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  #1  
Old 09-07-2005, 06:16 AM
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Sorting .22 ammo for accuracy ???


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We do a lot of .22 shooting - either squirrel hunting or "redneck" matches at the rifle club.
Since good match ammo like the Eley and Lapua costs significantly more than than the common stuff,we tend to stay with the cheaper brands.
I've seen comments that refer to sorting by weight or rim thickness and have done some sorting by weight myself,but with mixed results.
Have any of you folks done any sorting of .22 rimfire and did it improve the grouping?
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2005, 09:17 AM
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Consistant rim thickness does lead to better accuracy. I believe midway and Brownells both sell a gauge to do this. One of the reasons match ammo runs a bunch more accurate is the consistancy of both rims and powder and bullet.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2005, 09:19 AM
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Yea at one time I had a problem and did the rim thickness and weight thing.But after i talked to a scientest testing ammo I found the best results were atained by checking for bullet wobble(I call it),he calls it bullet runout.The way I check it is to use a plastic ammo holder double it and screw it to a board then take the rim ammo one at a time and rotate it in the contraption(I use dental floss) and look for wobble/runout the ones that dont wobble shoot straighter than the others.The holder I used came from a box of 100 minni mags I broke it in half,put the two halves together then took two screws alighned and screwed it to a board put the dental floss around the rim and rotated it fast to see the wobble.A more percise contraption is a v block and a dial indicator,they look for run out of .001 or less for extreme accuracy.

Last edited by moontroll; 09-12-2005 at 03:45 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2005, 12:16 PM
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Sort 22's

Set up your scale carefully, weigh ten, figure out the mean and a tolerance around it. Sort 3 groups - in, above, and below the tolerance. The distribution should give you about 70% within, 15 above, 15 below. Shoot the groups together.

It takes me about twnety minutes to sort a brick while watching ball games. The results can be dramatic and embarrassing to some of the guys who spend the national debt on Tenex.

Fed 510's in my tweaked NS522 get me 1/2MOA. How do you beat that? Cheap ammunition in a cheap gun!
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2006, 12:36 PM
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I realize this is an old post, but I've got something to contribute.
I bought one of those gizmos to measure rim thickness and tried it out today with three brands of ammo. The sample batches were between 60 and 100 rounds, enough to make it statistically significant.

RWS rifle match($$$) .040" 77.5%, .041" 6.25%, .039" 16.25%.
Federal Gold ($$) .042" 50%, .041" 40%, .040" 10%.

Federal Champion ($) .039" 50%, .041" 37% 043" 13%.

2/8/06 Wolf Target Match ($) .039" 27%, .040" 52%, .041" 16%, .042" 5%.

This is just raw data at this point, I still don't know which rim thickness works best on my rifles.

On previous testing, before I sorted by rim thickness, the RWS beat the Federal Gold by a slight margin at twice the cost, and cheap Sellier%Bellot Club was a close third.

When I fire the sorted ammo, I'll report.

Last edited by Luisyamaha; 02-08-2006 at 12:50 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2006, 01:07 PM
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Hard to find the cause. IF thick rimmed ammo shoots better, is it due to decreased headspace or increased firing pin strike? Would the result of .002" thicker rims be the same if the pin was reduced in length by the same amount?

Did fine it useful with .22mag. ammo, finding the thicker rims to shoot significatly better than the other groups...then i switched firing pins and strikers springs...tossed the results out the windown.
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2006, 03:11 PM
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The rims that fit the bolt face better ( more snug) are usually more accurate. So yes a thicker rim will work, but just by sorting by rim thickness you are shooting the ones with all the same rim thickness. No give or take. Those that are all exactly the same always shot better for me. You will just get different impact points from a different rim thickness. LIke with Eley.... you get what you pay for. All that work has already been done. Rim thickness seems so critical that if you use just Winchester or CCI's, it may take a whole brick to find 50 that have the exact same rim thickness.

I turned the bolt face on a 10/22 to get the same results. If you have a thin bolt face, but not too thin, then most shells go in snug. That is if you gun has the recessed boltface to accept the shell.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2006, 02:15 PM
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I understood that the difference is not due to firing pin strike force nor time. although both these things are certainly true. With a thicker rim the lock time is slightly less than with a thinner rim and the pin impact energy may be conceivably more.

The main difference seems to be that, on a .22 that headspaces on the rim, with equal overall cartridge lenght, the ones with the thicker rims have longer to travel before engaging the rifling than those with thinner rims. In my example, the biggest difference was between .039" and .043" = .004" I think thats called freebore or throat depth, I'm not sure. But , if too much, allows the bullet to engage the rifling off-axis, and, while it may straighten out on its travel through the barrel, it will suffer slight shavings of lead leading to imbalance and hence not as good accuracy as one with a lesser jump and on axis engagement.

What fits your chamber best may be the determining factor here.

Again, I have not yet fired the sorted out ammo. When I do, if the above is correct, I expect a particular rim thickness to shoot better in my rifle from all brands of ammo.

I'll report.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2006, 07:17 AM
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Luis -

Almost certainly, any lock time difference effected by changes in rimfire rim thickness and subsequent translation to real accuracy manifested on target probably is beyond any statistically measurable and substantively valid realm.

What is true is that every combination of chamber configuration, bolt face/breech lockup, and striker shape/impact presents some ideal fit as to rim dimension. Isolating the ideal may prove problematical across the wide range of variables presented by different lots of ammuntion.

May I suggest that you look to my recommendation about weighing catridges first? I realize that vagaries of powder charge, priming content, brass consistency, and bullet may all enter into the issue, but wieght consistency was the Occam's Razor that proved successful for Soviet bloc smallbore shooting programs from the early 1950's through the end of the domination of those countries' shooting programs by their militaries. (for years, Commonwealth shooters looked to this regimen for shooting .303 and 7.62 armory issue rounds, and their success was remarkable)

When you find lots - irrespective of maker - that prove very consistent on weight, you will probably have eliminated a variable that will guide you to the next hurdle for precision. And I'll bet weight separated lots will give you a round that shoots better than most others (before selection for headspace). If, next, you measure rim thicknesses and you find substantial variances, group the lot by ranges and try to figure which range provides statistically significantly better accuracy. If you do find that golden combination, by all means try the whole process on a larger population of cartridges from as nearly the same lot (maker, configuration, lot).

The great luck will be that you find a lot of inexpensive cartridges (such as I did within Fed510) that have very consistent weight and quite consistent rim thickness. Probably a thickness lot on the larger end of the range will prove best - mine did for my NS, but to a much lesser extent than on my 52. My 54 treated the thickness separations the same way as my NS. My M2 Springfield can be adjusted for headspace and is set up for a different set of rounds altogether, but falls between the NS/54 and the 52 in shooting the Fed510's. My 77/22, unfortunately, isn't accurate enough with anything to be statistically measurable against the others - but it's such a pretty toy and it still hits turtles in the head at 30 yards. So it goes.

Even if you can't ascribe statistical significance to your outcomes, you will at least become confident on an intuitive level that you are shooting the best combination for your rifle and your shooting will reflect that.

The truth is that this process (plus a few other considerations - bullet diameter consistency, lubricant coating consistency, and axial/circumfrential concentricity of bullet and case) does the same thing for the most carefully built BR gun as for the next one that will leave Wal-Mart for a youngster's first gun.

Except for the lock time issue, it looks like you're on the right track.

Regards,

P. Morelos
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2006, 01:18 PM
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Puerto: I did read through all the posts here before posting mine. I'm aware that the weight factor some people consider more important than the rim thickness factor. Not having an appropiate scale to weigh the cartridges I opted for the rim thickness for the time being avoiding that choice. I guess doing both should be best. It would seem to me that the measuring should be faster than the weighing. Meausure first and then weigh or vice-versa? Is this so? What scale do you use or would recomend? I guess it would have to be some sort of digital one.
Thanks for your interest and input towards a beginner.
Lucky I only have one rifle (maybe not so lucky) accurate enough to merit all this. Hopefully something will trickle down to the lever actions and the Mossberg too.

Luis
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  #11  
Old 02-08-2006, 12:51 PM
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Posted numbers for Wolf Match Target on my above post.
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  #12  
Old 02-08-2006, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luisyamaha
Posted numbers for Wolf Match Target on my above post.
I know that match 22 ammo costs a little more, but is it really noticable? I am shooting at 100yds, what kind of groups could I expect with match ammo, and what kind does anyone suggest? I shoot about a 3 inch group at 100yds now with junk ammo.
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  #13  
Old 02-08-2006, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty357
I know that match 22 ammo costs a little more, but is it really noticable? I am shooting at 100yds, what kind of groups could I expect with match ammo, and what kind does anyone suggest? I shoot about a 3 inch group at 100yds now with junk ammo.
With Eley Tenex and my Anshutz 1416, I can shoot 1 inch groups at 100 yards with no wind. With CCI mini mags I get about 1 3/4" groups. Thats with a Leupold 3-9 adj. obj. All depends on the rifle, the ammo, the scope and the WIND!!!

Now about your concerns. I have shot it at 100 yards to see what it will do, but rarely shoot at anything much past 75 yards in the woods. I normally group my .22's at 40-50 yards. I would not use the 100 yard test to see if you have good ammo/rifle/scope. What will it do at 50 yards? If you can keep them between 1/2 to 3/4 at 50 yards, you will be doing fine.

Last edited by Gizzy; 02-08-2006 at 06:18 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-08-2006, 06:20 PM
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I meant to put 1/2 to 3/4 center to center at 50 yards.
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  #15  
Old 02-24-2006, 11:11 AM
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Fired the above referenced ammo last Weds.. This was shot at 50 meters with a Clark custom 10/22, 16.5" SS fluted barrel, with a Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16X-50mm. Off sandbags. My impression upon shooting was that I wasn't doing that well, I usually use a bipod insted of sand bags, So I'm hoping for better next time I go. We'll see.

Best average of four 5-shot groups was Wolf w/.040" rim with .54"

Best single 5-shot group was also Wolf .040" rim with .40".

Worst average of four 5-shot groups was Federal Champion .042" rim with .90".

Worst single 5-shot group was Federal Gold MAtch, .039" rim with 1.22".

.040" rims did best, followed by .039" rims and then .041". the farther from .040" the worse they got.

Significant was the fact that RWS (expensive) best group was .59" from .040" rims while Federal Champion (cheap) best group was .60" with .041" rims. RWS costs about 3X what Champion did.

I will repeat this with more ammo and better conditions. All these results were STILL not as good as other tests I've done before wiith un-sorted ammo.

Last edited by Luisyamaha; 02-24-2006 at 11:16 AM.
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  #16  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manyplews
We do a lot of .22 shooting - either squirrel hunting or "redneck" matches at the rifle club.
Since good match ammo like the Eley and Lapua costs significantly more than than the common stuff,we tend to stay with the cheaper brands.
I've seen comments that refer to sorting by weight or rim thickness and have done some sorting by weight myself,but with mixed results.
Have any of you folks done any sorting of .22 rimfire and did it improve the grouping?
I guage mine....22 rimfires headspace on the rim..so production tolerances are key to grouping....

I use a rim thickness guage that i got from Sinclair..and an old muffin tin..to sort the rounds by rim thickness...my rifle has a tight chamber and likes to be close to the spec of .042. It will shoot acceptable groups with rim thickness down to .038 but if you mix them then you are all over the paper....

I have measured most brands and found that if you buy regular ammo...no match......the best is typically CCI Mini Mag solid. I also use a HANNED tool to put a meplat on the nose of mine...but some people might find that extreme....

btw...my son and I ....and a preacher friend......amaze folks by routinely engaging prairie dog sized spinners at 150-200 yards!....but we are obsessive about measuring and sorting ammo.....

m
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  #17  
Old 03-08-2006, 10:07 PM
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interesting thread.. any thoughts on the use of a paco kelly tool to help with accuracy?? my son got me one for christmas and i have ran a few through it and hollow pointed some others... i really hope i get to the range soon to see if they better than unmodifed ammo..........
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