We are all familiar with Kim’s #1 Principle of Guns: a .22 gun is not in fact a gun; it is a household appliance (and every home should have one, be it a rifle or a handgun). The corollary thereto is that .22 ammo is likewise not actually ammunition, but a household commodity like salt or sugar.
And while this is absolutely true for the venerable .22 Long Rifle, there is a higher level of household commodity, if you will — not salt or sugar, but, shall we say something that could also be classed as a commodity but has a tad more spice to it — something that makes life more enjoyable, like BBQ sauce, or mustard, or Tabasco sauce — which adds to the enjoyment of life, and I don’t think anyone is going to argue too much with me on this point.
Which brings me to my favorite cartridge of the small ones, the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, a.k.a. the.22 WMR or still more simply, the .22 Mag. I love this tangy little rimfire cartridge with a passion, and it remains a mystery to me why it’s not more popular among shooters (the lack of popularity no doubt being the reason why it is priced as high as it is today).
Basically, the .22 Mag does everything that a .22 LR cartridge can do, only with a 50-yard longer reach and an impact that makes it more deadly without adding in the slightest to felt recoil. You want numbers? Using a 40-grain bullet, the.22 LR ammo runs at 1,200 fps, while a .22 mag leaves a rifle barrel traveling at 1,800 fps. That 50% increase in velocity creates a significant difference in muzzle energy : the .22 LR typically weighs in at around 140 foot-pounds at the muzzle, but the .22 Mag. generates more than double that — around 300 ft-lbs. Without the huge cost difference, the Mag would leave the LR in the dust — at least, it would in my case.
I have one rifle (Marlin 882) and one handgun (Ruger Single Six) chambered in .22 Mag, but I want more. Which brings us to day’s GGP, the S&W Model 48:
This particular little beauty is at Collectors Firearms, and the only thing that’s stopped me from getting one is the nosebleed price. (At Bud’s Gun Shop, the 6″ barreled model is over $100 cheaper… stop me before I do something foolish.)
“So Kim,” you may ask, “why do you want another .22 Mag revolver?”
Because I can, because it’s double- and not single action, and because it’s beautiful. And in case I didn’t mention it earlier, because I love the .22 Mag cartridge.