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22 LR from 5.5" pistol barrels

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by LawBot5000, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. LawBot5000

    LawBot5000 Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Florida mostly
    I know how everyone gets 3.5 and 4" barrels for suppressed use so they can shoot the "1300 fps" bulk ammo as subsonic. There isn't much data available for barrel lengths between 16" and 4." I have long been curious about 5.5" barrel performance because some say it's unsuitable and some say it's fine.

    So I got together the following components and ammo to do some testing in the woods behind my house. Data was gathered with an alpha chrony. It was hot out and i was sitting in the sun (as was my ammo). I will probably retest on a cold day 4-5 months from now. I did keep the ammo inside a cloth pouch before performing the tests. It was only after I was done testing and began putting stuff away that I noticed the ammo I had tested was getting warm from sitting in the sun.

    Ruger MKIII 5.5" target threaded barrel + AAC Element 2.

    Aguila Pistol Match (40 grain lead RN, unknown fps but probably subsonic)
    Federal Gold Medal Target (40 grain lead RN, advertised 1080 fps)
    CCI AR Tactical (40 grain copper jacket RN, advertised 1200 fps)
    Remington 22 Target (40 gr lead RN, advertised 1150 fps)

    Results: Shot a magazine of each, retested a few of them to confirm results.
    CCI AR Tactical
    1050 +/- 3 FPS​
    Remington Target
    991 +/- 14 FPS​
    Aguila Pistol Target
    958 +/- 20 FPS​
    Federal Gold Medal
    1000 +/- 10 FPS​

    -CCI AR Tactical was subsonic on paper but subjectively felt louder. This ammo is incredibly consistent and definitely very accurate. Extreme spread of 10 fps, SD of 3.
    -Aguila was all over the place and it smells awful. Sometimes it sounded loud, sometimes quiet, standard deviation was high.
    -Federal is more consistent that the paper results suggest- almost all of them were balls-on at 1000 FPS with some rounds that were low.
    -Remington target was not bad but not outstanding either.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  2. rockhopper46038

    rockhopper46038 Member

    Sep 1, 2013
    Thanks much for doing the testing. I have noticed that Federal 550 Value Pack .22LR "high velocity" advertised as 1260fps at the muzzle will on occasion go supersonic out of my GSG1911 with a 127mm (5") barrel and a Huntertown Arms Guardian suppressor. It happens rarely, but it happens.
  3. LawBot5000

    LawBot5000 Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Florida mostly
    My feeling is that the CCI AR Tactical is probably pushing it and would be over the line from time to time if it wasn't so consistent. And even that is noticeably louder than the stuff that is 50-100 fps slower.

    Keep in mind that "noticeably louder" is still extremely quiet, as gun sounds go.
  4. Charles S

    Charles S Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    North East Texas
    Thank you for your testing.

    In my Ruger 22/45 the lot of Remington subsonic I have is consistently supersonic with 5.5 inch barrel and a Tactical Solutions can.

    I really like the Federal Value pack loads as well.

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