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Can you shoot .22 LR from .22 Magnum revolvers??

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by onewithgun, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. onewithgun

    onewithgun Well-Known Member

    22 LR's from a 22 Magnum revolver??

  2. Timthinker

    Timthinker Well-Known Member

    No, not unless you have a .22lr cylinder that will replace the .22WRM cylinder. Some revolvers, such as the Ruger Single-Six, come with 2 cylinders for that purpose, but I am not aware of any double-action revolvers that offer this feature nowdays.

  3. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    Technically Yes, but it will split the case and the bullet will probably keyhole into the target.
    Should you; NO, not on your life, NO, no way not, Never.

  4. esmith

    esmith Well-Known Member

    My H&R model 650 has two cylinders. Is double action as well. Blast to shoot.

    Aside from this, do not shoot LR in magnum.
  5. Timthinker

    Timthinker Well-Known Member

    Some of our older members may recall a time when some double-action revolvers offered two cylinders, but I believe this occurred before my time. I believe Smith & Wesson may have done so years ago, but I leave this for our more senior members to resolve. I hope this helps.

  6. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    OK, so I have always been told this too but never paid attention.

    If I may be so bold as to ask why?

    Is it not a .38/.357Mag thing?
  7. Timthinker

    Timthinker Well-Known Member

    But the H&R 650 has been out of production for awhile, if memory serves me correctly. Yes, it came with two cylinders, but how old is your model? I am curious because a late friend of our family owned one but that was some time ago.

  8. esmith

    esmith Well-Known Member

    My father bought it sometime in the 70's. It is discontinued. H&R now only makes rifles, shotguns, and starter pistols if im not mistaken.
  9. cnorman18

    cnorman18 Well-Known Member

    case diameter

    No. The BULLET diameter is the same for .22 LR and .22 Mag, but the CASE diameter is not. .22 Mag cases are a good deal bigger. That's why you need a different cylinder but can use the same barrel.
  10. zinj

    zinj Well-Known Member

    Actually it is kind of a .38/.357 thing, though not in the way that you are thinking. The .22LR uses a heeled bullet that is the same diameter as the case, while the .22WMR has a case that is wider than the diameter of the it's non-heeled bullet.

    So much like a .38 uses a .357 caliber bullet set in a .38 diameter case, the .22WMR's case is wider than .224 caliber. If you look closely at the spent cases of a LR and WMR you can visually see the WMR is wider. A LR case in a WMR chamber has to expand, and will often split.
  11. Timthinker

    Timthinker Well-Known Member

    Esmith, the time frame seems right. The gentleman to whom I referred passed away in the mid-1980s. Believe it or not, he kept that H&R loaded and under his couch in case of an intruder. The couch had a long skirt so no one knew the gun was under there.

    Regarding two cylinders for a .22, I know Ruger offers this option, but only for a single-action revolver. I believe Heritage Arms also makes a single-action revolver with this feature as well. If someone wants this option in a revolver, they seem restricted to single-actions to the best of my knowledge. I hope you find this info useful.

  12. One of Many

    One of Many Well-Known Member

    Firing .22LR in a .22WMR cylinder will produce very poor accuracy, and the cases will swell, possibly splitting. Extraction of spent cases may be difficult. I have inadvertently done this with my Ruger single action, when I inserted the .22WMR cylinder after cleaning, thinking it was the .22LR cylinder. There was no safety problem, as the Ruger has more than enough strength to handle the split cases, and there is no blow-back to endanger the shooter. There is a possibility of extra lead shaving off as the bullet transitions from the chamber to the barrel, since the bullet is essentially unsupported for the first fractions of an inch in the cylinder when it fires.
  13. foghornl

    foghornl Well-Known Member

    You CAN do that, but is it a good thing to do?


    The .22LR ammo is made differently from the .22Mag, bullet diameter at the base is different on the .22LR (Something about heeled bullets vs. 'non-heeled'. I'm not really well-versed in that.) Accuracy will be poor, bullets keyholing on target and cases WILL split, releasing gases and burning powder in random directions.
  14. Oohrah

    Oohrah Well-Known Member

    All the .22s (short,long and long rifle) can be shot out of the same
    cyclinder. However the 22 mag marked cyclinder will only handle
    the WMR and the old WRF within that cyclinder. The mag cart.
    is slightly larger in diameter than the other family of 22s for the
    ther Long rifle cyclinder. Cartridge cases of the smaller will spilt,
    but probably will not key hole as reported. Usually the combo
    cyclinders on single actions will have a slightly larger barrel bore,
    it is so slight that the 22 LR will slug up and remain accurate.
    I own a Colt with dual cycliders. Other dual cartrige pistols
    have the same diameter cases and bullets are the same or close
    to bore size.
  15. GunCSI

    GunCSI Member

    Yes, you can shoot the LR in the Mag. cylinder/gun and its mostly unlikely any harm will come to you, however, as with anything that resides outside the usual norm, there are possible consequences.....you will probably get less accuracy than you'd like due to the fact that some mag barrels can be slightly different in diameter than the LR guns. Some use the same barrel as the LR guns, some don't, all dependant on the manufacturer. The higher the velocity on the LR cartridge you shoot, the more likely it'll split the case because the chamber dimensions on the mag are slightly larger, allowing for the brass to expand. Now, since the case may split, there comes the risk that a piece of the brass may leave the chamber and in what direction is anyone's guess. Extraction may be somewhat more difficult than normal and there's the chance that some of the brass left behind can end up in the chamber, bore and can fall into the action, causing problems with operation.
    In a pinch, it'll work but wouldn't recommend it for more than a couple of rounds unless you're willing to risk the results.
  16. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Well-Known Member

    Nope, the reasons explained eloquently above. Go buy a second-hand Ruger Single Six convertible and be happy!
  17. onewithgun

    onewithgun Well-Known Member

    Wealth of information.

    Thank you all!
  18. Big Boomer

    Big Boomer Well-Known Member

    not only will you split the cases, but you can actually screw up the timing as I did on my little NAA 22 mag (forgot to change the cylinder)

    Be careful!
  19. miko

    miko Well-Known Member

    Qualified yes. A .22LR cartrige fits inside the .22 Mag fired case.
    You can apparently manufacture a chamber adaptor for the .22 LR from a fired .22 Mag case.

    Once fired, getting a spent .22 LR case out of the adaptor might be difficult, since it expands.

  20. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine did that, cutting the heads off fired .22 WRM with a tubing cutter to make chamber bushings. I don't know how hard it was to get the LR out of the bushing. He did not keep the gun long.

    There is an outfit that makes chamber sleeves for a variety of combinations, including .22 LR in WRM. They sell them in sets of three for use in rifles. Two sets to fill a revolver, but I don't know how well that would work. You could call 'em up.


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