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Old November 28, 2004, 01:07 PM   #1
Colduglandon
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Rimfire

I am familiar with the components of centerfire ammunition. I have reloaded pistol and rifle ammo. I have made the mistake of putting a Berdan case in my dies, in the early days, and breaking the pin. But I am curious about Rimfire. I use rimfire ammo regularly for 22. But there are larger calibers that used rimfire in the early days of the self contained cartidge. Can someone share info on how these were constructed. I noticed on a recent documentary that some early carbines would strike the rim in one, two, and three places on the base of the cartidge. I guess without the development of the centerfire boxer primed cartridge reloading would not have been become as popular as it its.

Curious what make some 22 cal so dirty. Is it the primer or the powder.
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Old November 28, 2004, 01:46 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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Bigbore rimfire cartridges were made the same as .22s still are, with the rim rolled up out of the sheet brass the case was drawn from (copper to begin with) and filled with priming compound. The Henry rifle had a double pointed firing pin to strike the rim in two places to minimize the risk of hitting a void in the compound and getting a misfire in a gunfight. (The Freedom Arms .22 does the same, but for better ignition and accuracy.)

There were a LOT of rimfire cartridges in the 1870s, but they were phased out mostly because the centerfire case was stronger and would stand heavier loads. Reloadability was at that time a secondary advantage.

I don't know the main source of .22 fouling. At least some of it is from bullet lube, like shooting cast bullets in a centerfire.
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Old November 28, 2004, 03:39 PM   #3
Colduglandon
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Thanks for the info.
About the lube, I recall that in another thread. Makes sense, would that cause the gritty residue, or would that be the result of the powder and lube mix I wonder. The Henry was one of the cartidges I saw on TV, I think it was a forensic reconstruction of the Little Big Horn.
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Old November 28, 2004, 04:20 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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Grit?
Some priming compounds contain(ed) ground glass to generate friction under the hammer blow to shear the fulminate or styphnate and ignite it. I don't know if it is still used, though.

Ball powders leave a gritty residue.
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Old November 29, 2004, 02:37 AM   #5
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I don't know about the priming mixtures used by all of the manufacturers, but at least some contain ground glass, it's used as a frictionator.

Any smokeless powder can be made to burn "dirty". The smokeless powders used in rimfire cartridges are often substantially faster burning than the fastest powders available to handloaders, but the burning rate does not, in itself, determine whether the powder will burn leaving considerable residue or not. Rather, the relation of the pressure developed (and its duration) in a particular arm to the balance point to the powder used will make a powder burn cleanly (or not).

Ball powder coatings and deterrents are much less a problem than they were say thirty five years back, particularly in the fast burning grades. Still, I agree with Jim, a well balanced load made using flake or extruded powder normally tends to leave less "grit" behind than a similar load built using ball powder.

Don't purchase ammunition based on how clean the lubricant feels- this isn't a good indicator of how it will behave in a firearm. For instance the grease (it's not a wax) used on most Eley ammunition is soft and tacky but the ammunition is very clean burning in many rifles. I wish I could give general guidelines as to which lubricants were best, but the best test is to look for problems as you go through at least a dozen different kinds of ammunition testing for accuracy prior to purchasing enough ammunition to suit your need. Even more than centerfire arms, each rimfire arm is an individual.

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Old November 29, 2004, 02:59 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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With one exception, I don't worry about the cleanliness of powder burning in my guns. If they will make it through a normal day's shooting without gumming up the works, that is fine. Then I clean the gun.
I load .45 ACP for moonclippling in my M25 revolver with Clays for clean burning so as not to get unburnt powder under the extractor and binding the cylinder rotation. My .38 Special load is with 231 at the top of the standard velocity load range and it burns clean enough to avoid problems... usually.

.22s are selected for accuracy, not fouling or lack thereof.
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Old November 29, 2004, 09:55 PM   #7
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I agree that accuracy is what counts, and if you clean the gun its not a problem. This came up in a discussion at the range with a friend. I had purchased some CCI Blazer ammo for practice just to try it out. An employee at the Gaylans sporting good store recommended it, he says he used it and so I thought I would give it a try. I mentioned to my friend that the gun was a little gritty after using the Blazer, I had gone through 3 or 4 boxes. The fact that this ammo left more residue seemed to matter to him and so I thought I would mention it. Thanks for all the input.

The Blazer cycles fine in my semi auto and is accurate enough for me to use in practice at this stage. I need lots of practice and its cheap ammo.
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