U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Five years ago, in 2015, Dr. William Harper, Ph.D+, writing in the popular forum, rimfirecentral.com, made these observations about the Aguila Interceptor .22 Long Rife cartridge, which was advertised at 1470 feet per second. From rimfirecentral.com:
March 10, 2015
My Fellow Shooters:
In my CZ Ultra Lux Super exclusive in quiet air from a supported position Aguila Interceptor 40 gr. .22LR has grouped 1″ at 100 yards, 2.5″ at 200 meters, 3.3″ at 300 meters, 6.5-7″ at 400 meters, 10″ at 500 meters, 12″ at 600 meters. The muzzle velocity was remarkably consistent 1462-1468 averaging 1465 fps- better than any match load from the 28.5″ barrel. This is a remarkable performance. I would not use this load from a semi-automatic or a weak action like a pivoting block.
I have a CZ Ultra Lux, although not the Super exclusive. The performance sounded very good. A few months ago some Interceptors were on sale for about $3.50 a box, with free shipping. That was an exceptional deal, so I ordered a thousand of them.
In comparison was a couple of hundred CCI Velocitors which were about 10 years old. I was curious about how the Interceptors compared to the Velocitors out of the same guns. The CCI Velocitors are advertised at 1435 feet per second.
A dozen guns of various barrel lengths were assembled. It is very difficult to compare velocities from different barrels. Chambers vary. In .22 rimfires, muzzles are choked or not. The bore can vary by a couple of thousandths of an inch in diameter. The bores may be very smooth or slightly rough.
The firearms varied in age from about 85 years for the Springfield 84-C (previously referred to as the Village Gun) to a few months for the Thompson T/CR 22 and the Taurus TX22. The Woodsman was made in 1951.
Comparing loads out of the same barrels eliminates many of the variables.
.22 rimfire loads can vary considerably by lot.
These loads were chosen because they are some of the most powerful .22 Long Rifle loads available, they have had very good reviews, and to satisfy curiosity.
No accuracy comparisons were made. The measurements were done with a Caldwell G2 Chronograph at eight feet from the muzzle. The temperature varied between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
The average increase, from the dozen firearms, was very close to that advertised, 42 fps higher with the Aguila Interceptors compared to the CCI Velocitors. The advertised difference is 35 fps.
I would hesitate to feed a steady diet of these very energetic cartridges through semi-automatics, but a couple of hundred rounds would probably not accelerate wear much.
.22 rimfires tend to be a bit picky about what ammunition they prefer. The CZ Ultra Lux liked the Interceptors a bit more than the Velocitors. That could easily vary from firearm to firearm.
I found it fascinating the Sig Trailside pistol and the Mossberg 702 rifle both produced very little difference in average velocities of the two cartridges. Competitive shooters of the Sig Trailside have warned of excessive wear with high-velocity loads. It is an exceptionally accurate pistol with standard velocity loads.
Both the CCI Velocitor and Aguila Interceptor are premium rounds that deliver remarkable power for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. A quick search on the Internet shows the Aquila Interceptor available from 12 to 16 cents per cartridge, and the CCI Velocitor from 12 to 20 cents per cartridge.
I do not recommend the use of the .22 Long Rifle cartridge for big game. Every rule has exceptions.
In a subsistance or survival situation, many very large animals have been harvested with the .22 rimfire. The most famous of these was the world record grizzly bear taken by Bella Twin, a few miles south of Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada, on 10 May, in 1953. Bella Twin is said to have killed the enormous bear with a .22 Long cartridge from her single shot Cooey Ace 1. She followed up the shot with several more to make sure the bear stayed dead.
Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of domestic cattle, which have very hard skulls, have been slaughtered with the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. If you were traveling over or through the wilderness, and chose a .22 rimfire as part of your survival gear, It would make sense to bring along the best and most powerful ammunition you could obtain in normal commerce. The CCI Velocitor or the Aguila Interceptor could be the cartridge which made the most sense to stash with a .22 rifle or pistol in the back of an aircraft, or in a backpack. It would be easy to include a hundred cartridges, with a little weight penalty.
If you desire the most power available in .22 Long Rifle cartridges, you should test both to determine which one works best in your particular firearm.
Prices should drop again when the current demand is satisfied.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.