22LR My Love Hate Relationship-To Sort or Not

| September 1, 2018 | 2 Comments

I have this love hate relationship with 22LR. Getting a 22 rifle to shoot small tiny groups is such a rewarding experience for me. I did a lot of reading on many forums discussing the benefits of sorting 22LR ammunition for better results. I think mostly what I have come across is that this is a big waste of time and money. As we all know with 22LR — IT DEPENDS LOL—.

The intent of this test outside of a fun little experiment is to take widely available medium grade ammunition and see if we can turn it into match grade ammunition. Many will argue this is not worth their time and you should just buy match grade ammunition like high end Lapua Midas+ or Eley Tenex and that’s ok. Even then after spending much more you still must find the lot of ammo your rifle will shoot. With this sorting device I have put together I can sort a 50 round box of ammo precisely in minutes.

So I decided to embark on yet another experiment with what I know to me two good shooting rifles, CZ455

I borrowed a rim thickness gauge from a friend but felt the precision was not there to differentiate rim thickness that I was looking for. I set out looking for what I believe would provide me with the best precision and think I found it. I will leave out the manufacturers name because I do not want anyone thinking I am doing a info-mercial for them. This was truly about finding out if sorting would make any difference for me 🙂 I search high and low and found what I thought would be adequate, but it was from two different companies the setup was $47.

Yes that is an old harddrive that the magnetized base is sitting on :).

Ammunition
CCI Standard Velocity

Pre-Test
I deep cleaned both rifles with my otis pull through set. In both rifles
3 Wet patches — sit 10min
10 Passes 22 bore brush
3 Wet patches — sit 5min
8 Dry patches.

Sorted 100 rounds by rim thickness this batch was a little all over the place the majority were .041 and .042 thickness. The variance was from .040 – .048.

Sorted the 0.42 rounds by weight also variances in weight 50grains – 55.7grains most came out as 51.1grains. I performed the same sort of weighing and sorting on the .041 rim thickness rounds also.

This would leave me with 69 rounds of .042 thickness and 51.1grains weight as the major lot.

Test At The Range
Fired 25 rounds out of the box through each rifle to foul the bore. Then fired 10 rounds of each –Sorted, Sorted and Weighed and Unsorted at 3 different targets. Test performed at 50 yards outdoor range fairly calm wind. Temperature 83 degrees.

Up First the CZ452
CZ452 Unsorted Not Weighed MOA 1.629

CZ452 Sorted Not Weighed MOA 1.574

CZ452 Sorted and Weighed MOA 1.351

In the CZ 452 you can see there is not much difference by looking at the MOA but just examining the group with the naked eye there was a major difference.

Now moving on the CZ455
CZ455 Unsorted Not Weighed MOA 3.041

CZ455 Sorted Not Weighed MOA 2.981

CZ455 Sorted and Weighed MOA 2.082

Sorting played a much more noticeable difference in the CZ 455.

With a few minutes of daylight left I took CCI SV ammunition and loaded the magazine with 10 rounds of big variance from a rim thickness perspective.

0.41, 0.43, 0.43, 0.42, 0.44, 0.44, 0.45, 0.48, 0.48, 0.48
Because I shot better today with the CZ 452, on this day I decided to run this test with it.

On this day with these rifles sorting the ammunition surely made a difference. Sorting is not for everyone and like anything with 22LR “IT DEPENDS”

Your results could very well be different. Having shot Eley Tenex in both of these rifles I would say sorting CCI SV is on par or just as good in comparing the groups from both. I did not display any Eley groups as they were fired on a different day with a big temperature difference. Eley was fired last winter 45 degrees, these groups were fired in 83 degree temps so a little bit of an unfair comparison.

Hey maybe that is the next experiment CCI SV sorted and weighed against Eley Tenex.

Leave a comment with your thoughts.

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2 Comments on "22LR My Love Hate Relationship-To Sort or Not"

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  1. Ima Doubter says:

    Interesting, but not proof.

    It is possible that you could have unconscious bias, and not take as much care when shooting “lower grade” of ammunition.

    To remove this, you need a double blind approach, where you don’t know which lot of ammo you are shooting. Even then, you need multiple sessions, with similar lots shot in a different order, to account for shooter fatigue and/or loss of concentration as the session progresses.

    (You should thank me – I just gave you an excuse to go to the range more often!) (You’re welcome)

    However, with a scope like that on an accurate rifle, this is probably overkill. Your results are probably correct, real, and accurate.

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  2. All good points and great reason for me to get back out to the range and perform a few more test. Though I doubt it is bias as I am one of those guys that believe you should buy the more expensive ammo if you can afford it. As it pertains to fatigue my last groups were shot with the sorted ammunition. Next test have the wife go out with me to shoot her 1911 and conduct the blind test 🙂

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