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Best 22 caliber target bullets

Rifle Tips by Donald K. Burleson

December 2010

Finding the best 22 caliber target bullet for your rifle requires through testing.  I did my tests of 22 ammo with my three favorite 22 caliber target rifles:

I also ran my ammo tests on my Ruger Mark 5 pistol

Also see my notes on the best .22 target pistols and the best 22 caliber target rifles.

I tested over a dozen type of 22 caliber bullets, here is a small sample:

Every 22 target rifle has a specific “taste” for bullets, and testing with a bench rest and scope at 50 yards is the only reliable way to see what your 22 rifle likes to eat.

Janet and Jael testing 22 bullets at 50 yards with a bench rest

Expensive 22 bullets shoot tighter groups

In my tests, the ballistic characteristics of the best ammo for a 22 caliber target rifle was simple:

  • Low velocity ammo is better:  Without exception, the “low velocity”, “subsonic” and “standard velocity” 22 bullets shot tighter groups.

  • Expensive is better:  With two notable exceptions (PMC and Blazer), more expensive 22 bullets consistently shot tighter groups with less “flyers”.  You get what you pay for.

I tested these types of 22 caliber ammo.  These are rated best to worst, for my 22 rifle.  As you can see, there is a direct correlation between price and accuracy:

  • Blazer 22 long rifle - This ammo just blows out the bullseye at 100 yards (5 cents each)
  • PMC Scoremaster – Incredible accuracy and super cheap, but they stopped making it in 2009
  • CCI 22 standard velocity – Twelve cents each (12 cents)
  • Federal gold medal sold point (40 grain) – Pricey at seventy cents per round (70 cents)

Other less quality ammo in my rifles:

  • Dynamit Subsonic – Twenty two cents each (22 cents)
  • Dynamit Noble – Thirty four cents each (34 cents)
  •  Federal Automatch – Five cents each
  •  CCI 22 long – Fourteen cents each (14 cents)
  •  Fiocchi moving target

Not tested, but recommended:

  • Federal GMM
  • Wolf Match Extra

The best ammo for target shooting with my CZ 452 Lux was the Blazer 22 ammo, followed by the Federal GOLD Solid points (expensive at 70 cents each!) or the PMC SCORE MASTER solid point bullets (no longer manufactured), and also the the CCI 22 standard velocity.

On the price/performance matrix, my choice for the overall best 22 caliber bullets is the CCI standard velocity at only 12 cents a round.


Note: The opinions expressed on these pages are the sole opinion of Donald K. Burleson and do not reflect the opinions of Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.

Suggestions?  We are always seeking new tips for the professional at leisure, and any suggestions would be most welcome.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback. 

Copyright ? 1996 -  2010 by Donald K Burleson. All rights reserved.