Switching ammo

22 Long Rifle ammo is finicky. Tell us all about it here.
Kujones
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Switching ammo

Post by Kujones » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:54 am

What is the protocol in switching between ammo brands? I've been told that the lubricant varies between manufacturers. To get a true measure of how any specific brand shoots we must first clean the bore and "re-season" it with the new ammo. If I'm comparing brands 5-shots at a time am I getting a true measure of how anything is shooting?

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Re: Switching ammo

Post by Ken Green » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:38 am

I assume that you are testing a silhouette rifle to find which ammo the rifle likes. Keep in mind that we cannot hold and shoot any rifle off hand, that will even come close to what the rifle can actually shoot. Even if you clean the barrel between ammo brands and re-season it with the next brand of ammo, you have just uncleaned the barrel with the 1st fouling shoot. There have been more barrels ruined by cleaning than anything else.

You do not need to clean the barrel when switching between different brands of ammo for testing. After I finish shooting test groups for a specific ammo, then I shoot between 20-25 fouling shots with the next brand of ammo and then shoot my test groups. The reason for the fouling shots is too get to old wax out of the barrel and lay down the new wax for the next brand of ammo that you are testing.

If I am testing different types of ammo from the same manufacturer (say different ammo from Eley) I will normally shoot around 10 fouling shots from the next box of ammo. If going from Eley to SK to CCI, then I will shoot 20 - 25 fouling shots to get the "new" lube (wax) down the barrrel.

I have an Anschutz model 54 match silhouette rifle that had a stainless barrel installed about 3 or 4 years ago. I have never cleaned that barrel. It will shoot 5 shots into a group that measures between 3/4 and 1 inch at 100 yards off the bench.

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Re: Switching ammo

Post by acorneau » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:51 am

Cleaning a barrel isn't necessary but it does provide for an absolute clean slate every time, it just takes more ammo to get back up to speed.

If not doing a full cleaning between brands you can speed up the process a bit by pushing a dry patch through the barrel between batches. It will still take 10-30 shots for the new ammo to settle in to it's true performance.

By the way Kurt, we missed you at the match Saturday. The rest of us had a great time freezing our butts off. :))
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Re: Switching ammo

Post by Doodaddy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:56 am

The biggest concern is when you're testing ammo of different lube types rather than the smaller variances that can be had. If you're testing a heavy waxed ammo like Eley and a thinner type oily based lube like RWS without cleaning between, you're going to get some results that aren't very useful as the gun's POI and accuracy will change as each type of lube is burned out of the barrel and replaced. It also creates a recipe of varying amounts, locations, and types of lube throughout the barrel that isn't repeatable. If you can't control the variables in order to repeat a test/experiment, you're really just shooting a bunch of ammo and not able to glean much from it.

If you want to be very dedicated to the testing, clean the barrel to where patches are totally clean so that there is a established starting point. Please do not damage your barrel in cleaning.

Adjust your scope to where point of impact is no where close to point of aim as you don't want to destroy your aiming point. Test the oilier type ammos first Lapua/SK/Wolf/RWS/Geco/Norma. I won't pretend to know any details, but Lapua/SK/Wolf should have very similar if not identical lubes. I would pull a couple of dry patches inbetween changes of branding. RWS/Geco/Norma should also have very similar if not the same lube. I would pull a few wet patches followed by dry patches when changing from Lapua options to the RWS options.

Shoot at least 50 shots per ammo type as the barrel does season with the lube. I like doing 10 five shot groups.

I say start with the oilier ammo because it's easier to the get the barrel fully clean with that type than the waxy Eley type. If there are remnants of that wax in the barrel when you're testing your testing is pointless.

Fully clean the barrel again and repeat the testing format with the waxy ammos Eley and I guess Aguila. I can't think of any other heavy wax ammo.

This is certainly an involved way of testing that most don't follow because there is a point of diminishing returns regarding the fractional differences in accuracy between brands translating to hits rather than misses and the easier way is "good enough". In many ways and most instances it probably is good enough and being anal about testing sucks the fun right out of an enjoyable sport/past time. That's one reason why I left benchrest shooting, but I just don't really like the idea of not being able to be confident in the results of an experiment. If I were testing car performance in different gasoline types, I wouldn't fill up each time at a quarter tank; I'd get that fuel system as bone dry as I reasonably could to make sure I knew exactly what I was testing. Your mileage may vary though.

If you do want to shoot a bunch of ammo to burn out the previous ammo's lube and season with the current ammo's rather than clean, separate the oiled from the waxed and shoot the waxed last. It will save you some headache and ammo, because it will take you forever to burn that wax.
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Re: Switching ammo

Post by Kujones » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:27 pm

If I stay within the same family of ammo (all Lapua for example) is this as big of a concern?

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Re: Switching ammo

Post by Doodaddy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:09 pm

Kujones wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:27 pm
If I stay within the same family of ammo (all Lapua for example) is this as big of a concern?
In short, no.

I would run a couple of dry patches through once the barrel is seasoned to start the test so that the barrel's "dirtiness" is controlled between testing batches. Season the barrel with the cheapest of the Lapua options, a dry patch or two, shoot your test groups (I would still use the largest sample size possible.), a dry patch or two and repeat etc etc. I would note the first couple of groups with an asterisk or something as the rifle will take a sec to settle back down fully.

Some barrels shoot better dirty and some shoot better clean, but you'll need the barrel at least consistent between the tests regardless. Doing minimal dry patches this often keeps from having to reseason the bore and also keep it from getting significantly dirtier on the last test than your first test.
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Re: Switching ammo

Post by DavidABQ » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:49 pm

Switching ammo? , Testing ammo? Don't you just use whatever is on sale and get a good price on? Right now I am using some Federal Bulk ammo but I have used most of the other stuff the local gun stores sell. The only real problem I had with my 1712 was some CCI stuff that was on sale. It didn't want to chamber easily. I have read the CCI stuff is hard to chamber because of the bullet shape. I just brought along a block of wood and a small hammer to get the bolt to close on this stuff. Otherwise it seemed to shoot just fine.

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Re: Switching ammo

Post by snaketail2 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:39 pm

Olympic shooters say it takes 1500 small-bore rounds to "season" a barrel after a serious cleaning. They don't pay to pay for their ammo.

When testing I'd suggest one brand per range session. And a good bore scrubbing before the next session. Slow but more effective way to test new ammo.

Try Remington's 40-X Bore Cleaner - I've seen it make a difference.

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Re: Switching ammo

Post by Infidel » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:06 pm

I believe in cleaning the barrel between ammo types, to the clean patch state. Then I shoot a box (50) of the "test" ammo, on a couple of 5-bull targets. The first shots will get the POI where it should be, and the last 5 5-shot groups tell the tale, with the groups in between indicating the "seasoning" process. This takes a while, but it has been informative.
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Re: Switching ammo

Post by DavidABQ » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:15 am

[*]If the ammo has different lube like going from SK to Remington or SK to RWS I give the bore a good scrubbing.

If it is Eley to Eley or SK to SK then I don't worry about cleaning the rifle or handgun.
\m/

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Re: Switching ammo

Post by Jerry G » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:16 am

Not all Eley is lubed the same. I think red and black box have a different lube than the cheeper stuff. I have found they all have the same poi within a couple of clicks.

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Re: Switching ammo

Post by DavidABQ » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:17 pm

Jerry G wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:16 am
Not all Eley is lubed the same. I think red and black box have a different lube than the cheeper stuff. I have found they all have the same poi within a couple of clicks.
I will take your word for it. I can't afford that fancy expensive ammo. I have to use the inexpensive Remington Gold Bullets from Wal-Mart. That fancy European ammo is way expensive!

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Re: Switching ammo

Post by Jerry G » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:18 am

David. If you know anyone that is a member of a DCM gun club, you can get a case of Eley for $350 sent to your door step.

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Re: Switching ammo

Post by DavidABQ » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:44 pm

Jerry G wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:18 am
David. If you know anyone
I try to avoid knowing anyone. I believe in the old New Yorker creed. "Don't get involved."

:-bd

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Re: Switching ammo

Post by Jason » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:57 pm

You can also get Norma Match ammo for $400 per case.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/13113 ... round-nose

It's not up there with Center-X or upper-end Eley, in my opinion, but that's a great price on good ammo.

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