What good are .22 LR shotshells?


Mar 31, 2016
I'm putting this in handguns as that's the intended use I'd have for these, but if you have a rifle story using these do share your experience.

I was going thru some drawers and saw a pack of CCI shotshells for .22 LR I bought once to get free shipping. I knew at the time they weren't all that good, but over the years I've read some user experiences and I can't think of any that sounded successful.

If you have used or seen someone else use the .22 LR shotshells, have you ever come away satisfied?
I have always had a few around just in case, but really haven't used rimfire shotshells that much.

Decades ago my mother-in-law who lived alone on 16 acres reported that she had what appeared to be a copperhead snake (poisonous) in her house. My wife told me if I didn't take care if it, her mom would have to stay with us.

In previous years I had live captured a black snake in mother-in-law's kitchen and hand carried it a quarter mile into the woods and released it. My sister- in-law had once killed a copperhead in my m-i-l's dining room.

I took it as a real threat, put on my combat boots, loaded CCI shot shotshells in the magazine of my Ruger MKII, and sallied forth.

I located the snake coiled underneath the clothes hamper in the bathroom. With left hand I tilted the clothes hamper over, with right hand brought the Ruger down and made a perfect outline of the snake's head in #12 shot on the floor. The snake writhed awhile and died. It was a bit under two feet long.

That is my one successful experience of using the "CCI Shotshell 22 LR".

My semi-successful experience involved a large home invading nor'way rat. Shot at 6 feet from a Garcia Bronco bicycle rifle. The rat ran away but never came back.

Left to right.
_ Classic .22 LR Bird Shot - full LR cartridge length brass case, crimped to hold in the #10 shot
_ CCI Shotshell 22 LR- 31 grain weight of shot in a plastic cup loaded in a CCI Stinger case.
_ CCI Stinger "long rifle" hypervelocity
_ Classic .22 Long Rifle 40 grain lead round nose.
_ CCI Shotshell 22 WMR- 52 grain weight of shot

The CCI plastic shot capsule does protect rifled barrels from the lead shot.
A few guns have problems extracting/ejecting the classic crimped cases.
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I shot a mouse with my 10/22 with open sights for about 15 feet away. There was a hole in the floor and mouse guts on my ceiling. I really doubt a 22 shot shell would have done better.
I shot a squirrel in a live catch trap with no damage to the trap.

Wing shooting carpenter bees has been iffy for me from a rifle. Between the shot getting damaged by forcing the shell open and the rifling of the barrel opening the pattern, it's pretty random whether any connects with the bee. I do as well with a BB gun.
My dad used to whack gophers using my JC Penneys Savage/Foremost single-shot .22 LR rifle loaded with a CCI shotshell. Whenever he saw a fresh gopher mound in the yard he'd load up and patiently wait like a sniper for the gopher to appear when pushing up dirt. The shots were probably 7-10 yards max.

Later he bought a Marlin .22 magnum rifle that had a smoothbore barrel designed to shoot CCI shotshells. It basically was a .22 magnum shotgun and it was accurate out to 15 yards.
I used to know someone who kept pheasants and struggled with rats and mice eating the feed. To vcontroll them they'd go to the pen at night when the birds were roosting and hit the rodents with the .22lr shotshells without worrying about damaging anything inside. You had to be close to kill them, past 8 or 10 feet they weren't very effective.
Carpenter bees! My house is built of rough sawed cedar and the bees gather on warm spring days to do their damage (actually quite severe). I use an old Remington smoothbore .22 for the task (3 to 4 times the range of a rifled .22). It can take a month of rather fun wing shooting to complete this yearly campaign. My wife has taken it upon herself to keep me stocked up on shells. Good times.
Remington Mo Skeet O and Mossberg Targo used .22 shot in smoothbore barrels to break small clay pigeons. Clay sparrows?

Remington tried again later with .310 shotguns.
Best in a smooth bore, or something like this rifle. Guy came to club looking to find a magazine for this. Luck for him, they are available. About 10 years ago.

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I have a Remington pump gun with a Rutledge barrel, essentially a smooth bore barrel. I also have a trap to throw the Mo-Skeet-O clay targets.

Unfortunately, the targets are no longer available but I’ve set the trap up to throw Ritz crackers. Challenging is too soft a word.

I’ve used 22LR shot shells on small critters at short ranges.
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I don't know about 22 ratshot, but when I bought my first handgun, a Model 19, I bought a pack of 38 ratshot. I think there were 10 or 12 in the pack. I don't remember which. Whichever it was, I still have all of them. That's been 40-45 years ago.
Shotshells...yep...a couple of experiences...early teens. A fellow whose dad owned a nursery invited me to hunt rats with him in their barns. We didn't see any until our last circuit throung the main barn. There was this big rat sitting on top if the First Aid box. He shot, and a large area of red paint on the box disappeared, and so did the rat, unharmed. Never found out what he told his dad, but the invitation was not repeated! o_O The other one was not as interesting.
I tried them in an old remington fieldmaster .22 pump rifle to kill sparrows roosting in the horse barn. They weren't powerful enough to damage the roof. They also weren't much good for killing birds. From a rifled barrel the pattern was very erratic past about 5ft and the birds were not at all cooperative.

I did find that crimped shells pattern tighter than the plastic capsule loads from CCI. Have to be careful with those though because the empty casings end up closer to .22mag length so ejection can be finicky on some guns.
.22 Mag tho, not .22 LR. I'm sure the ahot charge being nearly double helps, but 12 shot still sounds like it's nerely useless.

9mm Flobert would be significantly better and at the price .22 Mag shotshells are, 9mm Flobert can't be that much more.
I have never even fired one. The only bees I have are honey and bumble and I like to watch the bumblebees. I have the standard yellow and black and some completely black. Even though engineering says they shouldn't be capable of flying at all they can do anything a humming bird can and are not aggressive if left to do their business of gathering pollen. Neither are the honey bees although they seem more curious than the bumblers.

Back in the dark ages when I was in high school and towns still had open dumps one of my good buddies that was a town dweller gave rats at the dump what for with 22 shot shells. He uses a Winchester 62 and killed a lot of them.