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Why can't you reload rimfire?

This is a discussion on Why can't you reload rimfire? within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I always thought it would make sense. Smaller everything, less power, shouldn't be any big deal. The most difficult part would be re-using brass, but ...


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Old November 30th, 2011, 10:55 AM   #1
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Why can't you reload rimfire?

I always thought it would make sense. Smaller everything, less power, shouldn't be any big deal. The most difficult part would be re-using brass, but it seems some gadget to remove the indentations would be simple enough. And what would new brass cost anyway? Making totally new rounds could work, at least.

This article spells out the difficulties the makers face, in both production and design.

The Impossible .22 Rimfire

Almost sounds more complicated than a big centerfire round......



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Old November 30th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #2
 
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Guys who swaged their own bullets used to use the casings as jackets for the .22 centerfires.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 11:32 AM   #3
 
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The problem with attempting to reload a rimfire is that the primer is in a layer in the bottom of the case. If you were to attempt to relaod you would have to have loose primer powder to pour into the case. Primer material is far more flamable and easily exploded than is black powder and that is a class a explosive. Modern gun powder is a class c explosive to give you an idea. It would be very dangerous. Think about exploding primers and then go on steroids.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 12:07 PM   #4
 
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Rimfires can be reloaded. But the cost of tooling/equipment is prohibitive for such a cheap to manufacture round. It's actually cheaper/easier to take the used rimfire cases, remanufacture into raw stock/sheet brass and form into new cases and go from there. Handling Primer Compound is difficult/dangerous too. Besides there are easily reloaded centerfire .22s available that will do everything a .22 rimfire will do plus is way more versitile. On the small end, .22 Hornet, 218 Bee, .22 Jet up to 22-250. and .22Swift, and a bunch in between, from sub sonic to over ,4000 fps...
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Old November 30th, 2011, 01:41 PM   #5
 
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I still wish the .22 WRF had replaced the .22 LR and all the healed bullet .22's. I'm pretty sure you can shoot the WRF in the WMR chambers, but if I'm wrong then I guess that's a wash. I love that the bulk massive quantity .22 LR is made in brings down its cost, but You get a better bullet selection moving away from the heeled bullet design like the WMR can have.

And even though I have been laughed at for posting this elsewhere, I still think it would be fun to be able to have a "extra small" primer for loading a case like a center fire version of a .22 LR case. But I admit I have no idea of the difficulty of the mechanics of such an idea.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 09:09 PM   #6
 
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I don't think the feds would want us to have bulk priming compound, I wouldn't have it in my house even if it were legal to have.

From my understanding of the priming is that they dissolve the priming compound in a solvent, put a small drop in the bottom of the case, the spin the case to distribute the material in the rim. Theoretically,You could probably do this by dissolving the priming compound out of a pile of shotgun primers and use it, but you would need to know exactly how much to use and would have to tightly control the process- too little and the round won't ignite, too much, and you get a kaboom. Priming compound is a primary explosive afterall.

You'd have to swage the bullets from pure lead- expensive to set up, and very time consuming work.

Overall, it would be too hazardous and time consuming to do at home especially at a few cents per round off the store shelf.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 09:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
I still wish the .22 WRF had replaced the .22 LR and all the healed bullet .22's. I'm pretty sure you can shoot the WRF in the WMR chambers, but if I'm wrong then I guess that's a wash. I love that the bulk massive quantity .22 LR is made in brings down its cost, but You get a better bullet selection moving away from the heeled bullet design like the WMR can have.

And even though I have been laughed at for posting this elsewhere, I still think it would be fun to be able to have a "extra small" primer for loading a case like a center fire version of a .22 LR case. But I admit I have no idea of the difficulty of the mechanics of such an idea.
I've run some Winchester made WRF through my Single-Six. It's a nice round, flat-shooting and half the cost of WMR. CCI makes it too, but both companies just do a run or two a year of it, so it's hard to find between runs.

I've pictured a normal sized .22LR round with a tiny centerfire primer. I don't think it's a laughable idea, not at all.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 09:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
there are easily reloaded centerfire .22s available that will do everything a .22 rimfire will do.......
Except fit in a .22LR gun.........
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Old December 1st, 2011, 09:38 AM   #9
 
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The main question I have is why? Is it not cheap enough already? I feel like getting the right dies and setting everything up would cost more than its worth. You can get 500+ for about $15USD and not have to worry about fitment, powder load, or prepping the brass.

Also after some reading, the primer is loading in with some centrifugal machine which sounds expensive haha.

I would be fine it .22LR cast $30 for 500 rounds, still better than $13 for 50 9mm rounds!
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Old December 1st, 2011, 10:11 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
I've pictured a normal sized .22LR round with a tiny centerfire primer. I don't think it's a laughable idea, not at all.
Quote:
Except fit in a .22LR gun.........
If you put a ceterfire primer in a .22 shell, you would need a new bolt and possibly more to get it to fire in a .22.

Might as well buy a .22 hornet rifle.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 10:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brimic View Post
If you put a ceterfire primer in a .22 shell, you would need a new bolt and possibly more to get it to fire in a .22.

Might as well buy a .22 hornet rifle.
I was just pointing out that centerfire .22 rounds are a bit larger than a .22LR......
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 11:33 AM   #12
 
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As an aside, has anyone here tried to reload a 25 ACP? Really small case, small bullet, very small powder charges. All way too small for my fat fingers to handle! I can't imagine trying to reload a 22 LR...
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 01:50 PM   #13
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Back in the mid-70s, a company (don't remember the name) sold a kit for reloading 22 LRs. The kit included 1000 40gr bullets, a can of powder, a powder dipper (2 grains), a syringe and a bottle of liquid priming compound. There was a combination sizing and bullet seater die with a punch. I think I paid about 10 bucks for the whole kit.

Here's how it worked .... you put a spent case in the sizing die, held the die and pushed the rim against a workbench. A punch was inserted in the other end of the die to push the sized case out. After sizing a batch of cases, you filled the syringe with priming compound and carefully squirted .5 cc into each case rim. The liquid was like green model airplane glue that took an hour to dry. After the priming compound dried, you used the dipper and loaded each case with 2 gr of powder. Finally, you placed a bullet on the case mouth then pushed it in the seater die firmly against a workbench. This would seat the "hip" bullet and crimp the case mouth. You then finished by pushing the loaded cartridge out of the die with the punch. It took about an hour to do one box of 50.

When I fired the reloads, they all went bang and had fairly uniform velocity (about 1200 fps from a rifle). You had to be careful when loading the magazine so the previous firing pin dent was set 180 degrees from the current firing pin location. At the time, a 50 round box of good 22 LRs cost about a dollar so you saved about 50% by loading your own. After loading a few boxes, I lost interest and tossed the rest of the supplies away. I still have the dual ended die in my junk box ... don't know why.

mikld, I have a brand new set of 25 ACP RCBS dies and shell holder. Never used them and don't have a clue why I bought them. I do have a 25 ACP pistol but never shoot it. Loading 380s is nearly impossible for me so I can imagine how hard 25 ACPs would be.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 06:18 PM   #14
 
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Lots of good information here! I never realized the 22lr was so difficult to manufacture.
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 09:24 PM   #15
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There are tinkerers and then there is Bill Eichelberger.

His .10 Eichelberger Long Rifle cartridge. A .22LR necked down with a .10 caliber bullet. Certainly a lot of fiddling and work for a round good for one shot, but it's definitely cool.

I've always had an affinity for the sub calibers even though I've never owned or fired one. I want to though.

I love to tinker with everything and I've always wanted to create my own wildcat round. I doubt I'd go as small as .10 caliber, but one day I will own a custom rifle in my own sub cal wildcat....just because.

Right off I'm thinking a 7.62x25 Tokarov case necked to .13
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