Lapua and SK Rimfire Ammo

An old name is new to U.S. rimfire fans
14

The SK Flatnose Ammo was accurate and utterly reliable to shoot in a Ruger Mark III
Hunter topped with a Pursuit red/green dot sight.

I tend to collect rimfire ammo like John Taffin collects six shooters. In recent years I’ve enjoyed shooting .22s more and more, and love to try different ammo to see what works and what doesn’t.

When I think of Lapua, I think of long-range, high-powered and very accurate centerfire rifle rounds, with visions of Marine snipers making 2,500-yard shots to save the troops. But .22? While recently talking with the folks at Capstone Precision Group, the distributors for Berger, Lapua, SK and Vihtavuori here in the U.S., they surprised me by sending along a nice supply of .22 ammo.

This group of five Long Range match bullets (above) is indicative of how all the brands performed
in David’s old single-shot Remington 514. David had five representative types (below) of the nine
different .22 cartridges SK manufacturers in its plant in Germany.

Background

Nammo Group is a Norwegian company owned by the governments of Norway and Finland with four business units, one manufacturing Lapua centerfire ammunition and components in Lapua, Finland and SK and Lapua rimfire ammo in Schönebeck, Germany. Lapua also operates a rimfire testing facility in Mesa, Arizona and is opening another one in Marengo, Ohio. This investment proves they are serious about meeting the needs of rimfire shooters.

SK Ammunition website lists nine different .22 caliber offerings and I had four of these to try: Standard Plus, Flat Nose Match, Rifle Match and Long Range Match, along with Lapua Center-X. According to the specs, they all have 40-gr. bullets pushed by 2.59 grams of powder. Except for the Flat Nose, they all look the same.

Except for the Flatnose Match loading, appearance is similar among all five cartridges.
David found performance to be similar as well.

Results

With so much new .22 ammo on hand, I thought it would be fun to test the SK ammo with the open sight Remington 514 single-shot .22 rifle I have owned for 61 years. I also popped a Simmons scope on a Marlin 60 and for handgun testing I chose a Ruger Mark III Hunter with a Pursuit Red/Green Dot sight. In addition to these three guns used for accuracy testing, I shot multiple rounds of the ammo through a suppressed Heckler & Koch HK614 pistol, a GLOCK 44 and a Taurus TX22.

Chronograph readings from the GLOCK, the HK614 with its 8.5" barrel and the Remington 514 with a 24" barrel didn’t show a lot of variation in velocity between the ammo types. The Flat Nose Match and Long Range Match edged the others out slightly as handgun velocities through the G44 were in the high 800s to low 900s. The HK’s 8.5" barrel added 50–70 fps to each lot. The rifle readings were all in the 1,050 to 1,090 fps range.

For accuracy testing I set up targets at 25 yards and shot from a bench using a sandbag rest. Starting with the Remington 514, I fired five shots with each type of ammo at a separate target, then switched to the Marlin 60 and did the same. With the Mark III Hunter, I fired 10 rounds at each target instead of five. Why 10? No particular reason except the Hunter is just plain fun to shoot with optics mounted.

The H&K HK416, GLOCK G44 and Taurus TX22 all digested several hundred rounds of
Lapua and SK rimfire ammo with consistent accuracy and no malfunctions.

Conclusions

Not only does the ammo perform well, it’s consistent from shot to shot. In a lifetime of shooting various brands of .22 ammunition, this hasn’t always been the case and I am now an SK fan. It’s a little pricey compared to some other manufacturer’s bulk ammo offerings, with retail prices ranging from 9 to 14 cents per round, but still beats 9mm by a long shot.

If pushed to say which of the ammo types performed the best, I’d lean toward the Flat Nose Match, but honestly every group on every target was something to brag about for the shooter, the gun and the ammo. I left the range smiling.
We fired approximately 1,000 rounds in five different guns during the afternoon and had not one failure to feed, failure to eject, failure to lock back a slide or failure to ignite. Not one! When was the last time you did that with .22 ammo?*

www.sk-ammunition.com

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