View Full Version : Accuracy: .22LR Standard v. .22LR Hi-Velocity?

Dex Sinister
January 5, 2005, 05:13 PM
Hi all:

Did a search but coundn't find a similar thread, so...

Q: How much actual difference in accuracy would one expect between standard, say Remington or Winchester .22LR "hi-velocity" rounds, and non-match "standard velocity" .22LR rounds, at 50 feet, in competition .22 rifles?

My kids, 13 & 14, have been shooting NRA small-bore rifle league for the past 4 years at the local shooting club. They've progressed through the various positions, and are both currently shooting offhand, using club rifles.

The club allows the use of either ammunition, but "encourages" the use of standard velocity, sometimes more than others, depending on which volunteer shooting coach one talks to, mostly.

These discussions and encouragements center around alleged differences in accuracy between the two rounds -- differences allegedly in general, not between any specific manufacturers. The club itself generally carries & sells Winchester .22LR standard velocity, though it occasionally carries CCI.

My general thought, for the past 4 years, was that although I expected to need to possibly buy match ammunition when they go for distinguished expert, that there was little use in buying other than bulk-packed hi-velocity .22LR until they were capable of actually reliably grouping shots on the bullseyes.

Having them shoot together does produce some ironies, typically ignored by the volunteer coaches. At this week's practice, both shooting Hi-vel. Rem bulk pack ammo from the same box, my son's ammo was blamed for the numerous misfires he experienced, while he shot a target full of 10 mostly-on-the-black groups measuring half under 1", and half between 1" and 1.5".

My daughter, who experienced zero misfires with the exact same ammo from the same box, and newly shooting offhand, barely touched the black -- for which the ammunition was again blamed. Of her actual (off black) groupings, however, four were under 1" and four were between 1" and 1.5".

Naturally, upon arriving home, both proclaimed that new ammo must be procured -- for mutually contradictory reasons. <sigh> [And all while I'm stuck in Law School and can't go ask why otherwise sensible coaches seem to believe that ammo from the same box magically produces two contradictory problems from two different rifles.]

So, coaching idiocy aside, does anyone have any good quantifable data on the actual inherant accuracy differences between hi-velocity and standard non-match ammo?


Dex }:>=-

January 5, 2005, 07:38 PM
The only reason high velocity .22 ammo is less inherently accurate is that it breaks the sound barrier, with a corresponding sonic "crack" that momentarily unstabilizes the bvullet in flight. You will *not* notice this difference shooting off-hand at twenty-five feet.

Try CCI Blazer or Winchester white box. No Remington Golden Bullets. Good luck.

January 5, 2005, 07:49 PM
Standard velocity is not always more accurate.

By far, the biggest factor in .22 firearms, is finding what brand/type of ammo shoots best in a SPECIFIC, individual firearm.

That ammo may be top of the line standard velocity, or "Billy Bob's Discount House Budget Ammo", $6.00 for a brick, high velocity.

I once had an Anschutz "Club" type Model 64 target rifle that shot Remington Golden bullet high velocity best for practice, and a Colt 6" Trooper Mark III that was most accurate with Remington Thunderbolt???????.

The recommended procedure, (unless you can afford Elley 10X or other Match ammo) is to clean the bore, shoot a sample of ammo, then clean the bore and shoot another until you find a brand/type that shoots in THAT particular rifle.

I usually went down to a good gun store, and bought a 50 round box of everything they had.

January 5, 2005, 08:46 PM
I agree it will generally depend on the firearm. Some will like one and others will like something else. Within reason that is. I also agree that at 25 feet off-hand the HiV could be just as good as the standard.

Now over at rimfirecentral.com they have e-mail benchrest matches. One of these was using only low buck ammo. Over time it was apparent that Federal was in general the low buck ammo of choice.

I have some good and consistent results with Federal Gamshoc 40 gr (the 36 gr. is less good) in several different firearms. It usually is about $13 a brick. And copper flashed. Even in the cheaper Federal bulk pack ammo the RFC e-mail matches got better results with Federal in general.

CCI standard is probably better than these, but also costs a little more. I would look into the results from CCI standard and Federal first. I also would shoot the rifles off a bench and see which ammo is more accurate. Shooting offhand, too hard to say if accuracy is the shooter or ammo.

January 6, 2005, 06:42 AM
I shoot inside at 50 feet often and found that there is little difference between some of the more expensive match ammos and the cheaper target ammos. Sometimes, high velocity ammo will outshoot some of the cheap target ammo.

People I've seen on various ranges seem to have more problems with cheap Remington ammo than most other brands, whether target or high vel. Missfires are quite common with that ammo.

I've recently shot Federal Champion, Federal 911b, Winchester Dynapoint, CCI SV, Lapua Master, Lapua Midas, Eley 10X, and Wolf Match Target. The Federal ammos above seem to shoot quite reliably for the money. Winchester Dynapoints are usually quite good for the money, but I've had some batches that had a few missfires caused by lack of priming compound.

Some batches of CCI SV are incredibly good, but the rim thickness is often too great for my tight-headspaced rifles. At 50 feet, I've rarely seen ammo that wouldn't group under 1/4".

That said, my advice is to use the same ammo that most of the other kids in the group are using. You don't want your kids to THINK that the ammo is holding them back...or it will.


January 6, 2005, 10:27 AM
and with MOST .22s I've tried, the HV stuff is slightly less accurate....This is the result of my buddy and I buying at least one box of everything available, and trying it in a total of 6 different .22s, ranging from a Marlin 60 to his $2500 target gun. As mentioned however, every one of them prefers a different load, although the differences in accuracy can be minor. Ditto the HV stuff...Its only slightly less accurate, than BEST SV stuff, and better than a couple of the SV loads(Remington). I've even shot the Aquila SSS stuff, and found IN MY GUN that it was almost as accurate as the Federal Match stuff that's about the best. Others report dismal accuracy from the SSS.

In short, .22s can be fussy, and each is different, and you can burn alot of ammo looking for the most accurate...What we've found in OUR guns is that 38 or 40 grn. SV, in one form or another is probably gonna be one of the top performers. YMMV.

BTW--Remington is one of the WORST performers in all of these guns, FWIW.

January 6, 2005, 10:56 AM
Ditto on the Aguila. Individual rifle preferrences being what they are, who knows about yours, but Aguila's SUPER SE EXTRA .22 standard velocity gives me groups as tight as the most expensive match ammo I've tried. ( One of my rifles groups best, after the Aguila, with CCI stingers! ) You just gotta try 'em all.

k in AR
January 6, 2005, 03:26 PM
About 2 years ago my gun shop owner came accross a really great deal on ELEY PRACTICE ammo. I tried it and it really shot as good as the most expensive stuff. Needless to say I purchased all he had, at a "wallie-world" price...

Only problem, it is almost all gone and the gun shop (nor I) have ever found any more of this stuff, not at even twice the price. But if you come accross some, your really should try it.

January 6, 2005, 07:07 PM
K in AR:

I've shot Eley Practice and you're right. It's excellent for the money.

Champion Shooters has it. Try this URL:http://www.championshooters.com/start.html


January 7, 2005, 09:00 AM
I'm rather surprised that no one has mentioned measuring the thickness of the primer on rim fire rounds. The name of the game in shooting as in bracket racing, is to do the same thing EVERY time. To accomplish this, you need the same ammo everytime. Thats why we have "lot numbers" etc on powder and on .22ammo. BUT, with them shooting "off the rack" so to speak............. You might want to write down the rifle ser# so that you can get the same rifle every time.

As for your daughters "grouping", where were the bullits grouping? If they're up around the one o'clock and she shoots right hand she is pulling the trigger. If they're down around 7 o'clock, she is trying to punch the round IE: "make" the round go where she wants it to go. If it looked like a scatter gun, I would really look at the ammo.

There, my two cents! :D

Dex Sinister
January 7, 2005, 03:03 PM
As for your daughters "grouping", where were the bullits grouping? If they're up around the one o'clock and she shoots right hand she is pulling the trigger. If they're down around 7 o'clock, she is trying to punch the round IE: "make" the round go where she wants it to go.

Oh, something along the lines of 7 o'clock, 6 o'clock, & 3 o'clock, indicating that her current offhand "stance" is non-existant (she just started shooting offhand.)

As for the "scattergun" effect, her brother's groups are too consistant for that to be the problem.

Dex }:>=-

January 9, 2005, 12:00 AM
ive had really good results with thunderbolt from remington. i can put three shots into one hole a 50 yds. using a remington semi-auto 597SS

January 9, 2005, 07:38 AM
Jseime must have the best batch of Thunderbolts ever made and probably one of the best 597s.


January 10, 2005, 09:11 AM
Seems as both of them could use LOTS of "snaping in". Practice, practice. practice. Make sure the trigger finger is just on the trigger, not covering it. (midway between the end of the finger and the first joint) Squeeze slowly, you want the rifle to surprise you when it goes off. A nice 2-3 lb. trigger with not a lot of slack and you want the trigger to stop traveling as soon as the sear breaks. Stance is solid, grip is comfortable and steady (such as it is in offhand).

Re reading this string, your son just needs practice, the above would be useful for your daughter. Again, obtain the same rifle (if possible) every time.

Geeze, if I had just listened to my own advice 30 years ago, "I coulda been a contender ma!" :confused: