using 22LR in a 22magnum?

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by 69burbon, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. 69burbon

    69burbon Well-Known Member

    Mods, feel free to move this if you have a better idea where it should go.

    Some friends and I were talking about multipurpose guns and this lead to a discussion about guns that can use multiple size rounds I/E .38 in a .357 and .410 in a 45LC. That led to the idea that a 22lr could be used in a 22magnum.

    I don't have much experience with that and not sure, nor were any of my friends.

    Just curious.

    (A neighbor was thinking about selling me his 22 mag revolver for a CCW gun)
  2. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    You risk having the .22lr case "swell" upon ignition in the larger .22mag. chamber. It could split, blasting gas and brass back at the shooter.
    EDIT: PM rimfirehunter and ask him about his .22lr in a .22mag cylinder... as I'm not sure if it's within HPFF Terms of Use to post his trick. / Just carry the pistol with mags... truse me, you're carrying a .22... better make it a .22mag.

  3. Silicon Wolverine

    Silicon Wolverine Well-Known Member

    you can use .22 WRF (winchester rimfire) in a .22 mag but not 22 LR.

  4. 69burbon

    69burbon Well-Known Member


    That is what I wanted to know. I suspected as much.

    We had a guy at the range the other day try to load 32 ACP into a 32 revolver. Glad we caught him in time. That could have been bad.

    Thanks guys, I knew you would come through with an answer.
  5. The big problem with .22lr and .22mag is the case size AND bullet sizes are different. The lr case is shorter (duh) than the mag but its also smaller in dia as well, so it will swell/rupture/stick in the chamber if fired in a .22mag... been there, tried it and yes 75% split & stick.

    Another thing is the lr round uses a .222 size bullet and the mag uses a traditional .224 size bullet. This is not a major issue in most convertable revolvers because the soft lead heel on the .22lr bullet swells to fill the larger bore when fired. The big problem is when the heel of the bullet swells prior to entering the chamber in a rifle, it will shave lead and give you a nasty cleaning job to do on the rifle chamber and beginning stages of the rifling. yes... been there, tried it too. This problem is not an issue in convertable revolvers because it uses a forcing cone allowing the bullet to enter the bore without shaving lead provided your cylinder is not out of alignment.

    Like SW said, you can shoot .22WRF rounds in a .22WMR chambered revolver or rifle, but in a bolt/lever you may have some cycling issues and in a semi-auto the WRF may not operate the bolt properly. You will also get a fouling ring in the chamber that must be cleaned out prior to going back to the longer .22WMR ammo, otherwise you will expierence stuck cases. yep... did that one too.

    Now... I do have a home brew SHTF only work around for using .22lr ammo in my .22Mag chambered bolt rifle. This is my last resort to keeping my .22Mag running in the event all I can procure is .22lr ammo. Shoot me a PM and I will let you in on it. :wink:
  6. 69burbon

    69burbon Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info Rimfire. The guy who was going to make me a deal on the 22 mag wheel gun can't make up his mind.

    I am still looking to find a smaller carry gun than my C9 (which is why I was interested in the 22 mag). I do want to stay with something that has some punch though. I'd like to not go smaller then the 9mm. I do kind of like that 9mm revolver Taurus had out but they seem to made of un-obtainium from what I have been reading.
  7. 9mm revolvers that are for sale are extremely hard to find, I have seen one locally and a few on the auction sites over the last 2 years and thats it. At one time I was looking for a 9mm snubby and after a few months of looking I settled on a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special snubby. Since then I have had the .44 bug and lost interest in the 9mm revolver idea. They are out there but you gotta look and be prepared to buy it when you find it, otherwise someone else will buy it.
  8. Ruger makes, or at least used to make, a Blackhawk S/A convertable 38/357, with a spare 9mm cylinder. I understand accuracy with the 9mm was never spectacular especially with factory .355 bullets going down a .357 tube, but when handloaded with .357 bullets it was as accurate as with .38/357. I've never owned one myself, but always thought it would be a great "anywhere in the world" gun.