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.22LR Ammo-Newbie Overwhelmed by Choices. Advice Please

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by perpster, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. perpster

    perpster Well-Known Member

    I'm new to 22's and will be buying a Marlin 39A &/or Papoose soon. I'm looking for reasonbably priced accurate general purpose ammo mainly for training new shooter at the range (legally blind 12 yr old son, so accuracy will help with confidence building); plinking; small game hunting if SHTF. Self-Defense use highly unlikely. There is an overwhelming array of .22 LR ammo out there. I plan to make a 5,000 round purchase but don't want to waste money on crappy ammo. Any recommendations?

    BTW, I've searched online and found these to be the least expensive (including shipping). Are they any good for my purposes?:

    PMC Zapper 40gr CPRN .0235/round

    CCI Blazer 40gr CPRN .0246/round

    Federal 36gr CPHP .0230/round

    Federal American Eagle 38gr CPHP .0265/round

    Thanks in advance for you advice on these or other recommendations.
  2. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Don't buy 5000 rounds. .22LR semiautos like the Papoose are known for "liking" some ammo and not other ammo.

    "Like" can mean reliable feeding and great accuracy. "Dislike" can mean failures to feed or eject reliably, and/or poor accuracy.

    Just buy a "brick" of one, then another. A brick is 500 rounds; sometimes you'll get a box of 550.

    I personally like Remington Golden Bullet in boxes of 550 at Wal-Mart for under 10 bucks. Other people don't. I've had great accuracy with PMC Sidewinder and Scoremaster rounds, but they're unplated lead so they don't feed as well in some semiautos.

    If you want to do an online purchase, get a brick of each. Try them all.

    The key is to find the cheapest ammo that works well in your gun, not necessarily the cheapest ammo you can find.

    I think American Eagle is crap, but again, other opinions may differ.

    Also, you may want to get plated bullets. Again, they often feed better.
  3. Darth Ruger

    Darth Ruger Well-Known Member

    Here's a little shootin' fun to keep you going until you get your new rimfire...

    Shut up and dance!
  4. albanian

    albanian member

    Just go around to the local shops and buy a box or two (50rds) of evey type of cheap ammo you can find. Some guns will like Rem and some will like Win. There is no way that we can say what your gun is going to like.

    For example, my Ruger MKII doesn't like Winchester ammo but my CZ-452 shoots it like it is match ammo. I am talking about the $1.00 per box cheap stuff here. If you by 6-7 different types of ammo and shoot them on paper, you will see some are less accurate and some that much more accurate in your gun. It is a quick easy and cheap way to do it. If you have other .22lrs, the ammo that it doesn't like can be used on another gun.

    I shot CCI Stinger out of my CZ-452 and I got 1.5" groups at 50 yards. I then shot the cheap Win ammo and I sub .5" groups with no problem. That is a HUGE accuracy difference. When you find ammo that your gun likes and it is cheap, there is no reason to switch. After you find what your gun likes, you can then go and buy in bulk without worry.
  5. Technosavant

    Technosavant Well-Known Member

    I have used the Remington Golden Bullets; at best, they are OK. Effective against small game, my guns like them, but the dud rate is pretty high. Pretty much the same for the Thunderbolts.

    I hear good things about the Federal 500 round packs, and once I shoot through my last brick of the GBs, I plan to try them (same price as the GB). No point in spending real money on a bunch of ammo until you know your gun likes it. .22LR guns seem to be awfully particular.
  6. perpster

    perpster Well-Known Member

    I've been reading here on THR that ammo prices are going up at the end of the month, so I figured a bulk buy now would be a good idea. I guess not!
  7. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    That's the thing. I've shot thousands of Golden Bullets and have had maybe 3 duds total. Lowest dud count of any ammo I've used except for high-end stuff. And it's been almost as accurate as my guns can shoot.

    Other people complain of a flyer every 5 rounds, lots of duds, etc. This just hasn't been my experience. That's why you have to try a bunch. Your gun's opinion matters a lot more than mine!:)

    I'm guessing that Wal-Mart is a good source for the Remington bulk ammo because it's fresh.
  8. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Well-Known Member

    Choose whatever your rifle likes best---is the short and fast answer---each gun is a law unto itself----esp .22's.
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    A bulk buy of ammo your gun doesn't like is a waste of money.

    .22LR ammo can go up a fair amount before it will matter much. Frankly I don't know how they make it so cheap, and still good enough to hit anything.
  10. Lupinus

    Lupinus Well-Known Member

    buy a brick (500, some give 550) or ammo. Federal, Remington, and Winchester make bricks that are fairly similer. Federals and Reminton work about the same out of my marlin 60, the federals are a bit more reliable in that that will fire more often but the groups are wider, the rems are dirtier and with better groups but have more failure to fires. Winchesters I have never used and IMO mini mags aren't worth the money as I haven't gotten better results out of them then I have with remington. I've never used them for hunting so they might be better, but for paper punching they aren't worth the extra money
  11. 30Cal

    30Cal Well-Known Member

    I almost always shoot subsonic ammo. A barrel will last forever with subsonic. It's not very hard to shoot one out using high velocity.

  12. Balog

    Balog Well-Known Member

    Perpster: great topic!

    Any thoughts on match ammo? Is it worth the extra $? I read an article about how Eley makes their premium ammo; it's insane! They factor in stuff like the weather at the plant the day the powder was made etc.

    Edit: 30Cal, do you ever have problems with leading using subsonic only? Does anyone make plated subsonic, or does it even matter?
  13. cmidkiff

    cmidkiff Well-Known Member

    I buy Winchester SuperX. Reasonably cheap, and it's reliable out of my two primary .22's (Browning Buckmark and Ruger 10/22).

    As others have said, buy a box, or at most a brick. If it doesn't function in your gun, try something else until you find something that it likes. Then you can buy a case :)
  14. Rampant_Colt

    Rampant_Colt Well-Known Member

    sometimes .22's can be finicky when it comes to ammunition selection. .you'll have to experiment with what the rifle likes best. Fortunately for you you're not going to be using an autoloader, so functionality won't be an issue.

    i would suggest buying whatever's on sale! - lol

    Remington Thunderbolt, CCI Mini-Mag, CCI SGB(small game bullet)

    get the Marlin 39!
  15. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Nope. Not unless you're shooting in serious matches, and for that you'd be shooting entirely different guns, with different chambers, too.

    PMC Scoremaster, though, is an inexpensive standard-velocity "match practice" ammo that will give excellent accuracy for a few bucks more per brick than their regular stuff.

    WRT shooting out a barrel...

    Really? Does a barrel shoot out that much faster when the MV is 1150 vs. 1050 fps?

    Don't use Stingers or other super-hot rounds for plinking, but they're too expensive for that anyway, and they're not the most accurate.
  16. LHB1

    LHB1 Well-Known Member

    Quote: "I almost always shoot subsonic ammo. A barrel will last forever with subsonic. It's not very hard to shoot one out using high velocity."

    If you are talking about .22 LR ammo, I have NEVER seen a barrel shot out using std or HV ammo. This ammo is neither hard jacketed nor has enough powder to harm the barrel IMO. Have seen some .22 LR barrels ruined by careless cleaning. If you are talking about .22-250 or .220 Swift rifle barrels/ammo, that is different.

    Good shooting and be safe.
  17. pauli

    pauli Well-Known Member

    leave the house with $30; come home with a brick of remington, a brick of federal, and a brick of winchester. shoot some of each till you know which one to buy more of.

    i am of the opinion that unless one is quite serious about 22s, or one has a particularly finicky gun that simply must have its own diet, there's no reason whatsoever to get anything that doesn't come in bricks. also, excepting the same conditions, buying 22 online is rarely a good idea.

    (i shoot federal in my 39a, because it's cleaner shooting than remington or winchester. the gun simply doesn't *care* what it gets loaded with, it feeds and fires all of it)
  18. 30Cal

    30Cal Well-Known Member

    I don't think so. I've never cleaned the bore of my .22.

    Maybe I'm all hosed up on the HiVel issue. I remember reading it as a kid somewhere.

  19. P-32

    P-32 Well-Known Member

    Buy a single of of everything you can get your hands on. Bench rest it with sand bags and see which ammo it likes. I would clean between the different types of ammo as some takes some shooting before it settles in with powder/wax/lube combo.
  20. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Well-Known Member

    Let's see, at last count I have two .22 handguns and five .22 rifles:

    Ruger Single-Six
    Ruger Mark I (really a Standard model)
    Winchester 1906
    Browning Auto
    Ruger 10/22
    Taurus 63
    Marlin 39A

    All of them function reliably with acceptable accuracy with the bulk pack Federal ammo that runs about $8 per 550 at Wal-Mart.

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