The .22 Rimfire
is there to say about the .22 rimfire that hasn't already been said?
It's the oldest cargridge still in production. It accounts for more
cartridges made and used per year than any other. It is the cartridge
that almost every shooter first encountered. It can be comfortably
fired by children who are quite young (under adult supervision, of
course) and remain a pleasant experience. It is very useful for taking
small game such as rabbits or squirrels. It can be very accurate
in well-made firearms and it a premier target-shooting cartridge.
.22 rimfire is made today almost exclusively in the .22 Long Rifle
configuration. At one time .22 Short and .22 Long cartridges were
common, but they are rarities these days. Don't be fooled by the name,
the .22 Long Rifle cartridge is used as much for handguns as for
rifles. The name is a holdover from long ago when most .22 RF handguns
were chambered for the old .22 Short cartridge.
drawback -- if indeed it is a drawback -- to the .22 RF is that it is
so low-powered. In many applications that is no drawback at all. It is
far too weak to be seriously considered as a prime candidate for
self-defense use, but it sure is better than nothing and I don't know
anyone myself who would ask to be shot with one. The same thing can be
said about hunting; it is far too weak to use to hunt any game other
than the smallest. Yes, many deer have been killed with the .22 RF, but
many more have been wounded and not killed. Using a .22 RF on
medium-sized or larger game is simply not humane. Nobody is so good a
marksman that they never miss their exact point of aim, and animals do
not always stand still waiting to be shot. If you choose to hunt, use a
calibre that will provide enough power to kill the animal quickly even
if you miss the shot by a few inches.
On the other side or the coin, the .22 RF's low power means that it has little to no recoil. Yeah, technically there is always
some recoil when you fire any conventional firearm, but the recoil from
the little .22 RF is so slight that most people don't even notice it.
That's a great thing for beginning shooters.
So our oldest
production cartridge is also still our most popular -- at least in
terms of the number of rounds sold every year. There are good reasons