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Old January 11, 2019, 01:42 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 6,691
not quite

"All those chamberings are still available...."

Well, maybe. If you have enough dough, a custom 'smith can make near anything I suppose, but there's not much sense to do so, and I doubt if anybody specializes in turning out , Wasps, Zippers or Bees, though with a rimmed case, they would make an interesting single shot rifle ctg. I think the Wasp was a wildcat/handload proposition only cartridge, even when it was popular, but I could be wrong. But commercial, mass produced rifles in those calibers are not out there. The Bee was periodically being loaded by one of the big 3 ammo companies, but seems like I read recently that it was now completely discontinued. The .22 Hornet, on the other hand, keeps hanging on.

Regards the 5mm RFM. The South American firm of Aguila reintroduced the 5mm RFM in 2008, and ammo hit the market again reasonably priced. (I bought a case) But it did not last long, only a few years, before those new cartridges disappeared. Recently Aguila has stated that 5mm ammo will again be available. Priced higher than the 2008 releases, at least it's back, or its claimed, will be.

The 5mm did not fly for two basic reasons in my mind. For one thing, the cartridge was before its time, and the .22 Mag was all the rimfire mag anybody wanted. Perhaps more importantly, nobody but Remington ever made any firearms in the chambering. And Rem 591 and 592 rifles were basically budget rimfires, as a rule with lousy triggers and pencil thin barrels.
T/C was supposedly going to make barrels for their Contender single shot pistol, though I've never seen one. And the upstart Kimber was supposedly going to make a quality bolt sporter, but it never happened.

Contrast that with when the .17 HRM hit the market, EVERYBODY started making rifles AND revolvers in that hot rimfire, and the public is STILL buying them.

One vintage cartridge I'll add to the "what happened" list, is the .256 Win Magnum. Formed from the .357 revolver case, necked to .25, with tons of .357 brass out there to support the cartridge, you'd think it might have flown. But Marlin, I think, was the only maker that did a rifle, the Levermatic, and Ruger's single shot pistol, the Hawkeye, flopped too. I'd have like to seen that number in a Ruger No3 single shot carbine, and a mid priced but accurate bolt rifle like the Rem 788, but it never happened, and the .256 died too.
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