Best 22LR Ammo: Hunting & Target – March 2023

22 Long Rifle is still one of the world’s most popular calibers, for good reason, and 22LR ammo is just good, cheap, wholesome fun.

The best 22LR ammo is cheap, abundant and you can send it downrange all day long without worrying about your ears, shoulder or your bank balance.

Most people learn to shoot with a 22LR rifle or pistol and some people never kick the habit. Preppers also think that hunting squirrels with 22LR will be the only way to survive in the post Apocalyptic wasteland, so stock up is their advice.

So whether you’re getting ready for range day or the end of the world, here are our choices for the best 22LR ammo in 2023.

Federal Champion Hollow Points. Some of the best and most affordable all round 22LR ammo.

1. Federal Champion

  • Price per round: $0.06
  • Pack price: $34.99/525 rounds
  • Bullet Type: 36 Grain CPHP
  • Muzzle velocity: 1260fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 127lb/ft

Yes this really is a full 36 grain hollowpoint for 6c, so you can really use Federal Champion hunting bullets at the range without burning much money and it’s arguably the best ammo overall.

At a time when AR-15 ammo is right up there at $1 a round, this 22LR ammo for hunting is a bargain.

Federal Champion is a clean shooting, consistent 22LR ammunition. It won’t have the ultimate flat shooting trajectory when you go long range shooting, because it really is a small game hunting round at its core.

But it’s great at most things that aren’t competitive long-range shooting events.

It’s a Federal Premium brass case and primer, so this Federal Champion is high quality hunting gear for small game and varmint hunting.


CCI Stinger is a seriously high velocity hollow point that generates massive energy for small game hunting.

2. CCI Stinger Hyper Velocity

  • Price per round: $0.17
  • Pack price: $8.49/50 rounds
  • Bullet Type: 32 Grain Copper Plated Hollow Point
  • Muzzle velocity: 1650fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 191lb/ft

The CCI Stinger generates massive velocity and energy that might just turn this 22LR ammunition into a rival for a bigger caliber.

It is certainly something you should consider if you’re hunting critters or varmints. For small game hunting, that added kick in the CCI Stinger can mean a humane kill with 22LR ammunition. That’s hunting best practice and arguably makes it the best ammo.

This is a step forward in the best 22LR ammunition and although CCI Stinger is relatively expensive you can treat yourself when you’re going out shooting living things and you want the cleanest outcome for all concerned.

Some people think this turns 22LR into a legit self defense round, too. They may have a point, but if you can carry a bigger caliber then you should. This is next level for 22LR rimfire rifle ammunition, though, and it’s high price special ammo.

But it is still some way short of the best 9mm ammo and we couldn’t recommend 22LR handgun ammo for self defence ammo.


Remington 22 Thunderbolt - A legend in the 22 Long rifle ammo world. Get yours here.

3. Remington Thunderbolt

  • Price per round: $0.08
  • Pack price: $39.99/500 rounds
  • Type: 38 Grain LRN
  • Muzzle velocity: 1255fps
  • Energy: 140lb/ft

This legendary 22LR rimfire rifle ammunition is a traditional 38 grain Lead round nose, although the noses are lubed to lessen the lead deposits on your best 22 rifle or semi-auto pistol.

This 38gr 22LR ammo has become one of the best sellers around the globe thanks to its reliability and consistency for long range target shooting.

You can also grab big ammo bricks of Remington Thunderbolt 22LR rimfire. So it’s convenient too if you hammer your 22LR semi-auto pistol or even revolver.


CCI Mini Mag 22LR ammunition for plinking and hunting.

4. CCI Mini Mag

  • Price per round: $0.09
  • Pack price: $8.99/100 rounds
  • Type of ammo: 36 Grain Copper Plated Hollow Point
  • Velocity: 1255fps
  • Energy: 140lb/ft

CCI Ammunition has supplied rimfire ammo for more than 50 years and this 36 Grain CPHP could be its finest work.

You can get this 22 long rifle ammo with a round nose. But we love these little 36 grain CPHP bullets for their consistency, simplicity and, you have to admit it, beauty.

For varmint hunting, these hollow points are a great option for your 22 Long Rifle ammo. So if you need the best 22LR ammo for hunting, this or CCI Mini Mags MeatEater are good options.

This isn’t the cheapest ammo here by a long shot. But CCI Mini Mag is solid, dependable 22LR ammunition for small game hunting through a quality semi auto pistol or rifle.

If you’re running suppressed you might want to look at CCI Quiet. That’s good ammo, a good match that is optimized for a suppressor. As a result, CCI Quiet is almost a relaxing shooting experience and you don’t need ear protection.


5. Federal Punch

  • Price per round: $0.26
  • Pack price: $13/50 rounds
  • Type: 29 Grain Flat Nose
  • Velocity: 1070fps
  • Energy: 75lb/ft

We’re not sure we would ever recommend 22LR as a defensive round. But if you want to turn a small 22 into an effective back up gun or get some additional kick from your rifles, then you could load it up with nickel plated brass Federal Punch.

The nickel plated brass flat top bullet is a completely different concept to a lead hollow point bullet. There is no expansion here, just penetration from a 29 grain solid point. That apparently overcomes the 22 long rifle issue with not really penetrating heavy clothing or barriers, like at all.

It’s an interesting concept that turns things like the tiny North American Arms revolver or Ruger Mark IV into a much more potent pistol that you COULD use for self defense. A semi auto pistol loaded with this at least becomes interesting.

But just because you can use this 29 grain bullet like that, doesn’t mean you should… 22LR rounds are a bad choice for self defense generally.

Buy some of this top quality ammo, shoot it through your pistol and have fun with it. This high price special ammo is certainly intriguing in terms of boosting power for your 22s too.

In a rifle, this produces 1650fps and 174lb/ft of energy. That’s serious business, for a 22LR anyway.


Winchester Wildcat 22LR ammunition. Get your bulk ammunition deals at the USA Gun Shop.

6. Winchester Wildcat

  • Price per round: $0.10
  • Pack price: $41.39/500 rounds
  • Type: 22LR 40gr Copper Plated Hollow Points
  • Velocity: 1255fps
  • Energy: 140lb/ft

The Winchester Wildcat rifle is a firm favorite among the small game hunting community thanks to its simplicity and lightweight engineering.

Of course the Winchester Wildcat ammo is tuned to that 22LR bolt action rifle. And these 40 grain copper plated hollow point bullets are good. Really good.

It’s a small cavity, high velocity hollow point with that copper plating helping to reduce fouling and ensuring your 22LR rimfire ammo and firearms run smooth for thousands of rounds. The Dynapoint contains a resin tip that helps achieve clean penetration and maximum expansion on impact.

This 22LR rimfire ammo is billed as hunting ammo primarily and it does offer a performance advantage over the lead round nose rounds when it comes to dropping game.

Some people use this ammo for anything up to hogs and White Tails, but we do not approve of that with with rimfire ammo. Squirrels, pests, varmints? Yes, this is a good choice and one of the cleanest killers on the market…


Remington Golden Bullet. A round nose cartridge

7. Remington Golden Bullet

  • Price per round: $0.12
  • Pack price: $11.99/100 rounds
  • Type: RN
  • Bullet weight: 40gr
  • Velocity: 1255fps
  • Energy: 140lb/ft

You can still find 1,400 round Remington Golden Bullet Bucket o’Bullets. It’s exactly what you’d expect, a painter’s bucket, full of rimfire ammo.

It’s a beautiful thing if you love 22LR rimfire ammo.

Clearly Remington Golden Bullet is a cost-conscious low budget 22lr ammo you can use for target shooting, recreational shooting or backyard shooting with fun semi autos. If you live in a big backyard kind of area.

It’s probably not the best for long range competitions. But you knew that…


8. CCI Blazer Rimfire

  • Price per round: $0.08
  • Pack price: $41.39/525 rounds
  • Type: 38 Grain LRN
  • Velocity: 1235fps

CCI Blazer rimfire ammo is, essentially, old school ball ammo. Of course modern manufacturing has brought consistency, material science and massive improvements to that age old design.

Bullets are way better now, is the point. Even these fairly basic looking 38 grain solid point rounds have a better ballistic co-efficent and terminal ballistics thanks to modern technology.

The CCI Blazer 38gr loads are designed to cycle better in semi-automatic rifles. With an increasing number of AR-style 22LR rimfire options out there, this is worth bearing in mind. This CCI ammunition isn’t seriously tuned for that task and is a generalist too.

If you’re going target shooting, running drills or doing whatever you damned well want to do, this CCI Blazer Rimfire ammo is a solid choice for your 22LR rifle.


9. Federal Automatch

  • Price per round: $0.06
  • Pack price: $19.99/325 rounds
  • Type: 40 Grain LRN
  • Muzzle velocity: 1200fps
  • Energy: 128lb/ft

Federal Automatch is high quality match-grade target shooting 22LR ammo for a bargain price.

We like the Federal Premium brand generally and this Federal Automatch 22LR ammunition smashes it out of the park in terms of bang for your buck. At long range, you’ll really feel the difference with Federal Automatch.

Due to the engineering precision, Federal Automatch tends to cycle reliably in the Ruger 10/22 and just about every other 22LR rimfire action you will find. It’s a safe bet that performs exceptionally, all the time.

Federal Automatch 22LR ammo is highly regarded in the plinking and target shooting niche. So get some of the best 22LR rimfire ammunition and see what all the fuss is about.


Aquila Super Extra High Velocity

10. Aguila Super Extra Velocity

  • Price per round: $0.08
  • Pack price: $39.99/500 rounds
  • Type: Copper Plated Round Nose
  • Bullet weight: 40gr
  • Muzzle velocity: 1255fps
  • Energy: 93lb/ft

Aguila Super Extra Velocity isn’t even the fastest Aguila ammo 22lr here, but it sounds good.

The copper plated round nose looks like a step forward for the best 22LR rimfire ammunition, too, as a treated slippery surface should slide through the air more efficiently.

I mean, that’s just science.

Covering up the lead somehow makes this Aguila Super High Velocity 22LR ammunition more socially acceptable. Even though it’s just a thin veneer, lip service to a lead free world.

You can get bulk ammo deals of Aguila Super, too, and some places will sell you thousands of rounds in a big brick with free shipping.

This is nice ammo for plinking at long range too.


CCI Standard Velocity 22 Long Rifle ammunition.

11. CCI Standard Velocity

  • Price per round: $0.11
  • Pack price: $10.99/100 rounds
  • Type: 40 grain Lead Round Nose
  • Bullet weight: 22LR 40gr
  • Muzzle velocity: 1070fps
  • Energy: 102lb/ft

This CCI Standard Velocity Lead Round Nose 22LR Rimfire is consistently praised for just being a solid, clean bullet that will fire reliably from pretty much any 22 rifle.

CCI Standard velocity ammo is good for all your pistols, rifles, suppressors, basically everything. This CCI ammunition is a jack of all trades and a master of none.

That’s no bad thing when it comes to the best 22LR rimfire. It’s great for plinking, hunting small game, most stuff that doesn’t require match ammo or deer hunters.

That’s fine if you’re just sending 22 Long Rifle ammunition downrange from a Ruger 10/22 though, it really is.

So buy CCI Standard Velocity ammo if you want a good all rounder, not the best 22LR ammo, and you’re only hunting the smallest game and pests with your CCI ammunition. When the ballistic coefficient really doesn’t matter, this will do just fine.


WInchester Super X 22LR ammunition.

12. Winchester Super Extra

  • Price per round: $0.08
  • Pack price: $3.99/50 rounds
  • Type: 40 grain Lead Round Nose
  • Bullet weight: 22LR 40gr
  • Muzzle velocity: 1300fps
  • Energy: 140lb/ft

Winchester is a stalwart of the best 22LR rimfire world in the United States and Winchester Super X has been with us in some form or another since 1922.

This Super Extra comes in a variety of flavors. From standard velocity lead round nose 22 Long rifle ammo to 40 grain copper plated hollow point CPHP 22LR ammo.

These are 40 grain copper plated round nose long rifle, just to be contrary. This is billed as great match ammo for competitive shooting sports.

High velocity 22lr ammo for hunting like this is good for rats and squirrels, and can do less damage to the meat and hide. With smaller game, 22LR ammo for hunting comes with different parameters.

But humane hunting with the 40 grain CPHP is the way we’d go for taking pretty much anything beyond rats. This 22 Long Rifle cartridge is great for targets, range days and playing around though.

Now not everybody loves Winchester Super X and some call them imprecise red rattlers. But try this 22 Long Rifle for yourself, in your gun, compare it to the big names here and see what you think.


Eley Tenex 22LR ammo.

13. Eley Tenex/Match

  • Price per round: $0.35
  • Pack price: $17.99/50 rounds
  • Type: LFN
  • Bullet weight: 40gr
  • Muzzle velocity: 1085fps
  • Energy: 105lb/ft

Eley Tenex ammunition sits in the range bags of serious competitive shooters who actually know what a ballistic coefficient really is.

Will it make you a better shot? Not really, but Eley Tenex will give you the peace of mind that goes with absolute consistency.

Eley Tenex makes that exact claim. It’s the world’s most consistently accurate 22LR ammunition, according to the press material. And why would they lie about something like that?

Seriously, though, Eley Tenex and Eley Premium features in way too many elite competition shooter’s essential equipment list to be an accident.

So if you’re going competition shooting, it makes sense to go with the flow on things like the ammo accuracy and pistol until you know the ropes. Get simple, accurate 22LR ammo for target shooting that everybody uses.

Later, that’s the time to be a maverick.

Where to Bulk Buy Best 22LR Ammo and Others

If you’re looking for the best 22LR ammo, rimfire ammo, 9mm ammo, 45 ACP ammo, shotgun ammo, 10mm ammo, 308 Win Mag ammo, 300 Win or more, you’ll generally end up in the same places for bulk ammo deals.

Cheap ammo for hunting, big game hunting and small? Accurate 22LR ammo for target practice? Yep, same places.

Remember if you’re running a suppressor then you should stock up on subsonic ammo when you buy ammo online. It’s a simple fact subsonic ammo plays nicer with the suppressor.

Our favorite bulk suppliers for rimfire ammunition, shotgun ammo, 45 ACP ammo, 12 gauge ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 22 WMR ammo, 300 Win ammo today and more include:

What About the Best 22 Rifles?

22 rifles have come a long way, but we still have the traditional bolt action rifles, as well as the more modern semi-automatic Ruger 10/22 and AR-style semi-automatic rifles.

As for the best gun, the Ruger has to be in with a shout in both the rifles and handguns classes. The Ruger Mk IV 22/45 Lite is epic, and the 10/22 comes in so many flavors you have to find one you like.

You can choose custom 22LR target rifles for the competitor in you, or a fun AK-47 rip off rimfire rifle for fun at the weekend. Whichever one you like best with 22, that’s the best gun.

We have got one of the most complete buying guides for 22 rifles in 2023 here once you’ve got your ammo for hunting or ammo for plinking.

The History of 22LR Rimfire

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Author

  • Nick Hall

    Nick is a lifelong gun enthusiast who has a simple mission. He wants to find the best deals for guns online and help you make the best choices with weapons your life may depend on one day.Nick won a minor league shooting competition at the age of 11 and it all went from there. Now he runs one of the biggest firearms websites on the net and his work has featured in Playboy US, Tatler Asia, Forbes and a whole host of national magazines and websites.

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