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.22 ammo inaccuracy - Short, CB, subsonic

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Caimlas, May 5, 2008.

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  1. Caimlas

    Caimlas Member

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    I've read that subsonic rounds are inherently more accurate than supersonic rounds, on the basis that they do not breach and re-enter the sound barrier, causing

    Does this hold any validity?

    I recently went out and purchased some .22 cal 780fps (iirc) CCI CB ammo to try and test this theory. While I was able to dime-hole (er, a bit smaller, actually) the targets I was shooting at 25 yards with Remington Game Load and CCI Mini Mag, I spent the better parts of an hour and 100 rounds of the CCI CBs missing the 4"x4" paper targets I was using. At first I thought it was a pressure charge issue, with the bullets simply not having the same trajectory (it took me a while to figure out precisely where the bullets were going, unfortunately). That proved to be un-true, and the bullets were simply impacting in a much larger radius (about 8" @ 25yds).

    I went back to shooting 'bulk' and the CCI ammo afterwards to verify that it wasn't the gun. I was still able to shoot the brass 'tops' off shotgun hulls at 50 yards, and the paper targets looked the same.

    So what's the scoop here? I'm shooting with a CZ 452, by no means a 'crap rifle'. Could it be a rifling twist issue? Or my rifle simply not 'liking' the CCI CB Short ammo? Or something to do with the rate of twist? I find it hard to believe there'd be that much inherent inaccuracy in a commercially loaded round.

    If it is in fact that the CB Shorts are just bad/inaccurate, are there any other subsonic rounds I might be able to try which have shown to be accurate, in your experience?
     
  2. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    I find CB shorts to be not so accurate, but accurate enough to dispatch rabbits and groundsquirels in my yard.

    I'm betting the lack of accuracy has to do with the long jump the bullet has to make before it hits the rifling- at least this is my theory for shorts.
     
  3. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    I've never had good luck with CB caps and I shot hundreds of them before I finally gave up trying. CCI CB longs were the best that I tried. I actually fired Remington CB's over a chronograph and the velocity variations out of a Ruger Mk2 were as high as 100% ranging from around 250fps to around 500 fps. Out of a Remington Fieldmaster, the velocities ranged from around 500 fps to around 750 fps.

    If you really want quiet accuracy, I think you have two options. If you live in a state that allows it, you can fill out the forms and pay the $200 and get a silencer, or you can lay out the money for a good quality airgun.
     
  4. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    I don't think 25 yards is a long enough distance to allow your CCI mini mags to slow down enough to pass into subsonic range. If they stay supersonic, they don't experience the turbulence. Typically the range where this occurs is somewhere around 70 yards (this can vary greatly depending on initial velocity).

    Also, CBs (at least in my experience) have not had very good accuracy, although I will say that 8" at 25 yards is quite a bit worse than the groups I normally get from it. I used to shoot CBs a lot because it was quiet. but after I got a can I almost never shoot it anymore.

    Most "match" quality .22 ammo will be subsonic and, depending on your rifle, should be very accurate.
     
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    It is true that subsonic .22 ammo is inherently more accurate, at least at the ranges where it crosses the sound barrier. Past those ranges, it tends to be fine, too.

    However, that assumes equal ammo quality and consistency.

    Match subsonic ammo is insanely accurate in a top-quality gun and barrel. I don't believe you can equal that accuracy with HV ammo. However, there's nothing stopping someone from making crappy ammo that has a subsonic velocity.
     
  6. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    CB shorts have something like 480 fps. CB longs come in at around 780 and sub sonic @ 1050 with cci mini mag high-velocity @ some 1200 fps.

    my experience is that CB's are NOT accurate rounds. I've bench rested a ruger 10/22, CB longs won't cycle the action, and shots are all over the place.
     
  7. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Note that most of the propulsion of a CB round comes from the primer. The rest comes from a few grains of powder bouncing around in the case. In a rimfire, I'm sure this is far from consistent.
     
  8. Caimlas

    Caimlas Member

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    Yeah, I realize that; however, part of the appeal of subsonics is that I'd be able to get my wife shooting more (she hates the over-ear protection and has a hard time getting in-ear protection to stay). Another reason is because I'd like to be able to shoot without bothering the people up the road, and not have to resort to using an air rifle (I want to practice accurate shooting out to and past 100yds, on the cheap).

    There were two variants of .22 CCI shorts being offered when I got these: the ones I got said 780fps, the ones I left said 1080fps - and as the speed of sound is only marginally faster than the later, I don't think I can trust that speed in cold weather (I'd be too concerned about it coming out around 1116fps and immediately dropping below the barrier).

    Anyone know of a good source for .22 match ammo? Recommendations on brand of (subsonic) .22 match ammo?
     
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Eley is some of the good stuff. Some have great results with Wolf.

    It ain't cheap, though.

    PMC used to sell Scoremaster, a budget-priced target ammo for practice. I still have a little, but haven't seen it in a while.
     
  10. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    CB Longs are not the same thing as your typical Subsonic Ammo.

    They are extremely light loads for 22. With a light bullet.

    Accuracy is generally poor.




    Go get some CCI Subsonics. Forget about CB longs, or shorts if you want to shoot really accurately.


    lux029_small_dist.jpg
     
  11. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    Oh yeah, something you should be aware of.


    CZ 452 rifles in 22lr have a fairly tight chamber and bore. The CCI Subsonic bullet ogive is such that, you will feel it engrave the rifling when you close the bolt. It is just a tad harder to close the bolt.

    I find I get excellent accuracy with the CCI Subsonics. I just bought 1k of them because they shoot so well.
     
  12. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    CB shorts and Longs also use a light 29 grain bullet which will not stabalize in a .22 long rifle barrel.
    With the shorts you also have the problem of the bullet jumping the longer chamber dimension to reach the rifled portion of the barrel bore.

    Subsonics use a heavier 40 grain bullet and are just what the doctor ordered for the normal 1-14" .22 long rifle barrel.
    I have had very good luck in a couple of rifles with the 42 grain silhouette load from CCI.
    Fairly quiet, very accurate, and powerful.
     
  13. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    mostly speaking, cb bullets are made with the tolerances of a candy bar, you may or may not have a rifle that likes them. Now I have a couple that do; but is not the cb shorts that they like but the cb longs, also regular shorts, and regular longs. Try these instead. I have two rifles specifically made to fire shorts, and even they don't care for the cb's, but they do like the regular shorts, and hi speed shorts.
     
  14. bhk

    bhk Member

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    As stated a couple posts above, you need to be comparing subsonic long rifle cartridges with high velocity long rifle cartridges - both with 40 grain bullets. This is were the accuracy advantage generally favors the slower projectile. Rimfire barrels are generally rifled with a twist of 1 in 16, favoring the 40 grainer. The 29 grain bullets in the CB caps, .22 longs, and .22 shorts are at a distinct disadvantage with the 1 in 16 twist. Some specialty barrels have been made for .22 shorts that have a slower twist.

    .22s are funny things. The wind actually favors subsonics more the high velocity stuff. This makes little sense, but it is true. You also don't have to worry about the subsonic bullet slowing down ,crossing the sound barrier, and getting unstabilized as it does so. This can be more of an issue at the 50 yard line or longer, as the high velocity stuff may not cross below the sonic barrier at close range.

    Also of note, the manufactures tailor make much of the subsonic stuff specificially for the accuracy-minded shooter. More care in production is taken, and better machines may be used. For a long time (maybe still), the best Ely target stuff was made on four loading machines in England. The benchresters shooting the 1000 - 4000 dollar rifles would actually tailor their guns to ammo produced on a specific machine. You can tell the machine number on Ely ammo from the code on the box label.
     
  15. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    It only holds validity IF the supersonic round in question becomes subsonic on the way to the target. 9 times out of 10, shooting at game, with the .22 being a short-range round, the supersonic round going at 1200-1300 from the muzzle is still going 1100-1250 when it hits the target, making it capable of equal accuracy to subsonics (since sonic speed is around 1075 IIRC). It is *transcending* the sound barrier which can cause instability, not simply being on either side of the sound barrier. And the accuracy disturbance is quite miniscule anyway, which will only be noticed in serious competitions, measuring groups in the tenths or hundredths of inches.

    Interesting tidbit about accuracy of low-powered .22 rounds.

    I tested side by side in two different rifles, the following two ammo types:
    1. RWS "6mm BB Caps", aka "Flobert" caps, which look almost like .22 blanks. They are .22, not 6mm though, despite the name. German made. Supposedly around 700 fps.
    2. Aguila "Super Colibri". Mexican made. Supposedly around 500 fps.

    After testing was said and done, the Aguila ammo proved markedly more accurate in BOTH rifles than the "good" German stuff. Surprise, surprise. So try the Super Colibri if 20 grains @ 500 fps is enough to do your job. In any event, the Floberts in a CZ 452 Lux are plenty accurate to kill birds at 7-10 yards, as I have done this several times. Problem is, these rounds are TOO powerful for that use - too much penetration -they go through the grackle and put a hole in the doghouse.

    The "Air Force" brand "Condor" .22 cal air rifle is a very high quality, very powerful PCP air rifle which can be made to be extremely quiet when properly accessorized.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/air-force-air-guns.shtml

    http://www.straightshooters.com/navagationpages/allairforceguns.html
     
  16. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    holy moly! 1500 bucks for an air rifle?

    I think I'd buy a Marlin 39 first.
     
  17. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    The main reason for buying high end airguns is to be able to shoot them in places that you can't shoot firearms, like your backyard. I haven't spent $1500 on an airgun yet, but I did spend $800 a few years ago, and then spent another $500 on charging equipment. It shoots dime sized groups at 50 yards and it's nearly silent. With a full charge you actually hear the hammer hit the valve.

    So sure, I could have bought a Marlin 39 and probably a nice centerfire for what I spent on an airgun, but I wouldn't be getting in any more shooting time had I done that. Having good airguns probably triples the amount of trigger time I get. And then there's the hunting opportunities.
     
  18. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    IIRC, the "BB" (for Bulleted Breech)caps aka "Flobert" ammo was intended for "gallery" practice and informal play, generally indoors and at very short ranges in purpose-made guns. Many were sold basically as novelties and recreational 'toys'. I've seen the term "parlor guns" used to describe them in period writings.

    "CB" caps are basically the same thing, with the "C" indicating a conical projectile instead of a ball.

    Both were originally loaded without powder and used the force generated by the priming compound to propel the bullet.

    IMO, the modern CCI and Aguila versions are intended to serve the same kind of purposes, only in arms chambered for more powerful conventional RF cartridges: Gallery-style plinking, casual recreation and the occasional very small pest at very short (measured in feet) range.

    Also just MO, but I agree that getting fine accuracy with them in any given weapon is pretty much a matter of happy chance.

    In almost all of my .22 RF arms with manually operated actions "Subsonic" (translation from Marketingspeak: "standard" velocity) ammo of one brand or another gives me my very smallest average groups. This is much more apparent at ranges past 50 yds, FWIW.

    Three brands that have given me near "Match" level accuracy at much lower cost are Aguila SV solids, Ely "Sport" solids and PMC "Moderator" HPs. All can still be had for about $1.49/50 in quantity with a little looking.

    Edited to add: I'm with Elmer on air rifles. I haven't spent anywhere near $1500, or even $800 on one but my RWS .22 M48 lets me practice, hunt and eliminate pests in places where a firearm with any ammo would bring me unwelcome attention from my LEO friends and acquaintances in their professional capacity. About the best $269 I've spent in terms of all-around usefullness, IMO.
     
  19. pr0m3th3u5

    pr0m3th3u5 Member

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    I don't know what every one is talking about inaccuracy with CB's. Here are my results at 83yds with them after a rough zero. At 50 I can drill the red dot repeatedly.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. pr0m3th3u5

    pr0m3th3u5 Member

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  21. JDMorris

    JDMorris Member

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    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Fixed it for you.
     
  22. GLShooter

    GLShooter Member

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    The twist rate my not be right for the Shorts and CB caps. 22 Short barrels from Volquartsen have a different twist rate than the LR barrels.

    From WIKI:

    It should also be noted that many rifles marked ".22 Short, Long and Long Rifle" (or ".22 S, L, LR") will not shoot Short rounds with the same degree of accuracy as they will a Long Rifle nor as accurately as a rifle designed for .22 Short exclusively. This is due to the .22 Short round using a 27–29 grain bullet, which requires a barrel with a 1-20 to 1-24 twist. A rifle for "Short, Long and Long Rifle" will normally have a 1-16 twist, which is proper for .22 Long Rifle rounds using 40 grain bullets. In addition, the excess chamber length needed to allow chambering of .22 LR cartridges requires the bullet from a .22 Short to travel a short distance before it engages the rifling, which is detrimental to accuracy.

    Greg
     
  23. bhk

    bhk Member

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    Yea, but a good subsonic target round with a 40 grain bullet will place all the rounds in a half inch group at that distance.
     
  24. wrench

    wrench Member

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    My Savage MkII is quite accurate with CB longs out to 25y, that's the furthest I've tried them. Super Colibri's are slightly less accurate, but adequate for the occasional squirrel.
    An old Remington 121, accurate as heck with CCI SV, sprays the CBs all over. I could throw them more accurately.
    I'm not sure either one has the guts to go 100y in any rifle, and give a decent performance.
    They are quiet, though.
     
  25. hotchihuahua

    hotchihuahua Member

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    I have many .22 rifles, both bolt and semi-auto, and use several of them in competition (silhouettes and NRA small bore 50 ft.) and the one thing I can tell you is that you have to find the particular ammo a particular rifle likes the best. There is no one ammo that will work across the board in every rifle. Some of mine like high velocity (1200 fps or so) and some like standard velocity (1080 fps or so).
     
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