22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

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22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by desben on Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:40 pm

I bought a pack of Federal 22lr Automatch to try out. From my Ruger pistol, it shoots pretty bad. I got a few 10s, but the overall group was around 5" at 20 yards. And a few shots I called a 10 turned out to be way off. By comparison, I make 2" groups with Winchester M22 and it shoots on call. I shot a few mags of each just to be sure: it is the ammo, not me.

There are dozens of factors that could influence this. But I wondered if simple dimensions could explain it. I took 10 rounds of each and measured them. Could the .222 diameter of automatch be too small?


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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by jmdavis on Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:10 pm

It would be interesting to know the velocity differences in addition to the measurements.

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by Ed Hall on Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:22 pm

Something else you might check is rim thickness, since the .22 head spaces off the rim.  Head spacing is actually more critical than some other factors with the .22.  Neil Jones makes a gauge for just that purpose, but one can measure it with a caliper and a chamber.

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by Jon Eulette on Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:24 pm

I always had good luck with that ammo out of my Marvel. But i haven't been able to get it since obama was re-elected. So it's been a few years.

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by jman on Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:44 pm

I'll second that, shoots tight groups out of my 41

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by DavidR on Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:07 pm

Ive never seen any 22 ammo group that bad, id do a re-test cause ive had great groups with automatch too. In fact the only time last season I shot back to back clean 25yd targets was with it.

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by Jack H on Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:46 pm

Bad ammo, maybe batch only, in some guns does happen. 

I ransom  tested several ammos in a conversion one day.  All ammos except one performed very well as expected.  Green tag was all over the place like 5 inches at 50, while Eley was like an inch.  I tested again and got the same result.

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:26 pm

If your barrel slugs to .223 or .224 (it shouldn't) then that could be it.

Is your frequency of wide shots close to the frequency of .222 bullets? Most of what's on your chart should work just fine.

Any other oddities like lack of lube???

Fed AutoMatch (yeah, I bought mine a few weeks after the 2012 elections, just as the shortage looked like it was easing but then got much worse, IIRC) has not grouped stunningly well out of the two pistols I've tried it in, but the worst it ever did was 4 inches at 50 yards.  To do that or worse at 20 yards is what I would expect from a 2-inch micro-revolver or some piece of junk semiauto.

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by Jon Eulette on Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:45 pm

Well I cautiously share this because it Ransom Rested awesome out of 2 Marvel longslides I built. 5/8" @ 50 for both pistols. Shot several groups from each pistol with same results. I also shot my personal best slow fire with this ammo; 100-8x. Only complaint I've heard locally is failure to fire.
Jon

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Others' experiences don't really matter

Post by FredB on Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:14 pm

IMHO, FWIW the only thing that matters here is desben's experience with the ammo he has, in the gun he uses. I say this because the cheaper the .22 ammo - and Automatch is pretty cheap stuff - the less quality control it's subjected to. So the particular lot in question may not shoot anything like the lots that other people have shot, whether they had good experiences or bad. I used to buy Automatch when it was really cheap, and it seemed to work OK. Then I bought 1 box that was so bad it was unusable (I can't remember exactly why). I sent it back to Federal, they replaced it, and all was well. If that had been top level Eley, I would have been surprised, but not with the bottom level Federal ammo.

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by sharkdoctor on Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:54 pm

If you'd really like to test the effect of of the bullet size, you could sort out those at 0.224, 0.223 and 0.222", those sizes you've noted, say 25 of each.  Put them into three envelopes, with hidden labels,and shuffle them around.  Without knowing which lot you're testing, shoot them at 25 yds (preferably 50) since you've seen such bad grouping even at the short distance.  Use a Ransom rest if available.  Shoot five,  five shot groups (like the magazines use) using the 25.  Take the mean for the five groups, and +/- 1/2 of the range.  Ex., 2.5" mean group size with a range of 2.0" (i.e. smallest was 2 and largest, 4") means the 95% confidence limit is 1.5 to 3.5 " for that lot.  If there is overlap of those limits for different bullet sizes, it is likely there is no significant effect, but more testing, and more involved statistics is required.  Even this simple test shows that it is a lot of work to test the effect just bullet size - it gets far more complicated to test more variables (think powder type, charge, bullet type, weight, depth, primer ... and so on).

Good luck!

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by desben on Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:01 pm

I only have 1 box of it, 325 rounds I believe. It's probably just a bad batch; I don't doubt it has worked great for others. I will try to sort the remaining ones by diameter and shoot it without knowing which lot I'm testing, like sharkdoctor suggests. We'll see if it's diameter related or not.

By the way, the groups I talk of were all shot unsupported in a slow fire cadence. No rest or anything. I did shoot multiple magazines, alternating between it and m22, and every time the same results. It's not scientific, but enough to convince me.

This was my first time shooting this stuff. I won't let this bad box discourage me, yet. I'll try one more box when I run across it again. If two boxes shoot bad out of my gun, I'll just move on. I really wanted for it to work.

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by john bickar on Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:33 pm

desben wrote:I only have 1 box of it, 325 rounds I believe.

For me:

If I can only get 300 rounds of any one lot of any .22 ammo, it is practice ammo by definition.

At larger quantities from the same lot, if it shoots "on call" from the hand, then it gets promoted to "league shortline" ammo status.

If I shoot the same lot for a while in league, and have good results at 25 yards (consistent cleans with high X-counts, everything within call), then a particular lot gets promoted to "match shortline" status.

Even at the highest price points, there is so much lot-to-lot (not to mention gun-to-gun) variability that I am completely wasting my time Random Resting .22 ammo unless I can get my hands on a good supply of that same lot.

By "a good supply", I mean 2,000 rounds or more (preferably a case or more). For my current match lot of .22 bullseye 50 yard ammo I have been milking the same case for almost 10 years. I only Random Rest at 50 yards, and only to find a match lot, and only with ammo that I have a good supply of.

I shoot "league shortline" or "match shortline" .22 ammo at the other distances (50 foot, 25 yd) because it just doesn't matter.

I sure as hell never measure rim thickness or OAL on .22 rounds. What a drag.

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by Ed Hall on Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:23 am

Champion's Choice (in the "old" days) would sell you a small quantity for testing and hold some of that lot in case you wanted a larger quantity.  I wonder if we will ever get back to those days...

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by Ed Hall on Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:27 am

"I sure as hell never measure rim thickness or OAL on .22 rounds. What a drag."

I wouldn't for BE, either, but, I might for Free Pistol, if I ever get good enough that it may matter...

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

Post by desben on Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:41 pm

In this case, I bought a box, hoping that it would work well. If it had, I would have bought a case. I like to try a brick before I buy a case. I understand there's a risk the case won't be the same batch and shoot the same, but at least it gives me a basic comfort.

Finding 22lr ammo should get easier... in 2016.

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Re: 22lr Fed Automatch dimensions

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