Federal Premium Rolling Out Punch 22 Defensive Ammunition

A .22 Long Rifle cartridge for self-defense? Federal’s adding a Punch to .22. (Photo: Federal)

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.

See Also: Field Testing Federal Premium’s Black Cloud TSS Shot Shells

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.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Jerry January 14, 2022, 10:35 am

    Large print on box should read, like, “accuracy is required for effectiveness”. The smaller/less powerful rounds require shot placement to be a verry important (if i may split my infinitive) factor. If this is to be your best option for your defense, and have decided this caliber/bullet/velocity choice is the way to go, then practice drawing and shooting untill you are good enough that more gun is just extra weight. Of course, this largely limits you to an aimpoint between the mustache and eyebrows, eh? Drugs and/or adrenaline have been seen to cause the target to ignore a magfulla ill-placed nines. I believe it was Hickick who opined “speed is fine, but accuracy is final”. People will criticise your choice of gun/ammo/holster, but until the smoke and dust clear away there will be no proving answer. Of course, the logical ones of us are counting on that probably not happenning, which makes many arguments academic

  • kw December 16, 2021, 8:50 am

    A head shot is a head shot

  • Jim Mason April 26, 2021, 5:56 pm

    I take umbrage at the idea that “something is better than nothing.” If your life depends upon immediate surgery, but a surgeon isn’t available, do you get a first aid book and do it yourself?

  • Ej harbet April 26, 2021, 5:13 pm

    It’s cheap enough to practice enough to call your shots.
    Burn alot of bulk pack and a box of punch a year. And think,”3good hits” and lastly who wants to get one thru them let alone 3????

  • Les Brigance April 25, 2021, 12:41 pm

    Something is Definitely better than Nothing!
    Even if I end up in a hospital (or dead) after a self defense episode at least I can be sure my assailant suffers some Bad results from assaulting me. And WMR packs a Real Punch for a small cartridge!

  • Erik April 23, 2021, 8:22 pm

    Good luck finding @ MSRP price!

  • Robert Campbell April 23, 2021, 2:45 pm

    And…..it’s gone.

  • Mark Burdick April 23, 2021, 12:52 pm

    Has a comparison, penetration test been done with the CCI SGB round?

  • E April 23, 2021, 12:03 pm

    What’s up with all of the negative comments? Bulk 22lr is selling for around a $100 per 500 rounds on the net. So sign me up for 10 boxes of the punch! Always nice to see innovation. Stay united y’all!

  • tunnelen April 23, 2021, 11:59 am

    $10 for 50 rounds of this new speciality ammo? MY ASS. Federal hasn’t delivered their regularly catalogued rounds over the last year. Typical Aguilla is $20 for 50 rounds now. COVID.. No excuse. I’m an Amazon employee. Amazon’s sales have done nothing but go up during COVID. There has been a constant supply of all the stuff Amazon sells. Many of tge elements go into electronics and home goods.
    Supply shortage. Nope! People that mine the elements for brass and copper are generally spaced well apart and in machine cabins.
    People on assembly lines. Typically well separated too.
    I call HORSESHIT on this “ammo shortage”!

    • Joe Mannix April 26, 2021, 9:47 am

      + infinity to this. If you don’t see what’s really happening you’re a useful idiot. Covid was (perhaps literally) manufactured to take your liberty. Weeks after the Event 201 conference? C’mon, man!

      • Car 54 April 26, 2021, 11:03 pm

        The only good thing about you dodos standing in disbelief of the pandemic, is: you’ll soon be as extinct as the afore-mentioned bird. Luke Letlow didn’t buy it either; at 41, he died of its symptoms. Good for you! 😷

  • tunbelen April 23, 2021, 11:34 am

    $10.00 for 50 rounds my ass! Federal isn’t supplying last year’s catalogued items to keep the shelves stocked. I’m an Amazon employee. We’ve never run out of stuff to sell. Amazon had TO and masks to sell when there was a shortage. Avila ammo, from Mexico, is $20/50 rnds now. Gimme a break. Please!

  • Mike in a Truck April 23, 2021, 11:27 am

    Thank you Federal!

  • STEPHEN STEWART April 23, 2021, 9:51 am

    How is this ammnition any better than CCI Stingers with a bullet weight of 32 grains and a ‘reported’ velocity of 1640 fps.

    • Randy April 26, 2021, 10:09 am

      CC I Stringers are designed for rapid expansion on small varmint sized targets and they work extremely well.
      As the article says, Federal opted for penetration over expansion.

      • Ej harbet April 26, 2021, 5:18 pm

        From a 4.75 inch ruger standard stingers don’t penitrate a doe skull I tried 9 times. The 10th bullet was a 98grain lrn in 32 s&w long from a 2.5 inch h&r revolver.
        And her suffering ended instantly! BTW my 68 dodge began her tragic end.

  • Slim April 23, 2021, 9:30 am

    I hope they concentrate on making ammo instead of phony YouTube videos about how hard they are working. If they were producing as much ammo as they say businesses would have an inventory to sell which none do have..

  • Jerry S April 23, 2021, 8:11 am

    Take it from someone that has suffered a .22 short hit at extremely close range. It broke my upper arm bone into several pieces, made my arm cartwheel from impact, and laid me up for a couple of days in the hospital for surgery and recovery. My only thought was to stop the bleeding at the time. I was only 14 yrs. old and my friend dropped his .22 rifle in front of me. I was so lucky the shot didn’t hit my chest or head. A .22 can change anyones mind about their next thoughts or moves, trust me.

  • Louis April 23, 2021, 5:36 am

    Let’s make it in 22 WMR also.

  • CaptRon April 23, 2021, 4:43 am

    SuperG said “something is better than nothing!”, so is a big stick. ”

    “It’s priced a bit higher than your average bulk pack” – If you consider $100 per 500 pak
    of 22LR rimfires a bit higher you shop at a different outlet than I do.

    Would seem Federal would dedicate full run time to help restock the empty shelves of
    most retailers with 22 rimfire for the masses so parents, grandparents can continue to
    have an affordable supply to keep the young shooter interested in the sport. It’s hard
    to hold the interest of most anyone when you have to limit a 10 round shooting session
    after getting out to a range or safe area to plink tin cans. My kids would load 10 round
    magazines till their fingers were sore to spend an afternoon out shooting. More affordable
    ammunition and save the expensive specialty ammo for a later date.

    • J April 23, 2021, 8:19 am

      It’s YOUR World and we’re all just living in it……There also must not be Covid 19 in your universe…… Are you even slightly aware that there is a parts and material shortage throughout the manufacturing sector……tell us how to make things without material….. You also missed the entire point of this story, but only due to your totally self absorbed attitude.

      • JR April 23, 2021, 11:09 am

        Yes J, there is covid-19 in our universe. I even spent a couple of days in ICU, but some of us didn’t stop living over the super flu .

      • BR April 24, 2021, 1:07 pm

        I think the point is, why move resources to roll out new marketing initiatives when you don’t supply your basic products. Further proof that the “shortage” is BS. Every retailer who sold clay pigeons had pallets of cases of shotgun shells right next to the pallets of birds. The birds are still there. Federal (vista) has shifted production resources to several “boutique” offerings at higher price points of course. It is a money grab by throttled production.

  • SuperG April 20, 2021, 10:25 am

    It may not be the caliber of choice for many, but something is better than nothing!

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