22BPCR Ammo Selection Has Begun

  • I shoot a Stevens 44 Ideal chambered in 22LR with a TJ .224 heavy liner and a 6X MVA Malcom scope in DZ mounts in 22BPCR matches. Trigger is crisp but less than optimal at 1.5#, but until I can locate one with SS or DS triggers this is what I have. The centerfire .224 barrel was somewhat of a mistake but was discovered after the liner was soldered in and we decided to shoot it before going to the trouble to take it out and replace it. Turns out, it shot just fine, so we cut the extractor slot and kept moving forward. I did very well with it in several 22LR schuetzen matches with a 20X Lyman STS shooting Eley Tenex. A friend invited me to shoot 22BPCR with him and since I already had a qualifying rifle and could rob the scope off my Sharps, I grabbed a couple of boxes of Federal 711B that I knew shot pretty well in the rifle and took off. Wind calls and a random twitch or two cost me a few of the laydown targets but I was sure I could hit a few chickens and come out alright. That's been working out fine enough but it is really annoying to see chicken misses that are less than half an inch off the silhouette so the hunt is on for ammo that is "good enough but inexpensive enough."

    The gusting, swirling wind Monday made shooting for groups at 100 yards pointless, so all I got was chronograph data but any day at the range is better than any day at work, so here's what I got:
    Ammo High Low Avg ES SD
    Federal 711B: 1167 1120 1138 47 18
    Fiocchi 320M 1208 1157 1171 45 20
    Wolf Match Extra 1140 1105 1118 25 13
    Wolf Match Target 1108 1039 1077 69 25
    Lapua Master M 1125 1079 1097 46 17
    Eley Tenex 1149 1132 1140 17 8
    RWS R-50 1139 1126 1133 13 5
    CMP-ELEY (4 strings) 1132 1101 1111 31 8*

    No big surprises, the high dollar ammo is more consistent than the mid level ammo. What surprised me was the CMP-ELEY bulk that is $3.54/box is really consistent. I shot four strings and got the same results for each. Statistical probability of that happening is quite low, but it did. These were tested because I have case lots of each, no point in testing leftovers that won't make it through the season. Eley Tenex cost me right at $25/box, R-50 $18/box, The rest were $7-8/box when I bought them except the CMP-Eley bulk which is $3.54/box.

    Several years ago I had a case of 1980s vintage Eley Benchrest Gold that claimed a MV of 985 fps. That free case of ammo won a lot of target shooting matches against Tenex, Tenex EPS, R-50 and R-100 shooters, the high dollar Lapua X-Act had not come to market then and Lapua Midas+ had temporarily vanished from the distributors. In discussing my results with my gunsmith who shot his 40X on the bench next to mine, we remembered seeing some RWS manufactured ammo marketed under the Walther logo that was claimed to be <1,000 fps and while not cheap, is more or less $10/box after shipping. It should arrive next week and maybe there will be a calm morning so we can shoot those and the CMP-Eley for groups. What I don't know is whether a 40 grain bullet with a MV <1,000 fps will knock over a ram. If it won't but does group well, then I may have to carry laydown ammo and chicken ammo.

  • Don't worry fellas, I had to look up 22BPCR as well.


    Not my cup of tea, with the kind of restrictions they have on rifle configuration... but neat none the less. I'd like to see a picture of the rifle you are using @rr2241tx.

  • DAw7J8p.jpg

    Pretty nice little pea shooter. It is a lever action pivoting block single shot with an exposed hammer. It is wearing an MVA mid-range Soule tang sight, MVA spirit level globe front sight, 23" MVA 6X Malcolm scope and DZ Arms clickless Unertl style mounts on Steve Earle blocks. This rifle is a little over 100 years old and required new stocks and a barrel liner. Doesn't look Buck Rogers but with the right ammo and a steady hand it has shot 5 shot groups at 50 yards right at .1 and I have the target that proves it. Verl Sigman did the liner and rust bluing, David Buie drilled and tapped the holes for the scope blocks, Vesper Wimberley fit and finished the stocks from 90% pieces I bought from CPA Rifles. I chose to go back with traditional stocks since at the time I was shooting it offhand with iron sights, now I wish I'd have gotten a buttstock with a cheek piece to improve my cheek weld when using the scope. 20/20 Hindsight. All up, that rig is just about the same price as a good used truck. "Shoot 22BPCR with me, it'll be cheap fun. You already have the rifle and it's only a 200 mile round trip."

  • @rr2241tx said in 22BPCR Ammo Selection Has Begun:

    All up, that rig is just about the same price as a good used truck.

    All the modifications/refinishing and it still held its value? That's rare.

    ... or are you referring to how much money you have in it, rather than its collector value?

  • Oh, that's the money I have into it, for sure. Collectors want the high grade guns, stamped 52, with the fancy stocks that were engraved by master engravers and color cased then never shot. This one is valuable to me because of the friends who helped me get it into it's present condition and because it is fun to compete with. I don't think I'd sell it for twice what I have into it now. My boys can sell it when I'm gone.

  • Understood, and agree. Same is true of my Martini MKII. It's a labor of love with people I care about. So I see what you mean, and thanks for explaining it. I just wanted to have you explain that because if you were able to do all that and have it still carry resale, it would really peak my interest.

    It's a fine looking rifle, and no doubt fun!

    Do you have some targets to share? How does it shoot?

  • No targets, it's not a paper killer. Just returned from Yaupon Creek 22BPCR match. Shot the CMP-ELEY bulk ammo for the first time in a match. I shot 30/40 with one unfortunate twitch on #7 ram and only one chicken. My carpool buddy shot 30/40 with 6 chickens. We tied for 3rd place on score but he beat me based on chicken score. Same buddy and I shot schuetzen last night until 11:00 PM and he beat my 248/250 with a nipper 249/250. Less than .01" difference in our shots but his broke the line that mine did not. Big fun. Shot until 11, ate BBQ until 11:30, drove 45 minutes to get home then up and running at 5:00 to make the 110 mile drive to Yaupon Creek. Next weekend, shooting big bore BPCR at Yaupon on Saturday and Smallbore Lever Action and Pistol Cartridge Lever Action in New Braunfels on Sunday. In the meantime, we have to practice for all three matches this week.

    We both shot Anschutz 54 rifles at the schuetzen match. I shot R-50 and Scott shot an old round nosed lot of Tenex. 250/250 requires you to hold 1.5" @ 100 yards. It's possible but much harder than one might imagine to do that with 22LR while standing.