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Old September 30, 2012, 02:36 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Rimfire calibres to centrefire. Why not?

Perhaps there is a very simple and clear answer to this, but I don't know it as yet. I once asked if people loaded their own rimfire cases and the concensus was that it was too much hassle given the cost of ammo.

However, I have since had another idea pop into my head. I have heard it said that rimfire cartridges are more prone to FTF (relatively speaking) due to sometimes uneven spread of the priming compound and, once used, rimfire cases can't be reused.

So why have ammo companies not introduced centrefire versions of these calibres as I think the cases would be wide enough to cradle a small pistol primer. It would mean that reloading .22LR and .22Mag would become an option...

My only guess is cost of priming a case versus slopping some primer paste at the bottom when the entire cartridges are so cheap, and that there are stacks of firearms already out there with the pin on the edge of the chamber. That or the fact the primer would take up too much space in the case otherwise used for powder.

Is one of these the reason, or are there other considerations?
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Old September 30, 2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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There are absolutely enormous amounts of 22 rimfire cartridges made .The fact that they are relatively cheap is that they don't have a primer cup and anvil.
The case would also have to be redesigned to handle the installation and forces of the CF primer.And then there are the guns .You want to redesign and modify existing guns ??
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:34 PM   #3
Pond, James Pond
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You want to redesign and modify existing guns ??
No, but that doesn't mean both types couldn't be made side by side...

There seem to be loads of calibres that companies invented for which existing models had to be chambered and redesigned. This would be no different...
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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Why would you want to go from paying 20 bucks or so for 550 rounds to 20 bucks or so for 50?
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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There has been an enormous number of centerfire 22 cartridges introduced over the years with varied success.

I just don't see the need for one with the same outward dimensions as the venerable 22lr.

Just buy yourself a 22 Hornet and load them light to duplicate 22lr energies.
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Old September 30, 2012, 04:03 PM   #6
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You would lose a good deal of case capacity by trying to make a centerfire equivalent to an existing rimfire case. You see, a good deal of the back portion of a centerfire case is not hollow and does not contain any powder. This area is is necessary to contain the primer. Rimfire cases, on the other hand, typically lack this solid area and are hollow all the way back to the base of the case.
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Old September 30, 2012, 04:10 PM   #7
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I could have sworn that this exact topic/suggestion came up just a few days or weeks ago, but I can't find it. Maybe on another site?
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Old September 30, 2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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Years ago Charlie Askins had a Colt Woodsman modified to fire a 22 centerfire catridge based on the French 5.5 Velo-Dog. That was his attempt to find a non-recoiling centerfire pistol he could use in 2700 matches, and it led to the ".32 caliber or larger" specification for centerfire ammo in 2700 matches.
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Old September 30, 2012, 04:17 PM   #9
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I can't imagine why anyone would want to do this, when rimfire ammo is so cheap and plentiful
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Old September 30, 2012, 07:00 PM   #10
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There was at least one rimfire cartridge that was converted to CF.They then made rifles that you could change from RF to CFwith a little switch. Can't remember the cartrige.
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Old September 30, 2012, 07:28 PM   #11
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I find reloading .32 autos a pain because of the small cases, a .22 long rifle size reload seems like more hassle than it could ever be worth.
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Old September 30, 2012, 11:32 PM   #12
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
You would lose a good deal of case capacity by trying to make a centerfire equivalent to an existing rimfire case.
I did think that might be one limitation, certainly in a LR case.

Quote:
I can't imagine why anyone would want to do this, when rimfire ammo is so cheap and plentiful
They used to say that about crude oil.... It might not always be, or perhap brass might start being hard to come by.
Nothing expensive about exploring the concept's potential or limitations...

Quote:
There was at least one rimfire cartridge that was converted to CF.They then made rifles that you could change from RF to CFwith a little switch. Can't remember the cartrige.
Sounds cool!!
Such a cartridge would also mean that C-F pistol conversion kits to .22 could be much cheaper: barrel and mags, perhaps
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Old September 30, 2012, 11:39 PM   #13
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25 acp is pretty close to a 22lr. I can't speak for Browning, but I'd guess it was designed for some of the same reasons you mentioned. But it's expensive compared to rimfire rounds.
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Old September 30, 2012, 11:45 PM   #14
Jim Watson
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Quote:
So why have ammo companies not introduced centrefire versions of these calibres

The real question is why do you think they haven't?

The reason you don't know about them was that they were commercial failures.

The latest one I know of was the .22 CCM - Cooper Centerfire Magnum - a centerfire equivalent of .22 WRM. It could be loaded hotter with a solid head case and the strong Cooper action.

There was the .22 JGR out of Canada in the 1950s. It was a faint bottleneck, careful examination showed it was a cut down .22 Hornet. But cut down enough that it was the designer's intent to offer conversion of good quality .22 LR firearms.

There was a centerfire version of the 5mm Remington but that was a conversion to let people keep shooting their 5mms after inventories of the unsuccessful 5mm Rimfire Magnum were used up.

Going far back, there was the .22 Maynard. Mindful of the weaker case heads of the 19th century, they used the obsolete tiny 00 size primer to leave more case web thickness.

So it has been tried and tried again. But not enough paying customers cared.
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
They used to say that about crude oil.... It might not always be, or perhap brass might start being hard to come by.
Nothing expensive about exploring the concept's potential or limitations...
Brass may get harder to come by, you're right. If it does, the complicated centerfire cases will be the first to reflect that. Centerfire cases cost more to produce. I'm not saying you shouldn't develop this cartridge yourself, but I suspect that after doing so you will get a good lesson in economics, and why reinventing the wheel is such a bad idea.
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Old October 1, 2012, 06:01 AM   #16
Pond, James Pond
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Centerfire cases cost more to produce.
But they are readily recycable in a way that most metal components are not. Even tin cans can't just be filled again and re-sold.

Then there is the fact that, in terms of light strikes or failure to ignite, I understand that the rate with rimfires is higher, if not high...
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Old October 1, 2012, 06:17 AM   #17
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The .25 acp was likely designed with the unreliability of rimfire ammo in mind.

If offers similar ballistics to the .22 lr while being reloadable.

Why do you think it isn't more popular?
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Old October 1, 2012, 11:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
The .25 acp was likely designed with the unreliability of rimfire ammo in mind... If offers similar ballistics to the .22 lr while being reloadable.
Actually, IIRC another primary factor was that the .25ACP cartridge was designed around the turn of the 20th century when black powder .22LR ammo was still commonplace.

Since .22LR uses a heeled bullet- i.e. the body of the bullet is the same diameter as the case- the bullet must be shoved through the powder residue left by the previous shot; consequently, black powder .22LR basically won't work in semi-automatic firearms because the powder leaves so much residue behind that subsequent rounds won't chamber. The shooter would have to cease firing and clean the gun after only a handful of shots. It's obvious why this wouldn't work in a defensive firearm.

This is also the reason that Winchester's first semi-auto rifle, the Model 1903, used a proprietary rimfire round with comparable ballistics to .22LR- the .22 Winchester Automatic. This round was exclusively loaded with smokeless powder to ensure that the gun would function reliably.
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:15 PM   #19
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The closest thing that I reload in centerfire to a .22LR rimfire is a Morris .297/230 Short. Parent case is a .22 Hornet, shortened to about 0.500", run through a bottle neck die, loaded with a NAA .22 lead bullet (making the round about 0.750" long), loaded with about 3.0gr Unique.

I do it only because I have a rifle chambered for it and I have dies and brass and I'm NUTS!

I also have the same rifle in .22LR and shoot that one a WHOLE LOT MORE because it's cheap and easy.

I also reload .25ACP and .32 S&W Short ... but as I said ... I'M NUTS!

Now, it's not a bad idea ... but the question does remain: HOW MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE ARE NUTS LIKE ME?
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:37 PM   #20
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Hello, Pond, James Pond. This takes me back a few years! Back when I was in high school, I converted a Marlin .22 bolt action rifle to needle-fire..cases were std. rimfire with very small hole in head. .060" drill rod "needle" firing pin. Made a 40gr. heeled .22 bullet mould, & strike-anywhere match head primers. Match head sat on top of charge..pinched between bullet-base & pin.
Worked most of time!
But I wanted an honest-to -goodness centerfire. on lathe, I faced off rims of fired cases.
Turned up new case-head with small rifle sized primer-pocket & rim out of brass. This was a close fit in case. Low-temp. silver soldered in place.
These had a higher report than high velocity long rifles. Case life was pretty good with several re-loadings. All went swimmingly...until one evening.
I was returning home from late afternoon squirrel hunt..getting dark in woods & decided to attempt to hit a large walnut on stump. At the shot..an
orange ball of flame erupted around front of bolt..I figured I had a case-seperation..this happened sometimes. Upon extracting case..everything looked normal..case intact, no smoke smudges anywhere..primer was still tight.
I tried another..and another..every one exhibited this big ball of flame!
I finally figured that the red-heat I was subjecting that case head to during silver-soldering..plus the fact that the "walls" of that "head" were only some .020" thick..that case was expanding enough to let gases blow around primer..but then must have sprung back enough to permit a snug primer fit.
I kind of lost interest in that project after that.
I did turn up cases from solid brass..including primer pocket..but the problem of too litle metal in head was still there.
Back in the late 1800's..there was a .22 centerfire Maynard....the .22-10-45...It used a primer of smaller dia. than our .175" dia. small rifle primers.
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Old October 2, 2012, 09:59 AM   #21
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Actually, if there were a centerfire equivalent to a .22 long rifle, it would be the culmination of a trend, unless you wanted to be picky an say it would have to be equivalent to a .22 short. Metallic cartridges started out as rimfire, of which there were larger calibers available for a long time. Probably the .44 Henry was the best known. There were other metallic cartridge systems as well, including one that had no primer, but they all failed to be popular for very long after central fire became available.

I have frequently read mention of how unreliable rimfire ammunition is but that was never my experience.
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Old October 2, 2012, 03:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
The reason you don't know about them was that they were commercial failures.

The latest one I know of was the .22 CCM - Cooper Centerfire Magnum - a centerfire equivalent of .22 WRM. It could be loaded hotter with a solid head case and the strong Cooper action.
The .22 CCM was the victim of an unfortunate manufacturing failure.
Fiocchi was the only company to produce a large run of .22 CCM ammo, since they were already set up for Velo-Dog production. But... they used a bad lot of alloy when they drew the brass cases. So, they were prone to not just cracking and splitting, but sometimes even crumbling in the hands of the shooter.
A (large) bad lot of cases brought an otherwise good cartridge to premature obsolescence. (Though, that's arguable, since most people consider it to be nothing more than a new name on any number of Maynard cartridges and/or the Velo-Dog.)
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