New to .22's, basic questions about barrel length and range


August 16, 2007, 01:07 PM
I recently bought my first .22, a lightly used CZ 452. Nice rifle, but its not very "handy" for walking with in the field, having a 22.5" barrel. So I'm wondering, if I were to have the barrel cut down and recrowned, how short could I go without losing accuracy? I have to imagine that losing energy through wasted gases would not be an issue. As a reference, I was thinking about taking it down to 17" or so, if that would be functional.

The uses for the gun are target shooting, and small game/pest control at 5 to 100 yards. I assume I would scope it with a low power scope (4x?) at 50, and then learn about calibration for trajectory arc, which from my dangerously little knowledge would be a factor to consider.

And as a side note, what is the effective range for small game for a .22?

My lightest caliber rifle to date is a .223, so trajectories that are not relatively flat are a whole new world to me. Well, when I was 13 I had a Crossman 760, but not since then anyway.

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August 16, 2007, 06:27 PM
Check out

This is a primer on various rimfire ammo.

I don't know what your ballistics will be if you cut off your CZ. Ruger, BTW, now offers a 10/22 with an 18 inch barrel.

Re: Flat trajectories. A standard high velocity 40gr 22lr zeroed at 100 yards will rise close to 3 inches at 50 yards. I shoot hyper velocity 22's such as 30gr Aguila's, which chrono about 1700 fps out of my 21 inch barrel and are very flat. These will make my TC a pretty flat shooter out to 100 yds. With standard ammo, it's a 65 yd gun or you have to guess yardage and compensate.

Beware when buying scopes as most rimfire scopes have set paralax at about 50-60 yds. Buy a good 3-9 and you'll be ok.

August 16, 2007, 06:41 PM
Those are great rifles. Congrats!

The 452 Scout has a 16.2" barrel and CZ just started selling a 16" version of the American, so 17" ought to be plenty functional. If you're scoping it, the shorter barrel shouldn't reduce accuracy.

For your purposes, check out a Mueller 4.5-14 APV. Great scope for the money ($115 at eabco). You'll find lots of happy owners on Adjustable objective, so parallax wouldn't be a problem. 4.5x for close-in work, and 14x for target work.

Jim Watson
August 16, 2007, 06:47 PM
Many versions of .22 lr ammo reaches maximum velocity in 16 - 18 inches of barrel. Accuracy will be maintained with a good crown and good ammo.

There are target rifles with what appear to be long, long barrels but are partly half inch inside diameter "bloop tube" purely to extend the peep sight radius.

August 16, 2007, 06:54 PM
Thanks -
I just checked out, I had no idea what I was getting into! ;)

That's good info on the short barrel CZ's. I didn't think there would be much loss with .22's. There was some talk about the Ruger Frontier, and whether a 16.5" barrel firing .308 would "waste" gas, the way a short barreled .357magnum revolver will, or lose accuracy over longer ranges. But this is a whole other scale.

Well, I suppose another adventure begins...

August 16, 2007, 07:42 PM
IIRC the folks at rimfire central said a .22lr reaches max velocity at about 16" and after that you can start scruffing off velocity unless it's a tube like Jim Watson said. I put a 16" barrel on my 10/22 and I wish I would have chronographed it before and after. All I know is it's no louder than with the factory barrel and shoots about 4x more accurately, and handles great. 100yds is no problem with a 22 rifle.

Danny Creasy
August 16, 2007, 10:24 PM
Personally, I would never make it a regular habit to shoot small game beyond 80 yards with the .22 long rifle cartridge. Depending on the load, the projectile will drop from 4 to 8 inches at 100 yards. The energy has shed to the point that shot placement would be more critical than ever and yet, the shooter has "rainbow like trajectories" to deal with and even modest winds can move your POI by an inch.

For 100 yard .22 LR hunting, one may hope to gain some power and lose some trajectory by going with CCI Stingers, Velocitors, or other "hyper" velocity .22 LR rounds. But, they tend to be some of the least accurate .22 ammunition. So, what one gains from these flatter shooting rounds, one loses by experiencing four inch groups.

A much better 25 to 125 yard hunting rifle is an accurate .22 WMR or .17 HMR.

Keep in mind that this is from a huge .22 LR fan. The .22 LR is almost the only round I have shot for the past few years.

I picked up one of the Savage black plastic stocked .22 LR bolt rifles a few years ago. It came with a low end centerfire scope. I was shocked by the half inch groups the rifle would shoot at 50 yards inspite of the scope being paralax free at about 100 yards.

Since I owned a bevy of quality .22 rifles with quality rimfire glass, I thought it might be fun to turn this inexpensive model into a 100 yard .22 trunk rifle. I set up on the 100 yard highpower range one afternoon and tested the rifle with Wolf MT, CCI Stingers, Federal bulk pack plated HPs, CCI Blazers, CCI Mini Mag HPs. The Wolf MT shot one and half inch groups with about an eight inch trajectory. The Stingers only dropped three inches but they shot into four inch groups. I ended up giving the nod to the Mini Mags with 1.5 inch goups to two inch groups and five to six inch trajectories. The cheap Simmons 3-9X38 8 Point scope was quite clear and paralax free at 100 yards. I had fun shooting that combo at some little 100 yard four by four inch steel plates for a few months.

Later on, I really felt the need for a .22 bolt rifle that I could start new shooters with. I dialed the scope down to 3 power (paralax just isn't an issue at that power for basic shooting) and sighted it in at 25 yards with CCI Blazers and have used it to introduce dozens of teens, ladies, and even a couple of grown men to shooting.

A Marlin .22 WMR with a Nikon 2-7 Prostaff shotgun scope (the Marlin was priced right at a pawn shop and the shotgun scope was on clearance at Dick's) has proven to be the better 100 yard field rimfire for me.

August 16, 2007, 11:07 PM
Id go 18 inches, this will give you max velocity, with the hotest of 22 rounds out there. Length of bbl , has nothing to do with stabilization, that is twist rate.
If you do get it cut down, have a gunsmith slug it first, to find out where the tightest spot on the bbl is, after 17 inches, then cut there. i don't know if you wanna be cutting down a cz bbl though...

August 16, 2007, 11:08 PM
Also , the 22 round really starts to drop like a stone after 100 yds, so keep it in that range.

August 17, 2007, 12:40 AM
i don't know if you wanna be cutting down a cz bbl though...

sounds ominous... why not?

August 17, 2007, 01:05 AM
Id go 18 inches, this will give you max velocity

22 long rifle reaches max velocity between 12 and 14 inches. Even 17 HMR reaches peak velocity at 19 inches. Beyond that, they are losing velocity.

Of course, federal law restricts you to 16 inches unless you bave the tax stamp. The only reason to have a longer barrel if for a longer sight radius with irons. You can accomplish the same thing with a 'bloop tube'

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