I recently had the good fortune to receive a new ammunition line from CCI called Clean-22. The offering is another quality product from CCI, who already create some of the best .22 LR ammo around. What’s the deal with Clean-22? For the uninitiated, shooting with a suppressor has a lot of advantages but likely the biggest drawback is how dirty your can gets. CCI created this new ammo to address that issue.

The Challenge

Spend much time shooting a .22 caliber anything and you will likely see the buildup of black crud in your gun and even on your hands. The ammo is dirty by nature. I shot a few hundred rounds of .22 LR through a pistol in one extended range trip. I saw the feed ramps get so fouled up that it would send rounds flying out of the ejection port when the slide closed. When you add a suppressor to a gun and run the little rimfire champ through it, the situation gets compounded. All that sludge of lead and copper now has a focal point, a place to hang out and party. 

With a combination of good ammo and a good suppressor, you don’t have to use hearing pro that can get tiresome during prolonged use, or sweaty in the heat. (Photo: Sean Curtis/Guns.com)

CCI created Clean-22 to cut down on the dirty accumulation and keep your gun and suppressor running cleaner and longer. They used a polymer bullet coating to decrease lead buildup. This new ammo was engineered to greatly improve your shooting experience.

The Variety of CCI Clean

Clean-22 currently comes in a few varieties, mainly red being high velocity and blue being low velocity. There is a delightful Christmas themed bottle of 400 that has red and green tipped bullets in it. These are 40-grain and rated for high velocity (1235 FPS). They promise to cut buildup in suppressors by 60-80 percent. A bottle costs $45.99. You can buy another version of this round that has pink bullet tips and a breast cancer awareness ribbon on the packaging.  A bottle of 400 rounds costs $43.99. The version I received was in a blue milk-style cardboard box (200 rounds at $31.99) that took me back to grade school days. The bullet is a 45-grain version that runs around 1,000 FPS and hinges right around that sub-sonic area.

Laid out on the tailgate, you can find a whole day’s worth of fun shooting .22.  With a suppressor, it’s even better.  Using Clean-22, it’s nowhere near as messy! (Photo: Sean Curtis/Guns.com)

My whole family enjoys shooting suppressed so all four of us went out to the range to see how the ammo might perform. Armed with a Ruger Mark IV 22/45 and a Gemtech GM-22 we intended to try the round through a pistol. We also brought along a Ruger 10/22 with a Gemtech MIST-22, integrally suppressed barrel to see how the Clean-22 would run in a rifle. Besides the new ammo, we brought standard CCI .22 LR segmented hollow points (SHP) for a bit of comparison.

So Fresh, So Clean

The crew rolled out, set up targets, and plinked away a good part of the day shooting pistol, pistol suppressed, and then suppressed rifle.  All the while we collected data and considered our experiences. The results were impressive. There were zero failures of the ammo and it cycled perfectly through both guns. The Clean-22 was accurate, I shot a .35-inch group (one hole) from 12 yards with the 10/22. While I was impressed with these outcomes, it fell in line with my typical experiences with CCI. The biggest surprise came when we got home.

Even smaller children aren’t as intimidated with shooting a .22.  On top of that, the cleaning time is less arduous using Clean-22. (Photo: Sean Curtis/Guns.com)

When my family shoots a lot .22 ammo through the plinkers I expect to see a lot of fouling when I start cleaning. The actions are dirty, there is usually buildup around the chamber, and the barrels get pretty filthy too. The suppressors amplify this typical finding the most because they see the bulk of the exhaust from the ammo. As I unscrewed the suppressor sleeves, I held my breath. When I pulled them both off, I was amazed! The baffles in both cans had some minor collection on them, but not enough to bother with. The guns themselves merely needed a wipe down and bore swab.

This ammo delivered as promised!


The Clean-22 ammo ran flawlessly, just like the Mrs. (Photo: Sean Curtis/Guns.com)

Accuracy and reliability have always been the hallmarks of CCI to me.  Being able to add cleanliness to the stack of attributes is a wonderful benefit.  Shooting .22 LR doesn’t have to be a dirty thing.  While using this ammo, your cans will stay cleaner longer and so will your guns. This means you can shoot longer sessions, or at least enjoy more time between cleanings.  On top of that, firing suppressed .22 LR without ear pro makes for a pleasant overall experience.  

revolver barrel loading graphic