Some .22 rim thickness measuring

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Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 2:46 pm

Sellier & Bellot (Five types):

I've had some down time so I've spent hours measuring rim thickness on .22 ammo.

I have 101 types of ammo now for testing. I decided to measure rim thickness on Sellier & Bellot and see if they could be improved. I tested three types of S&B three years ago with poor results, so I thought I'd test them again now. This would validate the data I got before, if it still shoots poorly. I batched 1160rds (of 2230rds) of Standard, HVHP, Subsonic HP, Club, and Short. Last time I tried Standard, High-Velocity HP and Subsonic HP, with very poor results - 10rd groups at 50m of 72mm, 35mm and 27mm respectively. Shooting them batched by rim thickness to within .001" did see minor improvement, but not enough to matter. From what I've seen, I think three-thou is a more realistic increment in terms of measureable difference at the target, but the caliper measures in thou so I'll stay with it.

I scrubbed the bore of the RPR spotless beforehand, then fired three 5rd groups with CCI Std to set a benchmark, 19mm, 17mm and 16mm, not bad from a clean bore. After 267rds of S&B, I shot another six 5rd groups of CCI Std to confirm the rifle was not at fault, with a best of 17mm.

I fired 267rds of S&B on Tuesday arvo at 50m when the wind was very calm. The best were a pair of 21mm 5rd groups with S&B Subsonic, one of 21.5mm with HVHP, one of 22.5mm with Club, and one of 27mm with Standard - I can't say anything good about S&B .22 ammo at all. Any slight improvement may well be due to simply shooting 5rd groups instead of the 10rd groups I shot last time. They weren't accurate enough to really see a trend in rim thickness except with S&B Subsonic, which seemed to group better with .036"-.037" rims. Subsonic was also the best when I tried them before, and is the only S&B .22LR I can recommend trying. These are the results in my Ruger Americans and RPR, I'm sure there are other people that great excellent results from this ammo.

There's a possible trend with Standard at .034"-.035", but it's still 2MoA ammo. Consider that I shot an initial 6rd group of "randoms", one at .031", two at .032", two at 0.34", and one at 0.41" - into a 29mm group, only beaten by the 27mm group (batched to .035") . The .041" round was very hard to chamber, and to open the bolt after firing, but fired normally.
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Although the Subsonic is the most accurate of all of these, it also has the greatest variation in rim-thickness, from .032" to .038".
Standard is the worst by a good margin, which makes sense when only 25% of the ammo has a consistent rim thickness. Subsonic HP, Short, and HVHP all have 40% with the same thickness. Club is better at 55%, but doesn't shoot great regardless.

I batched 590rds of Standard, then I only did 300rds of Subsonic as the variation was even worse than the Standard. I only did 100rds of the Club and Short, and only 70rds of HVHP. Even 100rds shows Club is clearly made to a tighter quality control.

The S&B Shorts were a surprise, S&B claim them to be 920fps in a 600mm barrel, but in my 450mm barrel I made 641fps, they dropped 300mm low at 50m. The slowest and quietest .22 ammo I've ever used. I'll have to group it at 25m rather than 50m as I think 50m is outside its potential use. I only fired 15 of these as it was just wasting them at that distance.

I also measured velocities (as specified in 600mm barrels by S&B):
Subsonic HP 40gn HP at 310m (1017fps) - actual 18" RPR is 1055fps +4%
Standard 40gn RN at 325m (1066fps) - actual 18" RPR is 1116fps +5% (all went supersonic)
Club 40gn RN at 325m (1066fps) - actual 18" RPR is 1100fps +3% (most went supersonic)
HVHP 38gn HP at 375m (1230fps) - actual 18" RPR is 1251fps +2%
Short 28.1gn RN at 280m (920fps) - actual 18" RPR is 641fps -30%

I thought it'd be good to have rim thicknesses recorded to refer to later to see if there is a definite relationship to accuracy, so I've measured over 8000rds so far. Not so much for batching, more to have a measure of their quality control, so some of them I'm only measuring one or two boxes.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 4:14 pm

SK ammo (Eight types):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 4:36 pm

Winchester (Fifteen Types): With Winchester I found all of it varies greatly in thickness around the rim. Turning the round in the caliper gives measurements varying up to .003", I turned each round a few times and batched them according to the smallest measurement. A small percentage were the same thickness all the way around the rim, perhaps 30-40% - I didn't bother trying to sort them separately. I also got an extreme anomaly in the M22 of a single round with a .024" rim, I'm interested to see if that one will even fire.

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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 4:44 pm

RWS (Ten types):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 4:46 pm

Norma (One type):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 4:48 pm

Lapua (Two types):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 4:51 pm

Hornady (One type - still can't get the Subsonic):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 4:53 pm

Geco (Two types):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 4:56 pm

Fiocchi (Three types):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 5:00 pm

Browning (only the RN):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 6:30 pm

Federal (Ten types): I've done the two cheapest Federal rounds so far and found them within outstanding tolerances.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 6:34 pm

Highland (Five types):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 7:54 pm

Remington (Five types): I've found Remington to have the same variation in rim thickness around the base as Winchester, though not quite as extreme - within .002" usually.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 8:05 pm

Eley (Nine types):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 31 Mar 2020, 8:13 pm

CCI (Twenty-one types):
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by Blr243 » 31 Mar 2020, 9:22 pm

Blade, if I ever invent something I am goin to hire you to do all my research and development....you are the best
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by marksman » 01 Apr 2020, 9:04 am

+1 :thumbsup: :drinks:
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 02 Apr 2020, 8:21 pm

I'm getting through the Federal now, still have do the Eley and CCI.

Even sampling a full brick or two is still a very small sample, so if anybody has done similar feel free to add your data here.

I think it's clear that some manufacturers have tighter tolerances for rejecting brass that varies by more than a thou or two, and that they do relax the tolerances on their bulk lines.

Whether quality control over the case forming has a measurable effect at the target is difficult to determine. Although it can certainly shoot better when you batch so it's all the same thickness, it can just as certainly be irrelevant.

I still lean toward the tolerances of the bullet being the single most important factor for accuracy, but without disassembling hundreds of rounds I can't see it being practical to try batching that way. About the best we can do with the bullet is to use a die on the cartridge to reform the bullet to a consistent diameter and shape. I haven't tried this yet, mainly because it would probably require making a die for each bullet type, but it is something I want to investigate myself. It would probably be a little quicker than measuring the rims too :-)
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by TassieTiger » 02 Apr 2020, 8:29 pm

Screw the .22 brass - this is the diligence needed to find a cure for cov!!!
Big props for doing this. Cheers.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by Bugman » 03 Apr 2020, 5:42 am

You have certainly put a lot of time and effort into this exercise. One of the things that come to mind, is that a while back I had various results in my target scores
obviously attributed to the ammo I was using in my Pardini SP. I bought a few boxes of various makes of 22 ammo and weighed each and every round for
each manufacturer (Eley through to CCI).
I separated those rounds that were close to similar weight and tested same. 5 shot groups. Allowing for my own shooting ability, I did get a better group
improvement with the rounds of same/similar weight and total crap with those of dissimilar weight variances.
Your testing has answered some of my own questions, so well done. Powder weight/projectile weight/brass conformity etc play a big part in the accuracy of
the humble 22. :unknown:
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 03 Apr 2020, 6:28 am

Bugman wrote:You have certainly put a lot of time and effort into this exercise. One of the things that come to mind, is that a while back I had various results in my target scores
obviously attributed to the ammo I was using in my Pardini SP. I bought a few boxes of various makes of 22 ammo and weighed each and every round for
each manufacturer (Eley through to CCI).
I separated those rounds that were close to similar weight and tested same. 5 shot groups. Allowing for my own shooting ability, I did get a better group
improvement with the rounds of same/similar weight and total crap with those of dissimilar weight variances.
Your testing has answered some of my own questions, so well done. Powder weight/projectile weight/brass conformity etc play a big part in the accuracy of
the humble 22. :unknown:


I have played with weight batching but saw no improvement at all.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 04 Apr 2020, 11:19 pm

I've measured 11,791 rounds (and still well short of halfway through the pile), about 10,000 more than I'd recommend anybody do!
A good percentage were measured more than once, I went back through the smaller batches to confirm I'd gotten the correct measurements. I had to clean and lube the caliper three times to keep it running smoothly. And I patched the collet through every few hundred rounds or they became fiddly to tip out due to lube build up. The rim of the collet and the anvil both need to be wiped continuously to clear off lube to get accurate measurements.

The SK stuff was filthy to do due to the copious smothering of liquid lube over the entire cartridges, a real mess. Handling all this ammo I was surprised that only one type left any discolouration on my fingers, the CCI Short HVRN, but it wiped away easily.

I've only got the Eley stuff to finish, but it's all coming out at .032" now and I don't see much point in continuing, I'm about over it by now I think :-)
I have plenty of the remaining Eley types so I can measure them anytime in the future if I feel the need. I was _very_ surprised at the amount of variation in the Eley Standard Bulk, but I guess that goes with the bulk price - I paid $70 for 500rds.

As I find time to test fire them all I'll try to keep this thread updated.

I got 30kg of bullets on Thursday that I want to sort through as well now.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 25 Apr 2020, 8:38 pm

bladeracer wrote:Hornady (One type - still can't get the Subsonic):


I test fired the Hornady High Velocity today at the end of the SK testing.
I'd say it's 2MoA ammo in my RPR, good enough for foxes, but a lot louder than the subsonic stuff I normally use.
I think I paid $20 for 100rds so not too outrageous.
Velocity went from 1129fps up to 1203fps, averaging 1161fps ES74fps.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 25 Apr 2020, 9:00 pm

bladeracer wrote:SK ammo (Eight types):


There was no wind this arvo and I found a couple hours for a test shoot.
I grabbed the pile of SK.
I have not cleaned the bore since before the S&B test so it had 307rds down it when I started, and I put 288rds through it today. I shot off the bipod on the table with a rear bag and the VK 10-40x56 scope.
I started with CCI Standard Velocity for a baseline, shooting three 5rd groups, with a best of 13.5mm at 50m. After all the SK and the single Hornady I had for testing I finished off with another three groups of CCI SV as a baseline, with a best of 13.5mm. I think it's probably good for another 300rd test before it'll need cleaning.
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Then I fired 55rds of SK Standard+ to thoroughly coat the bore (with the copious lubricant SK uses - horrible stuff).
Five groups of unbatched ammo with a best of 13.5mm, then three groups of .034" rim thickness giving a 14mm group, and three groups of .035" rims with nothing special. A couple of sub-MoA groups but I'd call it 2MoA ammo. I forgot to turn the chrono on for the first round, I'll get some velocities for the SK Std+ during the next test.
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Then three groups with Pistol Match Special of .035" rims with a best of 9mm and a 14.5mm group, then three more groups batched at .034" rims, with nothing special. One .62MoA group is outstanding but overall I'd call it 2MoA stuff. Velocities averaged 1062fps ES51fps.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 25 Apr 2020, 9:35 pm

Since they changed the forum to limit posts to three attachments I'll have to do multiple posts (idiotic idea that was but it seems permanent).

Next up is the Long Range Match which I've really wanted to test. Three groups of unbatched ammo with a best of 14mm showing some potential. Two more groups batched at .034" rim thickness weren't anything special. Velocities averaged 1090fps, ES56fps.
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This was an interesting test of the consistency and accuracy of the chrono I think, due to it straddling the sound barrier. SK specify it at 1099fps. Of the 25rds, six went supersonic. Those were 1122fps, 1106fps, 1107fps, 1106fps, 1103fps, and 1106fps. The fastest that did not break the sound barrier was at 1095fps. The calculated speed of sound should have been around 1116fps this arvo (15C at 165m ASL), making my readings within about 1% of reality (I have actually seen people trying to claim that cheap chronos are off by as much as 25%!) and very consistent in my opinion.

Next was Rifle Match, three groups of random ammo giving a best of 18.5mm, then two groups batched at .035" managed a best of 16mm. Consistency overall is excellent and a bit of effort on my part could see this being a solid 1MoA ammo, to 50m at least. Velocity was 1052fps, ES46fps.
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Flat Nose Plus was nothing special, a best of 20mm. Velocity was 1042fps, ES53fps.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 25 Apr 2020, 9:46 pm

Next up was Flat Nose Basic, slightly better than the Match version. Best was a very neat 9.5mm group. The rest were a fairly consistent 20mm-ish. Velocity was 1008fps, ES69fps. The lowest velocity of the entire session was a 962fps round of this stuff.
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SK Magazine shot very well for me today with a 9.5mm group, and some 15mm groups. Velocity was 1018fps, ES67fps.
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Finally, I tried some of my dwindling supply of the excellent High Velocity. I only fired three groups with a best of 9mm for the last SK group of the day. Velocity was 1176fps, ES55fps. This stuff shoots amazingly in all three of my Rugers.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 28 Apr 2020, 8:34 pm

bladeracer wrote:Eley (Nine types):



I managed to test the Eley stuff this arvo, they do make some good ammo.

I had 595rds down the tube without cleaning at the start of this, and fired another 310rds today.

I started with three 5rd groups to settle in, one of which went under the MoA, then I removed the VisionKing 10-40x56 scope and swapped in the Bushnell AR Optics 4.5-18x40. I was curious whether I was actually able to shoot any better with the higher magnification, it seems it perhaps does help.
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I fired three groups with the AR Optics, then swapped the VK back on, and fired one group to confirm zero hadn't moved.
When I finished all the Eley I fired another two groups to confirm nothing had changed.

I started with the Eley Standard bulk pack, firing 50rds to coat the bore.
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I started with a random rim-thickness group of one at .031", two at .032", one at .036" and one at .037", mixing the extremes of the rim thickness variation, but shooting a nice group. I'm not testing rim thickness batching, but as I measured 12,000rds I did keep them sorted into batches rather than mix them up again. So I shot three groups each with the .033", .034" and .035" batches.

Next was Eley Sport.
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Only one of six groups went sub-MoA.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 28 Apr 2020, 8:41 pm

Then Eley Club.
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Five groups, one getting very close to half-MoA.

Then Eley Edge.
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One went under MoA and another went well under a half-minute, and my best ever group at 6mm.

Then Eley Match. I had thirty rounds of the old box, and some new stuff. I was going to test both but decided I didn't need to.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 28 Apr 2020, 8:45 pm

Next was Eley Match OSP.
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Eley Tenex.
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Eley HVHP was a nice surprise.
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Re: Some .22 rim thickness measuring

Post by bladeracer » 28 Apr 2020, 9:04 pm

And finished off with Eley Subsonic HP.
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Then I had a play with the air-rifle at 50m until it got too dark to see the lines on the paper to aim at :-)
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