About five weeks ago, I reviewed the Magnum
Research MLR22-AT semi-automatic rifle. It is a lightweight,
reliable, and superbly accurate carbine that is chambered for
the 22 Long Rifle cartridge. Here, we are looking at a very
similar rifle that is chambered for the 22 Magnum cartridge. The
22 Magnum is one of my all-time favorite cartridges, whether
chambered in a handgun or a rifle. The Magnum has much more
power than its little brother, and seems to be effective all out
of proportion to its diminutive size. Bullet weights are
available from 30 to 50 grains, but my favorites are the 40
grain hollow point loads, available from several different
Like the 22 Long Rifle version, this new 22
Magnum from Magnum Research has a stiff but lightweight
stainless/graphite barrel. The graphite sleeve around the
stainless tube adds stiffness, while adding very little weight.
Mated to the CNC-machined aluminum receiver and Hogue OverMolded
stock, the result is a handy little carbine that weighs in at a
half-ounce under five pounds. The overall length measures 37.625
inches. The length-of-pull is 13.75 inches. The synthetic stock
has a somewhat tacky surface for a very secure hold in any
weather. The pebbled surface in the gripping areas of the stock
aid in keeping a secure grip also. Thankfully, the stock is
fitted with sling studs, as should be any hunting rifle. The
barrel measures nineteen inches in length and .920 inch diameter
from end to end. The Magnum Research 22 Magnum rifle uses the
slick and reliable Ruger 10/22M nine-shot rotary magazine, and
also uses the Ruger trigger group. The trigger released crisply
at three and three-quarters pounds of resistance. The blowback
action utilizes a small gas block to bleed off a slight amount
of powder gas when needed, to regulate the opening of the bolt
upon firing. I shoot a rifle from my left shoulder, and
sometimes, a semi-auto blowback rifle will pepper my face with
powder residue. The Magnum Research Magnum Lite rifle did not,
even when shooting the hot Armscor ammunition.
The receiver wears an integral scope base
that is compatible with any Weaver style scope rings.
I tested the Magnum Research 22 Magnum rifle
with a few of my favorite types of 22 Magnum ammunition for
velocity and function. The results with each brand and type of
ammunition are listed in the chart below. Magnum Research
advises against using 30 grain ammunition in the rifle, so none
of that bullet weight is listed in the chart below. HP is a
hollow point bullet, and all ammo tested used hollow points, as
I find them to be my favorite bullet type in the 22 Magnum
cartridge. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541
feet above sea level, with an air temperature of seventy-one
degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity in the forty-two percent
range. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS), and were
recorded ten feet from the muzzle of the rifle. Bullet weights
are listed in grains.
|PMC Predator HP
|Winchester DynaPoint HP
For accuracy testing, I mounted a Leupold
Mark 4 Tactical/Target scope with variable 4.5 to 14 power
magnification and an illuminated reticle for use in low light
conditions. I mounted the scope atop the Magnum Lite receiver
using an Accu-Shot one-piece scope mount. After bore-sighting
the scope with a LaserLyte laser
bore-sighter, I tested for accuracy by firing five-shot
groups on target at one hundred yards. Weather conditions for
the accuracy testing was the same as listed above. There was no
breeze, and the Sun was at my back. It was a perfect day for
target shooting. Accuracy results varied from groups as small as
five-eighths of an inch with the Winchester DynaPoint ammo to as
large as one and one-half inches using CCI TNT ammo. The best
groups fired are pictured, and are representative of the groups
fired with each type of ammo shown. The rifle was very
consistent in its grouping, and the Leupold scope made seeing
the bullet holes easy.
Reliability was perfect with every type of
ammo tested. Every round fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. As
mentioned above, even firing left-handed, there was no
indication at all that the bolt was opening prematurely. The gas
block system employed by Magnum Research on this rifle seems to
work perfectly at assuring reliability and accuracy, using a
variety of ammunition.
The 22 Magnum cartridge is a good choice for
a short to medium range varmint and predator cartridge. I
usually limit my use of the cartridge to about 200 yards for
such work, and reach for a center fire for hunting at longer
distances. In an accurate rifle, the 22 Magnum cartridge
delivers plenty of power for cleanly taking vermin and small
predators, and the Magnum Lite rifle certainly has plenty of
accuracy to deliver the bullet on target.
The Magnum Lite 22 Magnum semi-automatic
rifles are available in a variety of configurations, with either
the stainless/graphite or all-stainless barrels, and with
synthetic or laminated wood stocks.
Check out the entire line of Magnum Research
firearms and accessories at www.magnumresearch.com.
For the location of a Magnum Research dealer
near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Magnum Research 22 Magnum rifle
online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality rimfire ammunition online,
go to www.luckygunner.com.
For a look at the extensive line of quality
Leupold optics, go to www.leupold.com.