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Best ammo for S&W 22A .22LR Semi-Auto?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by marklbucla, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. marklbucla

    marklbucla Well-Known Member

    I have a S&W 22A Sport semi auto that's been jamming on me very frequently (~3 times per magazine load). I've gotten stovepipes as well as other ejection problems, and sometimes rounds aren't loaded from the magazine after a shot is fired. Any idea what could be wrong? I usually keep it cleaned and lubed before I go to the range. Could this be an ammo issue? I've been using Remington Thunderbolts and CCI Blazers exclusively. Thanks in advance!
  2. Hal

    Hal Well-Known Member

    Most likely it's dirt and the waxy lube from the Thunderbolts built up on the front part of the magazine. Use a dry bonze brush (not stainless since it could scratch the mag and add to the problem)to scrub the heck out of the mag, then follow up by running some dry cleaning patches down the mag. If you feel you HAVE to lube it, use some form of dry lube.

    Thunderbolts are filthy and leave a lot of crud.

    Make sure the hook on the back of the top rail is OK. I've read online about people having that hook shear off.

    Finally, check the little plastic slide buffer to make sure it hasn't disintegrated. The one on my 22s is only good for 500 rounds or so, then it gets too chewed up to work. Little bits of chewed up plastic start finding their way into the slide area, and hang things up.

    (side note - Those things (22s/22a) sure are spooky accurate aren't they?)
  3. blades67

    blades67 Well-Known Member

    Try some CCI Stingers after you clean the magazines and the gunk under the extractor.
  4. marklbucla

    marklbucla Well-Known Member

    So CCI Stingers are the "best" .22LR Target ammo? What's the difference between those and the Blazers?
  5. Bill Adair

    Bill Adair Well-Known Member

    My 22S shoots most accurately with Federal 711, Eley, and Dynamit Nobel (the last two are more expensive).

    Target and match ammo (lower velocity) appear to be the most reliable for my particular 22S, and at least one S&W 422 that we tried it in. The 422 was being fired by a couple of ladies at the range, and malfunctioned regularly with standard high velocity ammo, so I offered them a box of my Federal match ammo to try, and it worked flawlessly for them.

    Most 22 autos are very reliable, but when feeding problems do occur, it's often the ammo, or lack of proper cleaning.

    Ditto what Hal says about the recoil spring buffer. S&W sent me a free bag of them on request, and will probably do the same for you.

  6. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Well-Known Member

    No, stingers aren't really target ammo at all; they're too fast. Target ammo tends to stay under the speed of sound, since breaking the sonic barrier causes some slight instability. But few of us are probably good enough shots for this to matter; I'm sure not. The other thing you pay for in high-quality target ammo is SD, Standard Deviation. That is, rounds that cost a dime a piece are going to be very consistent in bullet weight, powder charge, etc., every time; and that consistency converts (again, if you're able) into remarkable accuracy.

    I don't know what your particular gun's preferences are going to be. 22s are notorious for having distinctive ammo preferences--sometimes even from gun to gun within the same model. I do know that among Ruger afficianados, a standard recommendation for most reliable performance is CCI Minimags. They aren't top-flight target ammo, but they're not big-box bulk stuff, either. If your pistol is still breaking in, you might try shooting a few hundred (or better, thousand) of these--they have enough oomph to work the action smooth and are smooth and consistent enough that I've never had any feed or ejection problems with them (as I have with some other rounds).

  7. cratz2

    cratz2 Well-Known Member

    I've had good luck with shooting Federal Lightnings and the CCI Mini Mags in my 22A. I hate to say it, but I really don't like my 22A at all. I bought it for a very good price when I went in to buy my first Phoneix Arms HP22 but the S&W was on sale for just about $30 more so I got it. I've since bought two HP22s and in all honesty, I've had better experience with the HP22s than the Smith. Mine was brand new and when I got it, the slide stop would not stay up and it was missing the bottom right side grip screw. I sent it to Smith which promptly fixed the slide stop and sent it back to me still missing the grip screw. Very disappointing. It was always reliable as long as you pushed the slide stop up though.

    Hope you've had better luck that I did. :(
  8. Felonious Monk

    Felonious Monk Well-Known Member

    I qualified for my CCW using a friend's Smith 22A, and I had AT LEAST one cycle failure for EVERY mag I shot. It seemed to me that the magazines the gun came with were just cheap crap. Maybe with some good aftermarkets, it would be better.

    My $75 used Phoenix HP22 has been 100% through about 1500 rounds.
  9. agony

    agony Well-Known Member

    My 22A has nearly 60,000 rounds through it, and it is more reliable now than during the first 2,000 rounds. Go figure.
    It likes the cheap Blazer and the Federal 550 plated HP packs from walmart. I save the target ammo for the 'serious' 22lr pistols.

    I'm a fan of the 22A, as it has proven effective in 'turning on' non-shooters to the joys of firearms.
  10. Hamonrye

    Hamonrye Well-Known Member

    I always use Federal gold or lightning, wildcat 22, CCI mini mag. It loves them all except for the 22 thunderbolt. I shoot all lead or copper plated, I do not mix them when shooting for the day. Someone told me that it is not good for the barrel to mix until you clean it. I have never owned a 22lr the 22a is my first and I now have over 3000 rounds through it and I just bought a 10/22. I never new how much fun they would be and how accurate they are. And the ammo is cheap to boot.
  11. marklbucla

    marklbucla Well-Known Member

    copper coated?

    So I was just at Turner's earlier today and the salesman suggested that the lead tipped rounds are causing the failures. Does it make sense to assume that the stovepiping and load failures are due to the tips? Would copper load better than lead? I picked up a box of the Remingtons and will get a better answer later I guess.
  12. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Well-Known Member

    I've used nothing but Federal bulk hp's in mine and it likes them just fine. It did take a brick of them to get it broken in tho' and until I took a file to it, sometimes the hp would get hung up in the little mag catch slots.
  13. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Well-Known Member

    I have used the Fedral HP's as well and have probably close to 1500 rounds through it now without any ammo related hiccups (my extractor kept breakin but I got that fixed). If the thorough cleaning doesn't do it, call S&W and send it back for them to fix.


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