22 WMR rimfire magnum cartridges

Why is the .22 WMR is more versatile than the .17 HMR?

Q: I have learned from your writings that you prefer the .22 WMR over the .17 HMR. Can you tell me why?

– Arthur Jones

A: Blimey, that’s short and sweet! While the .17 HMR is fast, the .22 Magnum has a much wider range of bullet weights which are heavier and have a larger diameter.

In my book this makes the .22 Magnum more versatile.

It now comes with pointed and plastic-tipped bullets just like the HMR and some of those bullets are lighter and faster than the original 40 grainer.

You can now get 28, 30 and 34gn bullets in .22 Magnum ammo that give velocities high enough to challenge the HMR.

The Federal 50gn hollow-points that I started using lately have scored clean one-shot kills on a dozen big billy goats and seven fallow deer of various sizes out to 100yd, the distance which I have the 50gn load sighted-in for.

These animals were all hit solidly with a well-placed shot in the vital heart-lung area and hardly moved off the spot.

For rats and dangerous reptiles I use CCI shot cartridges loaded with 52 pellets of No 12 shot at about 1000fps.

It lays down a dense pattern large enough to cover a paper plate at three metres and really lowers the boom.

The .22 Magnum has more energy and killing power and delivers 144ft-lb at 150yd compared with barely 100ft-lb for the HMR.

Yes Virginia, the .22 Magnum is better for hunting and taking larger game.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.


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