There is no faster way to turn off a prospective gun owner than to subject them to excessive noise and recoil. I have worked with many a wife and child who were terrified of sport shooting because somebody thought it would be “funny” to give them something like a 12-gauge loaded with slugs or a 6-pound hunting rifle stuffed with the latest magnum cartridge. When it comes to teaching marksmanship fundamentals, the less recoil there is, the better. For most of us, this means handing a pupil a .22LR, and that is a great place to start.
This rimfire is nearly void of any recoil, leaving us just a nominal amount of noise to deal with. Even though it is slight, this noise might still be enough to bother sensitive ears, even through muffs or plugs. The culprit is the sonic boom, a phenomenon present whenever a projectile breaks the sound barrier. As this is a product of physics, even the smallest of cartridges will experience it. However, there is a cure: CCI Quiet-22, a round build to fly slow and group tight.
The speed of sound is just north of 1,100 feet per second (fps), and .22LR doesn’t travel a whole lot faster than that. So getting it below that threshold wasn’t terribly difficult; all it needed was less gunpowder and a heavier bullet. Using a 40-gr. projectile and a mild powder charge, CCI was able to get this load to travel around 700 fps—fast enough to fly straight, but not so fast that it creates that ear-piercing craaaack.
The loss of velocity does come at a cost, though; this loss of power means it won’t function properly in semi-automatic guns. These autoloading firearms require a fair amount of back pressure to cycle. That’s generated by gunpowder, which just isn’t there with this ammo. However, limiting students to manually operated firearms does come with its advantages. Given that these guns require a little more manipulation, having students learn their way around a bolt- or lever-action is going to introduce them to the inner workings of a rifle. Additionally, nothing precludes CCI Quiet from being used in a revolver, which is another terrific introductory platform.
There is a notion that manually operated firearms help to promote better marksmanship on account of the shooter knowing they can’t just bang the trigger again if they pull their first shot. While there is zero science associated with this idea, experience has shown me that there is a fair bit of truth behind this. Of course, it’ll come down to the person behind the trigger, but it’s certainly worth a shot. If you want to test it for yourself, try using a single-shot rifle, like a break action.
Less noise means more shooting opportunities. The current homestead is situated on close to 10 acres; however, we do still have neighbors. Sometimes I don’t feel like driving to the far end of the property to work on my shooting, especially since I have a perfectly good berm just outside my back door. CCI Quiet allows me to get my work in without anybody having to raise the TV volume. Even the dogs don’t know what’s going on. If I wanted to take things a step further, this is an ideal round for a suppressor-clad firearm. Interestingly enough, when you run your typical higher velocity of .22 through a can, not much happens to the noise level. Sure, the suppressor helps to silence the noise made by the gas pressure, but since there isn’t much there from the start, it doesn’t have much to work with. That sonic crack is responsible for most of what we hear.
Something else that we like to avoid happens around 1,100 fps, and that is known as leading. (Lead as in the heavy metal, not as in shotgunning dynamics.) About as annoying as a sonic boom are the lead deposits that are left behind as a fast-moving bullet essentially smears its way down the barrel. Because CCI Quiet .22s are close to 300 fps below this speed, this simply doesn’t happen. Furthermore, each bullet is treated with a special lubricant that allows it to slip right through as if it were never there. This all spells out longer intervals between cleaning and less accuracy degradation during a long range session.
CCI hit a home run with its Quiet-22 load, and I think more people ought to learn about it. It’s clean to run, easy on the ears, and might just bring a few extra shooters to the firing line. In my experience, I have also found it to be exceptionally accurate because it doesn’t have to work through or around that sonic boom…or maybe that’s just because the shooter is no longer flinching. Pick up a brick for yourself to find out for sure at cci-ammunition.com.