Good .22 ammo?


english kanigit
August 22, 2005, 12:43 AM
Can anybody suggest a good brand of .22lr? I don't want to put anymore winchester thunderbolts through my guns, they leave a ton of lead in the barrel...

Got a Ruger MK II, S&W K22 and a Romanian M69.

Any thoughts?

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R.H. Lee
August 22, 2005, 12:47 AM
I've been using Federal Lightning, around $9 brick at KMart. Used to come in a red box, now it's blue and silver. Accurate, reliable (very few duds, like 1 in 2000), somewhat dirty (isn't all .22lr?). I shoot it in a Ruger MKII Target stainless 6 7/8" bbl and a coupla 10/22's Haven't looked down the bore (never clean .22 bores actually) but since accuracy isn't a problem, I suspect neither is leading :)

August 22, 2005, 01:23 AM
Whatever shoots best in your gun. There is not way to tell.

I use federal bulk for plinking, and I use mini-mags when I care about hitting stuff, because it prints better than anything else I've tried.

August 22, 2005, 01:35 AM
I've actually heard good things about Wolf .22 ammo of all things, and have seen target shooters using it in their guns. Apparently its made by some other company and only distributed by Wolf; however I have no experience with them. I like to use CCI for accurate .22 ammo.

August 22, 2005, 01:48 AM
My Mark II likes Winchester Super X. It seems to jam on plain lead or wax coated bullets, so I need to feed it the copper Lubaloy style of bullets.
I have started using American Eagle .22 in it. Seems to like it, and seems about the same as Super X for accuracy, vel, etc.

August 22, 2005, 01:51 AM
CCI stingers are my favorite, but they're really expensive. Generally, I use PMC Zappers, and they work just fine.

August 22, 2005, 02:03 AM
Remington thunderbolts

August 22, 2005, 02:06 AM
Wolf markets but does not make their .22 ammo, which is very good stuff. The Wolf Match and Wolf Extra Match are used by a number of competitive shooters.

If you're really interested in wringing out accuracy, pick up some Eley.

But be prepared for some serious sticker shock!

The best bang for the buck that I've found is the CCI Standard Velocity stuff. Very few failures, and quite accurate, especially for the price. It will tend to build up a waxy residue inside the gun, but semi-regular cleanings will keep any trouble from popping up.

One of the guys I shoot Bullseye with uses PMC's .22 target ammo, though he recently had a bad case of it. However, he called PMC and they asked him to send the remainder of the case back and replaced it. He's fairly persnickety about customer service, and came away with a glowing report from his encounter.

However, I don't know what the PMC stuff costs.

August 22, 2005, 02:08 AM
as mentioned, every gun is different.

my p22 likes minimags and remington golden bullets, but thunderbolts cause severe leading within 100 rounds, and neither winchester nor federal will feed properly.

my 39a likes federal, but can only hold 18 of them instead of 19 (gg, standards enforcement guy at federal!). golden bullets work, but don't extract as easily. haven't tried anything else in it yet.

my friend's trailside doesn't seem to care what you feed it.

August 22, 2005, 04:59 AM
Shooters Supply in Hutch sells Blazer bricks for around 10 bucks. I've had good luck with this stuff in my Buckmarks; it's not that dirty either.........good for plinkin'.......

August 22, 2005, 05:52 AM
CCI Mini Mags.

August 22, 2005, 06:35 AM
I have no clue as to why Remington even makes those "lead candles" known as thunderbolts, when they make by far, the best cheap .22 lr on the market: the golden bullets. I didn't arrive at this easily or rashly. My first .22 semi pistol was a Ruger 22/45 (what does the 45 mean?) and I had been buying american eagle and federal bulk packs ever since I started shooting a decade ago. Since I had two different brands of ammo, I assumed it was the ruger that was the reason it would NEVER cycle properly past a couple of mags after a cleaning. I traded the ruger .22 and bought a S & W 22A. Same cycling problem, and on TOP of it all, the federals had a dud rate that belonged in a krusty the klown episode if it wasn't so maddening. Since BOTH the american eagle and federal worked fine in my 10/22, I had become convinced that .22 semi auto pistols were designed by idiots these days. UNTIL...I, at my wits end, had a nice long conversation with a guy at Sportsman's Warehouse and he let me in on a little secret that turned out to be dead on true: 1st, 10 dollar "brick" .22 varies by manufacturer in a way I had never supposed. The weakest and filthiest bulk .22 is american eagle and sits at the bottom of the heap with federal being not much better. He said that even though it's the same price, the Remington golden bullets are considerably more powerful and noticably cleaner. I kinda didn't believe him, but I bought a box and went to the desert. No exaggeration, the golden bullets were so much more powerful that it was noticable immediately by the recoil (especially since the action of my .22A magically began to cycle flalessly). A comparison by alternating goldens with amer eagle was comical. The gunk was cut by 1/3.

I grudgingly used up the american eagles in my 10/22 and laughed at the filth that accumulated compared to the golden bullets. My wife barely knows which end of the gun the round comes out of and could also tell the difference immediately in felt recoil in both the pistol and rifle.

Sleeping Dog
August 22, 2005, 07:08 AM
Ruger 22/45 (what does the 45 mean?))

The grip is the same size and angle as a "colt 45" (1911). Maybe supposed to be a cheap trainer for shooting the real thing.

My 22/45 doesn't work well with Wolf .22. Not enough "oomph" to work the action reliably, so it gets occasional jams.


August 22, 2005, 07:30 AM
Buy one box of every brand you can find (within the desired price range) test shoot till you find your favourite (sound, accuracy, bullet performance, stuff left in barrel and velocity combination) then by all avilable boxes of that ammo. As the next production batch my use slightly different components resulting in radically different behaviour. But for less lead in the barrel copper plated is usyally better (but then you fill the grooves with copper :D )

Ukraine Train
August 22, 2005, 07:52 AM
My Buckmark won't cycle with standard velocity ammo so I've been using Thunderbolt almost exclusively. I haven't cleaned the bore since I got it, about 1500 rounds ago and it still shoots accurately and reliably. I should look down the bore, though, and see if it's fouling up. I've heard that you aren't supposed to clean .22's very often because it's supposed to have some lead residue in the bore.

August 22, 2005, 08:22 AM
For a slight bit over the cost of the cheapy bulk-pack stuff, I find CCI brand works best for me (Mini-Mag). For the less expensive stuff, Federal's American Eagle brand.

Stingers and Velocitos for the premium ammo. Those seems to work the best in my cross-section of .22's [Marlin 99, 10/22, MkII, and Single-Six.

Just as a side note, my first .22LR rifle was a Nylon 66. Shot everything EXCEPT for the Rem HP "Golden Bullet". Choked on those everytime, but liked the 40-Gr Solid "Golden Bullet". Go figure...a Rem Rifle that didn't like Rem ammo :confused: :confused: :confused:

August 22, 2005, 08:27 AM
I just bought a Kimber Rimfire upper and 4 boxes of CCI Velocitor for it based on recommendations. Haven't shot it yet but it's supposed to be good ammo. A little pricey though.


August 22, 2005, 08:38 AM
I agree with MasterPieceArms: The Remington Golden Bullets are a bargain in bulk ammo. The Golden Bullet is what the microgrooved barrel in my Marlin 925 likes best out of the dozen different brands I've tried. My Henry H001 likes that bullet, too.

August 22, 2005, 08:59 AM
Remington Golden Bullet or Federal Bulk for plinking around.
CCI Mini-Mags and shorts when things start to get serious.
Velocitors when things positively, absolutely have to die.
Aguila Super Colibris when you don't want the neighbors to know what you're up to. :D :evil:

August 22, 2005, 09:18 AM
You're going to have to experiment. I shoot Aguila SV in my target gun (Pardini SP). It also shoots well with Wolf, Eley and RWS. 22 LR ammo is funny stuff and will perform very different in different guns.

August 22, 2005, 01:44 PM
All rimfires are different (I think someone might have already mentioned that :D ), but all of my rimfires, 8 total, shoot great with Aguila Standard Velocity. I do use the Subsonic stuff in my Mitchell because it shoots it just a hair closer, but I don't feel too bad if I have to use the standard stuff. Alot of guys I respect use that Wolf stuff, but I couldn't get it shoot worth a poot, and it smells funny.

August 22, 2005, 02:15 PM
I have a Ruger 10/22 carbine and stainless target model, as well as a MK II Govt model, and they all fail to cycle Remington golden bullets properly. They are flawless with American Eagle .22 and in the MK II, CCI stingers, but don't like Remington. As had been said, you have to try several brands to find the right combo of reliability and price.

August 22, 2005, 02:24 PM
Winchester Super X has functioned perfectly in every 22 I've ever owned.

The Freeholder
August 22, 2005, 02:38 PM
Like everyone else, I'll tell you that you can buy 3 of the same model .22, and find they like 3 different brands of ammo.

As far as shooting "the cheap stuff" and having leading problems, if you shoot a magazine of plated .22 at the end of your range time, it'll take all the lead out of the barrel. If it's leading really bad, shoot a magazine during as well.

Also, Walmart sell the cheap plated ammo about as cheap as you can by the Winchester or Blazer, so you might just want to shoot it all the time. You aren't really saving that much. Seems to be less powder residue as well.

August 22, 2005, 02:42 PM
If you're really interested in wringing out accuracy, pick up some Eley. Can you tell what my favourite .22 ammo is? :D

August 22, 2005, 02:43 PM
I shot a LOT of Remington Thunderbolts this weekend. Seemed to work fine. Also the Federal 550 round bulk packs at Walmart seem to work well also.

August 22, 2005, 02:48 PM
Ditto the experimentation if you're going to find out what shoots most accurately in any given .22 RF.

That said, IMO the best-kept secret for accuracy potential in plinking priced .22 LR ammo is the Aguila standard velocity stuff. FWIW, with only a couple of notable exceptions standard velocity (now called "subsonic" for marketing purposes) loads of whatever brand give me best accuracy in almost all of my multitude of .22s. Aguila leads the pack for consistency over the spectrum, giving results that are closely equivalent to those of what the previously established absolute best does in most of them, and even displacing it in a couple of cases.

For about a buck a box in quantity, it's hard to fault.

PMC "Moderator" HPs are another sleeper worth trying. 3/8" five-shot groups from my modified 10/22 at 50 yds from bench & bags. A better scope and/or shooter would likely shade that a bit. Does nearly as well at just under 1/2" from a Brno ZOM 451 with the same qualifiers.

Aside to fellow geezers:
Anyone else remember when we used to buy "standard" velocity .22s instead of HVHPs at the Western Auto store because they cost so much less per box?

August 22, 2005, 02:53 PM
I have always had really good accuracy with CCI standard velocity .22.
For high velocity I have had good results with Remington thunderbolt.

Good shooting,
DarthBubba :D

Black Majik
August 22, 2005, 03:53 PM
Only one i use is CCI Mini-Mags.

My favorite ammo. Very reliable.

August 22, 2005, 04:59 PM
.22 LR chamber dimensions seem have the most extreme sizing. Pick up a half a dozen different types of ammo to see which one you gun likes the best.

english kanigit
August 22, 2005, 05:05 PM
Alright guys, thanks for the recomendations. I've heard a few brands mentioned that I haven't seen around here before. I'll be locating several boxes of them for my next 'ammo test'. :)

T. Bracker
August 22, 2005, 05:07 PM
I use a lot of Wolf Match Target in my Kimber, but for a cheaper practice ammo, the Federal American Eagle with the 38 grain hollowpoint shoots almost as well. Significantly louder, however.

August 29, 2005, 12:43 PM
Try to find some Federal 711B. You can buy it by the case cheap from the CMP. It is the only match ammo Federal is making right now, and is about $2.00 a box. It is clean and consistent. My rifle runs longer between cleanings with this stuff than anything else I've tested, sans the Tenex.

I've shot everything from Wolf Match to Eley Practice up to Eley Tenex out of my dedicated 22LR AR upper. I've had 3 different lots of Wolf. The first one from two years ago was good; dirty but accurate. The second lot was getting dirtier but would still function and accuracy was good. This last lot I got won't function and is filthy dirty. Lots of unburned powder, lots of extra lube on the bullet noses, etc. OK in the single shots but hell on the autoloaders.

The 711B shoots as well as the mid-grade Eley I've tested (brown box, yellow box, orange box) and is mucho mucho less dinero. Great stuff. I've had other smallbore bolt gun shooters test it with good results as well.

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