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.22 LR ammo question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by KJS, Oct 24, 2010.

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  1. KJS

    KJS Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    I wasn't sure where to put this question as .22 LR could be run through all sorts of handguns & rifles, but since I'm using it in a Ruger MK III I picked the autoloader area.

    Why does .22 LR ammo with bare lead bullets exist, as opposed to copper-plated bullets?

    I'm totally stumped on this one. It can't be a cost issue, since my MK III loves to eat the lowest cost copper-plated bulk packs I can find.

    Do lead bullets have some advantage that I simply fail to see? Seems like a copper jacket would be nice to help prevent fouling the barrel with lead.

    I'm guessing there must be some advantage to bare lead given that it's widely available. Perhaps some of you can clue me in as to what that advantage might be?

  2. 9x19

    9x19 member

    Dec 30, 2002
    On a .22LR, that copper is NOT a jacket, but rather just a wash. Think of it as paint rather than skin. Its only purpose is to provide a measure of lubrication for the pure lead bullet.

    Those without the copper also have a lube applied, it just isn't obvious as it's not brightly colored.
  3. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Western Slope of Colorado
    Take a look at the high end .22LR from Eley, SK and others. All the target ammo is lubed lead. No copper wash anywhere. Thing is all the target ammo is low velocity.
  4. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Near Camp Perry
    I think it is the consistent nature of lead as compared to copper wash.

    For casual shooting or anything not requiring 1/2" accuracy at 50 yards, don't worry about it.
  5. TonyT

    TonyT Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    All the SV ammo comes without the copper/brass wash which is used in much of the HV ammo. I prefer the SV ammo for accuracy but for plinking purposes the copper washed HV ammo does suffice.
  6. DasFriek

    DasFriek Member

    Jun 5, 2009
    I tend to prefer all lead ammo as then when you clean the bore you only have lead to clean out and not a combo of lead and copper.

    Copped washed ammo tends to have very little to no lube which i don't care for as a good lube generally tends to make for a more accurate round. But there is alot more to a good accurate round than just lube.

    But you may have a point that copper washed bullets may not foul a barrel as fast as wax and lube build up will definitely kill accuracy depending on the gun and barrel.

    I shoot .22lr benchrest with a custom made CZ 452 Ultra Lux and It will pretty much only shoot lead ammo accurately. Even cheaper lead ammo as long as its standard velocity.
    But when it comes to high velocity lead still does better imo with this gun.

    But i do shoot the copper washed ammo in my Ruger MKIII 22/45 and it likes it just fine.
    But its more accurate with any standard velocity ammo even the cheaper stuff. But with high velocity it dont mind either bullet types.
  7. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    Copper plated bullets were designed to be used without the greasy wax based lubricant found on plain lead bullets and they don't lead the bore near as bad at the high velocities.
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