I've used Winchester Dynapoint with much success, but prices keep going up on it and the local K-Mart which carries it tends to not ever have anyone in sporting goods... I paged someone twice on Monday, and also asked a manager to send someone back and finally gave up and left after 20 minutes of standing there.
I can't get the Remington Golden Bullets around here, as nobody has them, but there is plenty of the 550-round Federal Bulk Packs for less than $9/box. It's a 36 grain HP round that's copper-washed, but is listed on the box as having a velocity of 1280 fps. With it being 10% less mass to get going than the 40 grain rounds, I'm assuming that even with the increased velocity over some of the other rounds (such as the Dynapoint), the decreased mass may make the "beating" the M261 kit takes to be about the same. The 36 grain Federal round is approximately 12% faster (see link below) than the 40 grain Dynapoint, but the 10% decrease in mass almost completely offsets the difference in force needed to accelerate it.
I found this link: .22 ammo velocities which lists a LOT of .22 ammo and the velocities he found when chrono-ing them out of a Ruger K77/22VBZ with 24" BBL (scroll down the post). I know I won't see as high as velocity as he saw since I'm shooting it out of a 16" barrel, but I'm worried a little bit about the recoil tearing up the M261 kit...
Here are a few of the ones I noticed from the list:
Winchester Dyna Points = 1109 fps (40 grain HP)
Remington Thunderbolts = 1213 fps (40 grain solid)
Federal Bulk Hollow Points = 1247 fps (36 grain HP)
Remington High Velocity Solids (Golden Bullet) = 1272 fps (40 grain HP, I believe)
(Temperature at Chronographing was 55 degrees & sunny)
Anybody have any idea what I can use that won't kill the kit, and that will also still be subsonic out of the 16"? I've got a can on it, and it's really nice not having to deal with the sonic crack while I'm just plinking.
hmm... I figured somebody would have an idea of what other (cheap) rounds would work for it besides the Dynapoints...
I've heard the M-261 is supposed to be limited to "standard velocity" loads, but I'm sure plenty of people have used them with High Velocity. The catch is that pretty much all of the really cheap loads (Dynapoints excepted) are High Vel. That would include Fed 550 packs, Rem GB 550 packs, Xperts, Blazers, Mini-Mags, etc. Anything called "target" is 99.9% likely to be fine and so would anything called "subsonic".
I chrono'd a bunch of stuff out of my 16" AR with Ciener kit:
9/6/04, screens @ 10', upper 80s & humid, average for 5 shots
Fed bulk 550 (36gr)= 1227fps
Win Xpert (36?) = 1181
Rem GB bulk HP (36) = 1141
Win Dynapoint (40) = 1100
CCI Blazer (40) = 1185
Wolf MT (40) = 1091
Win PowerPoint (40) = 1279
CCI Mini-Mag HP (36?) = 1255
CCI Subsonic HP (40?) = 1032
I believe recoil is usually measured in terms of momentum. For comparision that would be Wt * Vel. Energy is Wt * Vel * Vel, so would be much higher for the faster stuff.
Wt * Vel & Wt * Vel * Vel for the above loads:
Fed bulk = 44172 , 54199044
Xpert = 42516 , 50211396
GB HP = 41076 , 46867716
Dynapt = 44000 , 48400000
Blazer = 47400, 56169000
Wolf MT = 43640 , 47611240
PwrPt = 51160 , 65433640
MM HP = 45180 , 56700900
SSHP = 41280 , 42600960
Using the momentum values, it looks like any of the bulk 36gr would be fine if Dynapoints were OK. The Wolf MT and CCI SSHP are the only ones in the list I would consider "standard vel". The Dynapoints would be right at the high end of subsonic, so to be sure you don't get the crack you'll have to go with the "target" or "subsonic" or "standard vel" names loads; the rest of the cheap stuff is faster.
Thanks very much. So, it looks like the Fed bulk packs would be fine for recoil, but would issue the "crack"... Dang... guess I'll need to order some Dynapoints on-line then.
From what I found here, it shows that the speed of sound is 1116.4 ft/s at sea level, but it doesn't give an air temp.
Further linkage from that page to this one indicates that's at 59* in a "standard atmosphere" (pressure & humidity I think). Faster when hotter, slower when colder, but not by much it says.
At 1100fps the Dynapoints are just under, so rounds on the hot side of the bell curve could go supersonic (though that seems to be rare). The "subsonic" ones hold quite a bit under that to make sure they stay under. The cheap bulks are aimed at the typical plinker or hunter with the "faster = better" mindset. The cheapest thing available locally here that would stay subsonic is probably the CCI Standard Velocity, but they're still at least 2x the cost of the Dynapoints.
Let's see, you want some ammo that's cheap, accurate, subsonic, and will operate the M261 but not tear it up, is that about it? Oh yes, you forgot to mention you'd prefer it be copper-washed to reduce possible lead/wax fouling of your gas system.
I feel your pain, my brother--I have several guns that shoot Dynapoints spectacularly and nothing else very well, and I am down to my last three or four thousand rounds of them.
Sadly, DPs are not in production at the moment and we don't know when they will be again. Winchester closed its ammo factory last year and built a new one down south somewhere. As I understand it, the new plant is now up and running BUT most if not all of their rimfire production is going to make .22 blanks for nail guns and such for the massive hurricane reconstruction. There are customers waiting for these with cash in hand. It looks like we won't see any more DPs in the pipeline until the end of the year, IF THEN.
Meanwhile, if you can find them anywhere at any price, buy them. Walmarts and KMarts are the primary outlets. We're getting reports around the country that people are still finding them there, sometimes in good quantities too. I went looking for DPs online last week and didn't find ONE supplier that showed them in stock.
But that doesn't solve your problem right now. My M261 also loves DPs but lately I've been looking for a replacement. The Rem Golden Bullets are the best I've found. There seems to be a flyer in every five shots BUT the other four group pretty well, and they're actually more consistent in my current 1/12 barrel than Dynapoints. Walmart is carrying them now--mine just started carrying them within the last month or so. Check back at your Walmart and see if they're in yet, or if they can get them for you.
As to hi-speeds being hard on M261s, I'm beginning to doubt this. Shortly after I found ARFCOM I read a post from a fellow who said that the 261s will break the little flat-tab spring at the back every 5000 rounds or so, so I ordered three or four spares from SARCO (they're only a few bucks each). So far I have not broken one but I only have about 2000-3000 rounds through the unit. But I have also NOT heard of anyone else breaking this spring, and I am beginning to think that that poster might have had some unique problem with his setup.
I don't recommend the Federal Bulks if accuracy is important to you--you'll do well to keep them in an inch at 25 yards through a standard barrel AR.
So it looks like for a while you can either pay the higher price for CCI Standards or something of the kind--and risk the lead/wax buildup in your gas system, as well--or try to find the Rem GBs and live with the crack, OR run the Fed bulks and live with crummy accuracy AND the crack.
As I said, I feel your pain.
Yeah, I don't ask for much, do I? It's a shame that we don't have anything else that's subsonic and also copper-washed, but oh well... Hopefully Winchester will start up production of the DP's again before we all run out.
Well, it looks like Natchez has some DP in stock, so I ordered 3000 rounds of it. If anyone else wants some, it appears you have to search on it, as I couldn't find it by looking at the Winchester ammo list. As of yesterday they had some in-stock...
Thanks for the headsup on the DPs. I might order some more myself.
On another board yesterday there was good news and bad news about DPs. Bad news: Midway was out of them. Good news: They were scheduled to get a shipment in on the 28th of this month. Bad news: The entire shipment was already sold. More bad news: No idea when the next shipment of them would be in.
So we're not really sure if the DPs are back in production, or if Midway just managed to locate some somewhere. I'm hoping it's the former, of course. But I have a horrible fear that the "new plant" DPs will not be as good as, or the same as, the old ones we all know and love.
Man, I wish they were a regular stock item at my Walmart.
I broke in my M261 this evening with ~200rd of Federal bulk-pack high velocity, ~120rd of old Winchester stuff, and 100rd of CCI Mini-Mag.
Had 7 fail-to-fire from the old Win stuff, been sitting in the locker since 1981 so I can't gripe. No failures w/ the Federal or CCI ammo.
It shoots a decent group at 30yd, and is fun to shoot freehand at the bowling pins the range has hanging. Really cruds up the chamber and interior of the upper receiver, but it cleaned up with CLP and scrubbing. The underside of the charging handle had white powder residue caked in it which also wiped out easily w/ CLP.
The barrel was remarkably clean even before I ran the brush thru it, took less than 10 patches to before they came out clean.
I'm running the M261 in my beater gun, 11.5" barrelled 5.5" fake flash hider Model-1 Sales upper, makes a healthy bark for a .22LR.