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Just got a North American Arms mini revolver in .22WMR with the 1-1/8" barrel.

Accuracy was better than expected, tough to miss a plate sized target at 20'.

Penetration and delivered energy were immensely disappointing.

Shooting into wet newspaper from 12" away, rounds fired from the .22WMR mini penetrated only 2-3" with ZERO bullet deformation using hollow points and some polymer tipped varmint rounds.
The same rounds fired from a .22mag rifle penetrated over twice as deep with explosive fragmentation and expansion.

Out of curiosity we fired a similar grain round from a .22LR Sig Mosquito into the same target. Performance seemed similar if not identical to the .22WMR loads from the mini.

Here are my questions:
1. Can you recommend a quicker burning load that will maximize this short barreled guns power?
2. They make this gun in a 2" barreled version, could I expect significantly better power with the longer barrel?
3. What is the minimum barrel length needed for a .22WMR load to reach its full potential?
4. I would like to use this with "snake shot" (CCI .22wmr shot-shells) How will the energy delivered with this round be in this gun for squirrel, snake and other very small game? Will the 2" barrel be a big help with this round?

I would greatly appreciate any insight on the topic, thank you very much.
 

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Vt.birdhunter said:
Here are my questions:
1. Can you recommend a quicker burning load that will maximize this short barreled guns power?
2. They make this gun in a 2" barreled version, could I expect significantly better power with the longer barrel?
3. What is the minimum barrel length needed for a .22WMR load to reach its full potential?
4. I would like to use this with "snake shot" (CCI .22wmr shot-shells) How will the energy delivered with this round be in this gun for squirrel, snake and other very small game? Will the 2" barrel be a big help with this round?

I would greatly appreciate any insight on the topic, thank you very much.

1) No, what you have tried is about the best there is. A 1 1/8" barrel is pretty short for nay adequate burn and you are being unrealistic in expected performance. It is a rule of thumb that a 22 WMR fired from a 6" barreled handgun will approximate a 22 LR cartridge fired from a rifle. Chop that barrel down even more and performance suffers exponentially.

2) A mere 7/8" will not help much, one would need at least 4" to see any decent results and even then it will probably be less than desired.

3) A 20" barrel is needed to reach the 22 WMR's full potential in my opinion; in a handgun it would be the longer the better. I prefer a 6" barrel as it gives 22 LR like ballistics and that I feel is adequate for anything I would want to use a rimfire on.

4) For squirrels the "snake shot" available in rimfires is pretty dismal in any firearm as it is so small. The manufacturers even call it "dust" in their literature. I've used it to rid the basement of red squirrels and at 15 feet it does not do a good job of killing them. For snakes I would expect these loads to be equally dismal in the short barrel of you gun, even with a longer barrel the energy of this size of shot is pretty minimal. The 22 shot cartridges were originally designed to shoot rats and other small vermin in buildings with rifles without doing undue damage to the walls. Expecting these loads to be of much value for personal protection is beyond their design scope. Most references to using a handgun with shot capsules involves a centerfire round which uses size #8 pellets or larger. These are huge in size compared to that found in the 22 rimfires.

What you experienced is pretty typical regarding rimfires and actually short barreled firearms in general. There is a hefty price to be paid in velocity when the very shortest barreled guns are used.
 
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