Federal Premium Ammunition is rolling out a new .22 Long Rifle cartridge of a different kind, the Personal Defense Punch Rimfire, or Punch 22. Punch 22 is a high-velocity flat-nosed cartridge intended primarily for self-defense, joining other newly released defensive ammo from Federal.
Punch 22 uses a newly designed 29-grain nickel-plated heavy jacketed lead-core bullet for deep penetration, even when fired from short-barreled pocket pistols. The bullet design purposely minimizes expansion in order to retain more weight and penetrate farther.
“Self-defense isn’t one size fits all,” said Dan Compton, Federal’s Rimfire Product Manager. “So, whether shooters want to carry a .22 LR handgun as a backup gun, do not feel comfortable with centerfire pistols or simply want to get more versatility from a rimfire handgun, Punch makes the 22 LR cartridge a viable defensive choice for the first time ever.”
“We’ve talked about making a 22 LR defensive load for some time,” said Compton. “We finally decided that people are already carrying 22 LRs, so we might as well build a .22 bullet optimized for protection. After much research, we decided that for a .22 LR defense bullet, penetration was more important than expansion.”
Punch 22 is a zippy round as far as 22 LR goes. It makes 1,070 feet per second — coming out of a 2-inch barrel. Federal rates Punch as having an upper velocity out of full-length barrels of around 1,650 feet per second. That works out to about 75 foot-pounds of force from essentially the shortest barrels and a max force of around 175 foot-pounds.
Punch 22 also uses nickel-plated brass cases for improved extraction, like with many defensive centerfire products on the market today. It’s priced a bit higher than your average bulk pack, but that’s normal for defensive ammo that needs to meet a higher reliability standard. Punch 22 runs just under $10 per box of 50 rounds.
While there are certainly plenty of people who would never consider a rimfire cartridge for self-defense, some people may not have a choice. And the number of featured, modern .22 pistols just keeps growing, while options for small-caliber cartridges like .25 or .32 ACP are slowly fading away.
There are plenty of people who can shoot and handle a Browning Buck Mark or Ruger 10/22 confidently, but still have trouble shooting something more substantial. With Punch 22, this might be a better self-defense rimfire cartridge for them.
For more about the Punch family of self-defense ammunition, visit Federal Premium Ammunition online.