Ballistic Coefficients of .22 Rimfire Bullets
In 1990 Robert L. McCoy measured aerodynamic drag coefficients (CD) for two brands of .22 Long Rifle bullets (BRL-MR-3877, Ballistics Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, November, 1990). Data from these tests have been published more recently in A Ballistics Handbook by Geoffrey Kolbe, Pisces Press, Newcastleton, Roxburghshire, Scotland, 2000). One brand of bullets was RWS 50 and the other was Eley Tenex. Both had 40 grain, lead round nose (LRN) bullets. The data overlapped, leading to one set of aerodynamic drag coefficient values versus velocity for both bullets. The same CD values apply to other .22 rimfire bullets having this historically traditional nose shape.

From McCoy's measurements, we have derived ballistic coefficient (BC) values for .22 rimfire bullets of the same or very similar nose shape and varying in weight. The BC values in the table below may be used to calculate accurate trajectories to at least 100 yards with .22 Long Rifle, Winchester Rim Fire (WRF), and .22 Winchester Rimfire Magnum (WMR) cartridges; and to at least 50 yards with .22 CB Caps and .22 Shorts.

NOTE THAT the BC values listed below APPLY to the following types of .22 rimfire bullets:
  • Lead round nose solid
  • Lead round nose hollow point
  • Lead round nose copper covered or copper plated solid
  • Lead round nose copper covered or copper plated hollow point

  • The BC values below DO NOT APPLY ACCURATELY to bullets with other types of nose shape (sharp point, truncated cone, etc.).

    Bullet Wt. (gr) Ballistic Coefficients
    Vel > 1047 fps 905 < Vel < 1047 fps Vel < 905 fps
    45 0.163 0.19 0.216
    42 0.152 0.177 0.202
    40 0.145 0.169 0.192
    38 0.138 0.16 0.183
    37 0.134 0.156 0.178
    36 0.13 0.152 0.173
    34 0.123 0.143 0.164
    33 0.119 0.139 0.159
    32 0.116 0.135 0.154
    30 0.108 0.126 0.144
    29 0.105 0.122 0.139
    27 0.098 0.114 0.129