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Although we have a lot of guns at our disposal at any given time, generally speaking, every range day sees us accompanied by at least one rimfire firearm. Sometimes it’s a rifle as basic as a bone stock Ruger 10/22 takedown, other times it’s a pistol like a Browning Buckmark, but regardless of what it is the attraction of a little .22 is irrefutable. It’s cheap to shoot, easy to have fun with, and a damned good way to ensure your fundamentals are intact.

And while we still do most of our shooting with the usual 40-grain, copper washed standard velocity or slightly faster rounds such as CCI, Remington, or Federal bulk stuff, we’ve been experimenting as of late. As everyone knows, reloading .22 is nigh impossible, and so getting the most accurate groups out of a rimfire firearm involves testing all the ammunition you can lay your hands on in order to figure out what works best. Add to that the recent trend towards relatively unique rimfire
loads such as the 1,850 feet-per-second CCI Copper-22 and this, Aguila Colibri. Advertised as a 20-grain, 420 foot-per second load, Aguila Colibri is expressly designed to be quiet. Incapable of cycling pretty much any semi-automatic rifle, when we fired Colibri out of our long-term test Savage Mark II bolt-action, we initially thought we’d had a misfire; the loudest sound by far is the trigger releasing the striker of the gun. But the ping of the steel target a moment later informed us otherwise.

The effect was nothing short of comical.

And when we started moving out to 100 metres, it only got more entertaining, as the time between the trigger being pulled and the steel target ringing became more pronounced. At that distance, it takes almost a full second for the round to land on a target. If you have ever needed to be reminded that all we’re really doing is throwing small rocks downrange at high speed, this stuff will do it.

But being a specialty round, Aguila Colibri is a bit more expensive than the average .22 ammunition, coming in at around sixty bucks for a 500-round brick as opposed to the $40-50 we pay for standard ammo. But for ammo that gives you the same
satisfaction as a suppressor normally would, without the whole “committing a felony crime” thing, it’s not too bad a bad price to pay. And if you’re anything like us you won’t go through it exceptionally quickly; being so low-powered as to turn any semi-auto into a straight-pull bolt action it’s just not the sort of ammo that you burn through. We’ve been whittling away at our 500 round brick for literally months. But regardless, every time we chamber a round and fire it, the sensation never gets old nor does the lack of noise surprise us. Until suppressors are legal, this stuff is as good as as it gets!