My .22 ammo is a nightmare - Shooting Sports Forum


Ruger 10/22 Anything about the Ruger 10/22 family of rifles.

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Old 04-08-2017, 23:11   #1
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My .22 ammo is a nightmare

I have stuff from 6 manufacturers that ranges anywhere from 1070 to 1435 muzzle velocity. With a 50 yard zero, my 100 yard drop is from 4.2 all the way up to 7.8 inches. This is an unmanageable mess. Some of the problem is that its difficult to standardize on ammo because I can't seem to consistently get the same ammo. Also, with my new hot rod 10/22, I've been trying all sorts of ammo to see what shoots best. A lot of the ammo does not have their MV on the box so that makes it a bit hard to shop unless I know what I am shopping for.

I finally made a chart of every round type I have, what its BC, bullet weight and MV and plotted out all the bullet drops. What I want to do is find the best grouping ammo and have 1 or 2 standard velocity target rounds for 50 yards and maybe 100 sometimes with a hold over on the scope and also 1 or 2 high velocity rounds mostly for 100 and beyond.

This is all target stuff. All the left overs from my experimenting will be run through my Ruger Mark 3 which will shoot anything and I generally shoot it at 15 yards, sometimes with a rest at 25 on golf balls so its not quite as critical. Eventually though, it will be run with the same ammo as the rifles.

So far, Aguila rifle match and RWS target, both at 1080 mv, seem to run the best for standard velocity. CCI mini mags seem to run the best for high velocity. I had some Velocitors(1435 mv) and they shot well in my Marlin but they are all gone and haven't found them again to try with the Ruger.

Also, CCI mini mags have been historically difficult to find sometimes. I have some Federal HV match that I have not gotten to try yet. These are 1200 compared to the CCI's which are 1280 so that is 6" versus 5.2" drop at 100 on a 50 yard 0. I guess I can cope with it. I had a bulk box of Remmy golden bullets(1255 mv and 5.4 drop at 100) and they actually shot well out of my Ruger. The Marlin didn't like them as much.

Stuff that is just over sonic coming out the end of the barrel doesn't seem to shoot as well as rounds that are under 1100 or rounds that are significantly over 1100. Anybody else find this to be the case?

I would also appreciate any other experiences anybody has had doing this and what ammo did you finally wind up with as your "standards".
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Old 04-09-2017, 04:15   #2
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Aguila interceptors and cci mini mags have always worked best in my 10/22. I use my 22 for squirrels and rabbits with a red dot with no magnification. I sight in at 60 yards , most shots while hunting are about 35 to 60 yards (occasionally much closer) . When sighting in at 60 yards I've never seen the bullet drop you describe with any rounds , but my 10/22 has trouble cycling some brand rounds and is picky to be sure. I use these other brand rounds in an old nylon 66 remington to dispatch possums and coons that get into out buildings and garden and such out here in the country. My son has an old winchester model 290 deluxe , not a valuable gun, but has a nice stock with machined checkering to look like a basket weave pattern with engraved oak leaves, a cheek swell, a stout thick barrel, a gold trigger, and a jeweled bolt on the exposed portion. It will shoot 22l or 22lr's . Neat gun, well balanced.

His has a cheapo barska 4x32 fixed and will shoot well at 100 yards , knock over beer cans all day (with my son doing the shooting- not me!) with a variety of ammo, and has for years. The cheap barska is still fine after 10 or more years .

Not sure if my input was valuable for you , but I could talk 22's for hours, they were my first and still my favorite guns..all of em...great fun.

I never considered the 22 a 100 yard gun for my purposes, rabbits and squirrels , but people do it. Big winds where I live , it would have to have effect I would think at that range.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:36   #3
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CCI® Velocitor .22 LR 40-Grain Rimfire Ammunition | Academy
unsure the link will work, but go to academy online for good selection including SuperX and MiniMag and Aquila brand. velocitor on sale now, 6.99. I've never shot any.

my heavy barrel AMT does best with SuperX and MiniMags.
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Old 04-11-2017, 23:07   #4
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Welcome to my world !
every brand, and velocity of .22 LR..........ranging from a month old to fifteen years old.
my wife, grandson, and self shoot it thru a 10/22, a bolt Savage and a Henry Lever.
great for fun plinking......but none of it for serious target work.
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:27   #5
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The best ammo out of my three .22 rifles is Federal Standard, 80's vintage. Back while I was young I collected more than a few Bricks of this vintage. Still works great today. I tried some of the same ammo with mixed results..
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:33   #6
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Back in 2012-2013 time frame when we saw the ammo shortage/gouging coming I ordered 4 cases each of RWS R50 and RWS R100 and they became my "standard". Unfortunately both have now have skyrocketed out of sight in price. Still plinking along with leftover bargain bulk box Federal or CCI.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:59   #7
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are those standard velocity?
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:18   #8
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Hot, the theories/reports I've read is that the accuracy of a .22 suffers when it hits the sound barrier (the sonic wave affects it). If it is sub-sonic when it leaves the muzzle, it never breaches to sound barrier. Similarly, one that does exit the muzzle at supersonic speeds will do okay until they slow down enough for the sonic wave to hit them from behind. It all makes sense, sort of. If true, then sub-sonic should be true throughout its trajectory; supersonic will be true until it slows down enough to be buffeted by the sonic wave. If it hits target before that happens, then it should do fine.

I went through what you're going through, just not quite as extensively. I settled on CCI for its reliability more than anything else - universally cycles 100% on all my semi-autos. It doesn't matter to me if it is 40gr round nose or 36gr hollow point: the two have virtually identical ballistics per the CCI site.

I buy on line, in bulk. Shipping bites, but it is better if you buy a lot at the time (which I do). In terms of availability, I usually resort to this site:
22lr ammo rimfire CCI
I keep an eye out for sales (Gander had a sale about six months ago: MiniMags for 7¢ per round, free delivery to a store. Limited to one brick).

CCI MiniMags usually go under the speed of sound at about 1,125 FPS (temp, humidity, etc. notwithstanding). For a 10/22 (according to my calculations), it does that somewhere between 25 and 50 yards. Stingers and Velocitors do it somewhere between 50 and 75 yards from an 18.5" barreled 10/22. So one might conclude if you're shooting targets at 75-100 yards, stick with sub-sonic rounds - everything CCI makes except Blazers, MiniMags, Stingers, and Velocitors.

I don't have a chrono, but used Ballistics-By-The-Inch as my source for MV, then calculated from there.
BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .22 Results

I only plink - usually at 50 yards, and have no problem consistently hitting coffee creamer bottles at that range. Haven't tried much beyond that.

Those are the known physics easily calculated. Less easily calculated is the sine-wave of the bullet as it exits the muzzle: ideally in the middle of the sine wave rather than the top or bottom. That will affect accuracy. No way to truly calculate that - just find the most accurate ammo for your 10/22 and stock up...
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:08   #9
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midsouth has a sale on norma .22lr now, think I'll try some since it's norma it's got to be good.
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Old 04-18-2017, 22:23   #10
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I have three different standard 22 rifles---an old pre-warning Ruger 10-22 Deluxe Sporter, an even older Remington Nylon 66 (my teaching rifle) and a old Belgium Browning 22 Auto take-down rifle. These rifles are not fussy about most any big-velocity 22 lr ammo---I feed them whatever I bought on sale back when; Federal, Winchester, CCI and some foreign made stuff---they all seem to eat most anything---I sight them in at 50 yards and that serves my plinking purposes just fine. I do have another 22 rifle, a Volquartsen heavy fluted stainless conversion kit 10-22 that I built in the early 90s after seeing these at The SHOT SHOW while I was in the firearms business---this rifle (fitted with a old Leupold 6.5-20X scope I had lying around) shoots most every ammo well---some expensive target ammo will go pretty much into one tiny hole at 50 yards, but some cheap-ass bulk ammo will shoot almost as well from this rifle… If I had to choose just a few all-around ammo, it would be CCI Mini-Mags or CCI Blazer…
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:52   #11
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Winchester M-22. Cabela's is now selling the equivalent marked as browning with black oxide bullets in 400 rnd bulk boxes for $25. functions well in all my semi-auto 22's from short barrel pistols to the 10-22. shoots clean, and because of the oxide coating, no lead build up in the barrel.
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Old 04-20-2017, 17:13   #12
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I've had great experience with every variety of CCI. 40gr seems to fare the best in my Ruger 10/22 and 1970s vintage Winchester Model 190. Winchester 40gr copper plated hollow point has been one of my favs since I can remember as well. I still have a couple unopened bricks of Federal Lightning I almost hate to crack open. I put a lot of that through my 10/22 back in the day. When I was a kid my dad and I would run by Ben Franklin 5-10, grab a few boxes of Winchester-Western Wildcat 22LR and spend a Sunday afternoon plinking cans. A box of 50 rounds was 49 cents. Those were he days.
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Old 04-20-2017, 22:43   #13
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ben franklin 5 & dime. yes those were the days. and monkey ward sold surplus military rifles and ammo.
I did have a bit of foresight back when roses sold ammo, I stocked up on SuperX at 10$ a brick and filled a 30 caliber ammo can. filled another with Blazer CCI I which I sold off during the 'crunch' to family and amigos nearly all gone now. slowly as I can afford building up bulk pack Winny and Federal automatch for plinking/practice. SuperX and MiniMag are hi$$ now. academy has some good prices on their website about as good you'll find and over 30$ purchase rates free shpg.
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:33   #14
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.22 has gotten ridiculous now with ten cents a round looking like a bargain.

Well, my Marlin 60 is a shooter again. The new feed throat fixed my problems particularly with hollow points. I also decided it was worth investing in an aluminium target trigger for it which I got from a company called MCarbo. I will probably get their springs kit too and bring down my trigger pull.

I shot the first 50 yard target test groups using the 10/22. The Federal gold metal hv match and the RWS target rifle shot just about identical groups. I guess I am going to have to get an official rest bag or maybe a front and rear bag if I want to try and see what my guns will really shoot. Just using my ammo bag for a front rest and shooting off my shoulder was not very stable. My heart beat also widened the groups out by a quarter inch or so. Using bench rest sleds and bags though seems a bit like cheating somehow.
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:43   #15
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is the federal hv match copper washed or plain lead with a lube applied?
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Old 04-22-2017, 02:34   #16
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They are natural soft lead with some sort of very slight lube coating which is not wax. The RWS target rifle are the same. All the better match/target ammo I have looked at are natural lead and not washed. I think their assumption is that you will be shooting this stuff out a match grade barrel that has been lapped or polished which my Ruger now has on it.
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:34   #17
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Originally Posted by RJF View Post
Hot, the theories/reports I've read is that the accuracy of a .22 suffers when it hits the sound barrier (the sonic wave affects it). If it is sub-sonic when it leaves the muzzle, it never breaches to sound barrier.
^^^
Your bullets will tumble after passing through the sound barrier. You can't expect much in the way of accuracy after that happens, which is usually around 75 yards. This is why all match-grade ammo is subsonic. At 100 yards, you might get a large drop with subsonic ammo, but at least you can (possibly) hit your target. Get a BSA Sweet .22 scope with the range adjustment on the top turret. Mine goes to 150 yards.

Midwayusa has a sale on Norma match right now.

P.S. Make sure your match ammo is 1100 fps or less. Not that "auto match" garbage that isn't subsonic.
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Old 04-23-2017, 19:31   #18
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Originally Posted by hottarod View Post
.22 has gotten ridiculous now with ten cents a round looking like a bargain.
Yeah, used to be, pre-2008, I considered $3 for a 50 round box of match ammo to be pretty good. But considering that the Fed has increased the money supply by about 50% or more in recent years, I guess $6 for a box of match ammo isn't really _that_ bad.

I stopped plinking around the time that .22 became hard to procure and unreasonably expensive. Saved all my remaining ammo for the critters. Just cleaned my 10/22 today, and bought a bunch of ammo recently, so I'll be getting back into it soon.
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Old 04-23-2017, 19:34   #19
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Also, I'm wondering when/if HM2 ammo will become available/reasonable again. I think it is such an awesome round. I'd get myself a rifle (or a conversion kit) if the ammo were more available.
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Old 04-23-2017, 20:02   #20
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About the ONLY .22 I refuse to buy is Remington. Too many blown rims, duds, etc., no matter what style or type.

Winchester and Federal are the two "go to" when I can find it, then CCI as well.
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Old 05-03-2017, 15:41   #21
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Originally Posted by hottarod View Post
I have stuff from 6 manufacturers that ranges anywhere from 1070 to 1435 muzzle velocity. With a 50 yard zero, my 100 yard drop is from 4.2 all the way up to 7.8 inches. This is an unmanageable mess. Some of the problem is that its difficult to standardize on ammo because I can't seem to consistently get the same ammo. Also, with my new hot rod 10/22, I've been trying all sorts of ammo to see what shoots best. A lot of the ammo does not have their MV on the box so that makes it a bit hard to shop unless I know what I am shopping for.

I finally made a chart of every round type I have, what its BC, bullet weight and MV and plotted out all the bullet drops. What I want to do is find the best grouping ammo and have 1 or 2 standard velocity target rounds for 50 yards and maybe 100 sometimes with a hold over on the scope and also 1 or 2 high velocity rounds mostly for 100 and beyond.

This is all target stuff. All the left overs from my experimenting will be run through my Ruger Mark 3 which will shoot anything and I generally shoot it at 15 yards, sometimes with a rest at 25 on golf balls so its not quite as critical. Eventually though, it will be run with the same ammo as the rifles.

So far, Aguila rifle match and RWS target, both at 1080 mv, seem to run the best for standard velocity. CCI mini mags seem to run the best for high velocity. I had some Velocitors(1435 mv) and they shot well in my Marlin but they are all gone and haven't found them again to try with the Ruger.

Also, CCI mini mags have been historically difficult to find sometimes. I have some Federal HV match that I have not gotten to try yet. These are 1200 compared to the CCI's which are 1280 so that is 6" versus 5.2" drop at 100 on a 50 yard 0. I guess I can cope with it. I had a bulk box of Remmy golden bullets(1255 mv and 5.4 drop at 100) and they actually shot well out of my Ruger. The Marlin didn't like them as much.

Stuff that is just over sonic coming out the end of the barrel doesn't seem to shoot as well as rounds that are under 1100 or rounds that are significantly over 1100. Anybody else find this to be the case?

I would also appreciate any other experiences anybody has had doing this and what ammo did you finally wind up with as your "standards".
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Old 05-03-2017, 16:06   #22
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I am not sure I have the right equipment to reload 22 LR.
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:18   #23
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Originally Posted by octhed View Post
Also, I'm wondering when/if HM2 ammo will become available/reasonable again. I think it is such an awesome round. I'd get myself a rifle (or a conversion kit) if the ammo were more available.
I've been informed that it's on it's way to obsolescence. It never really caught on. which is a shame, as it is a useful round, like you said. I have a 10/22 conversion, and it shoots amazingly well(as long as there's no wind!). I recently had a friend in retail do a nationwide search. He turned up 2, 50 round boxes in the country. That's it! Thank the good LORD I stocked up about 500 rnds, and when it runs out, and if it's no longer available, I'll either retire the rifle, or convert it back to .22LR.
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Old 05-04-2017, 15:22   #24
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photo of 'HM2'? never heard of or seen any?
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:58   #25
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Originally Posted by Marlin 45 carbine View Post
photo of 'HM2'? never heard of or seen any?
There may be a photo of it in my 10/22 gallery. Basically, it's a 22 stinger necked down to .17 cal., and it has the same bullet as 17 hmr. 17 grn tipped bullet at 2100fps, advertised. I chrono'ed mine around 1850-1900 fps. Very accurate, but very susceptible to wind. Also, only feeds well from ruger rotary mags, in my exp. Honest jacketed bullet performance(expansion), out to about 120-140 yds. Kills groundhogs(woodchucks) very well inside those ranges.
More or less a shortened 17 HMR.
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