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Hunting with .22lr ammo

captomcaptom New MemberPosts: 20 New Member
There are certain hunting seasons when I must use rimfire cartridges for hunting hogs in WMA areas, so I did some testing with various .22LR brands and bullet types to determine which ones give the best and most consistent penetration. I used blocks of ice created by freezing water in empty 64 oz. plastic empty bottles of Ocean-Spray Cranberry juice. The bottles are about 2.5 inches thick. My test design was to shoot 5 rounds into each bottle and determine how many rounds fully penetrated the bottle. I let the ice melt and collected the bullets remaining. This also allowed me to evaluate bullet deformation. I limited the number of rounds to 5 for each bottle thinking that damage caused by more rounds would allow subsequent rounds to penetrate more easily. I fired a 10/22 Carbine from a sitting position 25 yds. from the target. I also counted bulges in the plastic wall on far side (bullets almost penetrated but pooped out at the plastic wall).
Here is what I found:

Federal Solids 40 gr. copper-plated. MV 1240. N=16. 56% Penetrated fully. 69 % Penetrated + bulged back wall. 7 bullets recovered. Uniform mushroom. 2 bullets recovered from cardboard backstop also nicely mushroomed.

Remington solids. MV1255.40 gr. Golden Bullet. PLRN. N=9. 44 % " . 67 % " " . 5 bullets recovered. V. poor mushroom formation. Very asymmetric, lead stripped away. One bullet from backing was absolutely undeformed. My thinking is that those that fully penetrated didn't mushroom at all.

CCI Solids. 40 gr. copper plated 1260 MV. N=11 9% " . 36% " " . 10 bullets recovered from bottle. Nice mushrooms. Poor penetration.

CCI H.P. 36 gr. copper plated. MV 1260 N=10 0 " . 20% " " . 10 bullets recovered from bottle. V. nice mushrooms. Poorest penetration.

MV is taken from manufacturer. Lots of variability between manufacturer's bullets. Some were stripped of lead, shank bent, lop-sided mushrooms. Federal solids exhibited best controlled expansion with good penetration. CCI H.P.s and Solids had very uniform mushrooms but relatively poor penetration. While Remington solids ranked 2nd in penetration, they essentially lacked expansion.
Bottom Line: I'm sticking with Federal Solids and hope for an ear shot. More later....I hope:applause:
Any of you gurus out there have some favorites of your own? Captom

Replies

  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Panama City, Fl.Posts: 8,687 Senior Member
    Looking forward to some Zee-type autopsy photos!!
  • earlyearly Senior Member Thornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Were the CCI solids mini mags?
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Pensacola, FLPosts: 10,826 Senior Member
    What about the .22 Magnum? You can get a 40gr FMJ up to 1900fps........
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Texas as soon as I can get there.Posts: 1,628 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    What about the .22 Magnum? You can get a 40gr FMJ up to 1900fps........

    A rifle with a longer barrel than the OP's carbine may be helpful as well.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    Find a frozen critter are you're in business.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Colorado SpringsPosts: 7,821 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    The CCI 40gr subsonic HPs have penetrated well for me in game up to coyote sized.
    I use the CCI Quik-Shok subsonic segmented 40gr for raccoon sized targets.
    The bonus being the 2 loads were intended to shoot to the same POA and do from my 2 hunting 22s, out to 100 yards

    Pay close attention to this. As counter-intuitive as it seems, high velocity is a detriment to penetration.

    If you have to use a 22LR for hog hunting, use the heaviest/slowest/accurate load you can find.

    Federal Gold Medal Ultra-Match solids (900 UMB) might be a good place to start.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Colorado SpringsPosts: 7,821 Senior Member
    Fed Gold UltraMatch 40 grain solids have a box advertised velocity of 1088, which is sub-sonic. But only by a little. Not much will hear it coming.

    But, for a .22LR, they penetrate like mad. I learned this the hard way, and I learned it well.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,750 Senior Member
    I remember an article in The American Rifleman about the penetration of a .22 LR compared to a .25 ACP. Both comparison tests were done with a Beretta...this was before Berettas came in LR and the testers had to put a LR barrel on a Jetfire (or whatever) frame.

    At any rate, the LR penetrated deeper than the .25 acp. I was so convinced of this that I placed a bet on it. We tested it at work (surreptitiously) on ATL phone books. This was after Beretta came out with LR pistols and they had about the same length barrels.

    Imagine my surprise when the .25 over-penetrated the .22 LR in the phone books. Neither IIRC had a lot of deformation. I leaned to not trust magazine articles from that experience.

    I shot a wild pig with a .22 LR and a High Standard HD Military. This was a LONG time ago and the pig was a young shoat and aggressive. Dropped him down with a facing head shot. That's about the only shot I'd take on the ground with a grown hog.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • captomcaptom New Member Posts: 20 New Member
    Hey guys, very good advice. Will try to get my hands on Federal UMB and other subsonics, but I've never seen the UMB before. Nor have I ever seen 42/44 gr 22LR. My thoughts about penetration involves two competing bullet properties for creating tissue damage: 1. Bullet energy at target and 2. deformation. One would like maximum-sized wound channel (tissue damage) couple with a deep wound channel--best of both worlds. Everything else being equal, a soft bullet that gives beautiful large mushrooms is more resistant to penetration but has a wide wound channel, whereas a harder bullet with less deformation encounters less resistance and so penetrates deeper but results in a narrower wound channel. My goal was to optimize these properties. The bullets I tested pretty much bracketed to too soft bullet--CCI mini-mag HP 36 gr--beautifully formed large mushroom with lowest penetration. The hardest bullet was the Remington 40gr golden bullet which penetrated well but almost zero deformation, so less tissue damage. To my mind the 'just right' bullet came from Federal solids--symmetrical mushrooms and best penetration of all. I think my test target (2.5 inch thick solid block of ice) is plenty adequate for judging what I need. I know some guys who use .17 rimfires and have taken hogs. I just have to remember no Texas heart shots!! This is all spot and stalk hunting so getting within 25 yds is doable.
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Lima, PeruPosts: 2,986 Senior Member
    I'd start using a more suitable testing media, since ice might not be the best density reference; maybe 24-hour water-soaked telephone books will be closer to the real deal, thus giving more adequate performance results.

    Only light-skinned game for .22LR here, but those poachers hunting local "whitetail" down here usually employ Federal American Eagle CCHVRNHP (40 rounds box), Winchester Xpert22 & Super X 40gr. CCRNHP, or SK HVLHP. They usually go for as closest as possible (20-50 yards) frontal chest/neck shots and most claim the deer drop dead on spot all the time (Yeah, right!).
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Podunk, Tx.Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    Antonio wrote: »
    I'd start using a more suitable testing media, since ice might not be the best density reference; maybe 24-hour water-soaked telephone books will be closer to the real deal, thus giving more adequate performance results.

    Only light-skinned game for .22LR here, but those poachers hunting local "whitetail" down here usually employ Federal American Eagle CCHVRNHP (40 rounds box), Winchester Xpert22 & Super X 40gr. CCRNHP, or SK HVLHP. They usually go for as closest as possible (20-50 yards) frontal chest/neck shots and most claim the deer drop dead on spot all the time (Yeah, right!).

    I've heard the claim that more deer have been take with a 22 RF than any other cartridge. It would not surprise me of that's correct.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Lima, PeruPosts: 2,986 Senior Member
    At least here it'll come in a solid 2nd., behind 12 & 16GA shotguns. Local "hunters" as any 3rld. world "meat gatherers" will show little contempt for the poor beasts, and will resort to using even birdshot (Cheapest and easiest to get) for as-close-as-possible shots; head is preferred but eventually they'll settle with any chance presented since eacg round MUST render a prey.

    Local cops know they are poaching, shooting anything, in any numbers with whatever they could use; as long as it isn't a military rifle, they won't care asking for hunting permits, gun licenses, etc., or they might risk starting a revolt and getting stoned by the irate populace. Now, if you're a white city guy, that's ANOTHER matter, and unless you're well connected among the townspeople, prepare to let loose a few bucks no matter what, even if you are 100% legal.

    Why not .22WMR? I know it's more expensive, but you're talking twice the power in a readily available rimfire cartridge. With a CZ-455 you'd have the chance of relatively easy change of barrels & magazine, thus enjoying both calibers in the same rifle.
  • JayJay Senior Member New Mexico/TexasPosts: 4,547 Senior Member
    A rifle with a longer barrel than the OP's carbine may be helpful as well.

    Based on what I found with my velocity testing, probably not. With 22lr, you reach a point of diminishing returns pretty quick, then start actually losing velocity. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

    http://forums.gunsandammo.com/showthread.php?31004-Range-day-Encore-22lr-range-report&highlight=Encore
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Texas as soon as I can get there.Posts: 1,628 Senior Member
    Jay wrote: »
    Based on what I found with my velocity testing, probably not. With 22lr, you reach a point of diminishing returns pretty quick, then start actually losing velocity. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

    http://forums.gunsandammo.com/showthread.php?31004-Range-day-Encore-22lr-range-report&highlight=Encore

    Don't necessarily disagree, but I intended my original comment to include a switch to 22 magnum. For hogs, I think .22LR is a little "light "when the .22 magnum is legal.

    Note: in our state, only shotguns and rimfire rifles are legal for hunting on state land. I feel the OP's pain.
  • JayJay Senior Member New Mexico/TexasPosts: 4,547 Senior Member
    Don't necessarily disagree, but I intended my original comment to include a switch to 22 magnum. For hogs, I think .22LR is a little "light "when the .22 magnum is legal.

    Note: in our state, only shotguns and rimfire rifles are legal for hunting on state land. I feel the OP's pain.

    Gotcha. I thought you might have meant that. With 22 mag, I'd expect better velocity with a little longer barrel. Just want to clarify that it doesn't seem to be the case with 22 lr. Longer isn't necessarily better, for once....
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Pensacola, FLPosts: 10,826 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    How did you determine the bullet hardness?

    tumblr_m1bh5ehlll1rs9ydqo1_500_by_pictonianproductions-d67kczm.gif
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
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