muzzle velocity indicated on .22lr ammo box for rifle or pistol?


February 22, 2010, 04:38 PM
I was wondering if there's a difference in muzzle velocity for a given round of .22lr when fired from a rifle vs. a pistol. I want to use sub-sonic ammo for practice with my pistol at a nearby desert and I'm wondering whether the Remington ammo I have (which lists its muzzle velocity as 1280fps) would fit the bill if fired from a pistol, or whether I should buy actual subsonic ammo.

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February 22, 2010, 04:52 PM
Most .22 LR rounds will stay subsonic if fired thru a barrel less than 4".

Lee Roder
February 22, 2010, 04:57 PM
I've not done much of this but I chronographed both Remington Target (1150 fps) and Remington Subsonic (1050 fps) out of my Marlin 25N. I measured 1118 and 1024 fps respectively.

Surprisingly, I remember that this same ammo shot out of my Hi Standard Model GB (4-1/2 inch barrel) gave a velocity which was only about 10% less. The Subsonics had the same consistency velocity-wise as CCI Standard

February 22, 2010, 05:27 PM
My pistol is a Ruger Mark III, with a 5.5 inch barrel. Guess this means I should get the subsonic ammo.

Lee Roder
February 23, 2010, 12:32 AM
Both the Remington Subsonics and CCI Standard Velocity shot with a 20-25fps standard deviation over a string of 15 rounds and were the most consistent varieties I've found readily available.

Winchester 333 Bulk Pack gave a distinctly bimodal velocity distribution for me. Box actually seemed a 50:50 mixture of both subsonic (900fps) and supersonic (1220fps) ammo :eek: out of my Marlin. Shoots pretty well for me though. It's as accurate as I am. So it's probably overboard to put too much stock in statistics. Just fun to collect.

The Bushmaster
February 23, 2010, 09:15 AM
I will promise you that the velocity listed on the box is the best under controled condition that they can get so you will buy them. Actural velocity will vary from firearm to firearm. With that said...We will add one more to the list.

Weapons...Colt Woodsman second generation 6" barrel...Winchester Mod 290 semi-auto with 20.5" barrel.

Ammunition...CCI Stingers 32 grain HV/HP.

Woodsman averaged 1340 fps.
Winchester Mod 290 averaged 1590 fps

February 23, 2010, 01:22 PM
Here is my data:
Remington Golden Bullets 525 Bulk pack. Stated velocity: 1280fps
Federal 550 round Value pack. Stated velocity: 1260fps

Shot from:
Ruger MKII 5.5" bbl
Ruger MKIII 22/45 4" bbl






With typical high velocity bulk ammo and a 5.5" bbl, you will mostly be subsonic but depending on temperature, you will be pretty close to, if not above the speed of sound occasionally.
With a 4" bbl it is safe to assume you will be subsonic every shot.

February 23, 2010, 01:25 PM
The box velocity listing is for rifles. Except for a few hyper-velocity brands (Stingers, CCI Velociters, etc.), ammo listed as high velocity will be subsonic in handguns. In other words, all .22 ammo (with a few Stinger types excepted) will be subsonic in you Ruger.

The Remington ammo you listed is regular high velocity ammo, but will shoot below the speed of sound in your Ruger. There is no reason not to use it. That said, ammo listed as subsonic will be a little quiter than the high velocity stuff due to its smaller powder charge. Some pistols have functioning problems with subsonics and prefer the high velocity stuff. Your Ruger should work well with both.

February 23, 2010, 01:28 PM
I'd buy the sub-sonic if you want exceptional consistency in a handgun.

I have more then once ran into a lot of Hi-Speed ammo that was sub-sonic in a pistol, except for the occasional one that wasn't.
You could hear the bullet "crack" the sound barrier on a couple in every magazine.

That can't be good for accuracy.


February 23, 2010, 02:01 PM
Standard velocity .22lr ammo is usually subsonic from a pistol. Shooting CCI mini-mags from my 16" barrel 10/22 with a can usually gives me a sonic crack while the same ammo from a pistol with the can does not. CCI subsonics tend to be more accurate in both though.

The Bushmaster
February 23, 2010, 09:54 PM
rcmodel...I bring lions understanding of speed of sound in question. I have listed speed of sound at 1085 [approx] fps at sea level which is 740 [approx] mph. Am I in the ball park?

February 23, 2010, 10:10 PM
As I understand it, the speed of sound is almost entirely dependent upon temperature and will change slightly with humidity. (Through air of course, as that is what is applicable here.)

At 72 degrees the speed of sound is ~1130fps. The speed of sound raises as the temperature raises and drops as the temperature drops.

If you have a source that shows elevation comes into play I would like to see it but I don't think it effects the outcome of the calculations.

Pressure and density have opposite effects on the speed of sound and will cancel each other out.

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