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Should 22Mag be Taken Seriously as a Defensive Caliber?

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Should 22Mag be Taken Seriously as a Defensive Caliber?

Depends on the barrel length.

When 30 carbine was introduced during WW2, many called it inadequate. It became massively popular, and not just with the rear echelon troops. Far from the sheer power of the 30-06, it was more useful to a radio operator, a cook, or a typist. Likewise, 22WMR is nowhere near the power of 223Rem (already deemed inadequate by many), yet its ballistic cousins 5.7×28 and 4.6×30 are well regarded for certain niche uses. Until recently, 22WMR was mostly used in hunting guns, the occasional exception like Grendel carbine aside. But consider it in the Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) format: lightweight, accurate, nearly recoilless, and effective.

For my test, I used two CMR30s updated to the production configuration. Both were reliable and well received by the numerous shooters who tried them.

While slow fire provides about 1.5MOA dispersion, we did rapid fire standing at 18-20 yards. The target was a 1/4″ hardened aluminum, diamond plate backed, with 2x4s. 9mm +P and .357Mag defensive ammunition shot through 4″ barrels left minimal impression on the plate. 22LR let just a tiny splatter. From the carbine barrel, 22WMR ball blew through the metal and the wood behind it. We tried CCI hollow point load with the same result. –

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