Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trying Out New Ammo in .40 S&W and .22LR, Part 2

As I said my previous post, I was running dangerously low on .22LR ammunition. I had expended the better part of a value pack of Federal .22LR from Wal-Mart, and while the 36-grain hollow point (more like a dent stamped into the nose) was nicely accurate, I decided to try out Remington's Golden Bullet brand of .22LR ammunition, also in a 36-grain hollow point. Wal-Mart was out of the Federal when I went to buy it. First off, when Remington says "hollow point" they mean it. This stuff didn't just have a dent on the nose, it had a noticeable hollow cavity in the bullet. This might actually expand in squirrel and rabbit-type prey animals, much less any other living creature that gets in its way. Mind you, this is not an excuse to go try it out. I don't hunt (yet) so for now I'll just go after those vicious and bloodthirsty paper targets.

The control ammunition used is Federal's Value-Pack .22LR with a 36-grain hollow point bullet. At 10 yards it hits where I want it to go. The firearm used for testing was a Ruger 22/45. This is Ruger's Mark III pistol on a plastic frame that imitates the grip angle of the Colt 1911 and its clones (like my STI). Unlike my STI, though, it does not have a fiber-optic front sight, instead having a solid black front sight. This is important later in the report. The targets were the same as the .40 S&W targets, a 3" Shoot-n-C in the center of a 8 1/2x11" sheet of copier paper at 10 yards.

So, I fired my control ammunition first at one of the targets and was all over. So I took a quick break and came back to try again. My groups on the 10-shot strings (one full magazine) got a little better, but they still weren't great. That's when I noticed I was trying to find a black front sight and line it up with a black rear sight and aiming at a black target. I need a little more contrast than that. Well, since I didn't have any fluorescent paint on me, I decided to switch out target types. I stayed with the sheet of paper, but I substituted the Shoot-n-C with an X made of two 4-inch strips of blue painter's tape. Now that I could see the front sight again, I was ready to roll. The Federal sighted in perfectly as I used the last of it. The Remington Ammo still had more flash, but everything else was the same. I saw the center of the target and put all my rounds there. After two magazines of that, I noticed that it was getting close to 9pm. While the indoor range is open until midnight, I wanted to be respectful to the neighbors nearby as an indoor range is still loud, so I packed up to leave. I took bore snake to pistol and cleaned out any grunge in it with a more thorough cleaning to occur later.

The Remington ammunition shoots exactly like its Federal counterpart. It's really a case of buying whichever is on hand. If you can't find one brand, you won't need to worry about buying the other. It's still good enough for plinking.

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