H&R 22 Revolvers


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southernford
March 13, 2007, 07:30 PM
Hello Folks,

As an Engineer/Part-time Gunsmith, I have learned not to fear messing up the metal on pistols and revolvers that I have worked on. Of course, I started on the cheaper ones first, and worked up from there to the Kahrs and Colts.

I have a question for those of you more experienced, concerning converting H&R relolvers from 22LR to 22mag. The standard frames used in the 922's and 929's appear to be the same frames used in the 22mags and other centerfire calibers, and to have plenty of steel in them.

Does anyone know if they used weaker steel for the 22 frames, or if they just used the same frames for a lot of revolvers? Also, on the cowboy models w/ the 22LR and 22mag interchangeable cylinders, was the 22mag 9-shot also?

I can buy a stainless steel 22LR 9-shot cylinder that I would like to rechamber to 22mag, but I would like to know something about their strength first.

I have an NAA Black Widow w/ both cylinders, and the 22mag cylinder is no thicker on the metal. Do you guys know if they heat treat the magnum cylinders to handle the added pressure?

What do some of you think about this possibility? Would this be treading on thin ice?

Thanks for the help!

Southernford

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Old Fuff
March 13, 2007, 08:58 PM
When H&R went out of business most of the remaining parts were bought up by Numrich-The Gunparts Corp. (www.e-gunparts.com)

You can shoot .22 Rimfire bulets through a .22 WRM barrel, but not the other way around. With that in mind you can make the conversion you want, but if you start with a .22 RF revolver you should replace both the cylinder and barrel. That way you can switch cylinders and shoot either regular RF or Magnum cartridges through the same gun.

Jim K
March 14, 2007, 02:13 PM
I do not recommend that conversion. The reason is not the steel in the frame, but the steel in the barrel. Most guns made for the .22LR have barrels made of fairly soft steel. When .22 WMR is fired through barrels made of that steel, the rifling tends to disappear pretty quickly. Makers who went to .22 WMR or dual caliber guns made the barrels from the same harder steel as used in centerfire guns, which meant higher costs, not only in the steel itself but in the machine tools needed to work it.

In addition, the .22WMR bullet is slightly larger in diameter than the .22 LR bullet, plus being jacketed, so pressures go up when it is forced through a .22 LR dimension barrel (dual caliber barrels are of .22 WMR dimension; the soft .22 LR bullet upsets to fill the bore).

Jim

Old Fuff
March 14, 2007, 03:28 PM
Jim Keenan:

I think we are in complete agreement. The only right way to do the conversion would be to change both the barrel and cylinder.

but if you start with a .22 RF revolver you should replace both the cylinder and barrel. That way you can switch cylinders and shoot either regular RF or Magnum cartridges through the same gun.

southernford
March 14, 2007, 04:16 PM
Thanks for the info. , Old Fuff! That is indeed a consideration that I had not thought about.

My other concern is whether the 9-round 22LR cylinder would stand the pressure of the 22mag rounds. Any ideas on that?

Thanks,

Southernford

Old Fuff
March 14, 2007, 04:24 PM
My other concern is whether the 9-round 22LR cylinder would stand the pressure of the 22mag rounds. Any ideas on that?

The problem with the .22 WRM is weak case heads. So the chambers are counterbored at the back to support the rim. Rather then go to the expense and trouble of rechambering a .22 RF cylinder, I would buy the relatively inexpensive .22 Magnum cylinder and then be able to shoot both cartridges through the same gun. In any case you must change the barrel.

Chawbaccer
March 14, 2007, 06:16 PM
I wonder if a 22lr cylinder would even be long enough to convert to 22 mag.

Old Fuff
March 14, 2007, 06:43 PM
In this case they are both made to fit inside the same frame window. Be that as it may, expect some fitting to be required.

NC-Mike
March 14, 2007, 09:47 PM
Not to hi-jack this thread but I have a H&R 922 revolver at the Smiths right now. My Father used to keep it in a little box, in his chest of drawers. Starting when I eight years old or so I used to sneak in the room from time to time to take that revolver out of it's box and put it together. It was in pieces and there was a lot of pieces missing... That was nearly 35 years ago and when my Father passed around 15 years ago, I received that pistol in that same box.

I finally started looking at putting it together and finding parts for it but it looked like a daunting task so I passed it to my local Smith who says he's done these pistols many times. All I did to it was touch up the checkering on the grips and refinish the frame. I'm going to really enjoy actually firing that pistol when I get it back.

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