22lr vs 22mag

22lr vs 22mag

This is a discussion on 22lr vs 22mag within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Can someone explain to me the difference between a .22lr and a .22mag? Also what makes a round a "magnum" in any caliber?...

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Thread: 22lr vs 22mag

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array thebigdl86's Avatar
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    22lr vs 22mag

    Can someone explain to me the difference between a .22lr and a .22mag? Also what makes a round a "magnum" in any caliber?
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    .22 mag is longer
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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    What makes it a magnum is that someone calls it that. For instance, I don't beleive there was ever a .357 non-magnum. However, it was an improvement on the .38spl, which also used a .357 diameter bullet, but the case was lenghtened and powder charge increased to make the .357 mag.

    Usually it indicates a higher powder charge (usually made possible becuase of an increase in case capacity), over the standard load in that caliber or cartridge that preceeded it. That is the case with the .22lr v. .22 mag, .44spl v. .44 mag and so on.

    If there is a set rule as to "what makes something a magnum" I am unaware of it.
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    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
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    more powder, usually longer case. MORE POWER!!!!
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    VERY IMPORTANT!!!!
    It is not safe to use any .22 rimfire other than magnum in a weapon that is chambered for the magnum!!!
    Unlike other straight walled magnums (.357magnum/.38 special .44 magnum/.44 special) the .22 magnum is not only longer but also a slightly larger diameter. This is because different bullet designs are used. The magnums do not use a rebated heel on the bullet like the other .22 rimfires. This means if you shoot a .22lr in a .22magnum chamber you will more than likely get a case rupture.
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    Member Array mpd563's Avatar
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    As far as I know there is no magic number either in velocity or power that turns a cartrige into a magnum cartrige. The word "magnum", say in the case of the .22, usually means this is the hotter (more powerful) version of the .22LR round. Magnum shells are longer than their non-magnum counterpart allowing the shell casing to hold more powder therefore generating high chamber pressures, more power, and faster velocities than the non-magnum shell. Generally speaking any magnum shell is usually a very powerful shell for its size.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Rmac58's Avatar
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    A friend mentioned they are different circumference bullets. I have both rounds and have measured each with an electronic caliper. They measure the same.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Rmac58,
    The bullets are the same diameter. The case is different. Most of the .22 rimfires have a rebated base. If you look closely the the case mouth will be flush with the outside diameter of the bullet. On the magnum the bullets have square bases and the full bullet diameter is seated in the case mouth.
    Measure the oustide of the case right behind the bullet and right in front of the rim. The .22 magnum should be a little bit bigger.
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    Member Array NativH's Avatar
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    If you are wondering about the efficacy of the 22 mag round, it is fairly powerful and I'd hate to get shot with one. I can't think of any 22 mag semi auto pistol but it would make for an interesting defensive weapon. Too long of a round for a super small pistol is probably why it isn't done. A bud and I did some ballistic testing of 22 short, long, long rifle, CCI Stinger and 22 mag rounds for a senior mechanical engineering course years ago and the mag had fairly impressive results out to 100 yards. We used both a Ruger Single Six and several rifles, and had one heck of a good time doing it. The prof thought it was an interesting choice of topics also.
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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtD View Post
    it was an improvement on the .38spl, which also used a .357 diameter bullet
    Makes me wonder why the original 0.357 inch bullet was named the .38 special. Seems like, if you round off to 2 digits, it would have been named the .36 special.

  11. #11
    Member Array mpd563's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
    Makes me wonder why the original 0.357 inch bullet was named the .38 special. Seems like, if you round off to 2 digits, it would have been named the .36 special.
    If im remembering correcly it was because they measured the diameter of the outside of the case instead of the bullet itself and it measured somewhere about .38
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Rmac58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    Rmac58,
    The bullets are the same diameter. The case is different. Most of the .22 rimfires have a rebated base. If you look closely the the case mouth will be flush with the outside diameter of the bullet. On the magnum the bullets have square bases and the full bullet diameter is seated in the case mouth.
    Measure the oustide of the case right behind the bullet and right in front of the rim. The .22 magnum should be a little bit bigger.
    Yes, I didn't mention that, sorry. My friend's issue was the bullet diameter, he was "told" the .22lr would rattle around the barrel = less accuracy.
    The brass, .22 wmr, around 1/2mm larger around than the lr.

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    Senior Member Array AZ Desertrat's Avatar
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    yeah.....I never could find the answer to that anywhere....wonder who originated the term?
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array AZ Desertrat's Avatar
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    Here it is:

    Despite its name, its caliber is actually .357–.358 inches (9.0678 mm), with the ".38" referring to the approximate diameter of the loaded brass case. This came about because the original .38-caliber cartridge, the .38 Short Colt, was designed for use in converted .36-caliber cap-and-ball (muzzleloading) Navy revolvers, which had cylindrical firing chambers of approximately 0.374-inch (9.5 mm) diameter, requiring heeled bullets, the exposed portion of which was the same diameter as the cartridge case (see the section on the .38 Long Colt).
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government--lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." --Patrick Henry

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