Bulk 22LR Ammunition Testing – Chapter 2 – Performance & Accuracy

Bulk 22LR Ammunition Testing – Chapter 2 – Performance & Accuracy

In chapter one of our series of articles on 22 bulk ammo testing, we broke down and analyzed the components in our cartridges.  In chapter two, we’re going to focus on performance, and finally the conclusions we can draw from both batteries of testing.

Velocity

The first performance test we’ll be looking at is velocity.  This test was conducted by firing five of each cartridge through a Mossberg 152K rifle over a Ballistic Precision chronograph.  All tests were performed in the same shooting session to eliminate any atmospheric variables.

Browning Performance Rimfire
Bullet 11,192fps
Bullet 21,234fps
Bullet 31,268fps
Bullet 41,242fps
Bullet 51,228fps
Average1,232.8fps
Standard Dev.27.44fps
Minimum1,192fps
Maximum1,268fps
Advertised1,255fps
Difference-22.2fps
CCI Blazer
Bullet 11,181fps
Bullet 21,207fps
Bullet 31,187fps
Bullet 41,190fps
Bullet 51,181fps
Average1,189.2fps
Standard Dev.10.69fps
Minimum1,181fps
Maximum1,207fps
Advertised1,235fps
Difference-45.8fps
Federal Automatch
Bullet 11,218fps
Bullet 21,225fps
Bullet 31,233fps
Bullet 41,236fps
Bullet 51,237fps
Standard Dev.8.11fps
Minimum1,218fps
Maximum1,237fps
Advertised1,200fps
Difference+29.8fps
Remington Golden Bullet
Bullet 11,124fps
Bullet 21,173fps
Bullet 31,153fps
Bullet 41,175fps
Bullet 51,073fps
Average1,139.6fps
Standard Dev.42.51fps
Minimum1,073fps
Maximum1,175fps
Advertised1,280fps
Difference-140.4fps
Remington Thunderbolt
Bullet 11,164fps
Bullet 21,163fps
Bullet 31,187fps
Bullet 41,174fps
Bullet 51,077fps
Average1,153fps
Standard Dev.43.57fps
Minimum1,077fps
Maximum1,187fps
Advertised1,255fps
Difference-102fps
Winchester Dynapoint
Bullet 11,091fps
Bullet 21,119fps
Bullet 31,098fps
Bullet 41,080fps
Bullet 51,108fps
Average1,099.2fps
Standard Dev.15.06fps
Minimum1,080fps
Maximum1,119fps
AdvertisedN/A
DifferenceN/A
Winchester Whitebox
Bullet 11,229fps
Bullet 21,279fps
Bullet 31,273fps
Bullet 41,263fps
Bullet 51,268fps
Average1,262.4fps
Standard Dev.19.59fps
Minimum1,229fps
Maximum1,279fps
Advertised1,280fps
Difference-17.6fps
Winchester Wildcat
Bullet 11,198fps
Bullet 21,200fps
Bullet 31,204fps
Bullet 41,173fps
Bullet 51,204fps
Average1,195.8fps
Standard Dev.13.01fps
Minimum1,173fps
Maximum1,204fps
Advertised1,255fps
Difference-59.2fps

The fastest velocity was achieved with Winchester White Box.  Interestingly enough, Winchester also had the slowest ammunition with it’s DynaPoint GT.

In terms of the ammunition that most closely matched it’s advertised velocity, Winchester’s Whitebox took first place with an average speed of just 17.6FPS faster than the listed value.

Once again, the most important aspect of velocity is consistency.  Federal’s AutoMatch was tops here with a very impressive standard deviation of just 8.11FPS, followed closely by CCI Blazer at 10.69FPS.

Function

For our next performance test we’re going to look at functional reliability.  22LR semi-autos are notorious for problems with jamming and failing to cycle, particularly with low-cost ammunition.  For this test we’ll be firing 25 rounds of each cartridge type through my Remington 597 VTR.  I chose this gun specifically because it’s very picky about what it’s fed, and should give us a better picture of how these rounds will function in a semi-auto with tough cycling demands.

Browning Performance Rimfire
Bullet 1OK
Bullet 2OK
Bullet 3OK
Bullet 4OK
Bullet 5OK
CCI Blazer
Bullet 1OK
Bullet 2OK
Bullet 3OK
Bullet 4OK
Bullet 5OK
Federal Automatch
Bullet 1OK
Bullet 2OK
Bullet 3OK
Bullet 4OK
Bullet 5OK
Remington Golden Bullet
Bullet 1OK
Bullet 2OK
Bullet 3OK
Bullet 4OK
Bullet 5OK
Remington Thunderbolt
Bullet 1OK
Bullet 2OK
Bullet 3OK
Bullet 4OK
Bullet 5OK
Winchester Dynapoint
Bullet 1Fail to Extract
Bullet 2OK
Bullet 3Fail to Fire
Bullet 4OK
Bullet 5Fail to Feed
Winchester Whitebox
Bullet 1OK
Bullet 2Fail to Fire
Bullet 3OK
Bullet 4OK
Bullet 5Fail to Feed

 

Winchester Wildcat
Bullet 1OK
Bullet 2OK
Bullet 3OK
Bullet 4Fail to Eject
Bullet 5OK

The Browning, CCI, Federal and Remington all functioned flawlessly.  Interestingly, all three Winchester cartridges had problems.  That’s been my experience in the past as well, so I’m not super surprised with those results.

Accuracy

Next we’ll analyze the accuracy testing.  Each test consisted of two volleys of ten rounds at a standard bullseye target located 25 Yards away, keeping the best group of each pair.  Now many folks are probably wondering why we’d even bother with the other tests when at the end of the day, accuracy is really all we care about.  It’s important to understand that accuracy requires more than just good ammunition; you also need the right firearm and a competent marksman.  It’s obviously not practical to test every firearm in the world, nor do I own a ransom rest or fixed position testing barrel.  In order to capture the best data possible, I’ve tried to take these factors into consideration by testing this ammunition using three different firearms including a Mossberg 152K rifle, a Browning Buckmark Camper pistol, and a S&W 617 revolver.  In order to further mitigate my own shooter error I’ve employed a Caldwell Rock Junior shooting rest from a sitting position.

Browning Performance Rimfire
Rifle1.0″
Pistol3.25″
Revolver2.75″
CCI Blazer
Rifle1″
Pistol3.25″
Revolver4″
Federal Automatch
Rifle1.25″
Pistol3.5″
Revolver3.25″
Remington Golden Bullet
Rifle1.25″
Pistol4.25″
Revolver3.25″
Remington Thunderbolt
Rifle1.25″
Pistol2.5″
Revolver3.75″
Winchester Dynapoint
Rifle1.25″
Pistol2.75″
Revolver4″
Winchester Whitebox
Rifle1″
Pistol3.25″
Revolver4.25″
Winchester Wildcat
Rifle1.25″
Pistol4.25″
Revolver4.25″

Beginning with the rifle testing, the top performers were Browning, CCI Blazer and Winchester Whitebox; all of which achieved a 1″ group.

Moving on to the pistol testing, Remington Thunderbolt had the tightest group at 2.5″.

Finally, the revolver match-up saw Browning take first place with a 2.75″ group.  Browning’s brass was also extremely tough to extract from the cylinder; sort of a weird coincidence since it was also the most accurate.

While we’re on the subject of revolvers another interesting note is that oddly enough, both the Browning and Winchester DynaPoint casings were extremely tough to extract from the cylinder.  Sort of a weird coincidence considering they were also both the most accurate.

Summary

So what conclusions can we draw from all this testing?

Accuracy 

  1. Browning Performance Rimfire
  2. Remington Thunderbolt
  3. CCI Blazer/Winchester Whitebox

Accuracy is obviously what we’re all after.  While the Browning and Remington Thunderbolt had the highest accuracy scores overall, our testing has clearly shown the firearm plays just as much of a role as the ammunition does.  The fact that no single cartridge performed the best in all three categories can’t be stressed strongly enough.

Consistency

  1. Federal Automatch
  2. Winchester Wildcat
  3. CCI Blazer

Consistency is king in terms of repeat-ability, and for many shooters this is probably the ranking they’re most interested in.  Federal’s Automatch was the most consistent in two categories including diameter and velocity, so I’d have to say it won this one.  Winchester Wildcat and CCI Blazer also scored high in consistency as well, taking second and third place respectively.

Function

Whether you’re a competition shooter or a Saturday afternoon plinker, function is important to all of us. A box of 500 rounds isn’t nearly as good a deal if they won’t cycle or fire.  While Browning, CCI, Federal and Remington’s offerings all performed flawlessly, the Winchester cartridges were another story.  All three had issues, with three failures each for DynaPoint and Whitebox, while Wildcat only suffered one. Manual action firearms would probably fair a lot better with these, but if you’re running a semi-auto, Winchesters probably not the brand for you.

Final Tally

  1. Browning Performance Rimfire
  2. Federal Automatch
  3. Remington Golden Bullet
  4. CCI Blazer

So what were the overall ranks? This was a tough one as no single cartridge dominated the board, but if we go strictly by the numbers Browning Performance Rimfire finished in first place, followed by Federal AutoMatch in second, Remington Golden Bullet in third, with an honorable mention to CCI Blazer.  I know technically Golden Bullet had more 2nd place wins that Federal, but I decided to weigh Construction less heavily since it was the least objective test.

So there it is, eight different types of bulk 22LR tested and analyzed.  If and when any new bulk ammo pops up on the market we’ll definitely visit this testing again.

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