Sunday, October 1, 2017

Eley Action Ammunition Evaluation

Action is the latest ammunition offering from Eley.  Advertised as an all-purpose round, the specifications on this load are identical to Eley Target.  With an advertised velocity of 1090 feet per second, the 40 grain lead round nose bullet leaves the barrel at subsonic velocity for a lower noise shooting experience.  Action is available in single boxes of 50, or the 300 round rec pak which contains six 50 round boxes.  Eley provided a rec pak for this evaluation.

While Action can certainly be used for paper punching, the Action name implies that Eley would like us to use this ammunition for less sedate shooting pastimes.  For me, 22LR action shooting can only mean one thing.  Ringing steel.  I have absolutely no guilt, or remorse, for sending all 300 rounds of Action down range without a single paper target being sacrificed in the process.

I did break out the chronograph to get some velocity data on this load.  Mostly just to check and see if it was subsonic from a 16.5 inch barrel.  Barrels in the 16 to 18 inch range seem to be the most popular for 22LR steel shooting.  My results came out as shown below.  It's definitely subsonic, but I thought the spread between the fastest and slowest rounds was more than I expected.  It really didn't matter though as all of the test shots landed in one thumbprint-sized smudge on the target.

10 Shot Velocity Test
Average Velocity      1046 feet per second
Extreme Spread        54 feet per second
Standard Deviation   16 feet per second

The muzzle velocity and 25-yard accuracy testing rifle and group results.

With the boring stuff out of the way, I set up a couple of cameras and got into action with Eley Action.  If you don't watch the video below, the headline is the ammunition functioned well in the 5 different firearms I used it in.  My only concern with the ammunition is that Eley doesn't spare the bullet lube.  It's more of an oily feeling lube than a sticky wax type of lubrication.  After loading magazines with temperatures in the mid-90s, you will want to wipe off your hands before shooting. 

Direct Link To Video on YouTube

If you watch, or watched, the video.  Don't be put off by my 25 yard pistol results on the small multi-colored 6" steel targets.  I'm afraid I caused my own accuracy problems there when I decided to use 6 different colors of Steel Target Paint from brand new spray cans that had been sitting for 10+ months waiting for a project like this to come along.  The cans are packed with a pound of paint solids and it required several minutes of vigorous shaking to get the six cans ready for spraying.  The targets looked great, but my tired arms did have an impact on my pistol shooting during that video segment.

The Bottom Line
All Eley ammunition is manufactured at their factory in England.  Eley Action ammunition is a premium product and retails at a premium price here in the United States.  Is it worth twice the price of other popular US produced standard velocity target ammunition?  That was a tough question to answer, but Eley recently made their value proposition a whole lot easier to visualize. is the US website of Eley Ammunition.  On that website you will find a nifty little web app called Eley lot analyzer.

Lot Analyzer allows you to key in your specific lot number of Eley ammunition and see a comprehensive list of quality assurance metrics Eley captured during the testing of your specific lot of ammunition.  The video above has a demonstration of the app.  I'll just add one image I pieced together from two different lot analyzer inquiries below because it really helped me understand how crazy accurate Eley ammunition can be.

A US dime is about .7 inch in diameter.  Fired from factory test barrels, my specific lot of Action ammunition was capable of hitting a dime at 50 meters 99.98% of the time.  Eley Tenex is used by Olympic competitors and a random lot I checked was capable of hitting a dime at 50 meters 100% of the time.  Is Action worth the price?  I say yes when you consider Tenex costs around $20.00 per box of 50 and Action costs about $8.00 per box.  What you are buying is accuracy potential at a greatly discounted price.

Use lot number 3117-30082 if you want to try out the lot analyzer app.

If you are interested in trying Eley Action, you are in luck.  Several new online outlets have started carrying the Eley brand of ammunition.  I've also noticed Eley ammunition on the shelf at some of the larger brick and mortar sporting goods retailers.  If you do try it, leave a comment on this post and let us know what you think.

I wrecked my rec pak, but I'm sure Eley will make more.