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From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Subject: Re: Eley ammo choices?
Organization: Hewlett-Packard Fort Collins Site

Larry Riffle ( wrote:

: Are some of these intended specifically for either pistol or rifle?

Yes; those with `Pistol' in their type name are for pistols only.
They don't shoot well in rifles.  The others are for rifles; they don't
shoot well in pistols and oft times cause malfunctions in semiauto

Eley Pistol Match is the top-quality pistol match ammo.  Other grades
in decending order are as you've listed them.

If you can tell the accuracy difference between the different grades,
then use the one that shoots most accurate.  If you can't, get the
least expensive stuff.

You might consider using another brand, too.  Eley rimfire match ammo
does not shoot the best in all rimfire target arms; only some of them.
RWS, Lapua, Fiocci, plus the USA brands may do better.  If your pistol
shoots less than half-inch groups at 25 yards, some testing might be

Keep in mind that Eley ammo wears out barrels near twice as fast as the
other rimfire match ammo makes.  (I'm gonna get challenged on this one,
so here's why.)  Seems Eley changed their priming compound chemicals
about 8 years ago.  As a result, the environmentalists were pleased
as the fumes from it are no longer toxic and environmentally harmful.
But the increased amount of some chemicals and frit cause more barrel
steel etching per shot; like about twice as much.  But their top-line
ammo shoots just as good as it did before the priming mixture change;
if you find a good lot.

: Second, something with the same specs but perhaps looser
: tolerances for general practice.

Oops.  Conflicting comments.  The expensive stuff is so priced because
it has tighter (or lower) tolerances.  Tolerance is how much measurable
things vary from the specifications.  Most rimfire match ammo companies
make each lot of ammo as close to specifications stuff as they can.  Then
they test it.  The best stuff goes into boxes that sell for big bucks.
And the worst stuff goes in boxes that sell for little bucks.


From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Cheap .22lr ammo recommendations?

Dan Bryson ( wrote about my ammo test data below:

: #  Ammo          Rifle A     Rifle B
: #  ---------     -------     -------
: #  Eley 10X      .25 in.     1.1 in.   
: #  Lapua Dom.    .29         1.2
: #  RWS R50       .31         1.4
: #  Green Tag     .42         1.7
: #  T22           .57         2.8
: #  PMC Match     .96         3.9

these comments; each with more words from yours truly......

: Interesting statistics for two rifles. 

I thought so myself.  

: One is pretty good

That one's an Anschutz Model 1911 with a Weaver T20 scope attached.  Hence,
the `A' rifle in the above table.

: - one sucks 

I won't tell my Browning semiauto you said that.  But it is about average
in accuracy when compared to virtually all factory sporting, plinking and
hunting rimfire rifles.  I believe the Browning is very typical of what
most non-competition rifles shoot as far as accuracy is concerned.  Some
may do better/worse, depending on a bunch of things.  By now, you know 
why I chose to list this one as the `B' rifle.

: AND the groupings are consistent with each rifle in that PMC was 4 times 
: as large as the Eley 10X.  Interesting.

That's because the ammo dimensional consistancy is better (more uniform)
across all makes.  As accuracy in firearms depends on all variables being
reduced to as close to zero as possible, here's the variables rimfire
ammo can have:

  * Bullet; weight, diameter, lubricant density/thickness/distribution,
    point shape, base shape, homogenousity, center of mass on same axis
    as center of form/shape.

  * Powder; charge weight, chemical makeup, homogenousity, pressure curve

  * Case; headspace, neck release resistance, primer mix, primer distribution
    in rim, detonation rate, thickness of brass in all areas.

'Tain't easy and cheap to get these variables reduced to near absolute
uniformity and repeatablity from shot to shot.  Doing so is what makes the
most accurate ammo cost 15 cents each instead of 1 to 2 cents each.

: I have never quite understood 
: what makes one barrel more "consistent" than another, and that is sorta 
: what we are talking about - consistency.  Let me re-phrase that - I have 
: never understood what makes a barrel "non"- consistent.  

Four parts of the hole in a rifle barrel need to have these variables
kept as small as possible:

  * Rifling twist rate; no sudden increases or decreases in the rate, no
    gain in rate from breech to muzzle.  A change in rifling twist rate
    of more than 2% is enough to degrade accuracy.

  * Bore diameter; the best ones vary no more than 50 microinch.  

  * Groove diameter; the best ones vary no more than 100 microinch. 

  * Finish; lapped and polished to 15 microinch finish or better.

When these dimensional variables are greater in one barrel compared to 
another, the bullets fired through them will be more unbalanced by the
rough and uneven surfaces scraping off bullet material and clogging the
bore.  As more shots are fired this amount of bullet deformation changes
from shot to shot; the reason why bullets don't go in the same hole at
the target.

: Okay, so a 
: barrel has some rough spots or the grooves are a little out of whack, but 
: given that the ammunition is the same from round to round out of the same 
: barrel, the grouping should be close to the same, because the barrel is 
: flawed in the same way for every shot! 

If the bullets are balanced exactly the same from shot to shot and leave at
the same velocity, they'll go into just about the exact same hole; the
benchrester's do this with marvelous regularity.  So do the best rimfire
competition rifles.  But both use ammo that's very, very uniform in all
the areas mentioned above; centerfire and rimfire differences aside.

But the 2-cent each ammo is not consistantly uniform enough to let this
happen.  (See above list of variables effecting ammo accuracy.)  As the
.22 LR rimfire bullet leaves the muzzle spinning 50,000 RPM or more, it
doesn't take much imbalance to cause it to take a sideways jump upon exit.
As the heavy side of the bullet's form isn't the same from shot to shot,
that's why bullets strike in all directions from the group center.  And
if the bullet is not well balanced (center of mass on same axis as center
of form) when it's loaded in the chamber, there's no way it will shoot
accurately; even from a top-quality barrel.  That's why the PMC ammo shot
the largest groups from both a top-quality match-grade barrel and a
typical sporter barrel.  Eley Tenex ammo (three cheers to this great ammo
company in England for making this stuff), with all of its variables near
zero as manufacturing processes allow, shot the smallest groups from both

: This is the point I get to every 
: time I think about this in a "supposedly" logical manner.  Obviously I am 
: missing something, because real life measurements tell me my logic is wrong.
: I suppose the "flaws" in the barrel may remain the same, but the effect 
: these flaws have on the projectile vary, reulting in varying groupings ?
: This has to be it (?)

Note that the same ammo lots for each make was used in two different rifles.
The differences in group sizes for a given ammo make was caused by the two
barrels.  Barrel `A' caused virtually no added unbalance to the bullet as it
went through it.  The `B' barrel, being less uniform in the critical areas,
did further unbalance all bullets evidenced by it producing larger groups.
Barrel B test groups were larger because bullets fired in it moved a greater
distance sideways from their intended downrange path. 

Such are the elements of accurate rimfire arms and ammunition.  Some brands
and types are more uniformily and precisely made than others.  


From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Russian 22lr Junior? Any Good?

I've been shooting Russian Junior brass-cased ammo for about 3 months.
In my Anschutz 1911, its accuracy is about 7/8ths of an inch at 100
yards and about 1/4th inch at 50 yards.  Excellent performance in my

Different lots of it perform differently in different rifles; a common
thing with .22 rimfire ammo.  As I noted that a lot of lubricant is on
the bullets, I wipe most of it off before shooting it.  That cut test
group sizes about 40%.  

At about $1.05 per box of 50 when bought in 6000-round cases, it is
about the best price-performance combination on the market.  The
dealer I got mine from says of the 5 or 6 lots he had in stock, 2 of
them were excellent as reported by several of his customers.  The
other lots were not quite as accurate.  But all of the lots shot more
accurate than any of the regular standard-velocity stuff made in the

Some of the Junior ammo is made with steel cases.  I haven't tried
any of this so I don't know if it's the equal of Junior brass ammo.


From: (Bart Bobbit)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: .22LR really inaccurate at 100yds? Help!
Date: 2 Dec 1994 18:49:05 -0500

Groups with the .22 rimfire at 100 yards typically are three times
as big as those at 50 yards.  That's mostly due to velocity spread.

With high-speed ammo, the 100-yard groups will be somewhat bigger
due to the bullets transitioning to subsonic.  It depends on what
muzzle velocity they left at.  Standard velocity ammo typically
produces smaller groups at 100 yards.

With a good barrel properly fitted to a decent receiver that's
bedded correctly, and using top-quality match ammo, 100-yard groups
can easily be in the 3/8ths to 5/8ths inch range.  At 50 yards, the
same combination will produce groups in the 1/8th to 3/16th inch 

There's no secret to this situation.  If quality ammo components are
used and velocity spread is down to 15 fps, it'll happen.  Which is
why the top .22 rimfire match ammo costs 18 cents a round, or about
$90 a 500-round brick.  


From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: .22LR Target Ammo -- What's Good & Bad?
Date: 7 Jul 1994 11:01:23 -0400

Here's how the top USA smallbore shooters rank the various makes and types
of .22 rimfire rifle match ammo.  Keep in mind that some overlap between
the groups can happen depending on the exact barrel and ammo lot used, but
that overlap is seldom and quite small.  Costs are based on case lots of
5K rounds each; 100 boxes per case. 

Best is either Olimp-R or Eley's Benchrest Gold.  They'll usually group
smaller than 5mm at 50 metres.  Lot-to-lot differences are possible and
one lot may well shoot better in a given barrel than another.  Seems that
Olimp-R has the best lot-to-lot consistancy.  100-yard groups of half-MOA
or smaller are possible.  This stuff costs about $8.50 per box.

In second place are the traditional favorites; RWS R50, Eley Tenex and
the recently available Temp from Russia.  They'll shoot about 5mm at 50
metres and half to three-quarter MOA at 100 yards when well matched to
the barrel.  Both R50 and Tenex are somewhat more lot sensitive than Temp.
Federal's Ultra probably fits into this group, but I'm not aware of any
confirmations of its quality as it is not the virtual-handloaded stuff the
USA Olympic Team used in Barcelona matched to specific barrels.  Price runs
from $6.50 to $7.50 per box except for Temp which goes for about $4.70.

Quite a few versions occupy the middle of the spectrum in third place.  In
this group, there can easily be quite a difference between brands, types
and lots.  These include Eley Match Xtra, Lapua Dominator, high-end Fiocci
and RWS Special Match.  In some rifles, these will shoot nearly as well as
R50, Tenex or Temp and the difference may not be noticable unless several
hundred rounds are test fired.  Rimfire match ammo in this group typically
groups about 10mm at 50 metres and about an inch or a bit more at 100 yards.
Eley Benchrest (not the Gold) also fits into this group.  Cost is about
$4.00 to $4.50 per box.

Dozens of makes/types are in fourth place.  Accuracy is typically between
15mm to 20mm at 50 metres; about 1.5 to 2 inches at 100 yards.  But at
50 feet in gallery shoots, it is pretty good and is often used.  The more
common ones are:
  Eley Club       Sniper      Fiocci (low-end)  CCI        Winchester 
  Eley Standard   Jr. Brass   Lapua Match       Remington 
Prices vary somewhat but typically run about $1.50 to $3.50 per box.  Other
ammo in this same price range performs about the same.  Once in a while, a
particluar lot of one make will near equal the stuff listed in second place
in a given rifle.  When this happens, joy abounds because that really accurate
ammo costs half of what would be expected.


From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: .22LR Target Ammo -- What's Good & Bad
Date: 8 Jul 1994 16:07:25 -0400

Jaroslav Liptak ( wrote:

: Me personally, I would shift Lapua Dominator one class up. The ammo equals
: in accuracy, dynamics and barrel sensitivity the R50, 
: which is confirmed by the
: nearly equal usage of both by top European shooters. 

For all the ammo makes and types available in European market, that may 
well be the correct thing to do.  Some smallbore folks in the USA are
convinced that the best (tested) ammo lots are retained for local markets
and the next best is shipped to foreign markets.  I doubt if anyone from
the ammo companies would admit that, if true, to the international shooters.

: Instead of Dominator,
: I would put another ammo there - the Lapua Master.

I agree.  It's hard to remember all the various types within a given brand.
The good thing is that many are available in most countries so selecting
one to practice or compete with is easy to do.

: In that group you describe
: what I call "number 2 rounds", that is, ammo with the same dynamics as the
: top-line product (but less accurate and therefore less expensive) intended to
: be used by top shooters for training or less important competitions.
: Tha Lapua Match is somewhere between your class III and IV.

There seems to be a good rule of thumb about rimfire match ammo; the more
accurate it shoots the more it costs.  Although the manufacturing process
differences is small across all the makes and types, the speed at which the
components are made and assembled vary somewhat.  And quality control stuff
varies somewhat, too.   

: From personal experience with Lapua Dominator, the round behaves comparable
: with Eley Tenex or R50. The same followthrough and error sensitivity (my
: performance level is 580 average/590 personal record in English Match),
: i.e. the same punishment for not being fully concentrated.

I shot three different lots of Dominator in my Anschutz.  Each was very good,
but didn't quite equal three lots of Tenex and one of R50.  Comments from
some of the top USA bellymousegunners reflected the same results. 

: Marketing policy and legends
: can contribute a lot (see the Olimp-R popularity) and it requires also a lot
: to convince a rifle shooter to change the brand.

It sure does.  Considering the fact that a few hundred rounds need to be
tested under near perfect conditions to discriminate a 1mm difference in
accuracy at 50 metres between lots of the best makes.  And when the `perfect'
make and lot are found, 10,000 to 20,000 rounds of it are bought to last the
life of the barrel.  What's a 1mm improvement in accuracy worth?  5 or more
points at 50 metres in the 60-shot English match.

: Anyway, thanks for the overview. Would you agree to make it a baseline for
: a FAQ?



From: (Bart Bobbit)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: RCBS Casemaster Gauging Tool
Date: 4 Oct 1994 21:55:52 -0400

I've done some testing with rim thickness gages.  Here's what I've found

The really good ammo, such as Eley Benchrest Gold, Eley Tenex, RWS R50 and
Olimp-R or Temp does not need to be sorted by rim thickness.  Althoughh it may
vary 4 or more thousandths of an inch in rim thickness, in proper match
rifles, about 1/2 MOA groups at 100 yards is possible with a good ammo
lot.  With not so good ammo lots of these makes/types, sorting by rim
thickness does not improve accuracy any significant amount.

Medium and low priced ammo seemed to be somewhat finicky.  Some of it
did shoot better when sorted by rim thickness.  Other stuff did not.

When I saw the top smallbore shooters in the USA taking ammo straight
from the box, no gaging at all, then shooting winning scores, I had to 
ask 'em about gaging ammo by rim thickness.  Here's the typical response:
`Shoot good ammo and you don't need to gage it.  If you have to gage the
ammo to get it to shoot well, your rifle probably has a headspace problem.
And besides, if the ammo doesn't shoot well without gaging, you're
probably wasting your time shooting it anyway; it won't be accurate 
enough to tell you whether you, the ammo or the rifle put the bad shot
where it landed.'


From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: RUSSIAN MADE .22 LR
Date: 20 Jun 1994 22:23:16 -0400

The Russian rimfire ammo being imported by B-West and sold through dealers
is all non-corrosive.  It ranges from some of the best in the world for
accuracy to regular plinking stuff.  Here's a breakdown on its performance
standards for accuracy and some prices:

  * Olimp-R   Top of the line stuff for competition.  Is the only rimfire
              ammo that can compete with Eley Benchrest Gold.  Its accuracy
              requirements are not to exceed 5mm groups at 50 metres.  In
              some proper rifles, some lots of it will shoot 3mm groups
              Prices are now about $850 per 5K-round case.

  * Temp      The equal of Eley Tenex, RWS R50 and Lapua Dominator.  Accuracy
              requirements are 10mm or better at 50 metres.  In some rifles,
              it will shoot 5mm 50-metre groups if the correct lot is used.
              A pistol version is also made with more sensitive primers so
              their typically lighter firing pin energy will properly ignite
              the priming compound.  Prices are about $450 per 5K-round case.

  * Biathlon  Cold-weather stuff for rifles whose accuracy requirements is
              15mm at 50 metres.  Some lots will shoot about 10mm at 50 metres
              if well matched to a proper rifle.  Goes for about $450 per
              5K-round case.

  * Sniper    Pretty good stuff and has done well at 50-ft. gallery matches.
              Supposedly the equal of Eley Club (orange box).  Comes in
              both steel and, I think, brass cases.  Accuracy requirements
              are 20mm at 50 metres.  Sells for about $300 per 5K-round case.

  * Junior    Both brass and steel cases are used for this one.  Although
              factory accuracy acceptance tests are 25mm groups at 50 metres,
              some lots of this stuff matched well to the rifle will shoot
              under 10mm at 50 metres.  Retails for about $150 per 5K-round


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