Letter Re: .22 LR Rimfires for WTSHTF

Jim:

While I agree that the 10/22 is not a “battle rifle”, I think it will have a lot of utility WTSHTF. The ease of use and flat, fast trajectory make it an outstanding suppression weapon. Untrained troops are easily suppressed and several 10/22s working in coordination, will serve to allow others with battle rifles to maneuver to an assailable flank in both a defensive and offensive situation. Regards, – Dances With Goats in Kansas

JWR Replies: I have to disagree. .22 LR has a rainbow trajectory, and very poor energy at long range. The ballistic trajectory of .22LR makes it suitable for shooting at only 100 yards or less.

Here are the trajectory drops in inches for a typical high velocity .22LR with a 40 grain bullet traveling at 1,050 feet per second, if zeroed for 50 yards:

75 yards: -2.6″

100 yards: -7.6″

125 yards: -15.2″

150 yards: -25.6″

175 yards: -38.8″

200 yards: -55″

225 yards: -74.5″

250 yards: -97.2″

Thus, at 200 yards you would need to hold over your target nearly “a full man’s height”, and at 250 yards you have to hold over almost “a man and a half.” And the bullet’s energy at 200 yards is barely 1/2 of what it had at the muzzle.(54.9 ft.-lbs., versus 97.9 ft.-lbs.)

In my estimation your .22 LRs should be relegated for small game shooting at 100 yards or less. If your goal is “suppression” (to make noise and keep the enemy’s head down), then you will need a noisy, high power rifle. (.22LR does not sound sufficiently threatening.) If you want to do that inexpensively, then I recommend that you buy a used SKS.

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