Over the course of the modifications I have been finding which ammo the rifle likes. Some were a surprise and some disappointed. After cutting the barrel, my go-to squirrel load was changed. The rifle no longer liked it and the groups were not even consistent in their failing.
.22s are very picky about what ammo they like. Some expensive brands seem to be less rejected but even among true match ammo a rifle will love or hate based on such things as planetary alignment and how the price of wheat straw is doing....
This particular rifle has settled on 2 loads for different purposes. My go-to squirrel load is now PMC Moderator Hollow Point.... Which is no longer manufactured. I bought a brick several years ago and never opened it. Reportedly it was made by Aquilla and was a match ammo by another name.
The Moderator shot a best group so far of .300 from a cheapie bipod at a distance of 25 tape measured yards from prone.
This now is what the rifle is zeroed with and it is death on tree rats. It is quiet and consistent but not the rifle's favorite so far...that honor goes to the Brits...
I have several kinds of Eley ammo here but had recently picked up a box of Contact, which is a 42G solid. It immediately printed a fantastic .168 @ 25yds from prone.
You can see some other groups there of Remington Subsonic and CCI Quiet which can be good... just not in this particular rifle. A sub 1/4" group from a skinny barrel sporter in a plastic stock and 4x scope? I'll take it all day.
I am not done with this rifle. I plan to drop it in a Boyds laminate stock with real bedding of the action blocks and a better scope. It is just too good of an opportunity to let this rifle be something I will be very proud to use for years.
I have purchased a 10-22 Kidd build from a former 100yd benchrest shooter and will be working with it soon as well. .22lr is quite the addiction, I should know as I have suffered with it for 40 years or so.
Get out there and shoot. Time is wasting.