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Old July 15, 2011, 08:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: November 28, 2010
Location: Washington state
Posts: 267
Shooting 22 short CB in antique handguns

This is not about a particular gun, but about general safety in shooting antique handguns in .22 cal. I understand that old .22 ammo loaded with black powder had low pressure, and there may be some risk in shooting modern .22 ammo in guns designed for those old black powder rounds. I was thinking I might try .22 shorts in an antique handgun, but someone advised me that even shorts might have too much pressure, and I should try only CB rounds. Presently, it appears that the only .22 CB shorts that are widely available are from CCI. Before I proceed to do any shooting in an antique, I decided to look up the SAAMI standards for .22 shorts and CB ammo (see the link below). I was surprised to see (on page 8 of that document) that SAAMI says the average maximum pressure for a .22 CB is the same (21,000 psi) as for a standard .22 short, or even a high velocity .22 short. So if the average max pressure is the same, what is the difference? Is the duration of the pressure different, and does that matter? Based on this, are CB rounds actually safer in an old gun and a standard .22 short?
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