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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not a Colt but still an appropriate question to ask...

I know some of you have .22 caliber handguns or rifles. I just bought a lever action .22LR. Most of the ammo I see is 36-40gr. I've seen lower and higher grain loads and wondered if there is a preference out there that gives the best overall results. I assume that in a semi-auto you need a certain type to give a good ejection of the casing but is that totally irrelevant in a bolt or lever action rifle?

I also bought a 3-9x40 BDC 150 scope and wondered what the outer limits for a .22LR might be for varmint hunting such as prairie dogs. I find prairie dogs to be a suitable target for accuracy right between paper targets and steel targets though it might be somewhat hard to show your groupings. I also don't think that these would be the kind of pictures that you guys crave all of the time.

Just saying......
 

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The ammo you are looking at is modern high speed 22 long Rifle ammunition. 40 grain for solid and 36 grain for the same profile hollow point. This ammo is typically rated at about 1250 FPS, a little higher for the lighter hollow point and slightly lower for the heavier solid point. Out of a rifle, it is good for fairly flat shooting out to about 75 yards then starts dropping off. While its easy to sight in a 22 rifle for 100 yards, it will shoot somewhat high at 25-50 yards if you do. We use to shoot many a ground squirrel in N.Dak with 22LR but most of the guns were sighted in at 25-50 yards as the longest shot driving the station wagon in the cow pasture was about 75 yards. We just drove closer if the shot was too far. If you can gauge your distance, then there is no reason you could not make hits at 125-150 yards as many of the guns are that accurate. just my .02
 

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I think most if not all 40 grs are solids and 36's are hollow point. Anymore, I shoot 36gr in everything. I don't like lead (non coated) in semi-autos or some levers (because of feeding issues). If you can get your hands on some Winchester Expediter 29 grain HP, try some, comparing them to regular 36's on gallon milk jugs filled with water. You'll see a difference. The Expeditors are real hotrods, but haven't been made for who knows how long. I've only got about 10 boxes left, so I conserve them.

Personaly, I hate the Winchester Wildcat lead 40gr. They don't seem to feed correctly in anything I have except single shots. Mabey they don't even make this anymore, I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys...Being new to this caliber I figured I'd ask some questions. I did settle on a lever action rifle because of the likelihood of feeding problems in the
semi-auto. When I bought the rifle I was given 100rds of Winchester 40gr to start. I've since accumulated some Winchester 36gr, Aguila 40gr and CCI 36gr. I also saw some 22LR that had a velocity of about 1750 fps. I try to stick to brass casings and whatever is reviewed as "clean firing." I guess I'll just have to shoot what I have and make the best of it. It's hard enough to buy 22LR in any quantity let alone find the same ammo twice.

I like the Nikon scopes because Nikon has the "Spot-on" technology where you type in the info for your scope and what type ammo you are using and you can get the bullet drop info for whatever yardage you want. It works well for my AR15 so I would expect the same for the .22LR. Varmint hunting is entertainment for after dinner before the sun goes down. Sit on the back porch with a good cigar and send the Jack Russell Terrier out in the field to stir things up.
 

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CCI Standard Velocity 40gr. are very good in my 9422 and Colt .22's When I feel rich the Eley's are excellent in any flavor as you can find them.
 

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I have an Anschutz 54 Sporter that was bought when they were less than $200, and while it didn't shoot as well as the higher priced target ammo I found that Winchester had a promotional ammo called Winchester Wildcat that shot consistently in the rifle. With most of the other ammo I would get an occasional flyer, but not with the Wildcat.

I would suggest gathering up several brands and types of ammo to see if your rifle shoots better with one of them.
 

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When we lived in OH we were constantly fighting off the yearly groundhog invasion starting in the springtime. Wifey used a Savage Model 64 .22 semi-auto, usually with Federal or Remington ammo. We came to prefer the 36 grain HP over the 40 grain solid nose. The 36 grain HP seemed to have the better stopping power since it usually took more than one round to finally knock down a big pig for good.
 

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I have shot Winchester Super X .22 LR for as long a I can remember. Used either the 40 gr solid or 37 gr HPs. Others may like other ammunition better but this is what I have used for several decades. Still have a few boxes so OK for now. These days when it comes to .22 LR ammunition it is more a matter of what you can find, rather than choice. JMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just got back from shooting my Henry 22LR today. Got her zeroed in at 100yds and was able to pop a 5" steel target fairly consistently using a benchrest. I was shooting Winchester 36gr plated hollow points. Don't have a favorite brand because I'm just getting started.
 

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I would suggest that you buy an assortment of 22LR ammunition that you are comfortable paying for (price). Then go to the range and set up targets at 50 yds and shoot for groups. You will quickly see which brand or type seems to shoot better in your rifle. Then sight in your rifle with that ammunition and buy it primarily unless you want to experiment more later.

22 rifles are rather finicky about ammo preferences and the only way to tell is to shoot a number of different loads. Many like the CCI HV as general hunting fodder. It tends to be a little more expensive than the promotional 22 ammo or what is sold in bulk packs. The idea is to choose the ammunition that you are comfortable with in terms of price and accuracy/precision. Then stick to that brand. It is really amazing how much different 22LR shoots between different brands or types in the same rifle.

Generally speaking, the more you pay for 22 ammo, the more consistant it will shoot to POI (precision). I personally like CCI standard velocity as a lower cost target ammo. You will find that the standard velocity ammo will in fact shoot better at 100 yds as compared to most high velocity stuff.

For hunting small varmints (the kind you don't eat), I would give CCI Velocitors and Stingers a try. Velocitors seem to shoot more consistantly for me overall. Shoot some and find out if your rifle shoots them well.

I like the Henry lever action 22's. I guess I would say that I like the Marlin 39A better, but I own a Henry too.

Enjoy
 

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When changing brands of 22's, allow 10-15 shots to coat the barrel with the new (different) bullet lube. In a highly accurate rifle, you can usually tell a difference. It takes a few shots to see the accuracy potential of any new ammo. Also, after cleaning a barrel, it often takes a few groups for the accuracy to return.
 
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