Mr. Completely on Rimfire Ammo

This reflects my experience. Shooting Silhouette, recovering from a misfire is not all that costly, but if speed is your game, it can be really costly. I’ve found that CCI .22LR ammo, or .22LR ammo that is Eley primed, even if it’s the cheap Mexican ammo, is very reliable in terms of going bang when you pull the trigger. But as Mr. C. points out:

What ammo do I recommend, you ask? Since what I am writing here may be read some time in the future, and since manufacturer’s specifications, tolerances, and quality control, or lack thereof, may change, I hesitate to either recommend or condemn any particular brand. Ammo that really sucks right now may be the best out there in a couple of years. I will go so far as to say that one state famous for their spuds also produces some very fine rimfire ammunition! If you see me at a match I’ll be glad to tell you what I’m using, but for now, I can only suggest trying different brands and see what works for you.

I’ve had very good luck with CCI overall, but I’ve been using a lot of Mexican Aguila .22LR because it’s more available, shoots decently enough, and costs less (depending on when and where you look). I’ve also used Eley Sport, which is made by Aguila, but which I don’t find offers any advantage over the Aguila branded ammo. If you can afford Eley Tenex, it’s hard to beat for accuracy, but most people can’t afford to shoot it unless they are a top competitor in a sport where accuracy is prime.

If you’re shooting any volume, I have to agree with Mr. C that it’s hard to find too much wrong with CCI’s products these days. I’ve bought .22LR ammo from Remington and Federal that haven’t worked nearly as well, and still have a bunch I haven’t shot just because it’s not reliable in my .22 semi-autos. Usually one of my first bits of advice, if someone is having problems in a .22LR semi auto is “Have you tried another brand of ammunition, and does it have the same problems?” Anything chambered in .22LR is going to be a lot more sensitive to ammo brand than other firearms.

11 thoughts on “Mr. Completely on Rimfire Ammo”

  1. I agree. While I sometimes buy cheaper stuff if I see a good deal I use CCI almost exclusively these days.

    Even for plinking I use CCI. .22 autos failing to cycling is really annoying.

  2. .22 Mini-mag in the Mosquito. I did a survey of rimfire ammo in it after 1000 rounds of exercise, and the CCI was reliable every time.

  3. I had a fair amount of Remington .22 rimfire and it kept failing to cycle. If in every 5 shots , one fails it is real issue. I checked the specs for my target # 41 and went with CCI. It helped.

    I agree that 22 LR is sensitive to ammo. My Sig.380 is also sensitive to ammo.

    Ammo can get real expensive but if it stove pipes it can ruin a a day.

    I know ammo can change but good suggestions is really helpful. No one likes to spend 20-45 dollars on ammo that is wasted.

  4. As to Mr. Completely’s caveat about changing standards, I can tell y’all from personal experience that CCI has been consistently OK since the mid 70’s, and this was when Remington .22LR *didn’t* bite. Eley had, as it does now, a high reputation, but since I didn’t target shoot I never tried any back then. And yes, that was one of the criteria: if’n you shot targets, especially on skis, you shot Eley. Regular folks used CCI, Remington and Winchester.

  5. I’ve found that CCI is pretty much ultra-reliable regardless of the caliber. I like Federal, too, but Remington and Winchester have been so spotty with their .22lr that I don’t even trust their centerfire stuff any more

  6. The funny thing about .22 LR is the FPS matched to the weapon. My S&W 41 7 inch is very accurate and has an very light trigger.. The bulk remington just staeted having problems every 5 shots. It was a wasted purchase. The specs said to shoot a slower fps which did help.

  7. Wolf Match Extra = “Lapua Junior.”
    Wolf Match is an order of magnitude better than Eley Club.
    I miss their Match Gold. That was a world-class round.

  8. That’s interesting that you’ve had good results with Aguila/Eley Sport. I bought a case of it a while back and, at least so far (perhaps 500 or 600 rounds) it has worked really well. I didn’t mention it in the post since one brick isn’t enough data, you really need to check several lots. The Eley seems to have more wax on the bullets than CCI, and may require cleaning your mags a bit more often, but that’s a minor consideration. A few years ago I was using S&B Club rimfire in matches, and it was also very waxy but very reliable. It seemed to have disappeared from the market two or three years ago.

    ….. Mr. C.

  9. The wax on the Eley Sport is murder. I use my Ruger for silhouette, but the guys who have TCs or Anschutz’s with tight chambers have a rough time with all the wax. Strangely, Aguila’s brand ammo, which I’m pretty sure is the same production facility, doesn’t seem to have as much wax. Eley Sport is made by Aguila in Mexico, I’m pretty sure.

    I still prefer CCI, myself, but if CCI is in short supply, as it’s been more lately, Eley Sport or Aguila works decently for me.

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