Best .22 Mag Revolver?


March 1, 2007, 10:07 AM
My mother has a rare spinal cord condition along with complications from failed back surgery that makes it extremely difficult (read: impossible) to lift anything above 5 or so pounds, and impossible for her to hold even 3 pounds out in front of her for any period of time beyond 10 or 15 seconds before the pain becomes too bad for her to continue. She is at home all day long every day and i work long hours, we live in a rural area and i am worried for her safety while i am at work. We've got motion lights all over, good doorlocks on all the doors, but the house has a billion windows and i'm not relying on them to stop someone. My biggest worry is that a would-be thief would case the house and assume that her car is my 'extra' car because it never moves, come to burglarize the home while i am gone and be surprised by someone in the house...never know what a criminal is going to do at that point.

Anyway, there's the long story - the point is here: I want to buy her a .22 mag handgun for home defense as the recoil is very manageable, and i've seen some light offerings in this calibre with some decent capacity. I want to get her a revolver so she does not have to train to deal with misfires, failure to feed/eject etc. that a semiauto would bring. I've been eyeing the S&W 351PD. Does anyone else have some input?
It would be nice to be able to swap cylinders so she could practice out back of our property with .22 short colibri rounds, then load it with magnums when it's with her.

My logic behind the .22 magnum is that (a) it's as loud as a .357 (b) large muzzle flash (c) low recoil (d) high capacity in a revolver. I think having the illusion of a 'large calibre' being fired at them is a good thing.... and from my experience with my model 642 and 9mm model 659, she would be unable to handle 9mm or .38spl. Any suggestions on alternate revolver caliber's that would be reasonable SD rounds with low recoil would be much appreciate.

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March 1, 2007, 10:11 AM
How about the .32 mag? I know Taurus makes one.

March 1, 2007, 11:56 AM
I'm sorry to hear your Mom is in so much pain. I can empathize with her.

For some reason the .22 Mag is a very loud round. It seems to have a high pitch and itís very hard on the ears. May I suggest a .32 cal pistol... The normal .32 round (7.65 Browning) isnít as loud and has a softer kick than you would expect. IMO, itís a very good SD round and has been used by the Police in Europe since the end of WWI. (I think it was the end of WWI) Iím not sure if you can fire the .32 Auto out of a .32 Mag revolver but if you can then that Taurus mentioned above would probably be perfect. Even if it won't fire .32 Auto rounds that revolver is ported so it might have a light enough recoil for your Mom to shoot comfortably. The .32 Mag is a very formidable round which has the same power as a .38 Sp only in a slightly smaller bullet.

If the trigger is too hard for her to pull you can always switch out the stock springs with a Wolf Spring Kit.

March 2, 2007, 11:18 PM
Keep in mind most new .22 DA revolvers have very hard trigger pulls. Your mother may not be able to pull the trigger.


March 2, 2007, 11:21 PM
Thanks for your input guys. I went by the local (horrifically overpriced) gun store today and took a look at a few revolvers. While my mother does have some issues with grip, she is able to pull the trigger successfully on my S&W model 642 though it does take considerable effort. I had not considered that - thanks for the wake-up post...perhaps i'll need to have a trigger job done on the gun that i decide on. I asked the guys at the gun store about the .32 Magnum H&R and was told that the Taurus 941 (they actually had one in stock, for ~430$+7.5% sales tax...) would have recoil equivalent to my .38SPL model 642 which i think is too stiff....i asked them specifically if it really kicked as hard or if it was more of a perception of recoil due to muzzle blast, and he seemed pretty set on the 32mag simply having as much recoil as the .38spl. I looked at .25ACP but i was very unimpressed with the round in a general sense...seems like it's neither fast enough nor heavy enough to do anything out of a reasonably small pistol. I inquired about the standard .32cal and was told that 'nobody makes them anymore' and 'it's impossible to find ammunition for it' -- any input on that? I told him i had heard that it was a popular round in some circles (pulling from your information on police in europe using it, ArchAngel) but he was set on it as being a round that is impossible to find. I think a .22mag with a cylinder for .22LR would be perfect - i just learned about .22 colibri rounds (no powder charge!) and it sounds like she would be able to practice with those on our property without irritating the neighbours (we're on ~7acres in the country, i don't think a colibri round's report would travel that far at any kind of volume...) but then swap the cylinder out with some .22 magnums for keeping it around the house. Problem is, the only revolver's i've seen with this featureset are single action only ruger single 6's...:(

I got to hold a s&w model 17 today....i wish they sold THAT gun in .22mag with a .22LR cylinder! It reminds me of my 642 in every way that is good :)...just in ;) The guy at the gun store said that no revolver that is DA/SA could be made with swappable cylinders. Why is that?

March 3, 2007, 01:53 AM
I haven't done any research on .32 ACP Revolvers so I don't know if they are available but the ammo isn't hard to get. It may be hard to find in local stores but there isn't a problem online. I just ordered 500 rounds of 73 gr Fiocchi FMJ for $9.77 a box. I usually buy S&B or PMC for $7.95 a box but they are out of stock at the moment. It happens sometimes but they restock fairly quickly.

Here is something on the .32 Auto that will probably interest you:

March 3, 2007, 10:35 AM
Smith & Wesson made the Model 48 (K-22 MRF Masterpeice)which came in 4, 6, and 8 3/8" barrrels. This might be a good choice in 4" if you can find one. I believe a 22LR cylinder was available for it too. Very uncommon gun.

A friend had a 6" Smith revolver that he bought new in the late 1970's that came with both the 22LR and 22WMR cylinders. At the time, I never paid much attention to model numbers and always thought it was a K-22 which is not correct. I believe it was a Model 48 now in hindsight.

March 3, 2007, 10:43 AM
+1 for the model 48 in 4-inch--if you can find one. Bought one in 1970 in 8 3/8. Wish I hadn't sold it. Great trigger. In the shorter barrel, the weight should be manageable, too.

March 3, 2007, 11:00 AM
You were correct in thinking that Model 48 was a K-22, it is, just in magnum form.

March 3, 2007, 11:15 AM
I realized this is far from what you asked but what about this? Walther P22:

A .22LR is not my first choice for SD but it's better than nothing.
This gun is light, has adjustable backstraps that might help her find the right grip, no recoil, is fairly cheap, and if she cannot handle the DA on the first round she might be able to cock the hammer and fire 'em all in SA.
Just another option to consider...
I've heard that they are finicky with ammo so if you decide to go that route make sure that you test it intensively first...

Seven For Sure
March 3, 2007, 12:26 PM
S&W 351PD. Don't let the price on the website scare you. I picked mine up from the gun shop for $460. It's a great gun for a person with your mom's needs. I keep 50 gr. HP's in mine and it will do the job.

March 3, 2007, 02:11 PM
What about getting her some pepper spray with the UV dye?

March 3, 2007, 03:08 PM
While my mother does have some issues with grip, she is able to pull the trigger successfully on my S&W model 642 though it does take considerable effort. I had not considered that--thanks for the wake-up post...perhaps i'll need to have a trigger job done on the gun that i decide on.
Also keep in mind that if your mother is able to do something now, she may not be able to do it in the future due to her health or age.

Another problem with rimfires is that they don't always ignite. This is largely due to the fact that the manufacturing process is so much cheaper than centerfire ammunition. It's rare, but any range usually has a large collection of "dead" .22s.

For your mom, I would recommend a nice S&W 19/66 or Ruger Security- or Speed-Six with a short barrel and .38 Spc Glaser Silver Safety Slugs. These guns offer light weight with outstanding actions and pointability.

With a pair of round butt Pachmayr grips, this gun would
be a great choice for home defense.

March 3, 2007, 11:43 PM
I'm aware of the reliability issues with rimfire ammunition, which is why i don't want to give her a semiauto for the task... a .38spl's recoil from 'a short barrel' is too stiff for her, the gun torques out of her hand and the jolt hurts her back. I've got a model 642 that she's tried.. Pepper spray is an idea, but she would likely get caught by some of it and it requires allowing the attacker to close with her to contact distance - with her strength as it is, allowing someone to close to contact distance is not a good idea.

March 4, 2007, 02:24 AM
Maybe something like this:

would be good for your mom. The same thing is available with a 2" barrel, but I can tell you from personal experience, that the muzzle blast and noise from a .22 Magnum snubby is pretty intense.

There are plenty of .38Spl snubbies available and with semi-wadcutters, one of those might be better for her.

Nomad, 2nd
March 4, 2007, 02:46 AM
I would not listen to the 'Gunstore' people on the recoil of the .32. I have not shot one, but I KNOW that quite a few people who cannot handle a 38 special use them.
Also there are different loads avalable. (Lighter...)

Do not have a J frame's trigger worked on. there's not enough 'meat' to the hammer to have it lightened (Unless you are GOOD/$$$) to have the trigger lightened and still have reliable primer ignition.

March 4, 2007, 09:28 PM
....a .38spl's recoil from 'a short barrel' is too stiff for her, the gun torques out of her hand and the jolt hurts her back.
The medium frame size, combined with a light, 80gr frangible bullet like the Glaser, is a very, very light load. If your mother had a rubber, round butt grip on a small, beautiful little snub-nosed revolver like the Smith 19/66//Ruger Security-Six, it shouldn't buck any more than a .22 mag. Plus the Glaser is said to be a formidible self defense round.

Any rimfire revolver is going to require a longer barrel to handle the power of the .22 mag, and it's going to have a stiff trigger pull to put a dent in the rim. That's just the way things are.

The .22 mag just doesn't show any real power until it hits about six inches in a barrel, and even then it would prefer a rifle. That's why I bought a 6.5-inch Single-Six rather than one with a shorter tube. The .38 Spc with a very light non+P bullet should almost feel like a blank.

Has anyone shot a Glaser?

March 4, 2007, 10:34 PM
I'll pick up some glaser safety slugs and see how they feel - thanks for the input, it's invaluable.

March 6, 2007, 07:17 PM
My dad just picked up a model 48 that he found at the local sporting goods shop. It has the 4" barrel. Does anyone know what they are worth?

Needless to say, it's a great looking gun in almost new condition. I look forward to putting some 22 mag through it.

March 6, 2007, 07:28 PM
It's a fine model, the 48, and not all that easy to find. Had one in 8 3/8 a long time ago, and it was a terrific shooter.

SCSW (3rd ed) lists the 48 ANIB for $450; excellent, $350. Four-screw versions are worth more.

Post some pix when you can!

March 6, 2007, 10:56 PM
The medium frame size, combined with a light, 80gr frangible bullet like the Glaser, is a very, very light load. If your mother had a rubber, round butt grip on a small, beautiful little snub-nosed revolver like the Smith 19/66//Ruger Security-Six, it shouldn't buck any more than a .22 mag. Plus the Glaser is said to be a formidible self defense round.

Any rimfire revolver is going to require a longer barrel to handle the power of the .22 mag, and it's going to have a stiff trigger pull to put a dent in the rim. That's just the way things are.

The .22 mag just doesn't show any real power until it hits about six inches in a barrel, and even then it would prefer a rifle. That's why I bought a 6.5-inch Single-Six rather than one with a shorter tube. The .38 Spc with a very light non+P bullet should almost feel like a blank.

Has anyone shot a Glaser?

With all due respect, I have shot Glaser and they are no way light in the recoil department. They are actually pushing +P power so that the bullet fragments. I have shot .38 standard ammo and Glasers and the recoil is a little heavier with Glaser. Federal actually makes a Low Recoil version of the Hydra shoks that you can try, but honestly, if you mom is that bad, I would start with some real light target or cowboy action ammo, or skip the .38 all together. The only way your going to reduce recoil is to get a heavy gun, and that is going to cause problems. The .22 Magnum is real loud out of a short barrel, but if you get a 4 or 5 incher it should reduce the sound and increase the preformance. I like the .32 Magnum option. The word on the net is that it has 80% of the power of a standard .38 with 50% of the recoil. If she finds herself not liking the recoil of the .32 mag, you can drop down to a .32 S&W long ( see the thread I started comparing the blast and recoil of a .22lr and a .32 S&W long) As others have said .32 revolver ammo is hard to find, but available online if your local shop does not carry it.

I'm in the same boat. I promised to teach an eldery widow neighbor how to shoot a revolver and help her pick out a gun. She did fine with a 3" S&W .22lr revolver, but I wish I could recommend something with more ommph.

Here is an article on gun selection of eldery and handicap;

March 6, 2007, 11:35 PM
Okay, some will laugh, others might flame me but I think this might work well for your mom:

It's a 17hmr. Now I know thats WAY underpowered for SD, BUT, it's super light gun, the recoil should be mild, and it does have 8 rounds so eliminates or at least reduces the risk of having to reload.

Despite the low power at near point blank range I believe this round might do more damage than we think and there are 8 rounds versus 6 or 5.

I know rimfire ammo isn't typically as reliable as centerfile but I believe with the constraints your up against, this would meet nearly all of your criteria.

The trigger can be lightened by a gun smith but it does have the hammer so it can be cocked first if necessary.

God Bless

March 7, 2007, 09:17 AM
Gideon...I'm not laughing, but I'm wondering if the Taurus 94 shooting .22lr CCI stinger would be better than a .17. I never shot a .17 handgun but I'm thinking that while .17 is a Fast little bullet giving decent penetration it will make a real small hole, great for small game, but not for humans. You might also run into the same problem as the .22 magnum, shooting rifle rounds out of a snub nose revolver is going to have a lot of flash and bang.

March 7, 2007, 04:21 PM
I have a S&W mod. 48 4" bbl. and a very
nice High-Standard MKIV revolver in 22 mag.
The High-Standard is nine shot.
If your interested contact me at.......

March 7, 2007, 10:57 PM
Like I said above, look for a .32 Auto revolver. The .32 Auto (7.65mm Browning) isn't as stout as the .38 Special and will be a much better SD round than the .22 Mag. If the .32 is still too hard for your mom to handle, which I have my doubts, you can have the barrel ported. I'm 99.99% sure it will not cause her any pain and it will be a much better SD gun than a .22 Mag. Six rounds of .32 Auto is no joke!

Like said above, the .22 Mag in a revolver gains very little power over a .22LR. It adds recoil and a lot more noise with very little gain.

March 9, 2007, 10:47 PM
An option that I haven't seen mentioned yet, given that a) you want a .22 maggie/LR revolver; b) you are worried about trigger pull; c) price is a factor; and d) recoil & weight must be manageable:

Go with a single action. Now stop laughing...I'm serious here.

It is what you want:
A) Either a Ruger or similar single action would offer the Mag/LR cylinder swap
B) Most SA .22s have a fairly light trigger pull.
C) On another revolver thread, is it Heritage Arms that is being mentioned for $120?
D) The SA revolver is one of the most natural pointers (ie point & shoot) guns ever made and in the .22 cal is fairly lightweight. While not as sexy as a Smith, it'll get the job done.

While it can be argued that a SA cannot be (re)loaded as quickly as a DA, I would assume you would keep this loaded in a handy yet safe place. The triple or quad click of a SA going into battery would stop any second-story man dead in his tracks. If those clicks are coupled with the roar of the .22 Maggie, he'll be looking for a clean set of shorts...assuming he gets out of the house with them still attached.

A 4" SA .22 Mag would fit the bill...and would be a LOT of fun to play with on a Saturday afternoon!!!

Skeeter Skelton frequently wore a SA while on duty as a cop. While he acknowedged that a DA may be better for a cop, there is nothing wrong with the SA for home defense. If you're worried about reloads, keep a few ammo stashes around the house. Have her practice the reload IMMEDIATELY after she shoots. One advantage that the Ruger has (albeit for 2x the price) is a reversing pawl, so you can reload a single round and then instead of having to cycle the cylinder all the way around for that live round to be under the firing pin, it can be backed up one spot and be ready to fire that extra, single shot.

Preacher Man

March 10, 2007, 11:57 PM
I would definitely encourage you to take a look at the 32 magnums. In spite of what you may have heard, the 32 magnum has nowhere near the recoil of even a standard pressure 38 special. My wife found the recoil of an airweight 38 objectionable, but has absolutely no trouble with an airweight 32 magnum. She now has three Smith & Wesson 431pd for her defensive needs. After spending a little time shooting hers, I liked the little buggers so good I bought myself a couple of 432pd (same gun only hammerless). I have not shot any of the taurus 32 magnums, but as they are heavier than the Smiths, they should be an even milder in recoil. I have turned no less than four other recoil sensitive shooters on to the 32 magnum with complete success, they all love it. I would definitely recommend finding one you could try out. If, however, you think even that might be too much, the 351pd is definitely not a bad option (I had one about a year ago). The only problem with the rimfire, is the trigger pull is definitely a little tougher, and if you lighten it much, misfires will occur. Just wanted to set the record straight on 32 magnum recoil, as I definitely have plenty of first hand experience with it to draw on. Federal 85gr hollowpoint 32 magnums have substantially less recoil than even a 110gr silvertip in a 38. If you can find a 32 mag to try out, I think you will like it.

March 11, 2007, 12:02 AM
Thanks very much for the input. I'm very tempted to go and pick up that taurus .32mag from the local gun shop...i learned that you can load the .32 mag with standard .32 s&w rounds too, further lessening the recoil, so there would be an alternative if the .32mag proved too harsh. I'll look very closely at the 431PD - i love my S&W's and am a bit apprehensive about jumping to Taurus -- creature of habit :)

March 11, 2007, 12:08 AM
If you have some time to look, the S&W 650 (a J-frame .22 Mag in stainless) is a sweet shooter with a decent trigger pull.
Here's a photo:

Mine ran $350 a year and a half ago.

Good luck with your mom.


March 11, 2007, 07:15 AM
.32 SWL is a real pussycat rond to shoot, and I would imagine that .32 Magnum's recoil wouldn't be much greater. Some .32 options are:
Taurus Ultralight (go to to read a review)
Ruger SP-101
Smith & Wesson 431, etc (now discontinued)
Charter Undercoverette

March 11, 2007, 10:38 AM
I would also like to add that if you reload or have access to someone that reloads, that for the price of a set of dies, you absolutely can not go wrong with a 32 magnum gun recoil wise. Yes, you can fire 32 S&W long in a 32 magnum. By handloading the 32 long, you can bring the recoil all the way down to 22 magnum levels. Speer bullets has load data and instructions on their website for loading their 60gr 32 acp Gold Dot HP bullet into the 32 long cartridge. This is a very mild recoiling combination on par with a 22 magnum.(22magnum-50 gr bullet@ 890 fps from a 2 inch barrel vs. 32 magnum-60 gr bullet@ 800 fps from a 2 inch barrel). So as you can see, recoil is about dead even between the two, with the added advantages of being able to lighten the main spring and trigger pull without so much worry about reliable primer ignition. I should also add that although the Smith 431pd has been discontinued, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a used one, and I am still finding new ones occasionally. I guess not too many people appreciate this guns usefullness. Hope this helps and let us know what you decide and how things turns out.

March 12, 2007, 06:03 PM
For those who like (or don't like) Ayoob, he has a fairly favorable article on the Taurus 2" .22 Mag. DA stinks, he says, but it's a good gun.

February 16, 2008, 09:24 PM
If you are still looking for a small nice 22 mag - I have a 651 S&W that I have been thinking of putting up for sale?? Here is one from GB to show you the price ranges today and a picture

February 17, 2008, 12:54 PM
I'll go out on a limb and suggest a 22 LR Ruger Bearcat. I've read they work well for folks with bad arithritis in their hands. Small - the issue is whether a person can work the hammer.

February 17, 2008, 04:28 PM
what about the s&w 317? Its not .22 mag but it might be good for her, very light weight.

February 18, 2008, 12:29 PM
Really tough trigger pull on the 317 for someone with compromised hand strength.

February 18, 2008, 11:11 PM
If i understand what you are wanting, a light gun with light recoil you might consider a S&W model 12 with a 4" barrel and some of the 125 gr Cowboy loads. The gun weighs about 24oz (alloy frame) and the light loads won't be any worse in recoil than a 32 mag with a LOT less blast. I see model 12s pretty regular on GB for aound 300-350 dollars.

The plus to a centerfire is the trigger pull can be lightened without as much chance of misfires. 22 mag cases are hard and need heavier trigger pulls for reliability

I have 4 32 mags, its my favorite round for a handgun. The blast from a full power round is LOUD. Excelent guns though.

February 10, 2009, 07:53 PM

Off topic...but you're a good son to take care of your mom. God Bless you both.

February 10, 2009, 09:03 PM
Aside from .22WMR, there's another option for the recoil sensitive. Why not a K-frame S&W in .38 S&W (shorts,) like a Victory gun? You get that nice S&W trigger and very little recoil.

If it must be a .22 magnum, how about one of these? It's an H&R 676 double action .22LR/.22WMR convertible. The trigger's not bad, either. They're fairly common and pretty affordable on Gunbroker. $150 gets a nice one.

February 10, 2009, 09:20 PM
I'm going to suggest you look hard at the .32's. In a J frame S&W the recoil of the .32H&R is very light and the .32Long is on par with a .22lr. I have a 432PD which is an airweight and it's a pleasure to shoot the hottest .32H&R's I can find. The new J frame they have out is for the .327 Federal Magnum but it can also shoot the H&R and the longs (shorts & acp's too) and it's ported so recoil on the smaller loads will be nothing.

Another option in the .32's is the .32acp, while it can be shot in a revolver due to its having a rim, you get more rounds in an automatic. A great gun for folks that have a hard time with a slide is the Beretta Tomcat, it has a flip up barrel so you never have to cycle the slide. Recoil is quite light as well.

Good luck with whatever you choose, hope your mother improves.

February 11, 2009, 12:26 AM
I know we are posting to the revolver forum, but your Mom's situation is pretty much addressed by the Beretta 950 Jetfire.

Tip up barrel for loading rather than racking the slide. Single action trigger with limited travel. Just under ten ounces in weight unloaded. Reasonably priced. The .25ACP round isn't very exciting, but 8+1 of that it still beats harsh language. Best of luck to you.

February 11, 2009, 12:43 AM
My dad has a Ruger Single-Six, and I love it, especially for rattlesnakes, but for a defensive gun, I would defer to the double-action S&W no problem.

March 31, 2009, 10:27 PM
one more vote for TOO HARD TO PULL THE TRIGGER on a .22 mag revolver... my Taurus is a brute in double action... sweet in single but then you have to pull that hammer back, which is JUST as brutal as pulling DA...

I don't mind these things at all.. I'm a big strong guy, it's kind of appealing even... but for her, not a chance. My wife can't do it, and she's a big strong girl on the south side of 50... she couldn't pull DA on my Taurus with BOTH hands..

March 31, 2009, 10:42 PM
Go to the Kimber web site For Pepper Spray,

March 31, 2009, 10:48 PM
I got a Ruger Single Six, At 10 yard it puts 1' groups in 22mag. Trigger pull is light and cocking the hammer is ight also. It is a single action bu is better than nothing. I have never had a miss fire put over 2,000 rounds though it.

March 31, 2009, 10:53 PM
Was at Gander Mountianand look the Tauras Pink lady 9mm and 40 cal the trigger pull was light and the 9mm had a light recoil. They are on sale this week to.

August 22, 2010, 03:08 AM
I own a sw 642 and pk380/p22 set. I had a trigger job done on the 642, while smoother, it is still a heavy pull. The pk380/p22 are practically identical in size, they offer more rounds than the 642, and will probably fit mom's hands better. A review on gunblast states that the pk380 is the easiest auto to rack the slide on, and I agree whole-heartedly. I don't know her proficiency with handguns, but she could keep the walthers condition 1 (cocked and locked) or hammer down in DA mode with a round chambered. The DA pull is not near as heavy as the 642. As far as whether to go 22 mag, 22lr, 380 or whatever, if she is able to get several rounds of 22lr into center mass it will probably get their attention.

August 22, 2010, 09:04 AM
Die zombie thread Die!

August 22, 2010, 09:45 AM
If you want a 22 mag. check out the Taurus 941. They make it in several barrel lenghts and they sell for a little over $300.

Grey Morel
August 22, 2010, 08:04 PM
Glad to see the resident necromancers are hard at work - there are several points mentioned for which I wanted to give my $.02

#1) The notion that 32 Smith Long = .22lr:

No doubt this notion comes from the fact that a 32 long revolver has muzzle energy identical to a high velocity 22... But people subscribing to this are missing several things; not only are the 22 numbers from a rifle, but the other power formulas are being completely ignored.

* The 22lr HV, such as the CCI mini-Mag, has 1 newton per second of momentum and 120 foot punds of energy FROM A RIFLE. (40gr @ 1,200fps). The pistol specs are more like 1,025fps in a 6" barrel: that gives you a scant .8 Newtons / second of momentum & 75 foot pounds of energy. - Compare that to a 32 long handgun with 115 ft-lbs of muzzle energy and 1.35 newtons / second of momentum.

When you look are real handgun numbers, the 32 S&W long has 35% more muzzle energy, and 41% more momentum than a 22LR handgun.

#2) 32 H&R's have less recoil than 38 Special:

This is a mostly subjective matter, but here are the facts - using guns of comparable weight, (24oz J-frame) and middle of the road loadings for both calibers.

38 special / 32 H&R mag
Impulse: .61 / .48
Velocity: 13.11 / 10.31
Free energy: 4.01 / 2.48

The general consensus is CORRECT, the 32 H&R is lower in all 3 factors used to gauge recoil; nearly 1/2 the free recoil energy of a 38 special.

#3) 22 mag offers no better ballistics than 22LR in a revolver:

Some have said that a 22 magnum gains you little ballistic advantage over 22lr. While the scope of the word "little" can be called into contention, I argue that it DOES in fact gain you advanage

Brass fetcher chronographed a 40gr Maxi mag @ 1,090fps from a 2.0" barrel. This is in fact faster than a 40gr Mini mag from a 6" barrel. The 30g version of the Maxi mag clocked 1,300 fps from the SAME 2" barrel - and proceeded to penetrate 14" of ballistic gelatin while experiencing significant tumbling.

Jeff Quin clocked a 5" Taurus, shooting the identical 30gr Federal load, at 1,450 fps. - this gives you 174ft-lbs of energy, versus the 75 of a handgun velocity 22LR; nearly a 100ft-lb gain.

I think the data is VERY clear - The 22 magnum revolver, even sub - 6", blows a 22LR handgun out of the water in every known measure of handgun effectiveness; muzzle energy / momentum / TKO / optimal game weight / One shot stop - WHATEVER you subscribe to, they all favor the 22 magnum over the 22lr.

Brass Fetcher 22 mag 2.0" ( Magnum CCI 30gr Maxi-Mag HP.html)
22LR barrel length Vs. Velocity (
Jeff Quin, Taurus 22 mag (
Momentum calculator (
Recoil calculator (

August 22, 2010, 08:27 PM
What about a North American Arms revolver:

Pug ballistics and shooting video:

Here's a lady shooting it for the first time:

August 22, 2010, 09:29 PM
Where are you people saying .22 magnum is as loud as a .357 magnum. Nooooo waaaay. .22 mag noise level is on par with .38 special standard pressure. I've fired .22 mag out of a 1" barrel no hearing protection enough times to know this. I would never in my dreams fire a .37 mag without hearing protection.

August 23, 2010, 06:14 PM
I have a Taurus Titanium revolver. Very light weight chambered in 32 h&r magnum. EZ recoil and has a hammer to cock for sa fire. Transfer bar safety and interal key lock. Sounds your mother needs something similar. My Mom had a similar medical condition. This is what she used before she passed. 32 H&R magnum has good ballistics but is getting pretty hard to find. Usually a back order from

Big Bill
August 23, 2010, 06:47 PM
A Charter pathfinder may be what you want. It's lightweight. She probably should train with 22 mag if she is going to use it for SD.

This Charter is just a little heavier and has both 22 and 22 mag cylinders.

gun guy
August 23, 2010, 07:16 PM
Smith & Wesson used to offer the combat masterpiece in 22 wrm. They might be pricey but they were a fine pistol.

August 24, 2010, 08:01 AM
The only experience I have with the .22 Mag in a DA revolver is the old Smith model 650. Its a truly outstanding little revolver. They can be found on the used gun market. I would keep it around for defense and feel OK with it.

J frame Smith rimfires actually have a heavier trigger than a centerfire though to help insure ignition. That may be a problem and, they really can't be made lighter without affecting reliability.

Honestly, I think a K frame loaded with 148 GR wadcutters may be a good option, however, you are back to a fairly heavy (given the circumstances) gun.

I would usually not recommend an auto, but, you are really filling a very specific niche here. Given all the limitations your mom has, I might consider a Beretta 21A in .25 ACP. In .25 they are exceptionally reliable. Both mechanically and the round itself. The tip up barrel may be easier for your mom to manipulate, now and in the future. The gun weighs nothing.

Good luck.

o Unforgiven o
August 24, 2010, 08:32 AM
Has no one realised how old this thread is?

August 24, 2010, 12:37 PM
I didn't realize the age of this thread until after I posted. I,m sure this guy got his mother the gun by now. However still anyone who says .22 mag is as loud as .357 magnum is blowing smoke out of their ***. That's my story and I,m sticking to it.

Grey Morel
August 24, 2010, 01:13 PM
Has no one realized how old this thread is?


I found this thread not by looking through the THR archives, but by a Google search while researching 22 magnum revolvers; anyone who needs information concerning 22 magnum revolvers or appropriate guns for the elderly can find this thread just as easily via the many internet search engines - Google keeps archives of THR as well as other forums.

This is not a closed system.

August 24, 2010, 07:56 PM
My 21-year-old daughter got a S&W 651PD as a graduation present. It weighs 12 oz fully loaded. She shoots it very well, and 7rds of 40gr HP ammo will get your attention (so far no one has volunteered to be shot by her). The ammo isn't cheap, however. I was able to stock up on some Fiocchi rounds for her. Her favorite comment? "You can't beat a woman who shoots..."

I read somewhere that the purpose of the .22 WMR was to provide (in a handgun) the same energy as a .22LR when shot out of a rifle.

It's not a 45 Auto, but it's not a rock either. Besides, she throws like a girl...

August 25, 2010, 12:57 AM
Geesh, you guys do know this is an old thread from 2007 don't you?

I'm a big fan of the .22LR, especially out of a Ruger autopistol. I can't remember the last time mine ever jammed on me and it can put so many bullets into such a small space it so quickly that it sometimes thinks it's a shotgun.

A Rossi or Taurus revolver also might do well, but if someone really wants a magnum, get a Single-Six.

This Beretta 70S is also a spitfire if you can still find one. This
one's been chrome plated, but it, too, throws a lot of lead.

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