Smallbore ammunition testing at home
At Killough Shooting Sports we always have customers asking “how can I get the best ammo? The most accurate.” Our answer is always, test. You can book into the customer range here in Texas where you can try your barrel with up to 20 lots. The process uses proven test methodology, electronic targets, and bespoke ELEY software. This is arguably the best method as all variables are controlled. The only variable that changes is the ammunition.
However, we appreciate coming to the range is not always possible for a lot of customers. That’s why we’re looking at the best way to batch test rimfire ammunition at home.
If we’re given boxes of ammo, we have no idea how each lot is going to perform in a rifle until it has been shot. A lot of people often hear of a batch that has set a new record or won at a particular competition and want to get their hands on that same batch. Yet, there is no guarantee that ammunition will perform the same in a different rifle. As always, the best way to find out is to test it yourself in your own firearm.
The one mistake we identify the most is shooters simply not shooting enough shots when testing at home. You have to shoot enough ammunition to give a statistically significant result. At the ELEY test range we fire 10 shots from about 15 or 20 lots. This is then narrowed down to approximately the best five based on the group sizes and score. We will then shoot 30 more shots from those top lots to find the best performing ammunition.
When testing at home, we recommend shooting a whole box of ammo to get an accurate result. Firstly, shoot a five shot group to zero in your scope. Then, shoot another five shot group to make sure the scope is dialled into to where it should be.
You should be testing under the same conditions as if it were a match. Aim at a proper target to give a good indication of the result. It’s also important to consider the discipline you will be shooting.
One flyer can ruin a group but this wouldn’t have as much impact in an ARA discipline as it would IR50/50. So scores are another important factor to analyse. Make sure you are assessing the accuracy based on your goal for your discipline.
Regardless of testing match or tenex – whichever line your testing you should test 10 different lots, preferably two boxes. The validity of the test relies on a good sample size to find that perfect match.
If you can’t get to the Texas test range and don’t want to test your ammunition at home, we also offer the option to post your rifle to the range and we will test it for you.
For more from Dan and Joseph, you can tune in on Apple or Google podcasts, Spotify and more. Alternatively, subscribe to the Straight Shooting YouTube channel.
To book into test at the Texas range, please visit eley.co.uk/test-ranges.
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