I first saw this little gem at the National Shot Show last January 2001. A man held the Ruger Compactrifle in his hand holding a 454 Casull cartridge up to the action muttering about how that would be perfect for his dream project which had obviously been in his mind for a long time at that point.(Don’t ask me how he got live ammo into the show) This is one of those guns that us Dealers will wind up killing if we don’t get behind it. I got one of the first to hit the distributor with customers standing around as we emptied that mornings shipment. They all jump at the compact that I had order specifically as a youth gun. The words “that’s perfect for humping up a mountain” was the agreed upon phrase then the doubts came in, “it’s too short, the muzzle blast will kill you”, and “I’ll bet that will kick the hell out of you in .308” . That type of immediate response to a product that had never been shot is what got us doing reviews in the first place. Read More
Category - Longgun
Subsonic .22s are the loads to shoot for the best accuracy and meat-saving shots on small game. You might think high-velocity .22 Long Rifles, with a shorter time of flight, would drift less in the wind and be more accurate than subsonics. However, because subsonics are slightly slower than the speed of sound, they do not encounter a sharp increase in air resistance; that results in less wind drift and more stable flight.
A Not-So-Simple Explanation
The exact speed of sound depends on the temperature of the air. At sea level with a temperature of 70 degrees, sound travels at about 1,128 feet per second. As temperatures fall, air becomes denser and sound travels slower. When a bullet approaches and first passes this velocity, airflow severely buffets it. The outer edge of this transonic zone, if we go with the 1,128 fps at 70 degrees, is between about 902 and 1,466 fps.
Glen Weeks of Winchester Ammunition says a bullet that does not reach the speed of sound is much less affected by air turbulence. “A shadow graph of a subsonic bullet in flight shows a shock wave being pushed in front of the bullet and flowing around the bullet,” Weeks says. “But as a bullet transitions from subsonic to supersonic, the shadow graph shows the bullet piercing the shock wave and the shock wave actually adhering somewhat to the bullet.” Weeks says the shock wave created at these transonic velocities causes all sorts of turbulence. That turbulence can destabilize a bullet and throw it somewhat off course.