With all the powerful .22 ammunition on the market today, are there any benefits to shooting a low velocity, low noise bullet such as CCI’s Conical Ball 22 cartridges? Based on shooting thousands of these rounds, I have found several reasons to hunt with and shoot this super quiet ammo.
The CB .22 ammo is a round nose lead bullet loaded into both .22 short and long cases. The bullets have a lighter load of powder designed to propel the 29 grain bullet at a muzzle velocity of 710 feet per second. Because of the reduced charge, this bullet is not suitable for use in all 22 caliber firearms, such as guns specifically chambered only for .22 long rifle cartridges. These bullets may not cycle the action on some auto loading guns. I have found they work best in single shot bolt action rifles or in revolvers.
Low noise means whisper quiet! These are by far the quietest .22 ammo I have ever used. Part of the reason this bullet is so quiet is the velocity is about 300 or more feet per second (fps) below the speed needed to break the sound barrier. Typical high velocity or hyper velocity .22 ammo travels at speeds fast enough to break the sound barrier, producing the loud, sharp crack common to this caliber. Without the crack of breaking the sound barrier, these bullets are surprisingly quiet.
I purposefully hunt with this ammo using a Winchester Wildcat 22 with a Simmons 3x9x32 scope. The bolt action of my rifle further suppresses the noise level because the port of the rifle is not opened upon firing to eject the casing. With auto loading rifles, the opening of the port allows more of the noise to escape near the shooter’s ear. These decibel levels from these bullets however is so low that no hearing protection is needed.
I like to use this bullet for hunting small game such as squirrels or rabbits. The quiet sound of this bullet firing is similar to a stick breaking so the game is often not frightened when the gun is fired. I have had plenty of squirrels or other game not even move, giving me an opportunity for a second shot if needed. For a squirrel or rabbit, head shots are preferred although a well placed body shot will easily kill a squirrel. The CB bullet does not mushroom at all. It typically passes completely through the game making a neat round hole. Consequently, tissue damage is minimal so that edible meat is maximized.
Using these bullets gives the shooter a good safety advantage also. Traveling only 710 fps, these bullets don’t travel far before gravity pulls them into the dirt. The ballistics of this load can be found at CCI’s website (www.cci-ammunitiion.com) For example, if zeroed in to the bulls eye at 50 yards, this bullet will drop almost 19 inches by the time it travels another 50 yard beyond the target. For many shooters firing from a shoulder height, the bullet will not go more than 200 yards before burying itself in the ground. This makes this ammo an excellent round to use in urban environments.
One oddity of this bullet is you can actually see the bullet flying toward its target if you have good eyesight. And, it’s so quiet you can hear the thump when it makes contact with your target.
In general, this bullet is effective in killing pests or small game at distances up to 50 yards. The ammunition is much quieter than a typical .22 caliber pellet gun so it doesn’t scare game. It is a safer bullet to shoot in close quarters due to its low velocity. You won’t need any hearing protection and it’s just plain fun to shoot. Try them for yourself and I think you will see low noise .22 ammo should have a place in your shooting arsenal.
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