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Reloadable .22

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by adobewalls, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. adobewalls

    adobewalls Well-Known Member

    Just out of curiosity; is there a modern chambering for the .22 that is:

    (1) Reloadable; and,
    (2) Cases are easily formed from say .25, .32, 380/.38 or similar?

    I'm familiar with the .22 Hornet and .218 Bee; but I am interested to know if there is anything else out there that can work as a bunny buster or squirrel swatter, plus has the potential to maybe go to 22 Mag velocities, and be able to use cast or jacketed bullets?

    I guess my question boils down to, is there is a reloadable .22/.22 Mag chambering that doesn't use a healed bullet, and is not the .22 Hornet or .218 Bee?
  2. Davandron

    Davandron Well-Known Member

    Wait, I'm confused; what about the .223 doesn't meet your criteria? With a 40gr bullet, it can be downloaded to whatever power you want.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    To answer your question, no.
    No commercial cartridges.

    There have been .22 wildcats based on every conceivable case, from the .25 ACP on up, however.

    But the cost of building a custom wildcat rifle, plus the cost of custom made reloading dies, etc., would buy an awful lot of .22 mag factory loads.

    One good old round you might consider though is the 25-20 WCF.

    A lead flatnose 65 grain bullet at 1,600 FPS kills small game far deader then they need to be killed.

    And there are still a lot of affordable Marlins and Winchesters around if you look for them.

  4. .38 Special

    .38 Special Well-Known Member

    If you want to get into some really oddball cartridges you can look into the .22 Extra Long Maynard (when people ask, you can proudly tell them you have an extra long maynard!) and the .22 Velodog -- although rumor has it that Charles Askins Jr. bought up the remaining supply a few decades ago so that he could game the Bullseye rules.

    But if you know about the Hornet, Bee, .222, and .223 then you've already got your answer, as far as I can tell.
  5. rust collector

    rust collector Well-Known Member

    'Dobe, I don't think you can reload anything as cheaply as new 22LR and maybe even 22 mag or 17hmr. If you like playing with your food, however, the 221, 222 and a host of 22 wildcats have a lot of smile potential.

    I don't know of any pistol cases necked down to 22, but mayba a sabot load would meet your need.
  6. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Well-Known Member

    Why not just reload the .25 ACP? Sure it's a little bigger, but it's readily available and from a rifle barrel it should produce velocities on a par with the .22 LR.
  7. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member


    Take a peek at the 22 Cooper Centerfire magnum and its spin off .17 CCM. Both could be loaded down.
  8. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Well-Known Member

    How about the 22 Jet or the 256 Win mag? Both are handgun cartridges and are no longer in production although you still be able to find good data.
  9. adobewalls

    adobewalls Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies guys. The question was mainly to satisfy my curiosity.

    I am just starting to play around with the .223 and pistol powders for grins and wanted to know what else was out there in that class.

    Many moons ago I knew a gunsmith that built .218 Bee bolt action rifles. And I have wondered what kind of potential a .25ACP might have in a bolt gun with a 16" barrel.

    Just curious, but thnaks for your answers.
  10. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Well-Known Member

    I don't think you said if you want to eat the rabbits and squirrels or just kill them. If its just for killing then the sky is the limit.

    I made the mistake of shooting a running cottontail once with a 30-30. It jumped up and took off and before I thought about it I took a shot. I hit the rabbit dead center. It was a female rabbit. A pregnant female rabbit. How do I know? because there were little unborn rabbits laying on the leaves of the briar bushes.

    Where I used to live I had a bad squirrel problem. I killed way over 200 tree rats with CB22s and a 22 pump air rifle. They worked just fine for that and didn't blow up the meat.

    If I were going squirrel or rabbit hunting tommorow I would use a standard velocity 22 round with a solid point. Or if I could find some of the new Remington CBEE 22s with a 40gr bullet at 750fps those should work if I were hunting for meat.

    Just about any center fire round will be too much for food hunting except the 25-20. Good luck on finding one though.
  11. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Well-Known Member

    Adobe you were posting while I was typing. I have for years wondered why someone hasn't stretched a 25 acp case out to 22 mag case length and made a perfect reloadable small game round.

    It has most likely been done. The biggest problem is that 25 acp barrels and bullets are .251 diameter instead of the standard .257 size for 25 caliber.

    My quest for the last few years has been to get a Rook & Rabbit rifle with a standard chamering. I would love to find a single shot in 32 mag so I could load it down in power. That would make an excellent small game round that is reloadable. I just found out Rossi use to make a 357 single shot. They haven't made it in 3 years. I never even heard about it. I would have one if I did.
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    There are getting to be rumors of FN bringing out a 5.7x28 bolt action. Smart move, I doubt BO will let them sell even semiautos to Americans for long.
  13. adobewalls

    adobewalls Well-Known Member


    Too bad the .25acp is not a .257 because I agree a stretched .25 straight walled case using .257 cal. bullets has potential. I also think the .32 Mag idea would make a great squirrel gun.

    Jim Watson,

    If the rumor is true it looks like it accomplishes what I was looking to do. I tripped over to the 5.7 forums and looked through the reloading section and the velocity ranges they are reporting from subsonic through varmint loads are in the target range I was contemplating. If true that would give reloaders a small game thumper working in the range of 1,000 to 2,100 fps with bullets weighing from 30 to 55 grs. And in a case that is magazine friendly.

    I will be watching to see what hits the market in this chambering.

    Here is what one of the reloaders over there did:

  14. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    another option here is the 5mm craig, a very nice , and proly the lightest of all the centerfire rounds... T/C will make you a bbl.
  15. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Well-Known Member

    Just curious here. Why would you want to leave out the Hornet if you're looking for something you can load down to 22 LR velocities, and you could still load full speed rounds when you want? A couple grains of Red Dot or 700X under a 40 gr cast bullet will give you about 1100 fps, and you can load it for less than most 22 LR ammo if you're casting your own bullets.

    Not trying to talk you out of the 25 ACP rifle idea. Anything that seems fun to you is a good enough reason to pursue it!
  16. adobewalls

    adobewalls Well-Known Member


    No real reason, just looking for something new I guess.

    I have thought about the Hornet off and on for several years; but I was not thinking at the time about loading it down to .22 velocities, and I do reload for a .223 bolt action. So I never made the jump. I did start thinking recently, when working on lower report and lower velocity loads with the .223, about what alternatives were there in the 1000 to 2000 velocity range and could not come up with any except the .218 Bee and 22 Hornet.

    I do think it would be neat to have a small bore round in this velocity class that is reloadable and able to be tweaked for optimum accuracy for your kit. But it sounds like the 22 hornet answered this question a long time ago.
  17. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Well-Known Member

    anyone ever take the 7.62x25 and neck it down? I know the 5.7 is close.. but just wondering.
  18. moonzapa

    moonzapa Well-Known Member

    I just started to reload the 22 Hornet for my CZ 527. I bought this rifle just for the intended purpose of having a good .22 for shooting squirrels, cottontails, jack rabbits, fox, and an occasional coyote but being able to reload it for cost savings. If you have been to your friendly gunshop lately you will have noticed that 22 WMR and 17HMR ammo goes for around $13.00, or more, for a box of 50. I can reload the 22 hornet round more economically and tailor the performance, too. Albeit, I have to setup to reload 500-1000 rounds. Just thought I would share this info with you all.
  19. acpchuck

    acpchuck Member

    5.7 x 28

    You can load about any 22 caliber bullet from 33 to 55 grains in a 5.7. Velocity with a 40 grain bullet out a 16 inch barrel (son's PS 90) is about 2600 fps. Kind of difficult to find a bolt action gun though (I think) Midway sells a bolt conversion for Rem 700s. If you are looking for a lighter weight gun, get a 22 Hornet and load it down (or up, I get 3000 fps with a 40 gr out mine). If rifle weight is not a concern, go with a .223, load down using Blue Dot powder. Easy to use a 35 or 40 gr bullet at 1500 to 2000 fps.
  20. Jefferson Herb

    Jefferson Herb Well-Known Member

    If you want low power and cheap look for a 25-20 in win mod 43 or savage sporter.They will be cheaper than the lever guns,cast your own bullets w/wheel weights to expand less,light load of pistol powder,old lyman book for loads and your set.

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