How Far Can A 22 Bullet Travel? [Maximum Range]

The .22 cartridge is a high powered round used in a wide variety of situations. This round has been popular for decades for hunting and range shooting! Many curious shooters ask the question, how far can a 22 bullet travel? In this post, we’ll break down everything there is to know about the 22 bullet.

How far can a 22 bullet travel?

picture of a .22 round with ammo case

The distance your 22 bullet will travel depends on a variety of factors like barrel length, weather conditions, arc range and more! It also depends which type of .22 you’re using.

The 22 LR can shoot up to 1.3-1.5 miles. However, the .22 caliber rifle only accurate up to about 300 yards. The maximum range you can shoot accurately will be highly dependent on your individual skill level!

What Is A 22 Bullet?

Now for a brief history lesson. The .22 bullet is a type of ammunition used in rifles & handguns for various use cases. The .22 caliber bullet is typically a small, lightweight round that is used for target shooting and hunting small game. It is also commonly used for training and practice because of its low recoil and relatively low cost.

However, they also have the .22 LR and .22 WSR which are high powered rounds. The .22 caliber bullet is often made of lead, but can also be made of other materials such as copper or brass.

Different Types of 22 Rounds

picture of the different types of 22 rounds

There are four different types of rimfire cartridges that are commonly used in rifles and handguns for a variety of use cases.

  • .22 Short – This is the oldest of the rounds. This type of ammo has the least amount of powder and the shortest length case. Today, this round is primarily used in tiny, old pocket pistols and rifles.
  • .22 Long – Just like the name suggests this round has a longer case and more powder than the .22 Short. This round is most frequently used in rifles and handguns for target shooting and small-game hunting.
  • .22 LR – The LR stands for “Long Rifle”. Today, the .22 LR is probably the most popular of these rounds. Not like Black Tip Rounds, but they still pack a punch. It has the longest case and the most powder. On flat ground with similar air resistance, this type of round will travel further than the .22 Long & Short.
  • .22 WMR – WMR stands for “Winchester Magnum Rimfire”. This is a centerfire cartridge that has serious stopping power. It is one of the heavier bullets and is primarily used for hunting larger game.

How Fast Can A 22 Bullet Travel in MPH?

Generally speaking, the .22 cartridge can travel an estimated 700-900 mph. Of course this is dependent on various factors such as air density. The .22 LR cartridge has a faster muzzle velocity and is known to hit top speeds of about 1,022 mph. This is not as fast as the 300 win mag vs 30-06 cartridges we tested in previous reviews!

What Impacts A Bullets Range?

In order to determine a bullet’s range, you have to consider a variety of factors. These are some of the biggest things that will impact the distance your round travels.

1) Your Barral Arc Range

The trajectory and angle that you fire a round from can significantly impact how far it travels. For example, if you fire your 30-30 or 44-40 rounds parallel to the ground, it will only have to fall a few inches before hitting the ground. If you aim your rifle 20-30 degrees up in the air, it has to fall much further before hitting the ground.

Most shooters consider 30-degrees to be the optimum angle to fire a round for maximum range.

2) Your Barrel Length

The barrel length of a firearm can have a real impact on how far a bullet travels. A weapon with a longer barrel will shoot a 270 winchester bullet further than a shorter barrel. This is mainly because a longer barrel provides a longer path for the expanding gases to push the bullet, which creates a larger bullet velocity and kinetic energy. The bullet leaves the barrel traveling faster and will travel further!

3) Your Specific Bullet Style

As we already discussed with the different types of .22 rounds, different bullets have different ballistics. Just like we saw with our comparison of the 223 Remington vs 350 Legend, not all bullets travel the same!

You have to consider the fact that different bullets do not have the same diameter, muzzle velocity, and weight, amongst other factors.

4) Type of Cartridge Powder

Fewer shooters know that cartridge powder can have a major impact on a bullet’s travel distance. Both the amount and type of powder play a significant role in the travel distance of a round.

The powder acts as a propellant and burns inside the cartridge to create high-pressure gases. These gases push the bullet out of the barrel at high speeds. The more powder in a cartridge, the more energy that is generated, and the further a bullet can fly. Just like we learned when we explained the difference between 5.56 and 5.56 nato, it is very important to study the best ammo for your specific use case.

Rimfire vs Centerfire

If you have been looking into different rounds like the 17 WSM & 223 Remington, chances are you’ve heard of centerfire and rimfire cartridges. The main difference between these rounds is the mechanics in which their primer is ignited.

Here are some notable differences:

  • Centerfire round – The primer is a separate component located in the center of the base of the cartridge case. When the firing pin strikes the center of the primer the round is propelled forward.
    • Can be reloaded
    • More powerful – Great for big-game hunting and open range shooting
  • Rimfire round – Unlike with the Centerfire round, the primer is located around the rim of the cartridge case. When the firing pin strikes the outside rim, it creates a spark that ignites the gunpowder.
    • Cannot be reloaded
    • Less powerful – Used for smaller game hunting

Remember, you should not use these types of rounds interchangeably. For example, don’t expect to be able to shoot 357 magnum vs 10mm rounds in a rimfire firearm without damaging your weapon.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far can a .22 bullet travel in miles?

Generally speaking, a .22 bullet has a shooting range of over 1.5 miles. However, there are many factors such as barrel length, cartridge power, and weather conditions that play a significant role in a bullets range. You should also know that most practical ranges tend to be just a few hundred yards so it is difficult to test the real range of a round.

How much will a 22 bullet drop in 100 yards?

There are several factors that impact bullet drop. At 100 yards, you can expect a bullet drop of about 5-7 inches. Note that the higher the muzzle velocity is the less bullet drop a shooter will experience. Most shooters will be within an accurate range from 100-200 yards.

Can a 22 bullet go through a human skull?

The 22 LR cartridge has sufficient stopping power to penetrate the human skull. This high-velocity round was frequently used in WWII and Vietnam as a lethal round for long-range shots.

How far can a .22 WMR travel?

The .22 WMR has a shorter effective range of about 125 yards. This round has a lower muzzle velocity and is primarily used for close to medium-range target shooting or small-game hunting.

The Bottom Line

The .22 round has been a very popular cartridge for target practice and hunting for years. There are several different types of .22 rounds and they all have different use cases. Now you know that the 22 LR is one of the best hyper-velocity rounds and can shoot for over 1.5 miles! This is significantly longer than popular rounds like the 357 Mag & 350 Legend that shooters love.

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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