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Ammo Rim Fire

Most Accurate .22 Ammunition?

by Scott E. Mayer   |  May 24th, 2011 11

Q: I usually can be found on the range shooting an M1A, but recently have turned to using a .22 rifle to practice with because it’s less expensive and easier to focus on the fundamentals without all the noise and recoil. I have a Marlin Model 2000L. It’s a great rifle, but I’m having trouble finding someone who can tell me what ammunition shoots best in it. I feel this .22 has the potential for great accuracy but I have yet to find it. What ammunition shoots best in it?—David H.

A: Guns are like women. They’re built alike, but you can’t tell how one will react by observing another. You will have to try several different types of ammunition until you find the one that your specific rifle shoots best. Begin with the least expensive ammunition you can find, and buy only one box each. Once you find the one that shoots best, go back to the place of purchase, and buy as much of that lot as you can. The lot number is usually on the inside flap of rimfire ammunition boxes. I recall a friend who bought a new Browning Buck Mark pistol. He spent a considerable amount of money on premium and imported ammunition and wasn’t happy with the accuracy. I suggested starting with the cheapest ammunition and working up in cost from there. He found a load for about a buck a box that shot best.–sem

  • http://google William (Bill) Jones

    Many, many, many years ago, when .22 shorts, longs and long rifle ammo was used and used with very (by today's standards) poorly made .22s — pumps, bolts, being the norm — they always put meat on the table. Was it the ammo? Or was it the shooter? Does it matter — it worked.

  • Ryan Rich

    The most accurate .22 ammo I have found to date in my Ruger 10/22 is the Ely brand. While being a little more expensive than bulk .22's they are worth it to me. Off of a bench I can keep 10 shot groups the size of a dime all day.

  • Chuck Cannon

    It's a given that Eley Tenex is the most accurate 22 ammo, but the question is can any U.S.A. company compete at a better price ? Winchester Mark 3 was just as good but discontinued 25 years ago.

    • Dale Mullin

      Federal used to make some seriously good .22 match ammunition. It was sold as "Gold Medal Match" and the base of the case was dimpled. I had a Ruger 77/22 rebarreled with a Shilen match barrel and was thrilled when the Federal match ammo outshot Eley TENEX. At that time the best Federal match ammo sold for about 25% of the price of TENEX.

      I haven't kept current with the match ammunition that Federal currently offers now as I've found that the Federal bulk pack ammo provides all of the accuracy that I need from this rifle for everyday purposes.

  • Derek

    Wolf Match Target is pretty good ammo (Lapua headstamp on brass) for the money. It's still not cheap cheap, but what is these days. I've had good success with CCI Standard Velocity in certain guns as well, generally "standard velocity" is going to be more accurate. But, I've got a Browning Buckmark Bullseye Target that loves CCI Stingers. The Wolf is hard to beat across the board for the money. SK is the same thing if you run across it.

  • Paul List

    I teach basic rifle marksmanship to Boy Scouts and have for years. I have had several .22 rifles myself. I always have several boxes of .22 in many brands. Eley always brought back the best results,

  • Dan Harvey

    I've always had very good results with CCI GreenTag. I've tried lots of differents brands and loads and have still found Green Tag hard to beat for the money. It's moderately priced and not too hard to find, and it's my preferred squirrel load. I have some .22s that will shoot almost anything well and others that are decidedly picky. As far as what will shoot best in your gun, there's no way to answer that short of trying out different loads until you find one that shoots best. I'm sure you'll find at least one of the many standard velocity target loads available will give you the performance you're looking for. Have fun!

  • Kirk

    My Browning pistol loves Eley Target (old standard brown box) runs about $55-60 per 500, but during the Minnesota winters if you shoot outside Eley,Wolf,SK,RWS all have a waxy like film on them and cause all kinds of headaches with not feeding. Dring the winter months I buy CCI standard and it shoots great

  • dennis ksmith

    I have a Remington model 41 Targetmaser that shoots 1/4" groups at 50 yds. with Federal Lightning (now Champions). In fact all of my guns like Federal Ammo.

  • Denny

    I found over many years of shooting and shooting about every 22 caliber round on the market that Winchester Power Points are one ragged hole accurate of the bench and deadly to small game . Seem to keep it's accuracy in about any weapon i've shot over the years. Winchester had thier ducks in a row on this ammo.

  • Dr John

    At one time I was shooting 50,000 22 rounds a year. I'm the inventor of the Top Gun World Squirrel Rifle Championship at Ft Polk Louisiana. The simple CZ-452 Lux with a Bushnell Banner 6×18 scope dominated this match for 13 years. A custom Ruger 10/22 came in a close secound made from mostly all after market parts. The most difficult target was the Black Death Challege target. It is doubtful anyone on this board has tried it because it can only be maxed by the Extream Sharpshooter. Many high priced rifles were tried all fell short in the light squirrel rifle catigory except CZ and Ruger I even traded my Anshuzts 54. The best ammo was Federal Gold Ultra match, Wolf Match Extra and Eley. There were exception but very little.It comes down to ammo, trigger, and wind with a good shooter. The finer points can only be understood by Olympic class coaches and extream shootest top 1/2%.

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