Review of Winchester’s M-22 Rimfire .22LR Ammunition
As I’ve talked about in the past here on ThruMyLens, I consider the useage of .22LR rimfire weapons as a critical part of my training. I have two firearms (the M&P 22 and the M&P15-22) which I’ve gone to some expense and effort to set up as closely as possible to their centerfire counterparts which I also own. Shooting .22LR means I can shoot more for the money, so I’m always on the lookout for reliable, inexpensive .22LR ammunition.
In 2011, Winchester released their M-22 Rimfire .22LR – a new competitor to the “tactical rifle” segment of ammunition designed to meet the needs of semi-automatic tactical rimfire rifles:
- Velocity: 1255 fps
- Grains: 40
- Bullet Type: Plated Lead Round Nose
I first learned of M-22 ammunition while looking for some CCI’s .22 Long Rifle Tactical Ammunition while attending a local gun show. Not only has CCI’s .22LR Tactical Ammunition proved to be quite accurate in my M&P 15-22, it’s proved to be quite reliable in my somewhat ammo picky M&P 22 pistol. I usually find it for about $25.00 per box of 375 rounds – about 7 cents a round. Shooting my 9mm can cost me about 22 cents per round, so it’s quite a bargain by comparison. But the good old .22LR Federal Value Pack of ammo can cost as little as 3 cents a round – more than twice as expensive as the CCI ammo.
My problem is that while Federal Value Pack .22LR ammo shoots quite reliably and reasonably accurately through my M&P 15-22 rifle, it does not shoot reliably through my M&P 22 pistol. So I generally end up buying the CCI .22LR Tactical Ammunition more than anything else.
When I cam across Winchester’s competing product, I was initially hesitant to purchase it – it’s only sold in 1000 round bricks (which actually contain two separate boxes of 500 rounds each) for about $50.00. 1000 rounds is a lot to commit to when you’re not certain if the ammo will reliably function in your equipment. But I risked the $50.00 because A)if worked in both my .22LR firearms, I can save almost 30% on Winchester’s M-22 ammo versus CCI’s Tactical Ammunition and B)even if it didn’t fire reliably in my picky M&P 22 pistol, I was reasonably certain it would shoot out of my M&P 15-22 rifle.
I took one of the 500 round boxes out to my local range the following weekend and began loading up and shooting my M&P 22 pistol:
I’m sure I fired a couple of hundred rounds out of my M&P 22 and was extremely impressed. No failures of any kind to report, no matter how fast I fired the gun. I was also impressed when it came time to clean my gun – Federal bulk .22LR ammo is pretty nasty, dirty stuff but the Winchester M-22 was noticeably cleaner.
Next it was time to load up some magazines with my M&P 12-22:
As expected, it fired flawlessly through my M&P 15-22 and grouped quite nicely at 50 yards.
Comparing Winchester’s M-22 ammo to CCI’s .22LR Tactical Ammunition, I see little in any difference in performance which is a good thing. Both are very accurate, reliable, and seem to run more cleanly than other cheaper ammo. Given the price difference, I’ll definitely be picking up more M-22 ammo, though it does seem to be harder to find for me locally.
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.