The Case For Segmenting Hollow-Points

By Brian Lovett

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box of Quiet-22 Segmented HP 22LR on a tree branch with a dead squirrel

In casual conversation, folks sometimes lump 22 LR bullets together. After all, the standard choices cover a wide gamut. But a curveball arises when the subject of segmenting hollow-point bullets comes up. Though these projectiles aren’t uncommon, some shooters remain a bit hazy about the best uses for this somewhat misunderstood bullet type.

Bullet Background

First, some background. Common 22 LR projectiles include controlled-expansion bullets, rapid-expansion bullets, hole-punching round-nosed bullets and segmenting hollow-points. Upon impact, a segmenting hollow-point bullet fragments into three separate petals, creating three wound cavities inside an animal and greatly reducing the chances of a pass-through.

“This is one of my favorite bullet types,” says YouTube shooting sensation and CCI ambassador 22plinkster. “The good thing about them is they will not overpenetrate the animal and hit something unintended behind the target, so you’re safer to use segmenting hollow-point than a regular 40-grain slug.”

CCI produces three 22 LR cartridges with segmenting hollow-points: the Segmented Hollow Point 22 LR 40-grain, the higher-velocity Mini-Mag Segmented HP 22 LR 40-grain, and the Quiet-22 Segmented HP 22 LR 40-grain, which generates 75 percent less perceived noise than a standard-velocity 22 LR round.

Stealth Mode

“The Quiet-22 segmented is by far my favorite,” 22plinkster says. “It’s the perfect round if you live in the suburbs or a community and you need to take out an animal and you don’t want make a lot of noise. When you pair a bolt-action rifle with the Quiet-22 segmenting ammo and a suppressor, it’s literally quieter than a BB gun. That makes it perfect for those some of those covert operations on medium to small game.”

Quiet-22 Segmented HP cartridge

Many hunters use segmenting hollow-points when pursuing squirrels, typically because of the types of shots involved.

“Sometimes they’re up 20 to 25 feet,” he says. “You always need to make a conscious decision of what’s behind your target. If you’re worried about overpenetration and having the slug going somewhere else, use the segmenting hollow-point. It doesn’t give you an excuse to make a poor shot with houses or cars behind the target, but it’s always a good round to use. It’s an extra measure of safety.”

22plinkster favors the high-velocity Mini-Mag Segmented HP when he hunts small to medium game and needs to transfer all of the projectile’s energy into the animal.

“For example, I’ll use it for coyotes and raccoons,” he says. “Raccoons are extremely hard to kill with a .22, but having a segmented hollow-point shocks their nervous system and puts the animal down much quicker than with just a slug.”

Final Concerns

22plinkster also considers the range at which he’ll be shooting when choosing between Quiet-22 and Mini-Mag segmenting hollow-point rounds.

“Your range with Quiet-22 is 50 yards and in,” he says. “After that, the petals might not break up into the animal. And you also suffer accuracy because the velocity is not there. When you want longer shots and more accurate shots on medium to small-game animals—say to 100 to 150 yards—I want to go with the higher-velocity ammo.”

Whatever the application, segmenting hollow-points provide peace of mind when it comes to safety and clean kills.