.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire

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.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire

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The .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, more commonly called .22 WMR, .22 Magnum, or simply .22 Mag, is a rimfire cartridge. Originally loaded with a bullet weight of 40 grains (2.6 g) delivering velocities in the 2,000 feet per second (610 m/s) range from a rifle barrel, .22 WMR has also been loaded with bullet weights of 50 grains (3.2 g) at 1,530 feet per second (470 m/s) and 30 grains (1.9 g) at 2,200 feet per second (670 m/s). The .22 WMR was introduced in 1959 by Winchester, but was not used by Winchester until the Winchester Model 61 slide rifle could be chambered for it, in 1960. By that time, Smith and Wesson and Ruger had revolvers for it, and Savage had come out with the Model 24 and since late 2012, the model 42, a more modern update than the 24, a .22/.410 rifle. It was the only successful rimfire cartridge introduced in the 20th Century. Since the .22 WMR generally uses the same weight bullets as the .22 Long Rifle, it is used in similar situations. The 40-grain (2.6 g) .22 WMR at 100 yards (91 m) still retains the same velocity as a .22 LR at the muzzle, which can provide improved penetration at all ranges and more reliable expansion at longer ranges with expanding bullets. If sighted in for maximum point blank range on a 3-inch (76 mm) high target, the 40-grain (2.6 g) .22 WMR can reach ranges of nearly 125 yards (114 m). This makes the .22 WMR an effective short to medium range varmint rifle cartridge. The relatively quiet report and negligible recoil also make it a very pleasant round to shoot for extended periods. The .22 WMR can take down small game such as rabbits, groundhogs, prairie dogs, foxes, racoons, and even coyotes at close range.

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.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire Specs

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Introduced in 1959, the 22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (22 WMR or 22 Mag) was the only successful rimfire introduced in the 20th Century. Although developed by Winchester, the Marlin Levermatic rifle was the first firearm offered in the chambering. 

.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire History


.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire Usage

The 22 WMR is a solid choice for varmint control. With an effective range of 150-200 yards, low recoil, and lightweight firearm options, it is a great choice for youth and beginners getting started. Viable game to be targeted would be squirrel, groundhogs/marmots, fox, bobcat, rabbit, prairie dogs, and even coyotes within its effective range.
The 22 WMR loaded with the same 40 grain bullet common in 22LR and generates 50% more kinetic energy at 100 yards than the 22LR generates at the muzzle. Some revolvers are offered with interchangeable cylinders allowing the use of 22LR or 22 WMR from the same firearm.

.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire Trivia


.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire Design

The 22 WMR is a rimfire, rimmed, straight wall cartridge firing a .2285 diameter heeled bullet with an overall length of 1.350”. Muzzle velocity is approximately 1900 feet per second depending on ammunition choice. The 22 WMR is designed to be used with a 1:16” rifling twist rate. 
Ammunition can be found with a jacketed round nose, soft point, polymer tip, or jacketed hollow point bullets for different uses. Several styles of firearms can be found chambered in 22 WMR; revolvers, pistols, bolt action, lever action, pump action, and semi automatic rifles or carbines using box or tubular magazines.

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