I have a rant! Hopefully of general interest.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Archie, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I recently bought a box of .22 long rifle ammo. It's for a .22 rifle I bought earlier this year. Chronographing the ammo in my rifle, it clocks about 1240 fps +/- a few. The box advertises 1235 fps velocity. Not a gripe.

    Neither the box nor the website of the brand identify the arm used for testing, nor even the barrel length. One doesn't have an idea of what to expect. I shoot .22 LR pistol also. I know my four inch Ruger autopistol will not develop the same velocity (with the same ammo) as a twenty inch rifle. (That would be a pretty sad rifle, but that's not the ammunition's fault.)

    I really have no reason to doubt the quality. The ammo shoots well out to fifty meters or so. Actually shoots about three to four inches at 100 yards, but I don't plan on attempting that much. I have no reason to doubt the velocity claimed in whatever rifle or testing device used. Or rather, the average of several shots, rounded off to the nearest five fps.

    My gripe is I have nothing on which to base an expectation. Further casual investigation shows most all ammunition has a velocity shown, but no mention of the length of barrel. Nor am I expecting ammunition suppliers to test every conceivable arm so chambered and print that on the carton. But the addition of something like "... in a 24" barrel" would shed a ray of light for the user.

    Or am I just too nit picky?
     
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  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Try the Ballistics by the Inch website- very interesting stuff!
    http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/

    The ammo manufacturers are probably being vague on purpose- Im sure their lawyers have final approval of everything on the box.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
  3. Demi-human
    • Contributing Member

    Demi-human maybe likes firearms a little bit…

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    Nah. I’ve often thought this.


    For a 22lr or something like a 357, cartridges that get use in many different barrel lengths, it would be a very good bit of information to have on hand.
    It isn’t often an issue for something like a .270, but even there would be beneficial.

    A simple ‘/xx” barrel’ denotation could be instituted industry wide. They already have the information they need, it just needs to be printed on the box.:thumbup:

    And you weren’t very ranty anyway. Not enough angst.;)
     
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  4. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator In Memoriam

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    2 out of ten rant, crank it up!
    But I agree a simple xx/ barrels. It is not rocket surgery!
     
  5. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan member

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    Yes:) ,but you can figure the test barrel was between 14" -18" .
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
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  6. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    I think you're overthinking it.

    A lot of factors can affect velocity, barrel length being only one.

    Manufacturing tolerances in the barrel, manufacturing tolerances in the chamber, design of the barrel riflings, ammunition temperature, actoin design (bolt or semi-auto), etc. Even the chronograph itself is a factor.

    Rifle A, made by one manufacturer, may produce slightly different velocities than Rifle B, made by another manufacturer, even though they may be the same model/design right down to the barrel length.

    HOWEVER, to answer your implied question on barrel length used for testing, SAAMI sets the standards for ammunition manufacturing and testing in the United States. The SAAMI standard for most rifle barrels is 24 inches, though commercial lengths may range from 16 inches to 26 inches. The ammunition is also tested at 70 degrees F.

    You can actually look up the SAAMI standards for velocity and pressure testing (second link below) for various cartridges. Be warned, though...there's a LOT more information there than the average person cares to know or understand.

    The first three paragraphs on page 5 of the SAAMI link for rifle ammunition (a total of 375 pages of joy to read) has this to say:


    Velocity recommendations are stated on the basis of a nominal lot mean velocity as measured using
    equipment in accordance with the requirements of Section III and the procedures detailed in Section
    II. Due to the fact that sporting firearms for general distribution are typically manufactured to
    dimensional tolerances greater than those specified for test barrels, there should be no expectation
    that these velocities can be duplicated from any test utilizing firearms. This situation is further
    confounded by discrepancies in barrel length. Furthermore, once ammunition has left the control of
    the manufacturer, storage conditions outside those recommended by the manufacturer may cause
    variations in the velocity as measured using test equipment and procedures which conform to the
    requirements of this Standard.

    The values presented on pages 11 through 34 are recommended values for the use of ammunition
    producers at the time of manufacture. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to establish sample
    sizes, sampling frequencies, and tolerances to ensure the performance of the ammunition obtained by
    the ultimate user meets all applicable safety and functional standards. Of particular importance in
    establishing velocity tolerances is the understanding that velocities significantly higher than the
    nominal lot mean can cause actual maximum range performance to exceed expected values.

    Ammunition tested subsequent to manufacture using equipment and procedures conforming to these
    guidelines can be expected to produce velocities within a tolerance of ±90 fps of the tabulated
    values.



    Here are a couple interesting links read:

    https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Velocity%3A+myths+vs.+facts%3A+chronographing+factory+ammo.-a0359731534

    https://saami.org/technical-information/ansi-saami-standards/
     
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  7. Cowhide Cliff

    Cowhide Cliff Member

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    It gives you a general idea of the power of the load and close enough for general shooting. If it's necessary to know a near exact velocity in needs to be cronied anyway to verify.
     
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  8. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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  9. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    Man some of y'all need a hobby... As long as it does what I need, I don't care what they tested it with.
     
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  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    What length barrel are you using?

    If - a few gets you to 1235 fps, I’d say both of you are using the same unknown barrel length.
     
  11. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Five feet per second ain't rant worthy. There's more variation shot to shot in a box of 22s. Heck, you'd get more than 5 difference from three identical guns off the rack.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
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  12. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    What brand is your ammunition?

    Most all other ammo DOES show barrel length. Though some companies are not good at listing barrel length for rimfire ammo.
     
  13. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    The numbers are just a guideline, at which point you need to try the ammo, yourself.

    OTOH, yeah, would it kill them, to print "fired from a Marlin 60", or "fired from a Ruger 10/22" ?
     
  14. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    They are probably chronographed from a SAAMI spec (pressure) test barrel.
     
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  15. entropy

    entropy Member

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    nits.jpe

    Pick away to your heart's content. ;)

    FWIW, some reloading manuals will say what length barrel was used in testing, and the twist rate.
     
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  16. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Box velocity printed on the side flap is likely an retail packaging requirement and probably as reliable as gas milege estimates on your dashboard. Those who want known repeated and consistent performance handload and test with screens to get real world numbers.

    If you drive up to a gas station and pull the nozzle out of the pump, look at the grades and have "Tula," "Remington," "Winchester," and "Hornady Critical Defense" on the pump, you make a choice which is relatively accurate. Cheap bulk .22 off the shelf isn't going to get any consideration for competition from me. It's dirt blaster ammo for a fun day at the range.
     
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  17. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Keep Testing 22 LR and you are going to find quite a bit of velocity variation even within in same box of ammo. The same thing happens with centerfire too. Having ammo that shot the exact same velocity every time would be wonderful but it won't happen so get used to it.
     
  18. Ranger Rog

    Ranger Rog Member

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    Uh, to be brutally honest with everything going on in my life and the world a standard deviation of
    +/- 5 fps in my .22 ammo is pretty low on my list of concerns........I salute you for your tenacity and seeking the answer though!
     
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  19. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    That squirrel can't tell the difference between 1100, 1150, 1200 or 1250 fps.

    Wish I could find, way back when ( mid 80s, I think ), a gun mag had an article on the effect of barrel length on velocity. They took a rifle (.308, IIRC) and put a 30" barrel blank on.
    They weren't interested in groups, but it would have been interesting to see his the harmonics were effected.

    They shot 5 shots over a Chrono and recorded velocity.
    They cut the barrel 1" at a time and repeated the 5 shots, down to 1" of barrel, beyond the chamber. They had to fire more more than 5 shots with the 1" barrel, to get the Chrono to read. I would imagine muzzle blast was impressive.

    The thing I remember was, MAX velocity was 24" and 25" being almost identical. Longer and velocity actually dropped. Going down, velocity dropped about 100 fps with every inch, down to 16". Below that, things started getting squirrely.
     
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  20. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I never pay attention to advertised velocity on the box when I buy it. I have my own chronograph so I can do my own testing, with my own firearms, with my own atmospheric conditions. If I even cared that much. The only velocities I pay strict attention to are my handloads.
     
  21. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Doesn't really matter. I do not want to single out one brand as a 'villain' when most brands do the same.
    I must not buy the right brands.
     
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  22. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Yup. To further complicate the subject, a revolver will typically show a different average velocity - using the same ammunition - with each different chamber of the cylinder. Usually the range between chambers is not enough to make the arm totally unreliable.

    Careful hand loading can cut the variance between shots to a bare minimum (in a single chamber), but 'factory' ammunition made to shoot in all the possible arms so chambered faces an uphill fight. I normally load all the ammunition I think I need to shoot well.
     
  23. Archie

    Archie Member

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    No doubt the most effective manner. I hand load most rifle ammo, but use the advertised velocities as a rough estimation of results for which to look.
     
  24. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    I've never seen a barrel length listed on any ammo box - rimfire or centerfire. What companies list barrel length?

    FWIW most people familiar with firearms know the listed velocity is for the best scenario possible. I always assume 20 to 24 inch for rifles, including rimfire, 5" for pistols and 8" for revolvers.
     
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  25. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I don't recall any, either.
    Without doubt.
    A requirement to assume is what my alleged mind refuses to accept. Probably a personal problem. And I resent all rimfire ammunition is tested and advertised from rifle use.
     
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