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Federal Ammunition Introduces New 22 LR Punch Personal Defense

ANOKA, Minnesota – April 14, 2021 – Different shooters have different needs, different limitations, and different firearms. Yet for all those variables, 22 Long Rifle has never really been an option for personal defense—until now. Federal Premium introduces Punch 22 LR, a new load using a first-of-its-kind 29-grain nickel-plated lead-core bullet, pushed at maximum velocities for the deepest penetration through short-barrel handguns. Shipments of this product have begun to arrive at dealers.

“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.”

The Punch 22 LR bullet is a departure from standard 22 LR design. It features a flat nose and utilizes a heavy nickel-plated jacket around a lead core. So not only does it travel faster than competing 22 projectiles, but its design also deliberately minimizes expansion and retains weight to maintain sufficient straight-line penetration. That is a lot to ask from a .22 bullet, which is why other manufacturers have shied away from the challenge. But Federal’s engineering team pulled it off, giving America’s favorite cartridge a chance to prove itself for protection.

“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.”

Features & Benefits

• Maximum velocity for energy and penetration; 1,070 fps through 2-inch barrel handguns, 1,650 fps out of 24-inch rifle barrels
• 29-grain nickel-plated lead-core bullet
• Projectile profile and composition optimized for the deepest penetration through short-barrel handguns
• Rigorous function testing ensures reliability
• Nickel-plated case for ease of extraction and corrosion resistance
• 50-count boxes

Part No. / Description / MSRP

PD22L1 / 22 LR Punch Personal Defense 29GR FN, 50CT / $9.99

For more information on all products from Federal or to shop online, visit

13 Responses to “Federal Ammunition Introduces New 22 LR Punch Personal Defense”

  1. Gerard says:

    Looks promising but lets wait for the ‘field testing’

  2. Dr Larry G Bailey says:

    Any 22 mag or
    Any hollow point for the regular 22LR in the future

  3. mark says:

    I’m curious if there is anything done to improve the reliability of priming, to ensure that every cartridges rim is full primed.

    That was always my prime concern with .22lr as a defensive round – the much higher rate of duds, a far more serious problem then ballistic performance.

    • James says:

      .22plinkster had a short vid on it. Federal match ammo tends to be pretty good, but would have liked to see them revive the dimpled case from the 90’s for this round.

    • James says:

      That was the 900 series Gold Medal Match with the dimpled case btw.

  4. Bummer says:

    Just another thing you can’t find

  5. RD says:

    …Why even carry a .22 in the first place? Modern micro carry guns make it pointless. My friend’s P365 is almost as small as my Beretta 21A and is in a legitimate self defense caliber. If that’s too stout there are plenty of options in lighter cartridges.

    • James says:

      Not everyone is able and some just aren’t comfortable,. There are some increasingly good options beyond the 21a with capacities approaching the 365- lcp22 springs to mind. Both my Mom and Daughter carry .22’s at least part of the time. Mom just always has and it’s what she’s comfortable with. My daughter has several other pistols besides her P22, but when she has the choice it’s still what she grabs most of the time even over a Hellcat. The S&W EZ’s in 380 and 9 made a lot of progress, aren’t a bad size , very”shootable”, easy to manipulate -just not that appealing to them for whatever reason.

      • sommerbiwak says:

        The styling of the S&W Shield EZ is probabaly too masculine. Especially the teethed cocking serrations. It serves a useful purpose, but looks aggressive. And most women prioritize looks before function.

        • James says:

          That could well be, not the most attractive pistols to be honest. Never really thought about aggressive, was thinking maybe a tad big .Grown women though, so…. like what they like.

        • Anna says:

          That is such a sexist generalization that I’m not even sure how to respond. If we are going to paint the entire gender as too weak and superficial to consider the functionality of a firearm, then how about this for a generalization: if men weren’t so frequently condescending about firearms and if so many husbands and boyfriends didn’t make learning to shoot an unpleasant experience, perhaps more women would be comfortable with larger-caliber guns.

          I am a woman in my 30s and carry a P365 most of the time. It is a remarkably well-sized, lightweight gun for 9mm and carries well in a lot of clothing. However, these micro guns are small for concealability yet difficult to shoot for many because of their size. 23 oz or so is still no featherweight to carry with the lighter fabrics that most women’s clothing uses, but while I shoot my P365 accurately, I have had friends (male and female) complain that it kicks, which is a fair point about these micro 9mms.

          The less sexist approach would be to understand that carrying, shooting, and concealing is a different experience for women, and that limitations of dress and weight might be one of the factors leading them to feel more comfortable with certain guns.

          I shoot 22 for sport. It is light-recoiling, cheap to practice with, and the guns are small and light. If it were more reliable, I would consider carrying a 22 in some clothes because it would be lighter and easier to hide than my [email protected]

      • Justin says:

        @james – well put, couldn’t agree more. My wife keeps a G44 as her defensive handgun of choice because it is something with which she feels comfortable, and most importantly, shoots well. The recoil of a centerfire pistol is just harder for her to control with confidence. Well placed .22LR is infinitely more effective than poorly placed 9mm, .380, etc.

        • Gerard says:

          Good point, in face to face combat, multiple hit with a 22 LR can give an attacker a new set of priorities (like trying to get to a hospital) S&W J frames are basically modern derringers, and several models are so light that even a petite woman can carry them