.22LR - cheap lead w/ wax coating or copper plated?


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50caliber123
June 18, 2006, 06:22 PM
I was at the range last week shooting my Ruger 10/22 at 50 yards. It groupd decently with the copper plated minimag. A fellow shooter came over and told me to try some of his ammo - Remington Eley. I tried it, and a 4 shot group was about a 1/4" at 50 yards. I thought, wow. No adjustments to the sights, I shot these the same as the other 200rds I fired. Later that day, I bought Guns & Ammo: Book of the AR-15 on the news stand. In it, there's an article that discusses how to utne your Ruger 10/22 like an AR. Anyways, it advises that a shooter use the cheaper, bulk packs of wax coated bullets, because the wax builds up in the chamber, lubricating the gun during high-volume practice, this prevents the bullet from rubbing against the rifled grooves in the barrel, and helps stabilize the bullet. Another fellow shooter said that the copper plated bullets are less accurate because copper fills the grooves in the barrel when you shoot a lot. He said, "Look at your match-grade bullets. Not one is copper plated." Is he right on this? I'm getting low on .22, and am considering orgering between 2000-5000rds after I find a cheap brand the 10/22 likes. What say you folks?

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VARifleman
June 18, 2006, 06:32 PM
Remington eley isn't really cheap for your kind of shooting, anywhere between 2 and 10 dollars /50.

Now, I love wax coated bullets for my target rifle, and he's right, no match ammo is anything but 40 grain lead with a wax coating. But if you're just plinking, it really doesn't matter too much. But remington whitebox is a pretty decent low cost .22 ammo that's solid lead (can't remember if it's waxed or not).

DMK
June 18, 2006, 07:21 PM
I agree.

The wax is also a lot easier to clean out of your barrel than copper fouling. But a lot of big time 22LR shooters recommend not even cleaning your barrel after shooting wax coated lead until you see accuracy degrade over time. Just make sure to get all the copper fouling out of your barrel first for maximum benefit.

I suppose the wax acts like Moly coating in a way, lubricating the round for a smooth ride down the barrel.

22LR match ammo can be a little pricy for regular use. I've found that I can squeeze a little extra free accuracy out of my twenty-twos by using low cost subsonic or standard velocity rounds. Most cheap bulk pack stuff is high velocity, with hunting in mind, more than target shooting. The HV stuff is supersonic and the light bullet hits a little turbulence when they slow back down through the sound barrier. Subsonic stuff just stays subsonic all the way to the target.

Twenty-twos tend to be very finnicky about ammo preferences too, so try a few different brands and styles of ammo to find your gun's favorite ammo.

50caliber123
June 18, 2006, 09:14 PM
yeah, I'm not looking into match-grade for general plinking, just a different .22round for target shooting and fun. Which brand do you guys buy in bulk? How do you rate the Remington Yellow Jackets and CCI Blazer .22 loads? Sportsmansguide has those in stock for really cheap (5000rds for around $100).

rangerruck
June 18, 2006, 09:37 PM
there are several companies that make a waxed lead bullet. Eley's "trash' bullets get sold under the name Remington/eley. they come in two colors, orange and yellow. they are very good. but yes, they are 5. plus dollars a box. Aguilas also make an nice leaded round. a target round and their sniper subsonic. they are much cheaper, about 2 bucks or less per box. Aguilas are made in mexico, but use Eley specs and materials.
there are a few other brands out there as well, just can't think of them.
yes, high volume shooting will deposit copper in your rifleing, which , believe it or not is why a lot of guys who volume shoot like marlins, because of the microgroove bbls, don't like to hang onto the copper.

gezzer
June 18, 2006, 09:47 PM
Clean the wax out of the barrel? When you are shooting just wax coated target ammo don't clean the bore there is no need and you are just putting premature wear in the barrel.

22ís like the bore coated with wax, there will be no corrosion with the wax coating. 100 year old guns shot with smokeless powder all their lives with the old wax lubed ammo have the bores in super condition because of the wax.

minuteman1970
June 18, 2006, 10:14 PM
My scoped 10/22 shoots great with some Winchester HV's I had picked up a few year's back. I think it's important to try different brands to test for accuracy, especially when using lower-cost bulk HV rounds.

Azrael256
June 18, 2006, 10:19 PM
I've had decent luck with Blazer .22. It's accurate enough, and the price is good. I have managed to pick up a brick of it for $8 on sale. I've seen it for $10-11 as a regular price. I think I had one dud round out of the brick. It's a good deal for plinking.

I haven't been super impressed with Remington's higher velocity offerings. The slower stuff from Remington (subsonic) has given me better performance, but it's a bit expensive. I was given a brick of the "golden bullet" ammo which fired almost every time and would've presented more of a threat to the target if I had thrown it left handed.

I have cleaned my .22's bore exactly once in 10 years. The first 1000 rounds I put through it were copper, and the next ~5000 were various lead rounds. I removed some powder fouling, and a touch of lead. I only used patches with powder solvent (no brushes), but I saw zero evidence of copper fouling. Bore cleaning just isn't *that* big of a deal with .22s.

What I would do (actually, what I did), would be to go to the gun store, and buy one box of any ammo that catches your attention for any reason. I ended up with four or five different brands, but I have seen a people at the range with no less than twenty different ammo types. Try them all, and see which ones work the best.

Rob62
June 18, 2006, 10:51 PM
The only sure way to tell which brand of ammunition your specific gun likes is to go out and shoot as many different types as you can find. There are dozens of brands/types that can be found for under $2.00 per box of 50. Many for 99 cents still. Most "Bulk Packs" that are sold at the Big Marts can be found for around $9 per box off 500/550 rds.

I do not believe that the copper washed .22RF bullets are capable of leaving copper fouling inside the bore. At least that has been my experience, shooting literally tens of thousands of these rounds through various firearms in my lifetime. Why manufacturers copper wash some types of bullets and do not do so to others is something I really have not thought about that much, but would be interesting to find out. Marketing is probably one big reason for doing so.

I have had consistent fair to good results with both the Federal 550rd bulk packs and the Remington Golden Bullet bulk packs. Both of these bullets are copper washed.

However overall the most accurate "Cheap" ammunition in my guns has been the Aguila SE brand. I have heard nothing but positive things about the Russian Wolf Target ammo, but have not done any major testing with this ammo. Both of these previously mentioned rounds are not copper washed, they are plain lead.

Even the copper washed cartridges I am using all appear to have wax on their bullets.

Regards,
Rob

VARifleman
June 18, 2006, 11:00 PM
Clean the wax out of the barrel? When you are shooting just wax coated target ammo don't clean the bore there is no need and you are just putting premature wear in the barrel.

22ís like the bore coated with wax, there will be no corrosion with the wax coating. 100 year old guns shot with smokeless powder all their lives with the old wax lubed ammo have the bores in super condition because of the wax.
This is wrong, some target shooters disagree with me, but Steve Moore, numerous other gunsmiths and shooters, and Dave Johnson and the rest of the US team agree with me that .22s NEED CLEANING. One friend of mine lost accuracy in her rifle and it took her 8 hours to clean because it was that hard to push the rod through the barrel. Smokeless powder is not gunkless powder. She could not see through her barrel. CLEAN YOUR GUNS PEOPLE!

Sunray
June 18, 2006, 11:04 PM
"...go out and shoot as many different types as you can..." Absolutely. And the price of the ammo your firearm(same rule for handguns) likes doesn't matter either. Nor does the make and model of the firearm. Two Ruger 10/22's, for example, will shoot and function(not all .22 ammo will even cycle every semi-auto) with the same ammo differently.
The hyper velocity .22 ammo(Yellow Jackets, etc) even moreso.

RyanM
June 18, 2006, 11:21 PM
CCI Blazer is supposed to be phenomenally accurate out of some guns. You may want to try that.

gazpacho
June 19, 2006, 12:19 AM
Expensive lead waxed bullets don't leave a whole lot of lead behind in the barrel, because of the particular lead alloy used. However a frind of mind was shooting Remington Thunderbolt through his 10/22 recently. Got a "good deal" on a brick. About half way through it, he started getting some really wild flyers. He decided to stop and clean out the barrel, but there was so much lead fouling that he couldn't get his 22 cleaning rod down the bore!

IMHO if you are going to shoot cheap, shoot the copper washed or plated stuff, like Federal Bulk Pack or Remington Golden Bullet.

DMK
June 19, 2006, 01:03 PM
Which brand do you guys buy in bulk? How do you rate the Remington Yellow Jackets and CCI Blazer .22 loads? I never liked CCI's rimfire ammo. I can't say why it just doesn't seem work well for me.

The YellowJacket is high velocity hunting ammo.

I've had good luck with Federal 510 (used to be called lightening and used to come in a red and black box). Walmart sometimes has it in a blue and black box. It's target ammo according to Federal's website with a 40gr lead roundnose and a high, just subsonic speed.

I like the Winchester Dynapoint too. It's a copper coated HP and supersonic though. I found it works good in my semi-auto rifles that tend to be picky about low velocity stuff.

One of my favorites for the bolt actions is Aguilla subsonic.

Nhsport
June 19, 2006, 02:00 PM
Above and beond the wax lube lead bullet , match ammo is usually only loaded to "standard velocity" and in theory you are paying for a higher level of quality control.
Be cautious before a large purchase as many 10/22s (and other semis) will not run reliable on standard velocity ammo. See rimfirecentral.com for bolt mods to help in this area. I myself shoot mostly standard velocity in all my guns. Every individual gun may act way diferent ,the only sure test is to test a certain brand and lot in your gun.
I have not been impressed with much of the bulk packed ammo (all high velocity) with the execption of some of the federal stuff. The next level up I have been somewhat satisified with some of the boxed federal standard velocity stuff,but they seem to be forever changing the names and box colors and styles so it is difficult to be sure you are getting the same stuff. Federals marketing also plays games and packs some ammo in 40rd boxes and 400rd bricks ,when the industry standard is 50/500/5000. (box/brick/case).
I have been generally impressed with PMC rimfire ammo ,both cost and accuracy was very good,I say "was" as pmc is reportedly no longer in the rimfire buisness.
If you see any PMC Scoremaster or PMC Zapper laying around for $16 a brick or less grab it up. The PMC Rifle Target or Pmc Pistol Target was in the $26 range but never shot as well for me as the Scoremaster.
If you are willing to pay $2.50 to $3.00 a box of fifty the Wolf MT is super accurate,I find it gives the Eley and Lapua ammo in the $6.00 range a run for its money. SK standard is supposed to be equivilent (made in same factory) to the Wolf. The batch I bought is great but tests slightly less than the wolf I had. Keep in mind that all rimfire ammo will varry slightly from lot to lot. Usually you will never see this unless you have a high dollar target gun and the knoweldge to use it .
Most folks find the standard 10/22s are greatly improved in the accuracy department with some trigger improvements. Again I suggest looking at rimfirecentral.com.
When you find something that your gun likes , buy cases of it. The prices will only go up and rimfire stores well. relatively small case is 5000rounds .

lycanthrope
June 20, 2006, 01:06 AM
Another vote for Wolf Match Target. Wonderful stuff for the price.

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