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Aguila 22 - not the same!

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Aguila 22 - not the same! - Page 2 Empty Aguila 22 - not the same!

Post by RoyDean 11/1/2023, 10:36 am

First topic message reminder :

I am now forced to "eat humble pie"!

I have been a very vocal advocate of Aguila Super Extra Standard Velocity 22LR ammunition. I've shot tens of thousands and have had very few duds and almost no malfunctions in a variety of pistols, but particularly Pardini's. Inexpensive, accurate, reliable - what's not to like?

The box with the yellow flash on the left is the ammo that I have extolled. The new stock with the red/blue on the right I bought recently from a dealer in Tempe, AZ for about $3.00/box (for a case of 2,000). 

The new version is not the same. Feels much softer than before. Not enough "ooomph!". For me it is useless, numerous malfunctions in both a Pardini and a Rugger 22/45. Definitely not recommended!

Now gagging on the humble pie!

Aguila 22 - not the same! - Page 2 Agsex10

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Post by gwhite 11/4/2023, 4:53 pm

I have been happily using Aguila standard velocity for over a decade.  I shoot it in my Benelli MP90S, my Pardini SP, and my MatchGun MG2.  I also help coach a college pistol team, and we have over twenty Benellis, and five Pardinis.  The team has also been shooting Aguila for many years.  The priming is far more reliable than CCI, and you don't have to deal with the heavy waxy lubricant that varies wildly from box to box.  It's also very inexpensive compared to most other options.

It hasn't always been smooth sailing.  Pardini SP's typically require cutting an old recoil spring down to 111 mm long, but they work fine after that.  A few of our Benellis require either CCI, or RWS Target Rifle ammo, for reasons I'm still trying to figure out.

When I saw that they changed the packaging recently, I was concerned they had also messed with the ammo itself.   I sent Aguila an email in late July asking if they had changed the ammo, or just the package.  They said:

   "Our 22LR Standard Velocity has not changed, we just had our packaging redesigned."

I've also noticed a change in the "font" of the Lot # even with some recently bought ammo in the old blue & white boxes.  Aguila now makes .22 ammo both in Mexico, and in a new factory in the US.  My suspicion is that the lot number stamping machinery may vary between the two factories.  I'm not sure which is which.  They may also have just replaced or upgraded their stamping machines.

I don't know what might be causing the problems people are having with the new stuff.  I haven't noticed any difference between the two styles of Lot numbers in my own pistols.  We just bought 20,000 rounds for the team, but I haven't opened up any of the "case" boxes to see what the internal box design looks like.  I really hope we don't find ourselves with that much ammo only to discover that it behaves differently from the old stuff.

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Post by CarpeXRing 11/4/2023, 6:15 pm

Roy,
I am having the same problem with this ammo in my Nelson.  I bought a phuk ton of it when it was on sale.  Just not enough punch to pick up the second round.  Dropping my 8# spring for a 7 did the trick.

Ashley,
Same issue with the TAC-22 (SV though, not the sub-sonic).  Same fix for me.  I switched to a 7# spring in my Nelson.  Also, that ammo shot 3/4" at 50 with my Nelson.  More accurate than anything else I have tried, CCI a close second.

I'll chrono those and post results here.  I suspect they are much lighter than advertised.


Last edited by CarpeXRing on 11/4/2023, 10:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by gwhite 11/4/2023, 8:32 pm

Unless you are specifically shooting "pistol" ammo, the velocity numbers on the box are meaningless.  The vast majority of the market for .22 ammo is for rifles, and the velocities are measured in a (typically) 16 inch barrel.

How well it works in a semi-auto pistol depends enormously on the burning characteristics of the powder.  You can achieve the same muzzle velocity in a rifle lots of ways.  It can go from kicking the bullet sharply in the ass and letting it coast all the way to muzzle, to gently accelerating it the whole way with ever increasing pressure.   You put the fast impulse ammo in a pistol, and you will get a much higher velocity (and more reliable semi-auto cycling) than if you try the slow acceleration stuff.  There are infinite variations in the middle.  

A very long time ago (mid-2000's?), Greg Derr (local gunsmith, dealer & top level shooter) recommended Aguila Subsonic for Pardini SP's.  It was cheap, and shot really well.  My wife used it for years.  They tweaked the powder at some point around 2010, and it would no longer cycle the pistols reliably.  I think the published velocity was unchanged.   That's when I switched to Aguila Standard Velocity, and although it was better, I had to start cutting the recoil springs down to make sure it would cycle well when the pistols weren't spotless.  

I had similar issues with Federal.  I shot their #711 ammo for years in my High Standards and my Benelli, and it worked great.  Then they came out with #711B (back in the late 90's?), which was spec'd at about 20 fps slower.  Nothing but trouble.  I tried some 711B recently in my MatchGun MG2, and it was so feeble that the slide wouldn't come back far enough to cock the hammer, and it would double from hammer follow.

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Post by RoyDean 11/4/2023, 8:48 pm

George,

Excellent info, much appreciated. Very heartening to get some extensive definitive info gathered over a long period.

Whilst I was able to get rid of the defective case of AgSEx immediately after my local purchase here in AZ, I now realise that I have a couple of cases of the latest version mail ordered, received, but not touched, back in Oregon. Aaaarrrggghhh.

I will not get back there to test till May. Ho hum. So much for forward planning!!!!

I am very, very disappointed in Aguila for making such an obvious boo boo. I expect that the change was not intentional, but nevertheless very frustrating indeed for us regular customers.

If, when I get back to Oregon in May, I discover that the stash I now have there is indeed no use in my regular guns, someone will end up with some very cheap plinking ammo! Whilst the financial impact is not massive, it will create one of those "once bitten - twice shy" moments and Aguila could lose several very good customers as a result. Ho hum.

I shall now go home to my non-shooting winter home and try to forget about it Surprised Mad Embarassed Cool

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Post by Slamfire 11/4/2023, 11:51 pm

Finding reliable 22lr that will consistently go bang and function the pistol is just a matter of chance. Like most products, the powder pressure curve, primer composition and sensitivity varies each and every lot. Therefore it is magical thinking to believe that the next lot will behave like the last.

I honestly thought that ammunition makers would create pistol match ammunition with a faster powder, so the pressure peak is sooner, and with more sensitive priming compound. Not so according to an ammunition representative I met at the National Matches. The primary difference between pistol match and rifle match is the lubricant. Rifle match uses a waxy lubricant, pistol lubricant is a vegetable based lubricant.

Anyone who has fired 22 lr in a pistol in 30 degree weather can attest how wax condensation will gum up the mechanism. These blow back pistols open up when there is still residual pressure in the barrel, not much, but enough to blow melted wax lubricant and unburnt powder back into the breech. When both cool, the gummy residue causes failures to feed.

I met an All Guard shooter with a President's 100 patch who was wiping the waxy grease from his Red Box Eley Pistol Match rounds, and then rewiping the dewaxed cases with an oily rag. He had had enough failures in timed fire and rapid fire with waxed ammunition to distrust the stuff.

Proper lubrication of cases is not well understood in the shooting community, in fact, there is denial about case lubrication which dates all the way back to the US Army's coverup of low number M1903 receivers. At the time the cupro nickel bullets used created horrible jacket fouling that required caustic chemicals to remove. But, dipping the bullets in grease absolutely prevented cupro nickle bullet fouling. But also on the firing line were these burnt M1903 receivers. The military Arsenals were not using temperature gauges, rather human eyeballs were judging temperatures whenever receivers and bolts were forged, and heat treated.  These burnt steel pieces did break in service causing serious injuries. The Army of course claimed that their rifles and ammunition were perfect, and "proved" the problem was all due to the bullet grease. This lie has been the foundation for over a century of claims that grease or oil "dangerously" increase bolt thrust and pressure. This coverup is greatly aided by the ignorance of the shooting community to the many automatic mechanisms that used greased ammunition and oilers. Of course, since day one, 22lr ammunition has been coated with waxy lubricants.

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Post by RoyDean 11/5/2023, 2:00 am

"Finding reliable 22lr that will consistently go bang and function the pistol is just a matter of chance".

What a nonsense statement!!!

I have used two brands (Eley Bullseye Pistol X and Aguila Super Extra SV) from numerous different lots quite satisfactorily for several years - as have several others. Suddenly one manufacturer changes packaging (and possibly manufacturing plant) and AgSEx goes bad. That is not an event of chance!

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Post by tovaert 11/5/2023, 9:17 am

You have to be careful comparing MV of the SK rounds. Pistol match is tested in a pistol barrel. Others are tested in a rifle barrel. MVs can change quite a bit with barrel length. I'm not sure if Eley, CCI, and others who manufacture a "pistol" specific titled round all quote the MV from a pistol. CCI SV is tested in a rifle. Here's some data I found off of Rimfire Central. One set of data but not unreasonable:

"22 LR Winch. High Vel Solid. Gun T/C Contender.

14" 1105
13" 1105
12" 1110
11" 1089
10" 1114
9" 1077
8" 1063
7" 1057
6" 1024
5" 859
4" 927"

Above ~16", MV starts to drop.

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Post by shanneba 11/5/2023, 10:52 am

SAAMI shows a 24" test barrel length for 22 Long Rifle.

CCI does show an "estimated" pistol velocity in the on-line catalog ballistics section.
(i didn't see any reference to the barrel length or if it was a pistol or revolver)

CC295_2023_CCI_catalog_PRINT_singles.pdf (cci-ammunition.com)

Some of the EU made ammo for pistol do show a velocity in a pistol length barrel.
Lapua Pistol King and Pistol OSP show a 4.7" barrel (they show a 26" barrel on the rifle loads except the Biathlon at 21.7")
RWS shows pistol load velocities in a 5.1" barrel. (they show a 25.5" barrel on the rifle rimfire ammo)
SK show pistol loads in a 5.9" barrel. (they show a 26" barrel on the rifle loads except the Biathlon at 21.7")

Here is a recent 22 ammo test from rimfire central in a S&W Model 41 5 1/2"
(not my data)

Brand Published Velocity Measured Velocity ES SD Notes% stated Velocity
Norma Tac-2210839743310 3 FTR (1st 3)89.9%
SK Standard +10739335111 0 issues87.0%
CCI Blazer123511135412 0 issues90.1%
Eley Subsonic HP (38g)10209335713 3 SP (last 3)91.5%
Federal Champion Solid124010755214 0 issues86.7%
Federal Range Pack120010785314 1 SP89.8%
CCI Standard10709325016 1 SP 87.1%
Eley Club10679808816 3 SP (1st 3)91.8%
Remington Target11509618521 1 SP83.6%
Aquila Target10809996121 3 SP 2 FTR92.5%
Federal Auto Match120010337823 2 FTF86.1%
Wolf Match Extra108587010331 1 SP 1 FTR80.2%
The protocol used was 20 shots over a CE DLX chrono . I cleaned the chamber and barrel between each ammo type. The temperature was 79-81 degrees.

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Aguila 22 - not the same! - Page 2 Empty Re: Aguila 22 - not the same!

Post by Allgoodhits 11/5/2023, 7:29 pm

FWIW,

My Marvel does not like Norma TAC 22 in cold weather. It is very accurate year round, but does not cycle 100% in cold weather. CCI SV works year round.

TAC 22 and CCI SV works year round in my Pardini and is sufficiently accurate.
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Post by Dcforman 11/6/2023, 3:58 pm

Roy, I have a new case of CCI arriving tomorrow. Happy to chrono it, measure length, and report back on the current status of their ammo...

Dave

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Post by Dcforman 11/6/2023, 3:59 pm

PS, can't be any worse than the Aguila I'm working through now... in the 2000 pack cases, multiple issues with light charges, failure to cycle, etc.

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Post by Jon Eulette 11/6/2023, 4:42 pm

Allgoodhits wrote:FWIW,

My Marvel does not like Norma TAC 22 in cold weather. It is very accurate year round, but does not cycle 100% in cold weather. CCI SV works year round.

TAC 22 and CCI SV works year round in my Pardini and is sufficiently accurate.
Martin,

What is the problem in the colder weather?
Most common thing I see in colder weather is the need to drop recoil spring down 1# because 2nd round not stripping out of magazine due to short stroking/cycling.
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Post by Gustavo1957 11/6/2023, 6:26 pm

What is considered "cold temperature" for .22 please ? I know some shooters who either keep loaded magazines in their pants pockets or insulated lunch type bags. Some of the ranges when you open the station door to the range opening you can see your breath with temperature difference .

 TY for comments

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Post by chiz1180 11/6/2023, 7:04 pm

Gustavo1957 wrote:What is considered "cold temperature" for .22 please ? I know some shooters who either keep loaded magazines in their pants pockets or insulated lunch type bags. Some of the ranges when you open the station door to the range opening you can see your breath with temperature difference .

 TY for comments
In my area people start to complain about "cold temperature" issues when the weather is below 50F. Realistically some of these complaints (at least from my personal observations) are often maintenance issues (e.g. dirty chamber, dirt mags, inappropriate lubrication, ect.). Though cold can have a detrimental effect, especially  if the gun/ammo combo has a tight zone of conditions in which it functions.
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Post by gwhite 11/6/2023, 7:09 pm

I checked our inventory tonight.  The college team I help coach has just received 20,000 of the red & white box Aguila.  Same velocity on the boxes compared to blue & white boxes, and the bullets look pretty much the same.  If someone shows up for tomorrow evening's practice who normally shoots Aguila, I'll have them test it out.  

We had an alum donate a Pardini SP to the team over the summer.  Once I replace the buffer and recoil spring, I will test fire that with the new stuff as well.

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Post by gwhite 11/6/2023, 7:22 pm

I think the biggest issue with cold temperatures is the lube viscosity can vary quite a bit.  My wife & I compete in the Greater Boston Pistol League, and some of the clubs have pretty mediocre heating systems.  They bring in outside air for ventilation, and can't heat it up very much if it's really cold outside.

Some time in the early 1970's, the college team I was on shot at a club that was still under construction.  They had the ventilation blowers working, but only a couple space heaters behind the firing line.   It was probably in the 40's in the range.   There is a 5 minute practice period before the match.  Our coach issued everyone an extra 50 rounds with instructions to blow through it quickly, so we could keep our hands warm on the barrels.  We shot High Standards, and I don't recall anyone having problems once their pistols had warmed up.  I think we mostly shot either Remington or T22 ammo back then.

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Post by Allgoodhits 11/6/2023, 7:23 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:
Allgoodhits wrote:FWIW,

My Marvel does not like Norma TAC 22 in cold weather. It is very accurate year round, but does not cycle 100% in cold weather. CCI SV works year round.

TAC 22 and CCI SV works year round in my Pardini and is sufficiently accurate.
Martin,

What is the problem in the colder weather?
Most common thing I see in colder weather is the need to drop recoil spring down 1# because 2nd round not stripping out of magazine due to short stroking/cycling.

That is exactly the issue that I experience in cold weather. Also in cold weather, I use less oil, or lighter oil on rails.
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Post by 10sandxs 11/7/2023, 7:22 am

I'm working through my second case of Norma tac. I bought two cause it was cheeap. Won't buy the stuff again. Clean chamber on a nelson, 50 rounds run great and is accurate. Rounds 51-75, 1 or two malfunctions per 10 rounds. 76-100 5-10 malfunctions per ten rounds. Clean chamber, remove huge carbon ring, start over. 

Oiling top round extends function to about 500 rounds before issues start. But they always start. Had the same issue with Aguila pistol match that I bought cheap a few years back.

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Post by Dcforman 11/7/2023, 6:28 pm

Heading to the range tomorrow to chrono, but here's length measurements of the first 10 CCI SV out of the box (in thousandths):

990
987
988
990
988
987
989
988
987
987

Seem to be about the same as I've measured in the past, maybe a little shorter and more consistent. Could be due to the amount of wax, as these do not appear as heavily lubed as lots that gave me trouble when the packaging switched to light blue. Lot number is E19EA11. 

Will report back tomorrow.

Dave

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Post by msmith44 11/8/2023, 9:44 am

10sandxs wrote:I'm working through my second case of Norma tac. I bought two cause it was cheeap. Won't buy the stuff again. Clean chamber on a nelson, 50 rounds run great and is accurate. Rounds 51-75, 1 or two malfunctions per 10 rounds. 76-100 5-10 malfunctions per ten rounds. Clean chamber, remove huge carbon ring, start over. 

I've shot Tac-22 for training for the past two years or so. I could fire a case and never have a malfunction much less light rounds. It was very consistent and inexpensive, a good combo. 

The last case I bought is running around 5% malfunctions, generally failure to load because of under powered rounds. Sustained fire work is nigh impossible. You can feel the difference from round to round and I'm checking for squibs constantly. BTW, I'm shooting a Pardini SP.

Don't know what happened with Norma but I'm finished with Tac-22 when this case is gone. 


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Post by gwhite 11/8/2023, 11:43 am

I thought I posted this last night, but it seems to have evaporated...
-------------------
I test fired a freshly rebuilt Pardini SP that was donated to the college team I help coach.  I set it up with a cut down recoil spring (111mm long).   I began with the old blue & white (B&W) box Aguila, and then some of the newer red & white (R&W) box ammo, both standard velocity.  I started with 20 rounds of B&W, and it worked fine.  I then tried 20 rounds of the R&W ammo, with no issues.

Next, I put one round of B&W in the chamber, and then loaded a magazine with alternating rounds of the two types of ammo.  I shot the 6 rounds rapid fire to try to detect any difference in the felt recoil.  I couldn't tell any difference between the two.  I finished firing a total of 50 rounds of the R&W ammo, with no problems.  

The R&W stuff is Lot #21HV56.  The lot number is printed with a large bold font, rather than the smaller skinny font used on some lots.   Based on my admittedly limited testing, it works just like the old stuff.  I don't doubt that some people are having problems, but I'm guessing it's a results of a bad lot or two, and not due to any intentional change Aguila has made to the ammo.

At this point, I think we have 1,950 rounds we can rely on.  The next step will be to see if the rest of the 20,000 rounds we just received are from the same lot.  If I find any other lots in the order, I will test those as well before we have any surprises.

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Post by Wobbley 11/8/2023, 1:21 pm

Pretty soon you’ll run out of brands of ammo to shoot.  There aren’t many makers of SV and they don’t make as much of it anymore.  Imported brands aren’t enough to pick up the slack either.  Sure a bad lot can happen but I’ve had bad lots of Eley.   Shot it up in practice and then look for a different lot.
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Post by Sa-tevp 11/8/2023, 6:40 pm

Part of the joy (sarcasm) of 22LR is playing lot roulette with cases of ammunition.

When I started shooting about eleven years ago I bought a case of SK Standard Plus (2011) that was too soft to reliably cycle my Ruger Mark III. Fortunately it was a time of ammo scarcity and I found a 3 Position Rifle shooter that thought it shot great in his rifle so he bought it from me minus the cost of a brick or two. The deal worked for both of us.

A few years later I bought a case of RWS Target Rifle (2012) that shot outer Xs in testing while CCI SV was inside the X ring. Since the RWS was reliable I used it all up in 25 yard practice.

A case of Eley Target (2012) was between the RWS Target Rifle and CCI SV (2013) at 50 yards in a Ransom Rest while Eley Club (2012) was better than all of them. (I also think I had a few reliability problems with the Eley Target.) I sold the remainder of the case to a friend and bought more Eley Club when it came on sale.

So, based on my limited experience and at my skill level, I buy CCI SV, SK Pistol Match and Eley Club for pistols as the lowest performance and reliability threshold I want to compete with. I have Norma TAC-22 SV (2023) for Smallbore Rifle practice but haven't tried it for semi-auto pistols. I try to have enough of each type on hand to get me to the next sales event (Either price and/or free shipping). Also, I run into problems where US 22 will not chamber easily into Euro chambers on rifles and Free Pistols.

Hopefully this helps someone in their purchasing decisions.


Last edited by Sa-tevp on 11/8/2023, 6:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added the year of the case purchase to help emphasize lot variance.)
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Post by Dcforman 11/12/2023, 9:39 am

For anyone interested, I have had great luck with the CCI I just purchased. One failure to feed in the first brick, but admittedly I snatched it, so might be my fault. Impulse feels very consistent, and the lube is much more uniform and lighter than problem lots I had during covid years. I need to get more consistent with using my labradar, but I got pretty darn consistent results over 10 rounds.  Average 938 fps out of a 5" Nelson, ES 32, SD 9.1. Lot number E19EA11. Purchased from aeammo.com for $349, free shipping.

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Post by rich.tullo 11/13/2023, 1:58 pm

Not a fan of TAC anymore , and the new Aguila does feel light. I just bought a brick to test and I have a couple of cases. I will try removing the lube and see if that helps.
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