Ballistics comparison .32 vs .22 mag


September 10, 2004, 05:05 PM
Don't know where on the forum to ask this question. Retiring my Kel-Tec .32 for a more dependable if not as hi tech NAA Black Widow in .22 mag. Would like to know what I am gaining or losing in ballistics. Carried FMJ in the .32 The .22 mag is a 2" barrel, will probably go with a 40 grain solid. Feel about as confident in HP expansion with either handgun. Not my regular carry piece but often enough to feel concern. I can find .22mag from a rifle (not the same animal) @324 muzzle energy and .32 from 4" @166 ft lbs. Still no help. Thanks for any information.---Tom Soutter

If you enjoyed reading about "Ballistics comparison .32 vs .22 mag" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 10, 2004, 06:00 PM
If it was me I would have kept the 32(IF IT WAS DEPENDABLE)I belive all your going to get is more noise and flash. Try fireing at night and you will see what I mean. Also see which if faster in to action and follow up shots. I think I would have found another brand 32 or maybe a 380. Rember a 22 Mag was a rifle round first then a pistol it needs a few inches to get going. Thats my .02 worth, Iam sure some will disagree.

September 10, 2004, 06:21 PM
Michael T: Right you are. (rifle round) I revised my question to reflect that very point. I have not night tested the NAA but it is pretty easy to handle, points well and I have no confidence in the Kel-Tec. All the other points you make are also true. Plus, nothing carries better in a front pocket. But:I never know when it is just going to quit. I have had a NAA .32. Don't want another. I would guess that some .22mag ammo is better suited for short barrels but I would like a few facts. Thanks for your reply. ---Tom

September 10, 2004, 06:49 PM
The velocities can be found at the below link:

Scroll down the links are near the bottom of the above web page.

September 10, 2004, 07:11 PM
I appreciate that!!---Tom

Jim March
September 11, 2004, 05:22 AM
The VERY BEST 22Maggies perform well out of short tubes. The CCI MaxiMag+V and +V/TNT are far and away the hottest - go +V if you believe in a deeper punch, +V/TNT if you want expansion. Either should pull 1200fps from a 2" barrel putting them well into 32ACP raw energy numbers.

September 11, 2004, 08:41 AM
Found NAAs own ballistics and you are right. If I read the CCI +V info right, it is even higher than the .32. Will probably try that and the super slow 50 grain that is just below the .32. (New motto:--5 for sure)--Thanks again.---Tom

Jim March
September 11, 2004, 10:45 AM
Winchester has a 33grain "Supreme" that looks good on paper...but across three guns, I've found their ignition to be a bit iffy.

CCIs on the other hand...their rimfires, esp. the Magnums, are as reliable as anybody else's centerfire in my experience (again, with three guns including one just like yours (4" barrel version of "Black Widow", the "MiniMaster").

September 11, 2004, 11:22 AM
I've already commented on the penetration issue over at your thread on the S&W forum.

September 11, 2004, 02:36 PM
I definately believe that reliability and carryability are the two top issues. If the KelTec was not reliable or if (impossible to believe) it was too heavy or too large, then I support a change for sure.

The problem with the 22 Mag is it seems to me, out of rifle length barrels, the is very likely to be too much penetration or too rapid expansion and not enough penetration. Not sure what all changes going to shorter barrels and I've never used the TNTs either.

I just think that overall, I'd have more faith in, say, a Gold Dot 32ACP than most 22 Mags more because of bullet design than anything else.

September 11, 2004, 03:05 PM
This is all rather spooky! I went back and forth on whether to get a Kel Tec 3AT or a Black Widow 22 mag. I bought the Kel Tec and I was glad I did at first. Now my Kel Tec has self destructed after about 300 to 400 rounds. So I am now giving strong consideration to the Black Widow 22 mag yet again.

September 11, 2004, 03:28 PM
Ibmii-- Black Widow won't be a .380 equal for sure but much better than a broken gun or a sharp stick. :D Sent you an off line email.---Tom

Jim March
September 11, 2004, 05:11 PM
A 30grain JHP @ 1,200fps is a wash in terms of energy output with a 60grain 32ACP @ 850fps.

See also this handy bullet energy table at:

Now, what performance do we really get out of a small 32ACP?

NAA's data is considered quite reliable; independent tests I've seen reports on clock the same rounds out of the same gun at the same speeds often enough that I believe them. Therefore this data is useful:

You just need to know that "Black Widow" is the NAA 2" barrel model, MiniMaster is the 4".

Turns out CCIs clock 1300 from a 2". Cool.


What does it mean for wounding?

The same power in a smaller bore can help penetration, but dropping the weight hinders it. Probably about a wash; both have enough power (with their best respective loads) to penetrate skull reliably on a "nose shot", something which can't always be said of 25ACPs or 22LR from "mousegun barrel lengths". As a result, I don't recommend 22LR as a defensive round until you hit the 4" or 5" barrel class; something like a Ruger Mark 2 or better yet the Browning Buckmark can make sense as a home defense gun for those with VERY weak or arthritic wrists.

With the CCI +V family of 22Maggies, you can choose deeper punch (original +V formula) or "more likely to expand" (+V/TNT with more aggressive hollowpoint). From a 2" or shorter barrel I like the originals. From a 4" I reach for the +V/TNT.

At longer range, any mousegun is a crapshoot but the Black Widow/MiniMaster family are known for *serious* accuracy for such little beasties. The barrel is machined at the same time and out of the same metal as the frame; there's no "junction" that can be mis-aligned or something. My MiniMaster can do 4" groups at 25 yards no problem (with CCI +V magnums), and the BWs aren't significantly worse.

If you enjoyed reading about "Ballistics comparison .32 vs .22 mag" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!