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Any Good? Russian .22 Ammo "Junior" Brand

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Speedo66, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Well-Known Member

    I was offered some Russian .22 ammo, Junior Brand.

    Steel cased and lead bullets, 500/pack.

    Anyone know if this is corrosive? Also, any chance of steel cased ammo damaging my Marlin .22 semi auto rifle?

    Some research shows it's considered accurate but dirty.

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
  2. Geneseo1911

    Geneseo1911 Well-Known Member

    I'd advise you to stay away unless it's free (or REAL cheap). My brother bought some in the 90s, and I included it when I tested ammo in my 10/22. Of the 16 brands I tried, it performed the worst. It produced 4" groups at 50 yds. I could hear the difference in powder charges, and the vertical stringing proved the inconstancy.

    The bullets are very heavily waxed, which isn't necessarily bad, but they tend to gun up mags & actions, and jam fairly regularly, which could be caused by the wax or the light charges. It is also the dirtiest burning ammo I've ever seen, bar none.

    I do occasionally use it to plink with through my old rolling block Remington. It appears to be non-corrosive as the old Remington used to see many rounds of that crap with long periods between cleaning.

    There is rumor of the steel cases being hard on extractors, especially on 10/22s which have marginal extractors anyway. That is the reason my brother quit shooting it. I don't know if I buy this or not.

    Anyway, if you want to buy some, I have about 3K rounds left... I see it fairly regularly at gun shows being sold as "vintage Russian .22 ammo" for the same price as a guy can buy Eley online; I've always wanted to take some & try to sell to the dealers.
  3. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    It's wonderfully accurate and hideously dirty, in fact the dirtiest ammunition I've EVER fired. I liken the fouling as being somewhere in between that produced by black powder and Bullseye.

    Also, do NOT try to use it in a Ruger MkI or MkII. The bullets act as though they're on a ball joint. When the tip hits the feed ramp, it snaps upward at an angle, making it impossible to feed. It seemed to work much better in High Standards, since the feed was just about straight in.

    The best use for this stuff is in a single shot rifle of some sort. Back in the early '90s, a friend tested a bunch of .22lr in his Martini target rifle. It was as accurate or more so than Eley.

    The brass cased Junior worked much better in semi-auto handguns.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    I have heard the brass cased stuff is okay. The steel cased stuff, not so okay. I was going to buy some at Sportsman Guide back when they had a bunch and decided not to bother after reading about it.
  5. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all, just what I had thought.

    Same person also has Rem. Thunderbolt he wants to sell, which I believe should also be avoided as being dirty and inconsistant.

    Looks like he's trying to get me to take out his trash.
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    Thunderbolts aren't that bad, regardless of what many say. I shot a brick of them in the last two weeks and had no fail to fires (FTF). Like everything else, it depends what you are shooting them in and the purpose of the shooting. Some guns have more FTF's than others. If you're shooting them in a lever action rifle for example, an occasional FTF is not such a big deal as with say a Ruger 10/22. You just eject it and go on.
  7. Geneseo1911

    Geneseo1911 Well-Known Member

    Okay; This:
    made me wonder if I was full of crap and couldn't remember the testing I did 2 years ago, so I dug out my stuff.

    Out of my 19" 10/22 (which I shot Rifleman with a month ago, so it's a decent gun) at 50 yds, with a scope & bags, I got my largest group with Junior:2.75" - best 1.063, worst 4.5
    2nd worst was Winchester Wildcat at 2.282 - best 2, worst 2.75
    My best group was with some Remington/Eley that shot 1" even - best .875, worst 1.25
    2nd best CCI Minimags at 1.016" - best .75, worst 1.75
    My pick for bulk purchase was Federal American Eagle, which is about as cheap as you can get, and managed 1.18" - best 1, worst 1.5 (third overall)

    Anyway, I'm sure some of the 15 may have done poorly due to bullet weight, etc., and as we all know, .22s are very ammo-picky, but if you look at the Junior target, you will see some vertical stringing, as well as the fact that it shot very low. The only other ammo to have similar POI was Remington Subsonic. CCI Velocitors were high by a similar amount, but the rest were pretty well clustered around the target. I'm guessing that there must be a significant difference in velocity to print that far off at 50'.

    Also note that this is steel case ammo. The paper wrap says
    , but the casings do attract a magnet. I think my brother may have bought this as brass cased, but opened it to find steel. He bought it about 10-15 years ago, so no one remembers now.

    The packages are stamped M88, so my guess is 1988 production, but who knows. Anyway, I'm not saying anyone is wrong, it's quite possible that the trip through the autoloader buggered up the soft lead bullets or twisted them in the case. I haven't shot them through the rolling block onto paper, but I'm adding that to my to-do list now. I will say that I killed quite a few Starlings with Junior in my Remington, however.

    I shot 4 5 shot groups of each ammo. One of the Junior rounds did not hit paper, but it did hit the backer and produced the 4.5" group. Without it, the avg. would be 2.25, but I didn't jerk and the bore was dirty, so I see no reason to call it a flyer.

  8. jnyork

    jnyork Well-Known Member

    A guy gave me a brick of that stuff once, I messed with it for a while and threw it away.
  9. Average Joe

    Average Joe Well-Known Member

    Waxy and dirty. I will never buy that junk again.
  10. XTerminator

    XTerminator Well-Known Member

    If I remember correctly the Russian .22 ammo also came in a yellow box with brass cases. The yellow box was much more accurate. The last time I shot some was over 15 years ago, though. Still have some buried in one of my closets, I think.


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