Bullet drop on 10/22


February 15, 2013, 07:53 PM
I am shooting a Ruger 10/22 Target version with a Nikon Prostaff 4x12-40 using 36 grain CCI mini mags... I zero'd rifle at 50 yards then move target to 100 yards.. I am getting 18-19 inches of drop at 100 yards. If I remember correctly the ballistic data stated I should be approx 5" low at 100 yards...

I scoped my day's regular 10/22 last weekend and got the same results...

Any advice or help would be appreciated...

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February 15, 2013, 08:00 PM
Maybe your ammo is miss labeled?, sounds like your shooting CCI quiets. Is it cycling the action?

February 15, 2013, 08:01 PM
I'm getting 4-5" of drop with the same ammo in the same gun. Maybe defective ammo?

February 15, 2013, 08:01 PM
Zero both rifles again with different ammo.

What are your steps to zero the rifle? Are you using a solid rest?

Are you sure on your distance?

Have you had someone else try and zero it and match it up with your results?

February 15, 2013, 08:12 PM
I measured the distance off with a measuring wheel so I feel pretty confident in the distances... I have shot 10 shot groups at 50 yards inside a 2" circle so I feel like the zero @ 50 is good.. I'm shooting from a solid rest.. I have tried winchester ammo also.. I have some Velocitor CCIs and some Federal that I have yet to try.. This is a stock gun with no mods except bolt buffer... It has the factory Ruger bull barrel and one thing I did notice was the v-block looks slightly "cockeyed". Anyhow, I am just before sending this thing back to Ruger because I've had probably 5 range sessions with the same results... I may dismount the scope and start all over but just not sure that will help... Any reccomendations????

February 15, 2013, 08:16 PM
Sight height above the bore line can do things like that to your ballistic table "facts" if you don't allow for the difference in scope mount height.

Iron sight height is usually 1.5", and scope height is usually 2.5" above the bore line in default ballistic program settings.

The difference makes a lot of difference at 100 yards with a .22.


February 15, 2013, 08:26 PM
Irons are about 1/2", scopes generally 1.5" above the bore unless they are mounted exceptionaly high for some reason. An AR can often have the sights 2"-2.5" above the bore and that can make a slight difference at long range, and at very close range. That is not the issue here. Even if it were he would be experiencing less bullet drop than expected, not more.

February 15, 2013, 08:31 PM
You are right on sight above bore height.
Except irons are generally considered to be 3/4" not 1/2".

What was I thinking???


February 15, 2013, 08:34 PM

February 15, 2013, 08:50 PM
Doesn't help, but nice looking stock!

Did you clean the gun? Was their any leading? I have had 22 ammo lead some bores heavily, but that is most likely not your problem if you we're able to sight it in at 50.

February 16, 2013, 12:10 AM
I'm wondering if you can determine at what two distances that bullet is passing the line of sight when fired at the same target at a set distance. Perhaps that, along with a chrony could give us some more detailed info.

February 16, 2013, 12:21 AM
Is it a rimfire scope or centerfire? It's not uncommon to have problems using centerfire scopes with rimfire rifles unless you have the adjustable objective type.

February 16, 2013, 08:15 AM
It is a centerfire scope without the AO... I went with a centerfire scope in case I wanted.to switch it to another rifle...

February 16, 2013, 08:40 AM
A number of years ago a friend of mine and I spent a few months testing a few different rifles and handguns with every brand of. 22 we could find. They were all a little different but I remember 48" of drop at 200 and 156" of drop at 300 was about average. 18" @ 100 sounds high like subsonic ammo but I don't remember any that were 4" flat to 100.

February 16, 2013, 01:47 PM
Could be parallax issues with a big centerfire variable on a rimfire. What are your group sizes at 100yds?

February 16, 2013, 03:41 PM
I just can't see how this could be a problem with the gun.

Parallax is best guess so far.

February 16, 2013, 07:13 PM
have you checked for excessive gravity at your range? I typically get 5ish inches of drop moving from 50yd zero to 100yds.

can you chrono your loads? are you moving 900-1200fps? or something much slower?

are you shooting up or downhill? that can do funny things for point of impact, but generally it shoots high when that is a factor.

February 16, 2013, 08:22 PM
Are you using the same sight hold at both distances? What type of hold are you using? Assuming center of target?

Making any sight adjustments after moving the target?

What is the group size at 100yd?

I agree that 18" of drop from 50 to 100yd is too much. Even with CCI SV, there should only be 7.5" drop with that change. Even moving the sight height from 0" to 3" doesn't get 18" drop.

February 16, 2013, 09:31 PM
Here's a little something on scopes from the fine folks over at rimfirecentral.com


February 16, 2013, 09:46 PM
Shooting my CZ 452 zeroed in at 50yds. with CCI SV @ 1060 fps. I get 8" of drop at 100yds. and sub-1" five shot groups. Most CF scopes w/AO will adjust down to 50yds. I don't think parallax is the issue. Try some different ammo the samething happening with your dads rifle. It looks like the ammo.

February 16, 2013, 09:58 PM
Forgive me but I have to ask, are you counting clicks on an MOA scope or did you zero at 50 then simply shoot at 100 without further adjustment? Second, on initial zero, how many clicks were needed to get on target? An approximate number will do, close to 10 or close to 40, etc.

February 16, 2013, 10:08 PM
I've taken this rifle out about 5 times since I bought it new.. Most of those outings I spent most of the time dialing in 50 yards then shoot just a few at 100 yards and then wonder why in the he** I'm getting that much bullet drop.. So, I've never really shot a group at 100 yards. I have a Vortex Crossfire scope with AO that I'm going to mount on the rifle and try this again. I'm gonna make a good effort on that range trip to document exactly what goes on so with everybody's help we can figure this thing out.. I don't have a chrono yet, but I do have several different types of ammo... Thanks for the help and suggestions so far...

February 16, 2013, 10:37 PM
I put PFI Rapid Reticle scopes on all three of my 10-22s. The bullet drop reticle is dead on from 25-200 yds! Bright, clear, great customer assitance, and reasonable prices. Hard to beat! A new illuminated version with HV and SS reticles for $399 are coming out this spring.

February 16, 2013, 10:50 PM
Sounds more like a problem with your scope. Try this, zero at 100 yards then go to 50 yards and see the results. I doubt you will be 19 iinches high at 50 yards.


February 16, 2013, 11:05 PM
Cowtown, we have no idea if this is your second or 50th scope so, what I'm asking is:

Did the scope take an inordinate amount of adjustment to zero?

Did you touch the elevation after zeroing at 50 yards?

There's plenty to go wrong with a scope from loose mounts and bases to broken tracking to parallax error. We must also eliminate human error. I'm wondering if you counted clicks (18 would be 4.5" @ 100 yds) rather than shooting the target and measuring the actual drop. Normally the targets I use for rimfire are printed on standard letter paper so an 18" drop would be off the page and unseen.

February 16, 2013, 11:16 PM
I zero'd at 50 and then held on same target at 100 and measure the distance down to POI.. I did not touch knobs after zeroing at 50... I am shooting silhouette targets so they are big.. I just draw small circles on them and shoot for those... On initial zero it took about 10-15 clicks to get zero'd at 50

Jim, that's one thing I am going to do if the same results occur...

I am not a professional at mounting scopes so its highly likely I am at fault here... I feel like I am capable though...

February 16, 2013, 11:39 PM
I had a problem with a scope I mounted on a Savage 270 a while ago. The screws on the rings were ok but the screws on one of the mounts came loose and I could not get consistant hits with the rifle. It almost drove me insane trying to figure what was wrong.

You may want to lock-tite the screws on attaching the rail to the receiver just to be sure, they are small. It will save wear and tear on your nerves.


February 17, 2013, 12:04 AM
That clears some things up. Barring further evidence it does indeed seem to be ammo related and nice rifle by the way.

February 17, 2013, 09:09 AM
Here's a little something on scopes from the fine folks over at rimfirecentral.com

Thank you for a great reference! I learned a lot.

February 17, 2013, 09:30 AM
Sounds more like a problem with your scope. Try this, zero at 100 yards then go to 50 yards and see the results. I doubt you will be 19 iinches high at 50 yards.

Even if his ammo really is dropping 19" at 100 yds and he zeroed at 100 and shot at 50, of course it wouldn't hit 19" high.

February 17, 2013, 09:42 AM
I should be able to learn something by zeroing at 100 and seeing where the POI is at 50 yards though right? Assuming I still have the problem once I get back on the range..

February 17, 2013, 10:27 AM
A 100 yard zero will only put you about 2" high at 50 yards. Less room for error when introducing your 2" 50 yard group. Try the Winchester.

February 21, 2013, 04:30 PM
I was unable to mount my new scope due to having medium rings and a 50mm objective lens so there were some clearance issues.. However, I went back with the same scope I had previously (Nikon Prostaff 4x12-40) and put it on a Weaver base instead of the factory Ruger base.. Went to the range today with Winchester and Federal ammo and fired 5 shot groups. The black circle is 1.5" in diameter.. I stopped adjusting the scope at W6, which was the 6th group with Winchester.. After I had shot all the outside circles, I moved to the 50 yard station and shot the middle circle on this first target pictured...


Then I put up a new target and messed around shooting at 4x and 12x magnification at the 50 yard station. I never adjusted the scope from the 25 yard zero.. There was maybe a 5mph wind blowing from left to right as you look at this target. Not much at all really...


So, I backed out to the 100 yard station to see what kind of drop I was going to have... Well, it took me a few groups to figure out I was still having 19" of drop, but once I found where I was at I fired a final 5 shot group (shown below)


I'm not sure what to think.. I'd love to send it back to Ruger, but I'm a little skiddish to ship my firearm right now.. I'm not sure how they would approach this.. In hindsight, I should have bought a regular 10-22 and built it myself instead of getting this target version... But regardless, this thing isn't much of a target rifle with behavior like that... Thanks for any advice???

February 21, 2013, 05:00 PM
You don't happen to have a chronograph do you or a friend that has one?

February 21, 2013, 05:08 PM
To eliminate the scope mounting as a variable, have you tried shooting at the same distances with the iron sights? Looking at a .22LR trajectory chart - http://www.guntalk-online.com/images/22hv_plot2.gif - the bore is angled UP to cross the line of sight at about 45 yards, and bullet drop from there should only be about 5 or 6 inches at 100 yards. I just wondered if the scope is mounted slightly DOWN angled, so the bullet never rises above the line of sight, but instead barely reaches it a 50 yards. Or whether that would make any difference, if it hits Point of Aim at 50 yards, anyway.

February 22, 2013, 06:07 PM
Well, I've been having some problems with focusing my eyes and I went to the eye doctor today and found out I'm farsighted. I have what they call latent hyperopia.. It can be corrected with glasses, but my right eye is the worst and thats the eye I use to look through the scope.. I still don't think it answers the bullet drop question, but it I'm sure it affects my ability to look clearly through the scope.. I called Ruger today and got an RMA # so I'm gonna pull the scope, box it up, and ship it out.. Thanks for everyone's help and I'll let you know what they say...

February 22, 2013, 06:17 PM
Best of luck, it looks to be an excellent rifle otherwise.

February 22, 2013, 06:56 PM

I normally zero my .22lr's at 100 yards. With ammo that chrono's at 1200 fps, midrange (50 yards) is approx 3.5" high. This holds true with several guns and various ammunitions. Yes, there will be small variations from gun to gun and ammo to ammo, but it's a good rule of thumb.

I don't know what's wrong with your setup, but something's out of whack. I'd start doing a methodical trouble-tree rundown of the variables & figure out just what's causing the situation. Trouble is, finding .22 ammo right now is getting to be an adventure.


February 22, 2013, 07:11 PM
Thats the problem... I've got a bunch of ammo for this gun and was planning on shooting it until things calm down... Bummer...

February 22, 2013, 08:09 PM
That is strange. But it shows a consistant degrading of accuracy as you go out further.

Could be something with the crown or the rifleling in the barrel? Don't know,


March 14, 2013, 04:25 PM
Just to update this thread... I sent the rifle back to Ruger and they called today stating that they were going to replace the rifle due to the scope base threads being stripped out. Although I don't believe the threads were stripped, I kinda told the lady that I would be happy with that. So hopefully, I will be shooting again here in a couple weeks...

March 16, 2013, 01:18 AM
Sight height above the bore line can do things like that to your ballistic table "facts" if you don't allow for the difference in scope mount height.

Iron sight height is usually 1.5", and scope height is usually 2.5" above the bore line in default ballistic program settings.

Really that much higher? I measured a scoped rifle from center to center (bore/scope) and it was about 1.75"

March 16, 2013, 04:25 AM
See posts #7 & #8 for the amended heights (guideline).

March 17, 2013, 04:07 PM

March 31, 2013, 10:34 AM
Ruger replaced the rifle with a "new" rifle and I'm still getting the exact same results.. 19-20" low at 100 yards with a 50 yard zero... I really like the feel and look of this rifle, but I want it to be a shooter.. I still have some more testing to do with different ammo but I cant help but see the same results coming from all of it... I was really hoping for a good 10/22 experience, but it has been all but one... What should I do?

March 31, 2013, 10:38 AM
The only thing I've not tried different on this rifle is another scope... I know anything is possible, but do you really think this could be the problem?

March 31, 2013, 11:29 AM

Here's my suggestion. Mount a new scope on the new gun. Try to use a "known" scope if at all possible. In other words, one that you know to be good glass & if at all possible one that most of the rest of us know too. A Nikon 4X rimfire would be ideal.

Then, get the gun zero'd at 25 yards with a known ammo. CCI Mini-mags would also be ideal. Then, move a new target out to 50 yards, and change the scope so you are 3.5" high at 50 yards. Then, put a new target up at 100 yards. You should be very close to zero'd at 100 yards.

Use a solid rest, preferably with bags both front and rear. Try to take yourself out of the equation. The only thing you should be doing is sighting through the scope and tripping the trigger, not steadying the gun.


March 31, 2013, 11:49 AM
Im withCB900 , take the shooter out of the equation,
My 10/22's with factory triggers,and aftermarket green mountain barrels,can keep groups
of less than an inch at 50-yards, 1.5" at 100 yards from solid bagged benchrest,
all with CCI mini-mag 36grHP's
No offense against you cowtown,but it may be the shooter, I have had people tell me ther is something wrong with a rifle,and pick it up for the first time ever,and shoot tight groups,,,
Work on taking the human factor out of the equation,,
Do you drink alot of caffeine ? are you COMFORTABLE and relaxed in your shooting position ? Just a few things to think about ...

March 31, 2013, 01:50 PM
Thanks for the responses and I am certainly going to try a different scope.. I'm not a great shooter by any means, but we are talking 19" low at 100 yards with a 50 yard zero... I'm not that bad.. LOL.. My shooting bench is not the greatest, but I do shoot off of bags and am certain that it would not be the cause of 19" of bullet drop at 100 yrds.. I'm going to try what CB900 suggest and get another scope and I'll post the results from that..

April 1, 2013, 03:34 PM
Shot this bastard again today... Zero'd at 100 yards with CCI Mini Mags (1260 FPS) then moved up to 50 yards and was 7 1/2" high at 50 yards... Here is my 100 yard zero 5 shot group...

Shot 7 times at the 50 yard target... Had some ejection issues also so I kicked a couple out but obviously the point of aim was down below this per the tape measure..


Since I had some CCI VELOCITORS which are 1435 FPS ammo I run some of it through my gun... I zero'd it at 50 yards and then pushed the target back to the 100 yard mark and was 14" low at 100 yards... As metioned earlier, I was 19" low with the CCI Mini Mags.

I know these groups suck and I'm not a great shooter, but I'd like to be. I'm just trying to figure out if this rifle is worth a crap or should I send it back as well... I do have a new scope on the way that I'm going to try first chance I get...

April 3, 2013, 03:59 PM
Oh my gosh you guys... Ya'll are going to kick my butt over this one... I went out today to check the distances to the targets and I was wrong... What I had staked as the 50 yard spot was actually right about 70 yards and what I had staked as the 100 yard spot was right at 147 yards.. Please accept my apologies for not checking this way earlier and for consuming those that have helped me tremendously time... I am a big dummy...

So I performed the test again at proper distances and gun shoots 5 to 5 1/2" low at 100 yards with a 50 yard zero...

What really sucks is the gun they replaced mine with has had numerous failure to ejects and the stock isn't as pretty as the one I had previously... I guess I got what I deserved...

Anyhow, once again I am profusely apologetic for this error... Thanks a ton for everybody's help...

April 3, 2013, 04:30 PM
I read this and loled.

Look on the bright side of all this: Those are some awefully nice groups at 70 and 150 yards. :D

April 3, 2013, 04:41 PM
Glad you figured out your problem and you have to give Ruger customer service 5 stars for replacing your rifle with the stripped scope mount screws with a new one. The 10/22 IS a great semi-auto target rifle, especially with polishing of the hammer and sear - NOT to be done by the owner unless you understand triggers. There are great inexpensive hammer/trigger upgrades available over the internet.

April 3, 2013, 04:51 PM
So I guess taking the shooter out of the equation,
(Or taking the tape measure away from him)
Turned out to be the solution anyway !!

April 3, 2013, 04:51 PM
After re-reading your posts you'll find with a Target model with a match chamber, Ruger DOES NOT recommend anything faster then regular 'high velocity' ammo ~1280 fps. Good standard velocity or even sub-sonic ~1000fps will give you better results. My 10/22T liked Federal 719 Match Gold Medal, and SK Std Target, both sold for around $ 4.50/bx 50pre-December pricing. You'll see dramatic group size differences over the cheap ammo.

April 3, 2013, 06:45 PM
Glad it's solved. I simply couldn't plug in any variables to a ballistic program and come up with that kind of drop.

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