Sub Sonic .22 Magnum

I came across these the Saturday before SHOT Show 2016. Winchester makes a sub-sonic round in .22 Magnum. I didn’t think such thing existed. Somewhat like a Unicorn. It is mystical and rumored. Many say it doesn’t exist and is impractical. Well this unicorn ammo does exist. The only problem is that they are only available in Australia. I approached Winchester at SHOT Show to inquire about this round. Unfortunately Australia is independent of the US Winchester branch so there is no way to get some from USA Winchester.

I am surprised they went with a 45gr bullet and not a 60gr bullet. Aguila makes their Sniper SubSonic .22LR round using a 60gr bullet. Even though it says that it is for bolt action, I was able to get it to cycle in my S&W M&P 15-22


Shooting the @aguilaammo #snipersubsonic22lr out of my m&p15-22 it cycled!! #spectreII @silencerco

A post shared by Nick Chen (@solscud007) on


I am curious how a 60gr .22wmr would work. If Aguila can do it to a .22LR, then why not on a .22wmr casing?

Some people would think “why would you want a .22 Magnum sub sonic?”. My reply is: “So that I can shoot my Kel-Tec CMR-30 suppressed quietly”. I can already shoot my CMR-30 suppressed but I want to experience shooting a subsonic round out of that gun. Is it practical? Not really. I just want to try it. Can anyone in Australia send me a box?


Edit: Ben N. sent me a picture from Australia. Close but not at box of ammo yet LOL.
22 subsonic

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • nova3930

    I guess there are advantages to having a jacketed bullet 22mag vs just shooting subsonic 22lr

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I can think of none.

    • Tassiebush

      It’s actually a waxed lead projectile

  • Bart

    This seems totally worthless. It should be more like an 80-100 grain subsonic .22 mag.

    • Nicholas C

      I know right? At least go with a 60 gr.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        How is that going to spin out of a 1:16 twist you think?

  • Julio

    I spent a fair bit of time on forums a decade ago arguing in favour of having a subsonic option available for the .22WMR and now they go and do it… with a stupid lightweight bullet. That bullet should be as heavy as the standard twist can stabilise.

    • Xtorin O’hern

      you would think that if aguila could make an LR that launches a 50 grain bullet at 950 FPS why not make a magnum that launches a 62 at 990 to 1000 FPS…

  • The twist rate in a standard .22 Mag barrel may not stabilize a heavier round at subsonic velocities. The 60 Grain Aguila .22 LR round really needs a faster twist than the standard .22 LR twist rate of 1 in 16 to stabilize. A wonky 60 grain round can leave a lot of lead sculpture in a silencer.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I find your post (lack of speculation) refreshing.

    • Tassiebush

      You’re right I remember reading a review of 60grain Aguila many years ago which was very clear on the round being intended to be matched to special fast twist barrels. From memory it was tested with a Ruger 10/22 and m77/22 with those special barrels fitted.

  • Darryl

    Could you shorten the case and load it with 5.56 bullets?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      No. The correct alternative if you want that would be to buy a 9mm or 300blk rifle and have a problem subsonic bullet for the proper twist rate.

      • Budogunner

        9mm is an underrated caliber for versatility, I think. There are some very effective defensive rounds and subsonic 9mm still beats .45ACP due to bore size. Plenty of rifles in 9mm, and cheaper than .45.

        With .22LR still in price hike hell, 9mm is certainly a good alternative. Stepping up to practical defensive ammo is just a mag chance away, after all.

        • El Duderino

          How in the world does 9mm beat .45? 147gr @ 1000fps < 230gr @ 900fps.

          • Budogunner

            Sorry, I should have specified. I meant in decibels when suppressed, not velocity or terminal ballistics. Shooting .45 because it is naturally subsonic is expensive and not the most quiet experience. Ask my checkbook how I know : /

          • El Duderino

            That is all definitely true! I forget that in the suppressed crowd, it’s usually not “what hits hardest”. If it were so we’d see a lot more superheavy big bore suppressed guns throwing 500gr monsters around.

          • Budogunner

            There are some wildcats that are real thumpers, but anything subsonic is going to have a trajectory more closely resembling a thrown rock than a last beam.

            Suppressors do make a huge difference with supersonic loads, but sonic crack is loud enough to still require hearing protection. That’s why many suppressor owners enjoy plinking with subsonics. It’s fun, a great way to introduce new shooters to the sport, and helps with coaching as students can always hear range commands and guidance over the report.

            In fairness, .45acp is practical suppressed or not. It’s just expensive to plink with.

          • Nicholas C

            I am not sure how you are finding subsonic 9mm 50 rd boxes for under $20 compared to any regular box of .45acp.

          • Budogunner

            Bulk buy from years ago when prices were better and hand loading.

        • Nicholas C

          Subsonic 9mm is not cheaper than .45acp. I can grab any box of regular 230 gr .45acp and they will only be $20 at most and still be sub sonic.

  • Dave

    “Can anyone in Australia send me a box?”

    Hahahahahahaha no.

    Seriously, you need to be an approved freight company with explosives and powder magazines and trucks rated for shipping them to post any ammunition in this country.

    • Nicholas C

      UPS can ship ORM-D. So I don’t see why you couldn’t ship it to the US.

      • UPS ships that via Ground only and does not accept it for international shipments.

  • Tassiebush

    I just got a brick of it. It’s a wax coated lead hollow point bullet like the equivalent .22lr. I got them because I didn’t want to have to choose whether to take a. 22lr or a .22mag rifle.
    Noise level is like a subsonic .22lr or possibly a tad louder but it’s pretty discreet noise wise. There are definitely spots you could use this where a normal. 22mag or anything bigger would be a noise issue.
    I haven’t had the chance to test it further out as I was sighting in with fading light at 25m but it seemed comparable to a normal .22mag load accuracy wise. The point of impact was lower but not that far off.
    Basically it is readily useable without worrying too much about having to change zeros and given how little bulk or weight it’s a very convenient option.

    • Tassiebush

      Oh an additional thing is it’s a bit of a sooty load.

    • Nicholas C

      I bet it would not be so noisy in my PMR-30. That thing barks very very loudly.

      • Tassiebush

        Yeah. 22mag seems to have a surprising amount of noise for what it is. A short barreled one would cause the ears some ringing!

        • AlDeLarge

          My dad has a 6″ revolver that shoots 22 mag. It makes a horrendous, ear-shattering PING! noise. It’s not so bad with ear protection because it’s not really all that loud in decibels, but the pitch bores into your brain without it.

          • Tassiebush

            I think the pitch must be it. I can recall getting feedback about sound of a .22mag but same people not hearing a .44mag carbine. The latter is obviously louder. It wasn’t a sound test or anything so other factors might be at play but I would have thought the extra volume of the .44mag would have at least made it noticeable.

  • A 45 Grain Subsonic in .22 Mag? WHY?
    I want HEAVY! 60+ Grains… More the better!

    • Nicholas C

      You share my struggle.

  • Garmanarnar

    Is it just me or is the concept of subsonic magnum ridiculous? Downloading a magnum cartridge makes it not a magnum cartridge anymore.

    • Fred Johnson

      Not counting the suppressor crowd, I like the idea of a subsonic .22WMR for another reason. Such as the times I’m out with my bolt action .22WMR and would like to shoot something similar to .22LR out of the same gun without using a PITA chamber adaptor or switching barrels/magazines.

      The concept would be like a switch cylinder revolver without having to change anything mechanically. Just slip in a magazine of the subsonic stuff when you want to shoot a squirrel at very close range. Then slip back in a mag of the full power stuff when you go back to shooting at something larger at 75 yards or so.

      Just use a scope with different holdover points and learn where the different ammo hits.

      This could be fantastic in those “survival” or woods guns chambered only in .22WMR.

      • Tassiebush

        Exactly what I like it for and will use it for except substitute squirrel for pigeon or rabbit. It’s about having the one .22rimfire to cover it all. No other downloaded cartridge and normal load combo that I can think of could cover such a handy range of game with such a light gun and ammo system.

  • Ratcraft

    Only cool if it’s cheap. But I’m sure it’s not. So not cool. Only available in a country where guns are illegal. Even uncooler, screw you Winchester. Yes, I know uncooler is not a word. It’s is now.

    • Tassiebush

      It costs the same as regular. 22mag.
      Holy crap I didn’t realize my 9 guns are illegal. Damn it I’m too pretty for gaol! :-p

  • El Duderino

    Well…now they can FINALLY get to work on a subsonic .17 Super Mag. Slackers.

  • Tassiebush

    Okay folks I know heaps of people reckon it should be 60grains or more but remember that a .223rem with a 1 in 12″ twist starts to struggle at slightly over that weight and that’s with the benefits of approx 1800-2000fps extra velocity. I don’t recall checking a standard twist on a .22mag but it’d be slower than that. So basically 45grain is probably a wise choice for a manufacturer catering for the rifles people have rather than the admittedly cool imaginary rifle that would use an extra heavy .22mag well.

    • Nicholas C

      You and your logic. I want movie quiet 22 magnum. LOL

      • Tassiebush

        Haha I’m not being much fun am I?!…
        It’d definitely be cool if a tailor made load and gun combo was put together to achieve that at regular .22mag price levels. It’s a very common bore size so custom barrels would have to be an easy option.
        Vvvvt vvvvt vvvvt

  • undeRGRound

    1. Grab a box of Aguila SSS and a box of CCI std Velocity 22lr
    2. PULL all 100 boolitZ
    3. TRANSPLANT the SSS 60 Grain onto the 22LR cases
    4. Test in a Bolty 😉

    JK, for the “peanut gallery” but I would imagine a mfg. could do something like this!
    AGUILA is likely the only one with the Cajonés, IMO

    • Nicholas C