.22 Rimfire was among the first mass-produced self-contained metallic cartridges and has been used in various incarnations for over 180 years. These days the most common cartridge in use is .22 LR, but .22 Short is still readily available and .22 CB Short and Long are also still in production.
Standard .22 LR in various loads is used for everything from precision shooting to small game hunting to personal defense. But sometimes even the humble .22 LR is too much for some jobs and places. These little bullets can be lethal at greater distances than you might believe and can ricochet with dangerous effect. They are also loud and can be disturbing to nearby neighbors. This can be an instance where .22 CB, Short or Long, can be useful.
CB loads use a 29gr. bullet over a reduced powder charge; they do not have the power to cycle a semi-automatic pistol or rifle. They work fine in revolvers and single-shot pistols but can be rather loud. From a rifle with a 20-24″ barrel they are very quiet indeed; from my old Western Field bolt-action with a 24″ barrel it’s actually quieter than my spring-piston air rifle but delivers significantly more power. From the 20″ barrel of my Remington Model 4 it’s comparable to the air-gun.
I tested two types of CB Long ammo, but only the CCI is currently in production so the Remington is listed because I might as well; you might run across some just as I did. I fired 10 rounds of each type over my Caldwell chronograph.
Manual repeaters like bolt-actions or pump-actions like this Winchester Model 1906 can be ideal for dealing with yard and garden pests using wither shot shells of CB Long or Short ammunition.
The Remington claimed a 30gr. Bullet at 720 fps. The actual results from the 24″ barrel:
623 fps.- 26 ft./lbs. with an Extreme Spread of 112 fps.
The current-production CCI lists a 29 gr. bullet at 710 fps. and fared a bit better from the 24″ barrel:
730 fps.- 35 ft./lbs. with an Extreme Spread of 49 fps.
That’s pretty modest, but don’t be fooled. These aren’t toys and can produce serious, even lethal injuries though they are dramatically less likely to do so than standard .22 LR loads, or to ricochet with lethal results. You still need to be careful and maintain the rules of firearms safety and safe handling standards. They are a great deal less dangerous when employed against vermin or for casual backyard plinking but never forget that they cannot be taken lightly.
They are pretty ideal for use in a ‘garden gun,’ they are quiet but adequately powerful to deal with pests but with a reduced danger of unintentional damage or injury
Stay safe and take care,
Michael Tinker Pearce, 27 December 2023