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Why the .22 Long Rifle Is a Solid Offensive and Defensive Round

You can be mean when you look this lean.

The .22 Long Rifle (22LR)  has probably one of the most lethal backgrounds as it has taken down some serious names in its history. Don’t discount the classic hitter.

People often overlook the .22LR as a viable defense round, however the .22 has been used as an effective weapon in many assassination attempts. This round, used in close quarters, does have an effective anti-personnel quality that can be used in both offensive and defensive parameters.

Tested in this video is the CCI brand of .22LR bullets. There are four featured models. The Segmented hollow point, the Velocitor, the Mini Magnum, and the Round Nose. Each of these four different projectiles have a deep impact depending on the barriers ahead. Most .22s are used for small game, and most rounds are flying at supersonic speeds. One problem with the .22 is the transition from supersonic to subsonic speeds. Given that the round is so light it often causes the round to dramatically be less effective when returning to speeds below 1100 feet per second.

The first round tested was the CCI Segmented HP (hollow point), 32 gr (grain) 1640 fps (feet per second). Initial penetration shows fragmentation approx. 6 inches into ballistics gel. Remember that ballistics gel is used to test muscle tissue in its simplest form. The ballistics gel did not include clothing barriers or bone obstacles.

The second round tested was the CCI velocitor 40gr HP. Running at 1430 fps, the Velocitor penetrated approximately 10-12 inches and did not have any fragmentation. The entry wound showed minimal expansion, but did have deep penetration. This would be a good round if you’re going to shoot through a thicker hide, or maybe even an animal with some fattier tissue like a raccoon.

The CCI Mini Magnum weighed in at 36gr, and flew at about 1260 fps. The round entered high and deflected within the ballistics gel. This is common in .22LR rounds. There was minimal expansion in the wound cavity. On the second attempt the mini mag penetrated about eight inches with a minimal wound channel. The deepest cavity was within two inches. This round overall was not very impressive, and you can probably discount this one all together.

The CCI Round Nose weighs 40gr and exited the barrel at 1235 fps. The RN penetrated the ballistics gel completely and had a five-inch wound channel. There was no fragmentation seen inside the gel. Upon inspecting the gel, the round was located to be still completely intact.

In final review, the Segmented HP Round (round #1) had the biggest wound channel. The round also broke into three equal pieces as designed. When this round breaks apart and causes separate wound channels, it greatly improves the possibility of neutralizing your target instantly. Keep the .22LR in mind when your looking for a low budget, but effective round. Stay vigilant.

NEXT: Learn Different Shooting Positions from This Former Army Ranger Sniper

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Why the .22 Long Rifle Is a Solid Offensive and Defensive Round