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GUNS Magazine November 2010 - Page 26

CASCAdiNG iN GREEN CCI’s new unleaded .22 Long Rifle. ascade Cartridge, Inc. (CCI) holds a well-deserved reputation C in the ammunition world as being the leader when it comes to rimfire ammunition. At last count, CCI offered 34 distinct rimfire loadings ranging from Short hollowpoints and Long Rifle shotshells to .17 HmR spiked with FmJs and .22 Win mags loaded with a polymer-tipped V-max. What’s especially impressive with the CCI rimfire line is the extent to which it blankets the sports of plinking, competitive target shooting, varmint and small-game hunting as well as reduced noise and other specialty sporting requirements. And let’s not leave out the green. CCI’s unleaded line now covers the whole rimfire spectrum: the .22 Long Rifle, the .17 HMR and the .22 WMR. worst example is banning lead shot in upland-game covers. It makes no sense and, at best, it’s a blatant antihunting stratagem. On the positive side, thank the stars we have a spot-on company like CCI and their “Good Old Boys” in our court who can meet the challenge of keeping our guns cranking in the green zones. This is particularly true for the traditional .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle side of the family. For more than 100 years, manufacturers of .22-caliber rimfire barrels have been able to use a quality of steel that would stand up to 10s, maybe even 100s, of 1,000s of rounds of soft, lubricated, lead bullets. Not jacketed-bullet-quality steel, mind you, but steel perfectly matched to soft-lead projectiles. If “going green” means dropping good old soft lead, what might replace it? Dire Need Or Stratagem? The leaded-ammunition issue has been completely blown out of proportion. Yes, we all agreed to change from lead to steel for waterfowl and to use non-leaded ammunition in areas where special interest groups are trying to re-establish the endangered, Pleistocene-era Condor, but the antilead drumbeat is like a religion. The CCI’sGreen.22LongRifleammunitionis accurateupto50yardsbutnotbeyond. CCI’sGreen.22LRHPhasthelookofburnishedcopper. In the 1950s, Remington introduced a non-lead, rimfire bullet composed of soft iron powder in a binder. It weighed 15 grains. Under the Remington brand name, it was called “The Rocket.” Under the Peters brand, it was labeled “The Thunderbolt.” Think of it as a consumer version of a splatterproof shooting gallery round. It was ultra-supersonic with an advertised muzzle velocity of 1,710 fps. The only problem that arose with the use of the Rocket/Thunderbolt was it wore out the soft steel, rimfire barrels in which it was fired. Remington/Peters soon withdrew their Rocket/Thunderbolt, non-leaded, brainchild from the marketplace. I suppose that’s why I was intrigued with CCI’s solution to the challenge of the lead-free Long Rifle. CCI’s .22 Long Rifle Short Range Green projectile is very distinctive. It’s a copper-colored, truncated-cone nose, hollowpoint weighing a mere 21 grains with an advertised velocity of 1,650 fps (1,260 fps in handguns). Upon examination, what is obvious is it is a 2-diameter bullet. According to my calipers, there is a narrow driving 26 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER 2010

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