.22 Vs .223

When it comes to choosing a rifle for hunting or shooting, there are plenty of options available in the market. Among these options, two of the most popular calibers are the .22 and .223. Both are very different but have their unique features and benefits. In this article, we will look at the differences between the .22 vs .223 and compare them side by side.

What is .22 and .223 Caliber?
The .22 caliber is one of the most popular calibers out there. It’s a lightweight and versatile round that can be used for everything from plinking to hunting small game. The .22LR (Long Rifle) is the most well-known variety of .22, but there are other varieties such as .22 Short, .22 Long, and .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire), which are all effective rounds in their own right.

On the other hand, the .223 caliber is a bit more powerful and is primarily used for hunting larger game or target shooting. The .223 Remington is most commonly used as a civilian cartridge while the 5.56 NATO is used by the military.

The Differences Between .22 vs .223
There are several differences between the .22 and .223 that make each caliber unique. Here are some of the key differences:

Bullet Size
The most significant difference between .22 and .223 caliber is the size of the bullet. The .22 round has a bullet diameter of .22 inches, while the .223 round has a bullet diameter of .224 inches. This means that the .223 bullet is slightly larger and heavier than the .22 bullet.

Velocity and Energy
Another critical difference between the two is the velocity and energy behind each bullet. The .223 round is much faster and more powerful than the .22 round. This is because the .223 is primarily designed for hunting larger games and is more effective at longer ranges. The .223 round can travel at speeds up to 3300 feet per second and can generate up to 1300 ft-lbs of energy, whereas the .22 round only goes up to 1200 fps and 140 ft-lbs of energy.

Both the .22 and .223 rounds are very accurate, but the .223 round has an advantage when it comes to long-range shooting. The .223 round was designed to be more precise at longer distances, and the bullet’s larger size contributes to better accuracy.

Another significant difference between the two calibers is the recoil. Since the .223 round produces more energy, it also generates more recoil than the .22 round. This can often make the .223 round challenging for shooters to handle, especially beginners, and those who are not used to shooting larger calibers.

Availability and Cost
One thing to consider when choosing between .22 vs .223 is the availability and cost of ammunition. Since the .22 is a very popular round, it is widely available and very affordable. On the other hand, the .223 round is a bit less common and can be more expensive than the .22 round.


1. Which caliber is better for small game hunting?
The .22 caliber is better for small game hunting due to the smaller bullet size, lower recoil, and affordable ammunition.

2. Which caliber is better for long-range shooting?
The .223 caliber is a better option for long-range shooting because of its larger bullet size, higher velocity, and better accuracy at longer distances.

3. Can the .22 caliber be used for deer hunting?
The .22 caliber is not recommended for deer hunting as it is not powerful enough to take down a deer effectively.

4. Is the .223 caliber suitable for self-defense?
The .223 caliber can be used for self-defense, but it is not the best option due to the high recoil and overpenetration potential.

Choosing between .22 vs .223 caliber can be challenging, as both have their unique features and benefits. The .22 LR is perfect for small game hunting and plinking, while the .223 Remington is best used for hunting larger game and long-range shooting. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference and what you plan to use the rifle for.