Federal Auto Match: Bad Performance

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by AzShooter1, Sep 1, 2022.

  1. AzShooter1

    AzShooter1 Member

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    I tried a mix of ammo today in my S&W 617 to get ready for our next Steel Challenge Match. My goal is to find accurate, reliable ammo that will extract easily from my chambers. I tried CCI Mini Mags, CCI Blazer, Remington Golden Bullet 1400 bucket, Wolf Me, Eley Force and Federal Auto Match.

    I got a variety of conclusions and a few surprises. Mini Mags are very consistent in both accuracy
    and reliability. 4 inch with open cylinder.jpg They run very clean and in 200 rounds I did not have to clean the cylinders once. This may become my ammo of choice.

    Blazers were actually the most accurate ammo. This is judging from off hand double action shooting at 15 yards. This is the distance I normally sight in at. All my shots were within 4 inches pulling straight through the trigger without staging it. After the 6th reload with my DS-10 speed loaders I had to run a brush through the cylinders because I started experiencing difficult extraction.

    After cleaning my 617 with a bronze brush mounted on a portable hand drill, I run the brush through each cylinder for 20 seconds which makes it very clean, I tried Wolf ME. Surprisingly all the rounds fired on first try. Very accurate but again hard extraction. Good practice ammo but far from being my competition rounds.

    Remington Golden Bullets are the surprise of the bunch. No miss fires with 140 rounds. Accuracy wasn't as tight as Mini Mags or Blazers but they ran well enough for me to consider them my go-to ammo.

    Federal Auto Match was my go-to ammo until this year. I've had more clickers then I'd like to admit with at least 2 per hundred rounds. I know, with a revolver that's not bad because all you have to do is pull the trigger again and the next round will go off. The problem is that Steel Challenge is strictly a speed event and the second or two it takes to go past the miss fire is just too much to give away, Especially if it happens more than 2 per match.
     
  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Huh...Ive never had any problems with Auto Match personally- a bad lot perhaps? I find its performance adequate, but not remarkable.
    Never tried ME, Wolf Gold has been a solid performer for me.
    I dont shoot too many Mini-mags, but CCI SV is probably the best all-round accuracy value Ive found, giving me 90% of the results of Eley Tenex at half the price.
     
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  3. Steve51

    Steve51 Member

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    I am quite surprised by your results with Federal Auto Match. That has been my go to bulk ammo for .22 handguns (both revolvers and my only semi auto). I don't recall ever having a FTF with auto match. I don't use it in my .22 rifles, I prefer mini mags or other copper plated ammo for my rifles.
     
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  4. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    I bought some bulk Auto Match, before the pandemic.

    Had 6 squibs in less than 100 rounds. 2 stuck in barrel.

    Contacted Federal and they sent a shipper to return the remaining rounds.

    Spent a few cents per round more and picked up Norma Tac-22 Match. This stuff flat out shoots. At $0.07 / round, it is not ridiculously priced, but more than I normally pay.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2022
  5. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    I like the Federal 36gr plated hollow points in the red 550 round box. They run really clean in all my guns. Extraction is easy even after 150 rounds in my 617. My 15-22 would be filthy after a box of AutoMatch but isn’t half as dirty from 300 of the red box rounds
     
  6. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    The newer fed auto-match have a quieter report. Than the ones before the plandemic. (Black and white box) Im planing on chrono checking the new ones vs the old ones.
     
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  7. drband

    drband Member

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    I had a bad box 7-8 years ago. Federal sent me a check for replacing the ammo. I have not bought any since.
     
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  8. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    I've not noted any degradation in accuracy nor do I recall any FTF's with my supply of Fed Auto Match in a variety of handguns and two rifles over the past 6 months.

    My supply for both runs the gamut from that purchased 7-8 years ago to just last month, BTW. In fact, Auto Match has been about as good as CCI Mini Mags in both categories. Handguns: S&W 18, S&W .22 Compact, Smith 41, Colt New Frontier, Colt Diamondback and a Ruger Mkll. The rifles: Winchester 61 & 62, and a Marlin 39 Century Limited. While I believe ,22 caliber guns can be finicky about the ammunition they prefer, I've not seen much of a preference in any of the fore listed.

    I do also shoot a good deal with .22 cal. upper units (slide & bbl.) on a cpl of 1911's, and a Sig PM11a1 & P226. In these, the Auto Match seems to be a bit underpowered to consistently operate the slide...whereas MIni Mags, will tolerate a longer period between cleaning as outlined above.

    Accuracy with MM vs. AM is virtually the same. On the order of +/- 2" @ 25 yds from a rest, in all but the S&W .22 Compact which runs 3-4".

    I commented on this in another forum and noted there that I do keep my guns clean; pulling a bore snake through them after each range session, as well as wiping out the ejector star/barrel forcing cone face, as well as the bolt face, extractor and barrel face on my autos. Gunk build up there can and will cause FTF's, and degrade accuracy. Too, it's a very rare day when I shoot more than 50 rounds per gun in a single session.

    Below are are my chrono results + ext. Sprd for MM & AM through my Smith M-18 with 4" bbl. shot from a two-handed Weaver combat Stance at 12 yds. Best Regards, Rod

    Mini Mag 40 gr solid: 1032 fps, Ext Spd: 27, Accuracy @ 12 yds Weaver stance unsupported: 3/4" Five Shots

    Federal Auto Match, 40 gr Solid: 1072 fps, Ext Spd 70, Accuracy: @ 12 yds Weaver Stance unsupported: 1" Five Shots
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2022
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  9. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    Federal Auto Match has been as reliable and accurate as mini mags for me. I bought a couple of cases 6 or so years ago and have gone though almost one of the cases which is 1000’s of rounds and not one dud. My experience is about the same as Rodfac.
     
  10. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Exactly my experience. Blazers and golden bullets are top of the heap for reliability of bulk ammo in my guns, with blazers having the slight edge for accuracy.

    Federal, Winchester, Browning, and Aguila bulk ammo is all crap range fodder that can’t be trusted to be reliable. Mini mags are the one rimfire round I will always trust to go bang. I cannot recall ever having a mini mag fail to fire. My favorite ammo for accuracy is CCI Standard Velocity. Winchester ammo in the 100 round plastic trays are also very good. I think it is all made by CCI and is basically just rebranded mini mags and velocitors.
     
  11. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I have always thought auto match was just Federal bulk in a smaller amount container for more money. I have shot it in the past and it was just OK ammo, nothing special. Of the cheaper ammo available CCI is my go to but I have found Aguila to perform just as well.

    If I was to have case sticking problems I would do a chamber polish job with a bore mop, Clover fine valve grinding compound, and a cordless drill. Polish just a little and try it and continue the process until the cases quit sticking. I have done this to a couple of problem revolvers in the past with success.
     
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  12. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I also haven’t had bad luck with the Auto Match rounds in my rimfires. However, my stash of AM rounds were all bought a while ago so things may not be the same with more recently made stuff.

    I did have a few clinkers the past two shooting sessions with Win 333 and Aguila super extra 250-pack. A couple of FTFeed with each brand in my Glock 44 and Ruger Mk IV and three non-fires with my S&W Model 17 using the Aguila rounds (fired on second strike.)

    I guess the zillions of bulk rounds being cranked out to fill orders are becoming a bit more hit and miss compared to years past. :(

    Stay safe.
     
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  13. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    During my 30,000 round comparison testing of various 22LR ammunition in several 10/22s and new 10/22 Take Down produced inconsistent primer ignition performance (Ammunition that would not go bang and cycle the bolt in older 10/22s went bang and cycled the bolt in the Take Down).

    This prompted me to test new lots of 22LR ammunition in new 10/22 Collector #3 and T/CR-22 (Along with GSG 1911 and recently Advantage Arms 22LR slide kit for my Gen3 Glock 22 and CMMG 22LR conversion bolts in 16"/18"/20" ARs) while capturing 5/10 shot groups at 25/50 yards - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/real-world-accurizing-22lr-on-the-cheap.898035/

    After 10,000 rounds added to 30,000 rounds tested, I am happy to report that essentially all of the 25+ brands/weights new lots of ammunition tested were 100% reliable with primer ignition and feeding/chambering reliability issue was mainly due to fouling build up needing cleaning. (Even the dreaded "Thunderduds" were 100% reliable). After cleaning, 10/22 and T/CR-22 reliably fed various ammunition. (GSG 1911 performed better after cleaning and lubing and AA slide kit for G22 became reliable after having slide locked back and shooting first magazine ... CCI SV/Aguila/Armscor is 100% with AA slide kit but Norma Tac-22 won't cycle the slide and would stovepipe every round) - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/affordable-22lr-lowest-shipped-pricing.902560/page-5#post-12304852

    Only ammunition that consistently produced several duds out of each box was Winchester M-22 40 gr CPRN (Black color) and I plan to retest for primer ignition when I run across a new batch.

    Now approaching 30 brands/weights/lots of 22LR ammunition with 99.9% primer ignition reliability after shooting over 10,000 rounds, I believe inconsistent primer ignition of 22LR ammunition many members report likely had priming compound in the rim when they left the factory but during rough transport and handling, priming compound could have migrated away from the rim to produce primer ignition issues as discussed in this myth busting thread - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/myth-busting-22lr-no-dud-why-dud-thread.893062/
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2022
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  14. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    During the early days of the pandemic, I would get about 20 or so misfires out of a box of 325 AM. I even had some that must have had just the primer in, no powder. We’d get a pop….and I could watch the bullet go down range. This was at an indoor range.

    Since then, I’ll get a couple of misfires per box. Would I shoot them in a match? I don’t know. But, I buy 3 boxes (the limit) every time I visit Walmart.
     
  15. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I have bought Federal Auto Match on Black Friday 2016 and more recently when it was all that was on the shelf at Walmart.
    I musta caught "vintage year" production runs because I haven't had the problems with FAM others complain about.

    I and my son took our AR-7 rifles to the mountain. I have a ArmaLite Costa Mesa in whic I only shoot CCI MiniMag CPRN for reliability and accuracy. He has a Henry US Survival Rifle and was shooting Remington Golden Bullet hollowpoint with no hangups. I have not yet got bad MiniMags but I have had problems in the recent past with Remington Golden (gilding metal plated bullets) wheres when I was a kid the Remington Golden Bullet was the Cat's Pajama's Meow best ever.

    In my end of the season inspect of my .22's I make sure
    _ the firing pins are mobile and not clogged with fouling
    _ there are no flattened lead shavings on bolt or slide face or on breech end of barrel
    Bolt or slide faces get a scrubbing with a toothbrush and Hoppes#9.
    I have noticed the range leavings of .22 shells misfired by others very often have lighter firing pin marks than my guns leave on their shells.
     
  16. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    I put 2 boxes of auto match through a SR22 rifle and GSG 1911, Glock 44 and Buckmark pistols with no duds no hang ups no nothing but bang.
     
  17. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    My experience has been the same with newer lots of Auto Match bought after 2019 ... 100% reliable and went bang every round.

    And that's been the case for now approaching 30+ brands/weights/lots of 22LR ammunition bought since 2019 I am comparison testing ... 99.9% reliability of going "bang" in my "real world" 22LR ammunition comparison thread - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/real-world-cheap-bulk-22lr-ammunition-comparison.908102/


    I agree. I think when some members blame ammunition for failure to fire, it may be the case where the firearm needs a good cleaning or worn parts replacement. However, as we determined in the "myth busting" thread of actual duds pulled apart showing less/no priming compound at the rims, it could be true that rough transportation and handling of ammunition could have knocked priming compound away from rim as they are seen as yellow powder/clumps mixed in with powder charge.

    It still is as Golden Bullet has been very reliable during my recent 10,000 round testing.

    I am in the process of fabricating/welding up a hard mount for 10/22 and T/CR-22 receivers to test 22LR ammunition at 50/100 yards so looking forward to group size comparison without shooter input. Stay tuned and I will post results on "Accurizing 22LR ..." thread - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/real-world-accurizing-22lr-on-the-cheap.898035/page-2#post-12304052
     
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  18. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    "I agree. I think when some members blame ammunition for failure to fire, it may be the case where the firearm needs a good cleaning or worn parts replacement. "


    FtF maybe, but 6 squibs out of 50 rounds, 2 leaving bullets stuck in barrel, 1 I SAW THE BULLET LEAVE BARREL AND FALL TO GROUND 10' FROM MUZZLE. From a 5 1/2" barrel.

    Not a dirty firearm, but SUBSTANDARD ammo. The only squibs I ever had was with this bulk ammo.
    How many more in that box or lot? I have no idea. Federal took them back and replaced.

    At this point, I haven't shot them. I haven't decided to never buy more.
    I have put them up and not let grandkids shoot. They may not recognize a squib and stop shooting.
     
  19. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    And ammunition manufacturers have no control over rough transportation/handling of ammunition once they leave the factory to move priming compound away from the rim.
     
  20. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    I bought the cases of auto match in 2015 or 2016.
     
  21. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I bought 8 bricks of automatch in 2012 after the sandy hook panic buying left shelves empty. It's crap, it barely cycles through any of my semi-autos and "patterns" more than "groups". Might have been a bad lot but its been enough that I haven't bought any more in 10 years.

    Mini Mags are always pretty good, but they're approaching the price of target ammo. I like Blazers and Golden Bullets equally, both seem to give me 95% of the accuracy of Mini Mags and 99.9% of the reliability, maybe I have 1 dud out of every 2 bricks.
     
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  22. PzGren

    PzGren Member

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    I have bought Federal Auto Match at Walmart in the last months and have experienced a lot of misfires in several revolvers in double action and those revolvers usually work reliably.
    I shoot the ammo with 100% reliability form my FN International 150 and use it offhand in Anschutz rifles, the accuracy is good enough for training ammo but I would not go to a match with it.
     
  23. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Do keep in mind that ammunition manufacturers do not have control over rough transportation/handling of ammunition once they leave the factory.

    If all of your 8 bricks were "crap", perhaps they were transported/handled together to move priming compound away from the rim.
     
  24. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I'm not sure what one would have to do above normal transportation (I work in a related industry and often do simulated transportation testing to ensure products make it to store shelves unharmed) to force priming compound to break away. The tests themselves simulate a worst case scenario includingtemperature/humidity conditioning, drops on 6 sides of the case, pallet impact and over the road vibration and I'm sure Federal is aware of the testing, if they don't perform it for every new product/package. Based on similar reports that are popping up here and on other forums I suspect Federal just has poor quality control for this particular cheap plinking .22 ammo.
     
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  25. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    And inconsistent THR member comments about 22LR ammunition going reliably "bang" for some but not for others is what prompted me to do a "myth bust" thread on 22LR ammunition reliability - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/myth-busting-22lr-no-dud-why-dud-thread.893062/

    What contributed to me doing the myth bust thread is during 30,000 round testing of various brand/weight/lots of 22LR in several older 10/22 and new Take Down along with ARs with CMMG 22LR conversion bolts, I found ammunition that didn't feed and shoot reliably shot fine in the new Take Down model with new magazines.

    And during the 10,000 round testing of 22LR bought after 2019 in new 10/22 Collector #3 and T/CR-22, I was surprised I experienced 100% reliable primer ignition of 25+ different brands/weights/lots of ammunition (Only exception was Winchester M-22 40 gr black CPRN which had several duds in every box and I am trying to buy a current lot box to test). Now that I have over 6500 rounds shot through 10/22, I am at 99.9% reliability and recently bought new magazines and will report my findings - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/real-world-accurizing-22lr-on-the-cheap.898035/

    And to follow up ammunition batch bought pre-Covid in 2019 and after supply chain/etc. issues, I recently bought new lots of ammunition and they have been 100% reliable for my limited sample - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/affordable-22lr-lowest-shipped-pricing.902560/page-5#post-12304852

    I recently bought new lot of Federal Auto Match to test reliability along with other new lot of 22LR ammunition (Now test lot pushing 30+ to do pre 2019, post 2019 and most current comparison) so I will post my findings to verify whether the new lot of Auto Match has changed in reliability - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/affordable-22lr-lowest-shipped-pricing.902560/page-5#post-12325243
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2022
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