Rechamber .22LR?


June 8, 2011, 02:01 PM
A friend of mine is inheriting an older lever action chambered in .22 short. Would it be possible to have a gunsmith ream that out to .22LR? .22 short isnít exactly as cheap or readily available as .22LR.

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June 8, 2011, 02:20 PM
Yep, but it may not be a good idea. Depends on the rifle. May not feed LR's well either.

June 8, 2011, 03:36 PM
leave it as is and get some CB shorts. enjoy a little quiet plinking time

dodo bird
June 8, 2011, 05:04 PM
I agree. 22 shorts are a nice quiet pinking rifle. The gunsmithing costs alone would justify a new 22lr.

June 8, 2011, 05:09 PM
Would you not also have to modify the loading mechanism?

June 8, 2011, 07:21 PM
The bigger issue is, many old leverguns in .22 short have a significant value premium if they're left alone in their original chambering, and if they're reamed out for .22lr they lose a good chunk of that value.

June 10, 2011, 03:27 PM
Another issue is that some old rifles chambered for .22 short have a twist rate optimized for the lightweight bullet and don't do so well stabilizing the heavier stuff most long rifle ammo is loaded with.

Honest: I've got a Winchester (Low Wall Winder Musket) that started life chambered for the short and has since been rechambered to LR. Went to the range with it and was crestfallen to discover it keyholed with the ammo I'd brought with. Next trip included samples of every .22RF loading I had laying around here: CCI, Fed, Rem, Win, RWS, Eley, you name it. Especially disgusting was a full-profile hole made by Federal UltraMatch that hit completely sideways. Only LR ammo that shot good groups (with round holes!) was hyper-velocity stuff with bullets around 29gr. Shorts and Longs grouped fine, having that weight to begin with.

June 11, 2011, 09:04 PM
It's not that hard to find .22 short.

June 11, 2011, 11:42 PM
+1 for leaving it be. Strength is unlikely to be a valid consideration, but reliability and value are.


June 12, 2011, 02:53 PM
inheriting an older lever action chambered in .22 short.Care to share with us what make & model lever-action rifle it is??

Only one I can think of it might be is a Winchester 1873.

And that is one of the rarest rifles in the world when chambered in .22 Short.

Screwing it up with a chamber reamer would distroy it's collector value.

And as Molasses mentioned, the rifling twist rate used in .22 Short rifles is too slow to stabilize .22 LR bullets.

And it will not feed them anyway.


Dr T
June 12, 2011, 08:56 PM
I inherited a Winchester Gallery gun in beautiful condition chambered for 22 Short. It is valued at over $3000. Rechambering it would drop the value to more like $300 (but the same gun with the factory chambering of 22 LR would be worth more than my gun by quite a margin.

Your friend should consider the consequences before making modifications.

June 12, 2011, 11:14 PM
I agree with the others, I would just leave it how it is. Chances are it is atleast somewhat valuable, and it would be quite a shame to ruin that value. And also, .22 shorts are not that hard to find lol, you just have to look a little harder. The Walmart near me actually has a few boxes of .22 shorts for sale. Just buy a .22 LR if you must shoot the LRs, there not that expensive, and probably the same as the gunsmithing would be.

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