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22 bullet hardness

3215 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  KT29
I've noticed that it seems to be a characteristic across the board that modern 22 ammo is much harder than say 40 years ago. My suspicions were raised when observing performance on small game and varmints. So I tried a thumbnail test on several brands and could barely make a mark. No so with Western or Remington Kleanbore high speed ammo from the 50's and early 60's.

Why? My only guess is that todays shooter mostly kills cans with an auto rather than a pump and demands that it feed properly....especially from a pistol.

Anyone have a brinell hardness tester to confirm this?
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.22 lr bullets i use are pretty soft.. federal high velocity, or blazer for plinkn, i shoot an old combine bout 170 yards away, aim bout 3 feet high, (combine is bout 6 feet tall) and it takes a good 2 seconds for me to hear ting. I go and collect the bullets, or sometimes fragments, and the whole bullets i have found look very much like a pancake.
They are pretty soft, but they aren't dead soft as most are now copper washed, the copper is pretty hard. I was out shooting some RWS subsonics today that were dead soft lead, even in 36 degree temps, the bullet lube was melting in the few seconds it was in my hand while loading magazines.

Match grade subsonic loads are pretty soft, in my experience. The high and hyper velocity has to be harder or it will lead the barrel.
I saw recently that someone reported the Remington Thuderbolt to be the hardest. I've not made measurements, but because a .22 has a heeled bullet that must fit a groove diameter chamber, they have to bump up under pressure to fill the barrel grooves, I would not be surprised if it turned out that only high speed ammo can be made harder and still be bumped up enough, while subsonic ammo, at the other extreme, would be the softest. Standard velocity should also be soft or be in between.

I know Bill Calfee uses pulled bullets for slugging barrel blanks. Slugging requires an extremely soft material to work at all, IME. I don't know what slugs he pulls, but this post has me wondering if those subsonic 60 grain Aguila bullets in short cases might not be a good candidate? I'll have some in a box somewhere. When I next run into them, I'll pull one to try slugging with?
I have some of those, and they are very soft bullets, in fact, one summer I was playing with them and they literally deformed a bit just in the heat of my pickup.
i will post some pics up of the mushroomed .22 bullets i have (more like pancakes) in a lil bit. and they were going pretty slow, well however fast a standard velocity .22 bullet is going at 200+ yards.
i didn t know standard velocity was 6-700 ft per second..
hmm learn something new every day ,i guess....have a good one barkbuster. slim:)
OK. I give. How did you arrive at those numbers?
he said 200 yrds.. 3 ft in a yrd.. what am i not understanding ..
or was you post directed at barkbuster.. :)slim
I guess I haven't paid that much attention to bullet hardness. The last few years I have gotten back into small game hunting with my lever .22LR. and have shot quite a few jack and cottontail rabbits using the bulk winchester 36 Gr. Hollowpoints. They seem to do the job just fine.:)
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