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Old January 9, 2014, 05:48 PM   #1
chris in va
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22lr, lead vs jacketed

I realize 22lr is solely made with lead/copper washed bullets.

It's been my experience jacketed bullets are more accurate than lead. Theoretically speaking, wouldn't a jacketed 22lr be more accurate? Anyone verify this using 22WMR?
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Old January 9, 2014, 05:56 PM   #2
Nick_C_S
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Jacketed more accurate than lead?

Quote:
It's been my experience jacketed bullets are more accurate than lead.
I apologize in advance for not addressing your question. I don't shoot 22LR, so I'm not sure if there is a difference.

Speaking about centerfire cartridges for pistol (38, 357, 45ACP, etc.), in general, lead bullets are more accurate than jacketed.

There's always lots of exceptions, of course. But if jacketed were considered more accurate, they'd be used a lot more in shooting competitions such as IDPA and the like (I think Cowboy Action requires lead bullets). In serious competition, the shooter doesn't shoot lead to save four pennies per round. They're shooting lead because it's more accurate.
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Old January 9, 2014, 06:32 PM   #3
jaguarxk120
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You might want to look over at www.benchrest.com they have a rimfire forum.

Those guys do wonders with the 22LR
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Old January 9, 2014, 06:35 PM   #4
rg1
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All the match 22 RF ammo I've seen has been lead and no copper coat. The best shooting regular 22 RF I shoot has been Winchester Super-X and CCI Mini-Mag both which are copper washed lead bullets. I've yet to try any of the new 22 Magnum such as the Hornady V-Max with a jacket and ballistic tip but I understand they are accurate and fast. The Match 22 RF lead bullets do have some sort of coating or lubricant on them?
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Old January 10, 2014, 08:18 AM   #5
Ritz
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Back in the dinosaur era, I used to shoot competitively with 22LR. All the match grade ammo we used in our fancy Anshutz rifles was simple lead (I think I recall we used Federal). With those rifles we were creating a one ragged hole in the 10 ring while firing prone @ 50ft.
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Old January 10, 2014, 10:51 AM   #6
TATER
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Lead, No copper wash...Eley BlackBox.
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Old January 10, 2014, 02:11 PM   #7
mikld
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Sorry Chris, but I disagree with your jacketed vs. lead accuracy statement. Now, if one loads just any size, shape, lubed, or hardness bullet, it may not be as accurate as a jacketed bullet in the same gun. But if the bullet is the proper size for the gun, my experience says the lead bullets are a bit more accurate...

Here's a good experiment; Carefully pull 100 .22 Mag. jacketed bullets and reload in some .22 lr cases. Then shoot and compare with 100 stock .22 lr lead rounds for accuracy. Might be a little challenging, but certainly doable...
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Old January 10, 2014, 02:47 PM   #8
cal10
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Plated rounds tend to cycle better in semi autos but are less accurate overall.
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Old January 10, 2014, 06:01 PM   #9
Hal
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Quote:
It's been my experience jacketed bullets are more accurate than lead.
I have to ask - what do you base that on?
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Old January 11, 2014, 11:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Here's a good experiment; Carefully pull 100 .22 Mag. jacketed bullets and reload in some .22 lr cases. Then shoot and compare with 100 stock .22 lr lead rounds for accuracy. Might be a little challenging, but certainly doable...
Have you done it?

I ask, because as described, it doesn't seem "doable" to me.

First, there is the whole pulling the bullets from rimfire ammo thing...
second, Reloading bullets into rimfire cases thing...(both of these make me very nervous, and I don't think standard tools are made for this)

Third, and most important, .22 magnum bullets are not only jacketed, but also slightly larger in diameter than .22LR. AND, since the .22LR uses a heel type bullet, that means that .22Mag bullets are slightly larger than the .22LR case.

So, assuming you can actually get .22mag bullets into .22LR cases, how do you get them into .22LR chambers?

If you want to discuss lead vs jacketed bullet accuracy, the .22Mag/.22LR is not a good example to use.
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Old January 11, 2014, 12:29 PM   #11
Pond, James Pond
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I would have thought lead was more accurate as its softer nature would allow the rifling to bite more and create tighter seals.

Also aren't they slightly less susceptible to drift? More weight in a smaller or equally sized package?
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Old January 11, 2014, 01:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
I would have thought lead was more accurate as its softer nature would allow the rifling to bite more and create tighter seals.
Yes! and No!

Lead is softer and so seals a bit better, but there are lots of other factors at work too. Because lead is softer, the rifling has to "bite" deeper, to get a good grip and spin the bullet. The speed of the bullet is very important, as even with a good bore to bullet fit, and proper rifling, driving a lead bullet too fast (varies with the alloy) means the rifling will "strip" on the bullet, resulting in poor accuracy.

Look at muzzleloaders, and you see very deep rifling, compared to say a 9mm barrel. This is to get a good bite on the bullet, as well as to give powder fouling someplace to go, temporarily.

Note that lead bullet sizes are .001-.003" or so larger than jacketed bullets in many cases. This is so they have a good tight fit in modern barrels, which are intended for jacketed bullets, as well as barrels meant for lead bullets.

Its not so much about the gas seal (which is important) but about the ability of the barrel to grip and spin the bullet properly.

Both jacketed and lead bullets can be quite accurate, but each requires a different set of conditions for best performance.
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Old January 11, 2014, 02:53 PM   #13
mikld
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Quote:
I have to ask - what do you base that on?
Experience. It comes from loading with jacketed and casting bullets for .44 Magnums for nearly 28 years. Started with Speer and Nosler 240 gr. jacketed bullets for my Ruger SBH, my S&W 629, my Dan Wesson 44H, my 10" Contender, and most recently my .44 Puma. For my Ruger it was hard to discern accuracy differences with only the bullet different, but all the other guns do seem to prefer cast lead (not swaged bullets as sold by Hornady and Speer). Plus, and I know hear-say is inadmissible, but I've read in casting/reloading publications, and OMG, on some dedicated to reloading/casting forums. Do you have any empirical evidence to the opposite?
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Old January 11, 2014, 03:49 PM   #14
Hal
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Quote:
Do you have any empirical evidence to the opposite?
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No.
My preference is for lead.

I don't believe this is a simple one or the other type question though.
If it were, then rules barring different, there would be no jacketed ammunition used for any matches.
All match ammunition would use lead bullets.
That's just simply not the case though.
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