Thursday, March 8, 2012

CCI 22 LR Shotshells for Pest Control...

Pest control can be a concern, especially out in rural areas and farm country.  Of course, my wife's favorite pests are the ones that slither... er, not really.  Then there are those pesky little critters like mice and rats that can chew through wood, plastic, wiring harnesses on tractors and vehicles, and build nests that can cause all kinds of problems.  I even remember a Chevy Caprice catching fire under the hood one spring back in the 1980s after a mouse nest ignited on the exhaust manifold.

Sure, you can use poison and traps to deal with pests, but they have their drawbacks.  You have to be careful with poison such as d-CON if you have small children, cats, or dogs around.  Mouse traps and rat traps work well, but sometimes you need a more immediate solution.  While I did see a black snake get caught in a rat trap years ago, dealing with pesky snakes is another concern, especially if you live out west where they rattle.  That's when you may want to consider some .22 long rifle shotshells.  Specifically, CCI 22 LR Shotshell for Pest Control.

Over the years, I've tried .22 long rifle shotshells from Winchester and Federal, but I've had the best results with CCI and the little blue, transparent tips that let you see the shot inside are pretty cool too.

CCI uses #12 lead shot, as do the other .22 LR shotshell offerings, but you can see that apparently size #12 is a little bit relative as there is a distinct difference in the size of the lead shot in the picture.

This ammunition is definitely a close-range solution.  You can see from the eight-inch Shoot-N-C targets... there is pretty good coverage of pellets at 2.5m (about seven to eight feet), but out at 5m there are only six shot pellets hitting within the center three-inch ring.  At 10m (about thirty feet), the shot pattern is spread out so much, it's pretty much useless.  I've shot these from both rifles and pistols... barrel length seems to have little effect on how tight the shot pattern is.

As far as lethality, I've used this type of .22 cartridge to kill mice, rats, snakes, and even bats in the rafters of barns.  CCI claims 1000 feet per second velocity.  While that's comparable to traditional .22 long rifle cartridges, these don't have the power to cycle most semi-auto pistols and rifles... and CCI doesn't recommend their use in semi-auto firearms although I've used them in Ruger Mark II and III pistols, Ruger 10/22s, and Marlin 60s loading one round at a time and hand cycling for ejection.

You don't have to worry about over penetration as the #12 shot dented, but did not penetrate the tin can at a distance of about six feet.  Safety glasses or other eye-protection is definitely recommended as those little pellets and can really ricochet around if you have hard floors or other surfaces around like you might find in a barn.  I'd also mention that for larger pests or snakes, CCI also has shotshell offerings in several center-fire cartridges too.

One final word of caution... if you're using these shotshells, DO NOT carry any regular .22 long rifle ammunition with you... it could hurt your backside.  Many years ago, I joined up with a posse (friends and cousins) to hunt down the bats in the barn rafters during the early morning hours before dawn.

One of our posse brought regular .22 lead round-nose cartridges instead of shotshells... and after shooting bats in the rafters for an hour or so... the sun began to rise... and there were little streams of daylight coming down through .22 size holes in the roof.  While I was not at fault, let's just say that butt-whupping was an equal-opportunity... spread the wealth... kind of proposition in our family.

So if you've got some pests to get rid of and they're not related to your spouse... try some CCI 22LR Shotshells for Pest Control...


  1. I like shooting these in a 22 revolver. In fact I have a magnum cylinder for a little more oomph. Great stress reliever shooting little varmints.

  2. Yea, those shotshells are awesome.

  3. Back in the day you could be a gun called a "Game Getter" which was a smoothbore 22 LR single shot pistol. I have actually shot one and they are a hoot. They will pattern about 3 inches in diameter at 10 feet. They were supposed to be just powerful enough to kill rats in a barn without shooting holes in the roof. Now they are NFA. I have seen smoothbore 22 rifles but they are god awful expensive (more than a rifled 22 for some reason). What I would be great is somebody made a smoothbore 10/22 barrel for less than $100. Maybe a brass bead sight like a shotgun. I can't imagine that being very expensive to produce.

  4. Amongst your many other talents is uncanny timing Dann. Angus and I are having a devil of a time with the local pigeon population. I seem to have lost my Red Ryder mojo so this is exactly the ticket. Many thanks.

  5. Shotshells are a great option for a lot of things, especially snakes. I love the .22LR. I carried shotshells in .38 in a .357 when I was a guide and they are invaluable for a lot of things.

  6. Why would you need to single-load a Mk II? Fill the magazine, then cycle the action by hand.

  7. @Kirk...

    You could load the mag on a Mark II, Mark III, or 10/22 and cycle by hand, but in my experience...the shotshells do not have enough power to fully and reliably cycle the action... sometimes the action will partially cycle... either way you will then have to hand cycle the action... and between partially cycling and/or then hand cycling the action, stripping the cartridge from the magazine... and the condition/angle of various feed ramps to the chamber...

    ...the blue plastic capsule holding the shot can crack, break, and/or sometimes be shifted in the cartridges' cases. It's not really crimped in the case as tightly as a lead bullet would be...

    I'd say try it if you want... and if you have problems with the blue plastic capsule cracking and/or breaking open prior to actually firing the gun... you'd probably have to then load each cartridge individually...

    It's been many years since I've tried that... but you'll know if it's not working... and the plastic capsule has cracked or broken if and when you tilt the barrel down and the shot runs out the end of the muzzle without firing the gun...

    Dann in Ohio

  8. Thanks! The reason I ask is that it isn't exactly all that easy to hand-feed a single cartridge into the chamber.

    I've never actually done with with shotshells (the only ones I've used have been .38sp in some of my revolvers), but this is exactly how I ran CB caps in my Savage .22 rifle--fill up the mag, cycle by hand. Now of course these have even less recoil than the .22 shotshells would, but it's also a whole lot of fun watching the bullet arc toward the target through the scope!

  9. CCI also makes shotshells in .44 that I shoot in my Model 629. Not really all that practical but a hell of a bunch of fun on tin cans.


  11. They won't do anything to a dog big enough to be a threat.

  12. Does anyone know for certain if the pellets in this caliber are lead or steel? Does anyone know who might manufacture a steel bullet of this type?

  13. I have some pesky ground squirrels that come feeding close to my window. I want to use my ole' 1959 Winchester single shot that I bought when I was 14 yrs. old, since my other 22 is semi-auto.