Federal Ammunition Introduces New 22 LR Punch Personal Defense

Federal Punch 22 Personal Defense
Federal Ammunition unveiled the Punch 22 – the first purpose-built self-defense .22lr ammo. IMG Federal

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- 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.

Punch 22 LR

“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 www.federalpremium.com.

About Federal

Federal ammunition can be found at dealers nationwide or purchased online direct from Federal. For more information on all products from Federal or to shop online, visit www.federalpremium.com
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Suggested retail $9.99/50 rds. Actual cost if you can find them $50.


Big “IF”.


Gotta be crazy to pay that, I’ll stick with a brick of CCI Blazers.
Arguing over the relative stopping power of .22 LR ammo is like arguing over the relative seniority of a group of second lieutenants, the difference just isn’t enough to be concerned with.


SK, right now _all_ ammo costs are insane. I saw a brick of .22 LR selling for $131.00 at Cabela’s (or someplace similar, can’t recall right at the moment). It may be a while (thanks to Bidet and all the Marxists in Congress) before prices come down, but that $50 a box is because these are new and in very short supply so far. Hopefully that will change. When it does, I’d love to give these a try. But consider how many fancy 20 round boxes of handgun ammo currently sell for ($30 a box for various 9mm???), and then… Read more »


It’s a good idea. To bad it’s not available.


To convince shooters that the rounds are effective and worth the 20 cents per round cost, Federal needs to show us reduced failure-to-fire or extract in tests with pistols known to be carried as defensive backups (such as Beretta 21A). Also, show us penetration tests on CLOTHED ballistic dummies or gel blocks. Clothing can often be a factor in small bullets, less with larger cals. such as 9mil or .45. Personally, I just use my 22s for hunting small game or plinking. But if the “Punch” rounds work, I might load up first with them just in case I have… Read more »


There are already some tests of the Federal Punch on YouTube. One test I watched was impressive with penetration using 2″/3″ revolvers and semi-autos, using ballistics jell coved with two layers of denim. They did comparisons with CCI Stinger and a few others. The Punch did the best when using short barreled handguns, which is what this cartridge was designed for. I would like to try a box Beretta Bobcat but can’t find a box anywhere. Even at Federalpremium.com says Currently Unavailable.


“Currently Unavailable”.
Imagine that…….

WI Patriot

Yeah, go figure…


It is called “marketing”, nothing more, nothing less.


They are addicted to getting more than 8 cents a round for 22lr.

WI Patriot

While something is always better than nothing, having/using a .22 rimfire for “self defense” might be going in the wrong direction…


Yep. Arguing over the relative stopping power of .22 LR ammo is like arguing over the relative seniority of a group of second lieutenants, the difference just isn’t enough to be concerned with.


Not sure I believe you yet Carl. Maybe you should say it again.


Or again, and then yet again…

Old Texan

Three things critics might overlook: The muzzle velocities are pretty decent. Nickel-plated cases invariably feed and eject more smoothly/reliably than brass. And many arthritic old ladies who still have the gumption, cannot (mentally or not) handle well the semi-auto racking or revolver reloading of ammo. For the old ladies and others with hand mobility problems, a reliable gun with reliable 22LR has to be better than a knife. I am married to one, BTW, though at this point she still can manage 22WMR. Her purse favorite is a Smith scandium revolver and if size doesn’t matter she likes my PMR-30.


Old Texan, the _bullets_ in these cartridges are nickle-plated as well – which is the biggest selling point, since it should increase penetration. Although my arthritic old hands can still handle my .45 ACP pistols, and even my Redhawk in .44 Mag, I think these new Federal rounds are a great idea, just as you said.

Get Out

Meh, just stick to regular .22 LR of your choice and it’ll still hurt just as much as these.


Better! If going with a rimfire, stick to the 40 grain solids. No need for “plating” the bullet. Plating is a chemically applied coating only a thousanth of an inch thick, intended to protect the rifling from a bare lead bullet. Plating is NOT a jacket, which is intended to hold the projectile together upon impact. Rimfire solid lead bullets have no need for more strength. Just shoot a steer in the brain with one, recover the bullet, and see for yourself. If choosing a rimfire for defense, choose a high quality round with a 40 grain, solid lead bullet.… Read more »


Knute, most .22 LR bullets that are plated are chemically plated, primarily to reduce costs. Have you examined these new Federal rounds to be able to claim the plating is that thin? Perhaps the engineers at Federal considered that, and made the plating thicker. Consider the bullet shape, as well. As I said above to Old Texan, that is significant, when comparing equal calibers and bullet weights. Many experienced hunters prefer a flat nose for penetration on thick-skinned game, so it stands to reason these flat-nosed .22 LR bullets may well be better penetrating as well, especially on thinner skinned… Read more »


Arguing over the relative stopping power of .22 LR ammo is like arguing over the relative seniority of a group of second lieutenants, the difference just isn’t enough to be concerned with.


Carl, maybe if you say it often enough someone will believe it.


“Federal, we produce innovation and great ideas!”

“…ammunition, maybe not so much…”


Federal had capacity to spare in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Consumers chose to buy less than in 2016.

For the last year, Federal has been producing more ammo than in each of the prior three years.




Couldn’t you shorten it by just saying “most of the democrat run cities”?


Arguing over the relative stopping power of .22 LR ammo is like arguing over the relative seniority of a group of second lieutenants, the difference just isn’t enough to be concerned with.


Wrong. Most .22 LR bullets are soft, and will expand (even the round-nose), which really limits penetration due to their light weight and relatively slow velocity. But Federal nailed the important point: penetration is more important than expansion. Making the bullet jacketed (like most bullets seated in military ammunition) should indeed increase penetration. As Dr. Martin Fackler has proven with his in-depth study of wound mechanics, if the bullet doesn’t reach central nervous system tissue (brain or spine mostly) or a major blood vessel, the damage will not be sufficient to stop the aggressor. This was confirmed in the Miami… Read more »


Correction: the bullets are _plated_, not jacketed. As Knute said, plating is (usually) not as effective as jacketing BUT I believe Federal has made these more effective both by the plating (better than bare lead (slightly reducing deformation/expansion), but also by making them flat-nosed. My bear loads (living in bear countru here in Montana) in 45-70, .44 Mag, and in the hot 10 mm loads I carry in my G20 when ATV cruising the Federal mountain areas near my home all are flat-nosed (WFNGC in my 10mm, hard cast out of a custom Mountain Molds mold). The boys in Alaska… Read more »