Revolver with .22lr and .22wmr cylinders


October 25, 2011, 02:01 PM
I've got a questions about revolvers with seperate cylinders for long rifle and magnum 22 ammo.

I know that you are not suppose to shoot .22lr in a gun chambered for .22wmr. Some say that the .22lr bullet can tumble after it exits the barrel.

If that is true, then why would switching a 22 magnums cylinder out with a 22 long rifle be any different. Sure the chamber is a different size, but the barrel is still a magnum.

I'm asking because I was looking at getting two revolvers, one in each caliber. Then I saw that there are some revolvers out there with seperate cylinders for the seperate calibers.


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October 25, 2011, 02:22 PM
It has nothing to do with tumbling bullets, as that doesn't happen.
It has all to do with two very different case sizes.

.22 WRM won't fit in a .22 RF chamber.
.22RF fired in a .22WRM chamber may split cases and blow powder in your face.

There is a slight difference in the actual bullet diameters, and bullet contruction.

A convertible barrel is optimized for the larger jacketed Magnum bullets.
The soft lead .22 RF bullets slug up to fit the bore when fired.


October 25, 2011, 06:19 PM
The bullet diameter of the .22 magnum is .224 The bullet diameter of a .22lr is .222

So you can not shoot a .22 magnum out of a barrel designed ONLY for .22 lr. Now with the revolvers with interchangeable cylinders, the barrels are designed for the .22 Magnum .224 diameter bullet. This way the smaller diameter .22lr will still fire from the barrel and, as rcmodel said, the soft lead will expand slightly when fired through the barrel for a nice fit.

October 25, 2011, 07:08 PM
Thanks to both of you!

Here's another question. Whick 22 revolver is better: Herrington & Richardson Mod 999 or a FIE Arminius HW7. The Arminius is a 22 mag, but comes with a 22 lr cylinder.

I've heard good things about the H&R and I like the fact that it a top break. Some have said that it is/was better than the S&W target 22's of the day. Haven't found much on the ARminius though.

October 25, 2011, 07:38 PM
Your welcome, but to be honest I have never shot those two. Only Single Six and Rough Rider interchangeables. So any further info would only be speculation.

October 25, 2011, 08:15 PM
Whick 22 revolver is better: Herrington & Richardson Mod 999 or a FIE Arminius HW7.
IMO: Neither one.

The best currently made convertable is with out a doubt the Ruger Single-Six convertable.

Sure it costs a little more to start with.
But it will still be shooting long after you won't be.

Read about it here:

Buy it here or elsewhere:


October 25, 2011, 08:38 PM
I will second RC on the Single Six. If I was looking for one handgun for plinking and small game hunting to last a life time, that would be it.

There is a long discussion of Arminus revolvers here:
Bottom line is if an import it is 40 years old. If American made the company went broke 11 years ago. The frame is probably Zamac, a zinc 'pot metal' alloy.
Of your two choices I would take the H&R, but given any ability to save up a few dollars more I would get a new or second hand Single Six. I sold mine eight years ago to finance a new S&W for my dad and I still regret it, even though I have S&W and Beretta .22s.

October 25, 2011, 09:39 PM
I know they are no longer made, but I will put any of my H&R's up to a Ruger.
Nothing against Rugers, I have had a couple of their pistols, But, I am tired of the H&R's getting no respect, when they were actually VERY well built guns, for a reasonable price.
Accuracy on mine is excellent, with the mag cylinders seeming to be a little better on most of them.
They also have one very nice option, they are also double action, something Ruger doesn't offer.
I don't shoot DA a lot, but the capability is nice!
Every one of these is in at least excellent condition, with factory box, a couple are unfired. Hard to find like this, but, they do show up.
I also have several 999 Sportsman pieces, but that would not be a fair comparison as they are long rifle only, and the Ruger convertible would be at a small accuracy disadvantage from the start!

1980 Model 649 5.5"

1980 Model 649 7.5"

1980 Model 650 Nickel

1980 Model 686 4.5"

1980 Model 686 5.5"

1980 Model 686 7.5"

1982 Model 686 10"

1980 Model 686 12"

1980 Model 676 12"

October 25, 2011, 10:18 PM
Sweet! :)

October 25, 2011, 10:56 PM
Jamesjo, that is quite a collection. I was looking at an H&R that my LGS has on display. It is supposed to be new, but the 22 mag cylinder has a bulge on one chamber. Have pointed it out before, but he will not budge on price.

October 26, 2011, 01:09 AM
I learned to shoot on one of those H&R revolvers, looks like the top one in jamesjo's collection. My dad has had that gun since I was a little kid. The cheapest gun he's ever had: a friend of his gave it to him. He still has it, still uses it, and sees no need for another .22 handgun. Can't blame him.

I happened upon a Single Six convertible, 4 3/4", fixed sights, earlier this year. The feel, balance, look, all put me in mind of that old revolver I learned to shoot on, and I had to have it. The action on my dad's H&R is slicker, but you'd expect that after all the thousands of rounds it's fired in the last 3 or 4 decades. He's had to replace a couple of the internal parts from wear.

Both are good guns. I prefer the Single Six, now that I've been able to compare them directly, but if I find a good deal on an H&R, I won't turn it down.

October 26, 2011, 07:17 AM
Harrington & Richardson made good guns. The 999 Sportsman was the flagship of the line. Back in the day while it might not have been considered "better" than a Smith & Wesson or Colt, it was considered to a viable alternative and nothing to be sneezed at.

Until a few weeks ago, I had one, made in 1955. A fine shooting revolver. I sold it because I needed to make room in the gun safe, but it was a really nice gun. I don't know that they made a 999 in a convertible, but then I sure don't know everything.

Ruger as mentioned makes a convertible that has interchangable cylinders. Colt also made a number of them. In my experience the Colt's are not much more expensive than Rugers. The foreign imports, I wouldn't bother with. If I wanted a less expensive convertible, I'd get a Heritage Rough Rider.

October 26, 2011, 09:38 AM
If you want rare, look for a S&W Model 48 .22 Magnum Combat Masterpiece with a spare .22 long rifle cylinder. Probably rarer than hen's teeth.

October 26, 2011, 10:53 AM
Jamesjo, Great collection of H&R's!

October 26, 2011, 11:30 AM
Being of modest means and rather frugal disposition, I tend to admire (and acquire) things which I preceive as offering me the most potential utility for my dollars. I like the whole concept of "convertible" revolvers, in much the same way as I do the idea of having a handgun and a carbine/rifle which chamber the same round(s).

IMHO, a single-action revolver offers the simplest and most practical solution and the Rugers in .22 RF/.22 WMR, .357/.38 Spl./9x19, .45 Colt/.45 ACP etc. are my personal choice. YMMV, but for me having an adjustable rear sight is the "sine qua non" for a convertible. Makes it much simpler for me to use whatever brand and type of cartridges I happen to have on-hand without having to constantly remember how much "Kentucky windage/elevation" to apply in order to make the hits go where I want them.

October 26, 2011, 11:49 AM
Wow Jamesjo, what a nice collection.
Like sixgunner455, my first handgun experience was with an H&R .22 revolver with 7.5" bbl, fixed sights, non-convertible. I carried it around a lot when i was a kid. Eventually, a white plastic piece that the hammer spring attached to inside the handle broke and the spring lost tension, only having enough to fire maybe half of the nine rounds. My Dad and I took the pistol apart and found the problem. Tried to fix it by whittling a piece of wood to match the plastic piece, never successful. It sits in his safe, I only get it out every now and again to look at it.
I recently purchased a Single Six convertible and I am very happy ( with it.

October 26, 2011, 11:57 AM
I meant no disrespect to the H&R revolvers.

I have nothing against them except they were last made a quarter century ago.
Consequently, parts & service is getting more difficult to find with each passing year.

Of course you could say the same about my Colt Woodsman collection!

But the thing is, the OP sounds like a beginner, and as such, I recommended a new gun still being made, with warranty service available in the unlikely event it is ever needed.

He will have plenty of time down the road to learn the ins & outs of collecting & shooting old guns you can't get fixed if they break.


October 26, 2011, 12:14 PM
Also, the firing pin on the one my Dad owns is actually on the hammer.

October 26, 2011, 04:59 PM
Anyone have any experience with the Arminius revolvers?

I have one FIE, but it was made by Tanfoglio, not Arminius. It's a very good shooter.

October 26, 2011, 05:11 PM
I inherited a 6-inch barrelled H&R Sportsman (pre-Model 999) from my father. Dad shot it and took very good care of it and it still, to this day, is capable of sending bullets into sub-one-inch groups at 50 feet...if only I was as good as the revolver.

I had a 5 1/2 inch barrelled Ruger Super Single Six Convertible from 1975 when I bought it new until 2006 when I sold it. While it was a solid, well-made single action revolver, I never could get the performance out of it with either LR or Mag, that I could get out of either the H&R or my 4-inch barrelled Smith 617

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