1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

When smaller cartridges will chamber and fire

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Cump, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Cump

    Cump Well-Known Member

    I suspect it is inadvisable, but I've read of some firing 22lr from 22wmr break and bolt actions, despite the smaller case. Some report increasing the 22lr case diameter, for instance with a bit of electrical tape, some leave it as is. I would expect this would result in some split cases and greater bullet instability because of shorter oal. But would it do any damage to the rifle?

    What about with larger rimmed calibers? For instance, it looks to me (from the specs) like a 30-30 round could chamber in a .303, maybe even a Mosin. What about damage then, with the higher pressure? I know accuracy would probably be even worse than the 22lr in 22wmr because of the difference in bullet diameter. And cases would be ugly. But what about the rifle?

    I don't have a .303 so don't worry, and wouldn't try it anyway. And where I am, 22wmr is easier to come by than 22lr and close enough in price, so there isn't really a reason. I also know there are chamber conversions, but I think they require blue loctite and heating in order to return to the primary cartridge.

    Chalk the question up to apocalyptic fantasies about useful survival rifles.
  2. Jackal

    Jackal Well-Known Member

    Since someone might read this and get a bad/unsafe idea, I'll say this:

    Only use ammunition caliber that your rifle is chambered in. Period.
  3. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    the only safe interchange recognized is:

    22lr = 22 short = 22 cb.

    Note: a gun chambered for 22 short or 22 cb should not fire 22lr.
  4. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Well-Known Member

    So no .38 spl in .357?
  5. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Well-Known Member

    And the 45 Colt, 454, in a 460 S&W...

    As for the rifles mentioned.... I hear the Darwin Awards are looking for some new candidates if anyone wants to try it out.......
  6. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    You suspect correctly. Tape or no tape you run the risk of some hot gasses returning back towards your face. This also will not do the chamber and bolt face any good. You are also looking at about a 0.4" bullet jump before the bullet finds the barrel lands and grooves. Expect plenty of leading. Simply put this is not a good idea or practice. You load a gun, any gun, with ammunition it is chambered for and only ammunition it is chambered for. There is good reason for this.

    The only exceptions are as Jim mentions as in 38 SPL in a 357 Mag or 44 SPL in a 44 MAG and several others as mentioned where these cartridges are called out for use. An example is:

    From our friends at S&W. The revolvers owners manual.

    From our friends at Marlin:

    Really does not get any simpler does it?

  7. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    Years ago I ran into a guy that had this type thing happen. I disremember, but I'm thinking it was a .300 Win Mag that was fired in a 7 mm mag. Guy was at the range, had both calibers, and got the ammo mixed up.

    Since there are quite a number of rifles chambered with the same parent case, it would be easy to do. Weatherby rifles come to mind. I'm going on a prairie dog hunt and have a .204 Ruger and my AR in 223. It would be relatively easy to get a .223 mixed in with the .204's. I only take out one or the other, not both at the same time.

    Dunno if a .223 would chamber in the .204, but I don't want to find out the hard way that it would.
  8. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Well-Known Member

    I can go down to my local rifle range and pick up .300 Win brass fired in a .300 Wby any day. Not hard to spot, nicely blown out to Wby shoulder and a neck about 1/10 inch long.
  9. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    In general, with the exception of handgun cartridges that have regular and magnum versions (.38/.357, .44Special/Magnum, .45 Colt/.454 Casull, etc), the only safe way to fire other cartridges would be a chamber adapter.

  10. PonyKiller

    PonyKiller Well-Known Member

    I saw a fella errantly fire a .308 from his mosin nagat. He loaded it in the mag with the proper ammo bout the third cartridge in. When he fired it, it sounded differently than the others, he looked at us in the bay next to him as if to say "did you hear that?" Then the case wouldn't extract. He emptied the mag and on about the fifth try with the bolt it extracted. He did a quick cross sign and got a soda. Other than that it didn't bother the rifle.
  11. MErl

    MErl Well-Known Member

    Was wondering how that would even work (308 in MN) as the base is so different. Figured it would be off center and the firing pin would miss. Maybe it was held centered by the bullet in the throat and I suppose the shoulder-base length is pretty similar.
  12. Cump

    Cump Well-Known Member

    I included the 30-30/.303 in the OP for the basis of comparison to 22lr/22wmr -- for the primary question about damage to the rifle, thinking the greater scale could show the potential for damage more clearly.

    I'm really interested in the likelihood of 22lr or 22short damaging a 22wmr rifle. I don't plan on plinking with it, but if damage and risk of injury were minimal (which I think they would be with 22lr or 22short) it might increase the value of a 22wmr in a SHTF situation.

    Like Reloadron, I'd look for the damage in the chamber or bolt-face. Can anyone quantify the damage?
  13. Dr T

    Dr T Well-Known Member

    I have heard of 30-40 Krag being used in 303 British when the correct ammo was not available...And you can make one case from the other. I would NOT try to fire form it with full power loads.
  14. Bwana John

    Bwana John Well-Known Member

    As a kid I used to shoot 22 shorts in a 22 WRF revolver. :eek:

    It ballooned and split the cases but was MUCH cheaper than the almost extinct (even back then) 22WRF.
  15. adelbridge

    adelbridge Well-Known Member

    .243 or 7mm-08 in a .308 or a .25-06 or .270 in a .30-06 gun. Smaller caliber will chamber in larger bore but I am not sure how a .300 WM chambered in a 7mm rem mag gun.
  16. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    This will run a little off topic but take a look at the below image. This is the result of dry firing a 22 caliber bolt action not once but many times thinking it won't hurt anything. Note the firing pin divot as a result of it won't hurt.


    Keeping the above image in mind the damage did not come after a single dry fire but many.

    So will firing a single 22 LR in a chamber made for 22 WMR do much damage? I seriously doubt it. Will the bolt blow back and cripple the shooter for life? I doubt it. Will some escaping gas and burning powder find its way to the shooters face? Maybe and if the shooter is lacking safety glasses it could make for a bad day.

    A 22 LR is hardly a high pressure rifle round. To demonstrate stupidity when I was a kid we would launch 22 LR rounds from a slingshot at brick walls. The object was to see how many would go bang striking the wall with the rim. Not real bright but entertaining.

    A 22 LR round has about the bang of a firecracker. Not really all that much. Will it blow up a 22 WMR rifle? Heck no it won't. The case will split on detonation and eventually after a .4" or so jump the bullet should find and later exit the barrel's rifling. However, the hot as in real hot gas will exit the split and strike the chamber wall. This will to some small extent erode the chamber wall. Will a single round hurt it? I doubt it but it won't help it much either. Repeating this bad practice will without a doubt cause erosion of the chamber wall causing serious damage. Finally when the correct cartridge is fired the case will expand into the erosion and pits making extraction difficult as the chamber is ruined.

    So when we do something stupid over and over again each time we do it we tempt fate. Dry firing over and over again in a rifle not designed for it is a bad idea as can be seen. Launching 22 LR rounds into a brick wall with a slingshot is also a bad idea. Amazing we never hurt ourselves doing that. Finally, shooting 22 LR in a 22 WMR chamber is also a bad idea.

    Years ago I got into things like how hot the gasses were and pressures. Maybe now that I am retired I'll get back into things like that. I can't begin to quantify how much damage is done with each round fired. Interesting stuff there. However, I can without a doubt say it is a bad idea. That is my story and I am sticking to it. :)

  17. whughett

    whughett Well-Known Member

    Perhaps the signature applies.:evil:
  18. Cump

    Cump Well-Known Member

    Reloadron ... thanks for the great post and image.
  19. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    Read of a guy who was at a High Power shoot with a Garand, and the match provided the Lake City match ammo as part of the match fees. They had 7.62 NATO and .30'06. His helper was handed several boxes of ammo, and loaded the clips for him while he was unloading the shooting box. First shot sounded like a squib, so he immediately unloaded. The clip was loaded with 7.62 NATO and the rifle was an unmodified, .30'06 Garand. The boxes the helper had been issued were mostly .30'06, but at least one was 7.62 NATO.

    The rifle was undamaged.
  20. YZ

    YZ member

    Both are 7.62, I'd expect it to fire. Where the chips fall (literally?) is another matter. Can be done and should be done are two separate questions.

Share This Page