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My 22LR ammo experience relating to semi-auto function and cold. Login/Join 
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Disclaimer: I only took crib notes, sometimes I wasn’t the one shooting but had somewhat eyes on and this is more general findings rather than exact scientific data. 22 LR guns are particularly finicky and the ammo is unique. Your mileage may vary etc.

Long post, but I’ve been greatly frustrated this fall with some 22LR guns.

Cliff notes: Ammo selection, keep the ammo above 60*, proper lube amd cleanliness.

I posted some of this in a thread I made in the pistol section about Ruger MKIV feeding issues and a few in a new M&P 15-22. These failures to feed were all either nose to feed ramp or nose over chamber jamming up the gun. After several experiments, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is primarily temperature related. On top of that, it seems to be a narrow temperature band.

I bought both guns new, and had no issues all summer inside or outside even with the mods and add ons.

We’d been shooting several matches and I started having failure to feed in the MKIV, about every third round out of all magazines as the weather cooled. The first two to three rounds were fine, then a fail to feed, then the rest of the mag fed fine. I first looked at cleanliness of the gun and magazines, amount of lube, limp writing etc. No issues at the indoor range.

Then I looked at bullet length and profile, thinking the shorter rounds were an issue. While they have more issues if the first round is not nose up, there has been no further evidence to state that it’s the issue. The longer rounds do seem to do better as the first round but at subsequent testing, there was no standout issue.

Last match, I had a newer shooter have issues with the gun. I noticed more of a drag when loaded with 7 or 8 rounds but not before or after. Using all CCI AR Tactical 40gr solids, very similar to MiniMag 40gr solids. I again cleaned things, at the range even, with no improvement. Tried dry and a thin spray lube with no change.

At some point I tuned the mags per a Tandemkross video.

Went out a few days after and only had 2 issues out of 300 rounds, not counting having the first round not pointed up. Not an issue on the longer solid bullets. I had cleaned the gun and even doused the bolt in oil trying to get it to short stroke or something. According to the truck, it was about 10-15* warmer this day. The MP 15-22 had not been cleaned and only had one issue in about 200 rounds.


After further research online and in person, it appeared cold has an effect on the wax lube on the bullets causing it to become sticky/dragging in the magazine. So far, the drag only appears to happen in a range of 20-40 degrees give or take. I was able to duplicate the issues tonight as it cooled off, but I didn’t take a temperature. However, my garage is at 45* and there doesn’t seem to be a drag and with the magazines loaded in the freezer for 30 minutes there was no drag.

Due to the nature of matches and range rules and not being the shooter, I was not able to get a good look but at the last match I was able to duplicate the issues my friend was having.

Accuracy is fine for my uses, shooting at 6” plates at 10 to 15 yards. I can generally keep them on a 2x3 card offhand at 20yds.

From the other post:
I did some quick measuring of some 22 LR ammo I have. Five of each and also loaded them in a mag to see. A very small sample obviously, but if the averages work out, the RN solids are longer and closer to the feed ramp when in the magazine than the HP. Oddly, I seem to remember the Federal GameShocks working just fine. They are a middle length and maybe the HP is formed better. Further testing to follow, including the suspect magazine.

CCI Mini Mag 36gr CPHP
Muzzle Energy 127 ft-lbs
Muzzle Velocity 1260 ft/sec
.9605
.9690
.9600
.9560
.9620
Avg, .9615

Federal GameShock 38gr CPHP
Muzzle Energy 134 ft-lbs
Muzzle Velocity 1260 ft/sec
.9680
.9660
.9705
.9695
.9700
Avg, .9688

CCI Mini Mag 40gr CPRN
Muzzle Energy 135 ft-lbs
Muzzle Velocity 1235 ft/sec
.9845
.9760
.9875
.9810
.9815
Avg, .9821

New ammo yet to try:

CCI Standard Velocity 40gr LRN
Muzzle Energy 102 ft-lbs
Muzzle Velocity 1070 ft/sec
.9885
.9910
.9900
.9870
.9905
Avg, .9894

Norma Tac-22 40gr LRN
Muzzle Energy 102 ft-lbs, est based on CCI numbers
Muzzle Velocity 1066 ft-sec
.9675
.9675
.9675
.9680
.9680
Avg, .9677

The Norma ammo has a slightly oily feel as compared to the harder lube on the CCI.

Overall length and profile plays a part with the longer round nose ammo having a slight edge especially in the first round out fo the magazine. However, all the guns ran fine on all the ammo in July/August.

Guns used:
Ruger MKIV Lite 22/45 with Volquartsen kit and Vortex Venom Red Dot
S&W M$P 15-22 with Volquartsen extractor and Steiner PX4i scope
Ruger MKII Competition Target
Ruger 10/22 With Volquartsen kit, Butler creek barrel and Vortex Venom red dot
Stock magazines in all, the MKII is 12+ and the 10/22 is20+ years old. The M&P and MKIV are new this summer.

Lubed with ALG Defense Go Juice, I put the MKII in the freezer for an hour and a half. The first hand pull of the bolt was sticky but after that, I couldn’t say it was enough to for the bolt not to cycle. I don’t plan on firing the gun right out of the freezer but I intend to go out this winter and shoot on a cold day. 20* or less.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Riley,




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Posts: 6627 | Location: West | Registered: November 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the interesting report. I can't add anything, because i only shoot my Beretta 87 Target in moderate temps. I really like Aguila Pistol Match. If there's any wax lube on the plain lead bullets it's so thin that I can't detect it.




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Posts: 2386 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think all 22 ammo has a coating of some kind. Mostly it looks like white wax if it’s overly built up. Generally not to noticeable.




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Posts: 6627 | Location: West | Registered: November 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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After I switched to Federal Automatch, my AR-22 has been 100 percent reliable from 40 degrees on up. However I do have to clean the action at least every 400 rounds or I will start having feeding issues. My rifle is using the CMMG conversion kit, and has a custom barrel that does not use the barrel extension.


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Posts: 1893 | Location: West coast | Registered: March 31, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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