Manufacturing quality ammunition requires an intense, nearly laser-like focus on design and execution. You’ll find those to be ingrained traits at CCI, as the manufacturer utilizes a state-of-the art production facility as well as a dedicated and experienced workforce that has created a huge variety of product options as well as unparalleled brand loyalty from millions of shooters and hunters. It is also a company that is always looking for ways to take rimfire ammo a step further, led by a team driven relentlessly by the spirit of innovation.

A rimfire rifle bullet on a white background.
CCI’s Clean-22 Maxi-Mag SHP .22 WMR takes rimfire performance to new heights. Federal Ammunition

A prime example of this innovative spirit is Clean-22, a new rimfire product that uses an exclusive polymer bullet coating to greatly reduce copper and lead fouling in the barrel. The polymer coating on these bullets replaces the wax that is traditionally applied to .22 LR ammunition to protect the barrel from lead or copper build-up. Wax does a decent job, but it’s far from perfect. In addition, because .22 LR ammo is waxed after the round is loaded, the heel of the bullet inside the case does not get this protective wax coating.

Two rimfire rifle bullets on a white background.
Clean-22 is a new rimfire product that uses an exclusive polymer bullet coating to greatly reduce copper and lead fouling in the barrel. Federal Ammunition

When CCI engineers looked at the problem, they knew they wanted a better approach. The innovative polymer coating was one answer; the other was the process by which it is applied. The Clean-22 polymer coating is put on before the bullet is loaded. Because it completely encapsulates the bullet, it does a much better job protecting the barrel.

That’s because Clean-22 prevents the wax build-up from ever occurring, resulting in less maintenance for your firearm. Furthermore, the reduction in residue also can extend the time between barrel cleanings, meaning more time in the field and less time at the cleaning bench. In addition, the polymer coating is much harder than most traditional wax coatings, so you will experience far less residue build-up on the feed ramp. Wax build-up can also occur in magazines as well, but Clean-22 virtually eliminates this issue.

The original launch, in 2019, of Clean-22 included three options: Sub-Sonic, High Velocity, and High Velocity Pink. Now Clean-22 Maxi-Mag SHP is joining the line as the industry’s only segmenting hollow-point bullet in .22 WMR. With a muzzle velocity of 1,850 fps, it is an ideal round for squirrel hunters, prairie dog shooters, and varmint control. This is a load that will always deliver maximum energy transfer on impact. And clean-burning propellants and CCI priming ensure consistent, reliable ballistics.

Another important factor to consider is the bullet’s downrange speed. As noted earlier, the Maxi-Mag SHP bullet exits the muzzle at 1,875 feet per second. At 100 yards, it is moving at 1,400 fps, a reduction in speed of only about 25 percent. Some .22 LR bullets slow down to approximately 1,000 fps at 100 yards, which is roughly 30 percent slower than the Maxi-Mag SHP. The higher speed of the Maxi-Mag SHP translates into impressive terminal results.

The load’s 46-grain Segmented Hollow Point splits into three equal-size pieces on impact, tripling the number of wound channels. The polymer bullet coating allows this separation at much lower velocities and longer distances than a conventional copper jacket. The load, available in 50-count boxes, features an olive-drab green bullet. And the price is right—only $8.99 per box.

CCI prides itself on listening to those who use its products, and the Clean-22 line came about as a result of customer requests for cleaner rimfire rounds. As befits a company dedicated to performance, the new polymer coating was specially developed to handle the friction and heat associated with the velocities of rimfire ammunition. But CCI also made sure the ballistic performance of the new ammo was identical to other CCI products that have the same velocities and bullet weights.

And with dependable CCI priming and consistent propellant, Clean-22 provides flawless cycling through all rimfire platforms, including semi-autos. This expanded product line gives both casual and competitive shooters more options from which to choose. And that is just another reason CCI remains the ammo of choice for so many shooters. (