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The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? #16284997 07/26/21
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Jim in Idaho Offline OP
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How would you rate these in order of importance for accuracy, speaking specifically of rimfires?

Looking at pictures of groups folks post here it seems like a lot of relatively run of the mill rifles are capable of excellent accuracy "if fed the right ammo" and "if the shooter does his part". Savage, Marlin, Ruger, etc., all seem capable of some very good to amazing groups.

Went out this morning to try out a couple of rifles, a 40 year old Kimber of OR M82 with a freshly mounted Leupold 3-9x40 (that was the highest magnification scope that would fit the low rings) and a box stock 11 year old Ruger 10/22 Tactical, that came with a 16” heavy barrel in a Hogue rubber stock; it had an equally old SWFA 10x42 scope on it. Fired a 10 shot group each with the ammo I have on hand – CCI AR Tactical, Winchester Super-X and my last box of Wolf Match Target.

Looking at the target here it’s obvious I’m not going to win any 50m benchrest matches soon but the differences in ammo are striking. The Wolf MT was the winner in both rifles but the CCI made a very good showing of itself, the Super-X sucked dog turds which is disappointing.

With the Match ammo a proven accurate bolt rifle and a factory barreled semi-auto both shot within .064" of each other, the common factor being the ammo.

To answer my own question, I’d put ammo at the top of the list with shooter skill and the firearm equal. Obviously, a top tier firearm with top of the line barrel, sights and trigger paired with a top grade shooter would print much better groups, but unless you want to compete in rimfire bench rest which is a rarefied sport to itself it seems that across the range of rifles from the $250 ones to the $3000 ones your best investment is to search for good ammo. Or to look at it another way, the accuracy difference in the decent affordable rifles vs. the super expensive ones seems to amount to maybe a couple hundredths of an inch at most provided both of them use top notch ammo. And shooter skill, including and especially the ability to read the wind, could reverse the ranking.

This may be stating the obvious to you guys who are really into your rimfires so I’m curious what y’all think.


50 meters, wind about 6-7 mph shifting constantly from 4 to 8 o’clock. Groups shot over a front rest and rear bag. No real effort was made to wait for calm conditions since it was getting really hot really quickly and the wind was picking up quite a bit as well. My goal here was just to compare different ammo in two different rifles to see if there was any commonality or if their appetites diverged widely.

[Linked Image]


Fwiw, I used this same 10/22 and SWFA scope to win Overall Match Winner in our club .22 silhouette championships back in 2010 and that was competing against several guys shooting Anschutzes, Model 52's and rifles of that grade. So even though it's not showing real bragging groups today, it was plenty accurate enough when you get off a bench and add in the human factor. But that's a thread for another day.


Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery.
Hit the target, all else is twaddle!
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Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16285098 07/26/21
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Not too surprised at your results Jim. Many years ago I used Winchester Power Points for my varmint rifles and at the range it would print .2-.3 groups all day long in my Win 52B. Super X was just a little bit behind but still respectable. Since then the Winchester ammo has been more than a little disappointing, to say the least. Good enough for close range squirrel shooting but that is about it...

In all my rimfires, ammo has always been the determining factor when it comes to shooting paper. I'm too cheap to buy expensive ammo but I do purchase mid priced ammo when it is available and it does make a huge difference in my groups... at the moment Eley Contact and SK Standard Plus are the best in all of my rifles and are quite a bit ahead of CCI Mini Mags, which are no slouch in most cases. I'm pretty sure I can pin point that to being supersonic ammo as opposed to the Standard velocity I seem to get the best groups with regardless of conditions...

For 10 shot groups and the conditions you were in I would say those are pretty respectable groups. I don't think most people realize how hard it is to shoot decent groups when you up the ante and shoot 10 in a group instead of 3 or 5 shots .... that is when you really get an idea of how you and your rifle work as a team.... IMO...

Bob


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Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16286091 07/26/21
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Ammo is a huge factor in 22’s. It’s just a matter of finding what the rifle likes. No rhyme or reason about what’ll shoot best either.


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Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16286329 07/26/21
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I thought it was a known fact that ammo is first on the list. This is especially true with a rimfire because you don't develop loads for it, as you would for your centerfire rifle. I'm often surprised how many guys still don't know ammo rates right up there as the most important piece of the puzzle. However, If you have a rifle or ammo that shoots consistent "fliers", you'll never know how accurate the shooter is. One of the first things I do when I get a new rimfire rifle is take every box of ammo I have with the rifle and see what it likes the best. Then I make note of it. I generally save targets showing what ammo said rifle likes best. Here's a target I shot with one of my 10-22's a few years ago:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Something that you need to know is ammo cost has nothing to do with how well its going to shoot in your rifle, as the above pic shows. That particular rifle also loves bulk pack Federal ammo. Hard to go wrong with a rifle like that. My buddy now owns that one. This buddy is one that doesn't understand the concept of fliers. I found that out a few weekends at a know your limits shoot. A nice young guy came to the club with a member, just to shoot the know your limits shoot. He had bought a new Christensen arms ($1,000.00 rifle) and $1,000.00 scope, in preparation for the shoot. He had been practicing with the rifle and trying different ammo and he decided to run some match grade ammo in the event. He was getting his azz handed to him, and after he lost he'd say, "damn fliers". My buddy called bs, but I told him that he might be right. A lot of 22lr ammo is very inconsistent. One thing I've noticed is accuracy can even change a little from box to box of the same ammo. It is my belief that the best shooter in the world will get his azz handed to him if the ammo and rifle are not up to the task... I experienced some fliers a month ago with some very old SK standard ammo. That ammo is so slow that I can see it flying through the air before it hits the target.


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
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Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16286419 07/26/21
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When shooting for groups, I won't even bother with the first 10-15 shots after switching ammo.

There is way too much variability before the bore has been seasoned with the new bullet lube.

That said, I've had great guns shoot mediocre ammo fairly well and shoot exceptional ammo exceptionally well.

Never had any gun shoot low grade ammo well.

IC-A

Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: m1919] #16286469 07/26/21
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Originally Posted by m1919


When shooting for groups, I won't even bother with the first 10-15 shots after switching ammo.

There is way too much variability before the bore has been seasoned with the new bullet lube.

That said, I've had great guns shoot mediocre ammo fairly well and shoot exceptional ammo exceptionally well.

Never had any gun shoot low grade ammo well.






You’ve never shot well.

Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: m1919] #16286505 07/26/21
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Originally Posted by m1919


When shooting for groups, I won't even bother with the first 10-15 shots after switching ammo.

There is way too much variability before the bore has been seasoned with the new bullet lube.

That said, I've had great guns shoot mediocre ammo fairly well and shoot exceptional ammo exceptionally well.

Never had any gun shoot low grade ammo well.






Good point on seasoning the barrel for each type of ammo.


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
P


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Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16286568 07/26/21
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My GM 10/22 bbl and CZ455 liked the SK Match.

Winchester Super X many moons ago was decent hunting stuff. Like somebody posted above, it doesn't seem to be as good nowadays.

Over a few rifles, the best cheap ammo I've had was CCI Blazer. Standard V has not shown any advantage, unfortunately.

Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16286613 07/26/21
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A cheaper ammo I've had good luck with is the American eagle 38gr hp's.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

This shoots much better when I'm not firing off 10 rounds in 4 seconds. Prepping for golf ball shoot.. Hits the golf ball every time.


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
P


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Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16286654 07/27/21
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I used to have the same results with American Eagle ammo in a couple of my rifles. They always shot way better than their price point but I haven't seen much of it in stores for a while now.... may have to give some of it a try again....

Federal Gold Medal match also shoots very well in several of my rifles and is often on sale somewhere (during normal times) for very good prices- usually around the price of CCI Mini Mags....

Bob


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Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16286693 07/27/21
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Ammo no 1!

I keep records in my log book, noting the rifle or handgun and which ammo it likes and is sighted in for. So if I pull out a certain rifle, say a Marlin 39a, the log book shows which ammo to load it with.

Manny

Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16286920 07/27/21
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Firearm......AO scope.....shooter.

I only shoot .22 ammo that I use hunting. CCI Mini Mag hollow points. For me they out shoot other brands at 50 yards.

Best two shooting .22 rifles I've owned and still own is a Winchester model 75 Sporter w/compact 3x9 Leupold with an AO....and a Kimber sporter of New Yawk with a 4x12 Leupold with an AO.

Into a dime at 50 yards is fine by me.

Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16287939 07/27/21
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Even lot numbers of the same ammo will swap things around and give you fits with fliers and such. I have a little left of an old lot of Geco Semi-Auto ammo in my little CZ 512 that averages .368" at 50 yards, which is awfully good in a 5lb. rifle with a cheap 3-9 scope on it. I was able to find more of the ammo (a different lot#, though) and bought a case of the stuff. Ooops. The new lot is not nearly as good as the older stuff, and it isn't nearly as greasy to load, either. Sometimes, you gotta take the bad (greasy) with the great performance. The new stuff is a lot cleaner and handier to load, but doesn't shoot very well in that rifle (happily enough, it's shooting really well in my 455s and 452s).

I know a guy who used to shoot rimfire Benchrest and did quite well at it, even winning the Nationals one year. He gave it up because chasing lot numbers of "good" ammo gave him fits and he just got tired of the effort involved. Chasing good lots of ammo can give a person heartburn, headaches, and for all I know, the Hershey squirts. Steve decided it wasn't worth it.


You can roll a turd in peanuts, dip it in chocolate, and it still ain't no damn Baby Ruth.
Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16287977 07/27/21
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Yup, flyers are the "fly in the ointment" that will drive you crazy. Just when you think you have a really accurate rifle and you've found just the ammo it likes, you throw a couple flyers and wonder what the heck you did wrong? Inconsistent ammo can be the bane of rimfire shooters and cause you to have less hair pretty quickly if you take it seriously... Since I'm too cheap to buy $18 a box Eley or Lapua ammo for my informal paper punching and squirrel hunting, I just live with it or blame it on some external causation-


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Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: ratsmacker] #16288245 07/27/21
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Originally Posted by ratsmacker
Even lot numbers of the same ammo will swap things around and give you fits with fliers and such. I have a little left of an old lot of Geco Semi-Auto ammo in my little CZ 512 that averages .368" at 50 yards, which is awfully good in a 5lb. rifle with a cheap 3-9 scope on it. I was able to find more of the ammo (a different lot#, though) and bought a case of the stuff. Ooops. The new lot is not nearly as good as the older stuff, and it isn't nearly as greasy to load, either. Sometimes, you gotta take the bad (greasy) with the great performance. The new stuff is a lot cleaner and handier to load, but doesn't shoot very well in that rifle (happily enough, it's shooting really well in my 455s and 452s).

I know a guy who used to shoot rimfire Benchrest and did quite well at it, even winning the Nationals one year. He gave it up because chasing lot numbers of "good" ammo gave him fits and he just got tired of the effort involved. Chasing good lots of ammo can give a person heartburn, headaches, and for all I know, the Hershey squirts. Steve decided it wasn't worth it.



We used to buy a case for target season to help eliminate variablity. Still had fliers but maybe to lesser degree and number, running one lot per season

Same deal w shotgun slugs, or rifle ammo. Buy 10.boxes at a time from one lot #.

Sucks when you finally get low and have to try a new lot.

So far been lucky w the big stuff.

I got 3 bricks of CCI Blazer from one lot so my squirrel rigs are proly set LOL

Only have 2 bricks of match ammo 22lr.....fiocchi of some sort. Aint even tried em yet.

Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: hookeye] #16288411 07/27/21
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Originally Posted by hookeye
Originally Posted by ratsmacker
Even lot numbers of the same ammo will swap things around and give you fits with fliers and such. I have a little left of an old lot of Geco Semi-Auto ammo in my little CZ 512 that averages .368" at 50 yards, which is awfully good in a 5lb. rifle with a cheap 3-9 scope on it. I was able to find more of the ammo (a different lot#, though) and bought a case of the stuff. Ooops. The new lot is not nearly as good as the older stuff, and it isn't nearly as greasy to load, either. Sometimes, you gotta take the bad (greasy) with the great performance. The new stuff is a lot cleaner and handier to load, but doesn't shoot very well in that rifle (happily enough, it's shooting really well in my 455s and 452s).

I know a guy who used to shoot rimfire Benchrest and did quite well at it, even winning the Nationals one year. He gave it up because chasing lot numbers of "good" ammo gave him fits and he just got tired of the effort involved. Chasing good lots of ammo can give a person heartburn, headaches, and for all I know, the Hershey squirts. Steve decided it wasn't worth it.



We used to buy a case for target season to help eliminate variablity. Still had fliers but maybe to lesser degree and number, running one lot per season

Same deal w shotgun slugs, or rifle ammo. Buy 10.boxes at a time from one lot #.

Sucks when you finally get low and have to try a new lot.

So far been lucky w the big stuff.

I got 3 bricks of CCI Blazer from one lot so my squirrel rigs are proly set LOL

Only have 2 bricks of match ammo 22lr.....fiocchi of some sort. Aint even tried em yet.


I have a boatload of CZ rimfires, and happily enough, they shoot Aguila 38gr. SE HV HP pretty well, about 1/2" to 3/4" at 50 yards. I was able to pick up two cases of that lot awhile back, when it was still under $200/case. I should be set for life! I also snagged a couple cases of the solid-bullet 40gr. SEHV that, while not quite as good as the HPs, are plenty good enough for plinking and general goofing off. Yeah, my rifles shoot Lapua CenterX or Pistol King better, but that money is better spent on the cheaper stuff, which I can parse out to my nephew's kids when they can't find anything else to shoot. CCI MiniMag Segmented HPs are awfully good for the money, too, when you can find them.


You can roll a turd in peanuts, dip it in chocolate, and it still ain't no damn Baby Ruth.
Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16288470 07/27/21
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Good thread guys. Now on the subject of fliers or flyers. How ever you want to spell it. You really notice them when you are shooting at tiny targets. When I practice for our know your limits shoot, I practice on 1/4" diameter targets. Anything outside of the 1/4" circle is a flyer. Now, if you are missing on the 2" target and calling it a flyer, you really got issues.


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
P


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Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16288579 07/27/21
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Half the fun for me is finding the cheapest ammo rifles will shoot best. It’s no secret the $15-20 offerings from lapua and eley are going to perform better than the run of mill ammo

I don’t shoot competition (other than vicious bragging rights battles) so I’ve never chased lot #’s.. and I do enjoy some high volume all day target shooting, so I can’t afford to shoot tenex all day, nor do I really need to.

I’m very much enjoy searching for that over achieving sleeper rimfire ammo and seeing what my guns will do with it.

One that works quite well for me in several different rifles is aguila SV. My KIDD thinks it’s center-x...obviously it’s not, and it will drop a few here and there..but I can very easily live with that when I’m just having fun
And that was $200/CS delivered so I can cut loose




Last edited by Certifiable; 07/27/21.

She never made it past the bedroom door, what was she aiming for...?
She's gone shootin..
Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16288746 07/27/21
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1. The shooter- most important imo because simply put, some people just can’t shoot! Trigger discipline, vision, holding the gun the same way each time... lot’s of variables in getting a rimfire to shoot tiny groups and some people just can’t do it no matter how much money they spend! No offense to anyone just the the cold hard truth! When I have a electrical issue I keep my arse out the panel box because I’m not a electrician lol


2. The gun- Simply put some guns will shoot and some guns will not! Most rimfire rifles are assembled of mass produced parts and that means a ton of variables... how’s the machine running today?, is the operator hung over from the weekend, how about the final assembly
Tech? Maybe the Quality control inspector is ready to go to lunch... even custom guns have different harmonics when fired and can be finicky!

3. The ammo- I’d say if you have the art of how to hold the rifle, how to squeeze the trigger and be very consistent repetitively and you have a darn good rifle..., now you need to start the hunt for,
A. What ammo your gun prefers
B. A good lot number
C. If your lucky enough to complete A and B, spend the $1k-$2k and get a case!!!

Re: The shooter, the firearm or the ammo? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16288835 07/27/21
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Bodkin... sticking to the OP’s original question, I agree with your post.

If you don’t possess at least the basic fundamentals of shooting, a 40x and a brick of tenex will largely be for naught


She never made it past the bedroom door, what was she aiming for...?
She's gone shootin..
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