The .22 Long Rifle, and even its variants, like .22L, .22S, and even .22CB, are great cartridges, as are the magnum versions.
But the .22LR reigns supreme. It is the uncontested king of cartridges, and is the caliber of choice for many a first time gun owner around the whole world.
Tiny as it is, it has so many uses, and so many desirable attributes, that it’s likely to enjoy another 100 years or more in the spotlight.
So, with that said, let’s talk about why we love .22LR and why you should too (as well as why you should stock up on .22LR bulk ammo).
There’s just no way to get around this one. The .22LR is affordable. Actually, it’s downright cheap, and in ways that no other cartridge can match.
Even cheap centerfire cartridges like 9mm Luger and .223 Remington are still many times more than .22LR on a per-round basis. You can probably engineer costs for either of those centerfire rounds down to around 25 to 50 cents at the lowest end of the low range, but that’s still a lot more than .22LR.
With .22LR, if you buy in bulk, you can sometimes get costs down below 10 cents per round. No other cartridge comes close.
The Versatility (the Sheer Number of Uses!)
There are so many things you can use .22LR for and this list only scratches the surface. Here are some of the best uses:
- Teaching Safe Handling (or As a First Gun) - The low cost and low recoil of this round make it perfect for teaching beginners.
- Hunting - Perfect for small game ranging from squirrels to rabbits, foxes, and coyotes.
- Pest Control - It’s great for controlling varmints like prairie dogs.
- As a Trapline Caliber - Since it’s cheap, it’s perfect for dispatching trapped furbearers.
- Training - Low recoil and low cost make it pain-free to burn through a ton of .22LR at the range.
- Plinking - Again, low cost is the ticket here. You can shoot a whole lot of .22LR and your wallet won’t feel it.
- Competition - An accurized .22LR rifle is a thing of beauty, and there are rimfire-only matches all over the country.
- Survival/Prepping - Compact, cheap, and effective, .22LR is the king of rounds for survivalists and preppers.
There are even some that use .22LR as a defensive cartridge.
The Size and Weight
The .22LR is compact, small, and lightweight. Hardly more than an inch in length, the mags are short, too, so a bunch can be packed into a tight space.
Weight is another thing. You can carry 100 rounds or more, easily, in a pocket, and they won’t even weigh a pound. That makes it easy to carry a lot of .22LR anywhere, without sweating it.
Literally every gun shop in this country carries .22LR, even in the current ammo crisis. And, shortages notwithstanding, they usually have it in stock. Also, in most areas of the country, you can buy .22LR at gas stations, convenience stores, hardware stores, and pretty much anywhere else, honestly.
The Sound (or Lack Thereof)
The .22LR has one of the weakest muzzle reports of all cartridges, period. Probably a little more than a .22S, but other than that, it’s pretty quiet.
Let’s just be honest. Even though ranges require you to wear ear protection, you could probably shoot .22LR all day and not damage your hearing. Don’t do that, but it’s still a good point.
This has practical applications, too. The semi-silent crack of a .22LR doesn’t always disturb wildlife the same way a shotgun or a centerfire rifle would, helping you keep discreet in the woods.
The Recoil (or Lack Thereof)
The weight of whatever gun you’re shooting, except perhaps the lightest of light handguns, is going to completely absorb whatever minimal recoil this cartridge produces in the first place.
The result of this is you have what is effectively a recoil-less round. This makes it perfect for smaller-framed shooters, as well as for training beginners.
On top of that, the low recoil can help some shooters identify and rectify their habit of flinching, making it great as a training cartridge.
The History of the Cartridge
The .22LR actually started as a black powder cartridge and was developed more than 100 years ago. It is one of the few that has adapted to the modern smokeless powder era, and it shows no signs of going away anytime soon.
When fired from an accurized rimfire rifle, the accuracy of the .22LR is astounding. For such a low-cost cartridge, it’s really amazing.
Within 100 yards, a good .22LR rifle can be a legitimate tack driver, which makes this cartridge great not only for hunting but for competitive smallbore shooting.
Buy .22LR Bulk Ammo and Save
Since cost is one of the main things we called out about .22LR ammo, one of the best things you can do to drive them down even further is buy in bulk.