Monday, June 30, 2008

.22 Talk, Or Everything You Didn't Want To Know About .22LR

Since I'm a broke college student, I mainly shoot my .22LR pistol and rifle. Sure, I have the "Fat Man and Little Boy" pairing of the 10Fp .308Win and Mk.II .22LR; and .45ACP 1911A1, as well as a Ciener .22LR slide. Shooting .22LR isn't the same, but it saves HUGE amounts of money, and still sharpens basic skills. In addition, the .22LR has virtually no felt recoil, so you don't develop a flinch while shooting. The following is an incoherent rambling of things I've picked up about .22LR practice sessions:

First of all, .22s have a lot more grunt than you might think. A month or so ago I killed a starling at roughly 120 yards with a single round of Federal Champion 40gr lead round nose. I have started regularly practicing at 100 yards and beyond with the rifle shown above. The plain jane 4x scope is about the be replaced by one with target style adjustment turrets so I can practice adjusting for elevation and wind with more than just hold-over or hold-off. While I don't recommend shooting small game at ranges over 100 yards, the .22 is lethal at those distances. I've heard tales of old men shooting two liter bottles at 200 yards with custom made .22LR's. What's the point? You can get a lot of quality training/practice out of a .22LR. This can save you money or time at the reloading bench.

I bought a Ciener .22LR slide for my 1911A1 in May. I've put about 1000 rounds through it so far, and I love it. It works flawlessly (or nearly so) on my Springfield Armory 1911 frame. I use the .22 slide for all of my practice. My double taps have become infinitely more fast and accurate. Best of all, because it is the same pistol, I am just as fast and accurate with the .45 slide. God knows how much money I have saved by shooting .22LR instead of .45ACP.

A word on ammunition

I have used a wide variety of ammo, and can tell you that there is indeed a difference. If you are looking to get the most accuracy out of your rifle, use the same type of ammo every time. I shoot Federal Champion high-velocity 40 grain lead round nose. It feeds well in my rifle, and is very accurate. I have also used CCI 40 grain standard velocity with great effect. American Eagle 32 grain plated hollow point high velocity is a close third place.

I consider "Hyper Velocity" and "Subsonic" rounds to be oddballs. Both tend to be very expensive comparatively, and not a lot more useful than cheaper loadings. I have used CCI Velocitor, and keep some on hand for big, particularly nasty critters like possums or coyotes at uncomfortably close range. Velocitors are very accurate and should pack a decent punch, according to my muzzle energy calculations (Velocity squared x bullet weight /450436).

I also tried some Remington Subsonic rounds, and found out a lot about the sound barrier. A lot of widely available SS rounds fly at about 1050fps. This is only subsonic at certain altitudes and temperatures. They are not much quieter than standard rounds. The "advantage" is that subsonic rounds never cross trans-sonic turbulence, hence, they are said to be more accurate and are popular at matches. If you are looking for a quieter round, use.22 CB Long. It shoots a 27 grain bullet at 710 feet per second. They are nearly silent (quieter than my 1000fps BB gun), and have a very short effective range. I would not hunt with them, and they drop FAST past 15 yards. This load is great for teaching new shooters. The lack of recoil and noise builds confidence and reduces flinching or jitters.


If you're looking for a way to polish up your shooting skills, why not go with a .22LR? Pick a rifle or handgun that mirrors your full size rig, and shoot more! Shooting with a .22LR will improve all your basic skills; and in shooting there are no advanced skills, merely advanced applications of basic skills.

Welcome to the Flatland Gun Nut!

This blog was set up for me to "publish" some of my rantings about firearms, training, tactics, and gear reviews. I love shooting sports, and part of my writing will try to better inform my audience about safe handling techniques, and cut through the liberal garbage about guns being the devil. In my travels (which have taken me from the Midwest to the Middle East), it seems that the most adamantly anti-gun people have no idea how a gun works, or how to safely handle one.

As for me, I am an infantryman in the National Guard in the Midwest. I have done a tour in Afghanistan and am looking forward to serving my country again. I have been in ground combat, and earned my Combat Infantry Badge.I have been a gunner on a Mk.-19 grenade machinegun, M240B medium machinegun, AT-4 light anti-tank rocket, M16 series rifle, M203 grenade launcher, ...etc....etc. I am also a Junior in college (granted, I'm older than most students, but not that old) majoring in Criminal Justice. I spent my formative years studying ballistics, reading up on foreign weapons, hunting, and spending many happy hours shooting targets on my range on the family farm. I don't have an extensive arsenal, but a few years ago, I was qualified on almost every small-arm in the U.S. inventory. Right now, I am awaiting the arrival of a Lee Anniversary Kit reloading press so I can start reloading for my Savage 10FP HS Precision. (expect some gear reviews including Millett scopes, Savage accutrigger rifles, and Harris bipods.) Oh, and I also occasionally write for when I can find my thesaurus.

I don't take myself too seriously, but I pledge to keep all my reviews as unbiased as possible, and I will not joke about weapons handling techniques because I don't want to confuse people who seek advice, nor do I want to write anything that can be used by the leftist media or their affiliates to try and take away 2nd Amendment rights, or make gun owners look bad.

Thanks for reading my rantings!