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".22" caliber, history of

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by eye5600, Feb 16, 2009.

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  1. eye5600

    eye5600 Member

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    Does anyone know how it came to be that the diameter of a .22 cal bullet got to be .223? The closest thing to an explanation I've seen was the phrase "for technical reasons."

    I understand that some cartridges seemed to be named (or numbered) after the case, and some after the bullet, and that some are marketing invention. What's two or three thousandths of an inch? You would think an American company would have gone for .220 or .250. Does it have to do with the diameter of bore, or the rifling?

    Inquiring minds, and all that....
     
  2. Iansstud

    Iansstud Member

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    WIKI:
    .223
    The .223 Remington was developed as an enlarged and higher velocity version of the .222 Remington, which was introduced in 1950 as a varmint cartridge. The .223 Remington was developed specifically for the Armalite AR-15, a version of which later became the U.S. military's M16 rifle.

    22lr
    The .22 Long Rifle rimfire cartridge is a long established variety of ammunition, and in terms of units sold is still by far the most common in the world today. The cartridge is often referred to simply as a .22 LR and various rifles, pistols, revolvers, and even some smoothbore shotguns have been manufactured in this caliber. It is occasionally referred to by its metric designation of 5.6x15mmR. The cartridge originated from the Flobert BB Cap of 1845, and was developed by the J. Stevens Arms & Tool Company in 1887.[2] For many decades, it has been a very popular cartridge around the world. It is one of the few cartridges that are accepted by a large variety of rifles, as well as pistols. Virtually every manufacturer of cartridge firearms makes at least one model chambering it, and this has been true for more than a century. The .22 Long Rifle and related cartridges use a heeled bullet, which means that the bullet is the same diameter as the case, and has a narrower "heel" portion that fits in the case.


    I dont think the .223 is a evolution of the .22 they just both happen to have the same first 2 numbers..... .22 .223???
     
  3. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I believe the .22 refers to the land dimension, with the grooves at .223. Its's even more confusing than you think because some cartridges refer to groove diameter, while others refer to land diameter, and some refer to bore and case length, or bore and grains of black powder, just whatever the inventor wanted to do.
     
  4. eye5600

    eye5600 Member

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    The bullet diameter of the 22LR is .223.
     
  5. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    I believe .22lr is .222, not .223, unlike .22 centerfires which are .224 typically.

    But regardless,

    1. The question can be asked with respect to ANY of the calibers (since none of them are .230, .240, .250, .260, etc.)
    2. The answer, I suspect, is basically, "just cause" - it's just whatever the first one made actually was by whomever invented it, and it became the standard by default..


    "22 caliber" bullets are *usually*, but not always, .224, give or take.
    "24 caliber" bullets are *usually*, but not always, .243, give or take.
    "25 caliber" bullets are *usually*, but not always, .257, give or take.
    "26 caliber" bullets are *usually*, but not always, .264, give or take.
    "27 caliber" bullets are *usually*, but not always, .277, give or take.
    "28 caliber" bullets are *usually*, but not always, .284, give or take.
    "30 caliber" bullets are *usually*, but not always, .308, give or take.
    "32 caliber" bullets are *usually*, but not always, .323, give or take.

    And etc.

    And that's just cartridges named with the "American" style convention, where the number is conveyed in inches, and refers to the groove/bullet diameter. Euro convention is whole different animal.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The .22 RF evolved from the European .22 / 5.5mm Flobert BB cap.
    The first .22 rimfire as we know it was invented by Smith & Wesson in 1857, and could be said to be a lengthened Flobert cartridge.

    Actual bore size of the .22 is .218".
    Groove is .222".
    .22 RF bullets run the gamete from .223" to .226", depending on the maker.

    But that bore size comes pretty close to 5.5mm.

    Maybe the old drill bit wobbled?

    rc
     
  7. Iansstud

    Iansstud Member

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    I thought you were talking about how .22lr got to be .223rem.

    I belive now you ment how .22lr is actually .223 caliber. and were not refering to .223rem(5.56nato)

    My bad....
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The first successful .22 centerfire was the .22 Hornet. It was developed by a couple of old guys named Col. Towsend Whelen and Cap. G.L. Wotkyns at Springfield armory, using the old .22 WCF case.
    They rechambered .22LR 1903 Springfied target rifles. The first ones had to use smaller .223 jacketed bullets in the .22RF barrels.

    Later on, the .224" bullet diameter became the standard size for centerfire .22's.

    rc
     
  9. eye5600

    eye5600 Member

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    Maybe it's just more sensible to remain confused, especially since I'm sure you can find differences between manufacturers. Even between rounds, if you measure accurately enough.

    Thanks.
     
  10. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    Steve Boelter just put out a very good book last year, ' the rifleman's guide to rimfire ammunition'. Get yourself a copy, a great book all around.
     
  11. husker

    husker Member

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    most interesting
     
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