Shotshells for the .22 Long Rifle are comprised of a hollow plastic shell containing small lead shot. When fired, the lead pellets are propelled out the barrel and spread out, much like a traditional shotgun shell. This spread makes .22LR shotshells useful for hitting small, moving targets. Due to the design differences between rifled .22LR barrels and smooth shotgun bores, .22LR will spread quickly, so shooters should keep ranges fairly close.
.22LR shotshells are the clear choice for exterminating small pests, such as mice, rats or snakes, where larger calibers or other bullet types would be too destructive to the surroundings.