By Roy Huntington
Okay, quick — who’s been making ammo since 1828? Extra points if you can guess who makes the .22 ammo used by more Olympic medalists than all the other manufacturers combined? Ding … did you guess right? Was I too obvious? Eley, the classic English ammo maker, has been doing it for an awfully long time. Now, they are taking on the American consumer market, supplying their premium .22 ammo for us “regular” shooters. Using their decades of experience making extremely precise and effective accurate match ammo, Eley’s sporting .22 LR ammo shows its heritage.
Right now, the line up is a high velocity HP ammo (a 38-gr. bullet at about 1,250 fps), two sub-sonic loads (a 38-gr. HP and a 42-gr. solid), their “Force” load (42-gr. bullet in a black oxide case at 1,250 made specifically to operate semi-autos reliably) and the “Action” load (a 40-gr. multi-purpose bullet). All are “premium” in the sense they cost a bit more, but are loaded with great consistency. I fired the “Contact” label (shown) and the 300-round “rec pak” as they call it delivered some of the best groups I’ve ever fired out of my Anschutz .22 LR. At 50 yards, I was getting ragged one hole groups, hardly over caliber size. It is a “sub-sonic” load showing an advertised 1,090 fps velocity. I think the heavy bullet and standard velocity helps to make it accurate. But examining the ammo also shows a great deal of care in assembly.
For a real treat you can go to their website and run the lot number of your ammo and you get a huge amount of factory test data on that particular lot, including targeting, measurements, velocities and more. Here’s my lot: http://www.myeley.com/lot-analyser/1706/result/imperial. It said “99.97 percent of the loads tested from this lot would hit a dime at 50 meters.” What a cool service!
Packaging is first class, and I would have confidence their other loads would perform well. However, .22 rifles and handguns tend to be fussy so you’d have to actually try it out to see. I know one thing, I’m going to lay in a stock of this Eley “Contact” .22 LR for my accurate .22 rifles. The next non-windy day I’m free, I’m going to do some 100 yard shooting and will report back. That’s great fun with a .22, and you need to try it! For more info: https://americanhandgunner.com/company/eley-ammunition/; email: email@example.com