Q At the local range I have noticed a fair number of .22 rimfire cartridges on the ground. Whenever I pick one up and check it, I almost always see where the rim has been crushed with a firing pin. In view of the large number of rounds I see, has there been a drop in quality of U. S. rimfire ammo? I just do not understand why I am seeing so many dud rounds.
A I think there are a number of reasons you are seeing more duds. First, more .22 rimfire ammo is being produced now than ever before. Even if the percentage of duds was the same as, say 30 years ago, the raw number of duds would increase. Secondly, more folks are shooting at public and private ranges than ever before because of a lack of alternative places to shoot. Consequently since folks are concentrated in fewer locations, more duds will naturally be found at those locations.
While the actual overall quality of our .22 ammo is probably better now than ever before, most folks do fend to shoot the cheapest .22 ammo they can find. I sure do! Often this inexpensive or promotional ammo does not have the same degree of quality control you find with higher priced match ammo. This factor could also play a part in the fact that more duds end up on the ground. All in all, U.S. made .22 rimfire ammo is generally extremely reliable and accurate.