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Thread: .22 rimfire alternative

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    .22 rimfire alternative

    Last time I bought .22LR ammo, it was around $7-8 for a brick of 500 (Remington and Federal promo loads). It seems that .22LR ammo is just not to be found at Wal-mart these days and when it is found, it's probably 3 times that price.

    So, what if there was a way that you could still shoot some of your .22LR firearms, but with just a bit more effort, but quite a bit cheaper than buying commercial ammo these days? Would you be interested?

    I've done a bit of research and spoken with a distributor for the powder loads that are manufactured for things like shooting nails and fasteners into concrete, starter gun blanks, or retriever dog device launches. These are the same as a .22LR piece of ammo, but do not have a projectile. Instead of a projectile, the end is crimped. They look like this:



    I had noticed that even though .22LR has not been readily available over the last 8 years, the powder loads have still been available at Home Depot and such. So, I did a bit of searching and found a company that manufactures those powder loads. It took a month of going back and forth and being transferred from one person to another and long delays between sending an email and receiving a reply, but FINALLY, I got a quote on what the powder loads would cost if bought in 50K quantity (i.e. 500 boxes of 100 each).

    It works out to be a $2.65 per box of 100.

    So, that's $26.50 per 1000 which is about what we pay for just primers for our centerfire reloadings. That's $13.25 for the 500-round brick price, so it's a little more than what we used to pay, but with how much the dollar has decreased in value over the last 8 years, that's probably not unreasonable.

    If you figure $1 per pound for lead, then 500 40gr bullets would be an additional $2.86. So, now we're up to $16.11. If you were shooting 55gr bullets, it would be $3.93 per 500 bullets or a total of $17.18.

    Some people have bullet traps, so the effective cost of the bullets themselves would be pretty close to ZERO for them.

    These powder loads come in various load numbers/colors -- #1 - #6 (gray, brown, green, yellow, red, purple).



    Some of these might be a bit much for some .22LR firearms. On the other hand, I think it would be possible to build an adapter for a firearm chambered in .223 that had an offset hole (because of the rimfire primer) for one of these powder loads in the base and still allowed a cast bullet to be inserted between the neck and the rifling lands. This could easily handle even the highest (i.e. purple) powder loads.

    If you had a .22LR revolver, I'm thinking that you could load it like a cap and ball revolver and you would have a full cylinder of rounds that you could fire as fast as you could pull the trigger.

    Now, there have been a few people on YouTube who have experimented with these powder loads in firearms, but they have been using them with .22 airgun pellets. Although they are getting impressive velocities out of them, when they exceed what the pellet can handle, the result is often the skirt of the pellet remaining in the barrel with the rest of the pellet exiting. Subsequent rounds usually don't chamber.

    So, what do ya'll think? If you could get these powder loads in that quantity for that price, would you consider using that for your .22 shooting? I haven't decided yet, but I'm tempted...
    When you fill out your income tax forms at the end of the year, look and see how much money you have given the
    government throughout the year. Then, take a moment to ponder -- has the government done $X worth of
    stuff FOR you or TO you this year? I tend to believe the latter...

    Si vis pacem, para bellum -- If you want peace, prepare for war

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    Very interesting idea. Have you ever taken one apart to see if there is a wad in there or measured the powder? I have been reloading 22lr now for about a year. I am getting better at it but it is still a painstakingly slow process. Anyway, if a person could figure a way to put a bullet in or on those things it would be an interesting project. Maybe you could talk those people into selling just primed brass without the crimp. That would make the process easier, I would think.
    Jedediah Morse
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I shoot .22 all suppressed, except for one .22 rifle (15-22) that I haven't had threaded yet. For the time it would take to load cap-and-ball .22, I'd just as soon order a case of .22. Have you tried pricing 50k of .22?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by mcdaniel.mac View Post
    I shoot .22 all suppressed, except for one .22 rifle (15-22) that I haven't had threaded yet. For the time it would take to load cap-and-ball .22, I'd just as soon order a case of .22. Have you tried pricing 50k of .22?
    i don't think this company makes regular ammunition. This is an overseas company, but I'm supposedly currently dealing with their sole US distributor.

    I think the time to load it would only be prohibitive if it was being shot in a semi-auto. For a break action, it would be nearly as fast. Open up the gun, drop a bullet in until it hits the lands, maybe tamp it a bit, then put the powder load behind it.
    When you fill out your income tax forms at the end of the year, look and see how much money you have given the
    government throughout the year. Then, take a moment to ponder -- has the government done $X worth of
    stuff FOR you or TO you this year? I tend to believe the latter...

    Si vis pacem, para bellum -- If you want peace, prepare for war

    "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." -- Barry Goldwater

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master Ola's Avatar
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    What company is it?

    If I recall correctly, I have couple of similar looking powder loads that were made by CCI.
    --------
    SISU

  6. #6
    There has been a great deal on this subject on previous threads, by people who have already done it. If you do a search on eBay for "nail-gun" you will find enough names to send you to their websites. There aren't many of the cartridges you find on eBay UK, maybe because of eBay or postal regulations, but the names should be enough to put you on the track of the measurements.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    I have done it with pellets and got over 2000 fps with the "weak" ones once I got to #4 it melted the pellet.

    I would be a little worried about pressure using heavy bullets myself. Someone with some time and Quickload could shed some more light on the subject.


  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    It's an interesting idea but IMHO just not worth the time and effort in my case.
    Your situation I'm sure is different.
    It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years (Abe Lincoln)

    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government. George Washington

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin101 View Post
    It's an interesting idea but IMHO just not worth the time and effort in my case.
    Your situation I'm sure is different.
    Same for me, I have little use for .22 outside plinking, small game and pest control I use a magnum air rifle. Much of our plinking/handgun training is done with gas airsoft pistols. They are fun, and safe, and no need for going to a range, unless they are illegal in your community.

    IIRC 5000 6mm plastic BBs was around 20 bucks, and propane cost is minimal. At ten yards accuracy is acceptable for metal pie plates. Ten yards no sights(point shooting) is most of our shooting.

    The rest of our firearm needs are filled with centerfire pistols, and rifles made affordable with reloading.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Ola View Post
    What company is it?

    If I recall correctly, I have couple of similar looking powder loads that were made by CCI.
    The photo I posted was just one from the web to show what I was talking about, not from the actual company itself. The manufacturer is in China, IIRC.
    When you fill out your income tax forms at the end of the year, look and see how much money you have given the
    government throughout the year. Then, take a moment to ponder -- has the government done $X worth of
    stuff FOR you or TO you this year? I tend to believe the latter...

    Si vis pacem, para bellum -- If you want peace, prepare for war

    "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." -- Barry Goldwater

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    An interesting idea. The only little things I would want to know is how consistent the powder charges are (no point in it if charges wander all over the map and accuracy follows it there), and secondly, as touched upon above, is if there are wads inside the cartridges to hold the powder back against the bottom of the case. If wads are present, it follows that one would risk ringing one's chamber, no?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by gnoahhh View Post
    and secondly, as touched upon above, is if there are wads inside the cartridges to hold the powder back against the bottom of the case. If wads are present, it follows that one would risk ringing one's chamber, no?
    Would it? Do shotgun chambers get ringed?
    When you fill out your income tax forms at the end of the year, look and see how much money you have given the
    government throughout the year. Then, take a moment to ponder -- has the government done $X worth of
    stuff FOR you or TO you this year? I tend to believe the latter...

    Si vis pacem, para bellum -- If you want peace, prepare for war

    "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." -- Barry Goldwater

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    You'd be slowed significantly with anything magazine fed. Revolver or single shot wouldn't be too bad, but I'd worry that you'd need more careful seating, which slows things down. As mentioned, the charge consistency would also be important.

    I don't think I'd buy 50k, but a few boxes might make a fun winter project, especially with a top-break revolver.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    I like outside the box thinking!!

    I have mousephart loads for my .38 Spl revolvers and rifles so these hold little interest for me.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

    Baja_Traveler's Avatar
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    I'd be much more interested if they would supply just primed uncrimped cases.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  16. #16
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by mcdaniel.mac View Post
    You'd be slowed significantly with anything magazine fed. Revolver or single shot wouldn't be too bad, but I'd worry that you'd need more careful seating, which slows things down. As mentioned, the charge consistency would also be important.

    I don't think I'd buy 50k, but a few boxes might make a fun winter project, especially with a top-break revolver.
    I'm thinking that seating could be made consistent by creating a "T" profiled bar that would seat to a specific depth when fully inserted to the hat of the "T".

    A top break revolver or single shot handgun would make it easy. Even something with a removable cylinder like the NAA mini revolvers would work pretty good with this procedure. In some ways, it's kind of like the NAA "Companion" (cap and ball) revolver. Instead of loading a precussion cap, powder, and a bullet, you would just be loading the bullet and putting the .22 rimfire powder load cartridge behind it.
    When you fill out your income tax forms at the end of the year, look and see how much money you have given the
    government throughout the year. Then, take a moment to ponder -- has the government done $X worth of
    stuff FOR you or TO you this year? I tend to believe the latter...

    Si vis pacem, para bellum -- If you want peace, prepare for war

    "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." -- Barry Goldwater

    Tag Line


  17. #17
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    I like outside the box thinking!!

    I have mousephart loads for my .38 Spl revolvers and rifles so these hold little interest for me.
    I also have low velocity .38 / .357 loads, but it seems that this would have the ability to be even cheaper for someone to shoot.
    When you fill out your income tax forms at the end of the year, look and see how much money you have given the
    government throughout the year. Then, take a moment to ponder -- has the government done $X worth of
    stuff FOR you or TO you this year? I tend to believe the latter...

    Si vis pacem, para bellum -- If you want peace, prepare for war

    "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." -- Barry Goldwater

    Tag Line


  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    In Mexico where they've had strict gun laws concerning rifled fire arms they have marketed rifles that use .22 blank cartridges to propel .177 caliber projectiles.

    I have an old .177 rifled steel barrel liner I've been contemplating using for some as yet in decided project of this sort. Not sure if I'll build a rifle or a pistol with this. A .22 rifle with badly corroded bore might be relined to .177.

    I've been wondering if this sort of set up could be used to build a legal cane gun. Some have built cane guns using airgun mechanisms and these seem to be exempt from regulations, though I don't know for sure just how this works so I'll have to do some research.
    I also have a chamber from a multi pump pneumatic that looked like it could be precharged and used as a power source, a simple linear hammer mechanism being all that would be required.
    Pneumatic cane guns have been built in the past in calibers as big as .75 and with lethal power levels.
    A .177 cane gun would be more of a novelty.

    When I was a youngster I fired .22 airgun pellets from a Remington No.4 rolling block using the short crimped blank gun blanks.

    I picked up a full 100 round box of nail gun cartridges at a yardsale for $2. I found these were too big in diameter to fit an old blank pistol I picked up used decades earlier for $5. Not sure if the blank gun is an off brand using a smaller than average blank or if the blanks are larger than .22. They may fit my .22 WMRF revolver.

    IIRC the casings of nailgun blanks are sometimes a bit thick and some don't seal the chamber very well when fired.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    I bought some of these from Menards and then was told not to try it. Here's what I've thought lately;

    Use those blanks as primed brass. Cut them off, figure out what a decent level charge is and either assemble ammo or breach seat a cast bullet and load one of these behind it with the right charge. I cast for .22 centerfires and a gas check design without the check just might take the place of a healed bullet the .22 LR uses.

    Personally, I found it easier to get a .22 Hornet and develop light cast loads. For small game, they are better and more accurate than .22 LR anyway. For lighter work, I picked up an old Sheridan Blue Streak.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    There is a sub caliber adapter that use the 22 blanks called the game getter.I thank they are made in canada. He can make them in a lot of differnt calibers.i was looking at the 303 British and 7.62x54R. I thank the lower power loads worked the best the brown ones and green ones. You load the back of the game getter with a power load 22 that is off set in a special made shell then load the front of the shell with a sized round ball ,sizer included in the kit . I would included the link but I don't know if it's allowed on this site. I thank the lowest power load was 500/600 fps for the 7.62x54r and round ball. They are supposed to make good 25 yard plinker loads

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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
GC Gas Check