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Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it?

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Post by CO1Mtn Tue Jul 26, 2022 5:07 pm

If you have time, would you please tell me if you have used Tenex .22 ammo? I noticed that it's the most expensive .22 ammo I've heard of. I am currently shooting Eley Target. Would it be worth it for me to try Tenex? My pistol holds the 10-ring at 50 yards, although I've never done any official ransom rest testing.

Thank you in advance for your advice.

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Post by james r chapman Tue Jul 26, 2022 5:51 pm

No.

If your shooting.22 prone, 50& 100 yd matches where you can’t lose a point, then yes.

Otherwise, CCI
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Post by zanemoseley Tue Jul 26, 2022 6:28 pm

No, no and no. Lower level Euro ammo and usually CCI is more than enough for 99.9% of the BE shooters out there.

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Post by SteveT Tue Jul 26, 2022 7:27 pm

Back when I tested ammo, TenX shot well in the 3 or 4 guns I tested. It was not the best in any of them, but it was very very good in all of them. Each gun had a favorite that was a little better (and a lot cheaper).

If money is not a factor and you don't want to spend time testing... shoot TenX and feel confident it won't let you down.

If money is a factor, shoot any of the standard velocity target 22's. If you really need to know what's best, shoot a few different types bench rested or from a Ransom Rest. If they all shoot bad... it's your gun. If they all shoot good, pick one you can get at a reasonable price and go shooting.

In my limited experience a decent target 22 pistol should be able to shoot some target ammo under 2" at 50 yards and probably something will shoot 1" or less. That said, for several years my best 22 score was 883-38 shot with a Marvel and Aguilla Pistol Match. When I tested that combination it could barely shoot 2" groups. If I had only known and shot the best ammo I might have had an 884-39  Mad
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Post by NukeMMC Tue Jul 26, 2022 8:39 pm

My High Standard Victor likes CCI SV just fine.  Both of these are 10 rds at 50ft.  The SF target is from the bench, the other is a TF stage at a match.
Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? 16588810
Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? 16588811
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Post by fc60 Wed Jul 27, 2022 1:05 pm

Greetings,

I used to use TENEX to test barrels I made.

All of the TENEX shot Ten-X at 50 yards. Note that some lots shot smaller groups.

CCI SV and other brands of Standard Velocity also are capable of shooting Ten-X at 50 yards. This varies with the lot. Some lots shoot ten-RING.

I pays to test your ammo at 50 yards.

Put aside the "good" stuff for Slow Fire and shoot up the rest for practice and 25 Yards.

However, TENEX sure smells nice when shooting....

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by Sc0 Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:49 pm

Lapua X-act is the most expensive... Doesn't mean that it does anything better than Tenex. For 400yd ELR Rimfire rifle matches it might make a difference, but that depends on the barrel and chamber.

Norma Tac-22 does what I need and my pistols have no issues minus brushing every so often. (RUAG ammo so has a greasy lube on the bullets.). Need reliable ammo that functions in YOUR pistol.

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Post by Orion Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:09 pm

no, I've shot 1000's of rounds with CCI Standard and about 500 rounds of Eley Tenex with a Hammerli 208. I stopped short of all of the free Eley Tenex I was getting, because the price didnt justify about a point in a match.
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Post by Slamfire Mon Aug 22, 2022 8:35 am

If the inherent accuracy of the ammunition will hold half the ten ring at 50 yards, that is about six times better than I can hold with a pistol at that distance.

Yes, yes this is in a rifle, but I can’t hold that hard with a pistol



Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? JzoGTIY





Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? 148416Z



 
It is my considered opinion that lesser priced 22 lr is accurate enough for my purposes, and what I really, really need more than small improvements in accuracy, is large improvements in function reliability.  My experience with pistols has shown me that pistols tend to have weak ignition systems compared to rifles, and that is a continuing source of function unreliability in Bullseye Pistol competition.  Weak primer ignition creates inconsistent gun powder burn.  Blowback mechanisms are solely dependent on bolt thrust and the timing of bolt movement for feed and extraction. The greater the variance in pressure curves, the greater the variance in bolt thrust and slide velocity.  If the timing is off, stovepipes and failures to feed are common. Everyone I have talked to has had failures to eject, failures to feed, with 22lr, and the frequency of function problems  increase with cheaper ammunition. I believe this is due to sloppy primer cake distribution about the rim, and the lack of attention to use the most sensitive primer cake lots in pistol ammunition.

Just this weekend a shooter with a M41 was having function issues, and I recommended that once he got home, he should blow the firing pin channel out with compressed air.  I found that my firing spring was floating in oil, and the drag that created lessened the firing pin blow to the rim. And the frequency of stove pipes or failures to ignite lessened once I made cleaning the firing pin channel a regular practice. You have to push the firing pin forward, and blow compressed air from the breech. You might be surprised to find out how much gunk is in there. That may not solve his function issues, but it is a start.  Unfortunately, that fine trigger pull in a M41 is due to weak ignition system. I have replaced the mainspring, and I am unable to tell any increased ignition reliability. By contrast, my Ruger MKII is a reliability champ because Ruger designed a more powerful ignition system.


I was unable to make this CCI SV go bang, and these two rounds refused to ignite during the alibi relay, I lost a lot of points.
 
 


Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? BNUffjS

 
at this range, the Range Safety Officer comes over to verify your malfunction, and takes the malfunction round to the Match Director to examine. Who then tosses the round in this cup. This is years of alibi rounds, and what ought to be obvious, the type of round with the highest rates of malfunctions is the 22 lr.




Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? WQjGjIR


 




Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? 9yB5NSd




I thought it only made sense to make pistol match  with more sensitive primer cake and a faster pressure curve, which would increase pistol function reliability.  At matches with vendors, I have asked if pistol match does, and the vendors have told me that match ammunition does not. What I have been told is pistol match has a vegetable lubricant coating which lubricates better in cold weather, without clogging,  than the wax lubricants used on rifle ammunition.  Anyone who has shot rim fire ammunition in temperatures approaching 40 F knows wax condensation is a severe function issue in a rimfire auto pistol.  Other than that, the rounds are identical.  A smallbore bud of mine was using Lapua Pistol match in his rifle at a Regional, and it shot very well in a rifle. The velocity on the box was measured in a pistol barrel, but when he shot it in a rifle, the velocity was correct for rifle match. Ergo, the same stuff with a different lubricant.

My tests with cheaper rifle match, and my match shooting experiences have shown me that more you pay, the better (on average) the consistency on target.  Like all rimfire ammunition, match ammunition accuracy varies considerably on target by lot. And by grade. The highest grade ammunition has much tighter quality control, Eley claimed that Red Box and Black Box are made on the same production line, and are sorted based on grouping ability at the end of the line. Examine lot testing targets created in your rifle either at Lapua Mesa AZ or Eley in Texas, and you will see within every 40 shot composite group size differences between lots of the same grade. Sometimes the best of a lower grade is equal to the lowest of a higher grade, but as a general rule, the better stuff is better, on average. Match ammunition is much more consistent as cheap ammunition which will toss bullets inches away from the aim point.  I know several Smallbore National Champions that are dedicated ammunition testers and once they find the best lot in their rifle, they buy all they can. Unfortunately the racking and stacking of lots by accuracy, changes each rifle change. 



I have found plenty of low velocity drop outs with cheaper match ammunition, you just have to shoot enough of it to see things like this.



Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? MtIWqTZ

an F class shooter at this match, after he had this drop out at 100 yards, that was the last he used that stuff in a match
 


Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? AtshzXl

Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? AgntjO6

https://i.imgur.com/agntjO6.jpg



 
Clearly in a rifle, the better match ammunition is measurably more consistent, and my bud shot this in the same rifle with Black Box Eley.


Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? S17KH3z




 
Until such point that a pistol shooter can hold tight enough to see variations in lots of match ammunition on paper, I am of the opinion that function reliability is a more important consideration.
 
At a match this weekend, a shooter firing his 22 LR Pardini was having failures to feed with CCI SV. He had changed lots of CCI, the old lot functioned fine, the new lot, the bullet tipped nose down in the magazine and did not chamber.  He thought the difference between the good lot and bad lot was OAL. He had measured the OAL of the new CCI SV lot and found the OAL to be a little long on some, so he spent the night before the match measuring each round of the new CCI SV to make sure he culled the long ones. That did not make a difference, his Pardini was jamming.  Luckily the shooter next to him had some cheap Winchester rimfire ammunition to lend, and that worked!

When I talked to the gunsmiths at Clark Custom Gun





Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? Qoc5GIf
 
about the accuracy of their M41 custom jobs, the first reaction was a deer in the headlights look, as that is ultimately an ammunition question.  Once it was understood that I knew that match ammunition accuracy varies considerably, then we were all on the same page. Clark guarantees each custom M41 they ship will put ten shots in the X ring at 50 yards.  Off the top of his head, without looking at any notes, the gunsmith said the average custom M41 will place ten shots about ¾ of an inch at 50 yards, and he had an exceptional group around or less than a half an inch. To which, I said the exceptional group could be due to statistical variance. After all people win the lottery, and some people have won twice.  I don’t remember what they were shooting as ammunition but it was probably a good quality match ammunition.

 
If you find a lot of ammunition that goes bang each and every time, and cycles the action each and every time, buy all you can. For once it runs out, you are back to worrying about what to do if the pistol stovepipes or fails to feed. And that will ruin your score as you should only be thinking about sight alignment and trigger pull.

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Post by Steve B Mon Aug 22, 2022 12:47 pm

I've tested Tenex in my guns but had better results with Eley Match or Eley Pistol Match, so I use that at 50 yards.

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Post by hengehold Tue Aug 23, 2022 12:08 pm

My friend tested his SW-41 in a ransom rest at 50yds. Eley tenX shot very poorly and CCI-SV shot much better in that gun.

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Post by Soupy44 Wed Aug 24, 2022 9:09 am

Eley Tenex .22 ammo - is it worth it? Img_2014
My best 60 shots at 100y from the smallbore days.  Done with a lot of Tenex that I reserved for Olympic Trials after shooting this.

Tenex is also not designed for auto-loaders.  The chambers on our pistols are a different spec than those on match grade smallbore rifles to ensure functionality.

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Post by Jack H Wed Aug 24, 2022 10:37 am

Ah, the good old days when we lot tested Eley in our prone guns.  I shot a Win 52 from 1970-76.
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Post by Soupy44 Wed Aug 24, 2022 10:43 am

I am a fan of my pistol testing process:

1 - Find case.of CCI 
2 - Buy case of CCI 

More efficient in time and money!

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Post by Jack H Wed Aug 24, 2022 10:58 am

Several years ago, I Ransomed several HS barrels with Eley and other ammos.  Eley was tho only elite ammo I had.  Eley was the best groups at 50y.  Average across the several barrels about 1".   A few groups were about 3/4".  The same barrrels with other ammo like CCI, Federal, (old)Remington etc were average 1.5 or so.  Groups were 20-25 shots. 

These were all used barrels.  One was bad but a recrown helped a lot.
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Post by Slamfire Wed Aug 24, 2022 2:55 pm

Jack H wrote:Several years ago, I Ransomed several HS barrels with Eley and other ammos.  Eley was tho only elite ammo I had.  Eley was the best groups at 50y.  Average across the several barrels about 1".   A few groups were about 3/4".  The same barrrels with other ammo like CCI, Federal, (old)Remington etc were average 1.5 or so.  Groups were 20-25 shots. 

These were all used barrels.  One was bad but a recrown helped a lot.


Very interesting information. Given that the X ring of the NRA 50 yard target is 1.695 inches, Eley would hold close to half, the lesser stuff, just under.  In my opinion, the accuracy of both is acceptable to me, and far better than my hold.

A cost comparison, Eley Red Box Tennex is $19.50 a box of 50, $1950 per case of 5000 rounds.

https://www.killoughshootingsports.com/eley-ammunition/602-eley-tenex-pistol-box-of-50-22lr-rimfire-cartridges.html

CCI SV is selling for $8.5 a box of 50, $425 per case of 5000 rounds

https://www.targetmaster.com/products/cci-0035-076683000351-545
 
Is the accuracy difference worth $1525 per case?  Not in my opinion, the only real deciding issue would be function reliability, and since I am a cheap skate, I don't know how reliable Eley ammunition is in semi automatic pistols. I did see some Eley rounds in the alibi round bottle.

I did try shooting some SK STD Plus in my M46 and the function reliability was abysmal.  A stove pipe or failure to eject in each magazine. That lot of SK STD Plus will hold almost the X ring on a small bore target at 50 yards, and I never have ignition issues in a rifle. I am of the opinion that my lot of SK STD plus has less sensitive priming compound and low peak chamber pressures which are not optimal for a semi automatic pistol, so whatever accuracy improvement it could theoretically provide, is more than offset by points lost in alibi's and saved rounds.

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Post by rich.tullo Wed Aug 24, 2022 4:00 pm

I would rather find some decent ammo that shoots good out of your gun then sort by rim thickness using the Hornady case 22lr tool. 

Here is an example from recent history. At my club we all bought CMP Eley. I had a Ruger MK IV I rebuilt and that gun shot better than good with the CMP Eley. I held the SF X ring at 25 yards with that stuff. 

Another member was testing ammo , Sk , the Eley, Aguila , Federal  ect... out of his Walther SSP and AW93. By a lot the CMP was worse then all the others even cheapo Federal White Box. Out of my Ruger the Eley was perfect. So if I was shooting a match with that gun I would neve spend a dime on fancy ammo , I would just sort the Eley and keep the best printing lot for matches. 

I recently bought a Case of Norma and it shoot real good out my Xesse so again when I have ammo that is 100% on call why bother spend money to bump up my SF x count. Most of us are better off spending more money on ammo to practice with..... How many matches have you lost by less then 10 points and a few x's. That is all rifle match ammo is going to do for you.
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