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Old September 8, 2008, 06:19 PM   #1
rolyasm
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why do people reload .22?

Why do people reload .22? The caliber doesn't seem to be accurate at medium to long range, and I have always had pretty good accuracy with factory loads. I have never really noticed a huge difference in ammo, though I haven't entered any competitions are anything. For me, my time is worth a lot, so I guess I don't get it. Not being criticle, just curious. Do people compete with .22? How much better accuracy are you seeing? Thanks.
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Old September 8, 2008, 06:33 PM   #2
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Are you talking about .22LR or .22 as in .223 (AR-15)?

Never heard of anyone reloading rimfire.
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Old September 8, 2008, 07:04 PM   #3
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It is not possible to reload rimfire shells such as .22 LR because there are no economical means for replacing the priming compound inside the rim. The only .22's being reloaded are centerfire cartridges. We can reload those for all the same reasons we reload any other centerfire cartridge, accuracy, cost, versatility, personal satisfaction, etc.
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Old September 8, 2008, 07:04 PM   #4
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Rimfires can be reloaded with some specialized equipment, a stuntman's attitude and somewhat masochistic tendencies. Not a common practice at all. Personally I'd rather make the jump to the little centerfires.
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Old September 8, 2008, 07:16 PM   #5
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"Rimfires can be reloaded with some specialized equipment, a stuntman's attitude and somewhat masochistic tendencies."

I agree. But then I've never even heard of anyone doing so, much less seen it.

I have a highly educated ex-Air Force fighter pilot friend who heard that S & W was marketing a ".50 Cal." handgun and almost fainted; he visualized a .50 BMG round in a handgun! Suspect this ".22" thread is in the same vein.
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Old September 8, 2008, 07:20 PM   #6
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I reload my 22-250 and it is definately worth it. And I consider it a long range gun.
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Old September 8, 2008, 07:47 PM   #7
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Back before the 17 HMR and it's relatives I recall one gunscribe that obtained primed 22 mag brass from some manufacturer and made his own 17 ammo; this is what led to the factory rounds. How he obtained the brass, and his loading procedures I can't recall, but the article was written up in a well known magazine. I reload 22 CENTERFIRES, and have been doing so for over 35 years. It all started with a Lyman Tru-line JR and an early M788 in .222. To be honest, 22 rimfire ammo is 3 cents a pop for the bulk pack at Walmart, and the cheapest I can buy primers is 2 1/2 cents plus shipping from Powder Valley. There is no earthly way I'd attempt to reload rimfire; it's just not economically feasible.
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Old September 8, 2008, 07:51 PM   #8
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.22

As noted by another poster, not sure what type of .22 you are asking about.
"Do people compete with .22? How much better accuracy are you seeing? " (better than what?)
Yes, people compete with .22s, both rimfire and centerfire. All Olympic shooting events for rifle and pistol are fired with .22s. (except air pistol), for example. The .22 is fired as a matter of course in any number of national and local matches in this country. The .22 rimfire is capable of remarkable accuracy. It is not uncommon for prone rifle shooters to have sub-minute of angle TEN shot groups at 100 yds. In pistols, the same holds true. There was just a note about accuracy on another forum; Gil Hebard once recorded a 0.67" ten shot group (machine rested) with High Standard target pistol at 50 yards.
The AR-15, firing .223 bullets, has eclipsed virtually all previous records in Service rifle competitions out to 1000 yards.
Do people use them in competition? You have to get out more. The .22 is arguably THE most popular competition caliber.
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Old September 8, 2008, 09:22 PM   #9
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sorry, just got back from dinner. I would have tried to clarify. I myself load 223. The reason I asked is that one of the members had listed what he reloaded, ".22, .223, 9mm, etc." Since he listed .223 and .22 seperate, I wrongly assumed he meant .22LR. That's all.
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Old September 8, 2008, 09:33 PM   #10
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Another problem with trying to reload the .22 LR would be getting the proper bullets with small diameter heels for the portion of bullet seated in the case. The .22 LR bullets are two diameter. Front portion fits into the barrel which is roughly the same diameter as case and the smaller rear portion fits inside the case. A normal .22 caliber jacketed bullet such as used in .223 would bulge the case when seated and then not allow the round to chamber in the rifle. Would be interesting to find out what that other member meant by reloading .22.
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Old September 8, 2008, 09:59 PM   #11
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Those that reload rimfires do so by pulling the bullets from factory ammo. A hair-raising operation all by itself. The cases don't get reused. In the case of the Magnums, other jacketed bullets can be substituted. Most notably using the 35gr V-Max in the .22Mag.

Interestingly, when the .17HMR was developed, about ten to twelve years before it was introduced, velocities were claimed in the neighborhood of 2500fps using 25 or 30gr pills. What we got was a 17gr at similar speeds.

As you can imagine, it's a labor of love as it's a hell of a lot of trouble for just one dance. I'd just rather use a .22K-Hornet, .218Bee or .25Flea.
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Old September 9, 2008, 10:53 PM   #12
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Like others have said - .22 LR is such a troublesome reloading endeavour, the act itself is mythical.


.22 WMR, on the other hand..... Well, I am one of the masochistic mad men that 'reload' for it. I take factory ammo (from 2 manufacturers, only; the rest have very poor quality control), pull the bullet, dump the powder, re-weigh the powder charge, seat a new bullet, and grin ear-to-ear when I pull the trigger.
It IS a very dangerous proposition. It IS a very labor-intensive, and somewhat idiotic, procedure. However, I like to shoot loads that just aren't available from the factory. (and never will be)

If I didn't own the .22 WMR, I would buy a .22 Hornet. But, I already have it and love it. So, I make the rifle work for me. I don't expect it to perform like a Hornet, but I do what I can with the rimfire cartridge; within normal safety boundaries. If ammunition prices hadn't multiplied by 6 times what it was when I bought the rifle... I never would have thought about reloading for it. Prices are insane, though. So, I get more out of the little rimfire by hand-tailoring the loads.

You have to remember; factory rimfire ammunition is made to function in 2" pistol barrels, all the way to 20+ inch rifle barrels. But, it is not optimized for either of those extremes. Re-charging the case with my powder and bullet of choice allows me to get incredible performance out of the WMR, without creating safety issues.


Of course.... I did say it was dangerous. Even I, the anal-retentive safety officer, had a lapse in concentration. I had a cartridge detonate while seating a bullet, once.


Even though this thread is mostly aimed at centerfire; I figured I would weigh in with my rimfire ramblings. It can be quite fun. It can be a lot of work. It is NOT for the faint of heart.
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Old September 10, 2008, 04:18 PM   #13
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"...I wrongly assumed he meant .22LR. That's all."

Perhaps he misspoke. Perhaps he was using "shorthand" for .22 Hornet.
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Old September 10, 2008, 04:44 PM   #14
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Yeah, you can reload 22 rimfire if you have the guts. One of my distant relatives was reloading 22LR for his Schuetzen rifle. At first, you could buy primed cases but when these were not made anymore, he bought the liquid for the priming agent and the equipment to do it. I never saw him do it but my brother in law did and he said it was a little scary. As I remember correctly, the priming material was nitroglycerin based. Anyway, he used a powder that was called Lesmok as I recall. It was a black powder replacement back in the day. He cast his own bullets with molds he had made. I never thought it was worth the time but you didn't want to shoot rimfire against him so I guess it was worth it....at least to him it was. I know you never heard a squibb load out of his rifle like the ammo you have today. But since he has died, I don't know of anybody reloading 22 rimfire. I highly doubt you can buy the materials any more. I think next time I see his boy I'm going to ask about the equipment. Seems everything he had was Herters. It's probably a collectors item.
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Old September 10, 2008, 04:48 PM   #15
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can the 22 mag be reloaded?
i guess the better question is if 22mag is centerfire or not.
apologize in advance for stupid question
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Old September 10, 2008, 05:18 PM   #16
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The same Q was asked in a back issue of one of the gun rags I have subscribed to in the past. The answer was that back in the days when men were men and rimfire silhouette shooting was a new idea (in the US at any rate) an intrepid group of rimfire pioneers began pulling bullets from commercial .22 lr rounds and substituting 60 grain bullets with the smaller rimfire pressure ring into the open cases. The the alleged reason behind the operation was that 40 gr. .22lr bullets would not reliably knock over the 100meter rams. You can believe it or not as you choose. I don't remember which gun rag it was and I'm not going to search 35 year's worth of back issues.

In re. the 17 HMR:


"A LITTLE .17 RIMFIRE HISTORY
Development of the ammunition has been a long process. If you're a longtime reader of Shooting Times, you may already be experiencing deja-vu. If you've kept your back issues, take a look at the January 1992 issue for an article called the "Revolutionary .17 Rimfire." In that article I outlined experiments by Steve Chernicky, Terry Kopp, W.A. Eichelberger, A.J. Jones, Fred Wood, and others who have worked on various versions of small caliber rimfires. Shooting Times technical staff member Kopp's round was called the .17 KRM. It fired a 25-grain bullet at 2100 to 2400 fps that was intended to duplicate the performance of the defunct 5mm Remington Magnum. It did so nicely--and then some. Chernicky, on the other hand, went all out for velocity, pushing the limit and eventually getting 2700 fps with lighter 20-grain bullets.



Chernicky had so worked out things to the point that everything went smoothly. The actions had first-class rebarrelings, and the handloads were carefully assembled to .01 grain of powder. With velocity results like that a whole lot of people in the industry were excited about the prospects. I figured it was just a matter of finalizing R&D before we saw ammunition from a major company."
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Old September 10, 2008, 05:25 PM   #17
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Though re-priming a fired rimfire case is so much trouble that it probably isn't worth it (unless you had no other choice), gun cranks have been around for a long time, and given a big enough wallet and enough time, you'd be surprised at what's possible. There have been a number of wildcat rimfire rounds produced by taking a live 22 LR cartridge, pulling the bullet, necking down the live case to accept a new bullet, and then seating and crimping a new bullet on top of a metered powder charge. I've seen these rounds made in both .12 and 14 calibres, which might just be enough to take down a hummingbird if you get it in the right spot.
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Old September 11, 2008, 12:55 AM   #18
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Two links that may be of interest to those reading this thread....

Bill Eichelberger's recent work with .10 (!), .12, and .14 calibers: Extreme Small Caliber, Saubier.com

An online version of the article that spurred me to try reloading for my .22 WMR (.22 Mag, tplumeri): GunTests.com Article


And for the record, before anyone else mentions it....
I know that eventually, the cost of reloading for my WMR will exceed the cost of a rifle in .22 Hornet. I'm considering a Ruger M77/22 Hornet. We'll see what ammo prices are like in about 6 months, for the WMR.....
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Old September 11, 2008, 10:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
I know that eventually, the cost of reloading for my WMR will exceed the cost of a rifle in .22 Hornet. I'm considering a Ruger M77/22 Hornet. We'll see what ammo prices are like in about 6 months, for the WMR.....
I made the opposite move years ago because the 22 Hornet was such a pain to load for. Got a 22 WMR and never worried about it again. Sure, you don't get the velocity and bullet choice with 22 WMR, but for 100-150 yds it's great. If I need velocity, I can use my 223 or 22-250.
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Old September 11, 2008, 11:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
I made the opposite move years ago because the 22 Hornet was such a pain to load for. Got a 22 WMR and never worried about it again. Sure, you don't get the velocity and bullet choice with 22 WMR, but for 100-150 yds it's great. If I need velocity, I can use my 223 or 22-250.
Our solution to the .22 Hornet reloading problems is Ackley improving it... with a short throat. The short throat allows a few more bullet choices. (provided the OAL fits in the magazine) The Ackley Improved chambering provides longer case life. With W-W brass, the A.I. Hornet gains about 1.7-2.1 grains of case capacity over the stock form, but requires that much more powder to be burned for the same velocities. My brother owns the only example in our family, at the moment. If I chose to go the way of the Hornet, I'll have the chamber improved, as well.

If I want more performance, I have to jump all the way to .220 Swift. Our small game hunting is usually up close and personal; or prarie dog shoots at 300-500 yards. I have used my WMR with factory loads to pick off the furry fellas at 350-400 yards, but that is where the Swift really shines. I have to walk the WMR in to the target with a few ranging shots, but the Swift shoots like a laser beam. Put the crosshairs on the P-dog's chest from 50-500 yards, and the red mist will appear quickly.

I would like a .223 Rem, or .22-250. However, at the moment, .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .220 Swift cover the long and short of it. (pun intended)

Also somewhat adding to the original discussion here....
I recently added a little redundancy to my rifle line up. I acquired a .243 Win for the female counterpart to use hunting. It turns out, she hates it. So, now I have a rifle I won't use for anything bigger than antelope. (I personally feel 6mm is a bit small for the game in my area.) For me, the only real use for it, is the same slot my Swift fills.
The .243 Win can be loaded with some explosive bullet designs for prarie dogs, without having to push the velocities very hard. The .220 Swift can be loaded with the same, at higher velocities, with a better trajectory, but brass-flow and barrel heating are the price you pay.

That is my dilema. The Swift is an heir-loom. The .243 is an original Mossberg 800BSM. Neither can be sold, and both must be used regularly.
Shoot the Swift, slowly, enjoy the ballistic performance, and spend hours working with the brass.
Or,
Shoot the .243, know the bullet drop chart for the load, and reload it like any of my other rifle cartridges.


Why do we reload .22s? ....
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Old September 11, 2008, 02:57 PM   #21
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I always liked the Kilborne K-Hornet myself. It will easily outrun the standard Hornet by 100 fps. and the case stretch issue as well. The cases don't stretch and seperate becuse of the sharper shoulder. Hornets have a nasty habit of leaving the case in the gun and only extracting the head after a few loadings;they also have to be trimmed a lot.
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Old September 11, 2008, 03:58 PM   #22
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I think it depends on the rifle. If I had an AR, I might not reload 223, but if it were a bolt-action, it would certainly be worth it.

As Richard Lee puts it, after one shot, you then have brass that is fire-formed for your rifle's chamber, and that can't be bought from the factory. For an auto, it doesn't matter; one needs to full-length resize anyhow, and some of the accuracy advantage is lost.

I have reloaded for my 6mm Remington rifle. Even with full-length sizing the cases, it shoots noticeably smaller groups. I expect even more improvement when I go to collet dies.
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Old September 11, 2008, 08:46 PM   #23
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autos

"For an auto, it doesn't matter; one needs to full-length resize anyhow."
Actually, you don't. I know...... we are told and told that "you have to full length-size" for a semi auto.
I wanted to see if it was so. I did a simple "try the alternative and see what happens" experiment with two guns, an AR-15 and a FN FiveSeven pistol.
Both use bottlenecked cartridges.
I shot some new ammo in the 5-7 (a box of 50) and loaded up new brass for the .223 and shot it, also 50 rounds. Then I necksized the cases, loaded them and shot them again.....and again.....and again. Then I stopped. Four firings with NO ftfs. The FiveSeven cases - which get worked hard by the delayed blowback system, started to show cracked necks at the fourth firing.
The .223 cases were fine. I FL sized them and loaded them for practice.
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Old November 29, 2011, 11:20 AM   #24
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repriming & reloading .22cal rimfires

"Is it possible to reprime/reload .17hmr or .22cal rimfire rounds". The answer to the question is yes it can be done, that is, if you know how to do it and don't mind putting the effort and time into it.
I reprime & reload rimfire shells, the following is my technique.
First you have to strighten the rim of the shell, I do this by inserting the head of a nail that fits perfectly into the .22cal shell, I then lightly tap the nail until the rim is srtightened out. Next I remove the powder from the ring style cap-gun caps, this stuff makes perfect primer powder, (of course its likly possible to buy primer powder which would make things much easier and quicker). I then take the primer powder and pour a little bit into the now stringthned rimfire shell, (just enough so that the base of the shell is lined with primer powder, Apx. 3 caps worth). Next I add a drop of 99.9% Rubbing alochol, (aceton would likly work perfect also), the I set the shells up to dry overnight. Once dry I add smokeless powder, (amount depends on type of powder). The lastly I insert a .22cal bullet. Due to the fact that I can't seem to find .22cal rimfire lead on the market I either buy the heavy grain airgun pellets or cast my own.
They usually always fire, at the worst I may have 1 round out of 30 that fails to detonate, and is usually due to not getting the rim strightened out enough or too little primer powder.
Thats how I reload .22cal rimfire shells. The same technique can be used on any rimfire round such as .17hmr or even the really old .41cal, etc. rimfire rounds that are no longer made, (provided you have the spent casing)
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Old November 30, 2011, 09:12 AM   #25
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I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would go to all that trouble when you can buy a box of 50 .22 rimfire for only a few dollars, and all go bang. I buy in bulk so I have plenty on hand at all times. I have a buddy that uses .22 lr brass to swage .22 center fire bullets however. So the brass does get collected at the range.
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