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22LR ammo for old semi auto

jwhite

Moderator Emeritus
I've got an old pre-war Springfield 87A, same as the savage model 6 gill guns, of my fathers that I've been working on. All the smithing work is done on it and everything operates as it should but its picky about what ammo cycles well. I've tried Winchester Wildcats, and Remington Thunderbolts both of which cycle well through my Henry. The Thunderbolts occasionally eject an unspent round and the Wildcats can jam if I hold the trigger after firing a little long. These guns can be fairly picky in semi automatic so I'm looking for an affordable ammo for plinking that cycles well in finicky guns. I'm thinking of trying Remington's Golden Bullet next, I've got some on hand, but rather than just buy a buch of random ammo what do some of you guys recommend?
 
You may as well try the rest of the cheapies; you just might get lucky. Walmart sells the Federals in a big 550 round bulk pack. Those are 36 grain copper-washed bullets. If you don't want to commit to that size, the Federal Lightnings are also at Walmart for about $2 per box of 50. They are 40grain but they are lead bullets, so possibly more brushwork.

Hopefully you won't have to move up to match grade quality to find what your gun likes. If you're a plinker that can get spendy.
 
I had a Springfield 87A. It fed everything I put in it, mostly Federal #510 "lightning" or "champion" depends where you get them. Accurate, too! They are good guns, but I have enough .22s and room had to be made...
 
On the cheap Wolf isn't bad. Bad meaning a little dirty. Lapua is my favorite. I've found the biggest problem in older rimfires to be the bore and chamber area having pitting. Cheap brass swells and won't eject because of this. Think about having the chamber bore area treated by a gunsmith, cleaned very well, or otherwise seen about by a pro. It's surprisingly affordable. http://www.eabco.com/22Ammo01.htm
 
CCI MiniMags seem to work well in anything.
I second this. You may even try the CCI AR Tactical, its specifically designed to be just a little slower than the mini-mag, I use it in my M and P 15 22. Its supposed to be better in semi autos that tend to jam. Just put through 250 rounds without a single issue.
 

jwhite

Moderator Emeritus
On the cheap Wolf isn't bad. Bad meaning a little dirty. Lapua is my favorite. I've found the biggest problem in older rimfires to be the bore and chamber area having pitting. Cheap brass swells and won't eject because of this. Think about having the chamber bore area treated by a gunsmith, cleaned very well, or otherwise seen about by a pro. It's surprisingly affordable. http://www.eabco.com/22Ammo01.htm
The bore and chamber are in great shape, which is surprising considering the shape of the gun when I got it. It was having extraction issues but that was because of a missing right side extractor and left looked pretty feeble. I replaced both as well as new extractor springs and retaining plungers and gave the gun a complete disassemble, a thorough cleaning of the individual parts, and fresh grease where it needed to go when reassembled. Except for the sight which needed some adjustment and a new riser the rest is mostly cosmetic. I had my work checked and test fired by the local gunsmith and he gives it the thumbs up.

Working on a new walnut stock now, its got some jacked up garage made stock that looks like it was inlet with a rock and a screwdriver and ridiculously gappy - hacksaw taken to the trigger guard so it could work surface mounted. I got a cousin who needs to meet by boot. I'll show some before and after pics when its all finished.

I'll see what I can find local for Federal and CCI and let you guys know how it goes.
 

jwhite

Moderator Emeritus
Well I fiddled around with it a bit yesterday and I think I've found the problem, although I'm not sure of a solution yet. The bolt isn't setting far enough back after firing to fully **** and discharge the next round. Set for single fire and manually cycled all my ammo works as it should. Could be a couple of things. The bolt and spring may need to be lubed better so that it cycles better, could be too much tension in the spring. Could be that even after firing a few rounds the gun need to be broken down and cleaned if its going to set. I do clean the bore every day the gun is fired with a brush and snake but as I haven't put more than ten rounds at a time total of about 40 so I haven't done a more serious cleaning. I use BC gun scrubber and Barricade in my guns for routine maintenance and avoid grease getting in the spring as I think it just gums things up, but perhaps a better lubricating oil would do better on the bolt assembly. There's no pitting or other mechanical fowling that I can see and all rounds so far have been 40gr. I haven't bought any new ammo yet just checking things with what I have, but am going to go shopping next week. Perhaps it will need an ammo with a little more pop or load consistency.
 
Perhaps it will need an ammo with a little more pop or load consistency.
Well, the latter is going to cost more, and if rounds one and two fail to cycle properly, the rest of the box will consistently fail to cycle properly.:biggrin1:

I'd still try the inexpensive route first since it's still only a guess that the cartridge is causing the problem. However, the cheap brass used in bulk production .22 rounds these days may be swelling during the explosion and the older chamber tolerance in your relic may be a microscopic smidge (in highly technical terms) small. Just a very wild guess.
 
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