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  #1  
Old 12-19-2018, 03:39 PM
StevieTimes

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Some good quality 22 LR shootout/comparison/review using a Marlin Model 60!



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I am a newbie; I just started shooting in the last couple of years. I used to shoot BB guns as a kid; my Marlin Model 60 was the first "real" firearm I ever owned. I love it, I haven't been disappointed one bit. I have a MCARBO trigger and spring kit installed, as well as their high-velocity recoil spring. I use a bipod from Amazon.

I have proven over and over that I'm not a good enough shot to make really good ammo worth my while; but darn it, I wanted to know how some of these "fancy" brands shoot in my rifle. So without further ado...

I went out and bought some fanciness. These are the prices per round that I personally got:

CCI Blazer 0.0450 Brownell
Aguila 0.0782 Cheaper than dirt
Fiocchi "320" 0.2198 Brownell
Eley Match 0.2198 PSA
Eley Edge 0.2398 Brownell

The plan is to take 50 rounds each; use a few rounds getting the scope dialed in, then send the rest 50 yards down range. I tried to be really accurate, especially at first; but c'mon guys, I wasn't using a bench, and I'm a newbie, so I like to blam blam a little, so maybe I squeezed the trigger a little more rapidly than I should have at times. It was fun, sue me.

Here is the setup:
01 - the setup.jpg

I put a target on each end that was "neutral", for me to dial in the scope. I also would use the "upper" smaller targets, if I was close, for dialing it in. Those don't count.

Here is the proof of who showed up at the party (sorry, didn't have time to get the CCI green tag out):
02 - the suspects.jpg

I started out with the Aguila. Maybe it's my modifications, maybe it's the high-velocity recoil spring I put in, but this was Misfire City. It seemed to group OK, but it was miserable to shoot. It made my semi-automatic, a bolt action, that sometimes would have a case jammed in there. I'd like to try this kind with a standard recoil spring "just to see".

NOTE for ALL of these; when you see fliers, please don't blame the ammunition. Those were 100% me; many of them, I saw myself shoot those, and thought "Awwwwww hell, that's going to mess up perceptions here".
03 - Aguila.jpg


I was not super impressed. It was OK for me, nothing special. Maybe it was because I was getting pissed at all the jams and misfires.

Next was the CCI Blazer. After having a miserable experience with the Aguila, I was happy that my Marlin loved to eat the CCI. Pull after pull, no issues with feeding this.
04 - CCI Blazer.jpg

The accuracy was OK. It actually seemed pretty good for the price; ignore the fliers, I get antsy.

I usually prefer the 40 grain CCI mini mags. I didn't have time to get those out today; but in the future I'll get those in the mix too. For the money, I liked the Blazers; I just wonder if I like mini-mags more? I'll find out eventually! I just ran out of time today.

Next up was Eley Edge. This stuff had a coating on it (both Eleys did), that made it feed a little slow down the tube of the Marlin. Not a huge complaint; but I did find myself having to shake it a little, or lift it higher, to get them to slide down at times.

It shot great! With both Eley Edge and Match, they were fine, one misfire amongst both of them today (approx 100 rounds total). Otherwise my semi-auto was a semi-auto, as expected.
05 - Eley Edge.jpg

Oh yeah, OK, I can see why this is more expensive. The grouping tightened up, for sure. I was now making a big hole, instead of a lot of little ones.

I can't attach any more in this thread, so I'll have to reply to myself in a minute or two!
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:12 PM
StevieTimes

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Where was I... oh yeah, next up was the Eley Match! Wow, I was looking at prices online, I somehow got a good deal on these. I still say that if a good deal is almost 25 cents a round, I'm doing 22 LR wrong. I'm happier at 10 cents and under, thank you very much! Oh well, this is for science.

07 - Eley Match.jpg

Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhh... notice how now it's just becoming a smaller big hole? You can see the skill (or lack thereof) in the outliers; but look what this is doing to me! It is making me a better shooter, and I'm not fond of it. This is too expensive to be what I use, yet is it really, gosh I don't know, maybe if I sell the cat... OH sorry back to the comparison.

Next the Wolf. I don't remember what I paid for this, because I bought these a long time ago. I could probably scour through my records, but you don't care, go find a good current deal.

This one was as miserable as the Aguila. Again, I'd love to re-try this with a standard velocity recoil spring in it; maybe I'll do that when I clean it. Have you noticed that sometimes, fifty rounds goes <SNAP>, like that? And sometimes, it takes forever, because each round is less fun to shoot? The Wolf was the latter for me, like the Aguila, and I couldn't wait to be done and move on.
08 - Wolf.jpg

Having said that; the accuracy was there. It looks worse because, again, I was getting pissed clearing cases and constantly feeding each round manually. I was rushing because I wanted to be done, but you can still see this shot well.

Finally was the Fiocchi 320. Oh the Fiocchi. This was when the angels sang to me. The heavens opened up, and an angel slowly dropped the most beautiful, shiny, smooth, almost mirror-polished work of art into my hand.
09 - Fiocchi.jpg

Never have I been so excited after shooting a round. It went exactly where the crosshairs were. Then it did it again and again. They fed super smooth down the tube, because there seemed to be no lube on the cases; just a smooth, seemingly polished, clean outside.

I hastily put the other fifty rounds I had purchased aside. This was special. My brother has to see this. I'm not even going to tell him. I'll just load it up, let him take a few shots, and then he can proceed to tell me what a gem of a rifle I have!

So it looks like very few surprises here; you get what you pay for. The Eley Edge and Match were great, as was the Fiocchi. I preferred the Blazer over the slightly more expensive Aguila SV, but that might be because of my setup. I'll have to re-test and find out!

It was fun doing my own shootout. I'm sorry I ran out of time quickly today; hopefully I can return to the range soon!
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:27 PM
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Great ammo testing range report Stevie. Its all about having fun eh?
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Old 12-20-2018, 01:35 AM
Steve Newman

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+1 on the great range report. You proved again what I have repeatedly discovered myself...the premium priced ammo costs more, for a reason. Since all true "match" grade ammo is loaded to be subsonic (usually around 1050-1080fps), you will probably have better functioning with a standard velocity recoil spring.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:52 AM
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Even with the 2 flyers the cheap aguila did fine. Can you measure & post the groups at the widest part with & without the flyers? The best part is if you take it very seriouslly & learn the basics every time you shoot you'll get better & better. If you use targets with smaller bullseyes or crossed lines & set the scope to hit below the bullseye you'll get better groups as you won't shoot the bullesye out so you can aim at the exact same spot ech time. Thanks for the report & enjoy!
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:42 AM
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Nice range report! I've never tried the Fiocchi ammo before and you've inspired me to go check it out.
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2018, 09:09 AM
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Great report!! Sounds like you had a plan, and had a lot of fun doing it! That's what it's all about!! Oh - please don't sell the cat
Kevin
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:34 PM
StevieTimes

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Quote:
Originally Posted by flylo View Post
Even with the 2 flyers the cheap aguila did fine. Can you measure & post the groups at the widest part with & without the flyers? The best part is if you take it very seriouslly & learn the basics every time you shoot you'll get better & better. If you use targets with smaller bullseyes or crossed lines & set the scope to hit below the bullseye you'll get better groups as you won't shoot the bullesye out so you can aim at the exact same spot ech time. Thanks for the report & enjoy!
HA! That is funny. Whenever I saw people not hitting right in the center of the bullseye when proving accuracy, I always wondered why they didn't take the extra few minutes to dial the scope in a little better before they began! NOW I get it! People are PURPOSELY putting the hole offset of the bull, so they can keep the crosshairs totally aligned with a fine mark!

Well you answered one mystery for me! Next time I'll do that, I won't dial it in all the way to the bull, so I can aim better. Thanks!

I'll get you a picture for scale; I don't have the targets anymore.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:57 PM
StevieTimes

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Here are a couple of coins on the target:
IMG_20181220_175141.jpg

A bench rest and a guy who has more patience would definitely yield better results!

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Old 12-20-2018, 09:31 PM
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Awesome! I am taking my marlin 60 (from '72 that my father in law gave me) to the range to test some ammo for function. I dont shoot it much as I have many built (and very accurate) 10/22s, CZs and Anschutz. But I would really like to figure this old 60 out. Looks like you had a great time!
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:30 PM
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I got to shoot again tonight. Justs over 40 degrees but almost calm & the wind at my back One target had fallen down but I had the swingers & 2 golf balls & had a good run with a box of Aguila SV I have kept in the house so it & a 2nd box was warm. When the air telp started falling & the ammo started getting cold the accuracy went away. I should have put it in an inside pocket but it was fun & I hit all the plates & both golf balls. Snow, rain & cold tomorrow. Fun's over for a little while.
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:46 PM
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It's a funny coincidence you did this, I took one of my 60s out yesterday, haven't shot it in a few years. After a horrible tube of golden bullets, it started shooting great. Bone stock, horrible trigger, little surface rust, cheap CP 3x9 scope. 50 yards, Fed AM1.3" 10shot, blazer 0.83 10 shot, aguila HV .72 10 shot, and aguila SV .6&.45 6 shot groups. I had no rhyme or reason to any of this. I shot as sun was just down, just checking function really. I was there to test 597 mods. Groups got better as barrel got fouled more or warm or ammo change.....? Both aguila we're a big hole with just a couple outliers, this has me really reconsidering the 2 597s I bought. I think I'm wasting time, money and ammo trying to get them to shoot (one hasn't been shot).
Sorry to ramble, my point was to say that if you put the standard spring back in, you may be pleasantly surprised by the very inexpensive aguila. I think it's around 4/Rd? Great report, nice range set up! Expensive targets! Keep er goin!
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Old 12-21-2018, 12:57 PM
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Steve, it looks like the .22lr bug has bitten you deep. Very cool, and it sure seems you're excited.
May I offer a few suggestions?
Targets- aim small, miss small. Go to an office supply store and buy a roll of price stickers. They are about an inch in diameter, bright orange, and cost a couple bucks. I think they come in a roll of something like 300, and make an excellent 50 yard target. You just peal and stick them to a cardboard or paper backer. There's no reason to buy those expensive targets. With the money you save, you can buy more ammo. Once you get better, you can use smaller targets. I'm currently using little smiley face sticker that are 1/4 inch. $1.50 for two hundred.

Ammo testing
The second most important thing when shooting, no matter what your shooting, is consistentcy from shot to shot; (the first thing is safety). How you hold the rifle, how you aim, how you pull the trigger, etc all matter. And if you want the smallest groups possible, no matter what you're shooting, you must be consistent in how you do everything. This includes how you test ammo. Develope a system and be consistent with it.
For example;
Start with a clean barrel, and shoot 25 rounds through it to "season" the bore. Then shoot 5 shots at each target for a total of 5 targets. Shoot slow, maybe count to ten between each shot. If you think these .22 Chambers don't get hot, you'd be wrong. Now you've got a total of 50 rounds shot, and 5, five shot targets. Did you notice a pattern of how the rounds impacted the targets? Did the groups get smaller or larger as you shot the groups? I actually keep a notebook next to me to record where I was aiming when I pulled the trigger, (it's called "calling the shot"), and where the round hit. I also number the bullet strikes on the target, the first bullet impact is #1, the last is #5. From this info, you'll learn which ammo is the most accurate, where to expect a first round, cold bore strike, etc.
After you've shot these 50 rounds, clean the barrel lightly, and do it all again with another brand of bullets, but be consistent, shot to shot, in how you hold the rifle, your sight picture, trigger pull, etc.
I use notebook paper as a target backer and write the date, distance shot, ammo, wind, etc on the taget and that goes into a notebook. Over time, you can refer back to the notebook to see how you've improved, or how a certain brand of ammo performed in the summer verses the winter, etc.
Get yourself a bore snake to clean that barrel. Just one or two passes down the bore between each brand of ammo is all you need. ..22 ammo is dirty, and it can lead the barrel. A carbon ring can form in the chamber pretty quick and this will throw your accuracy off. A quick pass down the barrel will help to maintain the accuracy.
Shoot off some kind of rest. You've got a bipod, which is great for the front of the rifle, but get yourself some bags for the rear. I use bags that I made from the legs of old blue jeans that I filled with aquarium gravel. They hold their shape very well around butt of the rifle and are not heavy like a sand filled bag. Don't fill them full, you want the bag to mould around the stock.
You might want to put that standard spring back into the rifle. A heavier spring slams into the breach and that can set up a tiny bit of vibration. That slight vibration at the breach can lead to wider groups down range, but I may be getting too annal here.
Bullets with a lot of wax on them probably will not work real well in your semi-auto in the winter as they may gum things up. I bet they'll work pretty good in the summer, though.
Don't worry about adjusting your scope to where different brands of ammo are striking the target. You're trying to shoot the smallest groups possible. Once you determine what ammo gives you that tiny group, you then can adjust the scope so the groups are centered.

I could go on and on about shooting groups, but I'll spare you. But do check out other sites on the internet that are about precision shooting to help develope your technique. But always think and practice consistentcy with every time you pull that trigger, and you'll see dramatic improvements in your shooting ability.

Please understand that none of what I've written is a criticism of what you've done. Your excitement in your shooting was clearly evident in your post. When I started shooting (years and years ago), there was no one to help me. I had to dig around for information, and it wasn't nearly as easy as it is today. I'm just trying to help you along in your learning curve.

All the best, and keep up the good shooting.
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:28 PM
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Took mine old 60 out today to test ammo. Most accurate load that functioned was cci blazer. functioned flawlessly with cci mini mag, fed 712, did not like automatch or winchester western. did alright with rem thunderbolts. finally think i have its tastes figured out.
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Old 12-21-2018, 05:45 PM
StevieTimes

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booner1334 View Post
Steve, it looks like the .22lr bug has bitten you deep. Very cool, and it sure seems you're excited.
May I offer a few suggestions?
Targets- aim small, miss small. Go to an office supply store and buy a roll of price stickers. They are about an inch in diameter, bright orange, and cost a couple bucks. I think they come in a roll of something like 300, and make an excellent 50 yard target. You just peal and stick them to a cardboard or paper backer. There's no reason to buy those expensive targets. With the money you save, you can buy more ammo. Once you get better, you can use smaller targets. I'm currently using little smiley face sticker that are 1/4 inch. $1.50 for two hundred.

Ammo testing
The second most important thing when shooting, no matter what your shooting, is consistentcy from shot to shot; (the first thing is safety). How you hold the rifle, how you aim, how you pull the trigger, etc all matter. And if you want the smallest groups possible, no matter what you're shooting, you must be consistent in how you do everything. This includes how you test ammo. Develope a system and be consistent with it.
For example;
Start with a clean barrel, and shoot 25 rounds through it to "season" the bore. Then shoot 5 shots at each target for a total of 5 targets. Shoot slow, maybe count to ten between each shot. If you think these .22 Chambers don't get hot, you'd be wrong. Now you've got a total of 50 rounds shot, and 5, five shot targets. Did you notice a pattern of how the rounds impacted the targets? Did the groups get smaller or larger as you shot the groups? I actually keep a notebook next to me to record where I was aiming when I pulled the trigger, (it's called "calling the shot"), and where the round hit. I also number the bullet strikes on the target, the first bullet impact is #1, the last is #5. From this info, you'll learn which ammo is the most accurate, where to expect a first round, cold bore strike, etc.
After you've shot these 50 rounds, clean the barrel lightly, and do it all again with another brand of bullets, but be consistent, shot to shot, in how you hold the rifle, your sight picture, trigger pull, etc.
I use notebook paper as a target backer and write the date, distance shot, ammo, wind, etc on the taget and that goes into a notebook. Over time, you can refer back to the notebook to see how you've improved, or how a certain brand of ammo performed in the summer verses the winter, etc.
Get yourself a bore snake to clean that barrel. Just one or two passes down the bore between each brand of ammo is all you need. ..22 ammo is dirty, and it can lead the barrel. A carbon ring can form in the chamber pretty quick and this will throw your accuracy off. A quick pass down the barrel will help to maintain the accuracy.
Shoot off some kind of rest. You've got a bipod, which is great for the front of the rifle, but get yourself some bags for the rear. I use bags that I made from the legs of old blue jeans that I filled with aquarium gravel. They hold their shape very well around butt of the rifle and are not heavy like a sand filled bag. Don't fill them full, you want the bag to mould around the stock.
You might want to put that standard spring back into the rifle. A heavier spring slams into the breach and that can set up a tiny bit of vibration. That slight vibration at the breach can lead to wider groups down range, but I may be getting too annal here.
Bullets with a lot of wax on them probably will not work real well in your semi-auto in the winter as they may gum things up. I bet they'll work pretty good in the summer, though.
Don't worry about adjusting your scope to where different brands of ammo are striking the target. You're trying to shoot the smallest groups possible. Once you determine what ammo gives you that tiny group, you then can adjust the scope so the groups are centered.

I could go on and on about shooting groups, but I'll spare you. But do check out other sites on the internet that are about precision shooting to help develope your technique. But always think and practice consistentcy with every time you pull that trigger, and you'll see dramatic improvements in your shooting ability.

Please understand that none of what I've written is a criticism of what you've done. Your excitement in your shooting was clearly evident in your post. When I started shooting (years and years ago), there was no one to help me. I had to dig around for information, and it wasn't nearly as easy as it is today. I'm just trying to help you along in your learning curve.

All the best, and keep up the good shooting.
That's awesome! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I didn't take any of it as negative. You are teaching, and I appreciate it!

I know very very little about shooting. I watched some of the winter guys in the Olympics do it, I was intrigued with what they used. I have seen some 22plinkster videos, and read a little bit in some forums. It was always a mystery until very recently (see previous post) why people were showing the accuracy of their rifles, but nobody was hitting the bullseye!

I'll try your tips! It gives me something new to do/try/work on.

I really like the glowy targets! I only get out maybe once a month to the range; so I like to make it fun. I've always justified the cost by doing the math; the ammo for an average shooting session for me is maybe thirty dollars. Add in the glowy target cost, I'm at maybe fifty bucks for a day of fun. If I did it every day, that's not sustainable, but once a month = have at it! I can totally see your point though; what I have is totally unnecessary. What I'll do is both; your approach and mine, so depending on what I feel like doing, I'm set! If I want to use the good ammo full time, I might have to go your way permanently, as I won't have any money left over!

I've really wanted a bench rest; I was looking at the cost of them online, and said forget it. I love the home made idea! I like to tinker, I can't believe I haven't created my own yet. The bipod makes an amateur like me happy; I'll make my own rest for the back!

thanks!
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