With the price of .22 ammo still at all-time highs, and the availability depending on who can wait in line earliest at Walmart (or snipe online sellers pages before they sell out), finding the best .22 ammo bargain is more important that ever. It’s very frustrating to buy something that doesn’t work well in your rifle and you wind up with packs of ammo left over laying around unused. I thought a guide with some basic accuracy info would help make deciding between buying ammo that would be worthwhile or not.
If you are intrepid enough to pursue .22 shooting competitions, finding more expensive match ammo is a bit easier online but with the added expense over plinking ammo. However the much higher cost per round makes investing in several types to test, cost prohibitive.
I took a few months to gather what 50 packs I could and set out to test as many as possible in as many rifles as possible. Lots of thanks to Spencer Nagata and some fellow shooters from the .22 Rimfire Challenge group in Utah for volunteering to test with their rifles too. Although there may be better testing methods with vise-clamped actions, indoor fancy wind-proof shooting lanes, chronos, cleaning between each shot, we are just regular joes testing in real-world conditions. Take the results for what they are worth, $.02. YMMV.
For the first round of testing, we used CCI SV to dial in half inch groups at 50M and shot 5 round groups of everything else. ( yes, I should have measured the CCI SV, but I forgot) The range we were at is about 4700 feet in elevation. Temp started at 55 for the day and got up over 70 by the time we were done. We had gusts of wind from 10-15 MPH from our back at our 7 o’clock. It was usually possible to shoot between wind gusts.
– CZ455 with Lilja barrel and Sightron SIII Scope.
– KIDD 10-22 custom with Bushnell Elite tac scope
-Izmash KO 7-2 with BSA Sweet 3×9 scope
-10-22T with BSA Sweet 6×18 scope
The raw data is as follows. Groups all measured with a digital caliper from the farthest two hole edges in the group minus .22:
Izmash KO 7-2.. Apparently that Russian rifle REALLY LOVES Wolf match extra!
Ruger 1022T… Decent middle of the road accuracy, no large jumps between types.