Sunday, December 11, 2016

Eley Subsonic Hollow 22LR Ammunition Test and Review

Eley Subsonic Hollow is a low-noise small game hunting round from the good folks over in the UK.  As with all Eley ammunition, it sells at a small premium here in the US with a box of 50 running about $10 to $12 at current retail prices.  For the premium price, you get Eley's legendary accuracy and quality control.  Subsonic Hollow features a 40 grain hollow point bullet that has been lubricated with a firm hydrocarbon compound for reliable function in all types of rifles.

I tested Subsonic Hollow in two different rifles.  Scoped with 18.5 inch barrel for accuracy testing.  For gel testing, I used the Ruger 10/22 and also a rifle with a shorter barrel and suppressor.  

Overall test results were very good through the Ruger 10/22.  Accuracy was outstanding and the ammunition functioned reliably.  Gel test results yielded nicely mushroomed hollow point bullets that had impacted the gel block at approximately 915 feet per second.

With the shorter barrel and suppressor, velocities dropped below 900 feet per second and our recovered test rounds showed deformation with incomplete expansion.  From this limited testing, it appears that a velocity of 900 feet per second is needed for the bullet to fully expand in the gel media we used for testing.

Direct link to video on YouTube

My Thoughts:
The most unique thing to come out of this test was actually hearing the bullet strike the gel for the very first time.  Usually the sound is masked by the report of the rifle, but with the addition of the suppressor and subsonic velocity I could clearly hear the smack as bullet impacted gel.

My personal preference is to hunt small game with an ultra-light rifle with 16.5 inch barrel and iron sights.  I like the challenge of stalking or still hunting vs. taking longer shots with a scoped rifle.  I'll need to do some follow up testing with the additional barrel length and verify 25 yard velocities are above 900 feet per second with the 16.5 inch barrel.  If they are, I would certainly add Subsonic Hollow to my short list of low-noise hunting loads.

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