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Thread: .22 rimfire case reforming

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    .22 rimfire case reforming

    I know it's ridiculous to reload .22s except for "just because" Haven't done any, not that desperate ! ( Guess I'm a hoarder as I always bought 22 in case lots ) . Did "reload" some primers a few years back just to see if they'd work.
    The firing pin indentation on the rim seems to make rapid fire improbable with any reloads- could a jig setup be made to force the rims of empties back out with hydraulic pressure ?

    Obviously I have too much time on my hands to even think about this !

  2. #2
    Well... Just dry-fire a fired case and compare the two indentations. Chamber pressure won't reduce the indentation even slightly, against the spring tension and inertia of the firing-pin. I think you would need a lot more hydraulic pressure than even workshop power-presses use.

    It may not matter that much. This isn't the gun or ammunition you are going to be using for the game head or target match of a lifetime, and if you just load the thing as it is, the chance of hitting the unraised dent is minimal.

    Do you plan on doing it with your own rimfire priming composition? Personally I wouldn't. A large pistol primer will slide down inside the rimfire case quite neatly, and maybe a centrefire converted rifle would have a powerful enough strike to ignite it, like the old inside primed centrefires. Maybe. You would need some sort of ring to be slipped down on top and epoxied or crimped to hold the primer, and I don't know any safe way of getting that out for a second reloading.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Can be done but with current prices and avaliability i think it is an exercise i futility.

    http://22lrreloader.com/design-details/

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by 17nut View Post
    Can be done but with current prices and avaliability i think it is an exercise i futility.
    You shouldn't exaggerate. It isn't futile, quite. It is just that there is very little point in it.

    Now if it were to make an inside lubed round for a slightly smaller calibre barrel...

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    to hydraulically punch the dent back out you'd need a 2 piece die so the rim was supported fully.
    you can punch out cases that need 50+K to fire-form up to fit a die with just water and a punch, so this could be done.
    you might crack some cases at the rim.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    I have done it many times. Been reloading 22lr for over a year now. (still experimenting, changing processes etc) There was a time that I resized the cases by having them in a die (did not support the rim diameter) then adding enough water to fill the case and driving a punch in the case with a hammer. It's hit and miss (pun intended) The primer dents come out somewhat. Depending how deep they are they may come out so that there is just a shadow of where they were. The problem is that the deeper dents drive the rim of the case out to a diameter that is way too big. I still use a process to resize the rim diameter. There are way too many steps to properly reload rim fire ammo. They can be reloaded to shoot in single shot guns well enough but to get them to fire reliably in an autoloader all the little problems must be ironed out. It is way harder to reload these little devils than it is center fire ammo. Even the ogive has to be exact or they will not feed. But still I plug on. Why? I just can't let a project get the best of me. Right now I am finishing the work on a crimp pull tension weight tester for the devils. In the book "Ammunition Making" by George E Frost, in chapter 12 titled "The .22 Match Cartridge" Frost writes about having to keep the crimp to hold the bullet at 45lbs to 55lbs of pull resistance. So that is the parameter that is necessary to get the devils to shoot consistently. I have already seen the effects of different crimp depths when testing. HUGE. With black powder, no problem. With smokeless powder a person would be changing powder every day trying to get something to shoot consistently. Anyway, yes you can get the dent out with hydraulic pressure, but because it is not feasible to apply that pressure slowly because of leakage, you must hit it with a blow to be effective. (the inside of a 22lr is a size 4 number drill. so it is easy enough to make a punch that will neatly fill the case.)
    AKA hans.pcguy

  7. #7
    If you are inserting your own rimfire priming compound and spinning it into place, I don't suppose it requires the full amount of space all around the rim. If the thin bit ignites, it will ignite all the way around. But if you don't have confidence in that, it would probably be possible to make a simple steel tool to finish what the hydraulic pressure has started.

    Stevens introduced the .22LR without the crimp, and I think the danger of rounds coming to pieces in a repeating action preceded smokeless as the reason for the crimp. I'm sure what you say about the need for a consistent crimp for accuracy is true of the .22LR as loaded nowadays. But it might be possible to devise loads, possibly duplex, which work without in single shot firearms.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    You bring up a very interesting idea about a steel tool to finish what the hydraulic process started. Removing the dent (especially where it dents out, increasing the radius of the head) is something that by necessity I have had to think much about. I no longer use the hydraulic method I described because it is way too time consuming. The reality is that you can reset the depth of the head including the dent with a simple punch and die. I have to inspect the cases and set the cases with excessive rim expanding dents aside to either not reload or to add another process of removing the diameter expanding dent. Used cases are so plentiful that I simply do not use the ones with big dents. I could also place the cases in a prioritized shell holder that would reform the head diameter as I resize the rest of the case. Eventually this is probably the route that I would go.
    I originally misread your comment. I thought you were referring to modifying the system in which the rimfire cartridge ignites. I have thought of this also. One of the basic drawbacks for rim fire ammo is the thinness of the brass. How could the brass thickness be increased? I believe if a ring of steel were placed inside of the rim the thickness of the brass could be increased. I don't really have the tooling to test this idea. But if it did work, higher pressure rimfire could be manufactured and we might see a resurgence of rimfire design. I would love to work with larger caliber rimfire. Like maybe the old Vetterli rifle. But staying on topic here, the cases of rimfire are the weakest link for reloading rimfire. The best solution is to not reload them. Seriously. Before overzealous hazmat laws and other anti-gun legislation here is the US we could buy primed cases as you are aware. I had the great fortune of finding a good amount of these for my own purposes. So I have been focusing on making the ideal projectile for new primed cases. I have a method of reusing old brass but again way too time consuming. I will go back to that part of the puzzle after I am satisfied with making match grade ammunition with primed cases. This is why I am going into things like "pull pressure" which is described in Frost's book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ballistics in Scotland View Post
    If you are inserting your own rimfire priming compound and spinning it into place, I don't suppose it requires the full amount of space all around the rim. If the thin bit ignites, it will ignite all the way around. But if you don't have confidence in that, it would probably be possible to make a simple steel tool to finish what the hydraulic pressure has started.

    Stevens introduced the .22LR without the crimp, and I think the danger of rounds coming to pieces in a repeating action preceded smokeless as the reason for the crimp. I'm sure what you say about the need for a consistent crimp for accuracy is true of the .22LR as loaded nowadays. But it might be possible to devise loads, possibly duplex, which work without in single shot firearms.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    You bring up a very interesting idea about a steel tool to finish what the hydraulic process started. Removing the dent (especially where it dents out, increasing the radius of the head) is something that by necessity I have had to think much about. I no longer use the hydraulic method I described because it is way too time consuming. The reality is that you can reset the depth of the head including the dent with a simple punch and die. I have to inspect the cases and set the cases with excessive rim expanding dents aside to either not reload or to add another process of removing the diameter expanding dent. Used cases are so plentiful that I simply do not use the ones with big dents. I could also place the cases in a prioritized shell holder that would reform the head diameter as I resize the rest of the case. Eventually this is probably the route that I would go.
    I originally misread your comment. I thought you were referring to modifying the system in which the rimfire cartridge ignites. I have thought of this also. One of the basic drawbacks for rim fire ammo is the thinness of the brass. How could the brass thickness be increased? I believe if a ring of steel were placed inside of the rim the thickness of the brass could be increased. I don't really have the tooling to test this idea. But if it did work, higher pressure rimfire could be manufactured and we might see a resurgence of rimfire design. I would love to work with larger caliber rimfire. Like maybe the old Vetterli rifle. But staying on topic here, the cases of rimfire are the weakest link for reloading rimfire. The best solution is to not reload them. Seriously. Before overzealous hazmat laws and other anti-gun legislation here is the US we could buy primed cases as you are aware. I had the great fortune of finding a good amount of these for my own purposes. So I have been focusing on making the ideal projectile for new primed cases. I have a method of reusing old brass but again way too time consuming. I will go back to that part of the puzzle after I am satisfied with making match grade ammunition with primed cases. This is why I am going into things like "pull pressure" which is described in Frost's book.

    You might be able to improve the dent situation with a well shaped and well located firing-pin for the first firing. It doesn't need to be sharp. Well do I remember the flat square tip on my first rifle, an accurate but otherwise unloveable tube-magazine Cooey, and the shallow dent it made. But it worked reliably on everything except a line of Soviet steel cased rimfires that were available at the time.

    The pin shouldn't be sharp, and it shouldn't overlap onto the edge of the rim. Besides making a piece jut out from the rim, it will be crushing nothing but brass, and reducing its impact slightly inboard.

    The tool could be as simple as a nail-like object to be held in a vice. Put the case over it and hit it with a soft mallet, driving the edge of the "nail-head" into the indentation. But a pair of pliers could be modified, one jaw with a trough and the other jaw small enough to go into the case, with a little tooth to drive out the indentation. You can get parallel or Maun pliers with one jaw concave and the other convex, which meet you halfway. But cheaper ones would do, and could be filed.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    My Ruger Single Six in .22 Magnum has a home made flat nosed firing pin, and the breech plug is recessed a bit as well. The result of these features along with a light mainspring is that while ignition has so far been 100% the rims of expended cases show very little firing pin indentation. I could probably reload these cases fairly easily compared to .22 Long Rifle cases. No need for a heel base boolit either.
    If one wished to they could rechamber a .22 LR rifle to .22 WRF or Remington .22 Special (identical chambers) and use once fired .22 Magnum cases trimmed to fit. The .22 WRF ballistics aren't much if any hotter than that of modern high velocity .22 LR.
    The .22 Winchester Auto case length is another option, being no longer than the LR case and should feed well through most .22 LR repeating rifles.
    A dedicated rifle built on a Rolling Block or falling Block action would allow one to make sure of the orientation of the rim of his reloads and adjust spring tension to give good ignition without damaging the rim too much. The thicker walled cases compared to the LR cases could last for a dozen or so reloads.

    I've read that when the .22 Magnum first came out that Winchester sold empty primed cases in bulk to allow shooters to work up the most accurate loads for their particular rifle. When these were available owners of .22 WRF and Auto chambered rifles would buy these cases and trim them to fit their chambers.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    Thanks, those are both great ideas. I had not thought of either of them. First, I have been working on rebuilding a bolt on an old Remington 514. I had reworked the bolt such that I had to reshape the tip of the firing pin. I made it sharp. I will change that now. Also, never thought of the simple concave/convex pliers idea. I may try that also. I would rather however come up with a one step process to resize the case and remove the dent at the same time. One idea I had was to slightly chamfer or bullnose the tip of the sizing punch with a ring of hard wire at the end which would expand when pressing or tapping the punch in. Causing it to expand into the primer gap of the rim. There would be some difficult problems with that for me to deal with, mostly the very fine area that we are dealing with.(Included some pictures of a case I sliced open). One other thing, I use cases that I find at the range. They are from all different guns. In order to use these I'm going to need to make a case sizer that will remove the outer bulges of the dents that make the diameter of the rim too wide to fit into most guns. The inside doesn't really matter that much. In fact in my earlier work I have found that when you resize the outer portion of the head the dent tends to open up also. Especially after having sized the rest of the case. (These are high res pictures, You an enlarge the heck out of them to see the very fine detail.)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballistics in Scotland View Post
    You might be able to improve the dent situation with a well shaped and well located firing-pin for the first firing. It doesn't need to be sharp. Well do I remember the flat square tip on my first rifle, an accurate but otherwise unloveable tube-magazine Cooey, and the shallow dent it made. But it worked reliably on everything except a line of Soviet steel cased rimfires that were available at the time.

    The pin shouldn't be sharp, and it shouldn't overlap onto the edge of the rim. Besides making a piece jut out from the rim, it will be crushing nothing but brass, and reducing its impact slightly inboard.

    The tool could be as simple as a nail-like object to be held in a vice. Put the case over it and hit it with a soft mallet, driving the edge of the "nail-head" into the indentation. But a pair of pliers could be modified, one jaw with a trough and the other jaw small enough to go into the case, with a little tooth to drive out the indentation. You can get parallel or Maun pliers with one jaw concave and the other convex, which meet you halfway. But cheaper ones would do, and could be filed.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    Thanks for that interesting post. And my apologies to "Shooterg" for hijacking his thread. We are staying pretty much on topic though. Another project that is currently on the back burner is a simple single shot 22Mag or 22WMR. I have a Heritage 22 revolver much like the Ruger single six that has a 22WMR cylinder along with the regular 22lr. I do not want to use this to experiment with reloading 22wmr (I had originally stated in this sentence 22WRF which was a typo) so I am building the 22Mag rifle for testing reloads. It should be fairly simple to migrate to reloading magnums after reloading 22lr because the take the same bullet (if you want) I might use slightly harder lead but should be pretty much the same. In the other operations of reloading it just needs slightly larger dies. Of which I make myself anyway. I am anxious to start reloading 22 mag because of the obvious crazy price of these rounds. I hope also to eventually be able to make match grade ammunition for the Mag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Multigunner View Post
    My Ruger Single Six in .22 Magnum has a home made flat nosed firing pin, and the breech plug is recessed a bit as well. The result of these features along with a light mainspring is that while ignition has so far been 100% the rims of expended cases show very little firing pin indentation. I could probably reload these cases fairly easily compared to .22 Long Rifle cases. No need for a heel base boolit either.
    If one wished to they could rechamber a .22 LR rifle to .22 WRF or Remington .22 Special (identical chambers) and use once fired .22 Magnum cases trimmed to fit. The .22 WRF ballistics aren't much if any hotter than that of modern high velocity .22 LR.
    The .22 Winchester Auto case length is another option, being no longer than the LR case and should feed well through most .22 LR repeating rifles.
    A dedicated rifle built on a Rolling Block or falling Block action would allow one to make sure of the orientation of the rim of his reloads and adjust spring tension to give good ignition without damaging the rim too much. The thicker walled cases compared to the LR cases could last for a dozen or so reloads.

    I've read that when the .22 Magnum first came out that Winchester sold empty primed cases in bulk to allow shooters to work up the most accurate loads for their particular rifle. When these were available owners of .22 WRF and Auto chambered rifles would buy these cases and trim them to fit their chambers.
    Last edited by Traffer; 03-14-2017 at 01:55 PM.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  13. #13
    I always think it is a great pity that the inside lubed .22WRF didn't become the standard rimfire round. It had the reputation of never having had the same accuracy of the .22LR, but I believe that with the same sort of development work it could have exceeded it. I actually don't know if the .22WMR is crimped onto the bullet, but being of case internal diameter means it is, at worst, the sort of crimp a handloader could easily give it.

    An interesting equivalent to the .22WMR was the .22CCM, or Cooper Centerfire Magnum, which was close to a centrefire version, and for which various rimfire rifles and pistols were converted. Cases are the problem. Turned brass cases were found to give unacceptably short life, although this might be somewhat improved by making it a close match to the chamber. I can no longer find the Schroader Bullet Works (including under Schroeder, which Internet Explorer suggested I try), but I believe their cases were made from .22 Hornet. That would be a fairly extreme sizing and turning job for the amateur, but it could be done.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ullshop-22-CCM

    https://www.loaddata.com/Cartridge/2...g-Guide-2/4751

    I mentioned my belief that a large pistol primer could be positioned inside the LR-diameter case, and probably ignited through the extra layer of brass. An automated repetition machining business could also produce a large quantity of little brass rings with a pocket to hold the small pistol primer and its anvil. It might even be removable for reloading if a light enough crimp would hold it. Perhaps something could also be done with .22LR cases de-rimmed as for swaging them into bullet jackets, but inserted inside the .22WMR case.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    I'm sorry that I do not proof read my posts well. I have incorrectly stated 22WRF several times where I meant 22WMR. I have edited my previous post to reflect 22WMR where I had originally written 22wrf. I am however grateful to Ballistics in Scotland for the great insight into the 22 WRF. Indeed it is too bad that it died out. I have recently been looking at used 17 HMR cases (another one ripe for typo's, since there is 17HMR, 17WSM and 17 HM2) that I have found at ranges. I trimmed a couple 17HMRs which are necked down 22WMRs. Basically I cut them off at the beginning of the sizing of the neck. This left me with a 22WMR-short. Which appears to be exactly what a 22WRF is. I thought of reloading these cut down 17HMRs. I do not believe that the modern loading of 22WMRs use any where near the entire capacity of the case. So though these cases are short, they should be able to be loaded as hot as normal sized 22WMRs. As soon as I get my 22WMR rifle built (which I am building expressly for testing 22WMR reloading) I am going to test these 22WMR-shorts. It would be interesting to have 22WRF sized rounds that shoot with the ballistics of the 22WMR. Then truly we can resurrect the 22wmr and create even more delightful confusion for novices like myself. hah
    AKA hans.pcguy

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    GONRA remembers "Between The Wars" German (RWS?) "Inside Primed" center fire .22 Long Rifle ammo.
    Should hava specimen in my modest cartridge collection. These were destined for some subcaliber useage.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    Very cool. Actually it probably wouldn't have been to hard to make something like that. Just a real tall 22cal shotgun primer with powder and a slug in it. I would like to see pictures of that though.

    Quote Originally Posted by GONRA View Post
    GONRA remembers "Between The Wars" German (RWS?) "Inside Primed" center fire .22 Long Rifle ammo.
    Should hava specimen in my modest cartridge collection. These were destined for some subcaliber useage.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by GONRA View Post
    GONRA remembers "Between The Wars" German (RWS?) "Inside Primed" center fire .22 Long Rifle ammo.
    Should hava specimen in my modest cartridge collection. These were destined for some subcaliber useage.
    Yes, and there were versions of the .22 Long and Short with conventionally inserted primers. The Long appears virtually identical in dimensions to the rimfire, but Jakob Brandt, in his book, gives the Short slightly larger diameters, correctly or not I don't know. While use in a rifle chamber insert makes a lot of sense, he doesn't mention it, and says they were revolver cartridges.

    He also illustrates the .22LR, but in this case it was inside primed, with a deeper cannelure all the way around than was used in the much earlier American inside primed rounds, and deeper, I think, than was needed. Maybe the intention was to stop people reloading the thing. I am certain that it came long after inside priming had disappeared in the US, purely on the basis that there was no .22LR rimfire to base it on until the 1880s. Brandt says the .22LR centrefire was, unlike the others, originated as a subcalibre adapter round but was also used in revolvers. Only the firing-pin would have to be different, and it would offer some advantages over the rimfire. The latter may still have been copper at the time, and more prone to jamming, and the inside primer could surely have reinforced the head against greater pressure. I don't know if it was loaded that way though.

    There was another subcalibre centrefire which I believe is still made today, the 4mm. This tiny cartridge had a swelling around the primer to do duty as an elongated rim, and contained no other propellant. As well as adapter tubes there were specially made rifles for its indoor use. Some had a breech mechanism near the front end of a rifle-length dummy barrel, and were fired by a firing-pin running most of its length. This to me suggests that the extremely momentary nature of the primer impulse was found to sometimes leave the bullet lodged in a long rifled barrel.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    A few years ago there was an inside lubed .22 rim fire by Winchester. It was promoted as the 22 ILARCO. It used the same head and rim as the .22 magnum, was trimmed to the same length as the .22 LR and used a .224 diameter bullet. I was disappointed that it did not catch on as I am convinced that an inside lubed case would function better is repeaters as well as being more accurate.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I believe resort to hydraulics is unnecessary for reforming the rim. It could be more easily done mechanically by roll forming the rim from the inside. The roll forming would probably also help remove some of the old primer compound.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    Do you mean have a tiny wheel on the end of some type of punch that would roll against the inside of the rim opening. That opening is very very narrow. But it could be done. Good idea. Worth considering.
    Quote Originally Posted by BAGTIC View Post
    I believe resort to hydraulics is unnecessary for reforming the rim. It could be more easily done mechanically by roll forming the rim from the inside. The roll forming would probably also help remove some of the old primer compound.
    AKA hans.pcguy

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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