Author Topic: .22lr substitutes for rifle training  (Read 5701 times)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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.22lr substitutes for rifle training
« on: January 18, 2017, 10:47:25 AM »
As a handloader, it's become apparent that lower velocity pistol loads are costing roughly the same as bulk .22lr cartridges.

My cast lead .38spl are around $0.08/rnd, and last time I saw .22lr bricks on the shelf, think it was $40 for 525, which is about $0.08/rnd

Here's the practical problem, .22lr is chambered for all sorts of guns:

Auto loading pistols
Revolvers
semi-auto rifles
bolt action rifles
lever rifles

Of course .38 with a few special exceptions is used only in revolvers and lever guns.

Is there another budget minded handloadable cartridge that would be appropriate for teaching new/young rifle shooters?
Primarily I'm thinking of bolt action.  Maybe some of the .25 cal wild cats or similar?

Criteria is:

inexpensive to hand load or buy (cast lead ideally)
accuracy/distance on par with .22lr
recoil/noise appropriate for youth (think boy scouts)



Offline xxdabroxx

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 10:58:32 AM »
If you can buy factory made ammo for the same price that it costs you to reload a cartridge and it saves you the time investment why not just shoot 22lr?

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 11:35:54 AM »
If you can buy factory made ammo for the same price that it costs you to reload a cartridge and it saves you the time investment why not just shoot 22lr?

Stop.  You are making too much sense.


nkawtg

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 11:44:33 AM »
Something like a Cricket single shot bolt action .22lr?
For training youth, there's nothing like a .22

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM309sp1oWA

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2017, 11:46:26 AM »
Something like a Cricket single shot bolt action .22lr?
For training youth, there's nothing like a .22

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM309sp1oWA

I'm inclined to get something closer to full size, like a Savage MK II perhaps?
http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/?type_check%5B%5D=Rimfire&accutrigger_check%5B%5D=yes

nkawtg

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 12:04:32 PM »
I'm inclined to get something closer to full size, like a Savage MK II perhaps?
http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/?type_check%5B%5D=Rimfire&accutrigger_check%5B%5D=yes
That's a nice one.

Offline xxdabroxx

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 12:05:17 PM »
Down the rabbit hole with you! 

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2017, 12:24:30 PM »
I think that is what the .22 Hornet and similar were all about long ago. Or, perhaps you could shoot cast bullets in .223 (bolt action or manually cycled in SA) with something like Unique or 2400?  If you can get a load using 10 gr of pistol powder instead of 25 gr of rifle powder then you cut your powder cost by more than half.  The Hornet is loaded with about 8-10 grains of 2400 for velocities around 2300fps.

Using bulk 50-55gr .224" bullets at $50/500 and assuming you get lots and lots of reloads out of the brass at such low pressures, the cost per bullet is:
.10  for bullet ($50/500)
.04  for powder ($30/1# and at 10 gr/case or 700 rds/1#; twice this cost for rifle powders)
.03 for primer ($30/1000)
.00 for brass (assuming you have tons already from normal .223 reloading or range pick up)
====
$0.17/round using factory jacketed bullets; which is $3.40/20rds, $8.50/50rds, or $17/100rds.  This is pretty close to .22LR ammo cost right now.  Wideners has Automatch .22LR for about $6.50/50rds.

If you cast your own and use gas checks and have virtually free lead you have scavenged, then perhaps you can get well below $0.08/rnd?  The key would be to either use the .22 Hornet case or at least download .223 to Hornet levels using a pistol powder.  You might be able to use H4895 to download to near the same level, maybe at 15 gr?

From what I have read the cast .224" bullets are not real accurate, maybe 1.5"-2" as best groups.  But that is on par with most .22LR accuracy at 100 yds. So it looks like if you cast and use pistol powder then you can reload .22 Hornet or .223 significantly cheaper than .22LR ammo.  If you use jacketed bullets then you are about 30% more than .22LR.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2017, 12:37:29 PM »
Nevermind, I just saw on ammoengine that you can get bulk Aguila .22LR for $0.06/rd.  So for now it would be cheaper to just stock up on bulk .22Lr than try to reload something similar.  But developing a similar load might be a good thing to try out just to have an option down the road, especially if you already have the brass, bullets, primers and powder on hand for other cartridges that use them.

ETA:  If you can make friends with someone that works at a sporting goods store then you can probably buy .22LR ammo for half the normal cost. And at least some retailers allow the employees to set aside ammo for themselves before it goes onto the shelves.  A friend started working at a place part-time and they can get pretty much as much ammo as they want for a huge employee discount. I think that explains why there was never any .22LR on the shelves as some employees I am sure were buying it all and reselling on gunbroker.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 12:42:38 PM by NWPilgrim »

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2017, 01:10:49 PM »
I think that is what the .22 Hornet and similar were all about long ago. Or, perhaps you could shoot cast bullets in .223 (bolt action or manually cycled in SA) with something like Unique or 2400?  If you can get a load using 10 gr of pistol powder instead of 25 gr of rifle powder then you cut your powder cost by more than half.  The Hornet is loaded with about 8-10 grains of 2400 for velocities around 2300fps.

Using bulk 50-55gr .224" bullets at $50/500 and assuming you get lots and lots of reloads out of the brass at such low pressures, the cost per bullet is:
.10  for bullet ($50/500)
.04  for powder ($30/1# and at 10 gr/case or 700 rds/1#; twice this cost for rifle powders)
.03 for primer ($30/1000)
.00 for brass (assuming you have tons already from normal .223 reloading or range pick up)
====
$0.17/round using factory jacketed bullets; which is $3.40/20rds, $8.50/50rds, or $17/100rds.  This is pretty close to .22LR ammo cost right now.  Wideners has Automatch .22LR for about $6.50/50rds.

If you cast your own and use gas checks and have virtually free lead you have scavenged, then perhaps you can get well below $0.08/rnd?  The key would be to either use the .22 Hornet case or at least download .223 to Hornet levels using a pistol powder.  You might be able to use H4895 to download to near the same level, maybe at 15 gr?

From what I have read the cast .224" bullets are not real accurate, maybe 1.5"-2" as best groups.  But that is on par with most .22LR accuracy at 100 yds. So it looks like if you cast and use pistol powder then you can reload .22 Hornet or .223 significantly cheaper than .22LR ammo.  If you use jacketed bullets then you are about 30% more than .22LR.

I briefly considered casting .224 lead bullets, but in the context of ARs they are a waste of time.
I get bulk Hornady 55gr jacket SP for about $80/1000 at times, and I use that for shooting steel gongs. 

If I had a .223 bolt gun, I could lower the velocity significantly and use H4895, IMR TrailBoss or similar fast burning powder. 

Many things to consider...

Offline Carl

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 02:07:23 PM »
 I would use a combo gun like a Savage with 38/357 over 20 Gauge or even a rifle with a caliber conversion like my 35 remington and 38/357 conversion.
Perhaps a quality air rifle?

Offline armymars

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2017, 03:15:51 PM »
  Years ago I shot some 22 cal. pellets out of my 223. I think I used 4grs of red dot and a pellet with a steel insert and plastic skirts. The first time you do this check the barrel to make sure the pellet made it all the way out. It was fun to play with.
  I just walked over to my reloading bench and found some of the pellets.They are Prometheus Hunting Pellets. 100 to a box, but no weight listed.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: .22lr substitutes for rifle training
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2017, 03:24:21 PM »
Maybe the new Benjamin Wildfire semiauto PCP pellet gun with 12rd magazine. It's $150 and .177 pellets are a penny or two a piece.