Thursday, November 1, 2012


For quite some time now, I've been hoping to find some of the Aguila .22  ammo called SSS, which stands for Sniper SubSonic.


The other day, the perfect storm of:

(1) me actually remembering to look for it at a gun store;
(2) me having the extra money for a couple of boxes of shells; and
(3) the gun shop actually having the product in stock,

came together and I got a couple of boxes of these. Actually, I tried to buy two and the gun shop owner gave me the other one for free. So I got two boxes of 50 rounds each of these cartridges for
$6.35 plus tax.

They're an odd duck looking cartridge, and except for the fact that the slug itself is 60 grains, it resembles a .22 short shell with a .22 LR bullet placed in it, only bigger.

Common sense will tell you that drastically reducing the case size like that will reduce the amount of powder and the resulting pressure that can be placed in and on a shorter shell casing. Thus, with the larger and heavier bullet itself making up the larger part of the cartridge. it shoots much slower than other .22 LR ammo. Consider that the bullet itself is heavier than what is often shot out of .223 rifles.

My friends that have shot it say it's quiet enough for pest control in your backyard without the neighbors being aware, but one complained vigorously about it's lack of accuracy. We'll just have to see how it goes out of my guns.

I watched a video on youtube where one of these is shot into a block of ballistic geletin. It was an impressive wound cavity that it left behind and watching it in slow motion tells you this is no ordinary ammo.

You can compare the Aguila SSS with another premium round like the CCI .22 ammo products. For closer range shooting, I think I'll be going with the Aguila, and I've been a CCI user for decades and really like their product.

I have not had a chance to shoot the SSS yet. I plan to shoot it out of several Smith and Wesson, Colt and Tanfoglio revolvers, and maybe a Ruger SR22, which so far has been eating every kind of ammo expensive and cheap that's been fed into it.

Several forums have discussions with folks claiming that the round works well in the Ruger Mark series of handguns as well as in the venerable 10/22. Numerous youtube videos have the round being fired from 10/22 rifles with no issues. The ballistic gelatin video I watched on youtube was shooting the round out of one of the NAA sub-tiny revolvers with a 1" or so barrel. 

This hopefully will be a great round to have loaded in as rounds #4 through #8 in a Smith and Wesson M317, with rounds #1 through #3 being CCI shotshells. As a kit gun, it's a popular item to have in my vest pocket when fishing. For snakes, if 3 rounds of snakeshot doesn't stop it, then the Aguila should do the trick. If it's a predator of the two legged kind, or perhaps a rabid skunk or squirrel, then a rapid shoot through of the CCI shotshells would get me to the Aguila rounds pretty quickly.

I'll give a full report later, after I get to try some out. It's been awhile since I wanted to test the penetration of a cartridge myself, and I always have in the past used phone books duct taped together to gauge penetration of various rounds.

But the decline in the size and frequency of phone books has made me go to another medium. The tons of print catalogs I get go into a 9" x 13" computer paper box that holds about 15 inches vertically of paper. Once it gets full, I duct tape the catalogs and magazines that get thrown in there together. Not quite as good as phone books though...  

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