60 grain .22 LR ammo

Steve at the Firearm Blog posits a question from a reader about 60 grain .22 LR ammo, the only loading of which I’m aware of is the Aguila SniperSubSonic load.  I’ve actually done a lot of shooting with this load through various platforms, and while it’s a neat idea it’s not really practical when compared to standard .22 LR ammo.  The biggest problem with the 60 grain stuff is that you need a special barrel for it – the twist rate to stabilize the heavy and long 60 grain rounds need to be 1:9 as opposed to the slower twist in most .22 LR barrels.

Another problem that you run in to with the Aguila when shooting it from a Ruger 10/22 is the bolt opening prematurely.  The round is so heavy that when you fire it, unless you have a heavy charging handle made out of tungsten to add some weight to the bolt, it can open before the powder is finished burning, creating a disconcerting “flintlock” effect from the chamber of the rifle.

I like the Aguila stuff, and shot it extensively out of my Walther P22 for a while, as for whatever reason the P22 really liked it.  That being said, it’s sadly confined to “novelty” and “niche” markets because of the amount of modification that you have to do to a factory rifle to get it to run right.  Plus, it costs more than regular .22 LR ammo, so if you’ve really got your heart set on overpaying for rimfire ammo, just buy a .22 Magnum instead.


  1. …and do not fire it through a suppressed weapon with a stock barrel, as you will almost certainly suffer baffle strikes and eff up your can.

  2. Have you tried it in an AR with a 22LR conversion bolt? Seems like it might help accuracy vs standard 22LR ammo in a 1:9 twist 223 barrel.

  3. I believe that the ammo box states that the ammunition is for handguns only, and specifically warns against shooting it in a rifle length barrel.

    That being said, I’ve shot it out of a Marlin 39A and a Savage single-shot with no problems, other than poor accuracy. I’d be hesitant to try it in my ciener AR .22 conversion.

    Pretty neat stuff, kinda cool having a .22 round that sounds like a cap gun.

  4. The Aguila “Super Colibri” CB-cap style load has a warning about not using it in rifle-length barrels.

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