Best .22 Long Rifle Ammo: Accuracy, Plinking & Hunting

If you are a gun owner, chances are you have at least one firearm chambered in a .22 Long Rifle. This small, inexpensive cartridge is not just for plinking and practicing your fundamentals; it is also a viable varmint hunting round. In the right platform, it can even be precision shooting ammunition.

Regardless of your favorite application, keep your .22 LR guns fed with the best ammo on the market.

Best .22 LR Ammo for Accuracy

If you’re into competition or target shooting with a .22 LR, chances are you’re using a match-grade bolt-action rifle. Whether you shoot at 25, 50, 100 yards, or beyond, you should only feed such platforms with the most accurate .22 Long Rifle ammunition you can find.

Eley Tenex

Eley Tenex is the gold standard for accurate .22 Long Rifle ammunition. This ammo is world-renowned for its consistency and accuracy at 25 and 50 yards, achieved through precise engineering techniques and rigorous, computer-assisted inspection methods.

No Tenex cartridge leaves the factory without meeting Eley’s stringent standards, and the results speak for themselves: it was the ammunition of choice for all 2014 World Champions and 14 out of 18 Olympic medalists at the London 2012 Games.

Eley Tenex ammunition features a 40-grain, lead flat-nosed projectile with a patented design and a beeswax tallow-based lubricant for optimum chambering. It produces an average velocity of 1085 ft/s out of a rifle barrel.

Lapua Center-X

Lapua Center-X is match-grade .22 Long Rifle ammunition, recognized as the gold standard for long-range rimfire shooting (100 yards and beyond).

This 40-grain, lead round nose ammunition produces an average muzzle velocity of 1075 ft/s (26” barrel), placing it firmly in the category of standard-velocity ammunition.

The bullet features a ballistic coefficient of 0.172, one of the highest among factory .22 LR ammunition on the market, making it highly stable in flight and contributing to its reliability, accuracy, and versatility.

If you shoot ELR Rimfire or similar long-distance shooting disciplines with a rimfire rifle, this is the ammunition you need.

Best .22 LR Ammo for Hunting

If you enjoy hunting varmints and small animals, you’ll need the best .22 LR ammo for hunting. Here, the name of the game is high-velocity ammunition, tipped with lightweight projectiles that expand quickly.

CCI Stinger

Virtually every gun owner has seen a box of CCI Stingers at least once. This brand is perhaps the most famous high-velocity hollow-point .22 LR ammunition in the United States.

Featuring a 32-grain copper-plated hollow-point projectile and an advertised muzzle velocity of 1640 ft/s, CCI describes Stingers as “hyper-velocity” ammunition, faster than any other high-velocity brand on the market. These statistics lend themselves to proven performance against pests and other small critters.

Best of all, CCI Stingers are not just highly effective; they are also affordable and widely available. The higher velocity also has the energy to cycle virtually every semi-automatic .22 LR reliably, making this ammunition ideal for function testing. It’s safe to assume that there is an issue if your gun can’t cycle Stingers consistently.

Winchester Varmint High Energy

The Varmint High Energy or Varmint HE brand is Winchester’s hunting-oriented line of rimfire ammunition. The .22 Long Rifle version features a 37-grain bullet achieving an average muzzle velocity of 1435 ft/s out of a rifle barrel, making it high-velocity ammo.

Although it is a hollow point, the Varmint HE bullet does not expand and mushroom upon impact like a traditional HP. Instead, it is a segmenting bullet, designed to expand and then separate into four parts: three sharp copper-plated segments and a solid base.

This design causes multiple permanent wound cavities, increasing the bullet’s lethality and allowing for better, more humane shots on varmints.

.22 Long Rifle Ammo

Best .22 LR Ammo for Plinking

Plinking is the kind of shooting gun owners do for fun and recreation instead of competition, hunting, or self-defense.

The term ‘plinking’ comes from the metallic sound, “Plink!” that you hear when shooting at a steel plate or a similar target. It refers to all informal target shooting, even if it involves paper targets or other non-metallic targets.

Shooting cheap rimfire ammunition is among the least expensive ways to enjoy your favorite hobby, whether you prefer semi-automatics like the Ruger 10/22 or manual-action platforms.

Remington Thunderbolt

If you’ve been shooting for a while, you’ve probably seen many of these green boxes before. Instantly recognizable with the large yellow text and white lightning logo, the Remington Thunderbolts are well-known for being some of the least expensive .22 LR ammunition you can find.

The Thunderbolt cartridge features a standard 40-grain lead round nose bullet and a powder load developing about 1260 ft/s out of a rifle, making it high-velocity ammo.

Thunderbolts are most commonly sold in value packs (e.g., 500-round boxes) at an attractive price.

Thunderbolts may not be the cleanest or the most accurate, but they offer so many rounds for the value that you can’t pass them up.

CCI Mini-Mag

If you want an inexpensive but reliable plinking round that is sure to go bang in your semi-automatics, you can’t go wrong with the CCI Mini-Mags.

Winchester White Box features 40-grain segmented hollow-point bullets with an advertised muzzle velocity of 1235 ft/s. The boxes are easily recognizable by the transparent, hard plastic and the long, rectangular design.

You can think of the Mini-Mag as very similar to the CCI Stinger but with slightly lower velocity, making it more affordable. As a result, CCI Mini-Mags offer a unique blend of value, performance, and high reliability to satisfy any shooter.

Keep Shooting With IFA Tactical

At IFA Tactical, our mission is to educate you about the Second Amendment and equip you with the best firearms and ammunition to exercise your rights. We are committed to providing only the best products and customer service. For help, questions, or inquiries, please call us at (586) 275-2176.