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HV 22 lr ammo in target pistols


bucnball

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OK , this should qualify as a handgun topic.. I have an early 80's vintage standard 22 cal Ruger. I've generally used CCI standard velocity ammo or sub sonic target ammo with it. My question is how can high velocity harm the mechanism as the barrel is less than 6 inches in length and I doubt the bullet can reach mach 1 in less than 6 inches or that the propulsive gases from detonation would reach a dangerous level that harm the gun. Or is there something about HV ammo that could over stress the mechanisms of 22 cal target pistols ? I'm not referring to hyper velocity ammo like Stingers and such, just plain old HV 22 ammo that is 1240 fps or so.

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Not all .22 pistols are the same.  High velocity ammo will not hurt a Ruger Mark n pistol in any way, but it is a definitely a no-go in old High Standards as they had a design flaw in the frame.  It all depends on the pistol, but your Ruger should be able to fire anything as they are very well built.

Here is a handy reference on barrel length & velocity for a variety of ammo types.  You can make any further inferences from this data.

http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/22.html

Edited by Garufa
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Garufa is dead on. The Ruger should easily handle anything you put in in. However, dedicated competition target pistols such as the mentioned High Standard or a S&W 41 should be left to standard velocity ammo only. 

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Years ago I had a S&W model 41. If my memory is correct, it had a bold statement in the manual that restricted Ammo to standard velocity only to protect the mechanical cartridge ejection parts of the pistol. It had nothing to do with the barrel I don’t think.

PS...I’m NOT an expert, but  I think the reason for the 41 limit on velocity also had to do with accuracy. If you notice, target ammo, eley is the best I guess, are all made to strict specs in the lower velocity ranges and lay very close to the 1,000 FPS area. This must be the the holy grail for the most accurate velocity for target ammo and manufacturers make the pistols for that sweet spot of velocity. 

Edited by Randall53
To add a thought.
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Randall, you are correct. The issue with the S&W 41 is the extractor and ejector. High velocity ammo can damage them.  The Model 41 was built around CCI standard velocity target ammo. That's all I shoot in mine. 

However, some people have shot a bunch of the hyper velocity ammo, such as Stingers, through them and actually managed to crack the slide. Its rare, but can happen. 

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52 minutes ago, Grayfox54 said:

Randall, you are correct. The issue with the S&W 41 is the extractor and ejector. High velocity ammo can damage them.  The Model 41 was built around CCI standard velocity target ammo. That's all I shoot in mine. 

However, some people have shot a bunch of the hyper velocity ammo, such as Stingers, through them and actually managed to crack the slide. Its rare, but can happen. 

I bought mine back in the early 2000’s by placing a very low bid on gunbroker and left immediately to go to a Titans football game in Nashville. I live in Chattanooga and got home late and was tired. I went to be and didn’t even think about the auction until late on Monday evening and saw I’d won. I was going to try my hand at 22 bullseye matches but never did. I sold the 41 and had only shot maybe 1 box of CCI standard rounds.

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Mark,

At the muzzle the Stinger (191 ft/pounds) beats the Velocitor (183 ft/pounds) in energy, but loses power quickly.  At slightly before 25 yards the Velocitor overtakes the Stinger in energy.  But the 30 grain Aguila Supermaximum at 1700 FPS beats the Stinger at the muzzle with 193 ft/pounds and at range the 40 grain Aguila Interceptor outperforms the Velocitor.

References:

https://www.cci-ammunition.com/rimfire/cci/stinger/6-50.html

https://www.cci-ammunition.com/rimfire/cci/velocitor_hp/6-47.html

https://www.aguilaammo.com/ammunition/1b220298/

https://www.aguilaammo.com/ammunition/1b220320/

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As stated above, target pistols are designed around standard velocity ammunition.  Since .22 pistols are all blowback operated, the only thing keeping parts from slamming together during operation is a little spring.  Overpower that spring and bad things happen as metal parts hammer against each other.  Rugers are built like tanks and a little .22 is not going to damage them.  Most target pistols are not as strongly built.

Another piece of advice; any .22 pistol designed prior to ww2 will also probably not do well with anything more than standard velocity.  Keep your prized Colt Woodsman or Target fed on Standard Velocity only.

Finally, the reason target pistols are currently designed around standard velocity ammunition has to do with the inherent accuracy of bullets that do not exceed the speed of sound.  When a bullet travels past the 'sound barrier', it goes through a shock wave.  If it loses velocity before reaching the target, it goes through that wave again.  Depending on muzzle velocity, and other factors, that second passage can happen in as few as 25 yards.  Passing through the shock wave can disturb the path of the  bullet slightly.  Bullet design has a huge factor on how much this occurs.  Typical round-nose .22 bullets tend to be more affected than sharp spitzer bullets.

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