22's are so under rated.....I think it is the best caliber there is. It has been used for everything from kids plinking cans to taking deer to being a sniper round in wars. I don't know of any other caliber that has such a broad history/use. I am not a big fan of centerfires. They are loud and expensive to shoot. Total overkill. The 22LR has never let me down. A bigger caliber is not a substitute for good shot placement. I learned this as a kid and teach mine the same thing.
A guy here in town killed a deer with a .177 cal air rifle.
Another guy shot a stray dog with a .20 cal Benjamin multi-pump and the pellet passed completely through the chest cavity, killing the dog. Neighbor was very upset.
Deer poachers in the deep south use .22WMR a lot as it is plenty powerful and doesn't make as much noise as a centerfire rifle.
Penetration capability of .22LR 40-grain and heavy pellets from a powerful PCP air rifle in flesh is rather surprising.
My .25 cal PCP rifle shoots Baracuda pellets through 1.5" of pine wood, or 3/4" of plywood. If you put a magnum primer in the mouth of a .25 cal hollowpoint pellet, you will blow a chunk of wood from the backside of the plywood. That's brainshot ammo with shock effect. It will shoot Baracuda pellets through 4 half gallon milk cartons filled with water. Try that with your .223 varmint bullets. Need I say that it will shoot through coyotes?
The special ops .22LR ammo was probably Aguila SSS 60-grain subsonic. It is a military designed round. Fairly quiet without a suppressor. I have several boxes of it. About as loud as my PCP air rifle, but a bit more fpe, even though probably slower out of a long barrel. I see it flying to the target. My CZ 452 isn't fond of it, but my brother-in-law's M77/22 shoots it very well. He doesn't need an air rifle, just a stash of Aguila SSS .22LR.
I have yet to recover a pellet from any varmint I have shot with the .25 cal PCP air rifle.
Well, I can tell you from personal experience as a kid that a 5mm (.20 cal) pellet shot from a multi-pump Sheridan Blue Streak air rifle will take out a large feral dog that's killing your livestock. As I've posted in another thread, all it takes is a well placed shot through the ear and they're DRT.
Don't underestimate the usefulness of a 22lr or air rifle.
In 1953, 63-year-old Bella Twin was hunting grouse and picking berries near Lesser Slave Lake in the Swan Hills of northern Alberta, Canada. While walking an oil-exploration survey line when ran into a super-sized grizzly bear following the same line toward her. Fearing if she ran, the grizzly would notice and give chase, so she hid in a brush pile hoping the big bruin would pass without any trouble.
Unfortunately for the bear, it was intent on getting its share of berries and came very near Twin. Frightened by the close encounter, Twin raised the rifle she was carrying and fired. Her aim was dead on. The grizzly was struck in the head and fell dead.
Bella’s bear was no ordinary grizz. Its skull scored 26 5/16, placing it at the top of the list of Boone and Crockett world’s records where it stayed for many years. The bear currently ranks number 30 among the all-time records and still stands as the longest-reigning provincial big-game record in Alberta.
Twin killed her 1,000-pound-plus griz with the humblest of all rifles—a single-shot, bolt-action, .22-caliber rimfire. With just one long-rifle cartridge, this petite Cree Indian grandmother finished off one of the biggest grizzlies ever documented and earned remembrance as one of the world’s truly legendary hunters.
The biggest hurtle that had to be crossed in building early bullet proof vests was the 22 LR Round nose round. The early vest would stop 9mm, 38 and 45cal. pistol bullets. But would not stop 22 LR HS solid nose.
Growing up on a farm I learned very quick how deadly a well placed 22 was. I seen dad kill 1000 lb. cattle, hogs I remember dad shooting a friends sick horse once in the head. One dead horse. When I grew up I killed many a beef and hog with just one 22 bullet in the head.
As a wild life office I have investigated many complaints where Deer, Bear and farm animals of all sizes that were killed with 22 LR. At one time in area where I worked we had a spotlighter killing deer with a 22 LR, Left them laying where shot. When checked each deer had 1 shot through the ribs, thumb size hole through the heart, And spent 22 HP copper plated bullet was against the hide on opposite side. Never did find the shooter or gun. At one time I had 12 bullets that matched the gun.
A 22 Cal. Ruger revolver was my gun of choice to dispatch highway crippled deer for many years in my job.