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Old 09-01-2010, 05:39 AM   #1
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Handloading the .22LR

Hello,



Ever since posting my "First Squirrel of the Season" thread, I've been inundated by several people from several boards asking me to outline the procedure I use for handloading .22LR ammunition.



The first question that always comes up is "Why?" The answer is simple: I'm a tinkerer. I also do not like the fact that .22LR is mostly a compromise - not many rifles have 14"-16" barrels, and this is the length at which most .22LR ammunition peaks in velocity, from what I've read. To me, this is a compromise between pistols and rifles. While I'm not experimenting with longer burning powders yet, it's in the works. I will want the powder propelling the bullet all the way down to the muzzle of my 21" barrel.



The second question that is asked is "How?" I've debated posting instructions because it's easy to foul up. I therefore compromised: I'm not going to show how to pull the bullets because someone will most assuredly set off a case. You see, I use a tool I modified to keep the pressure off the rim. Someone will talk themselves into the belief that it's not necessary and touch one off in a spectacularly uncontrolled fashion. Therefore, I am omitting that part.



Also not shown are the powders I use, or the weights. I am not going to be the one to establish a min and max charge. There are experts who do that. I'm not an expert; I'm always learning. As well, I've fired what turned out to (probably) be something a couple thousand PSI over a proof load in my newer Savage Arms bolt action BTVS. While it held together just fine, it likely wouldn't in an early 20th century falling block .22 Short rifle which has been reamed out to .22LR. Then there's the whole balloon head necessary on a rimfire by its very nature. Those are not the strongest cases, and may rupture.



So, I'm not going to be responsible for you taking your gun apart in an unapproved manner.



What I will do is outline how I do this, for myself. I am not recommending you try this. In fact, I recommend you do not unless you have a whole lot of experience in handloading the .22LR already - and the tools specifically for this ceased manufacture in the 1940s sometime, so if you have experience in doing this, you are likely old enough to teach me a lot, instead of vice versa. You might also be in a remote part of Russia or Africa where supply is spotty, and you might then retrieve the bullet from your supper and reload it into the spent case. And though I think it's a bit brain-damaged to reload a damaged case - which, by definition, a spent .22LR case certainly is - I understand the need for survival. And while I've reprimed fired cases, one mixture I use is not what you'd call stable, and the other is not what you'd call ultra-reliable. Therefore, I'm staying away from that subject as well.



In short, I ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL, TO PROPERTY OR SELF, SHOULD YOU DECIDE TO TRY WHAT I OUTLINE HERE. This is for entertainment and educational purposes only.



Suffice to say, in the words of Dr. Emmet Brown, "I - REFUSE - TO - ACCEPT - THE - RESPONSIBILITY!"



Now, on to the procedure:







I start with primed cases with slightly flared mouths. I flare the mouths using a cupped point attachment provided with D Rock's resizing tool. Primed cases may occasionally be bought, and 30gn bullets are almost always available from North American Arms, but more often than not I just pull the bullet and reuse both components.







Second, calibrate your scale. I cannot stress this enough.







Weigh your powder charge.







Using your funnel, pour the charge into the case.







Take out a bullet, the die, and the round nose resizer.







Hand press the bullet into the case as far as it will go.







Insert this into the die.







Lightly tap the sizer a couple times to seat the bullet. Alternately, you can use a press, but this provides a bit better feel as to when the bullet is seated.



Optional Steps







Take out the hollowpointer ram.







Mount it and tap until the stop engages.







You now have a nice, wide hollowpoint which will expand on game even at subsonic speeds.



I hope this has been educational. I also sincerely hope nobody tries this and gets hurt. If you do try it, please remember to wear eyes and ears.



And remember:







... and physics apply here in spades. So be careful.



Most rimfire users will find that this is well beyond what they need (or want) to do for acceptable ammunition. In fact, I'm that guy. I'm also the guy who has an insatiable desire to tinker, and this fulfills that need.



Stay safe,



Josh
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:42 PM   #2
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Handloading the .22LR

The problem is that Rimfire ammo cannot be reloaded - due to the fact that the primer material is put in the case before the powder is placed in the case.



All you are doing is removing the factory powder and replacing it with something else.



A 22 Magnum offers more performance - cheaper then buying shells and taking them apart and reloading them to your specifications.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:15 PM   #3
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Handloading the .22LR

Rimfire ammo can be reloaded. They used to sell kits to do it all the time.



Today, you can do it with household materials.



I'm not going into that, though. It can get real dangerous real quick, and I'm sure you can find the instructions on the Web anyhow.



I had a .22 Magnum once. Didn't care for it all that much. It doesn't have that much more effective range than the .22LR, and not as much power as the centerfire .22s, which can be reloaded.



Been thinking about it, and I think I'll be getting a Savage with a TR stock (it's comfortable) in .22-250. I can download for squirrel or upload for pretty much anything else.



Josh
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:53 AM   #4
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Handloading the .22LR

Josh, how are you Primeing your cases ?



I shoot Lapua Center X on USBR targets, is it possible to reload a rimfire beyond Lap Cen X accuracy...?



What is your opinion...



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Old 12-31-2010, 07:31 AM   #5
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Handloading the .22LR

Hi Bolero,



You can buy primed cases. Priming compound can be made, but it's dangerous.



I wouldn't reload a case, just played with handloading. I also had a case failure (the rifle vented everything perfectly) when I pushed it hard.



Before going and handloading any rimfire, try every type of target ammo out there. Every rifle has its own preference, even different rifles of the same make and model.



This was mostly an exercise in boredom, but the experimentation led to deeper understanding about a few things.



Josh



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