9-Shot .22WMR Alloy-frame DA Revolver... A Unicorn?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Snowdog, Sep 23, 2022.

  1. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    My wife asked me about a female coworker of hers that wants a revolver that's greater in capacity than 5 or 6, light in weight AND light in recoil.

    I know there are a great many .22LRs out there that may fit this bill, however... is anyone aware of such a thing in .22 magnum?

    Is there an alloy 8 or preferably 9-shot SA/DA .22 magnum revolver with decent sights and a 3" or 4" barrel from a reputable company?

    This person doesn't have interest in shooting and will likely shoot only once every few years. The idea of a .38 special doesn't work due to the recoil and capacity. The capacity issue continues even with the very low recoiling .32 long.

    I've noticed there are a few ammunition manufacturers that now offer .22 WMR JHPs compatible with shorter barrels, such as Federal Punch, Speer's Short Barrel Gold Dots and even Hornady's FTX. Some ballistic tests I've seen with these from 3" + barrels are likely adequate, especially if there are 8 or 9 rounds to work with.

    I am generally not a fan of .22LR for defense due to several personal experiences over the years where an oily environment deactivated the powder by moisture or oil seeping past the heel-base bullet, contaminating the powder (I have seen this happen with CCI, Federal and Winchester). On one occasion it nearly cause me to get bit by what was likely a rabid racoon after a "click"... tap, rack and yet another "click". A story for another day.

    I understand like the .22LR, the .22WMR has the same rimfire priming issues that make them inherently less reliable than centerfire. However, being a revolver, I figure she can simply pull the trigger again without having to worry about clearing a malfunction.

    Any leads?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  2. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I was thinking of the S&W 351PD or 351C, but both are small frame snub nose guns with 7 shots each. And the problem with small frame revolvers firing rimfire cartridges is the stiff double action trigger pull, which some folks can't use effectively.
     
  3. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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  4. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    The High Standard Sentinel Mk IV was a 9 shot .22 Magnum, but I am sure they are hard to find and finding parts is even harder.
     
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  5. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    No alloy framed guns that I fan think of. I have a 4” Taurus 941 8-shot .22 WMR that was the predecessor to the 942 @Frulk posted above.

    As @chicharrones also posted, the trigger pull on it (and my matching 9-shot.22 LR 94) are heavy for such a small revolver. If the person is elderly or has limited hand strength maybe an auto like a WMP .22 Mag from Walther or an LCP in .22 LR may fit the bill? There is always a chance of misfires, but the premium WMR ammo you listed has been very reliable in my guns.

    Stay safe.
     
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  6. Old Hobo

    Old Hobo Member

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    While I am very pro-.22mag, the reality remains that bullets under 80 gr. don't dig deep enough. Some aggressive felons are BIG, even HUGE, plus they have a tendency to be stoned out of their minds (ask any cop). If you drive the .22 mag bullets faster, then the hollow points come apart in improper shallow depths of meat. FMJ's don't do enough damage.

    Many go with .32 handguns with modern ammunition that exceeds what is normally found on gun store shelves. Standard wadcutter loadings are too light. Some factory ammo is now better. Buffalo Bore is horribly expensive but has higher velocities while staying within standard pressure limits -- it is NOT +P when loaded for the .32 long. Re-loaders using hard cast bullets or gas checked bullets can achieve some effective defense loads for the .32 long. The .32 Long recoil is not much irrespective of how it is loaded.

    The .32 H&R mag. is much better, but the .327 Fed mag could present problems for people who are recoil sensitive. Too, the .327 mag is LOUD.

    Personally, I like the concept of the .32 H&R mag. My dad's dad carried a .32-20. These get you into the .38 Special realm of effectiveness with lighter recoil and with cylinders holding 6 rounds not just 5 rounds.
    .
     
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  7. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    IMHO, go with 32 caliber and accept a round or two less.

    Does 32 S&W long even have more recoil than 22 magnum? I can't tell. The 22 magnum is louder, for sure.

    A 32 will generally have a better trigger, and centerfire rounds are more reliable.
     
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  8. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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  9. Oninotaki

    Oninotaki Member

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    For .22 magnum 9 shot double action with a 4" barrel in current production I can recommend the diamondback sidekick specifically with speer gold dot ammo.

    However I agree with many others that the .32 family may be a better option and I personally decided to switch from the diamondback to a charter arms professional mk IV in .32 h&r magnum 7 shot with 3" barrel. Both the .32 long and .32 h&r are mild loads that seem to be the best combination of centerfire reliability and low recoil/noise.
     
  10. Oninotaki

    Oninotaki Member

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    Also my charter arms professional mk IV very reliably shoots and ejects .32 acp which may be an interesting option for your friend.
     
  11. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    The .32 SWL has more recoil, but it's sort of a twice nothing is still nothing type of deal. The pressure of the .22 Mag and the blast makes it feel like it has more recoil than it actually does.
     
  12. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I'm in agreement with others on .32 > .22 Mag, I've believed that for years and nothing is changing that belief. .32 S&W Long is not much more than .22 Mag or .38 Spl and it's effective and does the same thing .22 Mag does which is poke a hole 12 inches deep.

    The options are basically .32 Mags made by Charter Arms and .327's made either by Taurus or Ruger, both of which will be steel framed and depending on the model revolver likely have a heavier DA trigger (LCR is the best of the bunch.)

    The Charter's all have the same trigger, which is mediocre, but manageable and not heavy, but I would avoid the Undercoverette as someone else here has had big troubles with their own and half a dozen trips back haven't corrected the problem. The Professional seems to be decent, I've had some hiccups out of box that were present at the first range trip, but have never come back. Once you get over how to aim the sights, it's decent and for the $350 they probably are now, actually quite a good value and one of the best bang for the buck ways to get into .32 revolvers today.

    If Charter were smart they'd make a version with a traditional ramp front sight and an adjustable rear sight, but Charter isn't smart as they can't fix @blue32 's Undercoverette.

    I doubt the OP is going to go for a .32 tho, there's always the underlying fear of ammo supply drying up or it being a buck a round at an LGS. If .32 is an absolute no, then don't hold out for a 9 shot .22 Mag if an 8 shot is available, the liklihood of needing the 9th round is very low.
     
  13. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I just realized the OP asked about aluminum framed guns. The High Standard I mentioned above is a steel framed revolver.
     
  14. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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  15. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    ECA5A892-6D47-4CA0-A927-A3614017D1AA.jpeg 5F24C1FC-0E67-4ADE-BA87-B13BBE316F4C.jpeg

    Charter Arms Professional .32 H&R, .32 S&W Long .32 S&W 7 shot. It’s a pussycat recoil wise. Like a .22 LR with .32 Long. 7 is better than 5.
     
  16. Great Scot

    Great Scot Member

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    9009BEB4-B161-464D-B639-C8522CAF3DA4.jpeg
     
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  17. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Some of the HIgh Standards had steel frames, some had aluminum.

    Aluminum-framed single-action revolvers can be had by the boatload for next to nothing. My 3.5" Rough Rider came with a 22lr cylinder and a 22mag cylinder.

    Taurus has made longer-barreled j-frames in 22lr and 22mag, but they're steel. Mine held more than six cartridges, IIRC.

     
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  18. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Well, there SURE are a lot of recommendations for 32s, considering the OP ruled them out and was asking about 22 WMRs. o_O

    I too agree that anyone who could handle 22 WMR can also handle 32 Long. However, let's trust the OP here, as he knows his audience.

    I think the aforementioned Taurus 942 would be a good choice, if you think this person can handle a 14 lb. trigger.

    Ruger makes their LCRx in 22 WMR, but it's only a six-shooter. However, it's lightweight & thin, has adjustable sights and smooth (if heavy) trigger:
    https://ruger.com/products/lcrx/specSheets/5437.html

    Re. light weight, when my wife first handled my handguns, she immediately liked the LCR. Then, she fired a regular old factory 38 Spl load with 158 gr. round nose and after 2 or 3 shots, she put it down. It felt good just holding it, but shooting it? Nope. I have to admit that load feels pretty stout in the little lightweight gun.

    Later, I rolled some nice-n-easy handloads for it: 105 gr. bullets over 4 gr. of Win 231 in Magnum cases. Really nice to shoot. I could shoot them all day. I had the wife try it again and it was still a big "No thanks!"

    Next, she tried my 3" SP-101. It's a BIT bigger and a lot heavier, but she can handle it, even with the 158 gr. factory loads. She was amazed at how much less it kicks than the LCR. She actually LIKES shooting it with the lighter bullet handload I mentioned above.

    Along that same line of thought, I had her try my 4" S&W 19. She says "It's pretty heavy, but I love the way it shoots!" Someone tuned the trigger too light and it only lights them off maybe 75% of the time, but that's not the gun's fault. She can easily handle any 38 Spl and even said 38 +P isn't too much.

    "Why stop here?" I thought. "I'm gonna give her my 7.5" 44 Mag Redhawk." I had some powderpuff loads for it too: 185 gr. hard cast bullets over 5.2 gr. Win 231 in Magnum cases. She was quite intimidated, looking at the gun and could barely hold it up. I encouraged her though, and told her it would kick less than the guns she's shot so far. She looked at me like this o_O, thinking I might be pranking her. She tried it and admitted I was right. What's more, she put them all in the 10 ring. (at 7 yards, but it's a start!) Finally, she said: That's a nice shooting gun, but just too heavy for me.

    So we found the sweet spot. A small or medium-framed revolver in steel, with at least a 3" barrel.

    Member Tallball recommended a 4" pencil-barreled S&W 38 Spl for her. Maybe an old 10. Maybe a Taurus 856.

    ************************

    Moral of the story is to work on her to accept more weight, as it goes a long way toward mitigating recoil, and then she can handle a caliber that's proven adequate. (esp. with handloads) I think that approach is better than sticking with lightweight but having to go down in caliber.

    On the other hand, as they say, a 22LR snub is better than a sharp stick. 22 WMR then is a LOT better.

    ******************

    One last thought: If she's REALLY only going to shoot it every 2 years, she might be better armed with something non-lethal. They make a really neat CO2 powered pepper ball gun now... I recommended a can of hornet spray for my own mom, who decided she doesn't have the heart to take someone's life, and it would likely end up being taken and used against her.
     
  19. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    Had one of those. Nicely built but horrendous triggers. I don't feel that that would be a good choice for a new female shooter. My wife shoots a Security Six and hated that High Standard because of the trigger.
     
  20. Monster Zero

    Monster Zero Member

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    Yes, true statement. The trigger pull on any rimfire revolver is a detriment to good shooting and for some people it's an obstruction to shooting, period.

    To the OP's original question, one might ask, are you really sure that your friend can't handle a .38 special revolver with target wadcutters, or say an SP101 in .327 loaded with .32 long wadcutters?

    If the answer to that question is yes, can't handle anything except.a .22, one might suggest a .22 auto or even a single-six. I can't hit anything past 5 yards with the rimfire revolvers I've tried a time or two.
     
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  21. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    This is true for pretty much most double action rimfire revolvers (outside custom trigger jobs). The reason is that the rimfire primers are harder to ignite compared to centerfire primers. And it won't matter what name is on the revolver either.

    If one were to take the same exact revolvers, one rimfire and one centerfire, the centerfire will have a lighter DA trigger pull. My Taurus 85, 856, and 942 are prime examples. All three are the exact same frame and the 942 has a heavier DA trigger pull.

    Taurus does make their 942UL (Ultra Light) chambered in 22WMR. It is an eight shot revolver.

    https://www.taurususa.com/revolvers/small-frame-revolvers/taurus-942/taurus-r-942-22-wmr-hard-anodized-black-ultra-lite-2-in
     
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  22. jstert

    jstert Member

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    as much as i like rimfire, i honestly can’t recommend 22wmr handguns for occasional shooters such as snowdog’s friend: the flashbang can be really, really off-putting, i.e. less practice, less accuracy; double-action trigger-pull will be tough; the result of 22wmr versus 22lr isn’t really worth the former’s extra trouble & expense.

    if me i would first ask the friend some questions:
    why do you want a firearm?
    where will it be based: on you as a ccw, open carry in your yard, in your car, as a road trip piece, in a bedside night table drawer?
    what is most likely scenario when/where/against who or what it would be deployed?
    why won’t you practice with a handgun regularly: bad experience in past, lack of proper introductory training, expense of ammo, fear?

    fast forward to my recommendation without knowing much: 9-shot, 22lr, $150ish, heritage roughrider single-action revolver loaded with high-quality cci stingers, velocitors or minimags. 22lr is cheaper and easier than 22wmr for about same result. single-action revolver can be run reliably & fast, and many women seem to gravitate to shooting a double-action revolver in single-action anyway. in a typically suburban, low-threat environment, where one has already reviewed & taken pre-firearm home/personal security precautions, 9-shots is probably enough. 22lr is pleasant to practice with, so a shooting range session every 6 months with softer 22lr trumps every 24 months with harder 22wmr.

    all that said, my non-gunner sister chose a steel, not alloy, concealed-hammer dao, taurus 85, 5-shot, 38sp, snubbie fitted with oversized pachmayr rubber grips, for her bedside piece, after some practice with my own wide handgun selection. she ultimately decided that she wanted more centerfire oomph than any rimfire. go figure…
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2022
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  23. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Threads like these make me SO glad that my daughter had a mild interest in shooting and went to the range with me sometimes.
     
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  24. DaveWallace

    DaveWallace Member

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    Oninotaki what has been your experience with your sidekick? I haven’t seen many folks giving a review of it. What about sticky chambers. Round count?
     
  25. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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