No powder / primer only


Tall Man
November 13, 2004, 03:38 PM
The Aguila Company produces Colibri and Super Colibri ammunition in .22. They are rounds that propel the bullet through the force of primer ignition only; there isn't any powder loaded into the shell casing. The velocity rating for the Super Colibri is ~ 500 f.p.s., and they are very quiet when fired.

Practically speaking (i.e., from a handloader's point of view), does the relative strength of primers - or lack thereof - limit such powderless loadings to 22s?


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November 13, 2004, 04:06 PM
Probably. The larger diameter of bigger calibers results in a lot more barrel friction due to more surface area. Larger caliber bullets are also a lot heavier as well. I've shot a few centerfire handgun squibs by mistake (not my Uncle's ;) ) none made it out of the barrel. Maybe something like a moly coated, light for caliber, bullet and a magnum primer might work? :uhoh:

November 13, 2004, 07:10 PM
some guys at the local gun store were experimenting with 45 acp rubber bullets using primer only, no powder. target was a typical inside residential door. you know, the cheap plywood ones. rubber bullet consistently went cleanly through one side, but didn't come out the other.

the only problem was, there obviously wasn't enough force to cycle the 1911 they were shooting it from

November 13, 2004, 10:28 PM
I use primer only and wax bullets in my .41RemMag revolvers and Contenders to introduce new first time shooters to handguns. They are accurate enough and have enough velocity to use on 15-foot targets and will break clays and balloons. With the absolute no recoil the new shooter can learn the mechanics of the gun and the correct method of shooting without having to deal with muzzle blast and recoil. I started my 16 year old granddaughter on a S/W 657 when she was 4 and just last year started another at the age of 6. They shoot the wax bullet until they ask for something that will shoot further. At that time I start with very light loads of BullsEye and 215g lead.
If you plain to do it with center fire pistol, revolvers work best. You have to drill out the primer flash hole using a 3/8 bit. That keeps the primer from backing out and locking up the cylinder. MARK THESE CASES FOR PRIMER ONLY SHOOTING DO NOT USE ON LOADS WITH ANY POWDER. I know there are .38, .44, and maybe .45 caliber rubber bullets on the market. Since I use .41 I have to make my own out of wax. They are well worth the work to produce and the benefits to the new shooter far out weigh the time and effort. BTY my 16 year old killed her first deer at 7. She has her own 657 now.

November 14, 2004, 01:14 AM
Besides the wax bullet revolver loads previously mentioned, I routinely shoot primer only loads in .22 centerfires using 22 caliber pellets. I also drill out the flashholes using a 1/8" drill and mark the brass for those loads only. Good for offhand practice indoors or out in the back yard. Regards, Woody

Chuck Dye
November 14, 2004, 11:34 AM
Check out for shot shell primer powered wax bullets and prepared shells. These are a hoot.

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