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What do you all think of the .22 Win Mag?

30111 Views 24 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  clampdaddy
What do you all think of the .22 Win Mag?
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If you're a reloader, you can do a .223 for just about the same cost. Plus, the .22 WMR has a reputation as a relatively inaccurate round. I don't have one, so I can't say that's a fact... just something I've heard from more than one source.
Ditto on WWB's thoughts. I had a 22 Mag and accuracy was nothing to write home about and ammo was rather pricey IMO plus I experienced a bunch of misfires. Replaced it with a 223, while this rig is pricier to get started, accuracy is very good, I can reload, factory ammo for plinking is relatively inexpensive, and I can go out past 100 yards. For 50 yards or less I go with my 22 rimfire.

Not to say that the 22 mag does not have its place, it does, but I think it is a bit more of a specialized or niche round and does offer the advantage of reduced noise over the centerfire 22's.

Just my thoughts.
Unfortunately, I have never had a .22 mag rifle, just a handgun. From my experience, the only advantage over a .22LR (since I'm not sure what you want to compare it to) is that it has more knockdown power. Everything else is pretty on par. The disadvantage is the price (and sometimes availability) of the ammo. Advantages over the .223 and comparable rifles is the noise.
So, IMHO, the .22 mag is just a compramise between the two. I would use a .22LR for small game and plinking, but would prefer a .223 (or the like) for varmints. The .22 mag fits somewhat in between these two and gives you an "all around" ammo.

I like the 22 mag and the ones I have are accurate enough. I mainly use mine for Coyotes around the horse barns and pastures. The 22 mag gives you much more than the standard 22lr and it doesn't carry as far as the 223 or 22-250. I also like the 22 mag much better than the .17 at this time. My experience with the 17 is limited right now but I will get a better idea as time goes on. From what I have seen thus far, the 22 mag does a better job on yotes but that is my opinion right now. I really can't say I got much with the 17 other than another gun in my collection. I will say that I have not had to many yotes run off with a 22mag in it but I have not seen the same with the 17. I made good hits with the 17 on 3 yotes but it didn't have much effect, they all ran but I did recover them. After inspection the bullet performance was less than I expected after reading all the articles. I will try different bullets and see, right now I will stick with the 22 mag.
I mainly shoot a Marlin 883ss, this is a good looking little rifle and extremely accurate. It is all stainless steel, tube fed with a laminated stock. Looks classy and comes with a small price tag. I also have a Winchester lever gun, it was much pricier even back when I bnought it but it looks good and shoots real decent. Just my 2 cents worth.
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I have been shooting the 22 mag for years. I have found the guns I have shot to be very accurate but they do prefer one brand or others. My Marlin 25 NM preffered the Federal's and the Savage 93 that I am using mostly now prefers the CCI brand. I have always tried to use the lightest bullet possible and do not find and advantage in using the 17 HMR. The shells are a little expensive compared to shooting the reloaded .223 but not all of us reload and this seems to provide a nice medium range gun at a fair price. I shoot ground hogs in a growing rural area and do not have to worry as much about ex-long bullet travel as with the .223. The 22 mag is an honest 150 yd. gun but beyond that you need to move up to something a little bigger.

In another post I mentioned the new Rem premium 22Mags. If you guys have inaccurate mags, try a box of these. Someone finally got it right!! The bullets are polymer tipped and quite a bit up from all the others. I shot a 1 1/2 group yesterday with a Ruger single six with a 4 in barrel. All the other ammo could not get below 2 1/2 !! I'm not a very good pistol shot and this was off of a sand bag at 20yds. My Marlin,topped with a bushnell 4x12,shoots one hole at 50 yds and under an inch at 100yds.
I belive some of the 22mag's rep concerning innacuracy comes from the inconsistancy of the ammo. It is Not created equal. CCI now loads for Rem 22wmr because Rem's production was - inconsistant. Winchester 22wmr production is moving - or has moved but I'm unsure of where the new lots of ammo are at this time. Stuff like that. Armscor's still smell like egg farts once fired. Winchester makes the supreme - top shelf, and the dynaturd, ( a sort of acne copper wash meets a deformed chunk of lead ), a low end rubbish round.

So I generaly stick to what works and zero in.
Some people complain the 22wmr is expensive for what it is compared to the 22lr. yes it is, as is the 17hmr's cost is about the same yet the 'craze' is there. I don't buy comapring lr. to 17 or mag round, the make up is a completely different animal.

I don't consider the mag an over 100 yard tool, if I had the time to zap evil crows I'd consider the 17's extended range. The mag, however in either flavor had a lower report that is appealing. I don't expect shooters in everypart of the globe to understand that the way many shooters / hunters in a more densely populated area deal with. Almost any rimfire is a great tool to teach youngsters. And if your on a budget the mag also makes sence. I shoot a 25mn, that has a tweeked triggor advantage. And decent glass. I typicaly use a fmj-sp for light game and the 40-hp on critters. Although if the Marlin could talk it will say tons of possum fell to the supreeme, and that would be correct.
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I chose the 22 mag over the centerfires for my insert barrels in my drillings. There were several reasons:

I would be using them on small game, only.

The round doesn't carry as far in congested farming or ranching areas.

The 22 mag is much quieter.

It doesn't bust up the small game badly...leaves something worth eating...

It is plenty accurate in good barrels with good quality ammo.

I can carry a shi#load of ammo in my pocket.

It doesn't cost all that much to shoot.

These are my own personal reasons, and none may apply to your particular needs...
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I've used the .22 mag a bit for about a year now and it is beginning to grow on me. I've shot a half dozen coyotes with it to date and feel it is adequate for them out to a 120 yards or so. I had been using the Remiington 40 gr soft points and feel this is about the best of the 40 gr bullets for this purpose. I have just started using the 50 gr Federal hollow points and am impressed with them. They shoot as accurately as the Remingtons but the 2 coyotes I've shot have gone down quickly with body shots. It isn't as dramatic as with a .223 but better than I expected. I think enough of this that I plan on using them for bobcats this coming week. The resident isn't comfortable with me using a centerfire and the area is a little too open for a shotgun so the .22 mag is it. Now, if the cat will only co-operate.
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Well, in two evenings and one morning the bobcat did not cooperate but two coyotes and a fox did. Ammo used was the Federal 50 gr HPs and results were pretty decent. The fox went down immediately when shot at roughly 50 yards. The coyotes were mixed, the first went down as if poleaxed with a shot that I believe hit the spine along with the lungs at a bit over 70 yards. The other song dog was shot at maybe 50 feet and ran off. He was found about 200 yards away in pretty bad shape. A second shot finished it off. The first shot hit the smack dab center in the shoulder joint causing the bullet to partially fragment and veer off course. Both lungs appeared damaged but not immediately deadly. The dog would have died shortly but as the weather was snowing with some blowing snow, a little longer wait may have resulted in the loss of the trail. I don't know if any other .22 mag bullet would have had better results as that was a pretty tough part of the dog to hit. I am growing to like the .22 WMR, it may replace my worn out Marlin Camp Rifle.
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I have a Marlin 883 in 22 mag and really like it. I've only used it for targets (darn accurate at 100 yards) and on squirrels. Yes, I know squirrels are small and a 22LR does fine on them, but I just like the flatter trajectory for "long" shots when the leaves are down. I've found that the damage, even with hollow points, while impressive, is not "excessive" as long as you take body shots. Now on the other hand... I nailed one tree doggie with my 22mag at a range of about 10 feet - in the head! Didn't leave much of the head left...
The last squil I took with my 22mag was a 70 yard shot to the body. 70 yards and I didn't have to hold over or anything. Just put the cross hairs on the middle and popped him. He never moved-just dropped.
It's just a fun gun to shoot.
BTW, I've been using CCI MaxiMag 40gr HP's and they work great.
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Re: re: What do you all think of the .22 Win Mag?

wwb said:
Plus, the .22 WMR has a reputation as a relatively inaccurate round. I don't have one, so I can't say that's a fact... just something I've heard from more than one source.
The myth of 22WMR being not so accurate is totally false nowadays. When the round first came out that may have been true, but now the current production ammo and rifles in 22WMR are very accurate. I have a Marlin 883 in 22WMR and it puts shots into 1.5 - 2 inches all day at 100 yards. Plenty accurate.
Pigeonhunter. Haven't had a .22 mag. in 10 years. The last was and l894 Marlin. I believe I have the model right. Have had Winchester pump model 61, I believe. The Marlin gave very poor accuracy. The model 61 was ok, but I did have a Marlin bolt with a tube, don't even know the model now. That baby would SHOOT :shock: . It was probably one of the most accurate rimfires I have ever owned. I sold it for something else maybe the Marlin Lever, regretted it ever since. Some times I would hit a big old prairie dog at about a 100 yards and knock him over, only to have him dive in a hole a bit later. Wounded game of any kind is appalling to me :oops: . So I let it go. I would be great for woodchucks etc. But careful shot placement is required. :wink:
I have a 22.Mag in an NEF Sportster.
Shoots the Remington polymer tip the best of anything and shoots a nice tight group at 100 yards.
If I could have had this rifle when I was a kid...

I also have a 17 HMR in NEF bull barrel. What it does to crows is obscene. It is more accurate at 100 yards than the .22Mag, but not practically so.

Here in Vermont we have coyotes but they're bigger and very bashful. Would use a .223 or up if I was looking for them.

Best wishes,
Here in Michigan, when calling coyotes and fox at night you have to use rimfire or shotgun (no buckshot). So the .22WMR gets the nod. I don't have much faith in the small, light .17HMR bullet to cleanly take a coyote.
Re: re: What do you all think of the .22 Win Mag?

killerb said:
Here in Michigan, when calling coyotes and fox at night you have to use rimfire or shotgun (no buckshot). So the .22WMR gets the nod. ...
:?: :?:
What the heck kind of logic ...
So if your out with centerfire or buckshot in the day you have to return to your camp / truck and disturb the area to get different ammo or firearm. You can use buckshot - a very effective close range coyote round - in the day but not at night? What if your out before sundown and want to hunt into the night - doesn't make sence.
We have some funky rules in Michigan. We have the state divided into the northern rifle zone and the southern shotgun zone. This is for deer season only. In the south, where I live, we can not use centerfire rifles for deer. Shotgun, muzzle loader or handgun are ok. You may not posses a rimfire firearm in the woods or your vehicle during firearms deer season unless you have a furbearers license. You can shoot coyotes and fox during the day with centerfire rifles state wide (during season), but at night it must be rimfire or shotgun, like I said, no buckshot. In the southern shotgun zone, you can't take a centerfire out at all during deer season. They used to say no rifles in the woods during turkey season too, but they changed that.

Thats what you get when beaurocrats who know nothing of hunting get to make the hunting laws.
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]Like killerb said the laws in the shotgun zone of Mi., can be confusing so I stoped at a deercheck station up the road from me and asked the DNR lady about coyote hunting during firearms deerseason and she set me straight and was very helpful. :)
i have a pre 68 mossy 642kc in 22wmr. shooting beside a .17 and a 22lr anshultz (sp?) the 642 held its own. shooting 40gr cci hp was at 1.5"avg @100. shooting 30gr v-max. same bullet shape as the .17. its was a little better but.. poa was about 6" higher!!
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