Winchester M22 .22 LR for Semi-Autos

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Winchester’s new M22 round is quite compelling. It features a 40 grain round nosed lead bullet at a high velocity of 1255 fps. The round has been designed specifically for modern semi-automatic rifles feeding from high capacity magazines (ie. .22 black rifle clones).

Winchester M22

For comparison, 40 grain .22 LR bullets are usually loaded for subsonic velocities. High velocity .22 rounds are generally 36 grain bullets being pushed out the muzzle at 1328 ft/s.

The M22 round will go on sale later this year and will be sold exclusively in bulk 1000-round value pack.

UPDATE: It has been pointed out me that other brands, like CCI Mini-Mgas, have 40 grain bullets being pushed at super-sonic speeds. Sorry about the mistake.




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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  • Sturm44

    Interesting. Curious to see what the street price will be.

    • Aaron

      For 1000 round box with two 500 round boxes inside goes for $44.99 at academy, about to go try the, out in my 15-22 on friday

  • Jim

    What advantage will this have over a 36 grain high velocity bullet?

    • Brian T

      Heavier bullets generally mean more energy delivered to your target upon impact along with deeper penetration but with slower velocities. Winchester has most likely added their PDX1 powder blend to this ammo as a +P+ to compensate for standard subsonic speeds (.22 never designates powder loads that I have seen).

  • http://rlyeh.com Lord Cthulhu

    Nothing revolutionary about it. We already have CCI MiniMag.

    Unless this M22 is just as good and cheaper (doubtful), I just don’t see the point.

  • Matt Groom

    Sounds like a modern version of the .22 Automatic rounds that Remington and Winchester both developed so that only clean burning powder would be used in their semi-autos.

  • shockfish08

    I like the looks of this loading :) My cousin will be very happy knowing he can get a good .22 loading for squirrels and skunks.

  • Dave D

    Interesting is right. Will have to take a wait and see approach on these, but Winchester could be looking at a real hit with all the current interest in “tactical” 22LR rifles.

  • Matt G

    I keep hearing about this but Boone can explain what it brings to the table versus a regular .22. Does the heavier bullet push harder on the brass making extraction more reliable? It keeps being mentioned that isles designed for high capacity mags but how?

  • J.T.

    Well, if you go by the stats they have posted on their current rounds, then this is just rebranded Wildcat.

    Lead round nose
    40gr
    1255fps
    http://www.winchester.com/products/rimfire-ammunition/wildcat/lead-round-nose/Pages/WW22LR.aspx

    Unless the powder is different, looks like the same stuff to me.

  • chris

    Is this .22lr, or is it bigger?

  • Paul

    According to Winchester’s website, the M22 round has a plated bullet.

    Therefore, I’m guessing it’s a typical copper washed bullet like Federal 550 value pack, but instead of being a 36gr copper plated hollow point @ ~1260fps…….it’s a 40gr copper-plated lead round nose @ ~1255fps.

    Nothing really spectacular, just another option when it comes to bulk packaged .22lr ammunition. Hopefully it turns out to be reliable, clean burning, and widely available….as it should make a nice option. The round nose design and slightly heavier bullet weight should help with reliability in firearms that don’t like .22lr hollow-points. Plus, I like that it’s a 1,000rd bulk box vs. a ~500rd bulk box. More ammo per package could mean a better price per round.

  • David Fiorito

    Clean is good.

    As for the shape … it can make a huge difference. I have a CMMG Quebec .22 AR, and an M&P 15-22. I was using CCI Mini Mags. I say “was” because I was getting feed malfunctions once every 100 rounds. That’s not good. I switched to CCI “Tactical” .22 ammo that has the rounded nose and a slightly lower velocity and I have now gone over 300 rounds through each rifle with ZERO malfuctions.

    Can’t wait to give this round a try.

  • Shankbone

    @ J.T.

    I thought the same thing, but apparently the new M22 will have a plated bullet and come in 1,000 round value packs (which probably will not be a value).

  • David E.

    The CCI Tactical and Winchester M22 were designed for .22 Tactical Two Gun Matches. Since we shoot around 200 arounds per match thats the reason for the bulk box’s. Some of the guys I shoot with say they have between 5000 to 15000 rounds. I only have about a 1000. When I take out my grandchildren to shoot the rounds kinda go quick.
    .22 rifles used are the S&W 15-22 and the Ruger SR22 and others.
    The “economy” packs is the Marketing Dept.

  • Paul Bartlett

    The M22 Wichester is now available…I saw it advertised in the paper at Gamdar Mountain $49.99 for 1000 rounds.

  • Juan Gama

    The new M-22 Winchester .22 caliber rounds are now available off the shelf. As for the new rounds not be revolutionary, there is a limit as to what ammunition manufacurers can do with shape and velocities. The laws of physics control the weight, speed and pressure that all rounds must adhere to. But why the new round? Winchester has given us a round with two new features. The first is a slight contour to the shape of the bullets nose to add reliability in feeding high capacity weapons that might be fired at a rapid rate. The second feature is for all you macho type men that have the new tactical type .22 autoloading military style weapons. The 40 grain lead bullet has a copper wash to aid in reliability. But the copper wash is not your normal bright finish. The wash is a black copper wash to add to your macho experience. Now isn’t that why you bought the military style weapon in the first place? I myself have a Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22. But living in wimpie California, I am limited to 10 round magazines.

  • Matt

    $44.99 at Walmart. The only “Bulk” ammo I’ll ever use again. One full box through two Ruger 10/22’s and not a single ftf/fte using bx25/bx10 factory mags. The guns are about 35 years apart in age too. It is really clean and shoots pretty damn straight. Considering that the cheaper Rem/Fed/Win bulk ammo is only about 2-3$ less per box, Why bother with it when it’s dirty and unreliable.

  • Sander

    Just tried the M22s. First in my Ruger 22/45 pistol. Thumbs down, at 25 yards really scattered hits on the target about 10 inches. With Wally Federal 550s, the group was loser to 4 inches. The M22s worked fine in an old Marlin 60 (18rnd tube), the accuracy was good too. No FTFs. With the Federals I get about one dud every 50 rounds or so.

  • Michael

    Holy Cow. Both recent manufacture Winchester .22LR’s and .38 Specials should be thrown in the trash can. The .22’s were used in two entirely different model rifles, one a proven reliable Ruger 10-22: the cartridges jammed more often than not. Some fell apart in the chamber!
    The .38’s were target rounds I bought for range use in my .38 revolver so there were no jamming problems. They were quite DIRTY compared to my regularpr loads, which can be a serious issue in an automatic, even if you enjoy cleaning firearms.
    Cheaper is NOT better. Especially when you really need your gun…
    No more Winchester ammo for us!

  • DPMS Steve

    Nice Round
    Shot 1000 rds Mostly thru a CMMG 22 conversion in my DMPS 223.
    Got very good accuracy at 50 and 100 yards.
    Feeds well too. These conversions can be picky.
    Shot about 300 rds thru a Beretta Neos. Had good results with it also.
    Out shoots the Federal

  • mike

    I had a couple of “hot rounds”. I fired one in my ruger 10/22 and when the round went off it blew back the bolt so hard that it locked it open. The other time there was a quite a bit of smoke coming out of the chamber.

  • Mercda

    I took a chance and bought a box of 1000 winchester-m22 for my m&p 15-22 smith & Wesson. We shot 500 rounds with one failure to load. Upon further inspection of the round; the casing was loose and the tip wobbled. Can not comment on the accuracy because I was having issues with my new scope and forgot to bring my iron sights. Did have good groups from 100 yards. If it made economic sense, I would not hesitate to pick up another case.

  • Matthew Pipoly

    I’m not sure if anyone else has had this issue, but I have a Ruger 10/22 & a 22/45 and in both guns I’ve had horrible copper fouling in the barrel with the M22’s. Inspection after firing only 200 rounds in each had both firearms looking like smooth bore muskets. The rifling was full of copper jackets and completely indistinguishable. This was two separate guns and two separate cases of ammunition. It took a whole bottle of copper solvent, about 500 patches, three days and a lot of elbow grease to get both guns back in working order. I think from now on I will drop the extra coin and buy CCI instead.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.francoeurjr.1 Dennis Francoeur Jr.

      Where did copper come from, these are not metal jacketed?

      • Frank Johnson

        They’re copper washed, and likely very thinly. The fouling was probably more lead than copper.

  • Rick

    Found this overview of best places to find .22LR Ammo today: http://sportsmasher.com/2013/03/13/the-top-3-place-to-find-22lr-ammo/

  • Bill Felkey

    I got a 1000 of these and took them to the range. I am testing 22 varieties of .22 LR for how they shoot in a Savage FV-SR bolt action. They work fine but the odd thing is they are unpredictable on whether they go supersonic or not. They are rated at 1255 fps but so far many do not got supersonic when all should. I did a weight sorting of them and have shown that this does not reliably predict the outcome. The bullets weigh between 51.3 to 51.8 grams. Variables would include brass, bullet, primer and powder. Quality control should be suspect at least on my first 1000.