I’VE OFTEN WONDERED no ammo maker had got around to loading the .22 WMR with a 30gn V-Max bullet so that we could all see just how good a cartridge it really is. The .22 Magnum as it is more universally called, has been kicking around since 1959 and is available in many different types and makes of rifles, although most shooters prefer it in an accurate bolt-action. Over the years I’ve learned a few things about the .22 Magnum. First of all, this little cartridge is quite potent when shots are well placed even on animals like billy goats and medium-sized pigs.
I remember on one memorable occasion coming across a herd of billies browsing on a clump of blackberry bushes. They were only 50 metres away and slightly downhill when I shot three of them behind the shoulder. They all dropped and went bouncing down the steep slope to end up lying in the bed of a creek. It was an impressive performance.
On many occasions I’ve knocked off a billy for dog meat while afield with my GSP and CZ .22 Magnum.
Secondly, the .22 WRM is just about the ideal fox whistling rifle, particularly with hyper-velocity loads shooting the 30gn bullet at velocities of 2,200 fps. It a much more emphatic killer than the .22 Long Rifle, and nowhere near as destructive of pelts as a centrefire .224. Thirdly, the little cartridge is extremely wind sensitive – much more so than .22 Long Rifle standard velocity loads. Bullets fired from the .22 WMR are drifted off course two or three times more than those fired by .22 Long Rifle ammunition. It also suffers about 30 percent more wind deflection in a 10mph breeze than a 17gn bullet fired from the .17 HMR at 2,550 fps.