When I started to learn about firearms, I was extremely fortunate that I was mentored by a gentleman named Charles. He was extremely knowledgeable about just about every aspect of the shooting sports, and he was kind enough to share his experience.
One of the things I gained from him was a library of magazines he had been collecting for decades. Some of the articles were a real hoot.
One of the old magazines discussed using duplex rounds to increase the stopping power of a defensive handgun. This is where more than one projectile is loaded in to a cartridge, thus turning one shot into two or more as more bullets fly out of the gun with each pull of the trigger. I actually tried this out for myself, and I discuss the experience here.
My conclusions were that it was a neat idea, but loading multiple projectiles into a standard self defense handgun chambered for a reasonable caliber resulted in some pretty wicked perceived recoil and muzzle flip. Not unusable, but it didn’t provide enough advantages to make me switch from traditional self defense ammunition.
Enter a new gun chambered for the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, or .22 WMR.
The .22 WMR is a potent round for a twenty-two, but it is still a twenty-two. Added to that is the fact that the round is a rimfire, which is not known to be as reliable as standard center fire cartridges.
Click on this link to get the skinny. Two barrels, eight chambers, 4 shots until empty The idea is to have a self defense revolver, compact and light, but which is chambered for a very potent .22 round. The double shot is intended to address the problems with reliability and lethality. If you have two rounds being fired at once, the odds of both of them being misfires is really remote. And, of course, two bullets striking the target at the same time has got to up the chances for stopping a violent criminal.
It isn’t a bad idea, really, and I doubt dual firing .22 rounds will result in the extreme recoil that I experienced when firing .57 Magnum rounds loaded with four projectiles. If it functions as advertised, then I have to admit that it looks like a very well engineered bit of technology.
Does this mean I am going to buy one? No, I don’t think so, even though the price is in the reasonable range for a self defense handgun. The .22 WMR cartridge might have been around for a long time, but it is still off the mainstream enough that I have rarely encountered a gun chambered for that round. I certainly don’t own any, so I would have to lay in a supply of ammunition that would only work in that one gun. That is a big minus for a dedicated shooter right there.
The other reservation I have is that it seems to be a solution in search of a problem. The gun fires two cartridges with each pull of the trigger, resulting in four shots before reloading, but does that provide any advantage over a traditional snubby?
The gun pictured above is an old K-frame chambered for the .38 Special cartridge with a short barrel, hence the 6 rounds. But there are J-frame models chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge, and they offer 5 rounds. I already own one of those.
I think that I would choose five chances to stop the bad guys with a .357 over four chances with double-shot .22’s. If you have a different opinion, that is just fine. Whatever gives you comfort. I am just more comfortable with what I have, is all.
(Hat tip to Glenn for the heads up about this gun.)
I’ve heard that handgun ammunition prices can be quite high at the moment (the rifle rounds I buy are certainly so). Would there be any significant advantage to the .22 you mention in saving on ammunition costs?
Interesting looking beasty & the link is interesting too. Armchair pistolero alert: I’m thinking it might fit better into the role of a derringer – a hold out gun – rather than a primary defensive piece.
And maybe all the practical options for defensive firearms have been explored, and at this stage, all that is left is tweaking existing concepts & designs or experiments in eccentricity, like the above firearm. Happy to be proved wrong though.
The magazine cover is interesting as well. The past is truly another country.
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The National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53, defines the term “firearm” to include a machinegun. Section 5845(b) of the NFA defines “machinegun” as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.”
Why is this .22 not a machinegun?
“Why is this .22 not a machinegun?”
I believe that there is an exception to the definition for “volleyfire guns”. Not a lawyer, though, and I could be very well wrong about this.
Thanks for writing!