Help needed with older cartridge


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inertia47
October 3, 2012, 09:28 PM
I have what appears to be a European rifle. It is a single shot, break action piece with set trigger. Under the forearm are proof marks and what appears to be the calibre - 5.25 and next to it 3mm. The muzzle mikes out at 5.25mm. Can anyone identify what round this fired?

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SDC
October 4, 2012, 10:18 AM
We'd need more info to even take a guess at this one; is it rimfire, centrefire, pinfire, other? Rimmed cartridge or rimless? Tapered, bottlenecked, or straight-wall? Pictures of the rifle might help too.

Jim K
October 4, 2012, 03:26 PM
Pictures of the proof marks would help also.

Jim

inertia47
October 4, 2012, 05:51 PM
The chamber will take a 22 Hornet case and is therefore rimmed, centrefire. The letters DRGM are on the left side plate.

SDC
October 4, 2012, 06:12 PM
There are a couple of different possibilities here, and you're probably going to have to do a chamber cast to find out which one for sure; the "BUG" proofs are typically pre-war German, along with the "DRGM" ("Deutsches Reich Gebrauch Meister"/"Patented in Germany") marking, and the most likely possibility is the 22 Winchester Centre Fire. This was a popular small-game cartridge in Germany between the wars, and wildcatting that cartridge led to the 22 Hornet. A very similar cartridge, the 5.3x35R, was used in lots of drillings and vierlings as a small-calibre centrefire option, and if there's a pronounced shoulder in the chamber, it could even be the 5.6x33 Rook. A chamber cast should let you know which of these you're looking at.

Jim Watson
October 4, 2012, 06:56 PM
Caution: The .22 WCF or the Vierling chamber will take a Hornet but the Vierling is not loaded as hot and the WCF is less than that, being a BP cartridge originally. Your rifle looks pretty lightly constructed and I would not hammer it with Hornets.

Does 3 15 mean March 1915? A sporting rifle turned out before WW I became a losing proposition.

303tom
October 5, 2012, 09:50 AM
Looks like a Buchel Meister Drgm, .22 Cal Target Rifle, and I believe they were .22 Hornet, but don`t quote me on that, I been wrong before.............

inertia47
October 5, 2012, 04:06 PM
Thanks for your thoughts, gentlemen. I have put the rifle into my local gunsmith for a physical determination. If it proves to be a 22WCF I may be able to use 22 Hornet cases with a lighter load of ADI 2205. I will report back.

inertia47
November 8, 2012, 01:06 AM
Well gentlemen, today I received the bad news that the RRGM rifle is a Hornet with a damaged chamber. If I want to fire it I will need to have either the chamber bored and relined or perhaps reamed out to accommodate the old 218 Bee cartridge. I already have a '92 Winchester in this calibre so have the dies. The main problem is the difficulty in obtaining these cases in Australia as none appear to have been imported for a couple of years. I am about to fireform some necked down 25-20's at the range as substitutes.

Any other bright ideas, apart from hanging this old rifle on te wall?

SDC
November 10, 2012, 04:57 PM
Whereabouts is the chamber damaged? If it's up near the throat, an easier option might be to rechamber it to something like the 22 K Hornet, and use it only with low-power reloads, since dies and reamers are easily available. Since this rifle was never designed to take high pressures, I'd want to either mark the rifle as "low pressure only", or use a cartridge that doesn't develop high pressures to begin with.

inertia47
November 11, 2012, 04:10 PM
Thanks SDC. Looking at the case which I fired, there are irregularities along the length of the chamber but I will take a closer look. The 218 Bee does not appear significantly larger and can easily take a lower than factory load behind a light projectile. Would it be possible to drill out and reline just the chamber?

SDC
November 11, 2012, 07:10 PM
Anything's possible, if you have the money, but this still leaves you needing to make sure that full-power rounds are kept out of this rifle; both the 22 Hornet and 218 Bee are loaded to roughly TWICE the chamber pressures that this rifle was originally built to take. If drilling out the chamber and relining it is an option, you could have it rechambered to 22 WCF (or 22 Hornet or 218 Bee, if your liner was strong enough to support the pressure, and it wasn't knocking the hell out of your breeching system or breechface).

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