Ammunition > Rifle

Hush: It’s CCI’s Quiet .22

CCI’s Quiet .22 ammunition offers low noise and high precision.


You would think that after 125 years, the .22 Long Rifle cartridge would've faded into obscurity. It would also be logical to assume that after a century and a quarter there would little room for innovation with this cartridge. Not true. The .22 Long Rifle remains the most popular cartridge because nothing is more affordable or fun to shoot. Manufacturers also continue to tweak it to offer more performance for various pursuits. CCI's new Quiet .22 load is a perfect example.

CCI's Quiet .22 load is designed to deliver about 68 decibels (Db) at the shooter's ear. This is about half the noise generated by high-velocity .22 LR ammunition and only slightly more than normal conversation. Sounds can be painful at around 95 Db and sustained exposure to noise in the 125 Db range, or even one time exposure to levels of 140 Db or higher, can cause permanent damage to hearing. When I was growing up hearing protection was rarely used when shooting and the incessant ringing in my ears is a constant reminder of that mistake.

While subsonic .22 LR ammunition—ammo with a muzzle velocity of less than about 1,100 fps—has been available for a long time, it generally comes in the form of expensive match-grade ammo or target rounds that are only slightly below the speed of sound. This means you either pay more for each shot or the noise reduction is minimal so as not to sacrifice velocity.

Velocity is an important component of external ballistics because it allows the bullet to maintain a flat trajectory. In short, it's what lets you sight your .22 rifle in at 25 yards and still hold on at 50 yards. In reality, a lot of the shooting done with .22 rimfires is attempted inside 50 yards and trajectory is not usually an issue. The .22 LR cartridge is also the most popular starter gun for new shooters and, for them, distance to target is not an important factor in their initial training. Rather, it’s about learning the application of sight alignment and trigger control.

A flinch is often the product of the noise produced when a rifle is fired. And, until that flinch is mastered, bullets will never land where they are intended. A friend's 10-year-old son is a perfect example. He is so sensitive to the bang that when shooting a .22 rifle it’s necessary to double up his ear protection.

CCI's Quiet .22 load is a solution. With a muzzle report that’s hardly louder than a clap, you don't even need hearing protection. And, it's accurate too. Out of my New Ultra Light Arms single-shot, bolt-action with a 20-inch barrel, the average for five consecutive, five-shot groups at 50 yards was right at 3/4 of an inch. My 12-year-old son was able to maintain the same level of precision with his sister's 16-inch barrel Marlin XT-22YSR with open sights at 25 yards. This is all the precision you need to train a new shooter or to maintain your own skills. And, you can do it without hearing protection in your backyard or anywhere else where loud noises might strain relationships with neighbors.

The down side is it's doubtful you'll find a semi-automatic handgun or rifle that will reliably function with CCI's Quiet .22 load. I tested the ammo in a Ruger 10/22, a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22, a Chiappa M1-22 and a Kimber conversion kit for a 1911. The ammo would not reliably cycle the actions of any of these firearms. However, you can manually cycle the action and these super quiet .22 loads function flawlessly in bolt- and lever-action and single-shot firearms.

Is it affordable? You can find 50-round boxes online for between $2.49 and $2.69 at Midway USA and Cheaper Than Dirt. That averages to about a nickel a shot; about two pennies a shot less than CCI's standard subsonic .22 LR load, and about half what you'll pay for a box of match ammo.

Can you hunt with it? Well, on squirrels and similar size game, CCI's Quiet .22 load should work fine out to 25 yards or so, if you can make head shots. This load uses a round-nose lead bullet that will not expand, so head shots would be the only reliable option. The good thing is; this ammo shoots well enough that if you miss the head, it'll be your fault. Of course, this stuff is so quiet you'll likely get another shot.

View the CCI Quiet .22 Photo Gallery

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30 Responses to Hush: It’s CCI’s Quiet .22

opie7afe wrote:
September 01, 2013

btw, these contain .5 grains of a very light colored powder. also remember the longer the barrel the quieter these are..the impact is louder then the shot itself.

Errolc wrote:
August 12, 2013

Have used these in my Thompson Silver Lynx with an MAE magnum suppressor. The clack of the bolt is the only thing you hear...rifle doesn't quite reload with the std recoil spring and the match'd chamber of the heavy barrel doesn't always eject the case fully...needs a fair few more rounds to loosen it up a little...have managed to cycle a full mag once! Haven't had any bunny's get up at 30mtrs...consistantly accurate. Haven't noticed any more fouling than std CCI rounds...Shoot through my Krico 340 really well out to 50mtrs...I like them a lot.

EJE wrote:
May 18, 2013

Where can I find the CCI Quiet? I have not seen any .22 in 3 months. Ahh not true saw a box of Remington golden bullets for $200.. the 525 box at hte Dallas Gun show.

Jim wrote:
May 01, 2013

What is the difference in this and a CB?

jake wrote:
April 23, 2013

FYI, not sure if you intended this but 140 dB is not twice as loud as 70 dB. 71 dB is twice as intense as 68 dB. 78 dB is roughly twice the perceived sound volume as 68. I teach physics and here: Common mistake, carry on.

don may wrote:
April 11, 2013

it is to bad you cant buy a box of them

dennis wrote:
March 15, 2013

iwould like to see a 22round that would leave a bright mark on a tree in order to help me find squirals that i have shot. maybe chalk

Stu wrote:
January 30, 2013

I saw a video of a sig 522 rifle cycling these rounds . Went to the range today and tried them on my sig 522 and 10 shots went off without missing a beat. Very impressed. They don't cycle in any of my other 22 firearms.

jim bobb wrote:
January 09, 2013

Cci makes 2 quiet22 loads. Decent 25 yd accuracy. Does not drop a squirrel in its tracks. Definitely quieter than subsonics but also less delivered energy.

KJONES wrote:
January 08, 2013


pokey wrote:
December 14, 2012

People keep asking the advantages of these over air rifles, sub-sonic ammo, and CB shorts. Here goes. These are quieter (in a rifle) than any air rifle that I've come across (let alone one that can throw a 40gr pellet at 700fps). I'm sure they are cheaper and more accurate than 40gr pellets (if you can even find those), and they are orders of magnitude cheaper than the pellet gun that could throw them. They are far quieter than any standard subsonic round. They are cheaper than the same number of shots from a CO2 air rifle. They are far less expensive and far more accurate than CB shorts, but only slightly louder (you have to fire one right after the other to even realize there is a difference). They are plenty powerful for body shots at squirrels... you just hit them in the vitals, not the guts (duh). They are much than HV or sub-sonic .22lr when shooting into the trees, because they won't go as far if you miss or if they pass through. In my experience, they usually don't pass through grey squirrels, rather they stop just under the skin on the far side (which is preferable to a pass through for several reasons). For $3.00/50 rounds @ Wally World, why even ask what the advantages are when those who have tried them are unanimously in favor of them?

J wrote:
December 13, 2012

The pcp rifle is also as much as a high end rimfire. Most already have a 22.

Travis wrote:
December 10, 2012

A high quality PCP air gun will out perform this load. I have a Benjamin that will shoot a 43 grain pellet @ 790fps from the muzzle and will easily give quarter sized groups at 50 yards. The disadvantage of the PCP air gun is pumping it up. I only get about 14 shots at top velocity and then its time to break out the pump. For hunting I prefer the air gun. For shooting in volume I prefer the .22s.

Patrick andrew wrote:
October 18, 2012

The only downside to this over a pellet gun is in some areas it may be illegal to discharge a firearm but a air/spring powered rifle or handgun remains legal. I am still trying to find some of these in stock to use withmy ssuppressor....

Greg Hodnett wrote:
September 25, 2012

One benefit of "Quiet .22's" over a pellet gun is the fact that you don't have to buy a pellet gun in order to use them. They're great for people who are already committed to .22 rimfire rifles and handguns. Also, the "Quiets" won't leave a powder ring in a bad place in your .22 long rifle chamber like CB shorts do.

rudyC wrote:
September 09, 2012

I just picked up four boxes of this for my 10/22. Hoping to stockpile as much of it as I can. Did lots of research and it seems like cci has a winner on its hands

bj wrote:
September 08, 2012

Great ammo. The difference between the cb caps and the quiet .22 is in the weight of the projectile and slightly longer case length. The .22 quiet has a 40 grain bullet and the cb caps a 29 grain bullet. Both loaded at about 710 feet per second

Seth wrote:
September 07, 2012

Just Saw these at my local walmart and pickup a box. I usually use the CB round but this round is awesome. I use these round for small game hunting. Once you learn the trajectory. This round can easily take out squirrel pass 75 yard with a clean pass-though of the projectile. Great job on the round CCI!!

Allan G wrote:
September 05, 2012

Took Elroyyboys word that they would cycle a Speedmaster 552. cycled 105 rounds without missing a beat.

Philip Harris wrote:
August 26, 2012

My CZ 452 ULTRA LUX with a 28 .6' barrel hand less noise than any pellet gun and got 620 fps with a 40 grain bullet. It also shot 1.5' @ 50 yards!!!!!! I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY PELLET GUN SHOOT 1.5' @ 50 yards with a 40 grain bullet!!!!! The CB long has only a 29 grain bullet and won't shoot 1.5' groups much past 50ft much less 50 yds. No it won't shoot .75@ 100yds like Wolf Match Extra not is it as deadly as a s CCI Stinger but I'll be buying more!!!!

Elroyyboy wrote:
July 27, 2012

They are nice and quiet. And they'll cycle my 40 year old 552 speedmaster. CBs will not but the LR "Quiets" do just fine.

Jim wrote:
July 23, 2012

These are great extremely accurate in both my Bolt action Marlins and my Smith&Wesson 22A handgun though it is a tad louder in the handgun. I was so impressed after shooting one box out of the three I bought I gave two of my friends each a box to try and I bought a brick and will be buying an other brick to have enough on hand. Much more accurate than CB caps and with the 40 grain bullet hits harder too. CCI has a winner with this one.

w30wcf wrote:
June 24, 2012

Since the velocity is very close to the CB's but the bullet is the std. .22 LR bullet, I'm thinking these would be more accurate than the CB's. I just purchased 2 boxes to try out.

Hooker wrote:
June 22, 2012

A lot of marketing commentary and links in the article, but how about some specs. Weight, velocity, how does it compar to CBs????

Pete wrote:
June 22, 2012

Seems like the same old problem with making the .22 cartridge quieter/subsonic/suppressed -- by the time you reduce the noise enough to make a difference, you may as well shoot the little varmint with a high powered pellet rifle, since you can get just about as much power and just about the same noise level. And pellet rifles are incredibly cheap to shoot.

dft wrote:
June 22, 2012

So what's the magic that makes these so quiet? Reduced powder load or no powder at all? I'm guessing its not the later, since the article reports that the ammo works in rifles.

dave wrote:
June 21, 2012

CCI already offers a subsonic load that I've been using for years. Whats the difference?

skrfac wrote:
June 21, 2012

I would guess with these its would be cheaper than the CB's

pmoore wrote:
June 18, 2012

What is the main difference between these and the CB line? I have been using those for years, and have been pretty satisfied.

Jburns wrote:
June 14, 2012

I've been using this ammunition though my CZ 458 with decent success. It is accurate to the key and have plugged many a rabbit with my longest shot being at around 75 yards, averaging around 25 yards at most. With squirrels its pretty much useless unless you head shoot them, so i tend to use Remington's sub sonic ammunition which is a little louder but is hollow pointed for much better impact. Of course the reason i even use sub sonics is so i don't upset the neighbors.