Barrel wear myths shot down - the ELEY perspective

Barrel pitting and corrosion is something that happens when you fire a large amount of rounds through any firearm, but does it affect performance?

ELEY are committed to making the best .22LR rimfire ammunition in the world, so when we heard that some people are talking about our ammunition corroding barrels and needing to replace them often, we wanted to test the theory:

Do well used barrels have poor performance?

In over 20 years our primer and propellant configuration has not changed. What has changed is that we are making more and more consistent ammunition than ever before. The dimensional properties, primer, propellant loading, and bullet weight are all controlled tightly giving us rounds that are as accurate and uniform as possible.

Due to this dimensional consistency, we have found that some rifle barrel manufacturers are now able to chamber rifles tighter for ELEY tenex than ever before, to get even higher performance for shooters globally.

There are so many variables to take into account when shooting, from the material used in barrel manufacture, to cleaning solutions and end user. At ELEY we work tirelessly to ensure that our ammunition is not a variable that shooters need to worry about, especially when they’ve had a large amount of rounds through them.

Below is a list of some of the current proof range test barrels used on our range. These barrels test new batches of ELEY tenex and have had a varying amount of shots fired through them:


We decided to test barrel 15522 which has had a shot count of 338,316 rounds, to gather true and factual information about ELEY tenex performance on a well shot barrel.

This veteran barrel (15522) on our first test got an Expected Score (ISSF-50) of 637.5 with ELEY tenex lot 1015-01066, which is pretty impressive. Below is the image of the group sizes:



We then tested this barrel again to see if changing the batch made a difference and got an expected score of 639.1 with ELEY tenex lot 1015-01068, a result even better than the first one!


The result from one barrel wasn't enough evidence for us, so we decided to look at other rifle data from barrels tested across our three customer test ranges (UK, USA and Germany). The below results from the last 6 to 12 months show the number of rounds fired through each barrel, expected scores and group sizes:


ELEY-range-barrelsThe amount of ammunition fired through these barrels varies between customers A, B, C and D, but all are performing exceptionally well and getting excellent expected scores.


While barrels do change during their life, we have proved that our ammunition does not destroy the accuracy or performance of barrels.


If you want your barrels to last as long as our veteran barrel, it’s essential that you follow these steps:

  1. Clean your rifle after every use. The ELEY website features an article which explains the best way to do this, including the frequency of cleaning. Read our full bulletin post here:


  1. Batch test at the ELEY customer range to match your barrel to the right ammunition. We would recommend that you do this every 5,000 to 10,000 rounds. For more information on batch testing please visit our test range pages:


If you’re a barrel manufacturer and you want us to test your barrels, please get in touch: