ELEY of West Midlands, England, has produced ammunition since 1828, and is known throughout the shooting world as the premier producer of .22 LR. ammunition for Bullseye and Olympic competition. Until recently, ELEY has not focused heavily on the production of moderately priced ammunition for general recreational and action shooting. However, this has changed with the introduction of 300 round ELEY rec packs of three new cartridges, ELEY action, ELEY force and ELEY contact.
It isn’t just ELEY that’s changed; the world of handgun competition has also undergone major evolution since John Bianchi spearheaded the development of the Bianchi Cup in 1979. I recently used two of these new ELEY loads – ELEY force and ELEY contact during a traditional Bullseye and Steel Challenge match at the Flagler Gun Club near Bunnell, FL, just to see if their performance justifies their MSRP of $59.99 per 300 rounds.
ELEY contact is a sub-sonic load with a 42-gr. bullet that’s specifically designed for accuracy and reliability in suppressed semi-automatic pistols. This platform is becoming increasingly popular as population densities increase throughout the modern world. Contact reduces muzzle blast by leaving the barrel at 1090 fps. This is 35 fps. below the speed of sound at sea level. At this velocity, the bullet is sub-sonic all the way from sea level to about 5000 ft. in altitude, depending on temperature. Bullets that fly at sub-sonic speeds avoid the “sonic boom” effect of a projectile flying above the speed of sound. By adding a suppressor, the gun’s report is quiet enough to easily blend into the background noise of everyday life. Lastly, the lower velocity of contact gives it less recoil than many supersonic loads. Some competitors like this for shooting the rapid-fire stages of Bullseye competitions.
ELEY force is a different story. It’s a supersonic load with a patented black oxide case that allows for a more complete burning of the powder – increasing both velocity and accuracy. It’s also highly reliable in semi-automatic pistols. Force leaves the barrel at 1250 fps. according to the factory and produces a very respectable 144 ft. pds. of muzzle energy. This gives its 42-gr. bullet just enough extra momentum and energy to help knock down the metallic silhouettes used in .22 LR silhouette matches. I haven’t shot one of those matches in over 10 years, but I can remember the frustration of an off-center hit with a lighter bullet causing a turkey or ram to move on its pedestal but not fall over.
ELEY contact and ELEY force both performed very well in the Bullseye and Steel Challenge competitions. The pistol I used is a Ruger 22/45 Lite that’s been modified with Herrett Stocks, a Volquartsen trigger and an L3 MRDS red dot sight. First up was the Bullseye Match. The target in the photo was fired one-handed at 25 yds. during the timed fire stage of the Army L Course. Notice that there are no flyers. With both ELEY contact and ELEY force, it’s possible to call your shots accurately. There are no surprises about shots landing far from where the sights indicate the trigger broke on the target. And there were no alibis to ruin my score. As for action shooting, my work schedule doesn’t allow time to shoot the Steel Challenge very often. Still, I turned in a number of runs that were in the 4-5 second range, which is pretty good since I rarely shoot the sport. Again, the bullet hit where I saw the trigger break in my red dot. In match shooting it’s all about consistency, and these two loads have it.
Quality and Value
In the end, ammo is the least of your costs when you compete. ELEY force and ELEY contact are somewhat more expensive, but their cost is more than justified by the value they deliver with respect to reliability and accuracy. Why spend entry fees, gas and sometimes even room and board to attend a match and then score poorly because you skimped on low performance ammo? Shoot for fun with whatever you want, but when it comes to competing use reliable, quality ammunition like ELEY contact and ELEY force from ELEY.
For more information on ELEY’s full line of products, please visit https://www.eleyammunition.com/