Differences in .22LR ammo at Walmart.


October 12, 2010, 01:56 PM
Hello all.

I have been buying .22LR ammo from Walmart and notice the three types of bulk .22LR ammo.

Federal 550
Remington 550
Winchester 333/555

Is there much difference between the three?

Also I notice that Cabela's sells Federal 525 bulk packs. The color is blue as opposed to dark red in Walmart's Federal 550. I wonder if 25 rounds is the only difference.

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October 12, 2010, 02:06 PM
I don't buy anything from walmart, but in my experience Remington rimfire ammunition is much dirtier. My rating would be Federal, Winchester, and Remington far back at the rear.
Our old ATK (federal) rep said the two different bulk packs of Federal were the same load, just packaged differently. I don't know if that is true or not though.

October 12, 2010, 02:08 PM
The only thing difference that I have noticed is that the Federal seem to have harder primers. I have an old Marlin Model 25 bolt action with a kabillion rounds through it and it won't ignite about have the rounds in a box of Federal.

Granted, this is because the firing pin spring is just plain wore out.

October 12, 2010, 02:11 PM
I have had no problems with the Remington .22LR ammo.

In my 10/22 the Winchester seems to give me the best groupings. The Remington always shoots as well, and the Federal seems to have more duds.

This is a sample of one rifle so it does not determine the overall quality of the entire ammo line.

October 12, 2010, 02:11 PM
I'd suggest that you go to...
There's more info on .22 rim fire stuff there than you can absorb in 10 years.

.22 rim fire weapons are like wimmin, Takes just a little to make them happy, but you have to figure out what makes them happy.

All the ammo you listed is plinking fodder. you need to buy a box of each and see which one makes your woman the happiest.

The mfg. web sites will tell you about each type of ammo. although some of it is special packaged for certain outlets. Somewhere on the box you'll find the mfg's code for the ammo in that box. The blue box from Cabela's is Federal 510 ammo. Takes a little sleuthing but you'll get the info eventually. Good Luck!!

October 12, 2010, 02:16 PM
The only thing difference that I have noticed is that the Federal seem to have harder primers. I have an old Marlin Model 25 bolt action with a kabillion rounds through it and it won't ignite about have the rounds in a box of Federal.
Granted, this is because the firing pin spring is just plain wore out.

The primers aren't harder, the cases are. Replace that worn out spring and you're problems will go away. Might be the firing pin is too blunt after all those rounds, try a little judicial stoning to re shape the working end to a narrower configuration. if it suffers from a lot of dry firing the pin might not be shaped correctly on the working end, check and see if the part of the pin that would strike the rim is set back (peened) any. Could also be a clogged up firing pin channel slowing down the momentum of the pin.

October 12, 2010, 02:30 PM
All of the bulk walmart stuff is great for plinking. None of it will be quite as accurate as more expensive ammo if you are punching paper. I enjoy shooting lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of reactive targets with my 22’s after I’ve finished punching paper with rifles or pistols. It’s just plain fun.

I have 2 Marlin 60’s that have digested 10’s of thousands of rounds and are still as accurate as when they were new. I went through a phase where I thought I should clean them and strip them thoroughly after each session. I quit that pretty quick. Marlins like to run dirty with the bulk stuff. If they are ridiculously clean, they will jam…or at least mine will. I snake the barrel after a session and that’s about it. I’ll clean the gunk out of the action only when it gets enough build up to make the bolt hold open stop working or it starts misfiring often. Then it takes about 300 rounds before she likes to digest the bulk stuff without jamming.

If you like shooting tight groups on paper, get the more expensive stuff and you’ll be happier with the result. If you’re plinking around with cans, golf balls, clay pigeons or whatever…the bulk stuff works just fine and won’t harm your weapon. Just bore snake it every once in awhile and you’ll be good to go. YMMV.

October 12, 2010, 02:49 PM
A friend and I went shooting the other day with our .22s - he, a brand new Ruger .22/45, me a Smith model 17. I had a brand new box of the maroon Federal 550s I bought at my local Wmart and he had a brick (10 boxes @ 50 rounds each) of Remington Thunderbolts he purchased at Academy.

After 100 rounds out of his box, we had a nice pile of 12 or 13 Remington duds. After the first half-dozen or so, we thought it might be his Ruger so I tried my Smith - nope, we had bad rounds from both guns. Both guns were giving solid hits of the firing pin and a nice dimple in the primer area. The rounds just would not light off. We even tried a few with second-strikes, or moving them in the chamber so the firing pin would hit another spot - no soap. At first it was frustration; after about the 8th dud it became a joke - what percent of ammo is DOA.

My friend called Remington a few days later and was told, "Hmph...we havn't had any other complaints from that lot number." I wonder about the lots before and after it...

Remington promised to send him "something for his efforts," so we're figuring a coupon for his next Remington ammo purchase - which, he said, will be a waste as he won't be buying Green & Gold again.

By comparison, out of the last three 550-count boxes of Federals, I think I have had one or two TOTAL, not per box.


October 12, 2010, 03:01 PM
By comparison, out of the last three 550-count boxes of Federals, I think I have had one or two TOTAL, not per box.

I'll agree with that. I have better luck with Federal, as well when compared with the Remingtons.

Then again, getting 10-15 duds doesn't make me very upset. I'm ok with it.

October 12, 2010, 04:14 PM
Well, I've tried all of them and my favorite is the Winchester. However, that doesn't mean the others are bad. Well, okay the Remington is pretty bad. My experience with the Remington is that it's pretty dirty, it has a lot of duds, and overall, the ammo just seems pretty bad.

The Federal shoots accurately for me, but for some reason I got stovepipes every couple of rounds out of my stock 10/22 with the Federal bulk. It shot other Federal .22 ammo fine. This shot about the same for me accuracy wise as the Winchester Xpert, and the failure rate was low, but it just jammed.

I then tried the Winchester Xpert ammo and it shot about the same accuracy wise as the Federal, it hardly ever jams, and it has very very few duds. I really like this ammo and have always stuck with it. I also like the Winchester 333 ammo which seems to be the same only copper plated and just a hair cheaper if you figure up the cost per bullet. I've just stuck with this since it shot so well for me. However, a friend tried this in his bolt action and for some reason, it wouldn't feed it.

After changing the extractor to a VQ one in my 10/22 it shoots everything without stovepipes including the Federal bulk. However, since the Winchester is cheaper here, and shoots just as well, I've stuck with it. The Federal seems to be about the same though if your gun likes it.

Then there is the Federal 501B solid points. This comes in 50 round boxes, but is cheaper than the bulk packs. This stuff shoots well in my rifle, as well as the friends that jammed on the Winchester bulk. The only thing I will say about this is that it's not been quite as accurate at 50 yards in any of the rifles I've tried it in. However, it's not been a large difference. Groups opened up from about 1" at 50 yards to about 1.25" or so at 50 yards with both rifles I've shot it in to test accuracy. So it's not a big difference and I like this ammo too.

Those are my experiences with cheap .22 ammo, but I've learned you really have to shoot a few of them and see what your gun likes as each gun likes something different.

October 12, 2010, 04:17 PM
+1 for NOT buying the Remington! I prefer Federal over Winchester for plinking. For target shooting, Wolf Target (not Match grade, just the Target grade) is what my 10/22 does best with.

For varmit hunting I would use CCI Mini Mags or Stingers.

October 12, 2010, 04:59 PM
Friends dont let friends shoot Remington .22 ammo-just awful. The other two in the OP are pretty good for what they're for.

Big Wes
October 12, 2010, 05:45 PM
Remington Thunder Bolt ammo = pop, pop, pop, piff, piff, pop! lol

October 12, 2010, 05:57 PM
This may be a little off topic, but if your Walmart carries the 325 round box of Federal Auto Match, try that stuff. It usually costs about $.01 more a round, but I have had no duds and it is much more consistent than Federal Bulk which I usually have a few FTFs in a entire box.

From my stock 10/22 @ 25 yards, the Auto Match would put 2 rounds overlapping and 1 flyer. (I don't know if the flyer was my fault, the ammo, the rifle or because the wind was blowing so badly that my target was moving around slightly). Federal Bulk opens up a little more for me. I never really try Winchester and Remington is filthy and has a lot more duds.

Usually I am a CCI Mini-Mag guy, but Walmart now has these "value" boxes of Auto Match and I love it.

October 12, 2010, 07:41 PM
I agree that Remington is dirty, but oddly enough, Thunderbolt is the most accurate, other than expensive target ammo, in my Win. 75. Makes nice patterns in my 10/22 (but Federal and WW work great). So all that advice about trying different brands/variations until you find one that works is really true.

October 12, 2010, 07:57 PM
Thunderbolts are the most accurate in my guns. However, they are so dirty it will need cleaning after about 300rounds.

October 12, 2010, 08:04 PM
I buy nothing but Federals when I buy cheap .22 ammo. I don't care so much about fine accuracy as I care about reliability. The Federals win on reliability.

October 12, 2010, 08:12 PM
Rimfire rifles seem to have a preference for a certain ammunition or two. The main difference between the three bulk packs mentioned is the manufacturer. They are plinking fodder, nothing else. Fun to shoot and if you have a fail to fire or three, then you eject them and keep on shooting. The Federal mentioned is the same ammunition with the 550 packs packaged for Walmart and the 525 packs for most everyone else.

I keep some bulk 22 ammo around, but for the most part, my dominant stash consists of Federal Lightning (same as old Champion #510 loading) and CCI ammo. Both are owned by the same corporation. ATK.

Remington 22 ammo has been problematic over the last 5+ years with more frequent fail to fires than other manufacturers. But they do tend to be pretty consistant for general shooting fodder.

It is easy to say that to get the best accuracy, you spend the most money on ammunition. It is true to a point, but your rifle will prefer one over another in terms of accuracy. There is another couple critical factors... the shooter and the firearm. You have to like each other.

October 12, 2010, 08:41 PM
The federal match that they sell in bulk is good stuff. My Shilen barreled 10/22 likes it almost as much as Eley black eps.

October 12, 2010, 08:53 PM
I shot Federal, Remington, Blazer and CCI this past weekend. All of them worked fine in the pistols, but the Federal's didn't have quite enough energy to totally cycle the bolt. It would load the next round but not quite cock the firing pin. Had no problems with the Thunderbolts, Blazer or CCI Stingers, but then of course the Blazer and Stingers cost a lot more.

Average Joe
October 12, 2010, 08:58 PM
They both work the same for me. Remingtons or Federal bulk packs. Just don't buy the Thunderbolts, they are the pits.

October 13, 2010, 07:29 AM
But they do tend to be pretty consistant for general shooting fodder.

Yep - consistant they are.

pop, pop, pop, piff, piff, pop!


October 13, 2010, 07:45 AM
I haven't had the problems with Golden Bullets that so many complain about. I have had a lot of problems with the Federal stuff that everyone is so proud of. Lots more "clicks" than the Remington and the groups run 2 to 3 times as large with most of my guns. I do have a couple of rifles that shoot it pretty well but still have a lot of duds. I have good results with CCI mini-mags and WW Super X but at twice the cost of GB's and the other bulk stuff you should get good results.

October 13, 2010, 08:04 AM
For me, Federal, then Winchester. Remington doesn't even make the list. Way too many problems with all the different types of Remington ammo to even consider it for plinking. For fewest problems and best accuracy, I would go with any of the Federal bulk packs.

October 13, 2010, 08:23 AM
I buy the Winchester 333 round packs. They function flawlessly in my MK III, unlike the Federals I fired. Remington seemed to be OK, but I will definitely agree that they seemed to be much dirtier than the other brands. The Remington may have been a bit more accurate though, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

October 13, 2010, 10:50 AM
its surprising to hear everyone knocking remington thunderbolts !!!!!!!!! its the only rounds i have sent through my mossburg plinkster , and in 5 years i've had maybe 6 duds !!!!!!! they work great out of my plinkster !!

October 13, 2010, 10:53 AM
I really like the Federal bulk stuff, or the Lightning, they only sell it in 50 round boxes but at the price point it really only equals out to about $2.00 more fore the same amount. My local Wally World doesn't carry the CCI Blazer in bulk packs, unfortunately. I stay away from the Remington stuff for my semis, but my buddy's eats it like there's no tomorrow.

October 13, 2010, 12:42 PM
More grumbling about Remington ammo. You simply have to try everything to see what works best, period. I use more Remington than any other kind and burned up 2000rds of it last week alone. I had a single, read that ONE misfire, which did fire on the second try. I can't think of a single rimfire in my collection of over two dozen that doesn't do well with the stuff. Which is why I use up 2000-3000rds of it per month.

October 13, 2010, 12:57 PM
I think I have ten or twelve .22s. The only ammunition that shoot well in all of them is CCI Mini Mags. I'm talking in terms of function and good accuracy. It really sucks for me because CCI cost about twice as much as the bulk stuff. Still, at least I don't have to worry about anything shooting that ammunition. No misfires at all that I can ever remember.

October 13, 2010, 03:21 PM
From my personal experience, I've used:
Winchester bulk (333/525)
Remington Golden
Federal Bulk

The Remington golden is terrible.. alot of duds (comparatively), and the dang golden coating rubs off on everything.
Winchester seems decent, I haven't had any problems with it, but its more expensive than the Federal.
Federal is my favorite, its not loose-packed, its usually cheaper, and it has the least number of duds. Unfortunately, the only place I've been able to find the 500pk is at Academy. Sometimes.

I havent bothered buying CCI or any high-power/specialty ammo, as the .22s are just for fun plinking. Not too worried bout high-performance with these.

October 13, 2010, 03:33 PM
I see a lot of people are proud of Federal bulk packs, but IMO Federal American Eagle is pure junk. It is the only ammo that a 10/22 won't shoot reliably.

October 13, 2010, 08:57 PM
I bought a box of the 333's the other day for my Marlin 39a. Had at least 50 duds, and probably only half of those would fire after the second attempt. I won't be buying them again.

October 13, 2010, 10:02 PM
Federal 550
Remington 550
Winchester 333/555

Is there much difference between the three?
I don't know anything about the Winchester stuff.

the Remington (assuming you are talking about Golden Bullets) will expand much more, and more reliably, than the Federal bulk pack. Remington's should be more deadly on small game, but may damage more meat and hide. They also function very well I'm most autoloaders.

Remington Golden Bullets are gilded with some sort of gold colored metal that comes off on your hands and will make you look like you are covered in glitter by the time you are done shooting

Federal's have the least duds in my experience.

Remington GB left - Federal bulk pack right
shot out of a rifle into wet phonebooks

October 14, 2010, 12:52 PM
Remington's should be more deadly on small game, but may damage more meat and hide.
The GB's are an excellent game bullet and typically run a full 100fps faster than Federal bulk. They also expand reliably at handgun velocities. Federals are dismal on small game and not much better than roundnose solids.

November 30, 2010, 09:49 PM
I find it amusing that people will state they care more about FTF's than accuracy. What is the point of one without the other? I plink, but I also small game shoot with my 10/22. It is completely stock, and I use mini-mags for everything but plinking.

I do wonder if people's results might be tied to temp or altitude differences. Just an idea.

November 30, 2010, 10:18 PM
I would rather throw Remington ammo then to shoot it through anything.

November 30, 2010, 11:01 PM
Wally world sells some Federal "match" stuff I can't remember what's it's really called, but my Shilen barreled 10/22 likes it almost as much as Eley black EPS.

I've shot 22's for 30 years all different types of ammo and dozens of different guns, and can't really recall having more than a handful of ftf's...what do people do to their ammo or guns to cause failures?

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