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Thread: shortened .223 for low noise purposes

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    shortened .223 for low noise purposes

    at what point does a .223 case become to short to fully neck with a standard sizing die?

    I was pondering this in the garden gun thread. Someone advocated using primers and 22 airgun pellets as a short range pest control system with full size .223 cases, but im curious if a small case volume would be able to create a sort of centerfir 22 long rifle.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I do not think there is a lot of advantage to making the case smaller.

    I have shot .444marlin with moderate loads of Red Dot and could barely hear them go off through my earmuffs.

    I have a couple of light loads for .223 with the 55 gr bator bullet. One a bit faster with gas check. One slower without gas check. That one sounds like a .22lr, scope was right on at 25 (sighted for factory loads at 100)

    According to my best wild guess it should have been somewhere close to .22lr speed, but with heavier bullet. It would certainly have put paid to any squirrel I tried to head shoot. All shots out to 75 yards were within a 1" circle from aimpoint. So if aimed at a squirrel eyeball, you'd of had dead squirrel every time.

    Those loads were inexpensive, quiet, and harder hitting than .22lr. 15 gr heavier bullet at similar speed.

    You might try a magnum primer with those air rifle pellets if you need a bit more oomph.

  4. #4
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    Wonder if you could fill a case with molten lead then drill a hole, say 3/16ths, all the way to the flash hole, for kind of a reduced capacity case, to use with pellets?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockrat View Post
    Wonder if you could fill a case with molten lead then drill a hole, say 3/16ths, all the way to the flash hole, for kind of a reduced capacity case, to use with pellets?
    You could probably do that, but I would use Zinc or Zamak as it's harder, as though that makes a difference. You would have to make a long rod depriming tool to punch out your spend primers. The case would be annealed by the hot lead or Zinc and wouldn't be safe for high pressures.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master NoAngel's Avatar
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    Or just use 223 blanks as the cases have a much smaller capacity.

    But in reality you'd be better off with a fast bulky powder like Trail boss in a regular case.
    When dealing with islam one should always ask themselves: "What would Leonidas do?"

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I like the #3 Buck sized and tumble lubed, seated over a CFVentures soft gas check in the 6MM TCU or 243 rifle. For the 22 center fire, like 218 Bee or 221 Fire ball and up, the #4 buck sized and tumble lubed, over the CFVentures soft gas check. Powder charge depends upon your situation, anywhere from crack on down to pop.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I just now come in from shooting the Lyman 84 grain bullet meant for the 32 ACP and such in my 308 rifle with 3 grs of Red Dot. It was inbetween a pop and crack and shot very well. Plenty good enough for a squirrel load!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I have used the 22 pellets in 22 hornet, 218 Bee, .222 rem, .223, 22-250 and 220 swift cases. The Bee and hornet gave slightly higher velocities than the bigger cases but not a lot. I also loaded the pellets backwards skirt out for a big hollow point. I used the flat faced pellets. I was doing this to test primers consistency by chronographing the pellets with just a primer for power. I sacrificed one hornet case and one 22-250 case by drilling the flash holes out to .100 and used the same case over and over. Was interesting to see how primers performed velocity wise but didn't take into account brisance and flame flow.
    If you want to get the best results use a smaller case and open the flash hole up in it. I had little problems with leading but did have issues with fouling from the primers as its a hard glass like substance.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master gnostic's Avatar
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    The 221 Fireball, is a shortened 223 and is, anything but quiet...

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Red Dot, in the .223 case, sounds like .22Mag but can deliver 2350 fps w/ the 40gr vMax.
    It is my favorite .223Rem load, and is so incredibly accurate that most folks wouldn't believe it.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Well the thought was and is that shortening the case, but keeping the existing shoulder and neck would allow a better usage of powder or plain primer for low velocity ammunition.

    For instance, reduce the case volume by perhaps half, and be able to switch to say a grain of bullseye instead of what 3 grain for that round ball?

    And at the same time, the safety issue, if I manage to figure a way to make them feed from a magazine I wouldn't want to grab the wrong magazine when mr buck comes 20 yards from me, and accidentally try to use a pellet gun on him..or use a 62 grain TSX on a squirrel..

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    You could potentially put a brass tube inside the case that took up a bunch of space inside?

    Two guesses what happens WHEN you put a small charge of fast powder inside there, though, having mistaken a modded case for a normal case.

    Instead I'd put a little powder in there and use Kapok or other filler to keep it by the primer; That seems safer. Just use different bullets for different purposes (We used 55 Gr. FMJs in 5.56 for small game loads, and 63 Gr. SPBTs for larger varmint loads, you can see which is which at a glance or by feel)

  14. #14
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Use Red Dot and you don't even need dacron or other filler.

    It is fairly fluffy, takes up more space than many faster powders.
    I've had no issues with ignition at all. No unburned powder in the bore, etc.

    All I have ever used in my light loads is plain primers, I prefer CCI but also use Winchester.

    The main advantage is you are changing nothing on the rifle other than possibly the scope. So you can easily switch from shorter range low noise to full bore loads by just choosing which to load.

    Now if I was to get enthused about shooting air rifle pellets out of a .223 I could see the advantage of putting a thin walled brass tube over the flash hole to confine the primer force directly to the base of the pellet.

    But for light charges of fast powder I have not seen the need.
    Just my opinion of course, YMMV.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    gah.. no one wants to chop the .223 down... what a sad situation.

    The shortening does make a new rifle needed, and dies and all. but the pellet mod always seems to NEED a person to use shotgun primers. The shorter case would let ya use any crappy regular rifle primer on hand.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Sheesh View Post
    You could potentially put a brass tube inside the case that took up a bunch of space inside?

    Two guesses what happens WHEN you put a small charge of fast powder inside there, though, having mistaken a modded case for a normal case.

    Instead I'd put a little powder in there and use Kapok or other filler to keep it by the primer; That seems safer. Just use different bullets for different purposes (We used 55 Gr. FMJs in 5.56 for small game loads, and 63 Gr. SPBTs for larger varmint loads, you can see which is which at a glance or by feel)
    Well first if the case is filled with lead or zinc and the hole drilled you're going to notice a HUGE difference in the weight between it and an unmodified case. In addition that little charge of fast powder is going to fill the modified case up much more then the normal case. One would need to adjust the charge DOWN for the modified case. For example my shooting of a the 32 acp bullet with 3 grains of Red Dot in my 308. If I modified the case I would probably have to reduce that charge a lot and also probably go to a pistol primer.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minuteshaver View Post
    gah.. no one wants to chop the .223 down... what a sad situation.

    The shortening does make a new rifle needed, and dies and all. but the pellet mod always seems to NEED a person to use shotgun primers. The shorter case would let ya use any crappy regular rifle primer on hand.
    It's not that I don't want to, it's just not needed. The reason many use a 209 primers is because you can reload them by hand in the field. You can use standard primers and a hand primer in the field as well so that is an other method as well.
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    anyone get any luck with regular rifle primers?

    IS there a case resize needed here?

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    So what you want to do is reinvent the 22TCM?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.22_TCM

  20. #20
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Noise a round makes doesn't have a lot to do with length of the case. Barrel length has much more effect but it isn't he last word either.

    I have a Beretta bobcat in .22 short that is louder that lots of firearms chambered for cases with much more volume.

    Quiet out of a 223? Maybe. A chamber adapter and 22 CB caps?

    http://www.mcace.com/adapters.htm

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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