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Old October 3, 2012, 12:10 AM   #1
Glamisgirl
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SR22 tumbling bullets...

Hi, I'm relatively new to handguns and 100% new to this site. We just purchased a Ruger SR22 handgun. We had no problems the first hundred rounds, but then we noticed the bullets were tumbling. Since the gun was under warranty we sent it back to Ruger and they 'fixed it' saying we should change ammo. So we did. After about 100 rounds (Remington thunderbolts 40 grain) we noticed they are tumbling again! Since we are rookies, I'm looking for advice. All the reviews I have read about this gun say nothing but good things so I really think its operator error (crappy ammo??) anyone have any thoughts?
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Old October 3, 2012, 12:21 AM   #2
FrankenMauser
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Skip the bulk packs and economy-grade ammo, at least for the time being.

Go to something boxed (higher quality), like:
Federal Champion Target
Federal Game-Shok
CCI Mini-Mag
CCI Stinger **
Remington YellowJacket **


**(If the pistol is rated for it.)
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Old October 3, 2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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Remington Thunderbolts may be the culprit. That is quite possibly the worst ammo money can buy. It doesn't take many rounds of that stuff to foul up the bore of a gun so bad as to leave it looking like a sewer pipe. I would imagine a pistol bore could get so thoroughly caked in lead fouling from shooting Remington Thunderbolts as to cause some sort of tumbling issues.

Cleaning out bore and sticking to plated ammo would likely solve the issue without necessarily having to resort to "high end" ammo.
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:24 AM   #4
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^This^

My stepson has a box of that stuff left at our house; you can take those suckers and twist the bullets out of the brass by hand!
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Old October 3, 2012, 05:46 AM   #5
Coach Z
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Switch ammo for sure!

This is a thread I posted a while ago about my SR22 keyholing as well. I also took a few pictures of the SHOCKING amount of lead I had in the barrel.

When I switched ammo it fixed everything, give it a try and let us know how it goes.

edit: I was shotting thunderbolts as well when I had the issue
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Last edited by Coach Z; October 3, 2012 at 05:47 AM. Reason: Missed info
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Old October 3, 2012, 01:20 PM   #6
carguychris
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Footnotes for the benefit of the n00b OP...
Quote:
Skip the bulk packs and economy-grade ammo, at least for the time being... Go to something boxed (higher quality)...
Bulk pack refers to .22LR that's packaged in a single box of several hundred loose rounds for $8-$20. However, many varieties of bulk pack- including Thunderbolts- are also available in boxes of 50, typically for less than $2/ea.

IMHO you shouldn't categorically swear off all bulk pack. It's just that cheap .22LR is a hit or miss proposition- pun intended. .22LR guns are invariably picky about ammo, and when you use different types of cheap ammo, you may get wildly varying results. You just happened upon a type of cheap ammo that your gun really dislikes. It's a trial and error process.

Just as an example, my S&W Model 18- a very high-quality .22LR revolver- loves Remington Golden Bullets, a cheap load that many shooters consider to be absolute crap. It shoots them much better than equal-priced Federal loads, and it absolutely will not shoot well with any cheap load made by Winchester. Why is this? Beats me, it's just the way .22LR guns are.
Quote:
...sticking to plated ammo would likely solve the issue without necessarily having to resort to "high end" ammo.
Plated bullets have a bright metal, typically copper color, rather than a dark grey lead color.

Mid-priced plated bullet ammo generally sells for $3-$4/50 or $6-$8/100 and often comes in little clear plastic 100rd boxes. Common types include CCI Mini-Mags & Winchester Super-X Super Speed.

Not all non-plated low-priced ammo is bad. I would suggest trying Federal Auto Match, which is available at Walmart in loose-packed 325rd boxes for about $14, although many of my local Walmarts seem to be having trouble getting it right now; YMMV. I've found that this load shoots at least reasonably well in every semi-auto firearm I've tried it in, and it's nowhere near as dirty as Thunderbolts.
Quote:
CCI Stinger **
Remington YellowJacket **

**(If the pistol is rated for it.)
The reason for the "**" is that these are so-called hyper-velocity loads, which are loaded hotter than high-velocity or standard-velocity .22LR ammo. Other common types include CCI Velocitors and Aguilla Interceptors. Most newer .22LR pistols can use these, but check the owner's manual to be sure.

Be aware that even if the manual says you can use it, these loads often use lighter 29-32 grain bullets rather than 36-40gr bullets like regular .22LR ammo. The barrels of most .22LR guns are not optimized for the lighter bullets, so accuracy may be poor.
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:19 PM   #7
marine6680
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I had this happen as well with my SR22. Here is a thread I started... I updated it with info on what I found as the problem.

When you get a chance, look in the barrel... ensuring first the gun is clear and preferably disassembled... you will probably notice lots of leading and fouling in the barrel. Even a dirty barrel looks smooth... lead fouling looks rough.

Before you shoot again check the barrel and clean it well... Lead fouling will get worse, and shooting more rounds will not fix it only worsen it.

Long story short... Plain lead bullets fouled the barrel... Use plated bullets... Bullets that have a thin plating of copper or brass. The Winchester M-22 are plated but look black, its treated copper that has a black color... other plated bullets have the typical copper color.

Other plated bullets that are still cheaper...
Federal bulk
Winchester bulk
Remington Golden Bullets

I find the Federal and Winchester bulk to be hit and miss on reliability. Due to softer lead and poor crimping of the case which allows the bullet to wobble or feel loose in the case.

The Golden bullets have treated me better so far. A little loose of crimp but not as bad.

The Winchester M-22 ammo is very high quality and has been 100% reliable for me so far. No looseness and round nose so feeding is good.

Edit:
The M-22 costs a little more, but I feel it is worth a few extra bucks for a 500rd box... about $22

Other bulk runs $16-20 per 500rd box.

Edit 2:
CCI Mini Mags are almost a sure bet for reliability, but $6-7 per 100.

The M22 ammo I mentioned is loaded to similar power levels.

Ammo rated for around 1200fps with 36-40gn bullets, tends to work very well in semi-autos. So look on the box and see if it has the velocity... If not, ammo in that range tends to be labeled "high velocity".

Standard velocity is around 1000fps... Hyper velocity is over 1400fps.

The SR22 can handle the Hyper velocity ammo very well.

Last edited by marine6680; October 3, 2012 at 04:37 PM.
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:55 PM   #8
Nnobby45
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Was shooting my S&W 317 .22 one day, and after 30 or 40 rds. my shots were keyholing. When I got home, a close examination showed that the Remington bulk pack Cyclone (lead) had severely leaded up the bore. Bullets could no longer bite into the rifling.

Cleaned it out with some steel scouring stuff. A lot of lead came out of there. Interesting, since I never had a problem shooting the stuff in my 10/22.

When ammo starts out ok from a clean gun and later begins to keyhole, it's because the ammo is leaving deposits in the bore. In my case, cheaper bulk pack ammo wasn't the cause. Lead bullets were. I shoot bulk pack Federal copper jkt'd bullets a lot with no issues.
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Old October 3, 2012, 06:32 PM   #9
chris in va
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There are no 'jacketed copper' 22's readily available. Most are copper washed or very thin plated.
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Old October 3, 2012, 07:45 PM   #10
Dragline45
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Word for the wise. NEVER use remington thunderbolts. Dirtiest crap ammo I ever used.
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Old October 3, 2012, 08:45 PM   #11
m_liebst
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Word to the wise- almost all of Remington 22lr ammo I can think of is very dirty/ loose/ ...and has a high dud rate.

This mainly goes for the thunderbolts,... but also applies to-

Golden bullets, Viper, and their subsonic. I stopped wasting my money on their ammo after trying these. Absolutely no quality control

Last edited by m_liebst; October 4, 2012 at 09:11 AM.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:55 PM   #12
Brian48
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Quote:
Hi, I'm relatively new to handguns and 100% new to this site. We just purchased a Ruger SR22 handgun. We had no problems the first hundred rounds, but then we noticed the bullets were tumbling. Since the gun was under warranty we sent it back to Ruger and they 'fixed it' saying we should change ammo. So we did. After about 100 rounds (Remington thunderbolts 40 grain) we noticed they are tumbling again! Since we are rookies, I'm looking for advice. All the reviews I have read about this gun say nothing but good things so I really think its operator error (crappy ammo??) anyone have any thoughts?
There's your problem right there. Thunderbolts do the same thing for me after a few boxes no matter what gun I use. They lead up the barrel really quickly and it's a pain to scrub out. I don't bother with them any more.
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Old October 3, 2012, 10:00 PM   #13
marine6680
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Yeah... the Golden bullets were the best of the cheap Remington I have found...

But they were the only bulk ammo that I have ever had an actual dud round and not one that fired after a second strike. But I didn't have any others that even needed a second strike, out of the whole box.

They were reliable in my SR22, and not very dirty. Cleanest of the bulk I have fired so far, but no where as clean as CCI.

There are better options in ammo, but I can't knock the golden bullets on their performance in my pistol.
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Old October 4, 2012, 12:06 AM   #14
carguychris
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Quote:
There are no 'jacketed copper' 22's readily available. Most are copper washed or very thin plated.
+1, Also one other issue with the post...
Quote:
Cleaned [the lead buildup] out with some steel scouring stuff.
I don't like using any sort of steel brush or scouring product on lead buildup. IMHO the risk of damage is too great. Wet patching the barrel with a lead-removing solvent, waiting an hour or so, and then scrubbing the bore with a new bronze brush will generally take care of .22LR lead buildup.
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Old October 4, 2012, 12:09 AM   #15
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
I don't like using any sort of steel brush or scouring product on lead buildup. IMHO the risk of damage is too great. Wet patching the barrel with a lead-removing solvent, waiting an hour or so, and then scrubbing the bore with a new bronze brush will generally take care of .22LR lead buildup.
Copper Chore Boy is your friend....
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Old October 4, 2012, 09:15 PM   #16
Nnobby45
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Quote:
There are no 'jacketed copper' 22's readily available. Most are copper washed or very thin plated.
Thanks for the correction on my monumental error.

Quote:
Copper Chore Boy is your friend....
That, or a similar product, removes lead so fast that you'll kick yourself in the fanny for fooling around all those years with a silly bore brush. Excellent for removing lead from shotgun bores, also. I use it with solvent.
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Old October 6, 2012, 01:32 AM   #17
Inazone
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When I bought my SR22 back in February, I immediately bought a brick of Thunderbolt and couldn't have been more disappointed, as I would rarely get more than 5-6 rounds to feed per mag. Similar results with Winchester Wildcat and Federal Lightning, leading me to believe that round-nose lead rounds simply aren't to the Ruger's liking. The bulk copper-plated Winchester HPs, CCI Minimags and Federal Spitfire work just fine.
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Old October 6, 2012, 06:22 AM   #18
steveno
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are you using paper targets and how tight are they held to the target backing? if the target isn't held tight to the target backing the bullet will tear the target instead of punching a clean hole through the target.
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Old October 6, 2012, 07:56 PM   #19
22-rimfire
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I have found in general if you have feeding problems or leading issues with 22 pistols, after cleaning, using the copper washed 22 ammo seems to help a lot.

I hear that CCI is offering a 1600 round "bulk pack" now filled with what I believe to be their regular CCI HV copper washed ammo. I read that Walmart is starting to sell them for $98 each which is a little less than buying by the 100-ct box, but more than buying regular bulk packs.
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Old October 6, 2012, 08:12 PM   #20
Chuckusaret
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I use CCI only and never had a problem.
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Old October 6, 2012, 08:49 PM   #21
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I've fed mine mostly bulk Federal from Wally world and the Remington golden bullets from wally world without any issues.

I've also shot some Eley, Wolf, RWS and federal match (non plated all) but no more than 40 or 50 rounds at a time.

Clean the barrel switch ammo you'll be fine.
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