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Old 05-09-2021, 12:41 PM
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My Crazy Ammo Test



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This crazy ammo test had only two reasons and one wasn't to convince anybody about anything. It is for information only and most important it gave me a chance to get rid some bits and pieces of ammo I would otherwise never shoot up. Besides, it was another day at the range which is always fun. Over the years, I have found that this barrel doesn't really require a lot of rounds to "warm it up". The rifle used is a 1970 Anschutz 54 receiver with a Shilen Octagon Rifling barrel and an Arhens Tuner. For the record, I have never had to adjust the tuner for any change of ammo. I know, OMG. The scope is a Weaver T36 with fine crosshairs. The trigger is a two stage set to about 2 ounces. The stock is a Don Stith benchrest stock pillar bedded in Devcon and the stock is finished with auto clear coat. There is a level on the left side of the scope. I even put in a new firing pin spring since I hadn’t changed it since I stopped shooting competition in 2015. The front rest is a Caldwell Rock with a Fudd top. The rear bag is a modified Protector bag with canvas bunny ears. Two wind flags are used. The Chronograph is a CED MII set at 10 feet from the muzzle.




The rifle was Deep Cleaned before the test was done and the Clean was done before the Eley rounds and Deep Cleaned before the first HV box and Cleaned before the other HV boxes. Clean means a dry patch, two wet patches of Rimfire Blend and two dry patches. Deep Clean is an absolutely clean barrel and chamber including carbon ring.
My definition of the quality of a lot is based on many targets and the relative price of the ammo. Keep in mind that in this test, the velocity is based on only ten rounds and group size on five. Also even the tested and untested lots may or may not reflect your lot. Remember the old adage. “Try before you buy”. Well I learned that lesson with the half case lot of Wolf I bought untested many years ago. It was absolute junk and I couldn’t wait to get rid of it. For the record, the High Velocity rounds were the first ever shot through this barrel.
Below is the target I shot at 50 yards. The upper target of the pair is shot to give me a bit more rounds for the velocity and also to "prepare the bore". I wasn’t too concerned about the group size with these 5 rounds. The lower one is the one I used for the group size and I was very careful to watch the wind flags. The groups were measured with On Target.



Here is the data for each brand/type.
1: Deep Clean -Wolf Match Target. I bought a half a case of this lot untested. It was a very poor lot. Although this group looks good, in total the lot was bad. Due to the wide velocity spread, at the ranges I was competing at, there were a lot of drop shots.
Avg Vel. 1036 V Spread 79 CTC .320

2 : Lapua Center X. This lot was one of four lots I tested. It was a very good lot and I bought 4 bricks for practice and my wife’s Ruger Mark III competition pistol.
Avg Vel. 1040 V Spread 24 CTC .247

3: Lapua Midas. This lot was one of four lots tested. It was an outstanding lot and I bought a case for competition. It has shot groups in the high .1s
Avg Vel. 1048 V Spread 23 CTC .233

4: Clean Eley Target. Bought years ago and never shot. Remember this is only ten rounds for velocity. This is the new Wolf.
Avg Vel. 1087 V Spread 17 CTC .535

5: Eley Team. This was one of three lots tested and I only bought 2 or 3 bricks and wish I had bought more. It is old Team and was an outstanding lot. This lot has shot much better groups than this.
Avg Vel. 1067 V Spread 14 CTC .379

6: Eley Match. This was one of four lots tested and was a very good lot. I bought a case of this lot for competition. This was the last lot Eley Match I bought. I switched to Lapua Midas for competition.
Avg Vel. 1062 V Spread 24 CTC .251

7. Eley 10X. I bought 2 bricks and neither were very good lots. I sold most but had a half box left. This group is better than most.
Avg Vel. 1082 V Spread 27 CTC .314

8: Deep Clean-Fiocci Performance-HV. Given to me by a "friend".
Avg Vel. 1234 V Spread .21 CTC .874

9: Clean- Federal Lightning-HV Bought for an experiment and never used. BTW, one round was 1333 and one was 1045. That's the dropped shot on the upper target.
Avg Vel. 1212 V Spread 288 CTC .926

10: Clean-Blazer-HV. Left on a bench by someone.
Avg Vel. 1217 V Spread 32 CTC .630

11: Clean-CCI Mini Mag-HV. Bought for me by my dear wife when she worked in sporting goods at Walmart bless her heart. Never used.
Avg Vel. 1171 V Spread .36 CTC .611 ATC

What I can read out of this, my rifle can shoot a pretty wide range of velocities; others seem to want only a very narrow velocity range. In the “target line” the results pretty much track price. I was very disappointed with the 10X lots and testing had a lot more groups to go by even though it did well here. I can see why people complain about American ammo although the Blazer and CCI did pretty well on the bottom target. As I have pointed out in the past, if a match ammo doesn't have less that 30 FPS velocity spread it will never meet my expectations. But having less that 30 FPS doesn't mean it will be a good lot s shown by the Fiocci. When I left the range, a family was there with two young girl shooting a 22. I gave the remaining boxes of Fiocci, Blazer and Federal to them. Enjoy, Jim

Last edited by MKnarr; 05-09-2021 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 05-09-2021, 02:45 PM
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Actually pretty interesting, thanks for posting, reminds me of why I don't shoot HV any more.
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Old 05-09-2021, 04:18 PM
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MKnarr, I have always said HV is the best deal on the market. Most folks are hunters and at $5 for 50 there is no better deal available. And as you have shown once again, they are capable of staying inside a squirrel's head at normal squirrel hunting distances all day long and with the extra velocity comes more expansion and a harder hit! Just one heck of a deal. The fact that they can be bought for anywhere close to $5 a box is simply amazing!
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:36 PM
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I see nothing crazy.
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:39 PM
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The expansion factor with RWS Subsonic is the best I've ever seen.

MKnar, thank you for that testing and the information we can draw from it. For me, it once again shows the excellent grouping that Match/Target ammo from across the ocean has over US ammo.
It would be awesome if US manufacturers would step up and make match/target ammo for those of us who appreciate accuracy.
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Old 05-09-2021, 06:56 PM
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Always great stuff, thanks!
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:10 PM
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Look at that American made ammo, what a deal and it only took an Anschutz action, a Shilen barrel, a tuner, a 36x scope and a Stith benchrest stock on a very professional rest setup with an expert shooter to get groups like that. Just imagine how great it would be from a bone stock typical hunting rifle, why I bet you could get four or five inch groups out of it.
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:33 PM
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Nicely done and documented, sir.
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:38 PM
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Phil, so you think 4 or 5 inch groups are the best you can do with hv ammo out of bone stock hunting rifles Are you serious? Is that the best you can do with HV ammo?
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:54 PM
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Some folks don't understand what an average BR rig gives one over a good factory rifle, It's not twice the accuracy. Most good factory guns provide 80% or more of what an average BR rig gives. You pay a lot for that extra 20%. An average BR rig may very well do worse than a factory sporter with certain HV ammo. I would be willing to show up at anyone's place and put a squirrel head sized target at 50 yards ( which is farther than the average squirrel shot) and at $10 per shot, shoot all day long with Hv ammo, I miss you get $10 I hit I get $10. We can place the results here. We will have to set a minimum of shots to pay for my trip!

Last edited by Lerrab; 05-09-2021 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:23 PM
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Interesting testing MKnarr.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil in Alabama View Post
Look at that American made ammo, what a deal and it only took an Anschutz action, a Shilen barrel, a tuner, a 36x scope and a Stith benchrest stock on a very professional rest setup with an expert shooter to get groups like that. Just imagine how great it would be from a bone stock typical hunting rifle, why I bet you could get four or five inch groups out of it.
You don't use a Rock rest with a Fudd top when hunting squirrels Phil?
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:35 PM
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Sometimes I use an oak front rest with a polyester/cotton covered protein rear.

The accuracy of American made rimfire ammo varies tremendously, and I have gotten some that was so bad that you honestly could not tell which bullseye some shots were supposed to have went with. I have gotten so angry before that I have thrown partial boxes of ammo out into the woods. Not often but it has happened, and it wasn't "bulk" ammo either. I'm currently using CCI Subsonic and it has usable accuracy. From my Kimber I get 1/2" to 3/4" groups at fifty yards and 1-1/4" to 1-5/8" at 100. None of the CCI high velocity ammo will even get close to that, and the hyper stuff is simply horrible. It used to be much better. Fifteen years ago I got groupings that were around 50% better than current product. I don't know what happened to quality, but it isn't as good as it used to be.

Two things hold me back, availability and money, if I had the money and an adequate supply of European ammo to purchase from, I'd never buy American made rimfire ammo again.
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:41 PM
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Phil, are you saying that American made HV ammo can't place the vast majority of the shots in a squirrel head sized target at 50 yards? Are you sticking with your 4-5" statement?
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:48 PM
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Just one example of the variability of American made ammo; a few years ago, I received some Federal 712 from Vincent on here. It was excellent, grouping 1.25 MOA regulary from my Kimber 22. When it was almost used up, I found a bunch of 712 in stock at a gun shop in Priceville, AL up near Decatur, just off of I-65. Got it home, opened a box to shoot some groups. And a giant disappointment. Five duds in the first box, misshapen bullets, wildly varying muzzle reports, and wildly varying POI. The new ammo would NOT keep five shots on a squirrel head at fifty yards so I had just wasted $75 on ammo that was junk for hunting. I used it up shooting in the High Standard revolver at ten yards, and executed a bunch of trash raiding and cat food thieving vermin with it so it wasn't a total loss. At least most of it went bang. I bought a carton of Federal bulk 719 and while it wasn't an accuracy Champion there was zero duds. The old High Standard made holes in stuff with them just fine. That's where cheapo ammo works okay. But I don't want "may work or not" and 3 out of 5 will hit a squirrel if you hold perfectly when I'm hunting.
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:59 PM
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No I'm saying that some of the American made ammo that you get will group 4 to 5 inches and that you never know when you'll be getting that sort. MOST of it will group 3/4" to 1-1/2" at fifty, depending on what you're buying.

An inch and a half from a benchrest doesn't mean an inch and a half from an improvised rest out in the woods. And while many of the squirrels that I kill, and I assume many killed by other hunters, are killed at 25-50 yards, there are quite a few taken at much longer ranges. The last squirrel of the season this year I took from an estimated 65 yards, and I must have estimated correctly or I would have missed.

I prefer to hunt with hollowpoint bullets so that really limits the selection of ammunition as I also want subsonic velocity. Even going to European selection, what does that give; RWS, Eley? Are there other? Norma is RWS, Fiocchi is CCI. Lapua/SK stopped making hollowpoints. Flatpoint ammo seems to be better than round nosed, but Eley Tenex and Match is terribly expensive.
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