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  #1  
Old 07-06-2011, 03:10 PM
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.22lr acceptiable accuracy


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I have a marlin bolt action .22lr that I have been shooting different ammo in trying to find the best shooting round. I want to take it varmint and small game hunting. I mounted a bushnell 4x32 on it. I found a bipod that I totally forgot I purchased a few months ago and never put on anything so I added it to the rifle.

Anyway what is to you acceptable accuracy for a .22lr for hunting varmints and small game and at what distance?
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:37 PM
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I'm purdy comfortable with a 22 that will put 10 rounds into a 25 cent piece at near 55 yards Zapzoo.

With my aging eyes, I would not shoot a critter that I intended to eat much past 70 yards. 25 yards is better for me!

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  #3  
Old 07-08-2011, 04:59 PM
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1.5" @50yds is doing real good using a 4x scope....
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2011, 12:22 PM
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For my serious hunting .22LR arms I want 1/2" at 25yds and under 1" at 50. Both my Marlin 39 and Kimber bolt rimfire will do that. I can't always do that but the rifles can.
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2011, 12:28 PM
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As far as what my three grandsons can do with their 22's - which include a 10/22, a Marlin 60, and a Savage Mark II LHGL - each with a 3-9x32 scope - usually they can put 10 rounds in 3/8" at 50 yds and 1/2" at 100 yds. The middle grandson will use his Savage at 100 yds. and cut the bulls eye out with 10 rounds every time. I on the other hand am not that proficient but generally can do a 1/2" at 50 yds and 1" at 100 yds. with my Marlin 60 SS. We only use CCI minimags. Have tried the cheap Remington and Federal but neither are as consistant as the minimags. Of course, there is something to be said for all the practice they do.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2011, 05:05 PM
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Acceptable accuracy is quite relative. If you just want to plink some cans and have fun then 1" at 25 yards may be just fine for you. If you want to hunt small game you will probably want something closer to 1" at 50 yards or better. If you like to get serious off the bench and shoot some little tiny bulleye targets or shoot in some competition you may want a rifle capable of shooting around a 1/4" at 50 yards. My small game rifle is capable of shooting five rounds into one hole slightly larger than a 22 bullet at 25 yards, my competition rifle will do the same at 50 yards. I find both of them "acceptable" for each of their intended purposes. So, it depends on what you want to do with the rifle.
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  #7  
Old 07-19-2011, 05:26 PM
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By the way you will find a great difference in various type and brands of 22 ammo and what your rifle may like or dislike. Bargain ammo isn't always a bargain. Most of the bulk buy stuff is not all that accurate, with an exception or two. I found that some of the Federal and CCI bulk box stuff was pretty dang good but some other stuff was very lacking. For the most part the CCI ammo is usually pretty good. My Browning T-Bolt shoots the CCI Sub-Sonic HP very well and does quite well with the Mini-Mags too. The Wolf ammo is quite good too although I don't find that the Wolf "ME" is much better than the Wolf "Match" and not worth the extra money IMO. Eley, Lapua, and RWS make some really fine 22 ammo but you WILL pay for it and depending on what your rifle is actually capable of you may or may not see much benefit.

I suggest get a good sturdy rest on sandbags or a machine rest at the front and bag at the rear. Take several types of ammo (6 to 10 different loads) to the range with you and a felt tip pen. Shoot several five round groups of each ammo and make notes next to each group of distance, ammo brand, bullet weight, etc. Shoot about ten fouling rounds of each ammo type when you change from one ammo to the next before you shoot groups on paper you want keep. The reason for this is that different ammo brands use different kinds of lube and you don't want the lube left in the barrel from "brand X" effecting the accuracy of "brand Y". Once your done shooting take the targets home and compare. Pick the ones that shoot the smallest round shaped groups and eliminate the ones that produce more vertical or horizontal stringing. Once you get it narrowed down to two of three you can do some more extensive testing as you see fit. Also, I would shoot them at 25 yards. The wind can really push a 22 bullet around at 50 yards or more, much more so than many people realize. This is why we use wind flags when shooting 50 yard 22 matches. Save your 50 yard testing for really calm days or shoot very early in the morning or late in the evening when the wind has laid down. Hope you find some of this useful.
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2011, 08:51 AM
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I've found, incredibly, that bulk/bargain ammo can be extraordinarily accurate in some rifles occasionally beating out their Premium loads. I've had that good fortune in two of mine. I've also found some bargain brands not worth the price for plinking.
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2011, 10:24 AM
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The good ol' bullseye boys I know tried EVERY .22 LR. available to the Free World. Their criterion included price, availability, relialability, cleanliness and of course accuracy. When all the dust settled, guess which ammo won?
CCI Blazer.
I forgot to note they were using Ruger 10/22 rifles for their platform.

Last edited by land&groove; 07-21-2011 at 10:29 AM. Reason: premature posting
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2011, 09:36 AM
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I second the CCI Mini-Mags. I can put 5 inside a dime at 25 yds. with my 77/22.
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2011, 03:35 PM
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If you can keep them inside 1" at 50 yds, you are doing well and should be able to take care of any critters out there.
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  #12  
Old 08-02-2011, 11:00 AM
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Rangejunkie summed up the accuracy side of things pretty much the same (well, better) as I would have.

You also asked about distance to shoot varmints. I grew up in Pennsylvania where hunting groundhogs is a long standing tradition in rural farm country. I, my brother and my Dad always figured a 22 to be roughly a 100 yard gun but we have also ALL cleanly killed grounghogs out to about 125 or 130 yards with standard high velocity ammo. (not the hyper velocity stuff) My best was 127 yards from a standing position with a walking staff for a rest. Held about 8 or 9 inches high and hit just under the left eye.

Which brings me to my point. If you want to shoot that far, you've got to practice at that range and learn the bullet drop. Once you learn the drop, IF you have a rifle that will do about 1/2" at 50 yards, you should be fine out to 100 yards or a little over. I've found that with a scoped 22, about 8" of drop is normal at 100 yards when using subsonic ammo. My favorite ammo was the Fiocci sub sonic hollow point. Hyper velocity stuff like stingers, vipers etc drop about 4 inches. I've never hunted with the hyper velocity stuff though and have only had moderate success shooting it for groups and have not shot any of it for about 20 years.

Last edited by Dave Bulla; 08-02-2011 at 11:04 AM.
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2011, 09:24 AM
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Zapzoo, There are a whale of a lot of IFs, Maybes and possiblies unvoiced, but included in your question.

First, your 4X scope is minimal. Do able, but minimal.

A scope can eat your lunch if it lacks sharpness and resolution. Then paralax is a big factor in group size.

Not every scope, even those with an adjustable objective will give you what is needed for good shooting at .22 ranges.

I had a 4X12A.O. Trashco that was just that, trash. It was never sharp on the best day and paralax/focus control was questionable at best.

Then and this is in no way taking a swing at your rifle, but just how good is the barrel/action/assembly?

And then the base line, must be just what do you want? What are you satisfied with? What rings your bell?

Let me state that the information given by miata55, shows some exceptional rifles and/or marksmen.

To have three rifles such as he lists do what he states, as often as he states and do so with the ammo listed is the exception and not the rule.

Barrel/rifle quality is a big factor in the picture, ammo in and of itself is a totally different picture and subject, scope quality and magnification yet another.

A friend and I have had an informal "shoot off" over the last two summers, he with a very good shooting Savage single shot target rifle in the under/just over $300 range, mounted with a 4X Nikon.

I was shooting a Clark Custom RUGER 77/22 mounted with a Leupold 3X9 EFR (extended focus range) scope.

The first year, we shot mostly the target/match ammos, including Eley, high priced Lapua of two different grades with the different bullet dia., Fed. Gold metal Match - the old stuff like won at the Olympics - Wolf of two different levels, Winchester T22, CCI Green Tag etc. etc.

The second year it was off the shielf ammos at the typical much lower prices and greater availabilities, CCI mini Mag, CCI Blazer, WW Super X, bulk ammos etc. etc.

All ammo during both shoots, was from the same boxes, off the same bench, at the same range, and shot on the same day

Well the first go around, left me wondering at the wisdom of the $700 + value of my rifle and the $300 + value of the scope, as Jack's rifle shot neck and neck with mine at the 50yd. range.

BUT Aaaaaaaaaaaaah, the second year is what really told the story, and showed the value of my much higher investment.

While Jack's rifle did shoot a very good group or two with the lower level of ammo, the C-RUGER just kept shooting those nice little groups, some equal to the groups shot with the target/match ammos.

So, the quality of the rifle/barrel really made the difference.

I think it is safe to say, that a higher quality rifle will mean that more ammos will shoot better, high end or cheap, and give you more options.

It does not mean that your rifle, or anyone elses, of good quality, will not shoot to the desired level. However, it could very well mean that a person may need to test more brands and types of ammo to find your rifles "sweet spot.

And then, Oh yes, there is the lot to lot differences in ammo proformance, which is the reason hard core target shooters test and test and then buy as much of a proven lot/type/brand as they can get or aford.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

Last edited by Crusty Ol'Coot; 08-12-2011 at 09:27 AM.
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2011, 02:22 PM
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Three shots under a dime @ 50yds with a peep sight.



IMHO, Game animals don't often hang around long enough after the first shot, for anyone to shoot a tight group.

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  #15  
Old 08-12-2011, 03:08 PM
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Rangr44, You are correct about game sticking around for follow up shots.

Groups are simply a measure of a rifle/shooters ability to under controled conditions, to place a number of shots in a small space.

A good rifle will do so consistantly and repeatedly.

However, a rifle which will not group or will not do so consistantly, also cannot be relied on to hit where the shooter desires, and is therefore does not inspire confidence in the shooter as to the ability of his equipment.

I have missed, I will miss again, I am 68 years old - been there and done that, but I want to know it is MY fault. If that is not the case, the rifle is likely not to be a long term resident in my rack.

Had a Browning A-bolt which was the smoothest rifle I have ever owned. It also had the worse looking barrel of any rifle I have ever owned, and as such would not group consistantly. I missed a doable shot with that rifle, my fault or the rifles???, it made no difference, that rifle had to find a new home.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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  #16  
Old 08-30-2011, 06:05 PM
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one thing I've found is that a majority of the high velocity hunting ammo sucks for accuracy. That being said, the ammo chosen will be determined by the game being taken. If it's rabbit, CB longs will take care of them to 25 yards...50 with the right shot.

I use more low velocity stuff than anything. Try some Aguila sub sonic hollow point, Fiocchi Sub Sonic HP
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2011, 02:28 AM
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Post #7, second paragraph, RJ pretty much nailed it.

I've done the same and found my 22 rifle likes Federal match ammo. I bought 1200 rounds of it, making sure it was all from the same lot number. IME, most 22LR's also like CCI Minimags...I consider them the gold standard among the more affordable 22 ammo. Some guys swear by the added power of the Velocitor ammo, but I'm not sure about its availability.

Bottom line is to determine what is accurate enough and then test various brands to see what your gun likes best. To me, that means 1" groups (size of a squirrel's head) at 50 yards. That is with an old Marlin 80g and a cheap 4x scope. With a better rifle and higher magnification, I would want groups half that size. I will echo another poster, and say that the groups Miata55 spoke of are astounding. I'd have to see a 22LR shoot that well to believe it! Don't set the bar that high unless you plan to spend a lot of money and do a lot of practicing!
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  #18  
Old 08-31-2011, 08:20 AM
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I used to sight in a .22 for 25 yards, and that worked for squirrel out to fifty. But I found I did better with a 40 yard zero and letting the gun tell me the rest. No two rifles will be the same. Pick a spot that is the size of the "kill-zone" and experiment to find a good compromise in distance and try to stay in that range.
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  #19  
Old 09-26-2011, 02:43 PM
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Savage Mark II

I just picked up a Savage Mark II, 10 shot clip at Wal-Mart for $127.00. I bought it to replace a much loved & very old single shot that was stolen from me. I wasn't sure what this new low cost rifle would do. Well, let me tell you, with open standard sights that it came with I was putting them in the bullseye at 50 yds. After I put a Bushnell 4 x 12 scope on it I was cutting bullet holes. I used Remington sub-sonic ammo which although slow gave me a nice tight group. And yes it will put a woodchuck down in a heartbeat. I have 1/4 acre in town & I get woodchucks in my garden. There is a secluded angle off of my deck I can shoot from without worry. Subsonics are very quiet. Poor woodchuck.
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  #20  
Old 09-29-2011, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanh View Post
one thing I've found is that a majority of the high velocity hunting ammo sucks for accuracy. That being said, the ammo chosen will be determined by the game being taken. If it's rabbit, CB longs will take care of them to 25 yards...50 with the right shot.

I use more low velocity stuff than anything. Try some Aguila sub sonic hollow point, Fiocchi Sub Sonic HP
My Glenfield 60 loves minimags... Mainly what I use for small game hunting. This gorup is a full tube at a steady paced fire. Not breathing every shot...

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