I’m going to keep it brief today. Mostly so I can get back into the blogging that has been neglected. Before I got my own first personal gun and fell into the hole that is the world of firearms I mentioned .22LR and said that I thought it stood for “long range.” I was laughed at. It was forgotten about, and I don’t even remember the rest of the conversation but here is where the LR comes from.
In 1887 the Stevens Arms Co. developed the ultimate in .22 rimfire cartridges, the .22 Long Rifle. This used the .22 Long case with a 40 grain RN bullet loaded to higher velocity than the 29 grain Long bullet. It shot flatter and hit harder than any of the previous .22 rimfires except the .22 Extra Long, whose performance it essentially duplicated in a shorter case, and it was more accurate than that cartridge. Source
I could only find a blog post that actually described why the designation of “Rifle” followed the “Long” title. “This new round, designed for rifles only (it was too powerful for use in pistols) was the Long Rifle.”