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Thread: Introducing: The .22 ladybug

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    Found this thread late. . .my brain is spinning with the possibilities of this as a standardized round.

    1. We all tend to horde .22LR for the simple fact that we CAN'T reload it. This would make having a more reasonable pile of brass a practicality.

    2. The sport of BR-50 was discontinued largely because even the really good .22LR wasn't living up to Benchrest demands. Not having one side of the cartridge getting crushed on ignition has GOT to be good for accuracy potential. Taking things to the Benchrest or Olympic Smallbore level would require a lot of match-prep steps to brass, bullets, primer, lube, and powder selection, but I think there's HUGE potential here.

    3. The ability to dispense with heeled bullets raises interesting possibilities with jacketed, heavier weights, faster twists, custom throats, etc..., not all of which would work in a magazine, but since .22 singles shots have always been very much "a thing". . . Remember the Aguila .22 SSS (Sniper Sub Sonic) that was basically a .22 Short case with a 60 grain bullet extending the length out to LR dimensions? This could certainly go there.

    4. The ability to make it out of Hornet cases would indicate that a .22 WMR version is possible. A .22WRF version would, with a little ingenuity to create a CF conversion, get some old platforms economically shooting again.

    Intrigued. . .very intrigued. . .
    Welcome to this Party Bigslug!
    As to your #4 comment, the .22CCM has recently been made available by two or three Commercial suppliers so the.22WMR 'CF version" is available nowadays. Not Cheap; but Available.

    The .22WRF case length of .960" can be made from one of three ways now: A. trim of a .22CCM; B. make from .22 Hornet and trim to length; or C. make from either 5.7x28mm or 4.6x30mm used cases.
    Each has both good and bad points consider; such as the Tooling required to form .246"-.248" diameter cases from the larger diameter 'parent' case without excessive losses in intermediate steps versus the cost of a 'formed from .22 Hornet case .22CCM parent' that can be trimmed down in length but then may need inside reaming to thin the Mouth down to practical use thickness.

    My own experiences with Forming both Hornet and 5.7x28mm cases down to .276"-.278" diameters Leads me to think the Hornet, having thinner base web and sidewalls, might yield a larger internal Powder Chamber Volume in the swaged down case than a 5.7x28mm case would.
    For my experiments in making .25ACP lengthened wildcats the 5.7x28mm parent allows higher working pressures to be tried out as the Swaging process also work hardens the base further to make primer pockets more robust and last longer.

    I think the use of .25ACP Brass to make this '.22 Ladybug' is a very good use as it yields a slightly more work hardened but higher net Internal Powder Chamber Volume case than could be made from Just swaging down and trimming a .22 Hornet case.
    NoZombies combination of Swaging and Turning the case would probably yield an intermediate net Powder Chamber Volume between that of the .25ACP swaged down
    and the .22 Hornet swaged down intermediaries.

    Note: as to your final question; WWJMBD, I figure since he developed the .25ACP in the first place, he would 'roll his own' versions of the CF .22WRF and .22WMR and enjoy the shooting.
    Chuckling,
    Chev. William

  2. #82
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    So, a few updates are in order:

    I've continued working slowly on this as I've had time (not much lately, but a little more than I've been updating)

    Some things that may be of interest to folks:

    1. I've made some minor adjustments and created a version of this that feeds better through magazines. It still requires some lathe work, but opens up some potential platforms for the cartridge that would otherwise be less than ideal. I've just been calling it the ladybug repeater. I'll upload some photos in the next day or two. It works in all of the previously cut ladybug chambers, but original ladybug brass won't fit into repeater chambers (it's the rim diameter that makes the difference). It works in 100% of tube magazines (lifters etc might need work, but it feeds through the magazines) and at least half of the box magazines I've tested it in, with that number expanding considerably with a little bit of work to the magazines.

    2. I've been talking with a brass guy who says he might be willing to make ladybug brass for folks who are interested. The cost would be around $0.60 a piece (either version) for quantities of 100.

    3. I'm planning to have dies made up for reloading the ladybug. The dies would work for either version, but would come with the shell holder for the repeater version (to load the original, you would just add a .25ACP shell holder) Cost for the dies would be around $85, and they would have a carbide sizing die. They would not be forming dies, though if you have a small lathe, they would probably get you there with a few small tools. I'm designing the dies to work for reloading the ladybug, and any other length version straight wall at .247 diameter up to the .22 CCM (though you would need a different shell holder for the CCM)

    4. Chamber reamers should be available to buy or rent (not from me) around the same time the dies and brass are available. (mid to late summer most likely)

    This will NOT be a commercial venture for me, but I've enjoyed the cartridge enough that I want to make it accessible to like minded folks. I'll make a few bucks (call it diaper money I guess) on the dies, but not anything else.

    With all of that, you should be able to convert a .22 contender barrel (about the easiest conversion) by renting a reamer, buy dies, and 100 pieces of brass, and still have enough left over from $200 to buy a cup of coffee. Other conversions will depend on numerous factors including whether the cartridge will feed through a magazine, and the difficulty of CF conversion.

    I'm sure Chev Williams will have some more fun with it in the mean-time as well, but I figured if I can make it an actually viable caliber for those without the resourcefulness and ingenuity at that level, it would just be that much better. Besides, who doesn't want carbide dies for their wildcat?

    I'm looking for a few more actions to convert, and a few are in progress, so as I'm able to work on this, I'll continue to update. But Ive got another kid due any day, so I'll be a little busy with that for the next little bit, so progress may be slow.
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  3. #83
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    This is a very interesting project, what semi actions have you converted so far?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  4. #84
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    The .22 LB repeater in the middle flanked by .22 LR and original LB for comparison:



    And the same cartridge in a Remington .22 bolt gun being tested for feed through the magazine. It looks like the Rem will only need a CF conversion and a chamber ream to become a LB repeater!

    One of the nice things about the LB repeater version is that it allows the conversion of a number of .22's without any work on extractors, bolt face diameter or ejection. Essentially just a chamber ream and CF conversion with a lot of different guns.



    I'm still finalizing the extractor groove depth and angle on the repeater version, and the photos above are early in the development. I was worried that the groove right at the primer in an already very small area would be problematic, but I've got a dozen or more reloads on the original repeater brass at over 45K PSI (calculated) and the primer pockets are still holding, so I'm calling it a win, as I'll be declaring 25KPSI max for the cartridge (should allow just a slight edge on .22LR ballistics without straining even the weakest converted action unduly)

    As I mentioned, I'm looking for a few actions to convert. I'm looking for a winchester 67A with a bad bore (I have a spare barrel/receiver, just not the rest of the gun) I think it would be a great single shot boys rifle in .22 ladybug, and should be an easy conversion. I'm also looking for a tired or toasted I-frame smith (.32 or .38) that I can build into a ladybug. If anyone has either of those that they'd be willing to sell cheaply, I'd be eternally grateful!
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  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by respiegel View Post
    This is a very interesting project, what semi actions have you converted so far?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Actually, I haven't converted a semi auto yet, but I have one in the works and I hope to test it in the next month or so.
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  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoZombies View Post
    Actually, I haven't converted a semi auto yet, but I have one in the works and I hope to test it in the next month or so.
    Ah ok, red you were testing magazines and got excited. Please keep us posted!


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  7. #87
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    NoZombies,
    I'll be watching this for your entire trip.
    I have a number of single shots that would be fun to shoot with this little round.
    (would be interested in having someone else do the brass, too)
    Thanks for all your efforts,
    Dave

  8. #88
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    NoZombies,
    Your arranging for a supply of ready made Brass is very considerate of you, thank you!
    I will be looking forward to the Reloading dies and Commercially listed Chambering reamers. as that is a pair of markers of a 'successful' Wildcat Cartridge.

    As to the Extractor cut dimensions, may I suggest the Depth and width of the cylinder portion be such that the rim of one cartridge will 'nest' in the cut so the bodies are parallel and touching. John browning did this with the .25ACP and it Works well; he also found that the Taper going toward the Mouth of the Case needed to allow easy 'ramping' of the nested rim up ward to clear the Body of the Lower Cartridge during the feed from a 'stacking' magazine. From a tube magazine , these conditions do not apply.
    To recap:
    Subtract the body diameter from the MAXIMUM rim diameter; then divide that result in half to get the Depth of the Lathe cut (half diameter).
    Example: 5.7x28mm rim diameter is 7.8mm (.30708+") per CIP standard.
    .30708 - .24700=.06008+ rounding off to four places gives .0601" which divided by 2 yields .03005" truncated is .0300" cut depth. Check: .247-.060=.187" With a Small Pistol Primer diameter of .175", that leaves a (.187-.175=.012/2=).006" wall between extractor clearance cut and primer pocket wall. Minimal but still usable if the wall is at least 1/2 Hard Brass Alloy.
    Of course since the .25ACP Rim is slightly smaller in diameter; using that dimension might make things more robust.

    J.M. Browning used a Half Angle of 20 degrees for the Taper on his .25ACP/6,35 Browning Semi-Rimed design cartridge per CIP Standard.
    FN used a Half Angle of 25 degrees for the Taper on their 5.7x28mm cartridge even Though the design is RIMLESS.

    I used CIP dimensions as they are a Legal Standard Enforced in Europe an most of the Rest of The World; while SAAMI dimensions are only Recommended Practices published for use in the USA.

    As to the Pressure choice: I would recommend a variation allowing two or more Pmax levels for the Cartridges. Your 25,000psi Pmax MAP for Conversions on old 22 RF rifles. A higher "+P", and even "+P+" Pmax for use in 'more robust firearms designs'
    up to your commented 45,000psi or so.
    Unless there are some exceptions, I believe the extractors of all .22 RF cartridges are designed and manufactured to have a small Clearance over both rim Diameter and rim Thickness; so Unless made with an unusually Long flat tip to lay alongside the Case body when engaged with the rim, most should easily extract your Ladybug and Ladybug Repeater cases.
    I note that the Ruger "Single Six' is capable of handling .327 Fed. Mag. pressures in its frame (45,000psi Pmax MAP) so a Six shot conversion using the Ladybug design and a Quality Six shot, or Seven Shot cylinder, should be capable of such cartridge pressures.

    My experiments with eight shot cylinders and .25ACP diameter Wildcats limit my Chamber to Chamber and chamber to Locking cut wall thicknesses; so I limit my Conversions to about 30,000psi or less Pmax MAP for a margin of safety.

    Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 04-09-2018 at 12:18 PM.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chev. William View Post
    NoZombies,
    Your arranging for a supply of ready made Brass is very considerate of you, thank you!
    I will be looking forward to the Reloading dies and Commercially listed Chambering reamers. as that is a pair of markers of a 'successful' Wildcat Cartridge.

    As to the Extractor cut dimensions, may I suggest the Depth and width of the cylinder portion be such that the rim of one cartridge will 'nest' in the cut so the bodies are parallel and touching. John browning did this with the .25ACP and it Works well; he also found that the Taper going toward the Mouth of the Case needed to allow easy 'ramping' of the nested rim up ward to clear the Body of the Lower Cartridge during the feed from a 'stacking' magazine. From a tube magazine , these conditions do not apply.
    To recap:
    Subtract the body diameter from the MAXIMUM rim diameter; then divide that result in half to get the Depth of the Lathe cut (half diameter).
    Example: 5.7x28mm rim diameter is 7.8mm (.30708+") per CIP standard.
    .30708 - .24700=.06008+ rounding off to four places gives .0601" which divided by 2 yields .03005" truncated is .0300" cut depth. Check: .247-.060=.187" With a Small Pistol Primer diameter of .175", that leaves a (.187-.175=.012/2=).006" wall between extractor clearance cut and primer pocket wall. Minimal but still usable if the wall is at least 1/2 Hard Brass Alloy.
    Of course since the .25ACP Rim is slightly smaller in diameter; using that dimension might make things more robust.

    J.M. Browning used a Half Angle of 20 degrees for the Taper on his .25ACP/6,35 Browning Semi-Rimed design cartridge per CIP Standard.
    FN used a Half Angle of 25 degrees for the Taper on their 5.7x28mm cartridge even Though the design is RIMLESS.

    I used CIP dimensions as they are a Legal Standard Enforced in Europe an most of the Rest of The World; while SAAMI dimensions are only Recommended Practices published for use in the USA.

    As to the Pressure choice: I would recommend a variation allowing two or more Pmax levels for the Cartridges. Your 25,000psi Pmax MAP for Conversions on old 22 RF rifles. A higher "+P", and even "+P+" Pmax for use in 'more robust firearms designs'
    up to your commented 45,000psi or so.
    Unless there are some exceptions, I believe the extractors of all .22 RF cartridges are designed and manufactured to have a small Clearance over both rim Diameter and rim Thickness; so Unless made with an unusually Long flat tip to lay alongside the Case body when engaged with the rim, most should easily extract your Ladybug and Ladybug Repeater cases.
    I note that the Ruger "Single Six' is capable of handling .327 Fed. Mag. pressures in its frame (45,000psi Pmax MAP) so a Six shot conversion using the Ladybug design and a Quality Six shot, or Seven Shot cylinder, should be capable of such cartridge pressures.

    My experiments with eight shot cylinders and .25ACP diameter Wildcats limit my Chamber to Chamber and chamber to Locking cut wall thicknesses; so I limit my Conversions to about 30,000psi or less Pmax MAP for a margin of safety.

    Chev. William
    I appreciate you breaking all of that down. The numbers that I've come up with for the extractor relief are within .0005 of the formula you quoted, although my starting numbers are a little different. The repeater version only has a rim diameter of .278 max (to match the .22LR extractors and bolt faces) which is what allows it to function through the tube and box magazines.

    This leaves the extractor relief cut at .228 meaning there's about .020 on either side around the primer, which helps with strength, and allows for the fact that primer pockets aren't always 100% centered. I say I'm not done yet, as I've still got to cut a form tool to make all of them uniform. I'm continuing to test the sample cases, and once I'm 100% pleased I'll make the form cutter. Let me rephrase that... at some point afterwards I'll grind the form cutter (life is in the way more than I'd like)

    As for pressures, The final decisions will be up to the individual wildcatter, but I'll offer starting place loads for the lower pressure ranges, and some ideas about how to get more out of it with higher pressures.
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  10. #90
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    I was "Brainstorming" while Driving around doing errands today (Oh yes, "Brainstorming" can be dangerous if it goes too far).
    NoZombies has apparantly combined the .22WRF/WMR, the .22Win.Auto, the .22 Rem.Auto, and the .22Long/Long Rifle RF case dimensions to arrive at his .22 Ladybug/Ladybug Repeater.
    "The brass ends at .247 diameter straight, with a rim diameter of around .300-.305 and thckness of .042. My chamber is .251 straight with a rim recess .309 in diameter." --Nozombies.
    For reference:
    .22 Long Rifle Drawing from Ammoguide Interactive (AI):

    which uses A Heeled and Outside Lubed bullet.
    .22 Rem.Auto Drawing from AI:

    Which used an Inside Lubed Bullet.
    .22 Win.Auto Drawing from AI:

    Which also used an Inside Lubed Bullet.
    .22WRF Drawing from AI: (the .22WMR 9s s9m9l;a rbut longer in case length and overall Length).

    in which both use either Inside Lubed or Jacketed Bullets.

    given the Maximum case length that can reasonably be derived from swaging down .25ACP seems, from NoZombies experiments, to be about .625" it seems any of the Possible other cartridge Designs would only be useful as 'Single Shot Short Use' in either the Winchester 1903 Auto or the Remington Model 16 Autoloader; However, the third version, the .22WRF/.22WMR 'short' version would be useful in a properly converted Rifle designed for such cartridges.
    One at lest comes to mind immeadiatly: the 1890/1906/62 Winchester Pump Rifle.
    If fitted With a CF Firing Pin tip, and a cartridge lifter fitted with the multiple length cartridge 'toggle part', this rifle should be able to chamber and fire a suitable version of the .22 Ladybug.

    I would guess that the use of a .251" nominal Chamber Diameter would also mean the '.22WRF' version of the Winchester 1890 series will chamber the Ladybug or Ladybug Repeater in existing chambers.

    I know that the Winchester 1890 design is strong enough to handle .22WMR as I have one that was reworked to handle .22WRF and .22WMR interchangeably. Due to the chamber being just Lengthened, rather than the barrel being set back and reamed 'from new'; the .22WMR sometimes extract stiffly as the roughly 100 years of shooting eroded the Chamber slightly at the Mouth of the .22WRF cases.

    Its 24" barrel is relatively Quiet with .22WRF; but noticeably louder with .22WMR.
    Accuracy is 'good' wiht both cartridges. It has basically the original Iron sights still on it; but I am thinking of fitting a used Tang Peep Sight on it to try out.

    I am guessing those who own original Winchester 1903 or Remington model 16 would be the ones to decide if converting to CF is worth the loss in collector value to be able to shoot them again.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William

  11. #91
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    I tried making a Die body to hold one of the Drill Bushings I have purchased with not so good results: my 'seat' for the Drill Bushing is a 'push fit', but not a 'Hard Press' or 'Shrink' Fit.

    It holds The bushing for Inserting the case to be formed, but the bushing stays with the case when Extracting.

    I can finish the extraction of the sized case over a suitable sized Hole with a Punch and hammer. This is frustrating additional actions that should not be necessary.

    I am thinking I need to find a .499" diameter reamer to size The .500" nominal OD Bushing's seats.

    Chev. William

  12. #92
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    Drill bushings can be purchased from Carr-Lane in 0.001" increments.

  13. #93
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    Initially Carr-Lane says shipping via UPS only and Ground Ups at over $20 for a $8 Drill bushing! Yikes!!!

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    Could you use some blue locktite on the bushing Chev? Then heat it if you needed it out.

    Dave

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by sb327 View Post
    Could you use some blue locktite on the bushing Chev? Then heat it if you needed it out.

    Dave
    Possibly; but I have not had good success using Blue Locktite on item subject to Axial force after set up in the past.

  16. #96
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    Tried Another experiment with the Drill Bushing positioned so the "Exit" was the "mouth" of the modified sizing die. My result is a Swage formed case with a nearly constant Diameter from neck to Rim.

    This is Encouraging and will be pursued Further. A small Fine, Thin, ring of sheared material was easily removed by sliding off the Neck with my fingers.

    Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 04-17-2018 at 09:43 AM.

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chev. William View Post
    Tried Another experiment with the Drill Bushing positioned so the "Exit" was the "mouth" of the modified sizing die. My result is a Swage formed case with a nearly constant Diameter from neck to Rim.

    This is Encouraging and will be pursued Further. A small Fine, Thin, ring of sheared material was easily remove dby sliding off the Neck with my fingers.

    Chev. William
    Excellent progress.

    I've been making dies, and have had some luck, but life is busy right now, so I'm not moving forward at much pace.

    I did experiment a little bit, and discovered that the ladybug can be successfully loaded using an old Lee loader in .25 ACP. Obviously the body won't size the case, but everything else works as it should, the little hand primer thingy primes the cases well, and the expander/uniformer thingy actually works fine on the .22 caliber shells. the bullet seater can be set to the right length, and the bullets can b seated with hand pressure. The only part of the kit that doesn't work at all (oddly) is the primer punch. the pin is too small for the flash-hole, though the rid fits inside the case fine... using a modern primer punch solves the problem though.

    I don't know why I have 2 sets of Lee loaders for .25 ACP, (actually Mequon) but I do... and they both work for loading the ladybug.
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  18. #98
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    RE: the Drill bushing Die Idea:
    I had some time this evening in my friends Special Effects shop and used his Lathe to re-machine the die body that was 'too loose' to retain the Bushing against case removal forces.
    I deepened the Die socket end cut with a 15/32" drill bit and then reamed it with a .5000" diameter Chucking Reamer. I then forced the bushing into the socket and turned a lip on The bottom of the die body; which i hammered over the edge of the Bushing (the bushing was set in with the radius end inside and the 'sharp/flat' end facing the "Mouth' of the die body).

    I also machined a second Blank die body to tightly accept a 1-3/8" long .250" ID bushing for making a seating die later.

    Both die bodies were Drilled 5/16" diameter through, with the Tops drilled 7/16" (as tap hole for 1/2-20 Threading) to at least 1-1/4" deep; with the top end drilled out to 1/2" diameter for 1/8" deep as a lead in guide.

    I will try the revised die tomorrow, if Weather and Time allows.
    Chev. William

  19. #99
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    I got the chance to try the revised .277" diameter Drill bushing die This Morning on ten cases preformed by swaging but not turned.

    The revised Die Worked Perfectly! It 'shears' a Thin, fine, ring of Polymer and Brass from the lowest roughly .070" of the Body above the Extractor Clearance Cut and they came out of the die without problems.

    The Sheared off ring does have to be removed by manipulation with my fingers though.

    Final diameter at the Sheared area measured about .2768" with a .0001" resolution 0-1" range Micrometer.

    Overall, this seems to be a time saving modification to my Process for making .25 Parent cases for my 'Wildcats'.
    I will eventually turn my Long Pin Punch Body to slide further into the tops of these, PT&G, die bodies as they are longer overall than my other, Lee, forming die bodies.

    The Long .2500" diameter Drill bushing is mounted in the second die body machined last night and accepts the sample .22CCM perfectly all the way to their rim tops.

    I will need to make some seating pin 'punches' to fit, along with the 1/2-20 Threaded adjusting top piece. From experience, I find that Seating pin working face must fit the Bullet contour o rthe bullet will be distorted as it is seated.

    More Machining Work for another time.
    Chev. William

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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