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Thread: Bulk .22LR vs. "Match Grade" .22LR

  1. #1
    I SPEAK DA THUGG!1! Quickdraw22's Avatar

    Bulk .22LR vs. "Match Grade" .22LR

    Actionshooter and I were at the range today and he was shooting the Federal 325 round "Match Target" .22LR stuff while I was shooting the Federal 550 round bulk ammo. Both can be found at your local stop-and-rob

    The bulk stuff operates flawlessly out of my gun (as long as I do my part), and it's the only thing I've ever shot through it. While standing, I was getting 2ish" groups at 15 yards out of a Ruger MKIII Hunter 6-7/8" with open sights.

    Is there really any TRUE advantage of running "Match" ammo over the bulk stuff - especially in a pistol? I understand the whole "better consistency and accuracy" thing, but is the slight improvement even worth the extra money?

    Federal Bulk = $0.027/rd
    Federal Match = $0.070/rd

    SO - at over 2X the cost per round for match stuff, is the figurative "bang for your buck" really there??

    -Dave
    Quote Originally Posted by LACamper View Post
    Two hispanics jump out the truck. One of them looks at me- his eyes are wide and starts screaming 'fuego! fuego!'.
    Quote Originally Posted by tunatuk View Post
    You make as much sense as a box full of $2 sandwich batteries.
    I survived the banhammer - 2011

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  2. #2
    Marksman
    At the distances you are shooting you are not likely to notice much if any difference in match and bulk. Even at 25 yards the bulk stuff can be very good. When distances increase the Match ammo will come into it's own. If you shoot 50BR matches or any of the silhouette games where you shoot as far as 100 meters it makes a huge difference. We had our monthly match yesterday and I can tell you when you are shooting at a 1" target at 100 yds with a handgun, match ammo is a must.

  3. #3
    Marksman

    Premium Member
    NOLASHOOTER's Avatar
    I can't speak to the accuracy at long distances but at the shorter distances I certainly can tell the accuracy I have experienced. My biggest thing is that it is so much cleaner and with pickier guns they do notice. I do like the fact that my guns do require less cleaning than with the bulk ammo. It is a little annoying that halfway through a box of Federal bulk that my fingers are black.

  4. #4
    I SPEAK DA THUGG!1! Quickdraw22's Avatar
    LSP - Not trying to tell the sensei what to do, but stop shooting the Remington bulk crap. I probably put 4-5K rounds of it through my 10/22, and every box looked like someone decided to sweep the floor on Friday and toss it back into the ammo bin. I was constantly getting duds, and it's annoying that your fingers were constantly the black/gold/yellow color after 10 minutes. I usually average 1-2 duds every 550, but most always light off when you cycle them again.

    If I got into the 100yd matches where a scope was needed, I could see the point of having match grade stuff. Just didn't know if it was justifiable with an open sight gun at 25yds.

    -Dave
    Quote Originally Posted by LACamper View Post
    Two hispanics jump out the truck. One of them looks at me- his eyes are wide and starts screaming 'fuego! fuego!'.
    Quote Originally Posted by tunatuk View Post
    You make as much sense as a box full of $2 sandwich batteries.
    I survived the banhammer - 2011

    WANT TO BUY:
    M1919 Parts Kit
    Colt Python
    Colt "Vest Pocket" 1908 .25ACP
    Ruger Vaquero and .44 Carbine
    High Standard Victor
    Mosin Nagant (The uglier the better)

  5. #5
    Marksman

    Premium Member
    flamatrix99's Avatar
    I use the Federal Auto Match in my P22 and both 10/22s and it works great. I also have used Centurion and did not have any problems with it.
    Last edited by flamatrix99; March 7th, 2011 at 02:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Marksman
    I have used both, the bulk and the best, if you want accuracy, the best is worth the money, if you're just wanting to play, then the bulk makes more sense. I mainly use the good stuff for competitions and squirrel hunting. I have a few boxes left of some Federal Gold Metal Match that are years old, I do not think Federal makes this stuff anymore, this stuff shoots as good as Eley 10-X and that stuff is really expensive.
    In all honesty, if you're not shooting at least 50 yards for groups, you might not notice any difference.

  7. #7
    Marksman Tim67's Avatar
    Anyone have experience with Armscor?
    "If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law."
    -Sir Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Marksman
    No Armscor experience, but did shoot some Wolf "Match Extra", this is good stuff too. Excellent 50 yard groups.

  9. #9
    Marksman
    in my p22 i feed it cheaper bulk ammo with zero problems thus far. i really dont target shoot .22 pistol, more just random plinking.

    in my savage tr, all i use is the wolf match extra. with the match extra i can put 20 shots inside of a nickel at 75 yds. i have ran some cheaper ammo through it but often have flyers and my groups open up.

    i would have to say that at distance you will see the differences between bulk and match grade.

  10. #10
    Marksman mineralman55's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim67 View Post
    Anyone have experience with Armscor?
    I have shot the Armscor in my model 41. It worked fine, no duds, cleaner than most other non-target .22lr, and the price was lower than any other general shooting .22lr ammo that comes to mind. Accuracy was average. For just plinking is it great.

  11. #11
    I despise ARFCOM

    Premium Member
    I don't shoot matches , so I just really want something that goes BANG every time I pull the trigger . The worst .22 ammo I ever remember was the old Winchester Wildcat . I don't know if they even make it anymore .
    I tried being normal once , I didn't like it .

  12. #12
    Marksman Ellis1958's Avatar
    There is one truth about rimfires. Every gun is a law unto itself. Meaning there is no "That gun with this ammo will produce one hole groups." Rimfire firearms need to be shot for groups with whatever ammo you want to try to really find out what that combination will do.

    For example I have a much modified 10/22 that at 50' produces 0.112" average of 5 5-shot groups using Eley Target. Same ammo through my CZ452 produces 0.181". 0.175" = 1 MOA at 50'. On the other hand the CZ produces 0.131" groups while the 10/22 produces 0.168" with Fiocchi Match Training. 30 thousands may not sound like much but when the bullseye is the size of a pin dot on a A-36 target you need every advantage you can get. As a pleasant surprise you may find something that groups well that is cheap. The 10/22 shoots Federal Auto-Match to 0.118" and works great as long as I stay in short.

    Which brings up distance. What works at 50' may not work at 50 yards. Again you can only find out by shooting groups at the distance with the gun and ammo combination. That 10/22 and Auto-Match combo is great till I get past 25m then the groups start to fall apart.

    Rimfire handguns take the pickiness to another level. If you run an autoloader then it has to function first. Some ammo doesn't have the poop to cycle the action. The short barrel will lower the velocity. 50 to 100 fps is what my chrono data shows. My Tac-Sol upper with iron sights on the MKII turns 0.400" groups at 25' but I really don't have enough data to see what it will really do. The stock 6 7/8" upper with a OKO red dot turns groups from 0.260" to 0.460" at 25'.

    So the answer is ... it depends. If you're getting enough accuracy out of your gun and ammo combo that you're happy with, go with it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. However if you have a mild anal retentive streak like I do and want to eek out the last bit of performance then you have to go down the rabbit hole and spend a lot of time testing and tweaking to find the ultimate load.

    The only for sure piece of advice is don't waste your money on Remington rimfire ammo. The stuff has high ES and SD. Is dirty and has many misfires. Link to my long term rimire chrono project. There are a couple exceptions. Remington/Eley shoots OK and I've had a tiny bit of luck with Remington Target. The rest I wouldn't shoot it if it was given to me.

  13. #13
    dont tread on me bravo3's Avatar
    I have always had very good luck with cci mini mags in my 10/22. I just picked up a Savage MKII-TR yesterday so I guess I will have to do the guessing game again for a while to see what works best

  14. #14
    Marksman Ellis1958's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by LSP972 View Post
    I was left with an expensive pile of plinking ammo.
    Welcome to the club. I've got a couple dozen half bricks that didn't work out. Keeping it around for that next rimfire test.

    Say, guy, when are you going to shoot trap with us? The monthly aggregrate is tomorrow; singles, handicap, and doubles. Naturally, they set it for the same day (every month) as the Amite pseudo-IDPA match...
    Been doing a lot of rifle shooting lately. Need to win the lottery, quit my job, hire a Sherpa to clean the guns and run the reloader. Maybe then I'll have the time to do all the shooting I want to do.

  15. #15
    Marksman Renegade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zbroome View Post
    I have always had very good luck with cci mini mags in my 10/22. I just picked up a Savage MKII-TR yesterday so I guess I will have to do the guessing game again for a while to see what works best
    +1000 Those CCI mini-mags run GREAT in every .22 I own!
    -Renegade
    Check out RenegadeBS.com

    Sinclair Designs - for all your printing and web needs

  16. #16
    Marksman

    Premium Member
    The shooter must decide for themselves what ammo performs to the level of their expectations for what they want to spend on ammo. I have been lucky with some guns using reasonably priced ammo to produce results I can live with. I have noticed that cheap bulk Winchester has poor reliability and my 10/22 doesn't function well on that diet. I keep a large variety of .22 LR on hand to test in new guns because with rimfires I have to find the ammunition that performs best and then decide where that point of diminishing returns exists on my budget for the type shooting I am going to do with that gun.

  17. #17
    Newbie
    I shot bullseye pistol for manyyears but my best annual average was only 848. I tested a wide variety of SV ammo several years ago and found that CCI SV and Aguilla SE gave slightly larger groups tham Wolf Match Target while Wolf Match Extra provided the smallest groupd by a slight margin. All of them easilly shot 10 shot goups ca one half the size of the slow fire ten ring or less from either a Walther GSP or PardiniSP. If you shoot in the 890's then Wolf Match Extra was the way to go. At my level it was awaste of money.
    For the practical pistol games where the targets are much larger I doubt there is any advantage to shooting anything byt the Federal bulk pack ammo.
    Last edited by TonyT; March 12th, 2011 at 03:57 PM.

  18. #18
    Marksman

    Premium Member
    flamatrix99's Avatar
    Centurion .22lr was recommended by a friend of mine as good .22 ammo.

  19. #19
    oldbie

    Premium Member
    LACamper's Avatar
    I tried one of the Eley match rounds (don't remember now which) once in my buckmark. The first few groups were good, then it started throwing rounds all over the place. I thought maybe the screw on my rear sight had worked loose. When I got home I couldn't believe how much lead I had built up in my barrel! I guess my buckmark barrel is a bit tighter...
    For always roaming with a hungry heart much have I seen and know. - Ulysses

  20. #20
    Marksman
    Quote Originally Posted by LACamper View Post
    I tried one of the Eley match rounds (don't remember now which) once in my buckmark. The first few groups were good, then it started throwing rounds all over the place. I thought maybe the screw on my rear sight had worked loose. When I got home I couldn't believe how much lead I had built up in my barrel! I guess my buckmark barrel is a bit tighter...
    I've seen two other Buckmarks do the very same thing, almost to the point of an obstruction on one of them. Very heavy leading. But it was a one time thing and never repeated that. I never figured out what caused it.

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