22 cal hunting bullets


Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2002
Any recomondations for hunting bullets in 22cal 52-60gr. I have tried a few but it seems that at close range they just blow up like a varmit bullets.
The new Barnes loading manual has a hunting story in it about using their .22 cal bullets and one shot was at very close range with good performance. Being solid copper the Barnes would not disintegrate I expect.

Nosler makes their Partition in .22 caliber and another similar bullet is the Trophy Bonded that Federal loads in their .223 Tactical ammo. Speer used to make a 70 grain bullet that was intended for big game also.

If your muzzle velocities are very high I would expect the Barnes might be the most likely to perform on deer at close range.

In another life I killed a large number of deer with the .223 using FMJ with excellent results - including shots into the chest from varying angles. This was legal at the time, but would not be legal in most jurisdictions today.
Thanks Ian, I am running extremely high velocities, 4200 fps with 55gr bullets. I just can't seem to shoot a decent group with barns bullets. I puchased some FMJ's and hope to test them soon. Most people don't like the idea of using FMJ's for hunting but I don't see what the problem is. My dad always used to tell me stories about how all he had as a kid was a 22mag. And that all he shot was FMJ's and killed many deer and even one elk with it.
Don't know if you have tried them but the Barnes XLC coated bullets are shooting well at .223 -.22-250 velocities for me. They would be the bullet to try for deer but depends on how they shoot in your rifle.
I havn't tried the coated bullets yet, so I will give them a try, maybe my gun will like them better. I know that they claim a large increase in velocity 100+ fps. What is your experience? Can you load them hotter because of the lower presure? I don't have the new barns book and have yet to see one in any of the stores around here.
I am getting slightly higher velocities but not 100 fps for sure. Barnes book has been having some hic-ups so if you want one I would suggest getting the latest edition right from them. There were some typos that caused some headaches, they are doing their damndest to get everything straightened out.
It is a nice manual, worth having.

I would never say that a particular bullet will work in someone else's rifle because it workds in mine, only one way to find out. Barnes is continually refining and improving their production. A person might be wrong to expect certain performance because of a past test.

I have never killed deer with a .22 caliber Barnes but it would be my choice today.

A friend of mine has gotten excellent results with the Nosler 22cal. partition with his 223. I can`t say what grain,though. The bullets exited with apprx. 3/4in. holes shot behind the shoulder at distances from around 100-200 yds.
good day, WB.
Thanks Warren I think that the nosler is a 60 grain. That bullet would be a good option but I have tried 60 grains and I just can't get the same energy, trajectory, or acuracy that the 55's will.
Coyote Hunter
This is 220 swift improved with a 26 in. barrel. My current load is 47gr. H380 with 55gr. bullets. Because 380 is a ball powder the the velocities change a lot due to temperature changes. The lowest velocities were around 4100fps and the highest was 4280fps. Shoots really flat out to 500 yards, never more than 6 inches off line of sight. 500 yard groups average less than 3in. The dear I shot last year with it was at 547 yards but the bullet still left a large hole all the way through.
I was thinking maybe along these lines but just thought I would ask. What is the make of your rile and barrel? I am waiting on my rifle to get here, it is being put together by Charley Robertson in Arizona, a 700 action with a Shilen Select Match 24" in a 22-250. I really thought about going to the Ackley Improved, but little more power than what I wanted.
Sounds like you've got a good shooter there.
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