In Part One of my series on the importance of the .22 Long Rifle, I made described how the .22 is easy to handle and shoot, and therefore, is the perfect platform for bringing new shooters into the hunting or fishing fold. However, another great attribute of the .22LR is its versatility as defined by the large selection of different ammunition choices available. The choices are numerous.
The number one hunting bullet for the .22LR is the CCI Mini Mag. These are copper-plated, hollow-point(hp) bullets that weight 39 grains. They are known for good penetration and for their ability to expand upon contact, driven by a muzzle velocity that is over 1200 feet-per-second (fps.), and, just like all .22 rounds; they are affordable and usually run around $11.00 per 100 rounds. These are not for plinking.
A cheaper alternative to a hp hunting bullet is the Federal .22 copper plated hollow point, often referred to as the ‘Federal bulk pack.’ It weighs in at 36 grains and comes in boxes of over 5000 rounds for around $370.00. That is seven cents a round. They are adequate for hunting small game, but are better known as affordable plinking rounds. They can be fatal at a couple hundred yards minus the knock-down power of most bullets. All around, they are deadly and cheap.
For taking care of business in urban or populated settings, there are some subsonic rounds that are lower in weight and have less muzzle velocity. The reason for these attributes is for silence. Most subsonic bullets are made to be shot with a suppressor, which makes them super quiet. One example is the Aguila SS Sniper Subsonic. These are a 60 grain, round nose bullet with a muzzle velocity under 1000 fps. Again, these are made to be silent. They are legendary for removing pesky squirrels in the suburbs.
Finally, one of my favorite loads as a kid in .22LR is #12 birdshot. Yes, .22LR ammunition comes in shotgun-like birdshot. This selection is often referred to as ‘rat shot,’ but it is also popular for using on snakes at close range. Federal and Winchester are the largest manufacturers of .22 birdshot. These birdshot rounds are effective at only short distances, and they do lack enough power to cycle all semi-automatic rifles. A single shot, bolt action or revolver is the ideal weapon of choice to scatter shot from this round, but most quality semi-autos can perform normally with #12.
Still to come; can a .22LR kill a human sized animal at over 400 yards? Yes it can.
For yet more reasons why the .22LR is a great gun click here.