 02:39 AM   #6
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Yes, ofcourse I'm gonna use LR for plinking and stuff like that, I meant for when I get home and put it in the dresser or whatever.
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Old February 9, 2011, 04:35 AM   #7
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The .22 mag isn't a great defensive round. But it is a bit better than a .22 LR. And much better than nothing at all. The cost is worthwhile if you need the extra power.
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Old February 9, 2011, 04:43 AM   #8
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To be very honest, if the comparison is to be truly fair, there are some qualifiers that should be considered before making a decision of "which is best".

Yes, the .22 mag generally has more velocity than the .22 LR, but does it make it "better"?

First, what does velocity get you? Deeper penetration? Depends. More expansion? Again, it depends. More range? Maybe. I've shot many an unlucky coyote through it's broadside chest with a ~4" Colt Woodsman loaded with mini-mags. I can't remember a single time I did this that the bullet didn't pass completely through the coyote, and go into the dirt on the far side. The coyote is invariably dead within a couple of seconds.

Would the .22 mag do this any better? Nope. Dead is dead. What the maggie will give you, depending on the load and what bullet is used, is better expansion, and maybe better penetration at longer ranges. I say "maybe better penetration at longer ranges" because velocity causes expansion, and expansion decreases penetration. When the bullet slows a bit, you might get better penetration when compared to the .22 LR at the same range...depending on bullet weight, velocity, and construction.

In a lifetime of shooting and studying the affects of various bullets, cartridges, and loads, I've learned that their is truly no such thing as one being better when comparing cartridges. There is only "what cartridge and load will work best for this application".

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Old February 9, 2011, 07:16 AM   #9
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Hey, let us compare best vs best, not best vs worst. From the same table:

CCI Stinger (32gr) 1485 fps 145 ft/lbs muzzle
22 Win. Mag. RF (RWS) 40gr HP 1410fps 177 ft/lb at the muzzle.

That is a solid 25% more energy in the WMRF, with a jacketed bullet to boot. If it's worth your while, extra money, muzzle blast, etc., that is a personal choice.
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Old February 9, 2011, 07:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Yes, ofcourse I'm gonna use LR for plinking and stuff like that, I meant for when I get home and put it in the dresser or whatever.
why??? you would be far better off killing an intruder rather than letting him live to kill you and/or your family, or sue you for "traumatizing" him
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Old February 9, 2011, 08:18 AM   #11
micromontenegro
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From a defense standpoint, I'd pick the WMRF over the LR if given the choice, if only to get rid of the heeled bullets.
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Old February 9, 2011, 08:26 AM   #12
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From a SD standpoint, yes, it would be worth the difference. A .22lr, while deadly, is still a marginal SD round and while a .22 mag isn't exactly over powering either, it is a better choice than a .22lr.
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Old February 9, 2011, 08:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
That is a solid 25% more energy in the WMRF, with a jacketed bullet to boot. If it's worth your while, extra money, muzzle blast, etc., that is a personal choice.
Actually, it's not. It's not hardly 25% at all. If your going to compare this stuff, do it accurately.

Quote:
Hey, let us compare best vs best, not best vs worst. From the same table:
That false claim is just like comparing the best to the worst, it's still inaccurate and misleading.

Your looking at around 18% more energy, a far cry from a "solid" 25%
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Old February 9, 2011, 08:33 AM   #14
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The 22mag feels ,well like a magnum over the 22lr. Big plus on barrel lenght and just plain fun to shoot.
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Old February 9, 2011, 08:35 AM   #15
Paul105
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Here are some actual chronograph results

Freedom Arms M97 5 1/2"
55-60 Deg F
Muzzle 5 Paces from Chrono


.22 Magnum

CCI 30gr TNT HP ………… 1,648 fps
CCI 40gr JHP ………… 1,405 fps
Rem 40gr PSP ………… 1,498 fps
Win 45gr DynaPoint ………… 1,263 fps

.22 Long Rifle

CCI 32gr Stinger HP ………… 1,298 fps
Fed 38gr American Eagle HP ………… 1,058 fps
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Old February 9, 2011, 08:41 AM   #16
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As the others have said if you are pushing the envelope and need maximum power from the gun for some reason say as in a sd situation or something then the answer is yes. The extra cost is worth it. But for target shooting or small varmit hunting then the answer is no. Not with the extra cost or noise level that comes along with the mag shell. Yes the .22 mag is VERY loud when fired from a pistol barrel!
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Old February 9, 2011, 08:45 AM   #17
micromontenegro
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Yeah, lets see: if 145 ft/lb (Stinger) is 100% of .22LR energy, then 177 ft/lb (WMRF energy) is X. X equals 100*177/145= 122

So the WMFR has 122% of the Stinger energy, or 22% more. Sorry I stiffed you 3% in my previous estimate!

You could probably use your own advice about accurate comparisons. Picking two random loadings for a single chart hardly qualifies.
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Old February 9, 2011, 09:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Hey, let us compare best vs best, not best vs worst. From the same table:

CCI Stinger (32gr) 1485 fps 145 ft/lbs muzzle
22 Win. Mag. RF (RWS) 40gr HP 1410fps 177 ft/lb at the muzzle.

That is a solid 25% more energy in the WMRF, with a jacketed bullet to boot. If it's worth your while, extra money, muzzle blast, etc., that is a personal choice.
One other factor: Don't pay much attention to how fast the Stingers, etc come out of a 22lr barrel. They shoot like crap and shouldn't even be considered. I've shots countless woodchucks, fox, etc. with both guns and the terminal results are dramatically different. The 22mag is head and shoulders over the 22lr.
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Old February 9, 2011, 10:19 AM   #19
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These figures all seem low for the 22Mag. The 22Mag is not a little more powerful than the 22LR, it is 2 to 3x more powerful.
My numbers reflect using a rifle but should scale down to a pistol. Unless the revolvers lose a lot more energy from the magnum then they do from the LR (and maybe they just do). The magnum cartridge is almost 2x more powerful though.

Typical 22LR is 1255fps with 140lbs of force at the barrel (Wildcats, Blazer, ect.)

The touted Stinger comes in at 1640fps and 191 lbs with a little 32gr bullet.

In my opinion the 'best' 22LR out there is the Velocitor at 1435fps and 183lbs of force but with a 40gr bullet.

A typical 22WMR is going to punch at 1550fps and 240lbs of force with 45gr, way past the stinger.

A good 22WMR (like the Winchester Super-X 40gr) is going to land at 1910fps and 324lbs of force, close to that of a 9mm and 3x that of the 22LR (4x the lower power stuff). These are my favorite to shoot. :-)

The top 22WMR in my spreadsheet comes in at 2120fps and 338 lbs of force, this is close to double that of the Stinger.

Moreover the energy is important but also important is the mass of the bullet as a heavier bullet will deliver it's energy better. For defense I wouldn't even think of stepping down to the 22LR. I'd use the Federal GameShock with a 50gr JHP or the Super-X with a 40gr partial metal jacket. For plinking, Winchester 22Mag Dynapoints cause the 22 Magnum is just way more fun to shoot!
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Last edited by pgdion; February 9, 2011 at 01:06 PM.
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Old February 9, 2011, 12:56 PM   #20
XD Gunner
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Quote:
Yeah, lets see: if 145 ft/lb (Stinger) is 100% of .22LR energy, then 177 ft/lb (WMRF energy) is X. X equals 100*177/145= 122

So the WMFR has 122% of the Stinger energy, or 22% more. Sorry I stiffed you 3% in my previous estimate!

You could probably use your own advice about accurate comparisons. Picking two random loadings for a single chart hardly qualifies.
Yeah, foot in mouth on that one, my math was a bit off, still no 25% though. Not my comparisons though, hoss. Best method would be to take averages of the loading and compare across the board. How much more energy does the average off all popular loadings of .22WMRF have over the .22LR. I still don't think it's going to be a "solid" 25% though.
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Old February 9, 2011, 01:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
These figures all seem low for the 22Mag. The 22Mag is not a little more powerful than the 22LR, it is 2 to 3x more powerful.
My numbers reflect using a rifle but should scale down to a pistol. Unless the revolvers lose a lot more energy from the magnum then they do from the LR (and maybe they just do). The magnum cartridge is almost 2x more powerful though.

Typical 22LR is 1255fps with 140lbs of force at the barrel (Wildcats, Blazer, ect.)

The touted Stinger comes in at 1640fps and 191 lbs with a little 32gr bullet.

In my opinion the 'best' 22LR out there is the Velocitor at 1435fps and 183lbs of force but with a 40gr bullet.

A typical 22WMR is going to punch at 1550fps and 240lbs of force with 45gr, way past the stinger.

A good 22WMR (like the Winchester Super-X 40gr) is going to land at 1910fps and 324lbs of force, close to that of a 9mm and 3x that of the 22LR (4x the lower power stuff). These are my favorite to shoot. :-)

The top 22WMR in my spreadsheet comes in at 2120fps and 338 lbs of force, this is close to double that of the Stinger.

Moreover the energy is important but also important is the mass of the bullet as a heavier bullet will deliver it's energy better. For defense I wouldn't even think of stepping down to the 22LR. I'd use the Federal GameShock with a 50gr JHP or the Super-X with a 40gr partial metal jacket. For plinking, Winchester 22M
ag Dynapoints cause the 22 Magnum is just way more fun to shoot!
I just love it when someone quotes rifle numbers on a handgun thread/question. Not even good numbers at that. Typical .22M at 1550 fps? ***.

For hunting and plinkin the .22LR handsdown. But if you're thinkin SD than take advantage of everything you can and use the .22M. Not perfect but better than a sharp stick.

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Old February 9, 2011, 07:56 PM   #22
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The stinger is the magnum of .22LR cartridges.



But it cannot compare, in any way, to the 22 WMag.
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Old February 11, 2011, 08:15 AM   #23
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This discussion illustrates exactly why I bought my Single Six in the 9.5" barrel. I wanted a .22 squirrel/rabbit/groundhog gun that would take maximum advantage of the ammo I put through it. It's not a tack driver like my semi auto target pistols, but a head shot at 25 yards is no problem. It likes CCI Maxi-Mag 40gr hp's, and the Mini-Mag 40gr rn's in the .22 cyl. Surprisingly, it shoots the Remington Viper hyper velocity .22 very well also, but I haven't seen this since I bought a value pack of 5 boxes with a free knife for $10.
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Old February 12, 2011, 04:23 AM   #24
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Didn't know the can of worms I was going to be opening there. I have plenty of guns to choose from for a home defense situation and the 22 would be the last of them. I was just wondering how much better a 22 mag would be then the LR, sorry but writing was never one of my best subjects.
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Old February 13, 2011, 10:40 AM   #25
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The number that matters the most here is penetration versus what you intend to shoot. Although their velocity is impressive, when shot out of a 6" barrel Stingers may expand and/or fragment, which while absolutely and often visibly devastating against small varmints, results in inadequate penetration against larger targets such as humans. It should also be noted that some .22 LR ammo may counterintuitively be more effective against large creatures when shot out of handguns as opposed to rifles, and this includes the Stinger. However, ordinary, run-of-the-mill solid .22 LR ammo is more effective out of rifles, of course. If one is inclined to use .22 LR for defensive purposes against humans, then the CCI Velocitor is a superior choice because it should give adequate penetration when shot out of either handguns (since it will not expand) or rifles (along with expansion)--not many .22 LR cartridges will do this.

As for the terminal effects of .22 LR versus .22 Magnum, obviously the latter has a lot more velocity and energy potential, but much of that is wasted with shorter barrel lengths. I don't have many numbers regarding penetration available--mostly from the Brass Fetcher website at other barrel lengths--but it's probably fair to say that .22 Magnum rounds out of a 2" barrel are more or less equivalent to hot .22 LR rounds out of a 3-4" barrel, and both should penetrate deeply enough (14-15" with no expansion) to kill bad guys. Out of a 6" barrel, .22 Magnum may be slightly more effective depending on whether and how much the bullets expand (too much can result in poor penetration), but most of the extra energy will go into a surprisingly (if you've never seen it before) powerful blast & flash rather than wounding the target.
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