The CCI 22LR Shotshell is an ideal choice for shooting pests at close range within buildings.  When I was a kid, one of my favourite activities was shooting rats in the farm barn of a relation.  My cousins and I would take the old, long-barrelled Lithgow 22LR rifle and a pocket full of 22LR shotshells and give the many rats hell.

The 22LR shot shells in those days were the simple, crimped brass case type.  Supposedly, the little lead pellets were prone to leading up the lands of a rifle with excess use.  I think that old Lithgow didn’t have much in the way of rifling left anyway; it had seen an awful number of rounds over the years.  Also, I seem to remember that the passage of the bare pellets up the barrel produced ring pattern, rather than a proper pattern.

One thing I will stress straight up is that you should wear safety glasses when using these 22LR shotshells on pests at close range.  As kids, peppering away at the rats scampering along the shed roof timbers, we often got stung in the face by pellets ricocheting off the corrugated iron.  I do not remember anybody getting seriously hurt but, looking back, the risk of serious eye injury was high and we were lucky not suffer such.

These modern shotshells by CCI have the shot held in a little, see-through, plastic capsule.  The packet states a 31 grain projectile mass at 1,000fps.  I thought it worthwhile to get a little technical and document the cartridge and its performance.

CCI 22LR Shotshell

I pulled the shot capsule out of a cartridge.  The blue, transparent plastic capsule was fairly brittle and was broken up in the process.  Beneath the open bottomed capsule was a thin plastic wad separating the pellets from the propellant powser.  The entire projectile, of plastic capsule, wad and pellets weighed 27.85 grains on my RCBS scales.  The propellant was a fine flake powder type that weighed 1.50 grains.

I counted 64 pellets in the capsule.  The size of the pellets varied from the smallest at 0.042 inch to the largest which measured 0.061 inch.  The 64 pellets weighed a total of 26.0 grains.  I set up a frame board with a target and put my 22LR rifle in a cleaning cradle.  I adjusted the distance from the muzzle to target until I had 1.00 metres (39.4 inches).  The shot produced a tight pattern with a few larger holes representing the fractured plastic sabot and the backing wad.  The diameter of the shot pattern was 55mm (2.2 inch) with a fairly even spread in the pattern.

From 2.00 metres (6 feet 6.7 inches) a pattern of 130mm (5.1 inch) was produced with larger flier holes outside of shot pattern due to the sabot fragments and wad.  At 3.00 metres distance the pattern had spread out to about 190mm (7.5 inch), which is about the reliable distance to use this on small pests like rats.

CCI 22LR Shotshell pattern at 1 metre

CCI 22LR Shotshell pattern at 1 metre – circles indicate sabot & wad fragments


CCI 22LR Shotshell pattern at 2 metres

CCI 22LR Shotshell pattern at 2 metres – circles indicate sabot & wad fragments


CCI 22LR Shotshell pattern at 3 metres

CCI 22LR Shotshell pattern at 3 metres

I put out my ballistic gel blocks, actually just bars of cheap laundry soap with a spray of fluoro pink paint.  The impact, spread and power of the shot charge is easily judged from the photos.  At 3 metres there were a few pellet strikes that penetrated well.  At 2 metres there were many more energetic pellet strikes that fractured the block.  At one metre my block of soap was blown to smithereens.

I also fired at the coated sheet steel roofing material from 2.00 meters.  The pellets put some dents in that material but did not penetrate the steel sheeting.  That is a comforting thought if you are lining up a pest in the roof space.

Everything points to the CCI 22LR Shotshell as an effective choice for dealing with pests in and around buildings, like farm sheds.  Just remember to wear safety glasses and hearing protection too.  These little shotshells have a sharp report when fired inside a building.

CCI 22LR Shotshell pellet impact on ballistic block

CCI 22LR Shotshell pellet impact on ballistic block