.22 vs WMR. What is the big difference when choosing these calibers?
The most obvious difference is the length of the case. The 22WMR is longer and affords increased powder capacity over the other 22 rim fires. This increased powder produces more velocity, that translates into a flatter trajectory and additional impact energy downrange. Burning additional propellant also creates more noise than the 22Long Rifle or the .22Long. But substantially less noise than the center fire .22 cartridges. (22 Hornet, 221 Fireball, 222 Rem. 222 Rem mag, 223 Rem, etc.)
The 22WMR ammunition is more expensive to buy but it has a real place in hunting because it fills the gap between the 22long rifle and the 22Hornet (a center fire).
LR rounds are less expensive, can be used for target or hunting, and are more varied in bullet type. Magnum shells in any caliber are special purpose (hunting/combat) in the first place. If I was a dedicated small game hunter, then-and only then-I would go for the WMR or HMR.
.22 Mag is just an abbreviation for .22 WMR. WMR is an acronym for Winchester Magnum Rimfire.
The HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) is not a .22 caliber. It is a .17 caliber rimfire round made by necking down a .22 WMR to .17 caliber.
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