What's the "best" .22lr ammo?


January 28, 2011, 04:27 PM
I debated about getting another .22 semi-auto rifle because of reliability issues.

I have done my research and I have determined that I am going to be uncreative and pick the one that is easiest to take apart and clean...and one to which a GI-style apeture sight can be affixed.

I am also strictly going to shoot good, clean ammunition through it. The high quality stuff is plenty inexpensive for me.

So what would you all call the "best" .22lr ammo out there for reliability in the primer and cleanliness of both powder and leading?

Best at what? Best at keeping the rifle running with a high number of rounds between field stripping down to the bolt.

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January 28, 2011, 04:31 PM
To me, the "best" is the stuff that groups well. I've got semi-auto rifles in several brands. ..Remington, Marlin, Ruger and Colt... Not one of them is troublesome as far as getting dirty goes. I never take the bolt out to clean them. I just brush the action with a little bore cleaner and wash it out with brake cleaner every now and then....Maybe once every 1k rounds.

January 28, 2011, 04:33 PM
For non-match grade, just about anything from CCI in the minimag line. Minimags shoot out of my match 10-22 almost as good as do Wolf match extra and S&B clubs. If you want to tweak out the best and see what your gun will really do, buy a box each of Eley Club, Federal Match gold medal, and a Wolff Match Extra and put it on the bench. If it won't shoot one of these, it won't shoot anything.

Don't worry about leading. It will only be a problem if you insist on shooting hi cap magazines full as fast as you can pull the trigger and get the barrel really heated up. You will, no matter what kind you shoot, have to clean grease and wax out of the breech face and extractor cuts periodically....wax/grease coated bullets are the name of the game.

January 28, 2011, 04:56 PM
Give th CCI Velocitors a try (40gr bullet 1435fps)

Wichester sell the same thing for a little cheaper Super X hyper speeds again 1435 fps 40grainers ,but I have had trouble with them jamming in semi autos at a rate of about one jam every 50 rounds.

You milage may vary.....

January 28, 2011, 05:21 PM
For volume shooting, CCI isn't as cheap as Federal or Remington bulk pack, but I prefer it when I can get it. I haven't purchased the Federal 22 "Champion" line, but Federal is usually pretty clean.

The 'best' is still Ely in that their MFG process spins the priming compound evenly around the rim. Some other mfg's now do this, notably some of the Russian "Biathalon" branded ammo. I think Aguila does this.

Autos can be finicky about ammo. I had fits with some older 40 grain lubricated lead bullets from Remington that my mom's Browning liked and would jam up my Marlin regularly.

It also depends on what you are shooting. If you are just blasting pop cans, a dud round in a 500 pack is no big deal.Feredarl/REmington/Winchester is just fine. That dud round suddenly ruins your shot when squirrel hunting. I'd pick CCI. In a rimfire match, like biathalon or such I'd want Ely.

January 28, 2011, 06:39 PM
I have heard people talk about reliability issues and problems with certain kinds of 22 ammo, but I personally have never really had a problem. I have shot a lot of 22 ammo through 3 different Ruger 10/22's and several different handguns. I have heard 2 or 3 different guys talk about Remington Thunderbolts being terrible, but I have probably shot more of them than anything else without a problem. I did shoot a Ruger 22/45 that had some reliability issues, but it was not mine and I do not know if it had ever been cleaned. I have shot quite a few rounds through a Mark II without a problem. I think that although some ammo is going to shoot better than others and some cleaner than others; a good quality 22 with proper care shoot shoot reliability with anything you feed it. If one of mine did not, I would be looking to have it worked on or replaced.
I do know that there is a big diference in how different ammo shoots out of mini revolvers. I have found CCI to shoot better than Remington in one.
I am sure some of you have more experience along these lines than I do, but that is my opinion for whatever it is worth.

January 28, 2011, 06:53 PM
If reliability is being defined as duds, I rarely ever get them, regardless of the brand. If reliability is being defined as feeding properly, none of my rifles have ever had an issue regardless of the brand. However, I have two pistols, a MK I and a MK II. Just two weeks ago they gave me a fit with bulk Rem Thunderbolts and would jam every few shots. I thought it was a cleaning issue, took both home, stripped and cleaned. I went back and tried again. I got the same results. I tried bulk Federal ammo and zero feeding problems.

January 28, 2011, 06:57 PM
I've been shooting 22's for 60 years, I bet I could count on one hand the number of dud rounds I've run across.
Can't even remember the last time I ever had one.
Couldn't begin to say how many thousands of rounds I've gone through or even how many different rifles.
When I was a kid and on a small bore team I practiced every day, went through beux coup rounds just doing that.
Now when I need some 22 ammo, I just look for a name brand at the best price.

January 28, 2011, 06:59 PM
I shoot mostly CCI Blazers and standard velocity, Minimags sparingly. I also like the Federal Auto-Match when I can find it, and Federal bulk is pretty good most of the time. My Marlin 60 hates Winchester 333's, just won't feed them. I don't buy high end ammo, no need for my shooting.

January 28, 2011, 07:00 PM
My 10/22 loves Remington Golden Bullet bulk packs, groups and feeds very well

January 28, 2011, 07:01 PM
The Augila standard velocity does use the Ely priming process, and I've found it shoots very accurately in my Mossberg target rifle. The DCM sells it by the case fairly reasonably.
I mostly use the Federal Champion bulk pack in my .22 semi-autos, both rifle and pistol. It's pretty clean burning, lubed to reduce leading, and I've never had a misfire with it yet.

January 28, 2011, 08:21 PM
i've shot ~700 rounds of federal #750 (550 bulk) in my 10/22 and not one single failure and clean too. Winchester 333 had 4 FTF or fire but ran about the same as far as cleanliness goes. both roughly $0.03 a round.
CCI SV? forget about it. that stuff is clean and accurate at about $0.05 a round. CCI mini mags are just as clean but more expensive.

January 28, 2011, 08:28 PM
I own three .22lr weapons.
Each one has its own "best" ammo.
One runs best with PMC; another insists upon PowerShock; the third is split between the Aguila and Colibri. All are about equally dirty or clean in use. Never had an uh-oh or hiccup in the preferred diet.

Mind you, I've run high and low dollar stuff through 22's trying to find that right one, too.

January 28, 2011, 09:40 PM
Many years ago I tried all brands of 22 cartridges. CCI Stingers won out over all. Bought a bunch of them. About 5 years ago I ran out. Went and bought some more. Real POS.
Cheapest Federal 40gr (#510 I believe) out shoots it all day long.

January 28, 2011, 09:42 PM
I just bought two bricks of federal 719. I hope its good stuff. When I was a kid I really liked Winchester wildcats.

January 28, 2011, 09:47 PM
When you find a load that you gun likes, you need to stock up on that batch number. The stuff does change as batches are run :(

January 28, 2011, 09:56 PM
CCI blazers is probably the best value overall

January 28, 2011, 10:21 PM
My .22s have their individual personalities, but in general, the ammo I keep around the house, and shoots well in several different guns...
CCI Blazer
Remington Golden Bullets
Federal 510
Federal Automatch

January 29, 2011, 02:37 AM
So far, the best groups I've gotten was with Wolf Match. Light years ahead of the waxed stuff you find at Wal-Mart. Then again, most of CCI's offerings worked reasonably okay.

Ultimately, it depends on what your rifle likes. This is for my M&P15-22 and Marlin 795's.

January 29, 2011, 06:34 AM
"Best" .22 ammo depends on what you want to do with it and your particular firearm. It will also change from lot-to-lot, unfortunately.

For running semi-autos and giving decent groups, I've been partial to CCI Blazers for a while. It's not the cheapest available but it runs reliably in my 10/22. Don't worry about the lead bullet; at .22 speeds leading isn't an issue unless you get into some really nasty ammo. And those "jacketed" .22 rounds are just copper washed.

For finding what your gun is capable of doing in accuracy, I start at CCI Standard Velocity then work up to Wolf Match Target and RWS Target Rifle. SV should shoot OK to well, the Wolf and RWS should get you to well and possibly great. I haven't tried any of the newer Federal match ammo and only a little CCI Green Tag, but both are worth trying a box or two if you can find them. (Be warned, this can get pricey. Wolf MT and RWS Target Rifle are about $60/500 depending on where you find. If the price on the box of Green Tag I have is reflected on the current production I imagine it would run about $15/100 or $75/500.)

The Federal bulk pack, load #750 I believe, has provided me good reliability and accuracy out of my .22s for a pretty low price. It will give some rounds that fail to fire on the first hit and has some inconsistency, but I can live with those issues for $18/550 rounds. Yes, even my S&W Model 18 revolver has failed to light a couple of these on the first hit, so it's not just the semi-autos.

January 29, 2011, 08:00 AM
Both my pistols and rifles get fed federal bulk .22 ammo (525 round pack, 36gr High Velocity) for range practice. I find that it groups well, is consistent and relatively clean in all my guns. It also helps that I picked up 5250 round case of it black Friday from gander mountain for $155.

If I'm shooting for groups, I like Wolf Match .22 ammo. As with the federal bulk, the wolf match is nicely priced and very very accurate.

Ohio Gun Guy
January 29, 2011, 08:27 AM
Buy a box of each kind, readily available to you....go to range, shoot, shoot some more....buy lots of what shoots the best.

My 10/22 likes the winchester stuff sold at walmart. CCI blazers arent bad either.

January 29, 2011, 08:32 AM
+1 for the federal bulk pack. I used to shoot the remington golden bullet for plinking, and CCI Velocitors in my Marlin semi-auto, but the quality of remingtons rimfire ammo seems to have gone downhill. The last brick of remington I had was very dirty, and missfired in all of my rifles and pistols regularly.
Federal 525 rd bricks are definatly a step up, much cleaner, not a missfire yet (almost through the brick) and seems to be accurate to boot.

January 29, 2011, 08:50 AM
The Augila standard velocity does use the Ely priming process,

I like Aguila rimfire ammo. They have quite a variety, from powderless to super powered. Most of it seems t do well in my .22's. One of my rifles really likes their subsonic stuff. The only problem I have with this ammo is the smell. Its an odor that can't be described. It doesn't smell like any other ammo. It smells like a beauty shop's perm solution.

Jeff F
January 29, 2011, 10:52 AM
The most accurate .22 long rifle ammo I have ever shot is Wolf match. I know it's Wolf but their .22 match is top notch stuff. After that I like CCI.

Harley Quinn
January 29, 2011, 11:33 AM
The Rem. 40 grn stuff, is more reliable IMHO... And the opinion of "Jonathan Arthur Ciener, Inc..22LR Conversions" who makes convertible kits for the Glock and other weapons... I am only familiar with the Glock conversion and 40 grn Rem is what works...
C link below:)


January 29, 2011, 11:49 AM
The most accurate .22 long rifle ammo I have ever shot is Wolf match. I know it's Wolf but their .22 match is top notch stuff. After that I like CCI.
It's actually not Wolf, just Wolf-labeled boxes. Wolf match .22 ammo is made by SK in Germany. So if you can't find Wolf Match Target, look for SK Standard. Wolf Match Extra is SK Standard Plus as I recall.

I have fired some actual Russian .22 ammo of some form or another. It was pretty gnarly stuff and actually stuck in the chambers of the Single-Six we were trying it in. I believe that brick is still serving as a door stop at the camp... ;)

January 29, 2011, 12:09 PM
I have very good results, accuracy wise with Eley and Lapua. For reliability in an autoloading rifle I try to stay with Minimags, though the new CCI tactical has been good as well. I hate to buy a tactical .22lr round just from the name, but they feed well and have all lit on the first strike so I am happy, plus at $20/375, they are a little cheaper than minimags.

I really like Champion for a budget ammo. Shoots well in all of my rifles, accuracy wise. It does have a little more trouble cycling an autoloader for some reason though, and as such it tends to be a bolt rifle ammo. The bulk pack stuff out there is all hit or miss. Some will shoot amazingly well and cycle perfectly. Other boxes have a lot of rounds that need a second strike to fire and cause a bunch of jams. I try to count the bulk stuff more as a lottery than anything. If I win and get a good box, great but if I am ready to accept a box that requires a little effort as well.

January 29, 2011, 12:09 PM

January 29, 2011, 12:24 PM
I don't always shoot match ammo in my 22lr but when I do I shoot Wolf MT.

January 29, 2011, 12:56 PM
For what you've described, I'd go with CCI Minimags or Winchester Super-X, both in 40gr solid point rather than HP. My "other" choice would be Federal Automatch, which only comes in solid.

January 29, 2011, 01:11 PM
I like the CCI

Peter M. Eick
January 30, 2011, 03:02 PM
Don't ask me. Ask your rifle. Go buy a bunch of boxes and then shoot a bunch of targets. 22 LR's seem to have a lot of personal preferences.

January 30, 2011, 04:15 PM
My 10/22 gets its best results with CCI MiniMags and Wolf Match Target. Nearly 100% reliability, very clean shooting, and some really outstanding accuracy with the Wolf ammo having a slight edge over the CCI. In the less expensive bulk .22 offerings, I've gotten consistently good performance from Federal and Winchester.

January 31, 2011, 08:06 PM
I have 3 22lr firearms a '65 Nylon 66, and 2 ruger 10/22s I have shot just about every cheap 22lr bullet brand..Aguila,winchester,remington and CCI are what i usually have in my ammo box but i prefer CCI above all others even if its a tad bit more expensive.

January 31, 2011, 10:15 PM
I am also strictly going to shoot good, clean ammunition through it. The high quality stuff is plenty inexpensive for me.

So what would you all call the "best" .22lr ammo out there for reliability in the primer and cleanliness of both powder and leading?

Best is a pretty relative term. You can see by the responses so far that everyone has an opinion. Some say the the bulk pack ammo is reliable and clean, others nudge you toward the more expensive target grade 22 ammo which runs $5.00+/box or more. Some will run you $15+ per box.

My opinion... CCI Mini-Mags are the best for everyday use when comparing cost. For target shooting, I think Wolf Match Target (or SK Standard Plus, same stuff) is the best bang for the buck where you are looking for more consistancy and precision. You also will not go wrong in most cases with CCI Standard Velocity ammo that is sold by Dicks Sporting Goods for $25/brick (10 50-ct boxes). I would try these, but honestly I believe CCI ammo is the cleanest and is very consistant. I use Federal Lightning for plinking and general use as it is cheaper than the CCI Mini-mags ($1.47/50-ct box versus $6.47/100-ct box at Walmart). I seldom shoot bulk pack ammo except for family gatherings where we are strictly plinking and running though a lot of ammo quickly. Yes, you have fail to fires (FTF's) with bulk pack ammo more frequently than other regular boxed ammo. Overall, CCI Mini Mags is what I would take to the woods if I had to survive as long as possible away from civilization.

Regardless of what you will hear, the higher the price of the ammo, the more consistant as far as load and ultimately precision/accuracy in most cases. But why spend $10+ a box to plink with when you can spend much much less? Choice for me depends on what I am using it for.

Your rifle will also seem to have a preference as well. The trick for most of us is to find the cheapest 22 ammo that groups well at 50 yds from your rifle. But if cost is not an issue, then, in general you will get better results from the target grade 22 ammo and normally standard velocity ammo will be more consistant than high speed 22 ammo in terms of group size.

February 1, 2011, 04:23 AM
The very best match ammo if a toss between Eley Tenex and Lapua XAct. Best bulk ammo Lapua by far.

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