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What is the purpose of 22WMR (magnum) rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 45shooter, Aug 1, 2012.

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  1. 45shooter

    45shooter Member

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    I recently picked up a used Ruger M77/22 in 22WMR a.k.a. 22 magnum.
    It's a nice looking rifle and it shoots pretty accurate with 2 out of the 3 ammo I've tried so far. It is the first and only 22WMR caliber rifle I have.

    While shooting the rifle I just don't see what is the purpose of the 22WMR round. I have 22lr rifles that are more accurate at 50 yards. I have 223/5.56 rifles that are more accurate at 100 and 200 yards. The energy of 22WMR is not that much more than 22lr but much less than 223/5.56. The ammo is more expensive than 22lr and 223/5.56 plinking handloads and about same as my premium 223/5.56 handloads.

    So the question is "What is the purpose of 22WMR (magnum) rifle?"
    What is it's nich in the shooting world?
     
  2. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    i used mine for groundhogs out to about 150 yds. if the holes were much further than that, i'd take a centerfire .22

    i've got a Savage 93 in .22WMR and it's extremely accurate. i plink shotgun hulls at 100 yds off a bipod with it.

    i've got the same problem as you, though. it likes the Vmax ammo and it's cheaper to just shoot handloads from my AR or .22-250.
     
  3. sansone

    sansone Member

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    when eliminating pests beyond 50yds I use a .22mag bolt rifle.
    .22LR has good power up to 50yds but beyond is just for punchin' paper IMHO
     
  4. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    anecdotal evidence...There are .22WMR out there which are probably more accurate than your .22LR.

    1) It is much more powerful than a .22LR 400 FPS+ faster and nearly 3 times the Muzzle energy
    2) The bullets are usually jacketed...not just plated
    3) It is a lot quieter than a .223
    4) It is not as expensive at PREMIUM handloads....and not everyone reloads
    5) There are places which do not allow center fire rifle use.
     
  5. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    It more punch than a 22lr and less noise in a smaller/lighter platform than 223.

    There are probably a hundred different wildcat cartridges between the 22lr and 223. The 22 magnum is a good medium between the two, its commonly available, and doesn't make your eardrums bleed.

    A 223 is major overkill for most pests, and a 22lr past a hundred yards starts starts to peter out pretty quickly. Then there is the 22 Magnum to fill the gap!

    I don't have a 22 magnum rifle, I would like to though. I have a 22 magnum revolver that has been fun.
     
  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I bought my Ruger M77/22M when I lived in an area where the .22 Mag was legal for turkey hunting. It was great for picking off those wiley old toms that hang up outside of shotgun range. I also found it great for late season long-range squirrel hunting.
     
  7. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    It is legal for turkey hunting on private land in Florida and (I'm told) it's a favorite of fire-hunters for deer because it's quieter than a center-fire.
     
  8. Craigman

    Craigman Member

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    Here in the lower half of lower MI, we cannot use centerfire rifles at all. Not until you are approx. North of the "thumb area" can we shoot even the 22 hornet.

    Sure .223 is better and just as cheap, but its not allowed. Most around here use the 22wmr for long shots on woodchuck and varmint type hunting and such.
     
  9. bearman49709

    bearman49709 Member

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    Craigman you might want to read the regs again, only time you can't use a centerfire in the shotgun zone is from Nov 10-30, any other time it is fine anywhere in Michigan during daylight hours.
    In Michigan you cannot use centerfire for nightime predator hunting so the .22Mag is used by a lot of hunters.
     
  10. JEB

    JEB Member

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    much better bullet construction (real jackets) than .22lr and a pretty good increase in velocity.

    i love mine for squirrel season! also it is one of the best general purpose rifles out there IMO. excellent for small game out to pretty long ranges, enough power for yotes, and a heck of a lot of fun for target shooting.
     
  11. Craigman

    Craigman Member

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    bearman49709^^^ Just looked that up. Seems you are correct. Never knew that, Thanks. Wonder if its new? I have never seen and dont know anyone myself that has carried a centerfire afeild hunting anytime of year down here.
     
  12. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    I love the .22 mag and shoot it all the time in the desert around here. It hits much harder than the .22lr, has better range, and is very quiet compared to a centerfire.

    Our jack rabbits get pretty big out here and lots of time the .22lr won't put them down directly. Never a problem with the mag. It also works well between 75 and 125 yards. This is where I shoot the most jacks. I find them shading in bushes and they don't flush at that range.

    It is a fun little round that out preforms itself.
     
  13. ricebasher302

    ricebasher302 Member

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    It seems to me that a cartridge's purpose is often based on what other calibers it resides with in a collection of firearms. If you already had a .22 Magnum and a .22-250, based solely on caliber performance, a .223 would be pointless. If you had a .308 and a 300 Win Mag, a 30-06 might be pointless. In your case, you have a .22 and a .223, so the WMR is kind of pointless. If you had a sharp stick and a slingshot, a .22 Mag would be the bee's knees!
     
  14. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    I have used the .22 mag. on just about every legal game in fl up to wild boar. In the hands of a cool shot it will do more than it's paper ballistics sugguest. It was my truck gun for several decades and it never let me down. You just need to use the right bullets to match your game, but I have found the old Winchester 40gr sp to be the best overall. The original loading by Winchester used a 40 gr. bullet at an honest 2,000 fps. That's a heap more powerful than any .22 lr.
     
  15. cat_IT_guy

    cat_IT_guy Member

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    Guns need a purpose? Kidding.... kind of.

    Ive yet to purchase - or even shoot - a .22mag, but I've always had an unexplainable itch for one. I think in a nice lever action it would be great fun, more range than a .22, cheaper than most .223 (different story if you roll your own, I suppose), and just seems like a fun all around shooter and small to mid size game getter.
     
  16. floorit76

    floorit76 Member

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    What's the purpose of 90% of the calibers we have? Lets all vote on 10 calibers and get rid of the rest. :banghead:
    It must have had a pretty decent purpose once, as it's a darn popular cartridge. I love my Marlin 917 in 22wmr. Darned accurate, quiet, hits plenty hard for varmints up close, and doesn't bounce through my neighbors house. I don't shoot it nearly as much as I did before I bought a few 223's. But it's still the best squirrel/rabbit gun I've ever seen. Shooting v-max, head shots make for nothing but a ragged neck.
     
  17. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    I've shot em, but never owned one. I know I don't need an excuse, but I've no reason to own one. I could spend that money on a firearm I could use. Plus, 22 mag round these parts ain't cheap. Not for plinking anyway. Besides, I'm a farm boy, and quiet isn't an issue.

    What game needs shot with a Mag, that can't be with a 22lr or .223, .204, .22-250, .243?
     
  18. 303tom

    303tom member

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    It`s mobetta than a .22 LR................
     
  19. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    I have two .22RFM. An AMT Automag II pistol and a Marlin 882 ss bolt action rifle. I keep them in the safe with ammo as a SHTF back up pair.

    The .22RFM is a very capable caliber in the right hands for SD or large game not wanting to eat you . I became aware of actual use for the .22RFM by interior Indians in Alaska 40 years ago, and it was not for snowshoe bunnies.
     
  20. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    I will admit that I was a .22mag hater for quite some time. I would find the empties out in the desert and secretly laugh at the fool that would spend so much more money for a simply stretched .22lr.

    Thankfully, however, ignorance isn't permanent and I got to play around with one pretty extensively in TX. We had ever imaginable rifle and caliber to shoot, but we took out a couple of .22 mags to wage war on some racoons that were tearing up the back part of the ranch house and garden. I had shot a lot of coons with the .22lr's with varying degrees of success, but the .22 mag simply pole axed them. I brought this new found knowledge back home with me and have owned at least one .22mag ever since.

    I understand the skepticism, but if you start shooting one you might see the value.
     
  21. kingcheese

    kingcheese Member

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    It can be used on squirrel and rabbit if you use some sense, it can eliminate skunk and racking for pest control problems, with good shot placement it can drop most predators, its the round of choice for a lot of hog hunters, and its used in a lot of rimfire target pistols, its the swiss army knife of bullets, its not the best for all game, but it will drop most of it, its also a handy round to take care of stray cats, dogs, the occasional snake , and the big one, its ammunition doesn't take up a lot of space, a strong 22lr makes about 100 ftibs force at the muzzle, typical 17HMR is 200 and 22mag is 250
     
  22. skoro

    skoro Member

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    Short answer: enjoyment

    I have a CZ 452 in 22wmr and not only is it a real nice rifle, the 22wmr cartridge is a real hoot. Kinda pricey to shoot in comparison to 22lr, but a lot more satisfaction.
     
  23. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    Try this. Turn your question around and look at it from the other direction. Why use a .22lr instead of a .22 mag?

    Realistically the .22 mag is as accurate as the .22lr and has much greater effective range. It has better bullet construction and is effective on a much wider range of game. Although the rounds are slightly larger than the .22lr the difference is negligible. The rifles that fire them are essentially the same size. So the .22 mag is equal to or exceeds the .22lr in all ways but one.

    There is only one category the .22lr wins and that is price. Price per round is obviously lower for the .22lr and if you plan on shooting a lot of paper that will make a difference. Heck, if you plan on shooting a lot of anything that will make a difference. But if the price for ammo for both were exactly the same there would be no reason to chose the .22 lr over the .22 mag.
     
  24. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    In my state, we're limited to "rimfires" for night hunting Racoons and Opossoms. While I suppose one of the HV .22LR rounds would work just fine for head shots, I would prefer the slightly greater power of the WRM for these larger critters.
     
  25. CountryUgly

    CountryUgly Member

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    The Marlin gets used dang near daily for critter control on the farm. The .22 mag is good for all of the vermin out to about 150 yards IMO. It'll even take down a deer with proper shot placement out to 100 yards or so.
     
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