In 1857, Smith & Wesson introduced the .22 LR, which became the most popular rimfire cartridge in history. Enthusiasts use it for target practice, training, plinking, sporting events, and varmint control. Shooters love the economical price and the fact that it is easy to buy in bulk. Shooters use the round in a variety of guns including handguns, shotguns, rifles, and submachine guns. Users appreciate the low recoil and small muzzle flash, which also makes it desirable for young and novice shooters.
.22LR ammo has four velocity ranges: subsonic, standard velocity, high velocity, and hyper velocity.
A Brief History
The .22 was designed for Smith & Wesson’s First Model. Designers modeled it after the 1845 Flobert BB cap. Weapons manufacturer J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. had combined a .22 Long casing with a 40-grain bullet used for the .22 Extra Long. Manufacturers have modified the bullet to accommodate additional grains of powder; currently, there are three types: .22 Short, .22 Long, and.22 Extra Long. The .22 Short is not often seen on the market although it can be purchased through online sources.
The .22 LR is interchangeable between guns which is a benefit for those using a variety of weapons. The round is not recommended for self-defense or large game hunting due to its lack of power.
Currently, the .22 LR is the only .22 rimfire cartridge seen on the market. The .22 Short is rare and in most circles has become scarce.
Despite the fact that the .22 LR doesn’t have a great deal of stopping power, it is still a common choice for self-defense and concealed carry. The round can be chambered in small and lightweight pocket guns, easily carried in a purse or jacket. Experts say that the cartridge will work well in most up-close situations, as long as the shooter has good aim. Shooters can fire the bullet fast and accurately so multiple shots are a possibility if they are needed. Since many people shoot to scare away their target, the .22 will work just fine.
Experts say that the brand of ammo is important when choosing a .22 LR. While many brands work well, you will find, on occasion, some that jam or misfire. Shooters should test different brands to find the one that works the best with their weapon of choice.
Novice shooters use a .22 for target practice and training. The lack of power makes it safer for new users. The low recoil keeps the round from startling the shooter, thereby disrupting his posture and aim at the target. Countries restricting larger caliber bullets tend to permit the use of a .22 caliber.
It remains the bullet of choice for various organizations including the Boy Scouts of America and 4H Clubs. Military cadets use .22 LR cadet rifles for basic weapons and marksmanship training. The .22 LR is widely used in competition shooting, including the Olympic games, pistol and precision rifle competitions.