1871 was a good year for the .22 Long cartridge.

Just released and loaded with black powder this rimfire was the cutting edge of technology.

After that it was all down hill for the .22 Long cartridge.

Vintage Outdoors

When 5 grains of black powder and a tiny 29 grain bullet carried over from it’s father, the .22 Short cartridge, was the hot cartridge of the day, the .22 Long was killing it. It sported 25% more powder than the shorter .22 Short cartridge in a longer case that would later spur the creation of the great .22 Long Rifle cartridge in 1884. The .22 LR. cartridge would ultimately put the brakes on any real future for the .22 Long cartridge. With 40 grain projectiles and higher velocities the .22 LR. put the .22 Long out to pasture. Many shooters also stated at the time the Long cartridges did not have the power or accuracy the .22 LR. round had. The Grim Reaper was on the way to claim another has been cartridge.

Is it all a really sad story about an obsolete cartridge? Is it the same as so many other cartridges that have been left back in time? Not exactly. The currently manufactured CCI .22 Long CB cartridge is a quiet garden capable pest sniper that is both quiet from a rifle length barrel and lethal with head shots on vermin. With a lead 29 grain projectile and a published 710 feet per second velocity it is no speed demon.

Surplus Ammo

Miss the properly powered .22 Long cartridge? Currently CCI does load a copper plated round nose 29 grain bullet published moving at 1215 feet per second. If you have an older firearm in good shape chambered for only the .22 Long cartridge this might be your only bet for factory fresh high velocity ammunition.


Why is the .22 Long still clinging to life and has not become thoroughly obsolete? Well, many manually operated rifles such as Henry Arms lever action and pump action rifles, though chambered for .22 Long Rifle, will feed them. It is quieter than the high velocity .22 LR. ammunition and is an interesting cartridge to shoot. Revolvers and single shot pistols also are ready to accept a diet of these shorter than normal plinking fodder.

Will the .22 Long cartridge stick around awhile longer? My thoughts are as long as the CB Long cartridge is loaded for quiet pest and backyard target shooting I feel it has a place in your ammo can for years to come.

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