Featuring a deep-penetrating bullet that Federal says "makes the popular rimfire cartridge a viable self-defense option," the company's new .22 LR Punch Personal Defense has hit the market.

Part of a 2021 expansion to Federal's ammo line, the rimfire Punch uses a 29-grain nickel-plated lead-core bullet, pushed at maximum velocities (1,070 fps through 2-inch barrel handguns) for the deepest penetration when coupled with short-barrel handguns.  

A nickel-plated case helps ease extraction while providing corrosion resistance. Further, Federal says the rounds have been rigorously function tested to ensure reliability. (Photo: Federal)

“Self-defense isn’t one size fits all. 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,” said Federal’s Rimfire Product Manager, Dan Compton, “Punch makes the 22 LR cartridge a viable defensive choice for the first time ever.”

Related: A Review of .45 ACP Federal Punch Personal Defense Ammo

The concept comes from the fact that people have carried .22s for personal protection for generations. After all, the cartridge dates to the 19th Century, so why not actually provide said mouse gun users with a valid option to stoke their carry piece with. 

“We’ve talked about making a 22 LR defensive load for some time. We finally decided that people are already carrying 22 LRs, so we might as well build a .22 bullet optimized for protection,” said Compton. “After much research, we decided that for a .22 LR defense bullet, penetration was more important than expansion.”

How does it shoot? Check out rimfire expert 22Plinkster on the subject, below. 


revolver barrel loading graphic