.22LR Ammo for Pistol Competition


January 19, 2007, 03:03 AM
I just bought a S&W Model 22A-1 semi-auto with a 7" fluted bull barrel and I want to start practicing to shoot in a weekly bulls-eye tournaments at a local shooting range.

I know different guns shoot some ammo better than others but I need somewhere to start. There are many dozens of different .22 LR rounds out there and I'm wondering what would be a good place to start to find the best ammo for the gun I mentioned above. I looked on the NET but can't really find info on ammo preferences for .22LR in a semi-auto.

If you shooters can start me in the right direction I would really appreciate it. I was told that I should shoot heavy standard velocity rounds. Is that correct? If not what is correct?

CCI has a 40 gr Pistol Match round - part #0051.
Federal has a new target round out #AM22, is that any good?
Remington's target round is a 40 gr LRN, good?

Well, as you see I don't really know where to start and know only what's on the company site. Advice from real shooters would be a big help.

Thank you...

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January 19, 2007, 07:29 AM
The #1 priority for shooting bullseye is reliability followed closely by accuracy.

I am not sure about the 22A's design but you may want to avoid high velocity ammo. Also avoid plated or jacketed ammo.

You can try calling S&W and ask them what ammo they use to test the guns with. It's probably CCI.

I like Wolf Match Target. It's medium expensive and accurate.

Lots of people like Aguilla or Eley Sport. Those are the cheapest and have very reliable primers and are reasonably accurate at 50 feet. I had a problem getting the Eley Sport to function well in my new gun so I had to switch to the more expensive Wolf. Jagd also manufactures the Sk brand of ammo which is the same as the Wolf.

Since you shoot indoors at 50 feet (I assume) you don't really need to worry about accuracy... just focus on what functions well.

January 19, 2007, 08:19 AM
I wish I could provide a definitive answer to your questions but IMO rimfires sometimes have very specific ammo preferences. What might funtion well in my firearm might not perform equally well in yours even through they are the same model.

I think if I were in your spot I would buy several types of ammo that are commonly available locally and see how they run. This will also get you past the breakin period for your pistol. Who knows, you might find a consistant performer in the group.

You might want to wonder over to rimfirecentral.com and post this query there, as well as try their search function.



January 20, 2007, 08:50 AM
You will have to try different ammo to see what your pistol likes. I don't believe the expensive ammo is going be required.

Your pistol will more than likely like T-22 to start off with. T-22 is good ammo but it has one major flaw, it has too many rounds that don't fire. It is very frustrating to have a dude in the middle of a timed or rapid fire string.

CCI Standard is very good ammo. Won't shoot as quit tight of group as the T-22 might, but it does go bang every time. It will shoot good enough to keep all the rounds in the slow fire ten ring and then some. bdutton hit it on the head, it seems like most Smiths like CCI.

Federal match 22 some people like it, most don't.

Remington match, same as the Federal.

PMC Scoremaster. My Buckmark 5.5 target loves this stuff, the 41 don't. I haven't found any of it around here for a long time either.

Lots of guys have moved the Wolf match. One of the days I'm going to have to try it when I run out of CCI Standard. I buy the CCI by the 5000 rd case so it might be awhile.

Some shooters like the bulk 550 pack of Remington from Wally World. I won't put a copper plated bullet down a 22 rimfire bore I like for competition, nor do I use a bore brush. But that's just me.

There's a bunch more out there, I hit the most common ones.

If you are going to use a dot sight which seems to be very common now days, don't cheap out on the Dot either. I have a couple of Tasco's and they are on the cheap side. The size dot you will want is a 4 moa dot, no bigger.

January 20, 2007, 09:26 AM
Thank you for the info so far, keep it coming...

January 20, 2007, 12:20 PM
I've found CCI Pistol match to work well in all my .22lr pistols in terms of accuracy and reliability. It is a standard velocity round that gives me acceptable group out to 100 yards. At 50 yards (which I think is what bulleye is shot at) I get group size in the 1.5" with it on a S&W model 41 7".

Edit: added a picture gor you. This is done offhand/standing at an indoor range at ~52 yards. The grids are 1".

January 20, 2007, 12:28 PM
CCI standard velocity shoot well in every gun I have ever used it in. It may not be THE BEST for the gun but seems to shoot good groups with just about everything. To notice the difference between CCI SV and the best you will need a better gun than a S&W 22A.

January 20, 2007, 12:50 PM
My MP95e likes CCI Standard. If you want a little tighter group and don't mind spending about twice as much, try CCI Green Tag, at about 10.00 per 100. I can't use CCI in my Hammerli FP as it is a little too waxy and clogs up the really tight chamber in the M162. It does like Scoremaster however. I also have a Baikal IZH35M and so far I haven't found anything it won't digest.
As said by others, you just need to try all different kinds and find one your gun will function on and gives you acceptable accuracy.

Just hope it doesn't decide on Eley Tenex.:evil:

lil ski
January 26, 2007, 10:05 AM
I have tried most of the stuff out there and CCI Standard is the ticket. $5.50 to $6.50 per box of 100 and shoots every time.

January 26, 2007, 11:13 AM
Seems that every gun is different. Sometimes even within brand and model.

Within our Bullseye league you'll see as many variations in ammo on the bench as you will shooters and guns any given session.

For pure accuracy tests, we've found few to equal WinT22, Agula and Eley through our pistols. The Eley does't function reliably through my pistol. I've been shooting WinT22 for a few years and am pleased with the accuracy, consistent fire and lack of wax residue. The price just jumped on the T22's and my source is dwindling so I might have to look to testing some others again.


January 26, 2007, 11:45 AM
CCI Standard Velocity is accurate enough for practice, and extremely reliable.

I'd be curious to know if anyone's tested CCI vs. Wolf, and if so, which was more accurate.

January 26, 2007, 12:36 PM
I remember the Wolf being more accurate than any of the CCI through our pistols/tests, but it was another that left a waxy buildup in the action.

There's a couple guys in our league that shoot CCI green tag with good success.


lil ski
January 26, 2007, 12:49 PM
You are right you must fit your ammo to your gun first (some guns only like CCI some like Fed and so on). I have been shooting Bullseye indoors for a few years and have not found any ammo that will beat CCI Standard in group size and reliability for the money spent. Yes you can get the same results form other ammo that costs 2 or 3 times as much but why would you want to. Just my 2 cents

January 26, 2007, 03:33 PM
I'd be curious to know if anyone's tested CCI vs. Wolf, and if so, which was more accurate.

I have cases of both. The CCI SV performs best on my Marvel Conversions while the Wolf MT gives best performance on my Benelli MP95E. The MP95E also works well with Aguila SV. Can't really compare them against each other...not with my pistols, these rimfires tend to be picky with "select" ammo.

Best thing to do, as previously suggested, buy bricks of different brands and "lots" of ammo and test them with your pistol from a rest...then test which "feel" best when shot offhand. Reliability is prime concern, it has to consistently cycle the pistol. Champion's Choice; Champion Shooters and International Shooter Service (ISS) are shops that will sell you bricks of the same ammo from different "lots" (or manufacturing runs). Cole Distributing is a good source for Aguila SV.

Good luck.

Rudolf the Red
January 29, 2007, 05:46 PM
I just broke 250 for the first time on a National Match Course using CCI SV for the first time. I think it is much more accurate than the Remington SV I was using before.

January 29, 2007, 10:39 PM
My 22A-1 was test fired with Winchester. Not sure of the specific round.

Wolf is more accurate in my 22A-1 as well as in my CZ 452 as compared to CCI standard (which is pretty good....and, surprisingly, so were the Velocitors). Wolf MT runs 100% in my 22A, but I've smoothed it up a lot.

My 22A-1 definitely likes the higher velocity rounds. The cheap value packs from Wal Mart consistently have some low powered rounds that end up causing a FTE. It does, however, throw CCI Stinger casings over 12 yards......

January 30, 2007, 01:34 AM
My 22A-1 definitely likes the higher velocity rounds.
I'm surprised you said that because most shooters are telling me the standard velocity ammo works better than the high velocity stuff.

I have shot several different rounds so far and here's the results. (only went out once but will do a follow up this week)

Federal Bulk Ammo, 36 gr HP (550 loose rounds in light brown box) 1280 fps
Results, many jams, not good at all.

Federal #510 in Blue Box, 40 gr LRN
Better feed but not perfect.

Remington Thunderbolt #TB-22A 40 gr Solid 1255 fps
No feed failures but 1 FTE, better than both Federal rounds.

Remington Golden Bullet #1522 40 gr Plated RN 1255 fps
No failures at all and best group of the 4.

The above ammo was what I had on hand so I tested all 4. I bought more and different rounds to test this week.

I'm going to shoot or trying to shoot:
CCI Standard Velocity (I have 100)
CCI Pistol Match (I have 100)
CCI Green Tag (If I can find some since the stores around me are all out right now)
Wolf Match Target (If I can find a box or two without buying a brick)

I'm hoping one of those four will fire reliably and group well since the price of all except the CCI Green Tag is fairly low. It would be great if the CCI Standard Velocity stuff feeds without a problem since it's the cheapest of the 4 and readily available.

January 30, 2007, 08:17 AM
My gun has trouble extracting low powered rounds. My experience is the same as yours when comparing the Federal bulk packs to the Golden bullets. The Golden bullets had more recoil and I'm wagering the Federals that gave you problems never made 1280fps.

February 2, 2007, 10:50 AM
With my Bennelli MP90, Wolf Target Ammo has been the most accurate for me. I did a test with many different types and Wolf was the most consistent and accurate.

February 2, 2007, 07:51 PM
I have the same pistol and it seems to like CCI MiniMags. I have tried CCI SV, Aguila, Eley Practice Rem. Target and some of the bulk pack ammo, of which the Golden Bullet shot well but functioned inconsistantly. The GB failed to fire about one out of twenty. I picked up some new ones to try and will post some results when I get a chance.

February 10, 2007, 05:52 AM
I finally got to shoot a few more different ammo brands and types today and here's what happened:

I shot 50 of each at 1 target to really test the ammo get a real sense of how well it shot out of my 22A.

Both Federal rounds listed above still weren't any good in my 22A.

I didn't shoot the Remington Thunderbolt again but I did shoot Remington's Golden Bullets again in both LRN and HP and both had multiple FTF problems and several misfires.

Now for the new tests:

Winchester Wildcat 22, #WW22LR, 40 gr LRN, 1255 fps (1060 fps from a 6" barrel)
No problems at all, feed perfectly and produced the heaviest concentration of hits of the day. I was pleasantly surprised since nobody mentioned this ammo and it wasn't even on my radar. @ $1.29 a box, I was happy.

Peters, #PR-22, 40 gr Solid Point, 1255 fps
No feed problems with this ammo either. Even though the specs are the same as the Wildcat ammo it felt like there was more recoil. (not that any .22LR has a big recoil) It produced a bigger over all group than the Winchester Wildcat ammo but still not too bad in a pinch.

CCI Pistol Match, #0051, 40 gr LRN, 1070 fps
My pistol just loved this ammo. Ejection was crisp and it feed smoothly without a single jam. It produced almost no recoil and also produced a tight 50 round group 50 ft out. This is great .22LR ammo IMO.

CCI Standard Velocity, #0032, 40 gr LRN, 1070 fps
Everything I said about CCI's Pistol Match ammo holds true for this ammo too but at a lesser price. I felt so comfortable with this round I bought a Brick before I left the range.

I didn't try Wolf's Match Target ammo because I still can't find it in any of the stores around me. I'm not sure I want to shoot Wolf's Match Target ammo anyway since it's $30 a brick.

February 10, 2007, 10:02 AM
Just a word of caution. High velocity ammunition can harm some target .22 pistols. It might be ok in your 22A but most other target guns it is not.

February 10, 2007, 01:27 PM
I'm not a competitive taget shooter, but enjoy blasting small groups in various mediums. :D I use CCI ammo almost exclusively in my Buckmark. Reliable, accurate and reasonably priced - the trifecta.

February 12, 2007, 10:28 AM
If you are shooting at a normal indoor range distance of 50 ft. you probably never notice the difference in accuracy between the major brand standard velocity ammo such as CCI Std Vel. The key issue is relaibility and some guns are more fussy with ammo than others. I would stay away from the bargain basement and high veloicity ammo. If you are planning to shoot at 50 yards then I would opt dor ammo such as SK Jagd or Wolf Match Target or Match Extra.

February 15, 2007, 01:42 AM
I am not too familiar with this type of shooting, but Eley has always worked great in my Anschutz Exemplar, and I use federal Gold Medal in my Contenders for IHMSA. As so many have said, it depends on the gun, and the type of competition involved in.

Old School
August 18, 2008, 03:20 PM
Winchester Wildcat 22, #WW22LR, 40 gr LRN, 1255 fps (1060 fps from a 6" barrel)
No problems at all, feed perfectly and produced the heaviest concentration of hits of the day. I was pleasantly surprised since nobody mentioned this ammo and it wasn't even on my radar. @ $1.29 a box, I was happy.
I have about 1k rounds of this stuff. I haven't shot it in many many years so I could not remember how good it was. I would bet that the Wildcat 22 that I have is 15 years old. Good to know it is a keeper.

August 18, 2008, 07:49 PM
I recently tried Federal Auto Match from Wal Mart in the 325 packs. They worked without fail, and the barrel of the Walther p22 was clean with two patches. I tried Remington Thunderbolts also, and they functioned well, but the barrel was pretty nasty, with lots of shaved lead to clean out. CCI Mini Mags worked very well in the Walther, as did CCI Velocitors.

August 19, 2008, 11:55 AM
I'm just wondering what the goal is of the testing. A 50 round group of what? for what reason? Are you shooting fifty shots at a match on a single target?

Most 22 shoots pretty good. Even the junky stuff. If you have a gun, like the 22A that is not that accurate and you are not that accurate, everything will look pretty much the same. If thats the case, shoot the cheap stuff and save a few bucks.

If you are planning on competition, look for a nice combination of felt recoil, realibility and accuracy. Shooting refires with some unrealiable ammo will do nothing but bother you.

My Marvel 22 shoots a .61" five shot group at 50yds, my Hammerli shoots a five shot .3" group at 25 meters. Both with Eley, even is something misfires running a 14 shot clean is not a problem most of the time.

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