SK Long Range Rimfire Ammunition
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- Last updated: 24/02/2021
Long range shooting, especially extreme varminting has always been a sport I have enjoyed due to the need to judge range, work up precise ammunition and then calculate an accurate shot. It is often forgotten that long range shooting does not have to be all about larger calibres, extreme ranges and expensive ammo/equipment. Often, just as much fun can be had with the inexpensive .22 rimfire round.
The sport of long range rimfire has been gaining popularity for some time now as has bench rest rimfire. It is no surprise specialist ammunition has been produced to supply this new sport. On test today is the new SK Long Range Match .22 LR ammunition from Nammo-Schönebeck Gmbh Germany www.sk-ammunition.com. SK ammunition is renowned as being some of the best most consistent .22 rimfire ammunition available.
This round was specifically designed for acquiring targets out to 100 yards and beyond with platforms such as PRC, tactical rimfire, long range silhouette and varminting. It is imported by Viking Arms Ltd.
Designed as a match round from the off, the SK Long Range has a more traditional round-nosed, lead bullet configuration to it. Cartridge overall length (COL) is 0.978” and it shoots a 40-grain bullet with a 0.221” diameter. It has a powder capacity of 0.8 grains.
Factory results (see SK Factory Data) from a 26” barrel shows 1099 FPS for 107 ft/lbs energy, so this is right on the edge of sub and supersonic velocity, dependent on ambient weather conditions.
So, it would be interesting to see how velocity changes with a shorter barrel. I suggest it increases due to less friction?
So, in reality, if zeroed at 100 yards you are dropping 3 ft at 200 yards, and if zeroed at 200 yards the 100 yard zero is 1 ½ ft high. With modern scopes, excellent trajectory compensating scope reticles and ballistic programs (Hawkes X-ACT and Quickload/Quick target) it is possible to generate data based on your rifle’s velocity, scope height and the local weather conditions. Accuracy is obviously dependent on your rifles chambering and bore condition but sub MOA groups out to 200 yards are achievable.
I wanted to test the SK ammo in a long target-type barrel as well as a shorter sporter .22 rimfire barrel, to see the differing velocities, BC and down range performance if any.
Thankfully rimfire fodder it is relatively cheap to shoot all day, low recoiling and quiet, so a lot of data and practice can be gained for not much outlay. This also translates into good practice for centrefire varminting later.
First up was the new Bergara B14R, which I happen to think is a superb .22 rimfire. I bought an 18” barrelled action from RUAG and fitted a Boyd’s Lightweight thumbhole varmint stock from The Sportsman Gun Centre. I then attached a Hawke Vantage 30 WA SF IR 4 -16 x 50mm scope.
My other setup was a 26” Anschutz 54 single-shot match rifle I sourced the from Holts for £124 hammer price plus commission! I had a Shehane Tracker laminate stock laying around and after a few evenings due diligence with the Dremel and fitment of some aluminium bedding collars, I soon had it fitted to the rifle. I then fitted an old-style Redfield 3200 long range scope.
I shot both rifles at 0, 25, 50 and 100 yards and measured velocity readings over a chronograph to get a true velocity average at each range to calculate the BC Value G1 (See Results Table). The Bergara worked out at BC G1 0.1142 and the Anschutz at BC G1 of 0.1136. Running this through QuickTarget and Hawkes X-ACT programs provided a good prediction of the actual trajectory, wind drift, velocity etc, down range.
I was interested in seeing how far you can shoot a .22 rimfire, so I fitted a Recknagel 70 MOA adjustable mounting system and superb Swarovski 6-24x50mm target scope.
Shooting the Bergara at 1108 FPS zeroed at 200 yards, I had a drop at 250 yards of -28.25”, 300 yards of -71.36”, 400 yards of -208.19” and at 500 yards it was -426.33”, or nearly 36 feet! However, it was the wind that caused most of the problems, the story of my life!
Accuracy wise, I had sub 0.5” five shots groups at 50-yard. At 100 yards all were well under 1” with some 0.75” groups from the Bergara B14R. At 200 yards, with zero wind, we had some ridiculously small sub 2 -2.5” groups from both rifles on the steel targets, showing the real potential of this round.
This is by far the best long range .22 ammunition on the market today and is an excellent training tool that allows a shooter to learn the wind and trajectory drop. Not to mention that it is much cheaper and less noisy than centrefire shooting. It is really fun and hugely addictive.
Viking Arms - www.vikingshoot.com
Hawke Optics - Hawke/ X-ACT program - uk.hawkeoptics.com
Toms Targets - Steel targets - toms-targets.uk
JMS Sporting – QuickLoad Ballistic Program - www.quickload.co.uk
Alan Rhone - Recknagel mounts - www.alanrhone.com
Swarovski Optics – Scopes - www.swarovskioptik.com
Norman Clarks – Ammunition and Mounts - www.normanclarkgunsmith.com
Holts – Second Hand rifles - www.holtsauctioneers.co.uk
RUAG - Bergara - www.ruag.co.uk
Sportsman Gun Centre – Boyds Stocks - www.sportsmanguncentre.co.uk