22plinkster’s Picks

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22plinkster loading a magazine into his rifle

Hunters constantly search for the best projectiles to ensure quick, clean kills. Big-game geeks compare the merits of various bullets and arrows, and bird hunters pore through shotshell selections.

Rimfire fans are no different. In fact, because shooters use rimfire calibers for so many hunting applications, they face many decisions about the best bullets for the job.

“One reason I love rimfire so much is because of all the bullet choices available,” says YouTube shooting sensation and CCI ambassador 22plinkster. “Whether you’re hunting, punching paper or doing backyard plinking, there are a wide array of rimfire bullets on the market.”

But which work best for various hunting applications? Here are 22plinkster’s choices.

Rapidly Expanding Bullets

CCI offers a couple of rimfire options with rapid-expansion bullets: V-Max 22 WMR and VNT 17 HMR. 22plinkster says these rounds provide explosive terminal performance on impact, making them ideal for many varmint shooting situations.

“These rounds are perfect for varmint control and prairie dog hunting when you want to make sure of a good, quick, clean kill,” he says. “The 17 HMR and 22 Mag. can achieve this because of their velocity. This is a perfect round for varmint hunting, such as prairie dog shooting, when you do not want that bullet to go all the way through the animal. Rapid-expansion bullets make a tremendous wound cavity with shallow penetration.”

Segmenting Hollow-Points

“This is one of my favorite bullet types,” 22plinkster says. “I prefer to hunt with segmenting hollow-points when I want to make a good, clean kill at ranges less than 100 yards and not have to worry about over-penetrating the animal. When an animal is hit with a segmenting hollow-point, the bullet fragments into three separate petals. This will give you three wound cavities inside the animal, and the chances of a pass-through are slim.”

CCI Mini-Mag cartridges being loaded into a magazine

22plinkster says he likes shooting Quiet-22 22 LR through a suppressed bolt action rifle at close ranges, as it’s perfect for late-night critter control around the farm or house. For medium ranges—50 to 60 yards—he goes with Quiet-22 Semi-Auto through a suppressed semiautomatic rifle.

“This is very quiet and deadly on anything such as raccoons, foxes and armadillos,” he says.

Controlled-Expansion Bullets

This is the most common type of 22 LR projectile, and is usually loaded in high- or hyper-velocity rounds. 22plinkster says these bullets let shooters achieve good accuracy at 200 yards or closer. They don’t technically feature controlled expansion. Rather, they mushroom on impact.

“This is perfect for small-game hunting, such as squirrels, rabbits, raccoons and other game that don’t present the overpenetration issue,” he says. “This is probably my go-to bullet style when small-game hunting.”

Favorite rounds include the Stinger 22 LR, Velocitor HP 22 LR, Mini-Mag HP 22 LR and Sub-Sonic HP 22 LR.


Also called target loads, these round-nosed projectiles are designed to not expand on impact. The CCI Target Mini-Mag 22 LR is a perfect example.

“Round-nosed projectiles also have their place when hunting,” 22plinkster says. “They are ideal when maximum penetration is needed and a higher-caliber firearm is out of arm’s reach. They work great for precise shooting on larger animals, such as coyotes, bobcats and hogs. You won’t get a good wound cavity, but if the shot placement is correct, the bullet—since it is round-nosed—will reach the vitals and take out the animal.”