Monday, September 14, 2015

22 LR Ammo Test - Winchester Varmint HE 37 Grain Segmenting Hollow Point

Varmint HE is one of the newer rimfire ammunition developments from Winchester.  Currently available in 22 LR, 22 WMR, and 17 WSM this varmint load features high velocity for enhanced terminal performance.  The 22 Long Rifle load, tested here, features a hollow point bullet that is designed to expand and segment into 4 pieces.  As described by Winchester, the three forward petals shear away from the bullet shank during expansion.  The petals radiate away from the central wound channel while the heavy bullet base continues on a straight path through the target.  Winchester describes this as 3/1 Segmenting Expansion.

For this test I used a Ruger 10/22 Carbine with an 18.5 inch barrel.

The chronograph and gel block were positioned 25 yards down range of the rifle.

Prior to starting the test I measured ambient air temperature and relative humidity.

The test protocol is simple. Run 5 rounds into a target to capture the average velocity. Shooting
from a rest, I also capture an accuracy sample.

During the second phase of the test I replace the target with a 16 x 6 x 6 inch block of Clear Ballistics Gel. Shooting over the chronograph, I spread 4 shots into the gel block.

The test concludes back at the house where the penetration depth for each bullet is measured.

Each bullet is then recovered from the gel and
weighed and measured.

Each recovered bullet is photographed from top and bottom and displayed with the data measurements from each test shot.

For those less detail oriented, you can jump right into the test video posted on the Rimfire Channel YouTube channel.

My Thoughts On This Test:
I thought these test results were outstanding.  With hyper velocity ammunition, accuracy can suffer in some rifles.  We didn't see that was the case with this ammunition.  While we didn't see the 3/1 segmenting expansion in our test results, all four of our test shots expanded to nearly 2 times their original diameter.  Velocity was a bit "spready" with a spread of nearly 100 fps in our 4 test shots, but they all performed well.

Final Verdict:
Brick-Worthy  This one is worthy of buying by the brick when it starts showing up on store shelves again.  My opinion may change if new batches demonstrate segmenting expansion.  I think this load performs perfectly as tested.

Direct Link to Video on YouTube

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