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Can I Get 950 f/s Out Of Aguila SSS Ammo If...
Old 06-26-2017, 11:01 PM
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Default Can I Get 950 f/s Out Of Aguila SSS Ammo If...

I use the 'right' firearm?

I ask that question based on a couple of 'things':
1) I WANT the factory claimed MV of 950 f/s reported on the box for this ammo,
2) "Long ago and far away" I got that MV out of a rifle I have BUT...
3) I recently got this from someone that used to work for Aguila:
Hello Paul. Yes, it has been a couple of days since we spoke last! I see you are still hard at it and that is good.

To your question, I know that when I was consulting to Aguila USA, the published stats were 950 fps. There was a hostile take over at Tecnos, Aguila's parent company, and everyone I worked with left -including the Engineer that designed that cartridge and all of the others they now sell. During the interim, there was an explosion at the plant that took out their rimfire production for a while. Following that, I know that Eley terminated their agreement with Tecnos so that current ammo does not have Eley prime. I don't know what vintage of ammunition you are using but the lack of this priming system will effect velocities if they left all else the same. I'm thinking that what you have may be what they are currently producing.
So maybe the "new" stuff doesn't in fact go that fast.
4) "Everyone" I know that has chrono'd the SSS ammo has reported about 850 f/s for the MV, which is what I get with just about everything I shoot it in.
5) Aquila says that the "recommended" barrel length is 21". So maybe it takes a longer barrel to get that 950 f/s. Problem is, there are NO barrels 'out there' that are 21" long AND with the 1:9 twist rates required for stabilizing the 60-grain SSS, EXCEPT some nasty "fluted" ones. I DON'T WANT A FLUTED BARREL.

Therefore, before I 'spend some money' ONCE AGAIN having to MAKE what I want because no one produces what I want, I thought I would see if the new ammo could do 950 f/s. This is particularly galling, because Aguila STATES that 21" is the "recommended barrel length", yet NO barrel makers make barrels for 10/22s OR even any BLANKS that are longer than 16.5 inches except Green Mountain's nasty fluted one that is 20" long. That's just plain stupid because the barrel makers even SAY of their 1:9 twist barrels: "Made for use with the Aguila SSS ammo". And yet they don't make a barrel the length that Aguila says to!

That preamble is to explain my range session today. (And rant a little bit.) Since the only rifle I have ever shot the SSS ammo from that produced MVs in the vicinity of 950 f/s was a US Gov't Model 416 Stevens, (using the "old" ammo), I decided to shoot some "new" ammo through that rifle again. But, in the off chance that it is "just" barrel length, I chose some other rifles to test too.

1) The Anschutz "Olympic" target rifle,
2) The Krico (I forget the model),
3) The "Teutonic" .22, and
4) The newly milled 10/22 with 1:9 twist bull barrel.

All except the 10/22 have barrels at least 24" long and none but the 10/22 have twist rates other than 1:16.

Because the "long-barreled" rifles didn't have twist rates suitable to gyroscopically stabilize the SSS, I wasn't shooting for precision, only MV. I also wanted to test some other new subsonic ammo I recently got; CCI "CB Short", with a reported MV of 720 f/s. I wanted to see if it would cycle the 10/22 AND if the claimed MV could be achieved with the 'long-barreled' rifles.

Since finding out if the 'new' Aguila ammo would produce 950 f/s out of the model 416 like it did with the 'old' ammo was my raison d'etre, I started with that rifle. Here's the target (at my usual 35 yd). Note the key-holing.

And - drumroll please - the MagnetoSpeed chrono numbers:

You'll note that the lowest value is 949 f/s and the average is 961 f/s. Even better than the advertized 950. Cool!

Here is the target with the 416 using the CB Shorts with claimed MV of 720 f/s:

And the MV values:

Interestingly, these values average 73 f/s LESS than advertized. Hmmm...

Now the Anschutz because it is also a "match" rifle. Here's it's target with the SSSs:

Again note the key-holing. Shots are low because rifle was sighted in for faster ammo.

Here's the chrono for the Anschutz and SSSs:

Note the spread - 120 f/s! Average is anemic 765 f/s. Anschutz clearly doesn't "like" the SSS.

Here's the Anschutz with the CB Shorts:

And talk about anemic...

Almost 200 f/s lower than advertized.

Next up was the Krico. It did NOT like feeding either the SSSs OR the CB Shorts from the magazine. Had to load by hand. Here's the SSS 'group'.


Typical (850) at 832 f/s.

Krico with CB Shorts:

No chrono data. MagnetoSpeed didn't catch the smaller bullet.

Next the Teutonic .22. Grim. Don't know where the other two shots went. And no Chrono.

And with the CB Short. Again, no idea where the other two went.

And finally, the 10/22. With SSSs:

And chrono right at where it always is:

Average 834, but look at that low 772! 107 f/s spread. Not good. Maybe this is the outcome of not having the Eley priming method available any more.

Here's the 10/22 with the CB Short:

No chrono data for the CB Short with this rifle.


The truth is, the ammo WILL do 950 with the right rifle. However, so far its only with one rifle in the world - the US Gov't model 416 Stevens. Which, does NOT stabilize the 60-grain bullet. Since the Anschutz, that is essentially identical in terms of barrel shape and length, DOESN'T get the 950 MV, the $64,000 question is; "What is it about the 416 that allows it to get the full potential out of the SSS ammo?"

I wonder if the 416 has a 'tight' bore? Or a 'loose' bore? Or what?

The good news is that the "new" SSS IS capable of 950 f/s. The question remains as to how to get a 'new' barrel with 1:9 twist rate to get that speed.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

"We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful." ~ C.S. Lewis.

Do not confuse technical skill for wisdom and do not confuse strength for skill. Paul Skvorc
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