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22 Magnum Vs 22LR

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by jkraig, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. jkraig

    jkraig West Linn, Oregon New Member

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    Can a 22 mag revolver shoot 22lr out of the same cylinder?

    If not, what are the reasons??
  2. jkraig

    jkraig West Linn, Oregon New Member

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    Looks like I can answer my own question after searching the web.

    "The .22 mag. CAN shoot .22 lr cartridges but the .22 lr bullets are slightly smaller than the .22 mag. so will not be as accurate as they would be if they were fired from a gun that is chambered for the .22 lr. Another consideration, it that the .22 lr cartridges are also slightly smaller in diameter than the .22 mag and are subject to splitting in the chamber. This will make the spent cases difficult to remove and is unsafe. The .22 lr cartridges are shorter than the .22 mag cartridges and will tend to cause lead fouling to collect in the cylindar and will have to be removed before you will be able to load .22 mags in the cylinder."

    "So, yes you can shoot .22 lr. cartridges in a .22 mag. revolver but is is a pretty bad idea and I don't recommend it."
  3. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    The case dimensions (besides the obvious length) are different for the two cartridges. You will likely get split cases and reports I have heard is that it is almost like a squib load going off. Here is a comparison list of the two, particularly note the differences in neck, base and rim dimensions:

    .22LR vs .22WMR
    .223 bullet dia .224
    .225 neck dia .240
    .225 base dia .241
    .275 rim dia .291
    .040 rim thick .046
    .590 case length 1.052
    .985 total length 1.350

  4. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    Nooooo, you dont want to do this, you can rupture a .22lr case doing this.

    .22 mag and .22lr have quite different dimensions in the neck area due to how the bullet sits in the case.
  5. TAT2D

    TAT2D Portland Member

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    FWIW, also, when I bought my .22 Ruger revolver new, <cough> years ago, it came with two cylinders, one for Magnum. I recall some indication that the cylinders are fit to the frames and are not interchangeable with other guns.

  6. shlo812

    shlo812 Centralia/Chehalis WA Member

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    Ruger's website (the online manual) says specifically not to shoot 22lr out of the 22mag cylinder for their Single Six
  7. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: Yes, and the .22LR case will "balloon" inside the Magnum cylinder, and make for slightly difficult extraction. The bullet from the Long Rifle cartridge will "obturate" and grab the rifling, and shoot moderately accurately. This practice is strongly discouraged except in a situation where you have no choice. Such a situation is hard to imagine, except perhaps you are in a survival situation, carrying your .22 revolver with the Magnum cylinder in it, have exhausted your Magnum ammo, but digging deeply in your pocket or pack, find a couple Long Rifle cartridges. This could make that cottontail your supper.

    Convertible revolvers, such as the Ruger Single Six, Colt New Frontier/Peacemaker, etc. that come with two cylinders are actually rifled to fit the .22 Magnum bullet (slightly larger diameter). They rely on the previous mentioned "obturation" of the long rifle bullet to grab the rifling.
    (The pressure of the powder ignition actually "flares" the rear of the soft lead bullet.)

    Having said this, some models of the above pistols were .22 long rifle only, and came with only the long rifle cylinder, and are rifled for .22 long rifle only.

    Borrowing a friend's .22 magnum cylinder from his convertible revolver, and trying to fire magnums in a pistol intended only for long rifle cartridges would invite disaster. (The cylinder may not even function, since they are fitted and gapped for each individual gun.) If you have a Convertible pistol, and lose one of the cylinders, you will need to send the gun to the factory to have a new cylinder fitted to your gun. I actually had this done for a Peacemaker I bought that had only the Magnum cylinder.

    In my experience with the Colts and the Ruger Convertibles, they almost invariably shoot more accurately with .22 Magnum cartridges, since that is what the barrel is rifled for. (Even though the Long Rifle cartridge is considered to be generally a more accurate one in a gun chambered for it.)

    Confused? Sorry about that.