Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Long Guns > .22 Rifle/Rimfire Discussion > WHY (c3) do barrels with the same specs ‘prefer’ different ammo?

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Old 03-31-2013, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default WHY (c3) do barrels with the same specs ‘prefer’ different ammo?

Their rifling, twist rate, heat absorption, cool rate. etc. doesn't change. Their tolerances should not be different. Presumably the QC of high end ammo doesn't change.

Finding the ‘right’ ammo for a specific rifle is such an accepted practice, I would've thought some investigation on this would have been done.

It reminds me of when people thought it mattered whether they used ‘Shell’ or ‘Gulf’ in their cars.



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Old 03-31-2013, 05:25 PM   #2
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Their rifling, twist rate, heat absorption, cool rate. etc. doesn't change. Their tolerances should not be different. Presumably the QC of high end ammo doesn't change.

Finding the ‘right’ ammo for a specific rifle is such an accepted practice, I would've thought some investigation on this would have been done.

It reminds me of when people thought it mattered whether they used ‘Shell’ or ‘Gulf’ in their cars.
i like to think of rifle barrels as like fingerprints. every one of them is different. even if you took 10 rifles of the same make and same caliber, every one of them would group differently with the same ammo. each one will like a certain bullet weight or a certain ammo brand to be accurate.

honestly, even though all were built exactly the same and on the same equipment, a person would think they would perform the same, but i can't tell you exactly why they don't.


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Old 03-31-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
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But, but, but, . . . looking through the barrels and looking at 22lr bullets, it's clear to me that the barrels are machined and the 22lr bullets are not (at least not the ones I can afford). There is more variation in the bullets than the barrels so shouldn't the barrels be more consistent and the ammo variable?

Or is cold forging/hammering a hit or miss process?

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Old 03-31-2013, 05:44 PM   #4
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But, but, but, . . . looking through the barrels and looking at 22lr bullets, it's clear to me that the barrels are machined and the 22lr bullets are not (at least not the one I can afford). There is more variation in the bullets than the barrels so shouldn't the barrels be more consistent and the ammo variable?

Or is cold forging/hammering a hit or miss process?
i see what you're saying and i agree, but honestly i don't have an explanation a to why. hopefully someone much more knowledgeable than me will chime in.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:46 PM   #5
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Presumably the QC of high end ammo doesn't change.
You'd think so, wouldn't you?
It's not just different brands of ammo. The variation from lot to lot of the same ammo can be dramatic. Some brands are more consistent than others, but variation seems inevitable. Production equipment wears, powder varies, different personnel overseeing the various processes. There are probably variables that would never occur to me. Variations amongst Match grade ammo was noticeable, even among high end makers. One lot of Eley Tenex can be noticeably worse than a great lot of CCI Green Tag. A weak lot of Green tag might not be any better than a good lot of Mini Mag. RWS Match seemed fairly consistent most of the time.
I watched my Dad test multiple lots of ammo many times. It can be surprising sometimes. Like other consumer products, sometimes even the best names kick rubbish out the door. I always liked it when CCI would perform better than the expensive Euro ammo.
Barrel making is subject to a huge number of variables as well. Quality of the steel. Content of the steel. Type of tooling used to make the barrel. Method used to create the rifling. The amount of wear on the tooling. The skill of the guy operating the tooling. The fit of the barrel into the action. The bedding of the action. And so forth.
Combine that two sets of variables, add the shooter's variables and the weather, barometric pressure, temperature. You see where this is going...
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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You'd think so,wouldn't you? . . . . . etc.
Okay, this is getting to it. But it makes my point. Being off by a hundredth of an inch, or thousandth of a psi, or whatever, on a rifle is a much lower variation than the same variation on a 22lr round and that different lots of 22lr, and even different rounds of the same lot, are more variable than different barrels. So that to say a rifle 'likes' Elmer Fudd brand ammo in their wabbit wifle the best is naive.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:23 PM   #7
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You have to take into consideration the differences in each raw barrel blank. Plus every time you pull a rifling button through a barrel it wears a little, giving each barrel its own characteristics.

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Old 03-31-2013, 06:31 PM   #8
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Okay, this is getting to it. But it makes my point. Being off by a hundredth of an inch, or thousandth of a psi, or whatever, on a rifle is a much lower variation than the same variation on a 22lr round and that different lots of 22lr, and even different rounds of the same lot, are more variable than different barrels. So that to say a rifle 'likes' Elmer Fudd brand ammo in their wabbit wifle the best is naive.
Yes & no.
In my experience, Remington golden bullets have never grouped as well in my rifle (Kimber 82) as CCI Mini Mags. One can argue the reason, but at the end of the day, group size removes all doubt. The difference may be minor (it usually is), but it is there. Thus because of that, I will tell anyone who asks "My Kimber prefers CCI ammo." I shot Silhouette matches with Mini Mags because doubling or tripling the ammo cost for an extra 1/4" +/- at 100 yards wasn't worth it to me. My rifle shoots Eley products really well too, just not two to three times as well.
In all honesty, it does eventually boil down to hairsplitting (or would that be hare-splitting ) at some point. How much money & time is one willing to invest to milk that last bit out of his/her equipment?
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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Remington rimfire ammo is crap.

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Old 03-31-2013, 07:04 PM   #10
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Remington rimfire ammo is crap.


I'll drink to that.


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