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Old August 16, 2022, 08:48 PM   #1
Chaparral
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22 LR shooting long distance

I have recently kind of become interested in shooting 22 LR at long distance. I wanted to see if I could get some answers in here. Many times I will take my various brands of 22 LR bullets out and look for the tightest group(s) to try and narrow down which one I need. One thing I have noticed is that a certain brand will shoot a real tight group and I will continue shooting through the various brands. At the end of shooting I will have about 3 brands that shot better. I can then shoot groups with these and many times the groups are worse than the ones I have already eliminated. Very frustrating. Does this have to do with the fouling in the barrel? Does this have to do with the barrel warming up (I would not think so in a 22)? I've even heard that some 22 ammo leave residue and wax in the barrel that will effect further rounds going down the barrel. Any suggestions?
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Old August 17, 2022, 09:10 AM   #2
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Rimfire has gremlins.

Lots of factors, and yes, fouling and lube (from the bullets) will contribute to erratic velocities, and groups. There are lots of ways folks attack the problem.

I have gone to the CCI powder coated bullets, but they don't make one that is both accurate and sub-sonic. So, I use the walnut shaker method to de-lube the 22RF ammo. New Walnut media in a plastic container with a lid, dump in a box and manually shake. Not crazy, just enough to keep the media moving around. Dump out in Colander and blow off with compressed air. Then, depending on brand, sort by weight. While you have to shoot batches for their POI, the groups will be tighter.

You will need to clean the barrel a little more often, especially the chamber. I keep a few foam tipped swabs and wipe out the chamber with CLP every 50 rounds or so. BJ Norris did the same thing with the Walnut, which is where I learned it, but he puts a drop of Rem Oil on the first bullet in a mag. He mostly is speed shooting, so does not care about the first shot being a little off.
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Old August 17, 2022, 09:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaparral View Post
I have recently kind of become interested in shooting 22 LR at long distance. I wanted to see if I could get some answers in here. Many times I will take my various brands of 22 LR bullets out and look for the tightest group(s) to try and narrow down which one I need. One thing I have noticed is that a certain brand will shoot a real tight group and I will continue shooting through the various brands. At the end of shooting I will have about 3 brands that shot better. I can then shoot groups with these and many times the groups are worse than the ones I have already eliminated. Very frustrating. Does this have to do with the fouling in the barrel? Does this have to do with the barrel warming up (I would not think so in a 22)? I've even heard that some 22 ammo leave residue and wax in the barrel that will effect further rounds going down the barrel. Any suggestions?
The shooter could be tired. Take break often.

-TL

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Old August 17, 2022, 08:48 PM   #4
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There are some very long discussions/arguments about how often to clean when shooting precision rimfire, I tend to go towards the "every time I shoot", and then a few fouling shots. I've also heard it from numerous sources that you should clean between ammunition brands as well, so that you've only got fouling from one type of bullet lube in the barrel at once. Shooter fatigue also plays into it. When I was finding ammo for my two precision rimfire rifles I experienced much the same of what you did: after lots of five round groups from different brands and types I'd pick the best shooting then work with it, but by then I was just plain old tired and my groups opened up accordingly.

Its been said already once in this thread, but you are going to want to shoot subsonic/standard velocity, otherwise your bullet is going to be going trans-sonic a little past 100 yards and that makes things much harder.
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Old August 17, 2022, 09:13 PM   #5
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I don't clean till I have to, rim fire or otherwise. To be fair I don't really shoot long range either. 150yd outdoor is pretty taxing for 22lr already. Opportunity to practice calling the wind.

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Old August 17, 2022, 09:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tangolima View Post
The shooter could be tired. Take break often.

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Will do! Texas heat is my worst enemy. 100 plus every day.
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Old August 17, 2022, 09:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rob228 View Post
There are some very long discussions/arguments about how often to clean when shooting precision rimfire, I tend to go towards the "every time I shoot", and then a few fouling shots. I've also heard it from numerous sources that you should clean between ammunition brands as well, so that you've only got fouling from one type of bullet lube in the barrel at once. Shooter fatigue also plays into it. When I was finding ammo for my two precision rimfire rifles I experienced much the same of what you did: after lots of five round groups from different brands and types I'd pick the best shooting then work with it, but by then I was just plain old tired and my groups opened up accordingly.

Its been said already once in this thread, but you are going to want to shoot subsonic/standard velocity, otherwise your bullet is going to be going trans-sonic a little past 100 yards and that makes things much harder.
Thank you man. I think I will clean between brands and just cover all my bases I can. Thank you for your suggestions.
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Old August 17, 2022, 10:20 PM   #8
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Best scores (accuracy?) in 22 rimfire rifle matches are made with barrels cleaned every 50 to 60 shots. Ask a master classified competitive shooter.

After 20 thousand rounds, a good barrel can be set back an inch. Once.

Prior to 1980, good lots of match ammo tested about quarter MOA at 50 yards, about half MOA at 100. The primer formula in all makes was changed in 1980 and test group sizes almost doubled, barrel life almost halved.

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Old August 17, 2022, 11:16 PM   #9
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At very long distance shooting is full of luck, I would buy whatever cheap stuff my gun liked to chuck at distance and save the good stuff for 100 yards an in.
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Old August 18, 2022, 06:56 AM   #10
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This is article on long range 22cal.

https://www.longrangeonly.com/forum/...he-books.5405/
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Old August 18, 2022, 07:47 AM   #11
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Interesting report roper--I was wondering if anyone was instead going the route of using CE's copper hand-loads, which reportedly have been effective to 800 yds+ but require much faster twist than all-lead.
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Old August 18, 2022, 01:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rc View Post
At very long distance shooting is full of luck, I would buy whatever cheap stuff my gun liked to chuck at distance and save the good stuff for 100 yards an in.
If you are shooting supersonics, kind of true. With Subs, if luck gets me 5" 5 shot groups at 300 yards, I'll take that luck all day.

Most guys who actually shoot long range precision rimfire do the opposite of what rc suggested.
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Old August 18, 2022, 02:38 PM   #13
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With Subs, if luck gets me 5" 5 shot groups at 300 yards
I've only stretched out to 200 and its quite a bit bigger than 5" at the moment (Christensen Arms Ranger and Eley Tenex). I don't have my data book in front of me but I recall my drop from 50 yards to 100 was 6.2" and I wouldn't trust it to memory but over 2 feet from 50-200, and even at 100 its relatively easy to see the bullet arc up through the scope then back down on target. I don't quite have the free time to get into the sport as much as I would like, but I'll be retiring towards the end of this year and it has caught enough of my interest that I'm going to be doing a lot more of it. And going from shooting mostly .243 and 6.5 to long range .22......... you learn a LOT about windage, really fast.
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Old August 19, 2022, 04:11 AM   #14
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Many years ago (35+) I used to practice shooting .22 long rifle at 100 yards well because I had Mondays off and not much else to do on that day. I found that I could get varying group sizes from 2 to 5 inches by finding an ammo my rifle liked. The 2 brands I had the best luck with are no longer available. So if I tried this again, I'd be starting from scratch.

Anyway try all the brands that are available to you and see what your rifle likes best. I found that the cheaper the ammo, the dirtier it shot. After 150 rounds of Blazer my .22 semi-auto was so sluggish, it wouldn't fire. Rinsing it out with Ed's Red always restored functionality. I run a lightly oiled patch down the bore once in a while but I've found my .22 rim-fire rifles shoot best with fouled barrel. Typically it takes 10 rounds or so to get the rifle shooting good again after a good bore scrubbing...

Tony
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Old August 19, 2022, 05:44 AM   #15
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MOA- at even one hundred yards is exceptional for factory ammo and rifles IMO. Speaking of which, my CZ 457 has always shown a preference for RWS R50--clearly more consistent than any other factory ammo including tenex. Problem is (besides being very expensive) is I haven't been able to find it anywhere for quite some time--but diid find some R100 at Creedmoor sports. Anyone have experience with the 100 and how well it compares to the 50??
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Last edited by stagpanther; August 19, 2022 at 06:49 AM.
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Old August 19, 2022, 06:50 AM   #16
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A few years ago I picked up a Savage B22 for a good price and put a cheap Bushnell scope on it. All up I have about $250.00 in it. It has a heavy barrel profile and a fairly decent trigger. Out to 75yds it consistently shoots ten round groups MOA, and at 100 opens up to about 1 1/4 MOA. It amazes me how nice this little rifle shoots. It’s not terribly sensitive to ammo, the most it opens up using any brand is an additional 1/2 MOA but likes Aguila best. I think a better scope might tighten it up a bit since the dot in the middle of the cross hairs is about 1 MOA in size, but it’s good enough for me just the way it is. I’ve put about a thousand rounds through it and still haven’t cleaned it. The only beef I have is their rotary magazine design leaves a lot to be desired, a real PITA to load.
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Old August 19, 2022, 07:28 PM   #17
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I went out this afternoon and tried some of my precious R-50--only about 30 rounds left in my last box, and my first "long" distance is 120 yds. Managed one group of 6 shots at 1.16 MOA and a second at 1.7 MOA through my CZ 457 jaguar. Very challenging IMO--but as with anything 22lr--very fun!!
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Old August 20, 2022, 06:14 AM   #18
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The primer formula in all makes was changed in 1980 and test group sizes almost doubled, barrel life almost halved.
Pure balderdash!

Hah hah, just kidding. Are you talking rimfire, centerfire or both? In the case of rimfire what I've experienced reloading for it is that tolerances are much tighter than they are for centerfire--both dimensionally as well as proportion of propellant. My guess is the most important factor in consistency is the repeatable precision in manufacturing of the ammo and barrels. I imagine that probably has improved along with the improvements in manufacturing technologies.
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Old August 20, 2022, 09:11 AM   #19
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Pure balderdash!



Hah hah, just kidding. Are you talking rimfire, centerfire or both? In the case of rimfire what I've experienced reloading for it is that tolerances are much tighter than they are for centerfire--both dimensionally as well as proportion of propellant. My guess is the most important factor in consistency is the repeatable precision in manufacturing of the ammo and barrels. I imagine that probably has improved along with the improvements in manufacturing technologies.
I think he meant it got worse, not improved.

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Old August 20, 2022, 09:25 AM   #20
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I think he meant it got worse, not improved.
I know he meant things got worse--but I can't tell whether or not he meant it as a blanket statement covering all ammo--in other words centerfire, rimfire etc. If so, it sounds like what he's saying is everything became crap and lost half it's accuracy and barrel life after circa 1980.
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Old August 20, 2022, 06:48 PM   #21
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22lr is like a box of chocolates--you never know what you're going to get

This thread is an example of why I like this forum--it inspires me to try new things for the fun of it. Yesterday was the first time I shot conventional factory 22 lr past 100 yds--120 to be exact--and today I almost doubled that to 237 yards. All I ever cared about was tiny groups at 50 yds.

On the menu was Norma TAC 22, Ely pistol match (it's all I had from Ely), winchester power point, my CZ 457's favorite; RWS R-50 and Aguila super extra.

Nothing seemed to perform the way I assumed it would. Faster ammo didn't necessarily impact higher on the target. from what I've read, slower ammo that didn't go transonic tended to be more accurate at longer distances. the logic of that eludes me--unless it has more to do with maintaining bullet stability more easily. I didn't see that today either as the faster stuff seemed to do better than the slower stuff.

I cut back my group sizes to 5 shots because I simply didn't have the concentration to make it through larger groups. The pistol stuff was a mistake--it wouldn't even feed from the magazine and the group size was in feet. I guess I should have paid attention to the "pistol" part. The rest of the ammo grouped around 4 to 5 inches, including my favorite R-50 which I expected would group far better than all the rest of the factory ammos.

I have a box of aguila super extra and wasn't even going to shoot it--it has never shot worth a poop in my CZ jaguar at shorter distances but decided to give it a try before I packed up for the day just for the heck of it. I was pretty shocked when the first group came in under MOA--just to make sure I shot a second group which also came in under MOA--I think. I thought I loaded 5 into the magazine but either missed one or pulled a shot so badly it went sailing far of the target, I couldn't find a fifth impact that correlated to this group.





Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_7537.jpg (93.0 KB, 243 views)
File Type: jpg aquila super extra group 1.jpg (104.4 KB, 241 views)
File Type: jpg aquila super extra group 2.jpg (117.9 KB, 238 views)
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Old August 20, 2022, 08:39 PM   #22
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Nice groups!

If you want to dial up the challenge a notch, try first shot hit on a predefined target. Wait 3 mins between attempts. Score on the hit rate. I do that on clay ducks at 150yd in outdoor range with wind.

The game can be modified to allow 1 quick follow-up shot within 10 seconds. First shot hit is counted 10 points. Follow-up shot hit is counted as 5 points. Tally after 10 attempts.

I like it better than shooting groups.

-TL

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Old August 21, 2022, 01:35 AM   #23
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Thanks--it was fun but for me very demanding-- I can't imagine how people do this stuff with iron sights--I find I need a very high quality (expensive) scope just to get in the ballpark of accuracy. The other thing is 22 lr ballistics--which is akin to throwing rocks--is quite unpredictable IMO, my expectations did not match up with results based on the performance claims of the ammo and what I've read about 22lr. There does seem to be opposing views on whether a subsonic or supersonic bullet is going to perform better. Aguila seems to be one of the few exploring the "outer limits" of what could be called "+P" 22lr.

I did the revolver guy's day at the range 22lr challenge and that was fabulously fun--in fact I bought my CZ (my first 22lr) just to try it out.
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Old August 21, 2022, 06:15 AM   #24
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I have found in my particular rifle the Aguila also shoots best by a small margin. I’ve only shot out to 100 yds with it though. Out to 75yds it’s slightly sub MOA with ten round groups, much better with five round groups. At 100 it opens up to about 1.25 MOA with ten round groups, I haven’t tried five round groups at this range. The reason I differentiate between five and ten round groups is because at least in my case, as the hole in the target gets bigger for some reason my accuracy suffers. I think it’s because it becomes more difficult to center the cross hairs on the bigger hole. This is just my theory, it would be interesting to see if anyone else experiences this.
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Old August 21, 2022, 09:13 AM   #25
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I clean the barrels on my 22's sparingly. As in not very often. And I have gotten bored with 50 yard and under shooting and often shoot at 100 and 200 yards. Occasionally out to 250.

I have a Tikka T1x with a Leupold CDS scope on it. I zeroed it at 50 yards and used the "trial and error" method to figure out where to set the dials for 100 and 200 yards. With full adjustment I still have to hold over a few inches at 250.

I've had good luck with common CCI 36 gr HP Mini-Mags. Accuracy is unacceptable with any of the cheap bulk ammo. And while I do get a little better accuracy with quality target ammo at 50 yards, it hasn't been enough to offset the flatter trajectory of faster CCI ammo at longer range. I simply don't have enough adjustment in my scope to get on target at 200 yards with the slower sub-sonic target ammo. The Mini-Mags are the sweet spot for me as to price, accuracy, and flat trajectory.

Shooting at 50,100, and 200 on a windless day 1 MOA groups are the norm. Even the slightest breeze will make longer shots near impossible. At least for me.
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