Best Bulk 22 Rimfire Ammo: Plinking, New Shooters, Hunting, and More!

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If you’re like most shooters, the first shots you ever took with a firearm chambered in 22 Long Rifle.

The 22 Long Rifle (or 22 LR for short) is the most popular cartridge in the world as it has virtually no recoil, is inexpensive, and an excellent option for training new shooters.

No matter if you just want to go plinking for the weekend, small game hunting, or shoot a match, there’s a 22 LR ammo for you. However, with so many different varieties of 22 LR ammunition on the market, it can be hard for some shooters to know which ammo is best for their firearm.

In this article, we are going to give you our top six 22 LR ammo choices for all your shooting needs as well as the best bulk 22LR ammo available on the market today.

Our top 6 list is just one scroll down, however if you can’t wait, the best 22LR ammo is CCI MiniMag 36 gr CPHP.

If you’re new to .22LR ammunition and aren’t sure what kind you need, I’d highly recommend you read through our Buyer’s Guide by Clicking HERE. However, if you just want to get to our top picks for the best 22LR ammo, keep scrolling.

Best 22LR Ammo Selections

1) CCI MiniMag 36 gr CPHP – Best Overall

2) Remington Thunderbolt 40 gr LRN – Best Bulk

3) Eley Target 40 gr LRN – Most Accurate

4) Winchester Super X 40 gr CPHP – Best For Hunting

5) Federal AutoMatch 40 gr LRN – Best for Semi-Auto Firearms

6) American Eagle Suppressor 45 gr CPRN – Best Subsonic

Best 22LR Ammo Overall

CCI MiniMag 36gr CPHP

CCI 22 LR ammo for sale

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Specs

  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: Copper-Plated Hollow Point
  • Bullet Weight: 36 grains
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,260 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 127 ft-lbs

Pros

  • Reliable
  • Hollow point bullet for hunting
  • Reputable rimfire company

Cons

  • More expensive than other brands

Why We Chose It

Undoubtedly there are A LOT of different 22 Long Rifle ammo options on the market. However, when it comes to consistent reliability, CCI MiniMags are constantly at the top of the list.

As most people consider rimfire ammo for plinking fun, one of the least fun things to do is clear a dud round from the chamber of your Ruger 10-22 or Walther P22. Having consistent, reliable ammo is the best way to ensure the fun of shooting doesn’t stop.

CCI MiniMags are very high-quality rounds that fire almost every time you pull the trigger; and therefore they take the top spot as our overall best 22LR Ammo on the market. However, they are slightly more expensive than other 22LR bulk ammo options.

Honorable Mention

Remington Golden Bullet 36 grain hollow point – This is the round that I grew up shooting as I put countless boxes of this ammo through my father’s 22LR bolt-action rifle. Although not as consistent as a CCI Mini-Mag, the Remington Golden Bullet value pack offers you hours of fun on the range for a slightly lower cost-per-round than the CCI’s.

Federal Champion 40 grain lead round nose (LRN) – Another excellent plinking round with a solid reputation for reliability, accuracy, and consistency. Not as good as the CCI offering, but still a solid choice to put in your range bag for a fun day of plinking and target shooting.

Best Bulk 22LR Ammo

Remington Thunderbolt 40 gr LRN

Remington 22 LR ammo for sale

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Specs

  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: Lead Round Nose
  • Bullet Weight: 40 grains
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,255 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 140 ft-lbs

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Sold in bulk packs
  • Sufficient for squirrels or rabbits

Cons

  • Can be unreliable in some firearms

Why We Chose It

This one might come as a surprise to some, given the reputation of Remington Thunderbolts as being finicky in certain firearms. However, Remington Thunderbolt ammo comes in as the least expensive ammo on our list, making it the best option for buying 22LR bulk ammo.

When buying bulk 22LR ammo, you want to find the lowest cost-per-round possible, and this is why Remington Thunderbolt 40 grain lead round-nose bullets is our top choice for bulk 22LR.

However, our recommendation is to try running a box or two through your firearms before stacking it to the rafters just in case your guns don’t like it.

Honorable Mentions

Winchester 555 bulk pack 36 grain copper-plated hollow points – Winchester bulk 22 LR ammo is a great option for any shooter on a budget. The lightweight 36 grain projectiles reach muzzle velocities just short of 1,300 fps for an incredibly flat shooting plinking round.

Aguila Super Extra 38 grain copper-plated hollow points – Aguila rimfire ammo provides an even lower cost-per-round bulk 22LR option for the extremely budget conscious shooter. Their copper-plated HP ammo provides smooth and reliable feeding in both bolt-action and semi-automatic rimfire firearms.

Most Accurate 22LR Ammo

Eley Target 40 gr LRN

Eley 22 LR ammo for sale

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Specs

  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: Lead Round Nose
  • Bullet Weight: 40 grains
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,085 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 105 ft-lbs

Pros

  • Consistent performance
  • More accurate than bulk ammo
  • Reputable company

Cons

  • More expensive than typical bulk .22LR ammo

Why We Chose It

Eley is company that made a name for itself in the competition circuit. Known specifically for its rimfire ammo and pellet gun projectiles, Eley Ammunition is one of the top choices for competitors who require accurate, consistent rimfire ammo.

In our experience we found Eley Target 40 gr LRN the most accurate 22LR ammo at 100 yards, producing very tight and consistent groups. Although Eley is not cheap, when accuracy matters this is our top choice.

Honorable Mentions

CCI Pistol Match 40 gr lead round nose – Although specifically designed for semi-auto rimfire handguns, the CCI Pistol Match ammo provided to be extremely reliable and accurate. However, CCI Pistol Match ammo is more expensive than Eley in our experience.

Browning Performance Rimfire (BPR) 36 gr CPHP – The Browing Performance Rimfire line of ammo has always produced excellent groups in our rimfire firearms. The lighter bullet and higher muzzle velocity also offers a slightly flatter trajectory for long range shooting.

Best 22LR Ammo for Hunting

Winchester Super X 40gr CPHP

Winchester Super-X 22 LR ammo for sale

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Specs

  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: Copper-Plated Hollow Point
  • Bullet Weight: 40 grains
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,435 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 183 ft-lbs

Pros

  • Reliable
  • Hollow point for bullet expansion
  • Consistent performance

Cons

  • More expensive than typical bulk .22LR ammo

Why We Chose It

Winchester Super X has been a favorite of hunters for decades with consistent and proven results on squirrels, rabbits, and other small game. The heavier hollow point bullet provides sufficient expansion for all types of small game.

Although I’d recommend using something more powerful for coyotes like a 22 Magnum/22 WMR, the Winchester Super X has the highest muzzle velocity and muzzle energy of all 22LR ammo on our list. Therefore, with proper shot placement it is unlikely any coyote will go far after taking a shot from high velocity Winchester Super-X.

Honorable Mentions

CCI Stinger Varmint 32 gr CPHP – A classic varmint hunting rimfire round, CCI Stingers are an industry standard that offers an incredibly light weight and flat shooting rimfire cartridge. The only downside to the CCI Stinger is its hefty price tag at 50% higher than Winchester Super X.

Browning Performance Rimfire 36 gr CPHP – Another excellent offering from BPR, their 36 gr CPHP offers a “middle of the road” option between the CCI Stinger and Winchester Super X. The midweight bullet provides enough power for game like raccoons but might not be the best option for coyotes. Browning Performance Rimfire is also competitively priced with Winchester and less expensive than CCI Stingers.

Best 22LR Ammo for Semi Auto Pistol and Rifle

Federal AutoMatch 40gr LRN

Federal AutoMatch 22 LR ammo for sale

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Specs

  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: Lead Round Nose
  • Bullet Weight: 40 grains
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,200 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 128 ft-lbs

Pros

  • Available in bulk
  • Designed for semi-auto fire
  • Reputable company

Cons

  • Not the best choice for hunting

Why We Chose It

Federal AutoMatch ammo was specifically designed for reliable semi-automatic fire. Developed for low powder and lead residue, Federal AutoMatch 40 grain LRN ammo is an excellent choice for shooters who want consistent semi-auto performance at a low, bulk 22LR ammo price point.

Honorable Mentions

CCI Standard Velocity 40 gr LRN – CCI Standard Velocity ammo is the true “bread and butter” load for rimfire shooters. It’s nothing special to write home about, but I found it to be very reliable in my semi-autos at a slightly higher price point than the Federal AutoMatch.

CCI AR Tactical 40 gr CPRN – CCI developed their AR Tactical line of rimfire ammo to satisfy the high rate of fire demanded by dedicated 22LR AR-15 style rifles like the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. I’ve had mixed results with this ammo as some of my non-AR semi-autos don’t care for it. However, if your rimfire firearm likes this factory load, it comes at a great price point for a copper plated bullet when buying in bulk.

Best Subsonic 22LR Ammo

American Eagle Suppressor 45gr CPRN

Federal 22 LR ammo for sale

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Specs

  • Casing: Brass
  • Bullet Type: Copper-Plated Round Nose
  • Bullet Weight: 45 grains
  • Muzzle Velocity: 970 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 94 ft-lbs

Pros

  • Awesome when used with a suppressor
  • Round nose bullet for consistent magazine feeding

Cons

  • More expensive than supersonic bulk rimfire ammo

Why We Chose It

American Eagle Suppressor ammo was designed specifically for use on suppressed firearms (just like the name implies!) Federal Ammunition developed these rounds to experience a full, clean powder burn while maintaining subsonic velocities.

This ammo does not require a suppressor for effective use, however the rounds are not hearing safe without one.

Honorable Mentions

CCI Quiet-22 40 gr Segmented Hollow Point – The segmented hollow point (SHP) bullet is a unique design that CCI developed for small game hunting. Designed to break apart into three pieces on impact, the subsonic 40 grain SHP bullet combined with a rimfire suppressor make for a deathly quiet round that varmints will never hear coming.

Best of the Rest

Armscor 40 gr LRN – Armscor is often recognized for their affordable Rock Island Armory 1911’s. However, their rimfire ammo holds true to their firearms tradition and is clean shooting, reliable, and inexpensive. Armscor is a great option if you’re looking to purchase bulk .22LR ammo for plinking, training youth shooters, or target shooting.

Lapua Center-X 40 grain LRN – If you are looking for some of the most accurate 22LR on the market, then look no further than Lapua. With their documented history of creating superb long-range centerfire ammunition, Lapua continues this tradition in their rimfire lines of ammo. The only issue is availability and cost, as Lapua ammo is hard to find as well as being more expensive than comparable match-grade alternatives.

Norma Tac-22 40 gr LRN – Norma has a long history of producing extremely consistent, purpose-driven ammo and their Tac-22 line of 22LR rimfire ammo is no exception. Specifically designed for semi-automatic fire, Tac-22 is an excellent option for putting holes in cans and even small game hunting from your Ruger 10-22 or Colt M4 Carbine in 22LR.

CCI Blazer 40 grain LRN – Blazer is often associated with great value and respectable performance. This holds true for their 22 Long Rifle ammo as it is reasonably priced and performs well enough. Some shooters report this ammo can be picky with firearms, especially semi-autos. However, if it works in your guns it is a great option if you need a low-cost bulk pack of ammo for the range.

How to Choose the Best 22LR Ammunition

Selecting the best rimfire ammunition for your favorite 22LR firearm can be a daunting task with so many different options available. Typically, the best ammo for your firearm is the least expensive, as cheaper ammo means more time at the range. However, this might not be the best idea for other activities like small game hunting, target shooting, or competitions.

In this buyer’s guide, we are going to explain the different types of 22 Long Rifle ammunition and what you should be looking for when you’re ready to buy some 22 LR!

What Are You Planning to Shoot?

Knowing what type of 22 LR ammo to buy really depends a lot on what your intended target is.

Are you looking to spend an afternoon plinking with your Marlin Model 60? Perhaps you are planning on eliminating some pests that have besieged your property? Or maybe you’re headed to your local steel competition and need extremely reliable ammo?

Understanding what you’re planning on shooting will help a lot when it comes to purchasing the best 22LR ammo for your application.

Plinking

Plinking is a term used to describe shooting just for the fun of it, and rimfire ammo serves this purpose exceptionally well. 22 Long Rifle ammo is cheap to shoot, has virtually no recoil, and you can order it in bulk so you always have tons of ammo on hand.

Plinking ammo will often be bare lead with a solid point, as a hollow point is not needed for punching holes in tin cans or paper targets. Typically lead round nose (LRN) ammo is preferred for this purpose.

Hunting

Small game hunting is one activity where the 22LR really shines, as it has more than enough power to take down small pests like raccoons, squirrels, and rabbits. For these small game animals, heavier cartridges like the 17 HMR or 22 WMR simply aren’t needed and the 22 LR fills this gap perfectly.

For this type of shooting, you’ll want a hollow point bullet as these will expand on impact and increase the chances of a clean kill. Copper plated hollow points (CPHP) are the most common type of hunting round; however, some shooters will still use LRN ammo or copper plated round nose (CPRN) ammo for this purpose.

New Shooter Training

Although this is like plinking, the 22 LR is an excellent round to train new shooters with as it has virtually no recoil. This allows the shooter to focus on the fundamentals of marksmanship without having to worry about punishing recoil. It also makes shooting fun and enjoyable for youth shooters, since kids are more likely to want to continue shooting if they enjoy it.

For this type of training, you’ll typically want the cheapest bullets you can find which means you should focus on bulk 22LR ammo.

Competition

If you really enjoy shooting and want to get into the competitive aspect of the sport, there are multiple rimfire competitions available to participate in. For these high-stress competitions, you’ll want ammo that is extremely reliable and accurate, which means you’ll need to focus on match-grade offerings.

As most competitions are timed events, you’ll want to ensure that you run a few boxes of your preferred match ammo through your gun to ensure that it is reliable.

Now that you have a better understanding of what you can use 22LR for and what type of ammo you should be looking for, let’s get back to our Top 22 Long Rifle Ammunition Picks by Clicking HERE.

Final Shots – Best 22 LR Ammo

Finding the best 22LR ammo for your needs is critical to success in the field. No matter if you’re a weekend plinker or a competitive shooter, having the right ammo in your gun can mean the difference between a good trip to the range and a miserable one.

In this article we gave you our top 6 best 22 LR ammo options as well as honorable mentions for multiple shooting situations. This is not a comprehensive list of every 22 Long Rifle ammo availableon the market, as that would take forever.

However, you should now have a better understanding of what to look for in rimfire ammo and how to select the best option for your shooting needs.

No matter which type of ammo you choose, make sure to stock up here at Ammo.com as we have multiple varieties of .22LR ammo in stock and ready to ship!