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Hornady 22 Magnum

Hornady 22 Magnum

Regular readers will know I’m very much a fan of 17HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire), but recently and out of the spirit of fairness and interest I have been investigating its predecessor the 22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) or 22 Mag as it’s also known. The culmination of this will be a back to back test between my Ruger M77/17 All-Weather and a 77/22M of the same spec. Both rifles will be shot at practical ranges on frangible targets and hopefully I can do it on a still day then a windy one to test the full spectrum of each calibre.

Light ‘n’ Fast

For the WMR Edgar Brothers Ltd supplied a cross section of Remington fodder and also the newest loading from Hornady the 30-grain V-MAX. Weight-wise this is the lightest and fastest of the 22 Magnum offerings so I thought I would see what it can do. I will be looking at the Remy in the near future too.

The test gun was a Ruger 77/22M All-Weather with a medium weight, 24” barrel and wildcat Growler, reflex moderator up front. Stripping down a cross section of ammo showed the flat base V-MAX to be cock on the quoted weight at 30-grains. Powder was an ultra-fine spherical ball at a consistent 7.5-grains; this is a lot of propellant for a light bullet.

Hornady quotes the following figures for this load:

Speed (fps)= 2200  
Energy (ft/lbs)= 322

Over the chrono the Ruger was achieving:

Speed (fps)= 2142
Energy (ft/lbs)= 305.6

story continues below...

Overall acceptable figures and much as I surmised and at the muzzle at least 50 ft/lbs more launch energy than a 17-grain, 17HMR V-MAX load. Accuracy at 100-yards came in at a best of ¾” with the load keeping it consistently below the inch anyway.

In the field this translates into a capable cartridge that is more than able to give solid head shots out to 100/120-yards in the right conditions. However, how does it compare to the 17-grain HMR load?

Given what I do, I see the maximum range of the HMR as 170-yards on a good day, so; say 160 to be safe. Let’s face it with either rimfire magnum initial engagement is around the 100-yard mark or a tad less, below that it’s wasted and a bit of an over killer for body shots. That’s why we have 22 long rifle for sub-80-yard work… So let’s look at the figures for these two distances.

Speed = 1571
Energy = 164

Speed = 1299
Energy = 112

Speed = 1928
Energy = 140

Speed = 1606
Energy = 97

As can be seen the Hornady WMR load just aces the HMR at both distances though from my research is not shown to be quite as accurate nor as wind friendly. The decision as ever will be split, but if I had to come down on the side of the 22 WMR then I’d say that the extra bullet weight should pay dividends; especially on foxes…

We Reckon
• For: Fastest 22WMR to date
• Against: Not as accurate as a comparable HMR
• Verdict: Good choice for the 22 Magnum hunter

PRICE: £ per 100


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    Default profile image
    18 Jul 2020 at 06:10 AM
  • ive had a lot of fun with the 22mag on all sorts of things over here in australlia,, but have been thinking about trying out the 17hmr ,mostly just for rabbits, thing that worrys me a bit is the reports of faulty 17hmr ammo I see on the net, split cases and even more worrying , stuck projectiles up barreals,,some think to worry about or is it just the odd case ?? ,,other point is the cost of ammo at 50 cents a shot for the 17hmr I can reload two 222rems or 3 k hornets for the same price,,found a savage 17hmr s/s in my local gun shop looks good with the bull barreal ,sort of says to me I gota have it,lol


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    01 Feb 2015 at 10:01 AM
  • I've been reading on the 17 hmr, 17 Winchester super mag. and so on.

    Now I have been looking at their bullet weights and I was just curious if a 20 grain bullet or even a 17 grain bullet was made for the 22 magnum how would that compare to the 22 magnum. Therefore lets compare apples to apples if we are going to determine a fair comparison. Then of course some of the ammo has also been made hotter as well. Can we make a hotter 40 grain 22 magnum rim fire without going into a different caliber.

    Just my input and curiosity folks.


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    Gus Ramos
    06 Mar 2013 at 05:07 PM
  • 5.7 by 28 mm 31 grain v max mv.716 me.394 22 mag mv.2200 me 364 cci maxi v wow and the 5.7 is being touted as a perfect pd weapon how about that not the 22 mag with any cart. go figure ill stick with amt and my 22 mag

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    tom ritter
    10 Aug 2012 at 11:45 PM
  • We'll give it a go...

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    peter moore
    22 May 2011 at 08:06 AM
  • There is a faster ammo for a 22 magnum 40 gr bullet you should try the rws ammo jhp (jacked hollow point) 2200 fps thats the fastest 40gr bullet ive heard of try them out.

    Default profile image
    21 May 2011 at 05:45 AM
  • Do you live in the UK, if not we can't help you. I so I suggest you contact Hornady direct and they should be able to tell you your nearest stockist.


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    Pete Moore
    20 Aug 2010 at 08:31 AM
  • cant find ammo at any store basspro cabelas etc.

    Hornady lists several distributors but ever time I call no one has it.

    What happended ?????????????????????????

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    Edwin L. Pauley
    20 Aug 2010 at 12:56 AM