It's an age-old quandary with ammunition. You want more ‘punch' from a given caliber, but you're bound by the limitations of the bullet, case, and powder. It was this very paradox which gave rise to the CCI Stinger. Touted for applications like hunting and self-defense, the Stinger enjoys a good reputation. The question is whether the reputation is based on valid data, ‘best' performance achieved in a given set of circumstances, or expectations akin to the "telephone" game; i.e., what was originally said may not be what you hear at the other end of the line.
Recommend this product?
Five Frequent Questions Regarding Stinger Ammunition
CCI's Stinger ammunition tends to generate a considerable number of questions for consumers. While somewhat common with most ammunition, the mystic surrounding the Stinger seems to especially lend itself to the problem. As they will inevitably arise with any review of this ammo, before getting too deep into the technical aspects and the field testing performed, let's deal with...
(The first two are copied directly from the Frequently Asked Questions page on CCI's website.)
1.) Q: I bought a box of Stinger ammunition and want to hunt coyotes out to 300 yards, how high will I need to hold to be on at 300 yds?
A: Know the limitations of the product, Stinger will reach 300 yards, but it is not a "coyote killer" at that range. Unless your scope is different than mine, if you are sighted-in at about 100 yds, the coyote will not be visible in the scope when you hold high enough to hit it.
2.) Q: I've tried to use Stinger's on tree squirrels and it tears them up so bad they aren't fit to eat. I have a suggestion, reduce the velocity of the Stinger, so I can put some squirrel meat in the pot, that is fit to eat.
A: We have done that, we have the broadest selection of rimfire in the industry. Look at this website and bear in mind that the higher velocity the more meat damage you can expect. Try the Sub-sonic HP (part number 0056) for your squirrel hunting, show it to your friends and tell them "it's kinda like a reduced velocity Stinger .... That was my idea, ya know."
3.) In relation to both of the above, at what range should I "sight in" for Stingers and what can I hunt with them?
For all the usual, boilerplate reasons, there is no single answer to this question. What firearm are you using? Are you using iron sights, a scope, or some other optic? What is your application and in what conditions are you shooting? Etc., so forth, and such like.
CCI lists the Stinger as ‘varmint' ammunition. Based on simple, dictionary definitions, the term can include animals as small as mice/rats up to man-size; i.e., "a variant of ‘vermin;' an animal considered a pest, particularly those which cause damage to crops and/or livestock; a contemptible, obnoxious, despicable, annoying person." The problem is that such a broad definition, while often taken advantage of in ‘gun shop or range' conversations to, ahem, ‘make a point,' serves little practical purpose insofar as the above question.
Probably the safest and most relevant response is to start with how the game laws for your State or locality define ‘varmint;' then balance that against the capability of the ammunition. For instance, many rural areas recognize coyotes as ‘varmints' in the context we're addressing. However, as noted in Question #1 above, Stinger ammunition does not have the ‘juice' to kill one ‘at distance.' Likewise, as noted in the company's ‘response' to Question #2, Stingers tend to be a bit ‘too much' for smaller ‘varmints' such as ground squirrels.
That doesn't mean Stingers suffer from what I term the Goldilocks Quandary; i.e., simultaneously too big and too small. It does mean you will have to match the ammo to the circumstances. This is why CCI provides a general guideline for their varmint ammunition insofar as sighting in ‘most hunting rifles' -
"The bullet rise between the muzzle and 50 yards is very small, so you can use the same sight picture over that range. For open-country varmint shooting, consider a 75 yard sight-in for 22 Long Rifle, and a 100 yard sight-in for the Magnum rimfires."
As we'll see in a moment, I tend to zero my scopes at 50 yards; though it does create some parallax problems with the Burris. It serves my purposes and I know how much ‘hold' I need at 100 yards; which is what I consider maximum range for shooting .22 LR. Well, most of the time anyway.
4.) Are Stingers too long to fit my firearms?
Simply put, Stinger ammunition is based on a case which is longer than ‘standard' for 22 Long Rifle. (Details discussed below.) I have to admit, I hesitated to shoot Stingers for quite some time just because I could not get a definitive answer on the issue of which firearms it would work in. To be fair, I cannot, nor will I even try, to provide a definitive answer to the question; primarily because a definitive answer does not exist for any given firearm. Even the firearm manufacturers and CCI themselves, with a few exceptions, can only provide general guidance on the issue; as in "it should work just fine" or "I wouldn't."
For example, before shooting them in the CZ 452 LUX rifles used in the testing below, I called CZ and specifically asked them about using Stingers. In two gun local shops which sold the rifle, one said - "They'll shoot just fine." - and the other said - "Don't use ‘em. They'll ruin the rifle." The individual I was directed to at CZ unhesitatingly told me I'd be just fine with that model. (What you may or may not be told by any given individual by calling the company is something that I cannot address.)
I didn't press regarding other models in the CZ line, because that answered the relevant question for me. Well, until I actually shot them. It's a ‘tight' fit in the one rifle and an ‘acceptable' fit in the other. Therefore, I don't intend running any more through the one and will sparingly run any through the other. But, that's for the CZ. The Ruger, however...
The Ruger 10/22 is arguably the most popular semi-automatic rifle on the market. As a result, given the popularity of the CCI ammunition, you'd think Ruger would address the topic in some manner and they do, right in the current 10/22 manual downloaded from the company's website. Right at the top of page 14, Ruger specifically states the following:
"Note: The following warning applies to Ruger 10/22 Target rifles only:
"Stinger" cartridges have a longer case than 22 LR cartridges loaded to U.S. Industry specifications. They can stick in the tighter chambers of target rifles, including the Ruger 10/22 Target Rifle, which can result in a hazardous ruptured case and release of hot powder gasses and brass when fired.
DO NOT USE "STINGER" AMMUNITION IN 10/22 TARGET RIFLES"
Lest one take the notion that this warning as a statement that Stingers are "just fine" to shoot in a 10/22, note that on page 13 of the manual, Ruger says the following: "The Ruger 10/22 Carbine and 10/22 Rifles are chambered for, and designed to properly function with, only the 22 caliber Long Rifle rimfire cartridge, standard, high velocity, or hyper-velocity, manufactured to U.S. industry standards."
Now, go back and read the warning; paying particular attention to the first line - "Stinger" cartridges have a longer case than 22 LR cartridges loaded to U.S. Industry specifications. Alright. The warning only applies to the ‘Target' model of the 10/22 because Stingers have a case longer than spec; but, other models of 10/22 are chambered for, and designed to properly function with, only the 22 caliber Long Rifle... manufactured to U.S. industry standards. Okay? While it sounds like they are picking out the ‘Target' model specifically and allowing you to infer that Stingers are fine for other models of 10/22, that's not exactly what they're saying.
In an attempt to clear things up a bit, I called Ruger's New Hampshire customer service just prior to posting this review. After a little lead up, I asked simply: "So there's no problem shooting Stingers from a standard 10/22?" The response: "Absolutely not."
I can definitively say that in the mid-late 1980's 10/22 receiver and 2010 installed barrel version used in the testing below, there were absolutely no problems and, as we'll see in a moment, they performed in an exemplary manner.
5.) Do Stingers make good self-defense ammunition?
Generally speaking, I steer clear of recommending any ammunition as a definitive, ‘self-defense' load. While valid to note what I prefer and why, as with the question "What can I hunt with this?" - there are just too many variables to account for. To be honest, I tried to put a reasoned, researched, and rational response to this question together. The result reads well. It references other studies. It looks at a host of variables. Despite being too long for this forum, the resulting conclusion comes down to what Richard Mann noted in an article entitled "The Light Brigade" in the May 2010 issue of Shooting Illustrated:
"Tim Brandt, who handles media relations for CCI and Federal, told me, ‘We work hard to position our products by use... Along the same lines, we also don't want to suggest using .22 LR loads for personal defense.' ... I really wasn't surprised at Brandt's response. Just like automobile companies build specific vehicles for specific chores, ammunition companies produce different loads to perform different tasks." - p. 44
If you're thinking of using a .22 LR firearm for self-defense, I invite you to read his piece. However, there is an important piece of data in that article which, when taken in conjunction with the data I generated, needs to be explored in the context of the Stinger's suitability in that role. But, let's save that for the section entitled "Retained Weight and Expansion."
CCI - The Company
Cascade Cartridge, Inc. (CCI) was established in 1951 by Richard Speer. His brother, Vernon, had already met with success in bullet manufacturing, so Richard started out by producing cases; later, with his partner Arvid Nelson, the company ‘made a name' by producing primers. The rest is "history" as they say, with CCI production facilities still located on the same property outside of Lewiston, ID as it has for nearly 60 years.
CCI markets itself as "The Leader in Rimfire Ammunition" with some justification. In much the same way Winchester White Box is the ‘standard' against which other, centerfire, ‘value' ammunitions are measured, CCI's rimfire ammunition serves as something of a benchmark. The company is now owned by ATK, an "aerospace, defense, security, and sporting products company" with considerable breadth. CCI Ammunition is just one brand placed in the commercial products section of the ATK Security and Sporting division, with other recognizable names including, but not limited to: Federal Premium Ammunition, Speer, RCBS, Alliant Powder, and Weaver.
Stinger Catalog Specs - Velocity... Standard, High, and Hyper
According to Frank Barnes' Cartridges of the World, 12th Edition, ed. Layne Simpson, 2009...
"The 22 Stinger was the first of a series of developments aimed at improving the performance of the 22 Long Rifle. Introduced by CCI early in 1977, the concept was an immediate success... based on reducing the weight of the hollowpoint bullet... and loading this into a case full of relatively slow-burning powder." - p. 443
This certainly describes the CCI Stinger. In fact, you can see the company's ‘bullet points' (no pun intended) -
Loaded within industry standard pressures; Anchors varmints fast; Clean-burning propellants keep actions cleaner; Sure-fire CCI priming; 1640 feet/sec. - the fastest 22 LR with varmint-class accuracy; Special 32 grain [copper-plated] hollow point bullet with tear-drop cavity for complete disruption; Hypervelocity leader
Velocity Categories - Trust me. It is very easy to get lost in the weeds when discussing what is or is not Standard, High, or Hyper Velocity .22 LR ammunition. While it would be extremely easy to simply say that there is no ‘accepted' absolute in terms of a definition, there are some loose guidelines which can be used to provide a certain context to the discussion.
Now, before someone immediately shouts - "But, this or that reference says..." - let's stipulate that many of those references are based on the 1992 American National Standard Voluntary Industry Standards for Pressure and Velocity of Rimfire Sporting Ammunition for the Use of Commercial Manufacturers. This report, produced by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI), is currently the downloadable version from their site and, so far as I know is still the ‘standard.' As an example of the problem, however...
I could be wrong as I'm not aware of all the variations out there; but, I believe, at the time of this post, that the lowest velocity load ‘recognized' as "hyper velocity" being produced is the Remington Viper, with a current listed muzzle velocity of 1,410 fps. SAAMI lists one test cartridge as HypV with a 36 gr. truncated cone solid bullet at a velocity of 1,385 fps. But, I believe that's an ‘old' velocity; despite many listings. Remington's website currently lists the Viper with a 1,410 fps velocity. On the other end, Aguila claims they have "the fastest velocity .22 Ammo;" e.g., the Aguila SuperMaximum at 1,750 fps with a 30 gr. hollowpoint. In addition, there are those who argue that "hyper velocity" should be capped and a "super maximum high velocity" category created.
Put simply, the ‘top' of the high velocity category and ‘bottom' of the hyper velocity category has changed since that 1,385 fps. Likewise, there is ‘debate' in some circles that the hyper velocity category may no longer be ‘the most' one can get from the .22 LR cartridge. In other words, what may have been ‘the standard' has likely changed with technological advances.
Add to this discussion the fact that SAAMI allows for a margin of error used in creating a standard for rimfire velocity specifications is plus or minus 90 feet per second (fps). This means that the cartridge used to ‘establish' the 1,385 fps ‘floor' for hyper velocity loads is an average velocity, with the range of velocities exhibited being 1,295 - 1,475 fps. Using the exact example SAAMI provides, if an "high velocity" product specification is 1,235 fps, you have to remember to account for SAAMI's plus or minus 90 fps. In other words, any given round in that box of .22 LR HV can have an ‘acceptable' muzzle velocity of 1,145 - 1,325 fps.
Wait a minute?! If an High Velocity (HV) cartridge can reach 1,325 fps and stay within standards and a Hyper Velocity (HypV) cartridge can be as ‘slow' as 1,295 fps and still be within standards...?!?!
That's not even taking into account other variables such as elevation, bullet type/weight, case length, etc. Naturally, there's also the discussion of powder type to generate such velocities within a SAAMI accepted pressure range.
See what I mean about getting lost in the weeds?
Suffice to say that as a general rule of thumb the following can serve as a guide, though not an absolute, to understanding the difference between velocity categories...
1.) Standard Velocity (SV) = approximately 1,080 fps (the speed of sound) up to approximately 1,200 fps
2.) High Velocity (HV) = approximately 1,200 fps up to 1,400 fps
3.) Hyper Velocity (HypV) = greater than 1,400 fps
Insofar as subsonic or ‘super maximum high velocity,' I'll leave that for another time. The important point is that CCI denotes the Stinger as "the fastest 22 LR with varmint-class accuracy;" listing the muzzle velocity as 1,640 fps; meaning it qualifies as Hyper Velocity and is so labeled, with the catalog noting it as the "Hypervelocity leader."
Case Length - As noted above, CCI Stingers are based on a case which is considered longer than standard for the .22 LR. This is precisely why the case is nickel plated; i.e., for easier extraction in tight and/or dirty chambers. It's also why, as discussed, it may or may not be appropriate to use in any, individual firearm.
Cartridges of the World notes the following for the Stinger: "The overall loaded length of these rounds is the same as the regular 22 Long Rifle and so are all other dimensions except case length." SAAMI lists the maximum case length for a standard .22 LR sporting round at 0.613". Just randomly selecting a single, loaded round of Stinger and a single, loaded round of Mini-Mag HP (see link below), I get rough measurements of 0.698" and 0.6125" respectively; meaning the Mini-Mag HP is spot on with SAAMI standards and the Stinger is 0.085" longer than the max length for ‘standard.'
Reaching into a can of policed, fired .22 LR cases, I pulled out four Stinger, four standard CCI, two Winchester Super-X, one Fiocchi, and one Federal ‘bulk' cases and measured them. The Stinger cases averaged cases 0.09" longer than the average of the ‘standard' brass. Again, this is a relatively small, random sample, but the numbers are consistent.
SAAMI lists the overall cartridge length for 22 Long Rifle Sporting Cartridges as 0.95" - 1.0"; meaning the mid-point is 0.975". Pulling four Stingers from the box, I get an average, overall length of 0.988". Doing the same with the Mini-Mag HP's, I get an average overall length of 0.966". This places both within the range accepted by SAAMI for a standard, sporting .22 LR cartridge. Thus, the overall length of the cartridges is within normal production variations given the differences in bullets, etc.
Bottom line is that the Stinger presents the ‘fastest' velocity for the weight/design of the bullet by using a slightly longer case. I'm speculating a bit here, but I assume the longer case is ‘required' to keep pressures within the acceptable range given that a "slower burning powder" typically mandates a heavier charge. In other words, you can't just "lighten the bullet" to generate higher speed and assume a hollowpoint will perform optimally. Hollowpoint performance isn't just about ‘speed.' It's about optimal expansion at a specified distance, which means maintenance of a given velocity within that specified distance; i.e., not all hollowpoints will perform the same at a given velocity and distance. (Again, more on this in the "Retained Weight and Expansion" section below.)
Standard and Method for Evaluation
At this point, much of the discussion has surrounded the ‘theory' behind the CCI Stinger. It's about time we look at actual performance and whether theory reflects reality. To do so, a ‘standard' for testing needs to be established. The first thing I'll say in that regard is that I am not a "professional gun writer" in the context of having access to companies who might donate copious quantities of ammunition or machine rests or a rack full of different firearms for comprehensive testing. Thus, sample sizes in terms of both rounds fired and variations in firearms is, of necessity, limited in comparison to what one might see in a ‘gun magazine.'
With that said, three rifles were used. Since SAAMI testing utilizes a 24 inch barrel, two CZ 452 LUX rifles were used; one with iron sights used primarily to establish velocity and expansion data, one with a Burris Timberline, 3X - 9X x 32mm scope for establishing accuracy. The 452 LUX, recently discontinued by CZ, has a 24.8 inch barrel; which is as close as I'm going to come to the SAAMI barrel length.
Given the Ruger 10/22 is, arguably, the most popular semi-automatic on the market, a 1980's era, wood stock 10/22 carbine with a Tasco 3X - 9X scope of the same vintage was pressed into service. Having seen more than its share of squirrel hunting, the 18 ½" barrel was replaced last year and still isn't (at least in my opinion) ‘completely' broken in - yet. The idea was to ‘balance' the testing so as to provide a range for the more common barrel lengths found in hunting rifles.
As we just established, "hyper velocity" range is considered to be 1,400 fps and greater. SAAMI standards allow for a standard deviation of plus or minus 90 fps; meaning that with a listed velocity of 1,640 fps, we should expect to see velocities ranging from 1,550 to 1,730 fps out of the CZ 452. Insofar as the Ruger, I can't find a ‘chart' which predicts an average loss of velocity per 1" reduction in barrel length similar to what SAAMI provides for centerfire rifles.
Of course, there is the old ‘debate' regarding 16 inch barrels being ‘optimal' for .22 LR vs. those who profess the ‘gospel' that .22 LR increases velocity up to 19". Critics then point to bullet weight, barrel twist, powder... Oh, no. Here we go again.
Given that 180 fps (SAAMI's +/- 90 fps) is a rather large range, I would normally look more toward the Standard Deviation (SD). The trouble is that rimfire ammunition is notoriously unpredictable. While I hope for an SD between 10 and 20 in centerfire factory loads, given the vagaries already discussed, it might be more realistic to expect an SD between 20 - 30 with rimfire ammunition; with ‘reality' probably resting much higher for bulk packed .22 LR.
A Chrony F1 (chronograph, see link below) was set up 10' from the muzzle of both the CZ and the Ruger. (While SAAMI uses 15', but circumstances do tend to trump theory and given the shorter Ruger barrel, I figured the distance was a reasonable compromise; with 10' being sufficient to mitigate muzzle blast issues.) All velocity testing was done offhand. The elevation was 5,500 ft. on a partly cloudy afternoon with temperatures ranging from 80 - 83 degrees F over the course of the velocity data collection. Winds were 5 - 10 mph from 8 o'clock, with humidity hovering around 40%.
For the purposes of establishing velocity, 2 boxes, from different lots were taken and 10 rounds from each were taken for both rifles; i.e., 20 rounds for the CZ and 20 rounds for the Ruger. The results were as follows:
CZ 452 LUX
Mean Velocity =1,606.7
High = 1,645 fps; Low = 1,545 fps - ES (Extreme Spread) = 100 fps
Standard Deviation (SD) = 26.72
Mean Velocity = 1,588.57
High = 1,602 fps; Low = 1578 fps - ES (Extreme Spread) = 24 fps
Standard Deviation (SD) = 9.02
This puts the mean velocity in both rifles under the listed 1,640 fps; but, well within SAAMI's +/- 90 fps. The loss in average velocity between the 24.8" barrel and the 18.5" barrel was 18.13 fps. The SD in the CZ was right in the middle of the ‘realistic expectation' range I have for rimfire ammo. However, the SD for the Ruger was virtually equivalent to "match" or "target" grade ammunition.
There were no failures to feed and no failures to fire in either the CZ or Ruger. There were also no failures to eject in the Ruger. (I wish I could make such claims for all the .22 LR tested that day.)
While all this velocity data is interesting, to a point, all it really ‘proves' is that the Stingers hold their velocity relatively well over typical rifle length barrels. It also shows that they perform extremely well, consistency-wise, in the Ruger 10/22 used in this test.
Retained Weight and Expansion
Given the relatively lightweight, 32 gr. bullet, one concern with Stingers is weight retention. I fired several rounds into a series of ½ gallon milk jugs filled with water at a distance of 22 yards using the iron sighted CZ. Temperatures on that day ranged between 50 -55 degrees F; but, the elevation was the same 5,500 ft. Most penetrated into 7 jugs; with two making it into the 8th and a couple deflecting to who knows where.
The average, retained weight was 29.1 grains; measured on an RCBS 5-0-5 scale (see link below). That's a 90.938% retention.
Maximum expansion of those collected was 0.402 inches; i.e., four-tenths of an inch.
On a different day, with temperatures hovering right at 40 degrees F, I used the same methodology but only had enough time (not to mention milk jugs) to capture one bullet fired from the 10/22. Retained weight was only 25.5 grains measured on the same RCBS 5-0-5 scale; meaning 79.688% weight retention at the same distance.
Discounting the spur of jacket material, maximum expansion was 0.347 inches.
What does this mean; particularly as regards the discussion regarding use for self-defense and hollowpoint performance?
In the above cited Mann article, the author used ordnance gelatin at 10 feet; i.e., ‘self defense' distance vs. the ‘minimal hunting distance' of 66 feet I used. Interestingly, in his data, a direct correlation between barrel length/increased velocity and ‘recovered weight,' as well as expansion of the bullets can be seen. In his test, maximum weight retention (99%) and expansion (0.36") was obtained from the shortest barrel at the lowest velocity. In other words, as velocity increased with barrel length, the 32 grain bullet of the Stinger, essentially, "fell apart" to the point where, at 10 feet out of a 16 inch barrel with a velocity of 1,573 fps, recovered weight was 45%, with expansion to 0.25 inches.
This is what I meant when I said hollowpoint performance isn't just about ‘speed;' which is the quality that ‘sells' many on Stingers as a self-defense round. Performance is about optimal expansion at a specified distance, which means maintenance of a given velocity within that specified distance based on intended application. In this case, Stingers are meant as a hunting round for use at hunting distances. Likewise, as just observed, even at ‘optimal' distances, expansion and weight retention can vary depending on which firearm is used, a given barrel length, temperature, etc.
Given the variable performance (not to mention the higher percentage of ‘bad' rounds, as compared to centerfire ammunition) found in all rimfire ammunition from all manufacturers coupled with the performance characteristics of the Stinger's bullet as a hunting round for small game at self defense ranges, I think we can discern why CCI does not want to recommend any .22 LR load for such use. Now, if a firearm loaded with Stingers was the only firearm I had in an emergency... ?
Let's just say that: 1.) when needed, any gun is better than none and (2.) shot placement is the definition of ‘firepower.'
It's a misnomer that "firepower" is (inappropriately) defined as a firearm's capacity to hold "X" amount of cartridges which then, presumably, provides the shooter with the potential ability to send "X" amount of rounds downrange. Ignoring variables such as "How many rounds can you shoot, accurately, in 'Y' amount of time" or "How many targets actually need be engaged" (discretion is sometimes the better part of valor) or "How many rounds will actually be required to end the threat" or "What is the 'balance point' in terms of the physical size of the firearm required to hold "X" amount of rounds vs. the individual shooter's ability to actually grip/handle it properly" -
True "firepower" is the ability to hit one's target. Simply put, whether you are shooting a .22 LR or a .500 Smith and Wesson, it ain't gonna mean much if you can't hit the target. The difference is in what happens when you do hit the target.
Speaking of hitting the target...
I don't shoot competition anymore, so ‘paper punching' at a recognized range isn't my thing; not to mention that the CCI Stinger isn't really intended for such purposes. Since this round is used for hunting, I'm more interested in field performance, under field conditions. To that end, I carefully measured a 50 yard distance and tacked standard Birchwood Casey scope targets ($2.97 per 12-pack at Wal-Mart) to a stump end. At the ‘firing line,' I laid out a tarp, followed by a Ridge Rest sleeping pad, and used my Arc'Teryx Bora 30 (see link below) as my field rest.
Elevation was the same 5,500 ft. Temperatures were dropping as quickly as the barometer; i.e., it went from 48 degrees to 39 degrees in late afternoon in just 2 ½ hours, with increasing cloudiness. Winds were a fairly steady 5 mph from approximately 9 o'clock, with gusts up to around 10 mph. (Unfortunately, it was necessary to leave the jacket shell and fleece vest in the pack to create enough bulk.)
Firing a 10-shot group from the scoped CZ 452 LUX, measured center-to-center, a 1 ¼" group was achieved for 9 shots. (I discount the 10th shot, actually 7th in the string, since I knew before the bullet left the barrel that I'd pulled it; sending a ‘flyer' about 5/8" outside the group. It was even circled and marked "shooter error" on the target at the time.)
Since the SD was only 9.02 in the Ruger, I thought I'd see what it would do in terms of ‘target shooting.' Given that it was getting late, dark, and almighty cool (not necessarily in that order), I only put 5 rounds down range for ‘score.' Measured center-to-center, the resultant group was 0.90 inches exactly. That's 9/10 of an inch at 50 yards with a field expedient rest. I'll take it.
The bottom line is that while I'm certain, given a proper range, ‘official' rest, etc., groups would be even tighter. But, that's not really the point. Under actual field conditions, shooting a single string (as opposed to multiple strings, then citing only the ‘best'), a sub-one inch group and a 1 ¼" group respectively from a Ruger 10/22 and a CZ 452 LUX means a good chance of having ‘meat for supper.'
Bearing in mind the catalog bullet point of "Anchors varmints fast," Cartridges of the World makes the following observation: "Field-testing does not demonstrate any great advantage... over the standard Long Rifle high-velocity hollowpoint. The hypervelocity cartridges do inflict greater tissue damage than the 22 LRHP. However, dead is dead and you can't accomplish anything beyond that." (p. 444) On 4 January 2011, an article entitled "The Short & Long Of Hunting With The Rimfires" by Layne Simpson (editor of Cartridges of the World) was posted to the website of Shooting Times magazine. In that article, Simpson makes the following statement: "My favorite .22 LR load for varminting is the CCI Stinger, but it is not always accurate in all rifles."
Given the weight retention and expansion, CCI Stingers are too much cartridge for most of my small game hunting. Costing $6.47 for a box of 50 at my local Wal-Mart, they're a little pricey for that application too. The same applies, in spades, to plinking and target shooting. With that said, they are my choice for the Ruger 10/22 out to about 75 yards, maximum when it comes to putting ‘meat on the table.'
Reviews Cited Above
RCBS 5-0-5 Scale
Arc'Teryx Bora 30
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