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4/19/2017 8:35 AM
 

Hey y'all,

So I thought I'd pick your brains and see what sort of experiences any of y'all have had with this cartridge. I'm not really interested in a Rimfire Caliber War (I'm sure those exist, but can't say I've seen them), but if you absolutely hate 22 mag, share your expriences. 

Here's the thing: I have an awesome little 20" Henry 22 mag that I quite love. (Marlin made me hate lever actions, Henry made me love them.) I enjoy varmint hunting, but almost all of my varmint hunting experiences have been with a .22LR or a .410. 

Most of the ammo around here I can find is a 30 gr V-Max or a 40 gr TMJ, but I have no qualms about purchasing ammo online. I haven't used the TMJ on game, but I've seen the V-Max to be ... Explosive. 

So here's my main question: what do you use for hunting, and for what game? I understand that certain rifles like certain bullets and all that, but I'm curious your experiences. Any potential ammo mentioned would of course be accuracy tested prior to taking it on a hunt/walkabout. (I've heard stories of people using FMJ to take down hogs but that seems... Extreme.)

Slightly different question, and rather situation specific. If you were going to ONLY bring your 22 mag with you in the back country, what would you want to load it with for self defense? Would particular hunting rounds be better suited for such a task, or would this primarily be a "use what you have" situation because any 22 mag is going to be suboptimal? The situation I'm imagining is varmint/predator hunting, with the potential interaction with certain predatory primates. I'm not in grizzly country, and I'm not thinking self-defense against black bears. 

Basically, if you have thoughts and experiences with the 22 mag... Sharing is caring. 

- J 

 
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4/19/2017 3:14 PM
 
I've not killed very much with the .22 Magnum but my leanings - ammo wise - are towards standard weight (40-50 gr) bullets for general purpose applications. For stuff under 20 pounds, the high velocity, lighter weight (30-35 grain) stuff works fine but you give up penetration in many cases. 40 years ago, a friend of mine killed a 200+ pound hog with a High Standard single-action revolver using 40 gr FMJ's, but it took a whole cylinder full to get it done as he wasn't a very good pistol shot.

Some years ago I had a Winchester 9422 that was a tack-driver with one particular 50 grain CCI load and that rifle would probably be the kind of platform one would desire to have as a general purpose tool. My only current .22 Magnum rifle is a Ruger 77/22 that loves the CCI 40 gr Game Point load. It has a slick barrel so it's scoped, but when accuracy is a requirement, it shoots well under a half-inch at 50 yards.

.22 Magnum ammo is as rare as chicken teeth these days and it's expensive. Heck, I can shoot a .223 just as cheap and all sorts of ammo is readily available. The .22 Magnum has always been a niche cartridge and with the ammo situation being what it is, I suspect it will remain so.
 
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4/19/2017 8:30 PM
 
I have a 9422M that made several trips to Montana and killed a lot of prairie dogs. I mostly used the standard Winchester 40 grain HP and the 34 grain Supreme. Both loads were very effective. The 9422M is too nice to knock around in the woods so I bought a compact Ruger American Rimfire with a threaded muzzle. It shoots well with CCI 40 grain HPs but I haven't shot anything with it yet.
 
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4/19/2017 10:30 PM
 
In my opinion, the 22 mag is a very capable cartridge for hunting and one of my favorite carry guns is an LCP chambered in 22 mag. Growing up in South Texas, we used a 22 mag for most types of game we took with the exception of deer where its not legal to take with a rimfire round. My everyday truck gun was a Ruger All-Weather with a Nikon Prostaff 3-9X40. When we did a lot of hog trapping at the time I would use a 22 mag rifle to to deliver a clean kill. With Hogs, one shot with a 40gr solid right behind the ear will generally drop a hog with one shot and is very effective on coyotes but its all about shot placement. I feel the best effective range for this round (no matter which grain weight) is ~100 yards. To touch on some of 41magfan's points, a 223 bolt rifle came to be and still is my rifle of choice for these tasks now and the amount of ammo choices is much better than a 22 mag and and you can expand your range in which shots you can take.

 
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4/20/2017 9:15 AM
 
Haha J it seems like we like all the same gear !

I have kel-tec PMR + CMR.

To share my thoughts, I think it's important to start from the kel-tec angle. For me kel-tec is kind of like the 22wmr of firearm manufacturers. I have other kel-tecs beyond these two - including the sub2k I mentioned in your attache thread.

Ok so the gist is that Kel-tec makes a ton of stuff that I want to love - and some stuff that I actually do love, like the su-16. [I also *like* the sub2k a lot.]

I kind of feel that way about 22wmr. I want to love it. But sometimes it frustrates me!

The CMR has taken me a long time to get it to cycle decently well. I still don't trust it. I want to, but I can't (yet). Maybe someday I will.

So basically it's job is Pennsyltuckey groundhog duty. It's pretty solid in that role. I've got a linear compensator that spends a fair amount of time on it, that does an ok job of projecting the noise downrange. For awhile I was so frustrated with it that I was pretty sure I was going to sell it. Now that it's been working a bit better, I am thinking I will probably get the PA 1-4x illuminated optic for it. I just worry it will weigh it down too much. But I'd like 4x illuminated. Being able to dial it back to "1x" is just an extra perk that I don't necessarily need for something that is on groundhog removal and chicken protection duty.

For ammo! I like HORNADY 22 WMR 45 gr FTX Critical Defense. When I can't find that I have used CCI Maxi Mag .22WMR 40gr Hollow Point. That CCI has some funny branding on it with a guy shooting gators. I guess it's a TV show or something. I just searched through my email receipts and copied and pasted the two that I've bought the most, and it didn't have whatever the special marketing guy featured on it is. But hopefully that helps. I've started shooting mostly only fully jacketed 22 lr/wmr so there's less lead fouling. Because I'm lazy. And because Kel-tec also says not to shoot those sort of options - eg Armscor. Which is a pity, because Armscor is pretty readily available.

Hopefully that was mostly readable. Apologies in advance (or not advance, since this is the bottom of my post). I've had some uber late nights with work lately, and I'm suffering a bit today. Trying to coffee my way into productivity, but I might have used whatever little bit I have trying to put together a semblance of legible thought here.

 
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4/20/2017 5:13 PM
 
Hey folks, thanks for weighing in. I always appreciate the input here. I've been looking for heavier stuff, non-FMJ, but around here the vmax is plentiful but that's about it. Good news is that ammo is more accurate than I am! Impressively so.

41magfan - around here, local stuff is normally $15 or so for 50, so it's about the price of cheap steel 223. I'd stick with 223 if I didn't value the meat and pelts...

St-Express - I'd heard of guys doing that to hogs, it just seemed out there. I have a couple friends that trap, and their go to is the 22 mag for quick dispatches. I share your love of 223 bolts though. A lot of people don't like it, or would rather use a 22-250 or 243, but I always thought it hit that sweet spot for predators and medium game around here.

MC - I've never used 22 mag in a semi auto. If it's anything like 22LR they can be incredibly frustrating... I've thought about putting a fixed 4x on my Henry. It'd easily double my effective range. I'll have to hunt down some of that ammo. Vmax is as common as dirt around here, but surprisingly little else.

- J
 
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9/24/2017 6:10 PM
 

I have two .22WMR rifles and both like Hornady 30gr, Winchester 32gr Supremes and Winchester 45gr Dynapoints. For general hunting both the Win loads get the nod for me. The Hornady is light and easy to get currently so it has become my "paper punching/plinking" load.

 
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