Lousy .22 ammo, Remington thunderbolt

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Shoot Em All, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Shoot Em All

    Shoot Em All New Member

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    Has anyone had a problem with Remington Thunderbolt .22 rimfire ammo? I bought two 500 packs at Dick's Sporting Goods on sale in November 2007. the lots vary, but the current one is A05GC. The dud rate on this is 15 to 25% in both lots! I pulled some bullets from duds and there is either no primer material or a small amount in a small area of the rim. Dick's won't take it back ( no returns on ammo) and Remington has no phone # or contact information on thier web site. Just want everyone to know what a sorry product they are making, and then dumping it on the public by putting it on sale.
  2. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Friend, it happens in the best of families!
    Six or seven years ago, we, at my shooting club, ran into the same problem, to a lesser extent, with a particular lot of Eley Tenex; unlike the Thunderbolt, this is 'top of the line' ammo, with no other purpose but accuracy, at the highest level.
    When you have a minimum wage laborer tending a multi million dollar loading machine, sometimes the machine gets ahead of the help.
    Learn from the experience; cheapest might be that, for good reason.
    A thing I hear at the shop, often, is "I have no quarrel with a man who sells his product for less; who, better, would know it's real worth?"
    There's a lot of wisdom, there.
    All the best, Terry
  3. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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  4. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    Thunderbolts are well-known on the internet for their dud-factor. 5% is not uncommon for them. 15%-25% is a bit much even for Thunderbolts.

    Your post reminds me why I always buy Federals.
  5. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I haven't had good luck with Thunderbolts. Remington Golden Bullets, on the otherhand, have always been good to me. I don't know why there is such a quality difference from the same manufacturer, but you're certainly right that the Thunderbolts should be avoided.
  6. greener

    greener New Member

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    It must be a law of nature that you can't build a .22 without installing the "random finicky ammo" part. Seems that there is a wide variety of ammo that won't shoot in one firearm and works without fail in another of the same make and model. You just have to figure out what the gun likes and doesn't like. I've given up trying to guess.
  7. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    I made the mistake of buying some quite a few years back, and haven't bought any since....
  8. BIGBOOMER

    BIGBOOMER New Member

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    Were these "500 packs" bricks (i.e. 10 boxes 50) or loose pack (milk carton)? I've noticed that "milk carton" 22s seem to have much greater dimensional variation than the boxed ammo. I think this is a way to market "seconds" that didn't make the cut for boxed ammo.
    Best regards, BIGBOOMER
  9. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    What a nice way to get rid of trash; SELL IT!
    Boomer, you may just be onto something!
    All my serious ammo, rim, or center fire, gets the same treatment, just like my eggs for the table.
    From the time it hits my lot, it is stored until use, in an old but sound refrigerator, at about 45-50 degrees; NOT a 'frost free' but an old fashioned one, that keeps a constant temp, instead of 'self defrosting', as I want a stable storage for ammo that often exceeds $750/ case.
    This will allow a couple of years storage, with no deterioration in lube, or anything else, in my experience; sure wish a case of ammo lasted that long!
    In the real world, lube is at least as important as load, in many barrels.
    If the lube has been abraded off, in shipping a bunch of 'dumped in a tub' .22 RF ammo, the barrel is prone to lead, for it's lack, even in the best of rifles, at which point, accuracy goes to hell in a hurry.
    Stored in hot conditions, even the best ammo will 'drip' lube off the bullet, and do the same, with time.
    You can't, to my knowledge, put it back, so it becomes junk, and if you're lucky, does nothing worse than shoot poorly.
    The 'Failure to fire' points strongly to priming, however.
    A rimfire case is spun, as a drop of priming compound, liquid, at this point, is dropped down the middle, and slung to the rim, to cool and harden.
    Is it not spinning, this does not happen; if not enough compound, maybe not completely. In either case, while this condition of the manufacturing equiptment exists, they're 'rolling Hang/ missfires' at a rate of several a second, and trashing their 'cred', in the process, as Shoot Em All pointed out.
    I too, would be interested in the packaging!
  10. Shoot Em All

    Shoot Em All New Member

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    Sorry it took a while to get back, but having some log in problem for some reason.
    On the Thunderbolts, they were in a brick, 10 boxes of 50. Many rounds were tried in several guns, most will not fire no matter how many times you try. Some were rotated in the chamber, and hit again with about 1 out of 10 duds firing on the second or third try. Guess these are the ones where the primer material is visable in approx. 10 or 20% of the total rim area. Out of 10 duds I pulled, 5 had no primer material at all.
    I also believe that the .22 ammo packed in those "milk cartons" are culls in some cases. I have noticed variations in velosity by chrono in all the cheap .22s. What has everyone found to be a quality product at a fair price? I need to refresh my supply for bullseye shooting.
  11. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    I was told by someone in the firearms industry that Remington farms out the manufacturing of their Thunderbolt line of bulk .22 ammo to a company in Brazil, and that it's shipped here for packaging in large containers. Don't know this to be fact, but the person that told me this "should" know what he's talking about......

    Remington's Thunderbolts aren't the only line of .22's that have been less that marginal in performance, and I got to the point where I swore off all Remington rimfire until today. A friend gave me a box of Remingtom Target standard velocity, and it performed beyond expectation in my 10/22T, and my Thompson Center R-55 Sporter. I saved some to try in my Buckmark, if it performs well in that, I just might buy a brick.

    I think for cheap bulk ammo, you'd do better with CCI Blazers, or the Federal bulk packs that come with 525 rounds packed loose in the box.
  12. Halwg

    Halwg New Member

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    It's interesting you should write about problems with Thunderbolt. I bought a brick a while back, and was just shooting them this past saturday in a Marlin 39A and a Star auto pistol. I have about 200 rounds left, so in the 300 I have shot, I have not had one "dud" in either gun. Actually the accuracy is really good in the Marlin, I shot 30 rounds at 50 yards and ended up with one jagged hole about an inch across.

    Again, I bought these a few years back, and things could have changed. I saw the same brick in Dick's just today, and almost bought another. Now that I read this, maybe it's a good thing I didn't.
  13. magicjeep

    magicjeep New Member

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    I bought the two 500 rd bricks around the same time from dick's, I think I had a coupon buy 1 get 1 1/2 price. The lot number is D18VC. I haven't shot any yet but I am hoping to get out to the range tommorrow. I will let you know if I have any of the same problems.
  14. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    30 shot from 50 yards with one jagged hole about an inch across....:rolleyes:

    Sorry brother, I'm not one to start trouble on chat forums, but if you're going to make a claim like that, you need to either scan, or photograph that target, and post it with the claim or you'll quickly loose credibility.

    I know guys that have been shooting benchrest for years, they shoot rifles costing in excess of a thousand dollars, with scopes costing about as much, they shoot off of custom made micro adjustable rifle rests, using ammo costing over $20.00 per box of 50 rounds, and they are hard pressed to shoot that perverbial one jagged hole from 50 yards, but you did it with a stock Marlin and cheap bulk ammo with a bad reputation.....
  15. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Tony, I mean no disrespect here, but the little Marlin rimfire Leverguns will darned sure shoot, in my experience, and an inch, at 50 yds is not asking a lot of any rifle; you and I both have pistols that will shoot at that level, I am sure.
    "Under a dime", show me a picture; convince me. But a two moa target, from a rifle, of any sort, I would not waste the wind, to challenge.
  16. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    No disrepsect taken Stash, and you very well may be correct about the little Marlin lever gun's accuracy, but to keep 30 shots inside a one inch hole at 50 yards with junk ammo and no flyers.......?????
    4 and 5 shot groups I would have believed with no question, even a 10 shot group is often possible when shooting even marginal ammo, but to send 30 rounds of bargin ammo down range through a 1" hole with no flyers is not all that easy.....often claimed, and rarely proven....

    It's one of the most over used, and unproven claims made on each and every gun related chat forum on the internet. If I manage to accomplish a task such as that claimed by Halwg, I photograph it, or scan the target and post it to back up my claim, or I don't claim it.....

    Then you get the excuse that they don't know how to post pictures, but as soon as they get a new gun there's pictures of it all over 5 other shooting forums.....

    Perhaps I'm getting short tempered and grumpy in my old age......
  17. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Tony, (my) life is ever full of surprises, most of them good; I remember buying a 7X57 mm Ruger No1, from a bail bondsman, who swore it was a 'oneholer', at a hundred. At a gunshow.
    Now, how much of that is beef, and how much, bovine manure?
    But it was the 'right' caliber, and has gorgeous wood, like one usually only sees on Ruger's 'Heavy' caliber rifles, so, I took a chance, paid the guy, knowing I would never see him, or the money, likely, again, but, also knowing that I CAN make these rifles shoot.
    Gave the seller one of my business cards, and asked him, when he got home, to write down the load the rifle liked, and send it to me.
    He did, with a short note, on his office stationary, a couple of target centers, and even the powder, primer, and bullet lot numbers.
    It was all BEEF, no BS, I have duplicated his results with several other loads, in this rifle, and it is the most accurate, and consistant #1 I own!
    I would have almost bet against it, but for the wood, there, my knees get weak; but every claim was less than what I have since seen, of the rifle.
    I know an old guy, who shot 'F class', for several years, and heard rumors of 7" groups, at a thousand: though I never witnessed them, I have no reason to doubt that he did indeed, shoot such groups, with, by the way, a .22-250, and 70 gr VLD boat tails.
    I've shot over that distance, and, for me, unless indoors, under electric light, the very best of conditions are still 16".
    But not for all.
    You may even have heard the name; the Texas State Rifle Association awards the J. J. Conway trophy, every year, in his honor!
    All beef!
    And, all the best!
  18. magicjeep

    magicjeep New Member

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    I just fired off 75 rds of the thunderbolts I purchased with my marlin 995. 21 failed to fire. Thats 28% failed to fire. When I pulled one of them apart it had no powder in it at all. I would have fired off more rounds but its 20 degrees outside and the wind is whipping. I guess you get what you pay for.
  19. Halwg

    Halwg New Member

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    Sorry guys, I wasn't bragging on either my shooting ability or the gun, although it has always been very accurate, I was just making the point that I found the Thunderbolt to be pretty good ammo for the price. But I am concerned that the newer lots of the Thunderbolt may have some issues.

    I can tell you that CCI Stingers won't shoot at all in that particular rifle. At 50 yards they are all over the paper. I bought 100 rounds of Stingers when they first came out many years ago, and I still have 35 left.
  20. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    Halwg....
    I appologise for getting testy, it's just the old..."One Ragged Hole @ XXX Yards" claim has been abused to death on all the gun forums.

    I shoot for groups with a collection of guys on one particular forum, they have several games at different distances, every game requires 4 bullseyes per target, either 4 or 5 shot groups per bull depending on the game, and each target gets 4 measuring shots. All scoring is done with either dial calipers, or digital ones. These games are all shot with .22Lr ammo out of stock firearms.

    I've managed, after several attemps, to qualify for two of the pistol games, and one of the rifle games. I'm not shooting through junk either, one of my rifles is a Ruger 10/22T, and the other is a Thompson Center R-55 Sporter, the T/C's reputation for "Out-of-the-box" accuracy is much better than the 10/22T, but the Ruger is no slouch either. After testing several types and brands of ammo, both seem to shoot CCI Standard Velocity better than anything else I've tried so far, but the search continues for that one magic box of ammo that'll help me qualify for more of these games.
    After putting hundreds of rounds of various .22 ammo into paper, I have rarely produced "One Ragged Hole" results. I have done it in 4 and 5 shots (not 30), but it's one of those things that just happens to fall into place, the right weather, no wind, the right ammo with the right rifle or pistol, just the right stack of sandbags as my benchrest, Jupiter and Mars were in proper allignment with the moon.....did I mention "the right ammo".....???
    Had we been talking about Eley Match Rifle, Federal Gold Medal Match, or CCI Green Tag into 4 or 5 shot groups the "One Ragged Hole" claim would have been easy to swallow, but as you stated, you were just trying to enforce your point of this particular batch of Remington bulk pack Thunderbolts having acceptible accuracy without any of the usual FTF problems associated with cheap bulk ammo....This I now understand and humbly accept.....;)

    At least you weren't claiming to be shooting corn flakes at 250 yards with the same results.......:D
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