Bulk 22LR Ammunition Testing – Chapter 1 – Construction & Components

Bulk 22LR Ammunition Testing – Chapter 1 – Construction & Components

Buying ammo in bulk packs is a great way to save money, while insulating yourself from ammunition shortages.  In recent years though, the sheer volume and selection has reached a point where it’s often difficult to tell the difference between quality ammunition, and cleverly-marketed garbage.  With this in mind, I’ve decided to test out eight different types of bulk 22LR ammunition in order to determine which one is the best.

Method

Ammunition is a pretty touchy subject for a lot of people, so in order to keep this testing as scientific as possible and eliminate any personal bias, we’ll be conducting a series of standardized tests.

In this first chapter, we’ll be disassembling a series of cartridges from each type of 22, and analyzing the components including construction, bullet diameter & weight, powder charge, and any other pertinent details.

Let’s take a look at the cartridges being reviewed:

In alphabetical order we’ve got:

  • Browning Performance Rimfire
  • CCI Blazer
  • Federal AutoMatch
  • Remington Golden Bullet
  • Remington Thunderbolt
  • Winchester DynaPoint GT
  • Winchester White Box USA
  • Winchester Wildcat

Visual Inspection

Let’s begin with an inspection of each.  This is a somewhat subjective test, so take it for what it is, however here we’re looking for visual indications that the ammunition is well made.

I’d have to say the Remington Golden Bullet is number one here; they’re brass-plated with some very consistently shaped hollow points.  In a close second is the CCI Blazer, a lead round nosed bullet that’s very well formed with clean lines and a smooth finish.  Remington Thunderbolt would be my third choice, being just a bit rougher than the CCI but still very nice.

Browning, Federal and Winchester’s Wildcat and Whitebox are all fairly middle of the pack.  These bullets just don’t appear to have been as well formed, with a rougher appearance and finish to them, although in the case of the Whitebox this could just be a result of the plating process.

The bottom of the list definitely goes to the Winchester Dynapoint.  Once again the bullet seems very roughly formed, with some particularly dismal looking HP’s that are anything but consistent.

Diameter

Let’s move on to bullet diameter.  Using a vernier caliper we’ll go ahead and measure the diameter of five bullets from each cartridge manufacturer for size and consistency.

Browning Performance Rimfire
Bullet 10.223″
Bullet 20.223″
Bullet 30.223″
Bullet 40.223″
Bullet 50.223″
Average0.223″
CCI Blazer
Bullet 10.223″
Bullet 20.223″
Bullet 30.223″
Bullet 40.223″
Bullet 50.224″
Average0.2232″
Federal Automatch
Bullet 10.224″
Bullet 20.224″
Bullet 30.224″
Bullet 40.224″
Bullet 50.224″
Average0.224″
Remington Golden Bullet
Bullet 10.223″
Bullet 20.223″
Bullet 30.224″
Bullet 40.224″
Bullet 50.224″
Average0.2236″
Remington Thunderbolt
Bullet 10.223″
Bullet 20.223″
Bullet 30.224″
Bullet 40.224″
Bullet 50.224″
Average0.2236″
Winchester Dynapoint
Bullet 10.223″
Bullet 20.223″
Bullet 30.223″
Bullet 40.223″
Bullet 50.223″
Average0.223″
Winchester Whitebox
Bullet 10.222″
Bullet 20.222″
Bullet 30.222″
Bullet 40.222″
Bullet 50.223″
Average0.2222″
Winchester Wildcat
Bullet 10.222″
Bullet 20.222″
Bullet 30.223″
Bullet 40.223″
Bullet 50.223″
Average0.2226″

The largest average diameter was Federal at 0.224″, while the smallest was Winchester White Box at 0.2222″.  The most consistent was a three-way tie between Browning, Federal and Winchester DynaPoint.

Bullet Weight

Next we’ll pull five bullets from each cartridge type and weigh them for consistency and to determine how close they are to their advertised weight in grains.

Browning Performance Rimfire
Bullet 140.1gr
Bullet 240.3gr
Bullet 340.0gr
Bullet 440.1gr
Bullet 539.7gr
Spread0.6gr
Average40.4gr
CCI Blazer
Bullet 139.7gr
Bullet 239.4gr
Bullet 339.6gr
Bullet 439.3gr
Bullet 539.3gr
Spread0.4gr
Average39.46gr
Federal Automatch
Bullet 139.1gr
Bullet 239.3gr
Bullet 339.1gr
Bullet 439.6gr
Bullet 539.6gr
Spread0.5gr
Average39.34gr
Remington Golden Bullet
Bullet 137.5gr
Bullet 237.7gr
Bullet 337.3gr
Bullet 437.3gr
Bullet 537.6gr
Spread0.4gr
Average37.48gr
Remington Thunderbolt
Bullet 140.2gr
Bullet 240.2gr
Bullet 340.6gr
Bullet 440.6gr
Bullet 540.5gr
Spread0.4gr
Average40.42gr
Winchester Dynapoint
Bullet 140.2gr
Bullet 240.5gr
Bullet 339.5gr
Bullet 439.3gr
Bullet 540.4gr
Spread1.2gr
Average39.98gr
Winchester Whitebox
Bullet 136.4gr
Bullet 236.1gr
Bullet 335.9gr
Bullet 436gr
Bullet 536.1gr
Spread0.5gr
Average36.1gr
Winchester Wildcat
Bullet 140.1gr
Bullet 240.1gr
Bullet 340.0gr
Bullet 440.0gr
Bullet 540.0gr
Spread0.1gr
Average0.2226″

When it comes to the bullet weight closest to what’s advertised, Winchester’s brands owned the podium on this one.  The top three spots went to Dynapoint with 0.02gr from it’s advertised weight, Wildcat with 0.04gr, and Whitebox with 0.1gr.

Marketing claims aside, what we’re really looking for here is consistency.  Once again, a Winchester product took top marks with Wildcat and a spread of only 0.1gr between bullets.

Powder Charges

With the bullets out of the way, lets take a gander at the powder charges beneath them.  Once again we’ll measure the charges of five cartridges from each type of ammunition.

Browning Performance Rimfire
Bullet 11.7gr
Bullet 21.5gr
Bullet 31.4gr
Bullet 41.4gr
Bullet 51.4gr
Spread0.3gr
Average1.48gr
CCI Blazer
Bullet 11.5gr
Bullet 21.5gr
Bullet 31.4gr
Bullet 41.5gr
Bullet 51.5gr
Spread0.1gr
Average1.48gr
Federal Automatch
Bullet 11.3gr
Bullet 21.1gr
Bullet 31.5gr
Bullet 41.6gr
Bullet 51.6gr
Spread0.5gr
Average1.42gr
Remington Golden Bullet
Bullet 12.0gr
Bullet 22.0gr
Bullet 32.0gr
Bullet 42.0gr
Bullet 52.0gr
Spread0.0gr
Average2.0gr
Remington Thunderbolt
Bullet 11.8
Bullet 21.9gr
Bullet 31.8gr
Bullet 41.9gr
Bullet 51.9gr
Spread0.1gr
Average1.86gr

 

Winchester Dynapoint
Bullet 11.3gr
Bullet 21.3gr
Bullet 31.4gr
Bullet 41.5gr
Bullet 51.2gr
Spread0.3gr
Average1.34gr
Winchester Whitebox
Bullet 11.4gr
Bullet 21.4gr
Bullet 31.3gr
Bullet 41.4gr
Bullet 51.4gr
Average1.38gr
Spread0.1gr
Winchester Wildcat
Bullet 11.6gr
Bullet 21.6gr
Bullet 31.7gr
Bullet 41.6gr
Bullet 51.6gr
Average1.62gr
Spread0.1gr

Remington Golden Bullet had the heaviest charge at 2gr, with Winchester DynaPoint bringing up the bottom end at 1.34gr.

As with the bullet weight, our primary concern is consistency; Remington Golden Bullet was the clear winner here with identical charge weights in all five cartridges.

Other Notes

The last thing I wanted to highlight is something I noticed when pulling the bullets.  Browning, as well as Winchester’s Whitebox and Wildcat cartridges, all had a coating on the base and sides of the bullet; a sort of yellow/green compound (see the video above for an example).  I’m not sure if this is a sealant, or maybe just residual priming compound that was stuck to the sides of the case mouth during the loading process, but I’ve never seen it before and thought it was interesting.

That’s it for the components; in our next article we’ll take a look at the performance tests.

 

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The Reloading Press
The Reloading Press

Great video and methodology as always. I really do appreciate the time you put into making informative and bite size videos. Thank you
Nathan

Pat westcovinadodge
Pat westcovinadodge

can’t wait for the chapter 2.

David Jernigan
David Jernigan

Great video. Waiting to see the performance test. I suggest if possible using both pistol and rifle in semiauto, and manually operated actions. Hope you also look at some of the ammo that is marketed as “match” ammo to see how it stacks up.

MCK
MCK

Very interesting, as some are very particular what like/shoot this comparison will set some margins, for now most of these are available so we can go out and add our input

EWA Thoughts
EWA Thoughts

It will be interesting to see your overall results especially as the last box of Rem Golden had 42 fail to fires out of 500.