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Rimfire Part 2; .22 Winchester Rimfire, 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum, .17HMR & More

We covered in Rimfire – Part One the original .22 Short and all the subsequent rounds that were based on that case. The Longs and Long Rifles only increased the case length with rim and case diameter staying the same. The BB Cap and CB Cap just got shorter with lighter bullets.

.22 Winchester Rimfire & .22 Remington Special

Enter the Winchester Model 1890 slide (pump) action rifle and the .22 Winchester Rimfire or the .22 Remington Special. The only difference is that Winchester’s version had a flat point while Remington’s entry was round nosed. They had flat base inside lubed bullets versus the other .22’s healed outside lubed bullets. Longer bigger diameter cased, more powder and performance. A 45-grain bullet at 1300 fps and you can reach out and tag a critter at 75 yards but at the cost of some accuracy.

.22 Winchester Magnum

In 1959 Winchester introduced the .22 Winchester Magnum with 40 grain bullets and velocities in the 2000 fps area. It was probably the ultimate in rimfires, for the its time. It could push a 50-grain bullet to 1550 fps or a 30-grain bullet to 2200 fps, heady stuff compared to the .22 Long Rifle, or the original .22 Short. Like the .22 Shorts and Longs that can be fired in a .22 Long Rifle chamber, the .22 Winchester Rimfire can be fired in the .22 Magnum chamber but may not feed well in the longer magazines. The only successful rimfire introduced in the 20th century, the .22 Mag in long guns or sidearms is probably here to stay. Both the .22 Long Rifle and the .22 Mag also are available in shot cartridges, loaded with #12 shot. Good for snakes and rodents at close range.
A note: the .22 Long Rifle in high velocity loadings provides more defensive firepower than the centerfire .25 Automatic. The .22 Magnum would be considered low end for viable self-defense.

5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum

In passing we should probably comment on the 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum. With a 30-grain bullet velocity was 2480 fps from the muzzle. The 38-grain bullet stepped out at 2100 fps. Remington dropped the cartridge in 1982 leaving owners high and dry. But in 2008 Aguila Ammunition began to import the cartridge from Mexico. All rounds are jacketed. Should make a good varmint round, but a bit pricey for plinking.

.17 Hornady Mach 2

Hornady is a leader in ammunition research and have been responsible for some truly innovative cartridges. One is the .17HM2, or .17 Hornady Mach 2, shortened to .17 Mach 2. Taking the .22 Long Rifle case and necking it down to .17 caliber Hornady pushes a 17-grain bullet to 2100 fps or a 20-grainer to 1800 fps. These are jacketed bullets. The concept was explored in 1989 but stalled due to technology restrictions. No adequate bullets or propellants to get the performance desired. By 2004 the hurdles were overcome, and the Mach 2 entered production behind its big brother the .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire (HMR). Superior for hunting the price tag prohibits this round being popular for the informal plinking crowd.

.17HMR or Hornady Magnum Rimfire

The .17HMR or Hornady Magnum Rimfire was introduced in 2002. It is a .22 Magnum Rimfire case necked down to a .171 bullet. It trots a 17-grain bullet out the barrel at 2,650 fps at the muzzle. Flat shooting, high velocity it is becoming popular medicine for varmints. Relatively high expensive ammunition but cheaper than any centerfire, it lends its self to hunting, if not informal plinking. The 20-grain loading still steps out at 2350 fps. The .17 HMR has become very popular in the varmint hunting pursuits. The .22 Mag still holds favor though for larger game, in the coyote class, but the .17 HMR is the go-to for smaller game. The .17 Rimfires use expensive jacked bullets, with a plastic ballistic tip. This drives of the cost of this ammunition.

Custom Shooting Ranges Made in the USA

Well that is the word on the popular rimfires. Many guns like the 1911 have conversion kits or come in rimfire models. Even as expensive as it is, 50 rounds of Long Rifle are nowhere the cost of 50 rounds of 9mm or .45 ACP. This allows for the familiarization and range shooting with a gun of the same balance and feel of your carry gun.
Shooting Range Industries designs and builds custom shooting ranges on site at your property. Contact us to learn more today!