Best .22LR Rimfire Ammo [2020]: Accuracy, Plinking, & Hunting

Most people’s first time shooting is with a .22LR firearm.

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

But what .22LR ammo do you choose?

There are dozens, even hundreds of brands and types, so what is the best one?

Is there a best one? As with any other type of ammo, what .22LR you buy depends on what you want to do with it.

.22LR (CCI vs Winchester vs Super Colibri)
.22LR (CCI vs Winchester vs Super Colibri)

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

Best .22LR Ammo

For Plinking

We’ll start off with the cheapest ammo that will run reliably in semi-auto rifles and pistols.  As you know if you’ve shot any .22, the ammo can be a little finicky even when you’re shooting the “best” brands.

Centerfire vs Rimfire Primer
Centerfire vs Rimfire Primer

We run into trouble with some ammo since it lacks the *oomph* to cycle the bolt in semi guns.

Look for “good” prices around 5-8 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.

1. Remington 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.

33
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

2. Federal Auto Match

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

20.99
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

3. Federal Champion

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

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.

28.99
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

For Hunting

4. 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.

6.99
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

5. 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.

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

6. 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.

What’s your take on CCI?

Readers' Ratings

4.92/5 (605)

Your Rating?

For Accuracy

7. RWS Target Rifle

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

8.99
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

8. Wolf Match Target

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

8.99
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

9. 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.

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

53.99
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Subsonic Rounds

10. CCI Subsonic HP

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

11. Norma T-22

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).

82.99
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

12. Aguila Super 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.

5
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Conclusion

So there you have it…our roundup of the best .22LR for plinking, hunting, accuracy, and even sub-sonic.

Did we miss any that you really think belongs here?  Let us know! If you’re looking for a new .22LR, take a look at the 7 Best .22 LR Rifles!

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