The development of the .22 rimfire cartridge: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Maynard tape primer
  • .22 Long
  • Rifling twist rate
  • Why change the twist?
  • Time of flight
  • But…
  • Inuit and the .22 Long
  • .22 Extra Long
  • The big change
  • Smokeless powder
  • Smokeless powder
  • Smokeless powder
  • The bleeding obvious
  • A lot more to tell!
  • Not even halfway!

Maynard tape primer

A reader asked about toy caps last time and I said I would show some roll-type percussion caps that were used in the Civil War. The Maynard tape primer was a mechanism that held a paper roll of percussion caps and fed them over the nipple when the gun was cocked. It actually worked and was just one of several automatic priming systems that were just ahead of the metallic cartridge era.

Maynard tape primer
The Maynard tape primer fed percussion caps automatically as the gun was cocked. It could be incorporated into the design of the gun or added on.

I ended the first report with Smith & Wesson’s launch of the .22 Short in 1857. At first it was just called a .22, but the introduction of the .22 Long in 1871 caused them to rename it the Short after that time. I didn’t mention it in Part 1 but the chamber pressure of the Short cartridge as it’s loaded today is 24,000 psi, and the bullet diameter is 0.225-inches.

Let’s now spend a little time with the .22 Long.

.22 Long

The .22 Short has a case that’s 0.421-inches long. The 29-grain bullet stretches that to 0.695 inches. The .22 Long has a case that’s 0.613 inches and an overall length of 0.888 inches. It uses the same heeled 29-grain conical bullet that’s found in the Short, which makes us wonder — why?

It may be easy to see why a manufacturer would want to stretch the case. Obviously they were going for more velocity. The velocity of the Long is a little faster — 1,215, compared to 1,105 f.p.s. for the Short, as they are loaded today. But those velocities are with modern smokeless powder. When the Long came out all .22s were still being loaded with black powder. The longer case meant more powder could be packed inside, and that was at a time when the volume of gunpowder mattered more than it does today.

When the Long came out it was a more powerful cartridge. Gunmakers lost no time chambering their guns for it and, usually, if a gun accepted a Long, it would also function with a Short. The actions in those days were all mechanical, so feeding wasn’t a problem. However…

Rifling twist rate

Now you have to learn about the rifling twist rate. The .22 Short cartridge has a twist rate of one turn (the bullet makes one complete rotation on its axis) in 24 inches (1:24). However, some guns chambered for it have been rifled with 1:21 and 1:22 twists. When the Long came out its specified twist rate was 1:16. Remember, they were stabilizing bullets propelled by black powder, so the high velocities you see with cartridges today weren’t happening. Black powder develops more velocity the longer it burns inside a barrel, so the longer the barrel the faster the velocity for a given bullet. But black powder does not generate the kind of velocity that smokeless powder does.

Why change the twist?

Both Long and Short cartridges had an identical 29-grain heeled conical bullet. The Long shot faster than the Short with black powder, so why did they increase the twist rate? The higher velocity would have increased the spin rate on its own. Everything we know about twist rates says if the bullet is stable with a 1:24 rate, then 1:16 would be too fast for the same weight bullet. Now it’s time for us to think in the 4th dimension!

Time of flight

If what I have said so far is true, then why are there two different twist rates? Well, a couple things come to mind. First, the difference in velocities was not that great when the powder in the cartridges was all black. The Long bullet would have been faster in a given length of barrel, but not as much as you might think. A Short bullet might exit a 24-inch barrel at 850 f.p.s. and a Long bullet might exit at 925 f.p.s. That’s the kind of difference we are talking about. But…

But…

The faster the bullet spins on its axis, the longer it remains stable in flight. The longer it remains stable in flight, the greater the distance at which it will be accurate. Think of a football being thrown with a smooth spiral pass. It goes much farther than a “dying duck” (a flubbed pass that turns end over end).

The .22 Short bullet might be stable long enough to travel 100 yards with good accuracy. The .22 Long bullet, however, might go another 50-60 yards with good accuracy because of its faster spin. In the 1870s and 1880s men were shooting .22 Shorts at 100 yards in offhand schuetzen matches. We have difficulty envisioning this today, but in its day the .22 Short was considered a capable cartridge. The Long was even more capable. And that might have led to the strangest thing of all.

Inuit and the .22 Long

When the .22 Long came to market, apparently a number of them were purchased by Inuit people for dispatching game. I mean harvesting, rather than hunting. I’m talking about killing large animals like musk ox and even polar bear, not to mention seals with this diminutive cartridge. My friend, Earl McDonald (Mac) told me this, and I did some research to discover he might have been right. This isn’t a subject that has a lot written about it. At any rate, apparently the reason CCI still makes the .22 Long cartridge is primarily to satisfy the demand in Alaska and Canada, where the guns that are chambered for the .22 Long are considered tools, no different than knives and axes.

PETA and other animal rights organizations are taking down websites all over the internet where this information once resided, so the trail is growing cold, but perhaps a Canadian reader or someone living in Alaska can shed some light on the subject? At this point I have to regard it as an urban legend, though the .22 Long cartridge is still being made by CCI for no other good reason that I can determine. I just bought some while researching this series. And, guns made today that will chamber a Long Rifle cartridge will also chamber a Long, though it may not function through most semiautomatic actions. So — who really needs the .22 Long?

How important is it that your .22 rifle will handle Short, Long and Long Rifle cartridges? About as important as the fact that there is a lightbulb that was turned on in 1901 and has been illuminating for 117 years! Nice to know, but not that important to you. Your lightbulbs still burn out regularly, plus you want more than 4 watts of illumination. The .22 Long turned out to be just an Edison bulb in the development of the .22 rimfire cartridge. And, by the way, the chamber pressure of the modern .22 Long is 24,000 psi and its heeled bullet is 0.225-inches in diameter — same as the Short.

.22 Extra Long

Huh? You made that up, BB. What is the .22 Extra Long?

Well, it was launched in 1880 and died a swift and quiet death. I don’t know if it even made it into the smokeless era. It had a 40-grain lead bullet that was 0.225-inches in diameter, so I’m thinking it was heeled. The rifling twist rate was 1:16. Guns made for it are collector’s items but any ammunition you might find is also collectible, so this gun either isn’t being shot today, or somebody is doing something they shouldn’t. That’s because the metallurgy of the guns would be for black powder, which is generating 12,000 psi or less.

The big change

When the .22 Long Rifle cartridge came to market in 1887, everything changed. The Long Rifle had a case that was/is 0.613-inches long. That’s identical to the .22 Long case. But the overall length of the .22 Long Rifle cartridge stretches to 1.0-inches overall, instead of the 0.888-inches of the Long. A 40-grain heeled lead bullet makes the difference, and even with black powder, the Long Rifle cartridge got that bullet up to 950 f.p.s at the muzzle, in rifles with longer barrels. That heavier bullet made a big difference in killing effectiveness! The twist rate was 1:16. Are you starting to see a pattern?

So, in 1887 there were the .22 Short, .22 Long and .22 Long Rifle cartridges on the market. Guns could be chambered for just one or for all three of them. My Winchester Winder Musket (specified by Army Col. Winder and designed by Winchester) that’s based on the Winchester Low Wall falling block action of 1885 is chambered in .22 Short. When the government bought these rifles to use for marksmanship training they specified the Short chambering. But the same rifle was also chambered for the .22 Long Rifle. Today, shooters go for the Long Rifle model that will shoot all three cartridges. Collectors tend to like the one that’s chambered for the Short.

Winder Musket
The Winder Musket is a single shot target rifle that’s based on the Winchester Low Wall action of 1885. This one is chambered for .22 Short.

Three cartridges
Left to right — .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle.

Smokeless powder

Smokeless powder had already been invented in France by the time the Long Rifle cartridge came out, but it wasn’t until the late 1890s that .22 rimfire cartridges were first offered with that powder. The black powder cartridge loadings, along with some semi-smokeless cartridges (part black, part smokeless) continued in production until the 1930s. Target shooters favored them for many years, so there must have been an advantage.

The bleeding obvious

At this time in history, all three cartridges sold for different amounts. The .22 Shorts were cheapest and .22 Long Rifle cartridges cost the most. When making a purchase decision people factored ammo costs into the life cycle support costs of the gun.

Today there is virtually no difference in the price of a Short versus a Long Rifle. That gives buyers no good reason to buy the Short, and gunmakers follow suit.

A lot more to tell!

I’m just getting started on the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. Besides the changeover to smokeless powder, there were priming changes for all three cartridges that had huge affects on the longevity of the firearms in which they were used. And there are the high speed rounds, the ultra high speed, shot cartridges and other developments.

The chamber pressure for a modern .22 Long Rifle cartridge is 24,000 psi and its heeled bullet is 0.225-inches in diameter — the same as the .22 Short and .22 Long. The reason I’m telling you this is because there is about to be a change.

Not even halfway!

Think the rimfire cartridge development is finished? Not a chance. The next cartridge we will look at is the .22 Winchester Rim Fire or WRF. No, it’s not the .22 Magnum. It’s a non-magnum cartridge that uses a bore-sized non-heeled bullet for the first time. And that is another story.

138 thoughts on “The development of the .22 rimfire cartridge: Part 2

  1. BB

    I spent my youth in Northern BC on the Alaska highway. While I have no knowledge of a special purpose for the .22 long, the first rimfire I owned was a Stevens semi – auto that was chambered for all three variants, short, long, and long rifle.

    It was a gift from an older brother. I had to keep it hidden in the barn for the first year as we were not sure my father would approve. It had been given to him by an uncle. It functioned in semi-auto mode with long rifle only, and had a button lever that could be depressed to fire the others in single shot mode. Its accuracy was lacking due to a chamber worn oversize, but still fed reliably.

    I’m hoping to hear about cap guns in the civil war.


  2. When I was a boy in the late ’50s early ’60s, my father bought me a Winchester M61. I fired all sorts of .22s out of it, including shorts and CB Caps. Only one problem…years of shooting shorter cases caused erosion in the chamber. Eventually long rifles would no longer eject reliably, and I sold the rifle in 2000.


    • Joe

      Now that I think of it, I bet that was a problem with guns chambered for all three. The shorts likely did damage to the chamber. I measured that one and it was seriously enlarged.


  3. B.B.

    Thanks for the history lesson. When I was an adolescent shooting 50 foot small bore, the only round I knew was the .22 LR. That is what they were shooting in the Olympics at the time, right? The .22 short was considered a very poor step child. The only guns that I heard used this round were derringers.
    Hopefully parts 3 and 4 will make it all clear.

    -Y

    What round do Olympic Biathlon shooters use?


  4. B.B.,

    I had a cousin that moved to Alaska in the 40’s and used to talk about taking large game with a twenty two. I can’t remember what all the game he shot. I do remember he shot bear probably deer and maybe moose. There are both grizzlies and black bears there. His only gun at that time was a twenty two. I think that was common even in the 1940’s. Hunting from a tree stand was also common. I have no idea if he used short, long, or long rifle.

    All we ever used was a twenty two when we butchered a cow and it worked every time one shot. Later on when we started hiring a butcher and he also used a twenty two.

    Don


  5. B.B.,

    Very interesting. I had no idea as to the extent of the history.

    I do remember hearing of large/larger game being taken with a .22 round. Of high interest would be:
    – What is the targeted body area of taking larger game with a light round? Head/neck area I would guess.
    – Stalk, sit and wait? Elevated shooting position?
    – How close are we talking here? 20-30 feet? 20-30 yards?

    (Something basic and not overly graphic, due to the family friendly nature of the blog.) However it was done, it would seem that anything less than a perfect shot would result in a seriously ticked off big critter OR a wounded one that would run off and lead into a serious tracking excursion.

    I can say that it would take some serious guts to pursue something that large,.. that can turn on you in an instant.

    Chris


  6. B.B.,

    I just spent about 45 minutes doing searches for big game being taken with a .22 RF of any sort. (You were right. Info. is sketchy at best.) Like you said, perhaps someone will read this and offer some first hand information. Maybe even father/grand father/great grand father information that has been passed down.

    What I did walk away with was this it is not recommended. It is dangerous. Not exactly ethical by most any standard.

    What I (also) walked away with was,.. that due to locational, economical, circumstantial and survival reasons, it may be an acceptable practice among some peoples. Maybe too, that what was once a more common practice many years ago has faded with time and circumstance.

    Chris



    • Chris,

      When my Dad was young they went hunting for food ammunition and a gun was expensive for them. Many times if they did not get some meat there was not much on the table that day. It was for survival not for sport.

      A close brain shot is the way.

      Don


      • Don,

        Thank you for the added insight. On “sport”, if it is for the challenge, then I would say that close up, larger game hunting with a less than ideal firearm would be very challenging. More so than high powered rifles and high powered scopes. If nothing else about it, the cunning and skill level required would be much higher than today.


  7. Chris,
    My grandfather told of a time when he was a boy in Arkansas in the 1800’s that reflects exactly your concerns. At hog killing time (Don’s story) he begged to shoot the next hog. You guessed it; bad placement even from point blank range. The wounded, angered swine was loose in the pen and required considerable effort and additional shots to subdue. Don’t think Grandpa was allowed to dispatch hogs again for many years. Serious lesson for air gunners there.
    jumpin


    • Jumpin’,

      Yep,.. if you are going to hunt critter’s (with air guns), you need to know the effective kill range (and be good enough to pull it off). A lesson for air gunner’s to be sure.


  8. As young hunters, we all considered the .22 rimfire to be a high power round and I still do.

    I used to live in Quebec and spent a great deal of time in the bush about 2 hours north of Montreal. I knew a couple of trappers and often accompanied them on their trap lines. Their rifle of choice was a .22 rimfire loaded with Long Rifle solid bullets. Good for anything from mice to moose its light, quiet, and you can easily carry 50 rounds in your pocket.

    Those trappers lived off the land and I’ve seen them take a number of deer with the .22. It was not “hunting” this was harvesting food. They were successful because they had patience. Shots were at very close range, they waited for the ideal opportunity at an unaware animal, made a good shot then waited (quietly) 15-30 minutes before tracking. We usually found the deer, expired, lying in a bed a short distance away.

    I used what those trappers taught me all the time I hunted large and small game and was successful – even with home-made bows and arrows.

    There is really no mystery at all, within the effective range (of the hunter and the equipment) a .22 rimfire can do the job if you know what you are doing.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Hank


    • Hank,

      Thanks for that. I was hoping someone with trapping experience would chime in, because trappers use the .22 a lot, like you say. In fact, the Inuit were subsistence hunting when they got their quarry and it was a lot like you described.

      B.B.


  9. I have a Ruger rimfire revolver that I have shot .22 short from. I did not see any difference in accuracy from .22lr that is what I mainly use in it. One item of note is that if you shoot a short cartridge out of it you need to clean the cylinder before loading a longer cartridge. If you miss that step the long cartridge is a bear to extract. I have not had any cb caps to try.
    Gerald



    • Participant,

      Are you saying that burnt powder residue from the shorter cartridge will gum up the part of the chamber wall that extends in front of it and that the longer case of a Long Rifle will get stuck in it? If I’m understanding that correctly, does it cause feeding problems as well as extracting issues?



      • In my experience it does. The long rifle cartridges only drop in part way after shooting shorts then have to be pushed the rest of the way in. I took them out unfired and cleaned the cylinder at that time because I did not want to have to pound the empty shells out with a dowel. An ounce of prevention. LOL
        Gerald



  10. B.B.
    I think that wear is not the problem when changing the cartridge length. The shorter cartridge leaves debris in the cylinder that cause binding problems with the longer case. It is a nice shiny stainless cylinder and if I fire just one round and pull the case out I can see a ring of debris right where the rim of the case was.
    Gerald




  11. I think I can safely say that with all the different .22 rimfire rounds that are available. It makes the .22 rimfire one of the more versatile firearms to own.

    All you have to do is switch to a different bullet to have a different gun basically.

    I knew I always liked .22 rimfire for some reason. 🙂


    • GF1,

      Hey,.. I picked up some neon duct tape for the spinners today. Hot pink and hot yellow. I looked for roll caps, or even ring caps, but struck out. I did pick up a 25 pack of medium power nail gun cartridges for less than 4$. (that is for reactive targets ya’ all,.. before you think I am thinking of running powder in an air gun) I am pondering the best way to hold the nail gun charges. They have them in plastic strips too, but just the same thing held into a plastic strip of 10 or so.

      *** My only concern is that for every action, there is an equal re-action, rule of physics. I don’t want any spent shells flying back at me, if you know what I mean. Any ideas?

      Also, got the 11 gauge angles made this week to mount to the Coduece spinner(s), to prevent a direct hit to the bearing. I just need to drill and mount. 1 hole each.


      • Chris
        I replied above about the pooping things.

        And let me know how you like the duct tape on your spinners. I want to try that too as well as that aluminum tape to punch clean holes when target shooting. But haven’t made it to the store. Been working too much. I’m working till midnight tonight then got to be back in at 6 in the morning. So not much free time lately.

        But I know that aluminum tape will work for target shooting. I shoot at those aluminum foil pie pans or them aluminum foil baking pans and lids. They actually work real nice to show clean punched holes.


        • GF1,

          As for the “popping things”,… I think I will just drill some holes into a hardwood 4×4 and leave about 3/16″-1/4″ of the rim end showing. Face them (up) and put out a distance, say 25 yards. The hardwood would be for all the misses that will surely occur by trying to hit such a small aim point. If hit, the shell would blown (upwards).

          Of course, my mind will be coming up with other ideas, but this one seems like a nice (safe) first testing. Directing the forwards force into,.. say,.. a container of flour,.. would produce some nice visuals. That would require more of a complex set up though.

          Yup on leaving it to the “professional’s”. Know what you are playing with and respect what you are playing with,.. just like air guns.

          No hardwood 4×4’s laying about, so I’ll have to see what I can scrounge up at work Monday.


          • Chris
            Yep definitely be careful with experimenting. You might think you have it all thought out but there is that one little detail that’s forgot that could cause a disaster.

            But I’m at work now. Got off last night at 12.30 and had to be in at 6:00 this morning. Plus half sick and even a fever last night. I guess the bug finally caught me.



  12. As for large game taken with a .22. I read an article some time ago about poachers in Africa. They talked about taking an elephant with a .22. One walked up to animal and placed muzzle in the right location between the ribs and fired. Animal would barely move. Bullet would enter the lung. After a number of hours, the lung would then slowly fill with fluid and collapse killing the animal. They did this because it was quiet. Ethical or humane, no. But, do poachers care about either?

    Trap liners and other trappers often carry a .22 to dispatch trapped game without damaging the pelt. Besides for hunting while checking traps.

    As for PETA and other groups complaining about hunting and other items. Well, this is a family blog. But, I will add that removing it from view (and attempting to remove from history) does not mean it did not happen.

    Silver Eagle


  13. GF

    I too enjoy .22 rimfire. My fave right now is the new Ruger with 4X scope.

    However, they are DIRTY!
    And bother neighbors.

    I love not cleaning airguns!
    I love having a silencer without paying the government.


    • Idaho
      I really like shooting those CCI 40 grain 710 fps long rifles. Their quiet. Not as dirty as the 1100 fps rounds either. And as trajectory goes they we’re almost identical to my modded .25 caliber Marauder. But my Marauder was making a bit more fpe. It was shooting 33.95 grain JSB’s at around 900 fps at about 61 fpe compared to the CCI’s at 45 fpe.

      But yep I like that the different rounds are available in .22 rimfire also still.


  14. Like GF, I’ve always had a soft spot for .22s. Recently, I filled a void for that with a Henry .22 lever action. This will handle all the .22 sizes, tho I’m not certain about caps.

    Back in the early ’70s I discovered that stainless steel was becoming increasingly popular in firearms, especially where weather resistance was involved. Suddenly the Remington Nylon stainless steel was VERY popular and gun writers from everywhere were announcing how it was the gun of choice in the Great White North (anywhere in Canada) ESPECIALLY WITH THE INUITS for subsistence hunting. The point of these articles being that the Inuits, being great hunters, would use their great skills to approach game closely to where the lowly .22 was actually viable.

    As I recall, my wish list at the time was topped by a Remington Black Diamond, take down, stainless steel, .22 with carrying case which I think was going for around the sum of $300 dollars – fairly steep at the time. Ruger shortly followed and pushed most of the Remington .22s out of the market.

    Larry in Algona


  15. Back in the 60’s, 22 short, longs, and long rifles were equally available. Since we had single shot rifles, we plunked and shot targets with the shorts because they were the cheapest and hunted with longs. Long rifles were considered magnums. I remember my dad trying to shoot shorts in his Remington 550A and getting horrific jams. He had to use the expensive long rifles. I Don’t remember the shorts and longs being that loud either.



  16. I just started out to tell about where I am at with my new old Crosman 101. After two pages of gibberish I realized I need to think it through more before I try to explain where I am with the gun. So in a nut shell with a quick cut to the chase. Well I never can cut to the chase but here goes.

    1. As some of you know I picked up a Crosman 101 a little over a week ago at a shop nearby. It needed some TLC.

    2. I had a .177 and a .22 caliber Benjamin Maximus barrel machined to fit the breach.

    3. I replaced the leather pump seals with a new flat top piston with an o-ring, Not as simple as it should have been long story.

    4. The barrel is loose in the barrel bands but not enough to be a floating barrel. I will also address this in the future.

    So my first shots before dark and company showing up are shown below in the picture. This is 10 shots at 20 yards. I feel pretty good that I can get it to consistently keep one of the groups for ten shots. I do not see very good and the front sight is tilted and rounded at the top so I can do better with some refinement. I was hoping for a great group right off the bat but I see it will take some work. Well I like a challenge and I see a lot of promise in this target. I know I pulled one shot at 5 O’clock and was loosing my vertical with the front sight.

    I feel pretty good about the gun and will be providing more information as I go. This has been a very fun experiment and I have a lot of story still to come. And hopefully a single tight group with open sights in the near future.

    This is with the .22 caliber barrel, I have not tried the .177 caliber barrel yet.

    Don


    • Don,

      Yes, it does show promise. I am not sure what the coin is (not a collector), so what is the C to C? It sounds as if it has been a very fun project,… just the type of thing that I enjoy.



        • B.B.,

          Thank you. I thought so, but was not willing to venture a guess. That known, the std. penny is 3/4″ diameter. So that puts the group at around 1 1/2″ roughly by scaling it with a ruler off the computer screen. Maybe not so good at 20 yards, but hey, Don made it work! 🙂 x10 I would hate to even think what I would do with opens at 20 yards. The ol’ eyes do not seem to like that. Peep’s on the other hand work nice. At least the 499’s version of peep’s.

          Chris


          • Chris,

            I just measured the group and you are right on at 1.5 inches. I did not measure the group just wanted to see if the gun would work. The gun has the standard rear peep sight but the blade on the front needs a tune up to give a better picture. I think the gun can do much better based on how it shot. That is what will be fun seeing if the groups improve with each tune/modification to the gun. Before the barrel change the original barrel gave groups much larger with no sub groups.

            I will try to document each step from here on out a little better.

            Don


    • Don,

      Very ambitious project. We all like ambition here. I have a couple of questions, if you don’t mind answering. If you paid to have the machining done, how expensive was it and what had to be done? Did you try more than one pellet and what type did you settle on for this group? And what sort of rest were you using, if any?

      Looking forward to the rest of the story.


      • Halfstep,

        The breech end of the barrel needed to be cut down from a 0.435 O.D. to 0.375 inches for about 8.17 inches. I had that done on a lathe and it cost $40 for two barrels. One barrel is a .177 caliber and the other is a .22 caliber. The cost for one barrel would be about the same.

        I was using a Caldwell Rock BR front rest and a sand bag rear rest.

        I will post some pictures latter we have company today so not sure when I will get to it.

        Don





          • Oh the ammo was Crosman Premier Domed .22 from the cardboard box no longer available. I think they are 14.3 gr if I remember correctly.

            I have not tried any other pellets yet. I have shot a total of maybe 30 Crosman pellets in the new barrel. Sighting in took a while with the fiddly sights. I think the sights will be better once I shape up the front sight. Obviously B.B. did great with the sights on the 100,101, and 102 he has been reporting on. They are all similar.


    • Benji-Don
      I know your still I. The beginning of all of this. But the barrel band should be addressed right off the bat.

      If you don’t have the barrel secured at the band that could cause problems. The barrel might bump the band when you shoot.

      I make sure I have at least one set screw in the top of the barrel band locking the barrel in place. If you don’t your better off just taking the barrel band off. Or drilling it out the max you can so the barrel absalutly won’t contact the barrel band. I went through both scenario’s on my first Discovery I got back in 2008. Then when I got my first Marauder when they came out I had the problem with the barrel band not centered and the shroud bumping the band.

      Those things definitely cause accuracy problems.


      • GF1,

        Those were my first 10 shots after getting everything together. I want to be able to compare each improvement as I go along. There are two barrel bands one at the front of the breech block and one at the muzzle end of the pump tube. They are both loose about 0.003 inches. The pump tube slot for the pump linkage on the Crosman guns goes through the end of the pump tube. On the Benjamin pumpers the tube slot is closed at the muzzle end. I want to figure out how to remove some flex in the pump tube and make the pivot/barrel band more solid before I try to lock the barrel down.

        So lots more to come on this old girl. I have a feeling she is going to come to life. Not sure I can do much better though without optics. It wont take much before the gun will be better than I can shoot it with the original sights.

        Don


        • Benji-Don
          If I had the gun I would eliminate the barrel from touching the front barrel band that is the part of the pump linkage anyway I could. Drill it out real big or cutting it off.

          The other barrel band I would secure with a set screw. And the .033″ is probably doing you no good. Especially on the pump linkage. That would be like canting the barrel from side to side.

          The way I see it that gun has alot more accuracy in it.



          • GF1,

            All those things are going through my head. I have two of the Crosman 2300S barrel weights with the post sight on top. I would like to go that route but do not want to destroy the barrel band yet. Drilling it out would be my preference then it would better protect the barrel from getting bent.

            Now if I can find an extra barrel band/pivot bracket, then that would be a no brainer. I plan on putting two set screws in the breech block barrel band at about 1/3 of the way around from the top. One on each side. The top of the band is a little thin.


  17. A bit of an update myself:

    – I ran 8 shots through the .25 M-rod indoors at 41′. I like to at least operate all of the air guns over the Winter at least a few times.

    – I ran the scope on the M-rod up to 16x, which in the past has been a bit difficult outdoors as it seemed to get a bit hazy and finicky. Indoors however, it was perfect in all regards, even at 41′. I have said it before, and no one seems to really agree, but I am left to surmise that the outdoor issues are a result of the light quality between me and the target. It has an eye cup that fits the face/eye perfectly, so that was never an issue.

    – I mounted the bearing guards to the Coduece spinners. 11 ga. (1/8″), 3″ x 6″, 2″ wide. They work great and now I do not have to worry about an off hit to the outer bearing race.

    – I also tried the bright colored duct tape on the paddles of the spinners. It is not bad. The pellets exploding tend to take some of the tape with the fragmentation. 3 hits on a 1″ paddle had about 30% of the tape removed and looking pretty ragged. The tape on the 2″ paddles seem to hold up better. I think that tape is a great idea and very visible. I do think that it would perform best on larger paddles though. I will try some fluorescent paint next.

    – I made some progress on improving my wind indicator. The original concept was to have an indicator with different length strips (just 4) and thus give an indication of just not wind direction, but (also wind speed). 2 issues arose. 1) The longer strips would tangle with the shorter ones. 2) If the strips come off the pole at a vertical orientation, the strips would do somewhat of a 90 degree fold, or half twist and hesitated to unfold and stand proud in the wind. I did a new proto-type, it works, but I need some more optimal components. Nothing is pic/post worthy yet. It might even be marketable.

    That is about it,.. from here in my humble, yet comfortable Winter abode. Hopefully everyone is avoiding the flu epidemic. Kind of slow up in here this weekend. 🙁


    • Chris USA,

      I’ve been working on a wind indicator myself. I have been using strips of trash bag up ’til now but they always end up wrapped around themselves in some regard before the shooting session is over with. I made a pattern for a 16″ cone to be transferred to trash bag plastic whose edges are stuck together with thin strips of double sided tape. Basically forming a minature wind sock like airports use. I figured if it gives a pilot the feedback he requires for takeoffs and landings it should serve my shooting needs. The opening at the front is held open with a ring cut from a 2 liter bottle. It needs more refining because the sock can’t collapse on itself like a real one does when the wind gets below a certain speed ( at least I think they do that, as a rough indicator of speed) My material is not right yet.

      Sorry the duct tape idea didn’t work out for you. I guess I’ve been using it mostly with CO2 and lower powered guns. I have some targets I made from UHMW and covered with duct tape and it works great with BBs. Hundreds of hits from 7 to 10 yards away and still completely covered.

      Can you snap a pic of your spinner shield.


      • Halfstep
        I like that idea. I think I’ll try it today. It’s nice out today and I think I got my stupid cold whipped.

        You are tying a string in two places on the open end right? And I think your for getting one more thing.

        The point of the cone needs to be cut off about a inch back so the air can flow through.




            • GF1,

              As I told Chris, the material is too stiff. Once it inflates, the sock stands straight out even in no wind. I think your idea of attaching it with two strings, kind of like one of those drift anchors that fishermen use, will solve that problem. The strings will sag when the wind stops.

              It was working in what was supposed to be a 8 mile wind the other day.


          • Halfstep,

            Something like wind breaker (light jacket) material may work. Even those “flags” that the lady folk like to hang out in front of the house, with the latest/current theme. Even Walmart may have such material in their sewing/fabric dept.. (hey,.. I did NOT suggest the house flag idea, incase the wife asks and wonders where hers went. Nor, do I want to see you on home surveillance video and the national news of some ol’ geezer heisting the neighbors theme flags in the middle of the night) 😉

            My thought,.. on judging wind strength,.. is that some wind indicators are for judging wind that is far stronger than what an air gunner would be shooting in. Too strong and we all would just say to heck with it for the moment/day.

            Electronic/digital wind indicators are not that expensive and in all reality would be the most ideal set out at incremental yardages. I can see it now,… lap top, calculator, printer, wind meter read out monitors, calipers, ballistic apps, smart phone, video at target, mid range and at muzzle,…. etc.. 2 hours of set up for an hour of shooting? 😉

            Perhaps I am over thinking all of this just a wee bit,.. ehh? 🙂


            • Chris,

              Even the thinnest ripstop nylon, which is what those flags are made of,I think, would be heavier and stiffer than these cheapy trash bags I have been using on my prototype. GF1 suggested tieing them on with string and I think that will work. Besides I’m spending all my time swiping those corragated yard signs that I use for target holding. Ain’t got time to get no stinkin’ holiday flags !! 🙂


              • Halfstep,

                I can clearly see that you are a man that his “scrounging” time allotment in good priority. 😉

                I think that it was Clint Eastwood that said in a Western one time,…. “A man has to know his limitations. Yard signs?, or, Theme flags?,.. Mmmm?,… Yard signs! Yep,.. yard signs,.. every time.” Puff, puff,.. grimacing look,.. ride off into the sunset. (Don’t quote me on that though,.. I am not much of a movie trivia buff). 😉



      • Halfstep,

        Interesting idea on the wind sock concept. Keep us posted. On the spinner shield,… I can not post pics, but I have sent GF1 a text with attached pic. I will do that right now and hopefully he will post it. Maybe a 1/2 hr.-ish. (if I remember how) 😉

        The tape is still on the spinners, so you can see that as well. It is a great idea and the colors and ease of use are awesome.




          • GF1,

            Thanks for the pic post x10! 🙂 It is hard to see, but the 3″ leg is in front of the bearing (line of sight). On the other one, the 6″ leg blocks the bearing (line of sight). 3″ x 6″ angle, 2″ wide, 11 gauge. Narrower would work. Maybe even 1″. If a pellet hit the curve of the bearing, I think it would just glance off. I was worried about a direct hit.

            Washer tip to washer tip is 6 1/2″.





            • Chris,

              It stands for Ultra High Molecular Weight . It is polypropylene , I think, and it is what almost all those white plastic cutting boards are made of. That,s what I use. They come in all different thicknesses and areas. Doesn’t hold paint, hence the Duck Tape.



                • GF1,

                  They are not that expensive. It could be,.. (stressing “could” here),.. that the energy absorption rate/potential may be a lot better. The results were pretty impressive. Lower power/close range,… VS,… higher power/further range,… it might just work? FPE at impact.



                    • GF1,

                      bb’s,… 7-10 yards, from above comment. That does make sense. You can see what pellets did on steel and duct tape. I would be real hesitant on bounce back from bb’s on plastic. Apparently,.. not a problem.


                  • Chris
                    Where I was going that Halfstep cutting board stuff could asorb some of the shock from a pellet and keep the shrapnel from tearing up the tape.

                    I know you remember what some of my pellets look like after hitting steel. I posted pictures in the past.

                    That shrapnel is what tore your tape up.


                  • Chris USA,

                    What I showed was a paddle from the dueling tree that I made for BB repeaters. I’ll include a pic of it with this comment. The paddles are held facing front with a fairly strong magnet but it is free to swing 180 degrees if struck hard enough. The UHMW absorbs some of the energy ( the paddle is attached to a L shaped arm that flexes as far as it can then the paddle breaks loose from the magnet ) and swinging to the other side absorbs some energy and deflects the BB at an angle to the left or right of the shooters, depending on which side the paddle is on when it is struck. Never had even a close call on a ricochet. I am going to make some spinners eventually in the same fashion. Or we could induce Coduece to market some! You could incorporate it into many kinds of knock down targets and flip up then reset types. As long as the target can move I don’t think a rebound is coming back at the shooter but it’s like painting the inside os a Teflon skillet and that’s how I came to use the Duck Tape.



                  • Chris USA,

                    The thing I was trying to get across, and I probably should have said it plainly as I am about to, is that BBs will rebound off of this material. You couldn’t just glue some of it to the back of a pellet trap and make it safe for BBs. It has to be able to move with the BB.

                    It is such a good material for BB targets because it is tough like steel but light enough to be knocked down.


                    • Halfstep,

                      Yes, I caught that from your description. The ability to swing absorbs some of the energy. Again, super fine job! The magnets were a real nice touch too.

                      A back view pic would be nice (the mechanism),… unless you are going into business?,… then I understand. I think I got it, but would like to see it. Flat angle brackets, holes to mount to hinge and holes to mount to paddle (already there). Recess magnets into wood.



                    • Halfstep,

                      Thanks. Maybe over the weekend? Close front/close rear shot? That way more people can see,.. plus I am more likely to see it. My week nights are super limited and I only check my e-mail on the weekends, usually. I am pretty good at looking over back blogs though. I try.

                      I can relate to “not pretty”. Been there, done that. We all try to do our best, but as perfectionist, we are rarely ever completely happy.


                • GF1,

                  I got this material from the scrap bin ( wink wink ) where I used to work. It is about 1/8 inch thick. The cutting boards are not that expensive. You can buy them anywhere. The guns I used on those were the Colt Python BB version, as close as 7 yards on out to 10 yards and a couple of 1022s at 20 yards. That is 2 layers of tape on each side. Then I just trimmed all the overhang off with a razor, so it’s not even wrapped around, just stuck to the face. Under it is just the tiniest trace of the dents in the actual UHMW. One of the big uses for the material is to line the inside of dump trucks. It is very impact and cut resistant.



    • Chris
      I figured that’s what would happen with the he tape. My steel spinners just painted end up down to bare metal in no time.

      Maybe painting is better. With the tape I guess you can put another layer over the top of the other layer of tape. But eventually it would have to be scraped off with a razor knife I guess.


  18. While cruising around another site, I see FX has come out with (fully) rifled barrel liners for some of their guns. I like the idea (liners) and they look like they will be $99 each (not bad). Different twist rates and calibers too.

    What I find curious is that they went away from the original Smooth Twist. Well, maybe not “away from”, but they added the full rifled versions now and swap out kits for others with the original Smooth Twist. Maybe the Smooth Twist was not the best after all? The new ones are called Smooth Twist X. In fact, I am not even sure how they can still call it a Smooth Twist now, since it is now fully rifled. Interesting none the less.

    They also look like they are going to find the best pellet for each twist rate and caliber and then make that info. public. That is cool. I like that. Less guess work and pellet testing. Of course, that would mean that a lot of other things would have to be consistently made from gun to gun, mainly the regulator and main valve. Pellets too. Lots of variables come into play, as we all know.



      • GF1,

        The barrel is shrouded, and the shroud is extendable (nice idea) to make it more quiet. I do not know for sure if the barrel/liner is full length. I assume so. So, I guess that you have a shroud, a “barrel” that is really a liner holder and then the liner which is the actual barrel.


        • Chris
          I’ll have to check it out.

          And slidable shroud. That ain’t nothing new. I did that on my Mrod, Prod and 1720T I had.

          All you got to do is unscrew the shroud. Unloosen the setscrew securing the threaded peice the shroud screwed onto. Slide it forward however much you want. Then however much you slid it forward cut you a spring the correct legnth and replace the spring in front of the barrel that holds the baffles forward. Then just screw the shroud on. It definitely makes them more quieter. Plus then you have the availability to tune the harmonics like I told you about the barrel band on your Maximus and mine.


          • The baffle shown in the pic is that open baffle insert that goes on something else, but screws right on to the Hunter Maximus. I only tested it 1x outside at 50 yards, but it was doing better than the more expensive A.V. air stripper with the sliding inner brass cone/sleeve. The baffle is meant to go inside a shroud, I am assuming. It works good and you have to admit that it definitely ups the all so ever important “cool” factor,… ehh? 🙂


            • Chris
              Yep I knew you was doing that with the baffle. That was from a Crosman/Benjamin break barrel if I remember right.

              What I was talking about with the Mrod, Prod and 1720T was sliding the shroud forward like you mentioned about the FX gun.




    • Idaho,

      That is one peculiar gun. I can’t tell by looking at this video how the darn thing would even work. And it looks like it has a sail boat’s keel plate on the bottom of it.



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