duplicating 22lr

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by captain awesome, Mar 6, 2014.

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  1. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

    Jul 18, 2009
    Mesa, AZ
    As the title suggests I am looking to duplicate the common 22lr with a center fire cartridge. 22 is the only thing my wife is willing to shoot and i am sick and tired of not finding any 22 anywhere, showing up to a walmart or gun store just in time to over here an employee telling someone how they sold the last box an hour ago. Its dumb that 22 was scarce in the first place, and its even more ridiculous that over a year after Sandy Hook we can find plenty of 223, but 22lr is still a myth. I am fed up with this nonsense and I am moving on.

    I want some suggestions. I want to find a cartridge that fits the bill and a firearm that will do it justice. Ideally it should a have a small case capacity, as I am not looking for speed or heavy bullets. I want it in a rifle. Preferably bolt action. The easier it is to load the better. i am not married to the idea of it being 22 caliber but I want the bullets to be cheap, and small. ( I have a 40 grain and 60 grain .224 mould for casting) I want a pound of Powder to load a couple thousand rounds at minimum. A Straight walled cartridge would be nice so I can use carbide dies. Thinking of using a pistol powder. I will leave it at that for now, please send you thoughts my way.
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    .22 Hornet, cast bullet, Unique.
  3. FastCut

    FastCut Member

    Jul 28, 2013
    Denver, CO
    you can light-load the .222, or the .223 to get .22 rimfire velocities using Red Dot, but Bullseye does pretty well, too. Just find a cast .22 bullet and have fun.
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 22, 2007
    Central PA
    Holding to .22 caliber (if you are) makes this a little more complicated than it needs to be.

    You could pick up a Rossi R92 for little money (or that Ruger .357 bolt-action) and load .38/.357 loads so light as to equal the recoil and report of .22s.

    I think this would be the EASIEST route, but if you have any .22 caliber center-fire bolt rifles they could all be downloaded if you want.
  5. varodd

    varodd Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    Take a look at the HI-point 9mm carbine. Its a blow back design that is easy on recoil has a small pistol type mag and runs about $300 or less. Its fun to shoot and factory ammo is realitivly easy to find and you can reload em.
  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    I picked up an RWS 34 in .22 a few months ago, better trigger than most "real guns" have. Not a tack driver at long range (4.125" groups at 100 yds) but quite impressive at the distances I shoot at most. 1000 pellets can be had for $15.
  7. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    At The Range
    Single shot H&R Rifle in .357 Magnum, loaded with .38s. Just plain fun to shoot with very minimal recoil and muzzle blast.

    Just my .02,
  8. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

    Oct 20, 2011
    22 hornet
  9. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

    May 20, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    Get some 110g .308 plated round nose bullets (Xtreme) and load them with 10 grains Unique, Red Dot, or other fast shotgun/pistol powder. I guarantee she will not be intimidated by the noise or recoil. I've been casting up lead bullets with my new mold and honestly anything from 100g to 200g with 5-10 grains of fast pistol powder is really low recoil.

    Plus she gets the "gratification" of shooting a "big boy" gun.

    If she really doesn't want to shoot, you shouldn't force her to. The other thing you can do is get an airsoft or pellet gun. Quite honestly, you can still shoot at targets and get some trigger time without the scary noise or recoil of a full load CF gun.
  10. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    Northwest Coast
    When I did load development for Henry lever action in 45Colt using 250 gr Berry's plated FP, low to mid range loads using Bullseye, Red Dot/Promo, Herco, W231/HP-38 recoiled comparable to Ruger 10/22.

    How about lever action .38/.357 and shooting light .38 loads?
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    I used to use 700X in .22 Hornet, but it was closer to .22 Mag.
  12. GlowinPontiac

    GlowinPontiac Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Central CT
    .22 Hornet. Very accurate and very little recoil.
  13. balderclev

    balderclev Member

    Mar 30, 2013
    Benton, AR
    I load 3.7 gr Trailboss behing 55gr Hornady SP/C for subsonic rounds. Trailboss is very fluffy. You could start out there and increase the load to supersonic speeds.
  14. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

    Dec 9, 2009
    Sounds like he needs a bolt-action rifle for the .32 H&R Magnum that will also fire .32 long & short. Load a short with a light bullet at minimum velocity for her, and a magnum for him.
  15. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

    May 15, 2012
    Puget Sound Convergence Zone
    Will the 77 grain .32 ACP bullet shoot out of a .32 Win Special? A .32 caliber pistol cartridge seems ideal, but are there any common rifles for those? So, that leaves a .357 Handi rifle as the obvious cheap choice.

    Are you completely devoted to bolt action? A .357 16" Rossi 92 is pretty versatile, and at least around here, they're usually available at any Big 5 store if you want instant gratification. Mine runs slickly and even feeds long Keith 358429 bullets seated to the crimp groove. Excessively strong ejector spring does put a little burr on the case mouth as it flips out of the barrel. That's about the only problem I've found.

    Sights on the Rossi are kind of a notorious issue, but I'm told that the round barrels are already drilled and tapped for a scout scope mount, which should kill any such problem dead. (I have an octagonal barrel, so no personal experience with this).

    This guy sells small packs of bullets if you want to try several light bullets without buying 100 of each or new molds.
    Not enough in a pack for real load development, but maybe it would tell you if they are going to just spray patterns.

    edit: Oops, looks like Big 4 only has them in .44 now. Darned CAS shooters!
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  16. fireflyfather

    fireflyfather Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    I wouldn't say it was EQUAL to the recoil and report of a .22 in a rifle of the same weight and barrel length, at least, not without the danger of bullets sticking in the barrel. The good news is that a .38/.357 rifle is going to be heavier, so the recoil might be about the same if she doesn't mind hefting around a heavier gun and can shoot it well off-hand. It's GOING to be louder, though. Not so much that it should bother her, but I can't see it being as quiet as a .22 without the danger of a squib.

    If you want quiet, though, try downloading a Mosin Nagant M91/30 (that gigantic-long barrel) with 7 grains of red dot under a cast bullet (no gas check necessary). THAT is quiet, with *no* recoil. I've shot it without ear protection, for hundreds of rounds with no squibs. It's not nearly as accurate, but at 25 yards, it's great for off-hand practice. Weighs a ton, though. I'd be careful to start around 10 grains, and work your way DOWN, checking the bore/target after every shot. I wouldn't go below 7 grains of red dot/promo though.

    If you don't mind buying an 8lb jug of promo, that's the cheapest possible powder for this application, and at 7 grains a shot, 1 lb will give you a thousand rounds for about 15 bucks, once you factor in shipping & hazmat. Brass will last damn near forever because it headspaces on the rim, not the neck.
  17. hartcreek

    hartcreek member

    Jan 19, 2014
    Jessie Haywood has the best suggestion....get a .32 H&R and then get her a .32 H&R revolver. My six year old great nephew loves shooting my .32 H&R and I load it will full power loads. If a six year old boy that does not yet weigh forty pounds can handle it by himself your wife sure can.
  18. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

    Mar 8, 2012
    Front Range, CO
    1) An Air Rifle. A springer actually has a little more "recoil" than a 22 but both good quality springers or, better yet, a real air reserve rifle (no recoil) can be very accurate and fun. .177 at 1200 fps

    2) As per Leon above, a Handi .357 or .357 Levergun loaded with 38 Specials

    3) I load 30-30 with Trail Boss and the Hornady 86 grain 308 Mauser short jacket (110 gr RN for 30 Carbine would work as well) for the kids. Out of a 336 feels just like a 22LR out of my Marlin 1892.
  19. adobewalls

    adobewalls Member

    Apr 6, 2003
    If you have a .223, you can load it using 35 to 55 grain bullets and Blue Dot.

    Start at 5.0 grains for a .22 RF equivalent load. Can go up to 13 or 14 grains, but doing so will push the bullet at rifle velocities (2800 to 3000 fps).

    I really wish there was a reloadable equivalent to the .22 rim fire, say a straight cased .25 that shot cast bullets from subsonic to about 2000 f/s. (Say a 25-25, or 25-21 cut down to a more convenient size or a size that could also work in a revolver.)
  20. MuffinMaster

    MuffinMaster Member

    Nov 11, 2013
    Delete All then Me, thx
    I might choose a PCP air gun. This would be the best option to get as close to 22lr and plinking. My experience is that air guns are extremely accurate.


    I going to try 223 and trailboss and other powders from a bolt action soon. I am not too sure how this will work out and they are not straight wall as you know.

    I love 357 rifle shooting. It is easy, cheap and loads of fun. Very mild loads can be created if you follow the CAS crowd. I look at the 357 rifle as they might of looked at the 32-20 years ago. I have put all my girls on it with no problems.

    It comes in PCP 357 too. Not exactly a daisy.

    I agree with you about 22lr. I have a nice collection of 22's and really enjoy shooting them. I have change my mind on 22's now since all this shortage stuff is going on. I will not buy any more of them. If a case of 22's ever becomes available again at a reasonable price maybe I'll take my 22's to the range again but my 22 days are gone. I do not like loading pistol ammo smaller than a 9mm. If you don't mind loading 32 H&R it would be a good choice. I am not too sure what rifle select you could find readily. I believe marlin has a level in production for 38 h&R. I thought about getting it once. I prefer my 357/45lc rifles and pistols now since I can control the ammo supply better and easier for me to load.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  21. hovercat

    hovercat Member

    Dec 30, 2012
    Any firearm can be downloaded. If you go low enough, drill out the flash holes a little larger, and use those cases only for light loads, since the pressure is so light the shoulder will start setting back. Neck size only is needed after the first shot, so sizing is easy with any dies.
    Only you and your firearm can tell how low you can go. Start with a published cast load and walk it down 0.5 grains at a time until one sticks in the barrel. Then move up a full grain and you are there.
  22. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

    Jan 15, 2008
    Benjamin Discovery or Benjamin Marauder is what I am switching to for plinking and small game for now. The accuracy of the marauder is superb as well is the discovery but the maraudercosts more and basically needs a compressor for PCP rifles.
    The discovery can be hand pumped to 2000 psi, and silenced with a TKO. They are both available in .22 cal. It was the discovery for me. Half the weight and half the price. The maruader has a one pound trigger and the disco is pulling around four lbs, but you can switch them out.

    And for ammo it is $12 per 500. Just like the good old days of .22 bricks. Not a center fire option, but an option nonetheless, and a 800-900 fps with 14 to 18 grain pellet, it isn't child's play.
  23. mkl

    mkl Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    DFW area, Texas
    About the closest you will come in a center fire is the .22 Hornet. It makes a great wild turkey gun if your state allows hunting turkey with a rifle. Even when full power loads are used there is very little meat damage damage.

    Loading the Hornet down with a cast bullet will give you the .22LR performance you are trying to duplicate.

    With full power loads, there is almost zero recoil; with reduced loads there will be zero recoil.

    I use an H&R .22 Hornet single shot as my second gun when I hunt turkey. If I cannot call them in within shotgun range, the Hornet will reach out to 150 yards quite well. Biggest tom I ever bagged was with the Hornet at 125 yards.
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