The Round Count - Reliability testing by Brand and Type
Since getting back into shooting in August I have been keeping careful track of the rounds I have been putting through my firearms. I thought I would share my experience so far as I always hear about this brand or that brand being unreliable. This is an ongoing experiment with me and I don't have unlimited funds so it is slow going at times. I have excluded any ammunition that I have not fired at least 100 rounds of yet, so this chart is actually more extensive but I don't see the purpose of ridiculously small sample sizes. As it is I consider 100 rounds to be bare minimum for evaluating reliability and would really prefer 200 rounds of each type through each firearm I own that uses it. As I said, limited funds and also limited time.
Here is the high level breakdown -
Caliber .22 LR -
CCI Blazer 40gr Lead 200 Rounds 100.00%
CCI Mini-Mags 40gr Copper 100 Rounds 100.00%
Federal Auto Match 40gr Lead 215 Rounds 99.07%
.22 LR Federal Champion 40gr Lead 150 Rounds 98.67%
.22 LR Remington Thunderbolt 40gr Lead 100 Rounds 97.00%
.22 LR Winchester 36gr HP 788 Rounds 98.73%
.22 LR Winchester Wildcat 40gr Lead 100 Rounds 98.00%
Caliber .45 ACP -
TulAmmo 230gr FMJ 300 Rounds 100.00%
Remington UMC 230gr FMJ 150 Rounds 100.00%
Caliber 9mm Luger -
Winchester 115gr FMJ 100 Rounds 98.00%
Let's get into specifics. I don't keep track of failure for actual rounds but rather just note issues and the weapon. I am also only counting rounds fired while the weapon was in my possession. Two of the firearms listed, the Ted Williams and the 9mm Browning, are both used and I do not have statistics for how much they were fired before I had them. I am including total rounds fired through each gun even though I have excluded specific ammunition results if I have not fired 100 rounds of a particular type.
Here's the .22 LR's.
Beretta U22 Neos - 599 Rounds, 5 Issues - 2 Misfires, 3 Failure to Feed, 99.2% Reliable
Ruger 10/22 - 1098 Rounds, 10 Issues - 1 Failure to Feed, 2 Misfires, 3 Stovepipes, 4 Failure to Extract, 99.1% Reliable
Ted Williams Model 340.530-430 - 156 Rounds, 6 Issues - 1 Misfire, 5 Failure to Extract, 96.2% Reliable
CCI Blazer - 100% Reliable
Beretta U22 Neos - 80 Rounds
Ruger 10/22 - 120 Rounds
CCI Mini-Mags - 100% Reliable
Beretta U22 Neos - 40 Rounds
Ruger 10/22 - 60 Rounds
Federal Auto Match - 99.07% Reliable
Beretta U22 Neos - 80 Rounds, No Issues
Ruger 10/22 - 135 Rounds, 2 Issues
Note - Federal Auto Match claims to be made for semiautos but it looks like Federal Champion rounds with a slightly more rounded and possibly shorter lead tip. Not really seeing anything else special about it.
I'm having to go on memory, but I think the Ruger had a stovepipe and FTE. So far the Beretta has been fine.
Federal Champion - 98.67% Reliable
Beretta U22 Neos - 70 Rounds, 2 Issues
Ruger 10/22 - 80 Rounds, No Issues
2 of the Beretta's failure to feeds were due to these rounds. In both cases it was when engaging the slide release, the top round in the magazine jammed the slide. This was easily resolved by pushing firmly on the slide and feeding the round. Not sure if this is an issue due to the Beretta's rather loose magazine design or the feed ramp. The result was disappointing as Federal Champion is dirt cheap and has had no issues in the Ruger.
Remington Thunderbolt - 97% Reliable
Ruger 10/22 - 100 Rounds, 3 Issues
Have not tried this in the Beretta, but if I recall all three issues were different. I think this was my single failure to feed in the Ruger. Not impressed so far even though 97% is nothing to sneeze at.
Winchester - 98.73% Reliable
Beretta U22 Neos - 169 Rounds, 1 Issues
Ruger 10/22 - 463 Rounds, 3 Issues
Ted Williams Model 340 - 156 Rounds, 6 issues
Note - This is your Winchester Bulk hollowpoints sold in lots of 333 or 600.
For bulk ammunition, it actually performs fairly well. The failure to extracts may have been operator error as this was always my son and the lever action to open the breech needs to be used in a smooth motion. I never had a problem with it myself. Round per round this is the cheapest stuff I shoot and even the Beretta has had minimal issues.
Winchester Wildcat - 98% Reliable
Beretta U22 Neos - 50 Rounds, 1 Issues
Ruger 10/22 - 50 Rounds, 1 Issues
Maybe not the cheapest per round, it does appear to be the cheapest made and I like to run a box through ever .22 I own just to see how it does. So far it chokes consistently 1 round per box.
Tired yet? Here is the .45 results. I only have the one handgun.
Magnum Research MR4500FS Baby Eagle - 620 Rounds, 0 Issues, 100% Reliable
Not much to say here. TulAmmo and Remington UMC have both been 100% through this particular gun. It is worth noting that TulAmmo does indeed shoot dirtier, but the Baby Eagle is fairly easy to clean and shoots dirty anyway.
Last but not least is 9mm. In this case using a borrowed handgun.
Browning BDM - 100 Rounds, 2 Issues - 2 Misfires, 98% Reliable
Obviously this makes the Winchester "White Box", 98% reliable. For what it's worth, both misfires were done by my son. In both cases I suspect they were limp wristed. The BDM is a surprisingly lightweight auto despite being full-sized. In both cases I was able to successfully rechamber and fire the round. The second time it happened I inspected the pistol and the round did not appear to be properly fed into the chamber, so I assume the striker either wasn't able to align properly to ignite the primer or wasn't able to gain enough momentum to hit it with enough force to ignite. That is all speculation though. All I can say for certain is that out of 100 rounds 2 had issues. Draw your own conclusions.
If anyone finds this information valuable I continually update my charts and as totals get to 100 I will be more than happy to share. Currently I have a new 9mm and .22 LR handgun, and testing has been ongoing with a .30-30 but rounds are expensive.