Federal 22LR AutoMatch Review: Feed Your Need For Plinking
If you’re looking for a no-frills and low-cost 22 LR (22 Long Rifle) option for your Marlin 795 or any other 22 Long Rifle (.22LR) firearm, the Federal 22 LR AutoMatch is a viable option. In this review, we’ll break down the 22 LR AutoMatch LRN (Lead Round Nose) bullets, their accuracy, and their uses.
I’ve introduced all of my kids to some variation of a .22 LR (a Ruger 10/22, an MKIII, and even pistols). Typically, we'd just buy a few boxes of CCI Blazer or Remington Golden Bullets at Walmart and called it a day.
But thanks to some supply and demand issues a few years ago, I was forced to start looking for other options. Federal 22 LR was already on my radar, so it was a great opportunity to try out some new ammo.
In my experience, Federal 22 LR performs well enough, but it does have some limitations. Overall it’s a great buy, and I definitely recommend it.
If that’s all you need to hear and you’re in a hurry to get to the range, you can order some Federal 22 LR AutoMatch HERE. But if you want to know everything there is to know about this .22 ammo, keep reading our review below!
Federal makes a lot of fantastic premium ammunition. We wouldn’t classify the 22 LR AutoMatch in the same category as Federal premium ammo, however. Although it’s certainly worth stockpiling thanks to the low-cost and low FTF (fail-to-fire) rate, it doesn’t have a high muzzle velocity (although it is standard velocity) or impeccable accuracy like some of the other .22 LR options, like Eley Target or CCI Minimags.
The Federal .22 LR AutoMatch 40-grain lead round nose ammunition is perfect for training, plinking, target shooting, and competition shooting. However, it's fine for small varmint hunting (like squirrels or rabbits), but not the best option for personal defense.
In general, the .22 LR is a poor choice for self-defense as it lacks meaningful penetration and expansion capabilities needed to stop 2-legged varmints. However, we would prefer it over a pointy stick any day!
Moreover, the Federal Automatch is an LRN bullet. This means that it has a simple lead round-nose design. It will deform on impact to some degree, but it isn’t as efficient as other popular personal defense and hunting rounds like hollow points or polymer tips. If you’re in the market for a good .22 LR varmint round, we have some excellent options HERE.
Nonetheless, the brass case and design mean the bullets will feed smoothly in most of your semi-auto handguns and rifles, like an AR-15 carbine with a 22 LR conversion kit. Federal’s high-quality standards continue onto the AutoMatch line. You won’t find a lot of duds in a bulk pack, which definitely makes a day on the range a lot more fun.
While the name gives the assumption that this is match-grade ammo, we wouldn’t define it as match ammo. There are better options for competition shooters. However, it’s great bulk ammo and excellent for training and practice.
Furthermore, like all Federal ammo, the Fed AutoMatch is made right here in the USA (Missouri to be exact).
So, if you’re feeling a bit patriotic but you still want to buy bulk 22 ammo for a great price with little to no jams, then you’ll like what Federal has to offer because this is good stuff! Based on my experience, it works really well in most semi-auto rifles and handguns, and a bulk pack is definitely worth the investment.
Buying plinking ammo is pretty easy because all you’re looking for is something that feeds and ejects well with a low price tag. But the Federal 22 LR is a step above plinking ammo and a step below match grade ammo.
The design, weight, and composition put this ammunition in a special category where it’s great for buying in bulk to keep stored in the gun cabinet or running through a 1,000-round box at the range. But before you buy, keep reading. We’d never give you a fluffy review without our honest criticisms too.
The Federal 22 LR AutoMatch is great for a lot of different activities. You can spend a day shooting bottles and never break the bank, but break the bottles every time. Or you can use it as a low-cost alternative to higher-priced competition ammo.
Personally, I love it for teaching beginners how to hit a target. It's cheap and accurate enough for beginners to get a good grasp of the fundamentals before they graduate to something a little bigger.
This 22 LR ammo isn’t my top choice for hunting, but it will take down rabbits, squirrels, and other small game. Of course, any piece of lead flying at more than 1,000 FPS will take those creatures down. Just beware, if you’re one of our California readers, this isn’t a hunting ammo option for you since it uses bare lead bullets.
The Federal AutoMatch falls into the competitive shooting category, but we wouldn’t necessarily bank on it to win a local bullseye match. While it is accurate, consistent, and reliable, it doesn’t have the power factor (bullet weight and muzzle velocity) necessary for competitions. But of course, no .22 long rifle ammunition really falls into that category.
The best uses for the .22 LR Federal AutoMatch are plinking, target practice, training, and getting novice shooters prepared to handle a firearm safely and efficiently. For that, it’s great. Combined with the low price tag, you can plink all day and still have money leftover for some high-quality hunting or self-defense ammo.
While the AutoMatch isn’t a standard velocity cartridge, it also isn’t one of the fastest. It doesn’t have any bells and whistles. As a matter of fact, the AutoMatch is what most people think of in terms of bullets. It’s just a simple lead projectile in a brass case.
Rimfire ammo is notorious for having reliability issues compared to centerfire rounds, but it’s still great for novice shooters. Another point of contention for rimfire rounds is sometimes they have trouble ejecting from semi-automatic firearms. However, this doesn’t seem to be a major issue for the AutoMatch.
Federal AutoMatch is great ammo. It’s efficient, affordable, and chambers well, and you won’t find many duds. However, it also isn’t good for anything outside of plinking and target shooting. There are also .22 LR cartridges that have a higher muzzle velocity, like the CCI Blazer and Aguila Super Extra 38-grain CPHP.
Of course, the lead bullet composition also makes these difficult for our California readers to do anything with, so there are some other viable options here.
On average, the 22 LR AutoMatch leaves the muzzle at 1,200 FPS. By the time it reaches 100 yards, however, it slows to about 990 FPS. Based on my experience, this 22 LR ammo grouped around 2-6 MOA and a had ballistic coefficient of 0.138.
Compared to the similarly priced CCI Standard Velocity 22 LR, which has a slower muzzle velocity, you’ll get a ballistic coefficient of .120. So, the Federal 22 LR AutoMatch does perform well in its price class.
The Federal 22 LR AutoMatch is the perfect cartridge for any range day or for teaching novice shooters valuable marksmanship skills. These itty bitty bullets come with an itty bitty price tag, so it just makes sense to pick up a box or two and store them in the cabinet until you need them.
Absolutely. At the time of writing, the 22 LR AutoMatch runs about $0.06 per round. It’s a low-cost cartridge that works well in most bolt-action rifles, revolvers, and semi-automatic firearms.
The Federal AutoMatch won’t travel well further than 100 yards. However, you can push it to 150 yards if you’re a decent shot and the conditions are right.
No. The Federal AutoMatch is classified as Supersonic ammunition due to its 1,200 fps muzzle velocity. Subsonic ammo is classified as having a muzzle velocity of 1,100 fps or lower.
Both cartridges have a brass case and lead round nose design. They also have the same 40-grain weight. However, the Wolf 22 LR is a much slower bullet (1,050 FPS), and it’s a bit more challenging to find in stock.
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