Where is the range of 60 grain .22 LR ammunition and guns?

aguila_sss_sniper_subsonic_ammunition_60_grain-tfb

EmptorMaven asks why is range of 60 gr. ammunition so limited and where are the guns and barrels with the 1:12 rate of twist required to accuracy shoot these long 60 gr. bullets. From EmptorMaven’s blog

.22LR is by far the most popular consumer cartridge. Every .22LR shooter with a silencer, and many without, would love to be able to buy reliable and accurate 60gr+ bullets, as well as threaded barrels with sufficient twist rates to stabilize them.

So my open question to the firearms industry is: Where are the reputable bullet manufacturers selling cases of plinking, varmint, and match-grade 60gr .22LR ammunition? And where in the vast marketplace of .22LR guns and parts are the 1:12 twist .22LR barrels with threaded muzzles to shoot those bullets?

Aguila 60 grain SSS Sniper Subsonic. Image from MidwayUSA

I think your only options right now are the Aguila 60 grain SSS Sniper Subsonic and, if you want anything resembling accuracy, a Volquartsen barrel for the Ruger 10/22. I imagine a lot of work would needed to be done on the 10/22 action to ensure if would cycle.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.



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  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    Mark White of Sound Tech used to make integrally suppressed Ruger 10/22 set up specifically for the Aguila SSS. However, their website currently appears to be defunct.

    White had also played with a large bore pistol-sized cartridge called the .58 White. Evidently, the idea was that he chamber it in a suppressed rifle, along the same concept as the DeLisle carbine. If you are going to be limited to subsonic velocities, you might as well throw the heaviest and widest bullet you can.

  • Carl

    I’m guessing the market for suppressed shooting is severely limited by law pretty much all over the globe. Wherever suppressors aren’t outright banned they probably require a fair amount of paperwork and fees. It should come as no surprise that the resulting market is quite limited.

  • http://www.parrotheadjeff.com Parrothead Jeff

    My 10/22 barrel isn’t the right twist for these, but I bought a box anyway out of curiosity. They seem to feed and cycle fine in my gun. And yes, I’d love to have a barrel with the correct twist along with a threaded barrel and the correct accessory to go on the end of it :)

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Parrothead, thats interesting! I am surprised they cycle it!

  • Nick

    I think its worth pointing out that these rounds would theoretically function quite well in drop-in bolt 22 conversions for the AR-15 and Mini-14 rifles as the already have the correct twist rate to stabilize 60gr projectiles.

  • Matt Groom

    I wasn’t aware that anyone had made a .2205″ barrel with a 1:12 twist. This is not the same a typical .224″ barrels that are practically everywhere. This would be a special application barrel for one type of ammo by a single maker. It’s pretty unique. One could also ask why nobody is making a pump gun for those nifty 12 Gauge mini-shells they make. Same size as a regular 12 gauge, but it holds 14+1 rounds instead of 7+1.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Matt, I think this is because of the current craze in making 12 guage shells bigger and bigger. The 3.5″ super-magnum shells are now basically 10 gauge (some guns have their bore over-bored to about 10 gauge anyway, so I hear). How long before we have a 4″ super-crazy-magnum?

    • valorius

      winchester 1300 defender works awesome with the aguila minishells. i have one. works great…i love the 13 rd mag tube capacity it offers. :D

  • Mad Saint Jack

    My unmodified 10/22 will cycle the SSS ammo, but as I fired I noticed a flash out of the corner of my eye. I believe the chamber was opening too soon with the short case. Not sure how big a problem it is, but it made me nervous.

  • Stephen Proud

    Tactical Innovations sells 1:9 twist 10/22 barrels to fire the 60 grain Aguila rounds. I know some people have trouble getting this round to cycle, but it has ran flawlessly in my 10/22.

    • valorius

      runs great in my S&W MP-15/22 and stabilizes more than enough for defensive work out to 25 meters (at least).

      this round really, really boosts the killing power of the .22lr

  • Chris

    Nick, that’s exactly what I do – I love the little Aguila shorts in my Walther P22, Beretta 21, and Ruger 10/22 with the Outback suppressor, but they’re just not accurate in them and frequently hit paper completely sideways in as little as 15 feet. But they shine in any of my ARs running a Spike’s Tactical .22 conversion, from a 7.5″ barrel to a 16″ barrel, all at 1:9 twist. Due to the potential for getting one of these very low velocity bullets stuck in the barrel I tend to fire them out of the shorter SBR most of the time, also running an Outback suppressor (which I am careful to remove before switching back to 5.56mm!).

  • Chris

    Sorry, I left out one custom stainless AR barrel (16″) with 1:8 rifling like the AK-74. It shoots 62gr 5.56 bullets very nicely, and is also great with the Aguila 60gr when running .22LR. You can never have too many ARs! ;)

  • Jim

    These suckers keyhole like nobody’s business out of a standard twist barrel.

    Also, the Aguila powder smells absolutely awful. They seem like very low quality, novelty ammo to me.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      I also like my ammo to smell good :) Please I am not the only on.

    • valorius

      they’re awesome for defense….the keyholing (not all .22s keyhole with it, btw) is irrelevant at defensive rounds, and they tumble and penetrate much deeper than any other .22lr on the market. they hit much harder than any other .22 on the market

  • TheGunGeek

    Coupla things…

    I believe the Aguila ammo smell is really from the Eley priming compound they use. The Eley rounds smell the same.

    What about a 22 fast twist rate barrel for the NEF Handi Rifles?

    Then again, maybe someone could make a 1:9 barrel liner for re-barreling any existing rifle. With a lower cost-per-unit due to their being usable on any gun, even adding in the gunsmith costs (assuming you didn’t do the work yourself) might still be reasonable.

    What we need are depleted uranium (or some other really dense material) 60gr bullets that would be short enough to stabilize in a standard twist barrel.

    Nuke the squirrels!!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      TheGunGeek, after making a barrel liner and installing it, would any cost be saved over just getting a custom barrel made from a barrel blank?

  • crimson30

    My SRT suppressor came with instructions specifically warning that Aguila 60 grainers not be used…

  • Matt Groom

    crimson30:
    That’s because nearly all .22 LR barrels do not have a twist rate that is fast enough to stabilize a 60 grain projectile. To use the SSS ammo with any suppressor, you’d need a barrel specifically developed for that ammo.

  • http://emptormaven.com Emptormaven

    TheGunGeek: Increasing bullet density would be a great alternative. Both DU and tungsten are nearly double the density of lead. The problem, especially for .22LR, is the cost: Not only of the raw elements, but tungsten also has to be jacketed because it is too abrasive to be shot in direct contact with rifling.

  • slumlord

    I already have a wraith suppressor on a Walter P22 and love it. I am rigging up a 10/22 rifle. I have bought a nice AR type stock and have a eotech holagraphic sight, along with a G6 light and lazer. Now I am shopping for a 10/22 barrell to go on it. I am looking at this one http://www.eabco.com/102210.htm its has the 1 in 9 twist for the standard velocity ammo, 18″ long bull barrell matte black, it is also 1/2×28 threads for my suppressor. My only wish is was also fluted for faster cooling. Does anyone know anything about the barrells. Seems like a good price and everything I need for my rig. Also I am hearing a lot about the subsonic bullets not getting out of the barrell before the casing cycles and causing flash out of the discharge and causing accuracy probs. Anyone help with either question?

  • dan

    I have used literally thousands of the 60 grain sss. I am a caretaker on a remote property and had the owner pick up a case of them (more than 5,000)

    I use them on ground squirrels, coyotes, pest deer (predation permit).

    Out of my stock ruger 10/22 they cycle perfectly. They are accurate out to absolutely silly ranges, but you have to get used to the trench mortar trajectory. I routinely hit coyotes at 100 yards and the slap of impact is audible, lethality is good, I usually get through and through wounds on the smaller coyotes.

    I carry these in my S&W 317 for backpacking as I can count on really deep penetration.

    They are uber-fun at long ranges, I can get three out the barrel before the first one lands at 150 yards, accuracy is good if you shoot enough of them to get used to their peculiare trajectory.

    • Dennis

      Dan, how far are you harvesting deer with your set up?

    • Dennis

      Have you tried any faster twist barrels?

  • Matt Groom

    Aguila should make a SSS loading that uses these 60 grain bullets in a .22 Stinger length case, instead of having a .22 Long Rifle OAL. They could be used in most .22 LR revolvers and would have absolutely devastating energy for a rimfire.

    • http://twitter.com/blakedotfr Blake

      Interesting idea but I don’t think it would fit SAAMI/CIP specs (both for OAL & pressure, so it’s probably a non-starter… The Stinger & co. already skirt the specs & won’t work in match chambers.

    • valorius

      what they might be able to do is use a stinger length case with a 60gr .22 mag bullet…but it would be too long for a .22lr revolver with a stinger case i think.

  • Alan

    I have kept this site in my favorites for some time as I have always been facinated with the 60 gr Aguila round.

    I finally made a .22 LR barrel for my Walther P22 out of a piece of AR 15 barrel with 1/7 twist specifically for the 60 gr SSS. I had to experiment with chambering, first trying a Match chamber, and then opened it up slightly with a Bentz chamber. The Bentz works much more reliably. I think a standard chamber would be just as good. Fouling from the 60 gr sss definatly effects feeding reliabilty.

    The barrel is just as accurate with the 60 gr sss as the factory barrel is with normal 22 LR. in the little Walther. With a suppressor it is scarry quiet. It also shoots normal 40 gr and lighter well but tends to lead with the really highspeed rounds.

  • Terrance

    I have an old pump .22 that shoot them flawlessly out to 100 yards. It was made by noble in the 1950′s.

  • DonC

    Word of warning. I tend to over lubricate my guns and I had a loaded magazine sitting in a suppressed Walther P22 one in the snout. It sat about a month at least, when fired the powder sizzled quite like a dud fire cracker and the bullet lodged in the barrel. I have come to the conclusion that when chambering a round the relatively large lead mass pivots/flexes away from the shell casing while riding up the ramp. This caused bullet to case seal to seperate enought to allow the lubicant into the casing. The wet powder sizzled. Can Aguila use a regular casing and seat the bullet deeper into the casing? Emailed them FYI as to what happened, they replied requesting a phone contact number which I sent but have not heard from them since.

    • valorius

      two ways to prevent this…make sure your chamber is dry and/or put a very light coat of clear nailpolish on the round at the case to bullet seam. or better yet…both.

      i have seen many types of quality centerfire ammo go fizz when stored long term in a over oiled chamber as well.

  • pinktalon

    Where I live, feral parrots have become a serious pest. I know that the SSS doesn’t work well in all arms but it loves my old .22 bolt and I’ve been getting 115yd center hits regularly. This bullet is incredibly accurate out of that rifle and the sectional density makes it more quickly lethal than any .22rf I’ve seen at greater ranges. I wish it worked in my old pocket .22 but it simply won’t feed. I’ve done some tests with heavy bone and have been floored by its ability to penetrate.

    • News Reporter

      Feral parrots??? I was laughing for a little while. Never heard of that. Where on earth do you live? Do they taste like chicken? Do you play Mormon Tabernacle Choir or Vienna Choir Boys songs for them to mimic? Have you tried Def Leppard or Motley Crue? Enya or Celine Dion?

    • J. I.

      60 grain is overkill on a parrot. Woman logic.

  • http://twitter.com/blakedotfr Blake

    SSS shoots accurately enough out of my Beretta Neos & cycles just fine. I haven’t grouped them on paper yet but they knock down steel popper targets really well @25yds.

  • valorius

    at self defense ranges pretty much any .22lr weapon will stabilize the 60gr sss enough for useful accuracy. This round tumbles on impact and penetrates deeper than any of the hyper velocity .22lr rounds- but the powder is really acrid and burns your eyes after just a few rounds when fired from a rifle.

    in my experience any .22lr will cycle the 60gr sss.

    i would love to see the top us companies introduce their own version without the stinky, eye burning acrid gun powder. a version with a hard cast bullet would also be awesome.

    if you are worried about not overpenetrating walls, this round cannot be beat.