Clocking CCI VNT 22 Magnum Ammo in a Revolver
Russ Chastain 07.03.20
When I reviewed the super-speedy CCI VNT 22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) ammo a couple weeks ago, I recorded velocity for a number of 22 Magnum loads, including the VNT. I also fired the ammo from my old faithful Colt Frontier Scout revolver, but didn’t bother checking velocity from that gun. Naturally, someone asked for it… so here it is.
The revolver itself has a barrel that’s nominally 4-3/4″ long, but it actually measures 4-11/16 inches.
I used a Shooting Chrony Beta chronograph, and as with the rifles it was placed 4 to 5 yards in front of the muzzle. I fired ten shots with the VNT ammo and five shots of some Winchester ammo I had on hand, just for comparison.
CCI 30-grain VNT
The CCI VNT ammo was fairly consistent, with an average of 1445 FPS (feet per second) and most readings hovering near that number.
The lowest reading was 1359 and the highest was 1533.
Readers of the original review may recall that the rifles produced average readings of 2271 (24″ barrel) and 2278 (20″ barrel), so the combination of cylinder gap and much shorter barrel resulted in a loss of roughly 829 FPS, which is quite a bit.
It’s worth remembering that every one of my rifle velocities with the CCI VNT ammo were higher than the advertised 2200 FPS, which is impressive.
Winchester Super X 40-grain Jacketed Hollowpoint (JHP)
A revolver with a much shorter barrel produces lower velocities than a rifle; that’s a given which we’ve also proven. But how does it compare with typical 22 WMR ammo?
I ran five rounds of good quality hunting ammo through the old single action, namely Winchester Super X 40-grain JHP.
- High: 1120 FPS
- Low: 1046 FPS
- Average: 1092 FPS
This shows that although the CCI VNT is much slower through the old wheel gun than a rifle, it’s still 353 FPS faster than typical 22 WMR hunting ammo. That’s a gain of almost 1/3, so if you’re a speed freak with a 22 magnum, VNT might be just what you want.
What can I say? If you like fast rimfires that carry some mass, CCI’s 30-grain VNT is a great choice. And here’s something interesting: While the VNT produced a velocity gain of roughly 15-20 percent in 20″ and 24″ rifle barrels, the revolver comparison is more like 30%.
How meaningful is that? You be the judge.