22LR Ballistics

22 LR Ballistics calculated at a shooting range with chronograph

A look at 22LR Ballistics with ammo info and a ballistic chart containing muzzle velocity, trajectory and more information about this popular caliber.

Incredibly easy to shoot and immensely popular, let’s take a look at 22LR Ballistics and all this round is capable of.

22 Long Rifle Summary:

  • The most popular cartridge in the world, the 22 Long Rifle is perfect for target shooting, plinking, and varmint hunting.
  • Accurate, low recoil, quiet, and can cost less than five cents per round.
  • Offers subsonic and supersonic muzzle velocities.
  • Considered inadequate for taking game as large as coyote. Not ideal for self-defense by any measure, but better than nothing at all!

22LR Ballistic Chart

Velocity (Feet per Second)Energy (Foot Pounds)Bullet Drop (Inches)Ballistic Coefficient
Ammo NameBarrel LengthMuzzleVelocity, fps 50 yds.Velocity, fps 75 yds.Velocity, fps 100 yds.Muzzle50 yds.75 yds.100 yds.Muzzle
50 yds.75 yds.100 yds.(G1)(G7)Sect. Density
CCI Mini Mag - 40 Grain CPRN241235109210409981351069688-1.30-3.30.1340.0790.115
Remington Thunderbolt - 40 Gr. LRN24125511161064102014011110093-1.20-3.090.1430.0880.115
CCI - 36 Gr. CPHP241260110410481003127978880-1.20-3.20.1290.0770.103
CCI Velocitor - 40 Gr. CPHP241435123011491084183134117104-0.90-2.50.1280.0860.115
Winchester 36 Gr. CPHP24128010921029979131958577-1.80-3.80.1050.0590.103
CCI Quiet - 40 Gr. LRN2471067465664045403836-0-6.4-17.80.1230.0720.115
Remington Golden Bullet - 36 Gr. HP2412801117106010101311009082-1.190-3.080.1270.0780.103
CCI - 40 Gr. LRN241070977940908102857973-0-2.6-7.60.1230.0560.115
Federal - 40 Gr. LRN241200107510139911281039187-0-2-6.20.1430.080.115
CCI Stinger - 32 Gr. CPHP2416401292116210661911199681-0.70-2.30.0850.0540.092
Winchester USA - 36 Gr. CPHP24128010921029979131958577-0-1.9-5.80.1050.0590.103
Winchester Wildcat - 40 Gr. LRN24125511161064102014011110093-0-1.8-5.50.1430.0880.115
CCI Suppressor - 45 Gr. LHP2497090687885294827773-4.53.700.1280.0610.129
Remington Subsonic - 38 Gr. LHP24105096693290393797369-1.80-4.30.1270.0570.109
Winchester 45 Gr. CPRN24109010219929671191049893-1.560-3.70.1880.0880.129
CCI Copper - 21 Gr. HP 2418501153989890160624637-2.52.300.0420.0220.06
Aguila Colibri - 20 Gr. LRN244203923793768766-0-19.9-550.0970.57
Federal Gold Medal - 40 Gr. Match241080994959930104888277-0-2.5-7.30.1380.115

22 LR’s History

The Union Metallic Cartridge Company (Remington) introduced 22 LR ammo as early as 1884 by Union Metallic Cartridge Company. With its faster muzzle velocity it quickly obsoleted the 22 Long and 22 Extra Long that preceded it. It is still popular, to put it mildly. Many people who own just one firearm have it chambered for 22 LR. It’s an inexpensive weapon just like its ammunition, and its gentle recoil and soft report suit it for even the smallest, most skittish shooters.

Size & 22LR Ballistics

Federal Gold Medal 22 lr ammunition

The 22 LR is a tiny round at only 1” long. Its low power means it gets by with a very thin brass shell casing, a contributing factor to its nice price tag. Such a thin casing enables a rimfire primer, which is struck through the brass by the firing pin. Still, the 22 LR’s muzzle velocity is nothing to scoff at. Its 40 grain bullet may deliver a muzzle velocity between 1,080 and 1,200 fps, falling on either side of the speed of sound. Generally speaking the 22 LR’s 36 grain bullet hits 1,330 fps, and its 32 grain bullet hits 1,640 fps.

22 Long Rifle Effective Range

CCI Stinger 22 long rifle ammo

Those speeds are adequate to put the 22 LR’s effective range at 150 yards, with a nearer practical range. Bullet drop becomes fairly pronounced after that point. A 40 grain bullet sinks about 33” at 200 yards, and triple that at 300 yards. If you can hit an egg with a 22 LR at 100 yards, you’re doing all right for yourself.

For picking off troublesome animals — the kind that help yourself to your wild birds’ black oil sunflower seed, for example — the 22 LR is divine. At 50 yards the 22 LR packs a triple digit energy level, enough to send a 12 ounce rodent tumbling even when the bullet isn’t designed to expand. Raccoon, porcupine, chipmunk, nutria, pigeon, crow, and rabbit are all prime targets for a 22 LR. Furthermore, no summer should go without the rhythmic pings of little bullets hitting empty cans.

Other 22LR Attributes

  • New shooters often ask why the 22 LR and the 223 Rem, which are both .22 caliber and can fire similar 40 grain bullets, perform so differently. The reason is simple: muzzle velocity. The 223 Rem has a much bigger casing that holds a whole lot more propellant. Its 40 grain bullet exits the muzzle at 3,800 fps — over three times faster than the 22 LR at 1,200 fps. This also means the 223 Rem’s muzzle energy is nearly ten times greater!
  • The 22 WMR looks somewhat similar to the 22 LR, but you must under no circumstances load a smaller 22 LR into a chamber designed for 22 WMR. The cartridge will explode and very likely pelt your face with brass shrapnel.
  • You may fire the even smaller 22 Short in a firearm chambered for 22 LR. The 22 Short is 30 percent shorter than the 22 LR, however, so it probably won’t work in a semi-automatic 22 LR weapon’s feeding mechanism.

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