Recently we published ShootingTheBull410’s test of the North American Arms Black Widow mini-revolver firing Gold Dots and the results were surprisingly good. Now he puts the same pocket pistol to the test with Hornady’s Critical Defense, with its vaunted (or at least highly marketed) anti-clogging polymer tip. Hornady brags that the 22 Magnum version of Critical Defense offers “terminal ballistics comparable to the .380 Auto Critical Defense load.”  Consider the gauntlet thrown down — that sounds like something that can be tested. Check out he video for the results.

Recommended For You

13 Responses to ShootingTheBull410: NAA Black Widow Firing Hornady Critical Defense

  1. Love my Keltec PMR-30 & would probably buy an NAA. But DANG! .22 WMR is expensive! But think I’ll stick to my Glock 30s for EDC.

  2. What he didn’t mention is that the Speer GD in 22mag uses CCI shells and primers since Speer owns CCI. And nobody does rimfire ignition as well as CCI, period, end of discussion.

    So even if this round matched the GD, Speer would win.

  3. There seems to be a glitch with your website, the home page displays the wrong video sometimes.

  4. I would never use a 22 as a bug. Simply because of the fact that my 2nd bug (of 3 firearms). However, no one likes to have holes put into them, even in 22 caliber. So all in all if I had no choice I would use this ammo. However it would be used only in a point blank situation. Just my 2 cents worth.

  5. I don’t really care if the bullets didn’t expand. A 22 cartridge is a desperation round. If it hits the guy and makes him bleed it has done its job.

  6. Good review. Thanks STB410. Having an NAA Pug .22 WMR, this was applicable to me and very informative. Agree this is not an ideal defensive round but is better than having nothing at all. In some situations for me, it’s this or nothing. Not a good EDC, but a workable, emergency, very close range defensive weapon. Looks like speer has the slight edge, but wasnt terribly disappointed in the hornady’s performance. I would think penetration would trump expansion with this small of a round, so the denim results arent all that awful. Anyway, thanks.

  7. I have the .22LR Black Widow with adjustable sights. Not much of a challenge to break orange clays at 50 yards. Great shooting little revolver.

  8. So, just out of curiosity; what happens to the performance if you remove the little polymer tip? In the larger calibers, at least, they’re simply stuck in there and can be pulled out. Someone should test that.

  9. Critical defense .22 mag by Hornady. Great penetration, really good power. I use these in a Cobra derringer. The only problem I have had is the case expanding . Making ejection really hard. Have tried other brands , but they didn’t produce the same power etc.easier ejection but I guess you’ve got to give up something to have something.

  10. I have a NAA .22 MAG mini revolver and the hornady just doesn’t work well. Once you have fired a few the expansion keeps the cylinder from rotating and they are hard to eject. Twice they have jammed the cylinder up to the point I couldn’t rotate it or get it out. Never had a seconds problem with the Speer Gold Dot.

  11. Re: Those non-expanding shots through the denim……….

    Aren’t those bullets turned backwards? Didn’t they tumble quite a bit (maybe a lot) while passing through the denim and gelatin?? Doesn’t the tumbling perform the same kind of damage as an expanded non-tumbling round? Seems like the frontal area covered by a tumbling bullet would actually be greater that an expanded non-tumbler.

  12. Re: Those non-expanding shots through the denim……….

    Aren’t those bullets turned backwards? Didn’t they tumble quite a bit (maybe a lot) while passing through the denim and gelatin?? Doesn’t the tumbling perform the same kind of damage as an expanded non-tumbling round? Seems like the frontal area covered by a tumbling bullet would actually be greater that an expanded non-tumbler.

    And over a longer path, since they penetrated deeper than the non-tumbling rounds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *