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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

So I decided to go back to CCI Mini-Mags after my flirtation with subsonics.

While I patronize my gunstores as much as possible, they've been out of the stuff for a while - and even Dunham's hasn't had any, so I went to Walmart, an unusual practice for me. I've heard that companies make "Walmart special" versions of their products that are not on par quality-wise with the rest of their line.

When I stepped out to sight these in, I it was between 10* and 15*. The temperature rose a bit while I was out there.

I had passed two patches through the bore before going out, and shot twenty rounds at plinking targets to get the bore seasoned in to this ammo.

I then went prone, shooting off of a tripod, very stable.

Five rounds hit low, and I adjusted it up.

Five more rounds hit just a bit low, and I adjusted up again.

Then trouble started. Two out of five rounds or so sounded subsonic, and hit a bit lower than where I aimed. As well, I fired a total of 60 rounds, and I had to pause to wipe the bolt off in the middle of everything as the firing pin was sticking (common on a Romanian trainer). But... the bolt was much, much dirtier than CCI has ever been in any rifle I've fired. In fact, it's always been the cleanest.


Normally the cleanest shooting .22 ammo I've ever experienced, I had to wipe the bolt after 30 rounds. This is what it looked like after I fired only 30 more rounds. Normally the bolt is very shiny; here, it's caked with soot.

My question is this: Has CCI followed other makers and begun to make a "Walmart special" version of their Mini-Mag ammunition? Or, can extreme cold affect ammunition like this? I've never fired enough of anything when it's this cold out to have experience here, as most game animals are in their dens.

I really need to know, folks. If it's junk, I'm going to the gunstore tomorrow and buying as much CCI subsonic as I can afford.

Is it junk, or the cold?

Thanks,

Josh <><
 

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Josh,

I can't answer your question as you posed it. I've used CCI Mini Mags since they were introduced in the mid - 60's and always found it to be a good product.

What I'm concerned about is the fact that you are getting blowback from the chamber to the face of the bolt, past the case rim, which just shouldn't be. Soot on the bolt is ok on a blowback semiauto, but not on a bolt gun. I can think of two possible causes: One, the gun was not built for ammo of the pressure being generated by the CCI ammo and the bolt-to-chamber seal is being breached, and/or the bolt is contracting due to the cold at a rate faster than the barrel, and causing a slight break in the usual airtight seal between the bolt and chamber. The third possibility is that the gun has developed a headspace problem. Yep, .22's do that just like the big calibers, especially inexpensive ones.

So I would refrain from shooting any more CCIMM and either have a gunsmith look at it or, if you feel it's safe to do, go test some regular ammo in the same temperature range as today. I'd hip shoot the gun and wear some unusually good glasses.....I've seen .22's with similar problems throw powder granules and sparks back into the shooter's face. They may be pipsqueak cartridges, but they can still hurt the shooter if the gun is defective.

I don't like this at all, Josh. Careful.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jerry,

It's always done this when it gets extremely cold. It's just the looser tolerances of a military rifle becoming a bit looser in the cold, combined with an imperfect seal due to less elastic shells because of the cold. It doesn't do this at 20 degrees.

Headspace is one of the first things I check with any bolt rifle. I just checked again, and it's not a problem. Thanks for the concern though! :)

Josh <><
 

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As I told you on that other forum a few minutes ago: None of us here can do anything but guess what ammo CCI sells to what retailers, and folks from the company are not likely to jump onto these boards and volunteer such info.

Also, as I nagged
at you here and other places in the past: You're a details guy, stop guessing at velocities and lay out $80-$100 for a chronograph. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Brian,

I know, I want and need one.

I'm trying to find out if there's a trend here, is all. I'll chalk it up to the cold if it's functioning fine for everyone else. That, and it didn't start acting up until it did get cold. Heck, maybe ice crystals formed in the cases. They were well below freezing.

Thanks,

Josh <><
 

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Don't overlook the notion of your gun lube getting goopy in the cold weather, too. Many of the 'wunderlubes' don't hold up as well in below-freezing conditions as they claim to.
 

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I'd look for other culprits - I've been buying a lot of CCI .22s lately, and they seem to be at the top of the game. Hope it warms up for you soon, amigo! :)
 

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hi, Josh, interesting topic. I have to agree with Brian D. A great ammo and firearm tester like you needs a Chrony to make life interesting.
og
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wouldn't call myself "great" by any means. You sir, for example, have tested way more than I have!

Josh <><
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got an atomic clock today. It was a Christmas gift my parents didn't want, from my dad's sister.

The thing is really really cool. It has time (of course - though I don't know how much of the atomic signal it's really picking up out here), phases of the moon, date, and INSIDE TEMP and OUTSIDE TEMP!


It has a physical sensor outside which sends the temp in via radio. Pretty cool.

I set it up today.

I went out to shoot the .22 some more. It was 34* according to my new toy
I had no problems at all. Same ol' ammo I remember.

I then noticed that my groups really opened up. The 'scope base had come loose because I neglected to Loc Tite on the screws. Sooo, I left the ammo outside and went to buy some Loc Tite and a light switch.

I got back, Loc Tited the screws, and let it set, all with the ammo outside. Then I replaced the light switch, a breaker, a socket and a length of Romex that went south, and by that time it was 27* out. I went out and popped off a few, and they fizzled, and grimed up my bolt again.

Strange thing is that the subsonics don't do either. They shoot equally well regardless.

Problem solved I guess. Just have to start using SS when it's below 40* or so.

Thanks all,

Josh <><
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I got an atomic clock today. It was a Christmas gift my parents didn't want, from my dad's sister.

The thing is really really cool. It has time (of course - though I don't know how much of the atomic signal it's really picking up out here), phases of the moon, date, and INSIDE TEMP and OUTSIDE TEMP!


It has a physical sensor outside which sends the temp in via radio. Pretty cool.

I set it up today.

I went out to shoot the .22 some more. It was 34* according to my new toy
I had no problems at all. Same ol' ammo I remember.

I then noticed that my groups really opened up. The 'scope base had come loose because I neglected to Loc Tite on the screws. Sooo, I left the ammo outside and went to buy some Loc Tite and a light switch.

I got back, Loc Tited the screws, and let it set, all with the ammo outside. Then I replaced the light switch, a breaker, a socket and a length of Romex that went south, and by that time it was 27* out. I went out and popped off a few, and they fizzled, and grimed up my bolt again.

Strange thing is that the subsonics don't do either. They shoot equally well regardless.

Problem solved I guess. Just have to start using SS when it's below 40* or so.

Thanks all,

Josh <><
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mr. Smith

I am very sorry you experienced a problem with this ammo. I discussed
the issue this morning with our Rimfire Developmental Engineer and he
would like to get the product back for testing. I am happy to replace
the product and will include extra ammo to cover your shipping costs.
Here is some shipping information:

CCI/Speer
2299 Snake River Ave.
Lewiston, ID 83501
Attn: Linda Olin

Please ship using UPS ground. The US Postal Service will not carry
ammunition. Please mark the outside of the box "Cartridges, Small Arms"
and the letters ORM-D. Be sure to include your name, shipping address
and a phone number and a brief description of the issue.




Linda Olin
CCI/Speer Technical Services
2299 Snake River Ave.
Lewiston, ID 83501



-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 4:20 PM
To: cciexpert
Subject: CCI.com - Ask CCI Form

Joshua Smith
381 E 50 N
Wabash Indiana 46992

Dear Sir or Ma'am,

Since I received my first .22 years back, I've been shooting CCI
ammunition, and came to rely on Mini-Mag hollowpoints as my "bread and
butter" load for hunting small game. I found it accurate and dependable
with boringly consistent terminal performance on small game, regardless
of weather conditions and temperature.

Imagine my surprise then, when I began getting inconsistent performance
at around 30 degrees F! The ignition is incomplete, leaving my bore
looking like an old sewer pipe, and many of the rounds fired do not have
a supersonic crack. Worst of all, groups were around 2.25" at 50 yards.
I find this totally unacceptable for hunting ammunition, doubly so
since, in warm weather, this rifle will keep five shots in an area the
size of a nickel with your CCI rimfire, and will shoot dime size or
better groups at the same distance with CCI or Federal subsonic
ammunition.

To make sure this wasn't the rifle, I pulled the bolt for cleaning and
inspected the 'scope mountings. I tried again and performance was the
same.

Luckily I still had some Remington subsonic ammo on hand, and was able
to use it to sight in. As in warm weather, it burned cleanly and shot
very tightly, giving me a dime sized group on the target spot from 50
yards.

I've never had a problem with your product in the cold, and certainly
never at 30 degrees. I verified with two separate lot numbers,
purchased at different stores, that it was not just the lot number but
the ammunition as a whole.

The lot numbers are M05M09 and L27N25. The former was bought at a store
called Gunner's Trading Post in Wabash Indiana, and the latter was
purchased at Walmart, same town.

I would appreciate an explanation as to why I am experiencing problems
in cold weather. The firing pin indentation, incidentally, is deep -
there are no light strikes. It seems to be incomplete ignition due to
the cold.

Please write back using either my standard mail, email, or both, which I
have provided you. I await your reply.

Thank you,

Joshua M. Smith


Josh <><
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I still have yet to mail them out. I'm embarrassed that I shot up most of them trying to figure out the problem instead of just stopping and contacting CCI/Speer, but I'll get around to it.

As for prone in that weather Sir, I was laying on an old -40
 

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I noticed the name, too.


Josh-
Another possible explanation for the soot getting on the bolt is just lower pressures from the cold. I've always heard stories about guys who get excessive pressure from handloads on a very hot day, that were fine when they did load development back in the cold of winter.
It sounds like the powder in these rounds is obviously affected by the cold temperature, and are not generating as much pressure. Perhaps not enough pressure to seal the case in the chamber, allowing some blowback. I have this same issue to a lesser extent when shooting mild loads out of my .454. It would also explain the incomplete combustion, and dirty residue/fouling. Not enough pressure to burn properly.
 

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Howdy Mr. Josh,

Ms. Linda apparently wears a lot of hats at Speer these days. I can tell you from previous personal contact with her on a federal ammo issue, she is a pleasure to deal with, and a lady of her word. Go ahead and ship the ammo back to them so they can check and confirm all is well with that lot of ammo. From my dealing with folks at Speer in the past, I am certain they are very concerned with quality control issues.

They will do you as well on the replacement ammo as they can. Just box it up and ship it to them. Don't forget to mark the box as "ORM-D", as otherwise you violate a couple of federal statues in shipping the ammo.

twoguns
 
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