The .22 Long Rifle is undeniably the most widely produced and most popular cartridge in the whole United States. For more than one hundred years, it has served the needs of hunters and sport shooters, law enforcement and even the military. The .22 LR is based on the Flobert BB cap, and has resulted from the continuous improvement of the BB cap to meet the need for a cartridge with accuracy, low recoil and low noise that works in a multitude of applications. The .22LR rimfire cartridge can be used in many different situations from target shooting to plinking and small rodent control. The ammunition is comparatively inexpensive and widely available, making the .22 LR a fantastic choice for long shooting sessions at the range, and being lighter to carry during an extended hunting trip or a long hike.
Pistols and rifles with all action types have been chambered in .22 LR. Choices from small derringer pistols to full-sized clones of military rifles, the .22 LR has more firearm models chambered for it than any other caliber. A popular trend for the .22 LR cartridge is to convert a firearm that normally fires a larger centerfire caliber, such as .223 Remington or 5.56x45mm with a smaller barrel and firing chamber. This allows the shooter to train with less recoil, cost and noise with the weapon they will fire in competition or carry every day.
.22 LR ammunition has only experienced minor changes since being introduced in 1887 by the J. Stevens Arm & Tool Company. From that time, the .22 LR has seen an increase in velocity and range and accuracy. Hollow point bullets are also sold that offer a flatter trajectory and better energy transfer that only comes with a hollow point bullet. Some companies manufacture a .22 LR shot cartridge that propels a small payload of #12 shot to dispatch small rodents at close range, a safer and surer method than using a solid point bullet. Beyond all the applications for a .22 LR has, it is frequently the first firearm that many people shoot.
The .22 LR is the choice for youth shooting programs around the world due to the low cost, low recoil, minimal muzzle blast and good accuracy. Shooters are able to concentrate on shooting fundamentals without worrying about loud bangs and jumping recoil. Shooters around the world appreciate the the .22 LR, a great little cartridge. Considering the variety of firearms which shoot this low cost cartridge, as well as the many shooter friendly features, it is likely that the .22 LR will remain popular for years to come.