HOW TO TEST AMMUNITION
Your rifle and ammunition work as inseparable partners. Significant benefits can
be gained by identifying batches of ammunition with characteristics particularly
suited to your rifle. Bench testing enables you to make this match. However, to
achieve successful, repeatable results, bench testing must be conducted in a
Eley recommends the following useful pointers to achieve meaningful results when
bench testing batches of 0.22 ammunition.
Ensure your rifle is well maintained, in good condition and is tightly secured
in the rest device.
When testing several batches of ammunition, it is easy to get them mixed up.
Only the batch sample being tested should be placed adjacent to your rifle.
Keep other batch samples neatly ordered and away from the test rifle.
Before test firing, shoot approximately 10 shots to warm your barrel. This
will help to eliminate the effects of the dramatic rise in temperature
experienced by your barrel once firing commences.
Remove one cartridge at a time from the packaging. Holding several cartridges
in your hand prior to firing them can affect the performance of the bullet
Gently push each cartridge into the rifle breech by hand. Carefully close the
rifle bolt, then pause for one or two seconds without touching the rifle. This
will allow any barrel vibrations to die away.
Squeeze the trigger in a gentle but positive manner.
Fire each group of shots at a steady rate.
Keep an eye on the temperature of your barrel. The faster you fire, the hotter
it will get. Generally, your barrel's performance will deteriorate if it gets
too hot (or it is too cold!).
Think about different testing strategies. Ten shot groups are common and give
an indication of the batch performance relative to competition scoring.
Increasing the number of shots per group (to between 20 and 50) can give a
measure of "worst case" performance for the batch.
It is useful to retain a small quantity of a batch of ammunition which you
feel performs well in your rifle. This may then be used for comparative tests,
and is particularly useful to highlight the effects of test variables such as
barrel clamping and ambient temperature or humidity.
Try not to draw conclusions from a single, ten shot group. Remember,
scientific testing requires objective thinking. Some of the cheapest
ammunition available has the chance of shooting a small, ten shot group, but
it will be unlikely to repeat this three or four times, let alone in
You will achieve different levels of performance when testing in and out of
your rifle's stock. Your stock-mounted barrel can behave like a tuning fork.
Variations in the mounting torque settings can dramatically affect your
When changing between different brands of ammunition, ignore the first ten
shots: these will effectively purge your barrel of both the previous brand's
lubricant and explosive residue.
Bench testing should be both rewarding and enjoyable. We, at Eley, hope these
guidelines will assist you in getting the most out of your sport.
you need any further help or guidance, please do not hesitate to ask us.