.22LR / .22 mag same gun?


October 30, 2010, 11:07 PM
I've heard a lot of talk about how the two calibers are NOT the same diameter and because of this they won't work with the same barrel. Then I see examples of combo revolvers. how does this work?

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October 30, 2010, 11:12 PM
The greatest difference is the diameter of the cartridge cases, with the magnum case being larger in diameter. Revolvers handle this situation by providing two cylinders for the gun, one for magnums and one for long rifles. There is a very small difference in bullet diameters (.001"). Most combo handguns are bored for the larger magnum bullet, with the soft lead long rifle bullets 'slugging' up to this very slightly larger bore.

October 30, 2010, 11:18 PM
The .22 Magnum was developed from the .22 Wichester rimfire, a different cartridge to the .22 Long Rifle. It has a wider case tan the .22lr and a bullet that sits within the case.
The .22 Long rifle has a heeled bullet. This means the bullet is narrower at the base and fits within the case. The head of the bullet is the same width as the outside of the case.
Because of this the .22lr & the .22 Magnum bullets can be fired down the same barrel as the diameter is 'close enough' although there is some difference.
The cases ont he other hand cannot be fired in the same chamber, as the Magnum will not fit in the LR chamber and the LR is a loose fit in the Magnum chamber, so it may split when fired and will probably be inaccurate as the bullet will not be precisely aligned with the bore when the gun is fired.
To get around this issue some manufacturers provide dual cylinders for their revolvers. The Ruger Single Six Convertible and the heritage Rough Rider come to mind. At one point S&W would also sell a spare .22 long rifle cylinder and yoke fitted to their Model 48 .22 Magnum revolver, but the gun had to be ordered from the factory that way or returned to the factory for fitting so these are fairly uncommon. In fact the Model 48 is fairly uncommon. The Ruger swap over simple requires pulling the center pin, swapping out the cylinder and inserting the pin again.
I've read claims that the Single Six accuracy can be poor with .22lr due to bore being cut to suit the .22 Magnum, but mine was a tack driver.

October 30, 2010, 11:58 PM
Look up .22mag and .22LR on wikipedia, they are very different cartridges, although their required barrel size is close enough.

Heck, put the two rounds next to each other, the differences are obvious to the most casual observer. They do NOT fit in the same chamber, they do not have the same diameter rim, and the bullets are mounted in the cases in different ways.

A conversion cylinder will let you use the same bore for both, shoving one into the wrong chamber will put you in risky territory, even though bubbas abound who have managed to cram a .22S/L/LR boolit into a .22WMR/WRF gun.

October 31, 2010, 03:32 AM
sure wish the 617 had the optional magnum cylinder but it sounds like it would have to be barreled for the magnum and come with an optional LR cylinder. Still that would be nice.

October 31, 2010, 03:41 AM
sounds like it would have to be barreled for the magnum and come with an optional LR cylinderThat's how it works, as far as I know. A LR frame won't fit a WMR cylinder or round in the first place, and may not be tough enough (most probably are, how tough does a .22mag revolver need to be compared to a .22lr one?).

Ruger makes their SA revolvers as combos, as does NAA and I think Taurus makes them that way as well. Since you have to swap cylinders, I'm not sure how a DA convertible revolver would work, but I'm not a revolver guy, maybe they're out there.

For general plinking, .22LR kills paper and cans just as dead, I was actually at the range expending my stash of junky Remington .22mag (from the deepest pits of the recent ammo shortage) and I noticed no appreciable difference putting .22mag into water bottles compared to cheapo Federal 550 bulk .22lr. CCI maxi-mags (in .22wmr) do have a bit more thump in them compared to even Stingers or mini-mags, but not much difference other than the noise and recoil for casual shooting.

October 31, 2010, 03:55 AM
Have read a story about a guy that reamed out 1 chamber in his 22 long cylinder for a 22mag. So that he would have 5 long rifle and 1 22 mag per loading. He said it made a good trail gun.

October 31, 2010, 07:51 AM
Smith made the Model 48 years ago (1970's) that is a K-frame 22 magnum double action revolver that could be purchased with an optional 22LR cylinder. It is essentially the same as the Model 17 (pre-617 model) with a 6-shot cylinder. They are around but tend to be expensive. A friend has one, but after a few cylinder change-outs, he leaves the LR cylinder installed all the time due the the fact that he mostly plinked with the gun and didn't want the added ammo cost.

Most just buy a double action revolver in both calibers if they want both. Eventually you will do this too if you like the particular revolver and both will have the same feel such as the discontinued Colt Trooper Mark III.

Generally most folks buy a Ruger Single Six (single action) if they are looking for a revolver with two cylinders supplied with the gun. Heritage Arms makes the Rough Rider single action that is supplied with two cylinders also. The Ruger is a much better revolver. The Colt Peacemaker and New Frontier were also examples of discontinued single action revolvers supplied with two cylinders.

Colt made a few Trooper Mark III double action revolvers with two cylinders. Normally you see them as individually chambered 22LR, 22WMR, or 357 mag guns. It was a good revolver with production stopping around 1982/1983. The two cylinder version was a very limited production run, but they exist.

October 31, 2010, 08:03 AM
the S&W kit guns, J-frames w/ both cylinders used to be not so rare as now, also
and the High standard 22 revolvers were not uncommon, back when (got one of those)
but mostly, I do like 22-r says, just get one in each caliber, double your fun

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