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Thread: .22 Rimfire Swaged Bullets?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    .22 Rimfire Swaged Bullets?

    Hello, everyone. I see there has been quite alot of interest in reloading the .22 L.R. case with black powder & cast-lead bullets...see www.openrange.com. It seems the Cowboy shooters want an authentic smoky small-bore! Yesterday, I took a Lapua round, inserted the bullet in a .224 Lyman sizing die & gently started bending case outwards while turning said case..I wanted to pull bullet with least amount of deformation. While I had done this as a kid with pliers, I was amazed at the high quality of this little lead bullet! All radius & edges very crisp and sharp..neat, precise knurles for lube. The "heel" base was nearly a sphere..with cup in bottom. I was wondering how difficult it would be to make a swage die to reproduce this bullet? They would not be crimped in case..as original .22 rifle loads were not. What is suprising is that spherical cupped base..I realize it is nearly pure lead..but were only talking 1.1gr. of powder..yet that base obturates perfect..with only faint line showing what was once crimp. What do you guys think? Have I been sniffing too much Hoppe's?

  2. #2
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    BT Sniper's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    So you want to make the lead 38-40 grain bullets comonly found in 22lr ammo? I don't see why not. If there was a great enough demand there are vendors here that offer custom molds, or there are those of us that can make custom swage dies too.

    So how do the BP guys plan to shoot these bullets? small center fire case? I know there is allready a 22 cal mold out there.

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  3. #3
    Salty Dog

    DukeInFlorida's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    East and South of you
    I bought a 55 grain .224 sized bullet mold in a CB group buy recently. 6 cavity mold:


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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    NoZombies's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    N. Florida
    BT et all, I believe he's referring to pulling the bullets from loaded .22 LR ammo, and replacing the powder and bullet.

    David Mos was making some .22 heeled bullet molds for a project like this over at the ASSRA (I think) a while back, but he's been out of contact for some time, and people hadn't gotten their molds last I checked.

    Corbin makes custom lead bullet swaging dies, and I'm sure some of the guys here could do it as well. since it's just a lead bullet you're making without a jacket, it's just a core form (to uniform weight) and a swage die that you need, no need for a seat die, etc. The knurling is put on the bullet after the fact.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Hello, and thanks for replys..NoZombies is spot on what I ment. They are either buying empty primed cases..One fellow said he purchased 1000pc. Where I don't know, others are pulling bullets..sounds kind of iffy?? But shooters are known to do wacky things! This rimfire loading business has been going on for quite some time..Saw a cased Stevens-Pope schuetzen from 1903 with couple boxes of Peters marked Empty-Primed. In kit was small Pope nose-pour mould for 40gr. heeled bullet. No tools..must have been push-fit in case. What powder? fine black, bulk smokeless, Lesmoke?

  6. #6
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    I cannot speak to older rifles but I believe modern .22's have a bore diameter of .217 as opposed to center fire of .224. Some older rifles and european rifles even had smaller .214 bore diameters. Also, the orgional 22 RF's were black powder and sometime prior to WWII, .22's RF changed over from black powder to smokeless. Priming mixtures also changed considerably through the years.


  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Not sure but I think the groove diameter is now .222 and the bore is .217

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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