From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug White)
Subject: Re: *reliable* .22 LR target ammo
Date: 4 Mar 1996 00:16:31 -0500
A bunch of people have been trying to blame .22 rimfire reliability
problems on some sort of mechanical problem. Yes, this is possible, but
it's very easy to test, and it isn't the most likely suspect. As an
estimate, I have fired roughly 100 thousand rounds of various .22 over
the years, mostly in target pistols. I have had LOTS of misfires, and in
order of frequency, I would classify the causes in the following order:
1) Poor quality control on the ammunition: When a cartridge won't fire
no matter how many dents you put in the rim, the brass splits, won't
chamber, or you get a squib load that barely gets out of the barrel,
you've got bad ammo. I've seen plenty of this stuff, mostly from
Remington in recent years. It can vary dramatically from lot to lot, and
year to year. The safest approach is to find a dealer that has a good
price on some reasonable quality ammo, and that just received a big
shipment. Buy a brick and test it thoroughly. If it works, go back to
the dealer, and buy all you can afford from that lot number. You CAN get
ammo at a reasonable price that's every bit as good as the expensive
stuff if you shop around this way.
2) Dirty firearm: In semi-auto .22 target pistols, the biggest problem is
gunk building up on the face of the breech and slide. This slowly backs
the slide away from the cartridge rim, and you can get a light hit.
Keeping your gun clean works, but you can reduce the frequency of
cleaning required by using ammo with a hard wax type lubricant.
Federal's lube is pretty good this way. Some ammo (the Russian stuff is
a prime example) come with a really heavy, sticky grease. This tends to
build up quickly, and attacts a lot of grime and unburned powder residue.
3) Serious mechanical problem: At least in good quality target pistols,
firing-pin/hammer springs tend to hold up pretty well. If a firing pin
isn't hardened properly, they can shorten up over time, but I've never
actually seen one lead to misfires this way. They DO break occasionally,
and that usually leads to a dramatic (but not necessarily complete)
increase in misfires.
In summary, if you are having problems with .22 ammo reliability, don't
dash off to the gunsmith immediately. When you get a dud, reload it with
the rim rotated so the firing pin will strike someplace new. If it goes
off, and this happens frequently, it COULD be a sign of gun trouble.
Clean the gun thoroughly, and try some different ammo. If the problem
persists, THEN you can take it to a gunsmith.