Hunting Under the Radar? Try the .22 CB Cap Round

by Erich

If you’ve already taken my advice and purchased yourself a 22 LR rifle (like the Ruger 10/22 which is my favorite) or already have one, you probably love how quiet the 22LR rounds are compared to most other ammunition. But despite being relatively quiet, they are still noticeable to within a few hundred yards by others around you.

22 CB Cap long (left), 22 CB Cap short (right)

Well short of using a suppressor (silencer) which may not be legal in your area, there is a super quiet round available for your rifle that you may not be aware of. It’s called the 22 CB Cap (short for “conical ball cap”).

While not as powerful or accurate over long range as the 22LR round, it is still powerful enough to take small game such as rabbit or squirrel and provides the added advantage of being no louder than a pellet gun (and perhaps even less so). The reason for its silence is due to its minute propellant charge (in many cases it’s just the primer with no gunpowder) which results in a low muzzle velocity of around 700 ft/s (subsonic).

The advantages of this kind of round in a serious survival situation (urban or wilderness) are obvious. With a report no louder than a pellet gun, the .22 CB Cap round gives you the benefit of being able to easily take smaller game — even in a congested urban area — without anyone the wiser (Pigeon anyone? yummy…). It also allows for target practice without bothering the pesky neighbors.

One of the main disadvantages of the .22 CB Cap is that it won’t cycle most semi-automatic firearms. Since the round doesn’t provide enough power to cycle the bolt, each round must be fed manually, one at a time. Despite this major disadvantage I still highly recommend adding a box or two of .22 CB Cap to your store (and some for your second tier kit while your at it) when silence is of primary importance.

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Comment by rick jones
2010-03-07 23:37:13

you may want to upgrade to 22 SHORT. the cb’s sometimes bounce off squirrels even at
close range and are inconsistent in accuracy.I have actually hunted with these rounds so
i’m not just mouthing off.

Comment by TacticalIntelligence
2010-03-08 10:29:33

Hey Rick,

Thanks for the comments. I’ve actually never had issues with the .22 CB (Long) round with small critters. I almost exclusively use the “Remington CBees” round. You may just be using a poor round. I heard the CCI CB round isn’t that great so if you’re using that try the Remington.

I’d love to hear your feedback to benefit the rest of us so if you do try it out let us know!


Comment by felicia bush
2011-06-11 21:01:42

Just killed a squirrel at 35 ft and a small rabbit at 20 ft with 22 CB longs by CCI with a .22 LR lever action rifle. Thanks for the advice on trying Remington. Next case I’ll do that, but so far pleased with CCI.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2011-06-12 23:53:52


Thanks for the feedback. I’ll have to give the CCI’s a try despite the negative reviews I’ve heard.

Comment by Ray
2011-11-30 12:52:53

How do these rounds compare to something like the Aguila Super Colibri?

Comment by Ray
2011-12-04 09:38:34

I was wondering the same about the Aquila Super Colibri. I’ve heard they are the quiestest of them all. I have a box of the “long” version on order to try.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2011-12-05 10:43:50

Hey Ray,

I haven’t tried those personally. I’d love to hear from you after you try them out.

– Erich

Comment by Dan
2012-01-12 15:51:26

Super Colibri is very quiet and shoots 500 or more feet easily. Not as accurate as CB or Short rounds, and with a 20 gr. bullet doesn’t pack much of a wallop beyond very short range. Have a neighbor which swore off of them after wounding a squirrel, whereas with CBs or shorts he’d have had dinner.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-01-15 19:33:13


Thanks for the update on this one. I’ve been wanting to hear some more on these.

Comment by Cache Valley Prepper
2012-03-14 03:49:15

Aguilia Super Colibri’s are extremely quiet out of a bolt action .22 … all of these rounds are even quieter out of a .22LR barrel insert inside a 12ga barrel, although you lose the benefit of good sights that way. I’ve shot Super Colibri’s quite a bit on game and pests up to feral cat size with head shots and have never wounded anything. Cattle are slaughtered with .22 shorts. If your marksmanship skills are a little rusty, you should probably be using a larger round that is going to put your game or pests down even if you hit them in the big toe. I have yet to see a Super Colibri (or any other bullet for that matter) “bounce off a squirrel.”

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-03-14 21:51:37


Good comments man. Thanks for the good info.

Comment by Chad
2012-10-02 13:59:18

Been killing squirrels amd rabbits for years, Your suppose to make a head shot on that small game with .22 any how so you don’t ruin the small amount of meat taken from each animal

Comment by Chad
2012-10-02 14:04:32

You don’t have to have the long but which is truly has a lot more punch. The reasons i entirely hunt with cb on small game is due to the sound percussion, They sound truly like a pellet rifle going off rather than as a long does it sounds much, much louder. This gives a quicker turn around for squirrels to come back out. Less sound makes you take more squirrels in one day and possible limit out for your day according to state.

Comment by Lonatur Seq
2012-10-05 13:00:45

I’m surprised to read in the very first comment about .22 CB rounds “bounce off” squirrels. The energy the round packs is still quite significant and I think it would easily penetrate even a human skull at a close range, never mind a tiny game like squirrel – at any angle. I hunt yummy squirrels, apparently well-fed on my own hazelnuts and walnuts, with a scoped .177 pellet gun at max ~40 ft. A head shot placed at a straight angle behind the eye is an assured kill. I even killed a couple with a blow gun (now, that is a truly silent killer), but it is certainly not an instant kill and can be quite messy.

One thing I do find about the .22 CB though is that its silent property is somewhat overrated. Although it does not have the supersonic crack of .22 Long High Velocity, it is still too loud for an urban backyard like mine. It might be OK if there is other noise masking it (passing airplane, siren, construction site nearby), but on a quiet afternoon or evening I’d be seriously concerned about a visit from the cops.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-10-07 00:20:09

you’re right. They do still make a decent bang. I guess it depends on where you live. My neighborhood the homes are spread apart enough that it wouldn’t disturb the neighbors.

Comment by jeff
2013-01-12 00:41:23

i’ve noticed the cb longs and shorts shoot much more consistently with a bolt or lever action (my remington 514 does very welll), while using them in a semi auto will “work” if you cycle them theyre not consistent but thats my 2 cents

Comment by ron
2013-03-09 16:39:18

I bought a Marlin xt 22 especially for the Aguila Super Colibri and am very disapointed in the rounds accuracy. At 100 ft the round flys 6-18 inches in different directions, mostly to the high right but never to poi. The gun with regular 22 ammo of most any brand is a tack driver.

Comment by Capt Perry
2013-10-27 20:56:32

CB CAPS will cycle in only rifle the Remington 550-1

Comment by Capt Perry
2013-10-27 21:12:01

The Remington 550-1 are getting hard to find in good condition, I have 2 and one would cycle CB CAPS and the other one would not. The 550-1 has a floating chamber so it must be free to float to cycle CB Caps, there is a good Youtube video on how to clean the 550-1 and make sure the floating chamber is free to float. Both of mine will shoot .22 CB Caps as fast as you can pull the trigger now that I have cleaned them.
Capt. Perry

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2013-10-28 10:05:26

Great to know. Thanks Capt

Comment by Caz
2013-12-09 19:43:49

Apparently you need a higher twist rate to stabilize the Colibri so it will be inaccurate out of an LR that doesnt have 1/9 twist rate.

Comment by Lee
2014-09-29 01:31:48

I’ve killed several deer with head shots with cb’s, Don’t be fooled, their more powerful than you would think..

Comment by Matt
2014-12-06 07:11:10

I’ve had friends who claimed their .22 LR bounced off of ground hogs. Are you sure that you didn’t just miss the squirrel? I “know someone” who killed a deer at short range using a CB short…. this is a fact. It seems a bit curious that they bounce of squirrels; that is all.

Comment by Jim
2015-01-16 22:45:33

I have been shooting CCI CB Shorts for 12 years. They pack a significant punch, are very accurate and consistent. They are MUCH quieter than a regular .22 short. When the “Big .22 shortage” happened I was no longer able to find the CCI CB Shorts except at Gun Broker where the parasite sellers were asking 3 to 4 times the regular price. I refuse to deal with these scums. I rationed the remainder of my CCI stock. A couple of months ago I decided to look for a substitute. The only thing I could find was the Super Colibri .22 Long Powderless rounds. After reading the reviews I thought this was a good substitute and was easily able to find a source and bought 6 bricks (6000 rounds). I found they were quieter than the CCI CB Shorts. The downsides were that they have (a guess here) less than half the range, were less consistent, and much less accurate than the CCI rounds. They are so slow that they are easily visible as they exit the barrel. I swear I saw this happen several times: the slug exited the barrel of the rifle at an angle, not straight in line with the barrel. The effective accurate range of the Super Colibri is probably 300 feet max. The CCI is 4 to 5 times that. If you are shooting squirrels in a small back yard and have neighbors close by, the Super Colibri is fine. For my needs the difference in range, accuracy, punch, and consistency easily fall to the CCI rounds. I will continue to buy the CCI CB Shorts over the Super Colibri anytime.

Comment by Rock
2015-04-02 14:33:21

I use the CB short to take out flickers that roost under the overhang of my roof. They tend to damage the wood and log structures like mine. I can take one out roosting up under my overhang without penetrating the roof deck and then the tin roof. Regular ammo would obviously poke a hole through everything.

Comment by Sean
2016-03-10 00:25:06

Yes indeed they will bounce off a squirrel. I shot a squirrel at about 10 feet and just knocked it out as the bullet bounced off.

Comment by Tom T
2016-05-26 21:38:05

Just found this thread trying to find a gun, for a beginner, that is best for using 22cb. Just gotta add my 10 cents. I’m not the beginner.
In the early ’90s, I killed hundreds of urban rabbits with a Marlin Model 60, tube fed. For me, it was perfect. It produced a very low report and was effective on rabbits to 30 yards. In fact, I don’t know how far it loses it’s effectiveness because my shots were never further than that in the environment I was in. I can’t imagine it “bouncing off” any flesh even at much greater distances that that. Looking at CCI ballistics table,( it appears it would be effective, in terms of penetration, for well over 100 yds.
In my gun, topped with a simple Tasco 2x scope on raised mounts, I couldn’t have asked for anything more accurate or consistent. The sound of the bolt coming back to chamber was just as loud as the report but as the author explained, it didn’t fully cycle the round. I had to manually work the action. That really was no disadvantage at all for me.
As you may know, each gun will be different but that was my experience. I don’t shoot CB’s much anymore (I still have about 140 rounds of CCI from back then) but was reminiscing as I was researching for a gun for my bro-in-law who isn’t much of a shooter. I still have that Model 60 and may just recommend that to him.

Comment by Tom T
2016-05-26 21:57:04

To be clear, I shot CCI CB Long.

Comment by Kevin Yonker
2016-06-03 19:43:36

I have a Henry lever action 22 with the octagon barrel.
I use CCI cb shorts with a variable 3×9 scope. The cb shorts are actually quieter than a pellet rifle (in this rifle) Accuracy is superb. I can easily put 5 rounds in a quarter size bullseye at 20 yds.

Comment by jim
2016-06-08 22:12:52

I am 75yrs. old and have been using cci cb caps for many years in my model 1908 winchester pump without a problem.

Comment by Joe
2016-06-12 14:59:56

CB caps will not bounce off a squirrel at 10 yards. Horse puckey! I have been shooting all brands of CB caps for 44 years now. I have taken tons of squirrels and rats and birds and snakes and – hell – tons of small critters. I don’t have to wear ear plugs. They are accurate. They are consistent. One good shot at any reasonable range for the ballistics and the animal falls over dead. I use an antique Winchester Model 57 bolt action (NO thank you I won’t sell it). It has peep sights. I bet my “one shot one kill” ratio with that gun and CBs is better than 80%. But I also don’t shoot unless I have a great shot. Last point – they are so quiet that my family used to use this gun and ammo all the time for sub urban yard target practice. We set up a target on a log at 200 feet and we used an old folding card table for a bench. Each of us took turns. My wife always could beat two of my sons and the third would give me a run for my money. But I never lost! Practice with a CB and a good little rifle and you can make kill shots all the time and never bother the neighbors. I used to bust rabbits early Saturday morning when everyone was mowing their lawn. Even at night you can get away with ONE well placed nearly silent shot. People don’t get too aroused by the sound. It is so soft.

Comment by Larry Guess
2016-08-06 13:21:48

They advise not using the Super Colibri bullets in a rifle (read the bottom of the box)
they do not always clear the long barrel. If you do use it in a rifle, may sure you can see light through the barrel before firing the next round.

I had to use a steel rod to push bullets out of two rifles. A Remington target master and a Winchester pump. The pump shot 1/2 a box before a round failed to clear the barrel. I managed to clear both barrels with a long steel rod and a rubber mallet.

Comment by Blueyedevil
2016-09-30 11:22:39

I have used the Aguila colibri, not the super colibri, from my 10/22 to kill several squirrels that were getting into my attic. (Shot them in the yard not the attic.;-))All were clean one shot kills. Extremely quiet. My .177 ai rifle and co2 pistols are MUCH louder. As a matter of fact I shot one out of a tree from front doorway and my wife was watching tv 12ft away and never heard the shot! I would say the distance averaged 20′-25′. You have to either feed them by hand one by one or cycle the action manually as they are too weak to cycle the action. And never had one plug the barrel.

Comment by Marco
2016-11-24 18:48:37

The warning not to shoot a Colibri through a rifle is there for a reason Most times the bullet will clear but every now and then they wont. I stick to revolvers with 6 inch barrels. The Super Colibri will penetrate a tin can at 25 feet using a pistol but will bury itself in a piece of 1/2 plywood. Im thinking that if it hits bone the squirrel is a goner but a soft area might offer “soft resistance and the bullet might appear to bounce back. same as with tree bark.

Comment by LameBear
2017-01-20 13:49:39

Don’t use these ‘low power’ rounds in a semi-automatic rifle ….. far too much of the energy is lost ‘trying’ to cycle the bolt. Use them in a bolt action or lever action … or ….. if you are lucky enough to have one of the”Long Tom” .22 semi-auto rifles that are marked for ‘short – long – long rifle’ and can lock the bolt plunger to prevent cycling, they should work just fine.

Comment by x-rated
2017-01-31 21:28:13

have used cb caps on just about all game head shot on javalina dropped in its track

Comment by 芝麻灰石材
2017-08-08 07:10:57


Comment by Arthur Ernst
2018-07-02 21:22:44

Where on earth can I find any? Local shops used to say they could not keep them in stock. Now, they cannot find even an order for them!!!

Comment by Rob
2018-07-19 23:03:43

I just killed a rabbit at about 30 feet using CCI 22 short CBs. In one eye and out the other, instant kill, so closer range small game, it’s good for me. Using an old 1916 savage pump .22

Comment by george rein- ecke
2018-10-30 02:27:44

as far as using 22 cb short in a small semiauto a good smith should be able to s
help you for cheap mabye bij swapping for lighter spring?

Comment by george reinecke
2018-10-30 02:32:37

ammo bee or walmarkt

Comment by JMcG
2018-12-23 23:29:46

Does anyone have any experience with cb’s through different length barrels and differences in muzzle velocity? For example pistol length vs rifle length barrels

Comment by Rat Exer
2019-01-19 04:22:33

I just bought a box of CB Longs after I have failed to find more CCI Quiets. I do have neighbors around so low noise is a key thing for me. Im working on getting dialed in for shooting rats in my compost pile; the shot is about 125′ form the house. Its winter and Im not going to lie in wait in the cold, and they scurry away when they hear me open the door (but not the kitchen window!). In my backyard range, I found that colibris and super colibris were very accurate and super quiet to about 50′. I took them out to 125′ and could barely make paper! In fact I had one of the regular colibris bounce off the cardboard I was shooting at! so tonight I compared the CB Longs to the quiets. at first I was pretty impressed but about 12 rounds in I encountered several much lower powered rounds that I could actually see the bullet. The accuracy started falling way off too,I went from being 1-2″ ion the bullseye to 4-5″, repeatedly! The quiets were consistent and stayed more or less where I aimed.
I’m voting for the Quiets! They are consistent for me and are about the same noise level as the cb longs. I don’t know if the cold affects how the gun shoots or the ammunition, it wasn’t too and tonight in the high 20’s F.

Comment by Gene
2019-04-22 21:06:57

I’ve used the little CB shorts for getting rid of feral vermin. Out to 30 yds from my lever action I’ll do head shots the only noise is the sound of the hammer falling. And they have no problem cycling through the action.

Comment by StevefromOhio
2019-04-26 20:16:32

Using CCI shorts in a CZ457 Varmint for backyard chipmunk control. Very accurate out to about 50 yards….after that a lot of drop.

The short rounds work fine in the CZ457 but it is still a bit loud for backyard shooting. Sounds like hitting an aluminum pie pan with a spoon. The neighbors do notice.

Recently got a suppressor for the CZ. That changed everything. Now super quiet….like mouse fart quiet. So quiet that I got rid of the Marauder PCP airgun that I was using. I got the CZ 457 for more range and the ability to switch to .17 HMR for longer range prairie dog and ground hog shooting.

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Comment by Lew
2020-08-21 00:19:23

Looking for some .22 CB caps any amount–1-100. Not CB short or CB long.

Comment by the tec site
2020-09-14 03:47:18

Out to 30 yds from my lever action I’ll do head shots the only noise is the sound of the hammer falling. And they have no problem cycling through the action.!!!

Comment by r6 nationals
2020-09-14 03:48:11

as far as using 22 cb short in a small semiauto a good smith should be able to s
help you for cheap mabye bij swapping for lighter spring?!!!

Comment by opj ee
2020-09-19 02:31:43

Super Colibri is very quiet and shoots 500 or more feet easily. Not as accurate as CB or Short rounds, and with a 20 gr. the bullet doesn’t pack much of a wallop beyond a very short range. Have a neighbor that swore off of them after wounding a squirrel, whereas with CBs or shorts he’d have had dinner.

Comment by Rampage1208
2020-09-19 02:40:37

Been killing squirrels amd rabbits for years, Your suppose to make a head shot on that small game with .22 any how so you don’t ruin the small amount of meat taken from each animal
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Comment by Bytes Wiki
2020-09-20 05:37:51

Looks good, not sure as I am new to hunting.

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Comment by SafeTricks
2020-12-15 12:22:16

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Comment by Kevin Verghese
2020-12-24 06:24:58

Great article. Informative and super helpful

Comment by Tony
2021-01-09 03:05:12

I have taken numerous squirrels and a few rabbits with CB caps. Knock on wood – I have never seen one bounce off a squirrel’s head. Always a kill when it connects.
Love those CBs.

Comment by JDE
2021-01-30 03:14:31

CCI CBs have worked well for me over the years. I use a 55 year old scope-mounted Western Field tube fed bolt action rifle for squirrels. I’m glad I bought hundreds of rounds before the latest ammo shortage.

Comment by Shayariforall
2021-05-27 01:59:57

Thank you for your sharing. Thanks to this blog I can learn more things. Expand your knowledge and abilities. Actually the article is very practical.

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Comment by Rex t. Dog
2021-08-28 21:07:56

We use cci cb shorts for target practice with our NAA mini revolver…they have much less recoil than regular lr and are accurate enough for the purpose…haven’t considered hunting with them, but i suppose at short range they could work…bottom line is shorts are fun to shoot anytime…

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