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The Sleeper.... tentżě text v Ťeötinž - strojovż pÝeklad.

Growing & growing....

It's small for it's power in both handguns and rifles. It's not a POWERHOUSE for moose and bear...but it is surprising, the killing power it does have. Small game, vermin, pests and varmints by the pickup load are taken with it everyday.

I have shot thru steel 1/4" I beams, a number of feral dogs, coyotes, several deer....though it is definitely not a deer round...fox...javelina..crows...vermin and varmints....and a goodly number of tough old turkey vultures..and one idiot human predator. It has never failed me when I do my part and use the right ammo for the job.

What is this mystery round....this small but nasty slayer??? It is the unloved, practically unknown, and unappreciated 22 Magnum Rimfire!

Most say that it is somewhere between the hyper 22 Rimfires and the 22 Hornet....but believe me it is much closer to the Hornet.....and today there is a goodly number of different loads available on the market for guns chamber in it. Quietly the 22 mag RF is growing in popularity...many handguns and rifles are chambered for it...that is always the bellwether of a cartridgeís health. Last yearís two new rifles....both autoloaders came out for the little round....a Remington and a Ruger.

For a number of years I had a Uberti 7/8ths in size S/A Colt clone handgun chambered for it. I had put a set of S&W adjustable back sights on the gun, they were from a J-Frame....and looked and worked very well. I had a number of Ruger S/As both blue and stainless, and two AMT autoloaders. A 4 Ĺ inch slide and a 6 inch slide. The afore mentioned two legged predator had his knee cap removed with the AMT and RWS hollow point ammo. He was stupid enough to commit that old sin of taking a knife to a gun fight.

RWS is the best of the ammo for the 22 mag RF but it is very expensive and I keep it for defense loads only. I get 1650+fps from the AMT autoloader with it. And that is the best velocity from a handgun I get with any RF mag ammo. The bullet of the RWS is jacketed and it is a soft nose hollow point. It's a real jacket also, not a gilded bullet. From my Winchester 20 inch levergun 9422M it gives 2310 fps and from my Henry 20 inch levergun I get 2272 fps for 5 shot averages.

I have taken a number of Coyotes with this ammo, before it became so expensive and hard to get. The little 40 grain bullet always held together well and usually expanded to around 35 caliber in lung tissue.

The Henry Rifle by the way...see picture...is very well made for the price...a little over 250 dollars in my area. The wood is outstanding, black walnut with a good deal of curl and wave in the forearm and stock, also good checkering on the forearm.

Turkey buzzards have extremely heavy feathers and feather spines in their wings...which cover their bodies well when they are on the ground or in trees. Back a number of years ago I had a little bolt action Anchutz in 22 magRF. And the Winchester ammo of the time would penetrate those wings with ease...where the CCI hyper velocity RF ammo (non magnum) wouldn't always make it thru. Now before someone jumps up about shooting vultures...yes they were protected but that was the problem. They had grown in numbers where they had become pests. You get a goodly number of them roosting in your farmís trees and they make a terrible mess out of the trees and the ground around them. Besides state law at the time said any animal destroying property could be eliminated.

They protect themselves by vomiting on their enemy. And they do it to each other...and they are always squabbling. All you need is to have one of your bird dogs come home half blind one day because he walked under Ďtheir treeí. Their stomach acid is very harsh and strong. And you too, would drive them off your property. We had two types in Virginia in the 70s...the Red heads and the Black heads. The black heads were on the top of the chain or so it seemed...they were generally bigger and had the highest perches in the trees. Regular 22 RFs just didn't do the job. Tough birds.

Winchester's ammo was first on the market, brought out in the late 1950s when they developed the cartridge and it was loaded for rifle length barrels, so the powder is a slow burning type...Ruger followed with their Single Six handguns being chambered for the new round. (I didn't wait I had a Colt 22 RF single action I opened for the new round in 1960). CCI a number of years later came out with their 22 magRF ammo and it was loaded for handgun length barrels with faster burning powder.

I know because back then Winchester ammo would give higher velocities in rifles then CCI, but CCI ammo would give better velocities in handguns then Winchester...it had to be the burning rate of the powder. Of course all things change, the powder in WW and CCI ammo today, seems to be the same....and today we have a wonderful selection of the rimfire mag ammo on the market. Companies like Federal and Eagle have also jumped in to the market.

Guinea Hens are the best watch dogs for noise you can have on a farm. They are natureís loud mouths. I mean they really squawk and almost scream when anyone goes near their coop. Much less dogs. And in the early 1970s thatís exactly what happened. I had a pack of five dogs come into the chicken and guinea coops of a friend I was visiting. Using a long barrel S&W 22 magnum (mod.48) and Winchester hollow point ammo I killed all five with five shots...longest range couldnít have been over 5 to 6 yards. They ran from around 25 lbs to near 50 lbs in weight if I remember....the happening is outlined in the text of my old book. (The text of the old book will be added to the new book). The shock I saw transmitted that day was like an 9mm hit on small animals I have shot. Very visible and noteworthy.

In my days in Federal Service a number of our agents carried two shot derringers in 22 magnum during undercover operations where a gun couldnít be seen. Very small and easy to hide...but yet nasty if hit with a shot from one. I fired one in the air one dark night in New York City, to get the attention of my backup officers....they said it looked like the electric company lighting the night! During the 1980s several medical examiners told us to shoot for the guts with the 22 mag...that it would fold the biggest bad guy up...or at least slow him considerably. That advice was followed, and proved to be very true in several uncover shootings.....

And a few years ago I had a young adult male pull a knife on me during an arrest. I put the muzzle of the AMT to his knee and fired a warning shot. He folded up and lay on the floor waiting for the medicos to arrive, crying for his momma...big bad dude that he was. When he gets out of the facilities given to him by the state, I donít think he will be doing any long foot races.

The round is not a true self defense cartridge, but in the right place it will slow an attacker way...way down....in 1983 we answered a call where a young military house wife with a baby, with her husband away at the Air Base, shot a burglar that broke into her home. She shot him at across-the-room range. She had a Ruger single six 22 RF magnum.† Her husband taught her to aim for the third button down on a man sized target. And she did, but being fearful she keep shooting till the gun was empty. All bullets exited in a three inch or so pattern from the perpís back and it looked like the exit of a .410 shotgun load. Needless to say she did it all exactly right, and he is no longer terrorizing young women.

Like I said much closer to the 22 Hornet in power then the 22 rimfire. Normally it is said that the handgun in this caliber carried the power of a hyper velocity 22 rimfire from a rifle. But I think itís striking power is even more than that...you have to look closely at the bullets in the 22 magRF ammo to appreciate what I am trying to convey. And the bullet is the key to the success of using this ammo on even small game animals like coyotes.

First...in the last five years or so several companies have started loading true varmint bullets in this round. CCI as usual started it with their MAXI load in hollow point for vermin class targets. That ammo has gone thru several changes over the last few years, and today it is called the MAXI Mag with the TNT HP tip. A hollow point that is so hollow you can look deep into it, 30 grains in weight over a very fine brownish/grey ball powder of 7 and Ĺ grains. It runs almost 1500 fps from my 6 inch AMT and 2121 fps from my Henry. It made a very large ball of feathers out of a pidgin that has been making my Ford Ranger a target for his bombing runs. This is a varmint bullet pure and simple. Itís not for saving small eating game meat. Unless you like mixed grill of whole animal....

CCIís older MAX-V hollow pointed ammo is different in several ways. It is loaded in nickel cases where the TNT stuff is in copper/brass. The bullet in the old ammo has a belt at the shoulder that is .224 and the TNT is .223. So you need to try and see which is more accurate in your gun. Also the old bullet doesnít have as deep a hollow point, or as wide an opening. It was made to go deeper and not expand as fast as the new one. They both have the same powder and amount, they both have concaved bottoms. The older ammo in my guns gives slightly better accuracy. But that is nit picking...and besides 22s even of the mag persuasion are notorious for liking what ammo they like. Two of the same guns right off the line together might have completely different tastes in ammo for accuracy...very common with 22s.

Winchester has a fairly new ammo out...called VARMINT LOAD...it is. Itís a 34 grain bullet over what appears to be exactly the same powder and weight of charge as the CCIs. The bullet is definitely jacketed, not gilded, with a small hollow point, flat based and .224 in size. At the nose for around a 1/16 " down are cuts to help expansion. This is a very finely made bullet and the accuracy from my test guns was always near an inch at 25 yards from the handguns...and surprisingly 1 and Ĺ" at 100 yards from the Winchester 9422M. Itís marked varmint on the box...but I have taken coyotes with this ammo and the bullet on side shots always makes it into the opposite lung...giving excellent damage and quick death to the yote with side shots. This not just a vermin bullet...it will take big small game with placed shots.

Though the velocity is not as high as the CCI MAXI loads, the Winchester is a reliable all around load from a rifle for small game. I still wouldnít shoot a squirrel with it, because it would ruin any eating meat. Unless I had a dead head shot. I donít eat squirrel ears....

Federal is in the game also with a 50 grain and 32 grain offering. The 50 grain is for larger animals but the velocity is down. Back in the 1980s Dick Casull (the designed of the 454 Freedom Arms handgun) had developed a fully automatic 22 magnumRF machine gun and 50 grain ammo was developed for it. I have knocked over a few yotes and a several wild dogs with it. And it is plenty effective, and I can recommend it for larger animals. No, not deer. Though I have done it with set head shots.

Some of the much older ammo from these companies wasnít bad itís own self. Winchester loaded a advertised 40 grain hollow point that had a very small hollow and was a true jacketed bullet. It got 2000+fps from my daughterís 18 inch Ithaca leveraction and it was the ammo I cleaned house with on those five dogs. The solid counter part only reached 1800+ fps, and I never understood why they loaded it that way. If it was for small eating game, they missed it....it was almost as destructive as the hollow pointed stuff on small game. As I mentioned I once fired several holes thru a 1/4 inch steel angle iron that was anchored into cement in the ground...so I could hang a gate on it. The solids would completely go thru some dogs of substantial weight. The soft lead nose of the hollow point, went down from the nose for about a 1/8 ".....like I said Iím going to miss this bullet. The solids were good for turkey some tell me, but I never used one for that so I canít say for sure.

As you can see from my photo in the Paco photo gallery I used centerfire handguns and cast loads on turkey. I shot a few dogs with WW 22 magRF solids, but wasnít impressed...neither fish nor foul. Also I found in 22 magRF handguns...even more than standard 22 RF handguns...the barrel gap is vitally important to be tight. I cut one gap back over fifteen hundredths and the velocity jumped 177 fps!

Barrels of 22 magnum RFs on rifles and handguns vary from .223 to .224. Ruger handguns for example are .223 because they are convertible with standard 22 RFs and 22 MagRFs. So try different kinds of ammo in your guns for accuracy.

I had gone hunting with Jim Taylor one year but the deer just were not cooperating. I went home without. The Kellyís needed meat that year as I remember, and I was walking with my wife in some wood lots behind our house in Tucsonís far east side. A large buck came out of the scrub trees and just looked back glancing at us. I had the Colt clone in 22 magnum with me, with Winchesterís 40 grain hollow points. I put one round right behind his ear at 20 yards and the little bullet exited the other side of his head, taking a good section of skull with it. Elmer Keith said once... "sometimes you have to do with, what you have to do with."

The 22 magnumRF out of a long barrel is nasty...no matter the ammo type. When you are pushing a 32 to 40 grain bullet at 2000 fps plus things are going to happen to the target when hit. With no real recoil you can see the animal when hit....on substantial animals for the round like coyotes, you will see a reaction...a jump, falter, jerk, something....and if itís a lung shot he will go down fairly fast, usually within 100 or less yards. Of course a head or spine shoot will put him down immediately. Smaller animals like vermin just blow up. Good sized southwestern jack rabbits are tough animals....I stopped shooting them with regular 22s. It just wasnít fair to the animals...they would run off and die...or a coyote would follow up and nail them. But the 22 magRF will knock them over very well, with good shooting of course.

Winchesterís 9422M in the XTR leveraction is a class act. I love the little rifle..itís accuracy is more than acceptable, and it has the lure of wood smoke and old times about it. The Henry Rifle company has put out a new series of 22s and 22 MagRFs. The ones I have seen are very nice, good looking and the wood for a 22 rifle is superb. The cost is reasonable and the accuracy is there also. Ruger, Remington, BRNO all make autoloaders in the chambering. I have not had the chance yet to try them...but I bet there are very good. For those that like autoloaders, you should give them a try. Marlin of course makes fine 22 magRFs in a number of rifles and has a deserved accuracy reputation.

As for handguns....wow so many. But the ones I like best are the AMTs in 6" and 4 Ĺ ", S&Wís mod 48 is the top of the line and hard to beat. Rugerís single actions come in a number of models and types....Colt made a number of 22 mags on their large frame 357 mag handguns...but has dropped all the models. I once opened a Colt double action 22 RF Diamondback to 22 magRF....what a shooter that was. S&W has kit guns in the chambering....Rugerís double action 22/101 I think was offered in the chambering at one time...if you canít find one, the little 22 would be easy to rechamber. I have a 22 magRF rechambering tool and it is often used for me and friends on all kinds of guns. I looked up Clymerís cost for a 22 magRF reamer a while back...it was around 30 to 40 bucks.

It may be a sleeper cartridge, but it is awakening, folks are learning it isnít some over active 22 RF but a real small game round....the ammo is a little expensive but not bad when you realize the true potential of the round. And all of us needs one really accurate firearm that we canít keep changing the loads on, by reloading. Something we know is going to hit right where we aim it, every time.....we do our part. They are nice to have around.......

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