Best .22 LR Rimfire Ammo [Accuracy, Plinking, & Hunting]

.22 LR ammo is back!

SW22 with Federal .22LR
SW22 with Federal .22LR

Sort of…as of writing (July 2017), I’m seeing decent stock of .22 LR online and even in stores.

So instead of ordering whatever is available…you can actually choose to get the right round for the purpose.

Which might actually make it harder since now there’s TOO many choices.

Too Many Options
Too Many Options

But don’t worry, I’ll walk through my favorite rounds for cheap plinking, hunting, accuracy, and even going subsonic.

Best Plinking .22 LR Ammo

Here we go for the cheapest ammo that will run reliably in semi-auto rifles and pistols.  We run into trouble with some ammo since it lacks the *oomph* to cycle the bolt in semi guns.

Look for “good” prices around 6-8 cents each.  I think the days of sub-5 cent rounds are long behind us.

And since .22 LR hasn’t become plentiful yet, I’m including a couple links for each recommendation since they might not be in stock.

But these are the picks that have served us well.

Remington Thunderbolt

22 Thunderbolt
22 Thunderbolt

Usually the cheapest rounds…but some guns don’t like them.  Mine have no complaints but I read enough about them that I would test them out first before taking the plunge and stacking deep.

Federal Auto Match

Federal Auto Match .22 LR
Federal Auto Match .22 LR

325 rounds of affordable .22 LR that’s mostly available nowadays.  No complaints in my bolts or semi’s.

Federal Champion

Federal Champion 22
Federal Champion 22

What I’ve shot the most and have in storage the deepest.

Best Hunting .22 LR Ammo

For hunting, the name of the game is to get a quick/clean kill without making too much of the meat inedible.  Usually this means going with a high velocity and hollow point (HP) bullet.

CCI Stinger

The gold standard in small game hunting.  Fast, accurate, and deadly with its copper-plated 32 grain hollow point bullet.  Can’t go wrong with this one and has enough oomph to cycle semi’s.

CCI Velocitor

CCI Velocitor
CCI Velocitor

Cool name…cool round.  I like my CCI’s and the newer Velocitor brings a tad heavier round (40 gr) to the mix at just a tad slower velocity than the Stinger.  Slightly harder to find.

Most Accurate .22 LR Ammo

I’ve found the most accurate ammo also has a much better ignition rate compared to the plinking rounds.  If you also want reliability…go with these.

Day At The Range .22 LR Accuracy Test
Day At The Range .22 LR Accuracy Test

CCI Standard Velocity

CCI Standard Velocity
CCI Standard Velocity

One of my favorite all-around loads in terms of price and reliability.  And apparently the most accurate according to Day At The Range.

RWS Target Rifle

RWS Target 22
RWS Target 22

I’m unfamiliar with this brand but the results speak for themselves.  Let me know how it shoots for you!

Wolf Match Target

I was surprised at this one…Wolf always works but I never saw it as accurate.

Wolf Match .22 LR
Wolf Match .22 LR

Norma TAC-22

Norma Tac-22
Norma Tac-22

I like this one since it works very well in my semi-auto guns like the 10/22 and .22 LR AR-clones.

Best Subsonic .22 LR Ammo

If you’ve got a suppressor or want to be a little more quiet…going subsonic is the way to go.  It sounds like a cap gun instead of having the *CLAP* of a faster-than-sound bullet.

CCI Subsonic HP

CCI Subsonic
CCI Subsonic

My favorite overall subsonic round.  Accuracy and reliability of CCI and not so slow (1050 fps) that it can’t run on semi’s.

Norma T-22

Norma Subsonic
Norma Subsonic

You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who speaks ill of Norma ammo.  This one is no exception.  Should be able to run on semi’s (1017 fps).

Aguila Super Extra

Aguila Colibri
Aguila Colibri

Powder?  Who needs powder?  These rounds run off only the primer so they are super-quiet and super slow (420 fps).  Won’t run in your semi though.

Conclusion

So there you have it…our roundup of the best .22 LR for plinking, hunting, accuracy, and even sub-sonic.  Did we miss any that you really think belongs here?  Let us know!

3 Comments

  1. Some of these brands I have never used. But the ones I have, most of them I will agree with you. With a few exceptions, they all work fine in my lever rifle, but, unless they are at least 1230 fps my semiauto will not cycle. I will never use any CCI. or Winchester. I get at least a 10% failure rate with both. The Federal Match Grade works great. I use them for target and plinking. I also use Remington Golden Bullet, 36 gr. JHP. 1280(?) fps and 135 fp. for target. For hunting I use Remington Yellow Jacket, again 36 gr JHP. but 1500 fps and 165 fp.

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