Encourage New Shooters With the Right Ammo

CCI’s Quiet-22 ammunition is designed to drastically reduce perceived noise, making it ideal for easing youth and new shooters into the sport.

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Encourage New Shooters With the Right Ammo

Photos by Maggie Mizelle

Good news: The rumors of the death of hunting have been greatly exaggerated. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 15,544,849 people bought a hunting license in 2019. That’s pretty close to the same number of people who bought a hunting license in 1970 (15,658,318), and while we saw a dip to 14.5 million in the early 2000s, the numbers have been hovering around that 15 - 15.5 million mark for years now. That’s a win, given all the challenges hunting (and firearms ownership) face these days. More hunters means more Pittman-Robertson funds for public lands and wildlife, more political support, and more opportunities to pass our tradition on to future generations.

We can be proud that hunter numbers are not on a significant decline, but on the other hand, numbers aren’t growing, either. As the U.S. population continues to climb, the number of U.S. citizens who hunt as a percentage of the total is getting smaller and smaller — and that’s not good news. It is vital for hunting’s future that we recruit new shooters and hunters. How? Well, one of the proven best ways to recruit new hunters is to capture their attention when they’re young. If you can get a kid hooked on hunting, she’s much more likely to grow up to hunt for the rest of her life. However, even with a dedicated parent or mentor, there are a couple of barriers to entry for getting kids out to the range and in the field: boredom, short attention spans, and fear of recoil and noise are chief among them.

The boredom and attention span you can handle in the field with snacks, books or phone games, and short sits. The recoil and noise, however, are just a part of the deal. Right?

Not necessarily. While everyone would agree that a kid should start shooting with a .22LR, which handles most of the recoil problem, even these guns aren’t quiet by any means — even with subsonic ammo. Sure, you can go the suppressor route, which is a great option if you have hundreds of dollars and up to a year to wait for the paperwork. If not? You need quiet ammo.

CCI’s Quiet-22 was designed specifically for this niche: super-quiet target-shooting ammo that lowers the noise level dramatically. It’s ideal for situations where you can safely shoot but don’t want the noise pollution (in your backyard?) and for introducing new shooters to the sport. For that matter, it’s also ideal for anyone who wants to plink with less worry about damaging their hearing or anyone who is affected by or afraid of the loud report.

Offering an astonishing 75% reduction in perceived noise over standard-velocity 22LR ammo, Quiet-22 is loaded with a 40-grain lead round nose bullet. The dramatic reduction in perceived noise is accomplished thanks to low muzzle velocity — just 710 fps, which is far below the speed at which a projectile breaks the sound barrier (1,125 fps). Though you still have the sound of gasses escaping the muzzle, that’s right around the velocity of the pellet gun you might have grown up shooting, to give you an idea of what to expect sound-wise. Though it’s always wise to wear safety equipment when shooting, the sound of Quiet-22 would not damage your eardrums if you had to shoot it without hearing protection.

The trade-off for low velocity, of course, is energy. Quiet-22 generates 45 ft./lbs. of energy at the muzzle, dropping to 40 ft./lbs. (and 674 fps velocity) at 50 yards. Those aren’t exactly hunting numbers — this is designed as target ammo, and even at reduced velocities, it has all the accuracy you’d expect from a CCI product.

Though Quiet-22 will fire just fine from semi-autos, the low velocity and energy output means that you might need to cycle it manually. This makes the ammo perfectly suited to single-shots and bolt-action 22s, which already happen to be the ideal training guns for introducing kids and new shooters to the range.

Imagine an afternoon at the range with a 6-year-old, safely hitting targets, popping balloons and knocking over aluminum cans — all without fear of scaring a child with loud noise or damaging anyone’s eardrums. What could be better? Well, there’s one thing that’s better: The knowledge that you’re nurturing the future of the hunting tradition you love by sharing it with the next generation.


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