Welcome back to The Rimfire Report where we discuss the various guns, ammunition, and sports surrounding rimfire firearms. I recently came across a post on Reddit by user Bovaloe. In the post, he decided he was going to take 12 different types of rimfire ammo to see if there were any trends associated with each ammunition.
Rimfire Ammo Trends
Bovaloe specifically was looking to see what grouped best out of his Ruger 10/22 takedown rifle equipped with a Kidd trigger group, Magpul stock, and a Burris tube-style red dot. Making the shots from a bench with a front rest at 25 yards and shooting 5 rounds each he got to work. While this isn’t the most optimal setup for testing, I think for plinking work this is more than sufficient to see how each type of ammunition behaved out of his rifle.
The quick comparison revealed how each of the 12 types of ammunition tended to group at 25 yards and some of the results might surprise you.
Federal target seemed to have the widest spread of them all. The 5 shot group had the biggest gap between each of the rounds. Assuming that the shooter was aiming at the center of the target however, we can see that the shots did trend close to the point of aim.
Moving on to the next target, Winchester 333 seemed to group extremely tight. My personal experience with this ammo has been a mixed bag of reliability issues in various rimfire pistols but it seems that Bovaloe had great success with his five-shot group that stayed on target and grouped well.
Bulk CCI looked like it had one flier and 4 shots that grouped tightly but about 2 to three inches lower than the assumed intended point of aim. Bulk Browning Ammunition seemed to have similar results but in a different direction, with 4 shots grouping tightly but about an inch to the right of the point of aim with one flier on the opposite side of the target.
Eley Club, which is an entry-level target cartridge formed a flat line just a bit low and to the left of the center of the target and Aguila Super Max shared a similar pattern but with a wider vertical spread. Following in line the Aguila Super Extra formed an almost identical trend pattern.
There is a significant improvement in group size for both the Aguila Pistol and Aguila Rifle ammunition with both of them forming about a 2-inch wide group.
Norma Match 22 trended a little on the wide side, with about a 3-inch group low and to the left of the target, surprising to be sure for a purported match grade ammunition. Next up the Norma-Tac Ammunition again had about a 3-inch wide group but this time in a vertical pattern with three of the shots being closely grouped and the final two further out.
By far the tightest group of the bunch ends up being the last ammunition tested. The CCI Velocitor performed extremely well forming what I estimate to be about a 1.5″ group with only one of the 5 shots falling outside of the center circle.
As much as I’d like to pick apart the techniques used for the test I cannot fault the guy for wanting to test the ammunition in the exact conditions he would be using the ammunition in. If it were up to me, I’d probably use a full bench rest set up and isolate as much interaction between me and the rifle as possible. I would probably also fire 10-shot groups instead of 5 to perhaps see if the rounds are flying consistently.
However, when it comes down to reliability and consistency, you have to meter your expectations as well as figure out what exactly it is that you’re looking for. For Bovaloe, it seems like he got some valuable data that will help him refine his shooting technique in speed steel shooting. It is interesting to note that some of the cheapest ammo (Winchester 333) almost competed on par with some of the most expensive ammo (CCI Velocitor) out of a 10/22 – not exactly what most people would call a precision 22 rifle.
I quite admire this little project that Bovaloe took on, he could not be reached for comment or questions but I think a lot of us could benefit from his testing sessions and techniques. I personally shoot a lot of 22 LR out of a Mark IV pistol – probably thousands of rounds a month and I might conduct a test of my own to see if there is any ammunition that groups better out of my specific pistol set up. With so many variables such as temperature, muzzle accessories and other aftermarket parts added to guns, the inconsistency can quickly add up and perhaps your standard ammunition may no longer work.
Have any of you tested ammunition like this? What trends did you notice? I’d like to hear from you to see what your test results were and what conditions the test was done under and if you found it to be valuable to your shooting experience. Thanks for stopping by for another edition of The Rimfire Report and we’ll see you next time! Keep plinking!
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