When it comes to versatility, nothing quite keeps up with the .22 LR Rimfire. Not only does it work with both rifles and pistols, but these rounds also have a wide range of uses. But all of that choice might have you feeling a little overwhelmed as to what ammunition you should buy.
Is there a definitive best one? Does size matter for this ammunition? Do you have to choose a different ammo type for hunting and plinking? These are all questions we hope to answer by the end of this review. It is worth looking into the different uses for .22 LR Rimfire Ammo.
Best .22 LR Ammo
All of the rounds offer a specific purpose, but there are good and bad ones. Here are the best ones from each category:
- Lapua Center-X (long-range precision)
- CCI Subsonic HP (suppression)
- CCI Stinger (hunting)
- Federal Auto Match (plinking)
- Remington Thunderbolt (Cheapest)
- CCI Standard Velocity (best all-around)
The Norma TAC-22 is a decent long-range precision round that goes very well with other .22 LR AR clones. If you want something less noisy, then the subsonic rounds are a good option, or you could add a suppressor. It is still fast but doesn’t have the same sound.
Wolf Match Target
Wolf was a surprising entry here, seeing how their name rarely comes with quality. However, the Wolf Match Target is a good .22 LR precision round for most rifles. Its MOA is slightly over 1 for the rifles we tested when shooting at 100 yards.
The SK Ammo comes in three variants, Long-range match, Rifle match, and Standard Plus. They all fit in different sized chambers, but all of them are equally good for their respective sizes. The Rifle and Long-Range Match both had an MOA of 1 during our tests, with the standard plus generally having a better standard deviation.
Many consider this to be the best when it comes to long-range shooting. It was even the most popular ammo used in the NRL22 national match. While it can be a little picky when it comes to its preferred chambers, nothing else quite competes to it when it works. It has a speed of 1,073 fps, making it the best choice for competition.
Aguila Super Calibri
The Super Calibri is a very slow yet fairly effective gun for dealing with pests. It has no powder and only runs off the primer, making them quiet, if not slow, at just 420 fps. The only downside to these rounds is that they do not work semi-automatic.
The Norma T-22 is a quiet but fast round, at 1,017 fps. They do come with a little more powder, which means that they are not as quiet while still running on some semi-autos. Of course, the latter does depend on the gun that you use.
CCI Subsonic HP
CCI Subsonic HP is a wonderful round for suppressed shooting, thanks to its accuracy and reliability. It still manages to very accurately hit the target while being fast enough to work with some semi-automatics. The speed for each round clocks in at 1,050 fps.
CCI Standard Velocity
The CCI Standard Velocity happens to be the best all-rounder in this list easily. The price to reliability ratio is incredible, allowing you to use it in various situations easily. It has a speed of about 1,070 fps that works great with a Ruger 10/22.
The CCI Stinger is a hollow point high-velocity round that can crack the 1,640 fps barrier. It is easily the best hunting ammo out there when looking at its performance stats. Of course, it does have the downside of not working on most new-age rifles. Most bolt actions guns can run them fine, making them the best category.
Federal champion is a good hollow point that can also function as fairly good hunting round. Furthermore, it also happens to be cheap, which automatically makes it a great round plinking. It works with most .22 LRs without any issues.
Federal Auto Match
The auto-match is simple, cheap, and reliable for the price. You can even find it easily, ensuring that you do not have to look far for it. It also works in a wide range of semis and bolts, so an all-around great round.
These are easily the cheapest rounds you can find, but some guns might have trouble with them. Test before committing.
Uses for .22 LR Rimfire Ammo
The .22 LR is not only one of the oldest Long Rifle variants of bullets, but it also happens to be the most versatile. People have used these rounds in various cases since the 1880s, with many still preferring them today for different uses. These include:
- Long-Range precision
If this is your first time hearing about all of these different uses, then it is worth giving each of them a short introduction:
- Long-Range Precision: It is one of the most popular uses for the .22 LR Rimfire ammo. With the right gun and cartridge size, the .22 LR can easily break the 400-yard range. However, precision shooting with the .22 LR also happens to be a little expensive. Ammo that is good for long-range precision should be subsonic and reliable, contributing to its price.
- Suppressed: These rounds happen to be the weakest version of the .22 LR. It can sometimes be much weaker than the average bullet or just a small difference in power. It is also only effective against critters or pests, which depends on its size.
- Hunting: Ammo used for hunting should always be sub-sonic or super-sonic for a clean kill. You always want to have reliable ammo with you, which is why you shouldn’t hesitate to pay extra. Although a little pricey, the expensive versions are always more effective.
- Plinking: Plinking refers to shooting guns to learn or just having fun. The focus is less on the quality and more on its reliability to fire. This ammo is always the cheapest and is usually useless for anything other than target practice or friendly competition.
And there you have it, the best rounds that can work for each situation that you would possibly need a .22 LR in. These were the best rounds for long-range precision, suppression, hunting, and plinking. The rounds mentioned here were even the best among subsonic and accuracy.
So if you want to pick up rounds for your specific purpose, these should cover it. But if you just wish to be the jack of all trades for these rounds, you cannot go wrong with the CCI standard velocity. All of these bullets are available online. So get them for the best price you can by shopping around.