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Hornady Introduces .22 Magnum Critical Defense Ammo

February 09, 2011  | 


The top bullet is a 380 Auto 90 grain Critical Defense round at 896 fps from a 2.75-inch barrel Ruger LCP. The bottom bullet is a 22 WMR 45 grain Critical Defense round from a S&W 351 PD with a 1-7/8-inch barrel at 1038 fps. Chart courtesy of Hornady.

Hornady has introduced the .22 WMR load into the company's Critical Defense line of ammunition that's optimal for a short-barreled handguns, the company told POLICE Magazine at SHOT Show 2011.

The new 22 Magnum round uses a 45-grain FTX bullet that reaches a muzzle velocity of 1000 fps when shot from a 1 7/8-inch test barrel, according to a Hornady rep. The .22 WMR, a heavier bullet, penetrated to almost the same depth as the .380 ACP Critical Defense load (see chart).

The cartridges are nickel-plated, and carry the suggested retail price of $16.65 for a box of 50.

Tags: Ammunition, Hornady

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Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

John Carp @ 3/1/2011 5:04 PM

I have used Hornady's Critical defense ammunition since it became availible several years ago. In the winter, I used to carry The Federal Expanding Full Metal Jacket Ammunition, but in the wake of ammunition shortages, I decided to give the Critical Defense a try.

Let me tell you, as a 21 year LEO and firearms instructor, this product across the board, works as well or better then advertised.

It does everything that it claims to do and then some. I stock it in 9mm, .38 Special +P, .44 Special, and .45 ACP. I highly recommend this for personal defense and LE off duty carry, in instances where ammunition is not supplied.

Craig Watts @ 12/29/2011 7:34 AM

Hello, I like the information posted on Critical Defense rounds for 380 Auto & .22 WMR. I just have one concern. Is there an issue with the nickel plating ? Can it damage the rifling in the barrel, or create bore cleaning problems ?? Thank you

Jared @ 1/5/2012 11:43 AM

@Craig Watts: the bullets aren't nickle plated, just the casings. Give the stuff a try, you'll love it!

David @ 1/13/2012 11:45 AM

I don't know anything about the .22 MAG ammo.... but I use the Critical Defense rounds in my .380 LCP and in my Glock 19 9MM & Glock 23 .40 cal. with no feeding problems what-so-ever! The .380's petals peel back smoothly and it mushrooms slightly... maybe 1/4" more than its original diameter and penetrated about 10-11"... leaving a 2" diameter cavity about 5" long . The 9MM mushroomed close to a .40 cal's diameter and the petals peeled back uniformly-- penetrating to about 11".. leaving a 4" diameter cavity about 6" long.

Now the .40 cal was much much more impressive.. it's lead center blossomed to between .45 & .50 cal in diameter [about the diameter of my thumb....with nice jagged petals sticking out like twisted eagle talons... it was very impressive with about 12-13" penetration! I think 2-3 shots of the .40 cal Critical Defense to a Bad Guy's midsection would most definitely take his mind off of his evil ways... most likely permanently.

As for a .22 mag.... you might get some significant cavitation damage to tissue... but I don't see how there could be enough lead or jagged jacket petals to make any significant physical puncture & cutting of tissue for inflicting self defense wounds.

Tom @ 2/22/2012 5:42 PM

Just yesterday I was trying out my wife's new S&W 351c in 22WMR. I bought this gun with the intention of using this ammunition exclusively ... HOWEVER ... that is no longer the case. Out of a box of 50, 8 of the rounds had to be "hammered" twice in order for them to touch off. The range master explained to me tthat he had seen this before with the Hornady ammo because of the nickel cases, they are too hard. I bought a box of brass case federals and they fired flawlessly. Number one RULE in self defense, the gun must go BANG when you pull the trigger.

Jim @ 3/24/2012 2:56 PM

Some what helpful. I would like hear from a person who tried the 22 wmr thru a revolver with a 5" barrel.

Ray @ 4/11/2012 6:54 AM

I have a very old (1972) High Standard 22 WMR Derriger that I bought a box of them for. It is by no means my self defense choice. However I have a target that I use that is a old wash machine lid. The 22 WMR Hornady punched a hole through it from about 25 feet. I also use a snake shot round in it as I like the idea of a mini shotgun in the front pocket.

Paul @ 7/7/2012 6:01 AM

How would the 22 magnum critical defense work in a rifle? is there a response from anyone or Hornady about the miss fires mentioned above thought to be due to the nickel plating making the casing hard?

Roy Odhner @ 6/17/2013 12:27 PM

I ran about a box and a half through my NAA min .22wmr without a hitch, and I'm satisfied that they're gonna go bang every time. I've got cheaper Winchester .22wmr that I use on the range, and I keep the hlaf a box of the Hornady for carry. I practice religiously with every gun that I carry, and I'm always carrying the NAA.

Stan Kemble @ 6/13/2014 8:20 PM

I bought some 22 WMR CD's at the local gun store for use in my three 22 WMR rifles. So far, out of 42 bullets, I've had three failure to fires. They went off the second time when rotated so the firing pin struck a different place on the rim. As far as accuracy, they are as good as the best of all the brands I've shot off the bench. I shot one into a couple of milk jugs full of water to test expansion.The bullet was in the second, with better than I expected expansion. The first jug blew up pretty bad. Other than the misfires, I really like them.

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