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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
@All,

Yes, you read that right. Got the kit from, 22lrreloader.com , and used my own non-corrosive priming compound to reprime the cases. I also had to cast the bullets from the mold that comes in the kit. No, I don't plan to routinely do this for my 22 LR ammo, but it is nice to know you can in a crisis situation. I have not shot any yet at the range, but I will soon. So far, all I have done is fire several empty primed cases to verify that my primer compound works well, and it does.

Ammunition Bullet Brass Gun accessory Metal


Here is the loading I used:

24" Rifle Barrel

39.5 gr LRN / 1.5 gr Bullseye / 0.914 OAL
23025 psi / 1445 fps / 183 ft-lb / 99.8% Burn / 84.1% Fill

4.5" Pistol Barrel

39.5 gr LRN / 1.5 gr Bullseye / 0.914 OAL
23025 psi / 1127 fps / 111 ft-lb / 93.4% Burn / 84.1% Fill

So, the next time someone asks if you can reload 22LR....you can say without hesitation....yes you can.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@BigDanS,

Where do you get priming compound?

D
I made it using the Eley Prime process described in US patent 4432819. It is a combination of lead hypophosphite / lead nitrate / glass powder. The mixture is an inert powder until it is moistened with water. The lead salts react to form a double salt called lead nitratohypophosphite which is a well known primer explosive since the 1910's. This reaction can be done inside the 22 LR case which makes the process very safe. Once the mixture dries, it becomes sensitive to percussion. The glass powder is required as a frictionator, otherwise the mixture will not ignite on percussion. The lead hypophosphite itself must be made from calcium hypophosphite and lead nitrate, but is a trivial easy synthesis.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@35remington,

No typo. Pistol length barrel.

Given that Bullseye is a lot faster than standard 22 long rifle powders and given that even high velocity loads are 200 fps slower than your QL projections it would probably have been more prudent to use less powder than you did. The 25 ACP maxes out considerably less than that and it has more favorable case volume/expansion ratio relationships.

Since the firing pin weakens the brass when striking it it's best not to max out 22 long rifle loadings and cruise at maximum calculated pressures right off the bat. The calculation is just an estimation and it is best to credit it with the likely errors that it has. There is far too much credit given to Quickload when basic precautions are ignored.

in other words, start low and work up applies for rim fires as well.
The SAAMI Pmax for 22 LR is 25000 psi so there should be an ~2000 psi buffer (-8%) for this load. I plan to initially test these rounds in a robust bolt action rifle. If the loading shows signs of over-pressure I'll back off on future loads. I have only made 5 test rounds, so its not a big deal if they have to be pulled down. I may use Unique in the next set of test rounds since it is a little slower.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@gunscrewguy,

Very interesting. Thank you for your post. I am familiar with the need for a frictionator. In the 60's-70's Herters made a lot of hay over the fact that their primers contained no glass. They claimed that glass contributed to barrel wear. They are the only ones I've heard make those claims. Are manufacturers still using glass?

As I matured I realized that Jacques Herter and Momma Herter were more full of something other than the truth. Anybody ever hears of their 'Sonic Wasp Waist Sonic Boat Tailed Bullets'? I've got some I've been intending to load for some time.

AC
To my knowledge, rimfire priming formulations have always contained glass powder (or grit) and often quite a bit. I've seen up to ~40-50%. Who knows if it measurably contributes to barrel wear. Supposedly, the change from H-48 (w/ powdered glass) to H42 (no glass) primer formulations was made for this reason during WWI. The glass powder I am using is so fine that it is more a polishing agent than an abrasive. Regardless, I think glass powder is an unavoidable fact of life for rimfire ammunition.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@papa vid,

saw that 22 reloading setup the other day and found it interesting... seems like a lot of work, but it'd be worth it if the shortages start again... 22reloader.com also sells a 3 part primer compound... $20 for enough to load about 2000 rounds.. or so the ad says...
What they fail to mention is their primer powder is corrosive. Therefore, to prevent damage to your barrel you will need to wash it out with hot water shortly after a shooting session. They also recommend using cap powder and strike anywhere match tips which are also corrosive. For about the same money you can buy a pound each of potassium chlorate, antimony sulfide, and sulfur and have enough material to prime 100s of thousands of cases.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@Travlin,

Did you have to use reloading dies in order to put the roll crimp on the finished round or resize the brass? What about the cast bullets? Did you have to size them, and what about lube? Is there a kit for .22 WRF or .22 Magnum? Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks for posting this.
As Chickenthief has noted, the videos at their website will answer most of your questions. However, there is a separate $50+ resizing die that they offer and I used to prep all the brass I have used (take a close look at the picture above and you can see where the resizing die stopped). Otherwise, you will encounter serious problems rechambering some reloaded rounds. The bullets were used as cast and so far I have not lubed them. I am thinking about smearing them with some liquid alox to avoid leading. Being heeled bullets, this is as good as lubing them before loading. The tool used for molding the bullets doubles as a crimping tool (and its not all that great at either task). No kit is available for 22 WRF or 22 Mag, but who knows what these guys are planning for the future. Once you see the kit, if you are handy in the shop, you could easily make your own tool for any rimfire caliber.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
@All,

Here some pictures of the priming process.

Technology


I am using a SP primer soldered to a copper wire as a measuring scoop to deliver ~20 mg of priming compound to each case. The tiny funnel that comes with the kit is very useful for this step.



Next several drops of a 50:50 water:alcohol solution are added to each case, and the slurry stirred/mixed with the small allen wrench on the upper right corner of the reloading tray. I add enough water so that the mixture is a light slurry that completely flows into the bottom of the case and doesn't stick to the allen wrench (i.e. no stiff clumps of mixture). I have found that this amount of primer compound completely covers the rim area and it has not been necessary to spin the mixture into the rim. After mixing, the cases are allowed to dry for a couple of days at room temperature. The end result is a nice thin layer of dried primer compound that covers the bottom of the case and fills the rim area. I am sure the drying could be done much faster using a food dehydrator. However, air drying has been fast enough for my purposes. Occasionally, I will test an empty case to make sure the primer compound is OK. I have had 100% success firing these empty cases in both my Ruger SR22 pistol and Savage bolt action rifle. Once dry, the cases are ready to reload.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
@All,

The picture below shows tumble cleaned 22 LR brass and the resizing setup I am using. The brass was wet tumbled with SS pins for about 1 hour, the water shaken out of the cases (this is required since the surface tension of the water prevents it from just flowing out when the case is inverted), and the cases allowed to dry overnight.

Everyday carry Tool Metal


I am using my Lee hand press because the shellholder will not fit in my Lee classic single stage press. It seems the base of the shellholder has too large a diameter to slide into the press ram. But, it fits the hand press without problems. Thankfully, it doesn't take much force to do the resizing operation so the hand press works great. I am unable to resize about 5% of the cases because the rim area has expanded/swollen so much it will not fit into the shellholder (they mainly tend to be CCI cases, but all headstamps have been found at one time or another). I also encounter about 1-2% of cases that almost don't touch the resizing die at all. I suspect they were low pressure rounds, perhaps subsonic. After the cases are resized, the rim area is checked/cleaned to make sure all priming residue has been removed. The residue I typically find looks like fine sand or glass powder which is not too surprising.

BTW, when I was removing the cases from the tumbler last night, I found an unfired Winchester 22 round that somehow was missed during my placing the fired casings into the tumbling drum. It had been immersed in the soapy water for 1 hour like the rest of the brass. Out of curiosity, I pulled the bullet to see if water had gotten into the powder/primer. Surprisingly, the inside of the case was bone dry. So, the lube/crimp was water tight in this round.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
@30wcf,

I think I have run across your loading information before at another forum. The Titegroup loading information is very enlightening. I am pretty sure that Titegroup is a faster powder than Bullseye. So, 1.5 gr of Titegroup would almost certainly generate a higher Pmax than 1.5 gr of Bullseye. That your load was OK gives me more confidence that 1.5 gr of Bullseye will be OK in my loads. I have never been able to find any real BP in my area, but I do have a lb of Pyrodex P. It might be interesting to try a capacity load of this powder in a few cases. I have read that Pyrodex is worse than BP for corrosion, so I have been reluctant to try it in any cartridges. Do you have any experience or opinion about using this powder in 22 LR?

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
@bayjoe,

What they fail to mention is their primer powder is corrosive. Therefore, to prevent damage to your barrel you will need to wash it out with hot water shortly after a shooting session. They also recommend using cap powder and strike anywhere match tips which are also corrosive. For about the same money you can buy a pound each of potassium chlorate, antimony sulfide, and sulfur and have enough material to prime 100s of thousands of cases.

Marshall

Where can you get these chemicals?
Google the pyrotechnical supply companies, or check eBay or even Amazon. Here is information from one company I have bought from before:

Hobby Chemical Supply

KClO3, $7.50/lb, $33.00/5 lb
Sb2S3, $18.50/lb
S, $2.50/lb

Many companies require orders of oxidizers and fuels to be placed separately since they can't be shipped together. These are not the best prices you can find, but are representative. These companies also look at what you are ordering and if they think you are trying to make prohibited things like flash powder, they will refuse your order. Finally, expect that if you place an order for these chemicals, your name will end up on some government agency's list. Personally, I don't care as I am using the materials for legitimate purposes.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
@All,

Results of range testing. I fired about a dozen reloaded 22 LR rounds today using the 1.5 gr bullseye loading in a Savage Model 3D bolt action rifle and a Ruger SR22 pistol. The test rounds were compared to 40 gr LRN Blazer rounds that were purchased before the 2012 elections at Academy Sports.

First, all test rounds successfully fired. They seemed to be slightly hotter than the Blazer rounds, but not by much. The Ruger SR22 pistol cycled normally with the test rounds and recoil felt the same as the Blazer rounds. Inspecting the fired casings did not show any over pressure signs or distortion in the brass. Accuracy, as best I can tell using iron sights, was identical to the Blazer rounds.

In conclusion, the 22 LR reloads work well and appear to be accurate enough to use in taking small game.

As an aside, I have been looking at putting together a similar "kit" made with better components. So far, I have identified these parts:

1) CH-4D makes a 3 die set (resize/expander/seater) for 22 LR which seems to be a significant step up from using just the resizing die in the Sharpshooter's kit. Cost is $103 for the die set + $12 for the shellholder. Thats a little pricy if you are used to Lee Precision prices, but you are getting a high quality product from a well known manufacturer.

2) Lyman makes a GC mold, 225438, that works well for making suitable 42-45 gr bullets. Although it does not cast a truely heeled bullet, the diameter of the GC area (0.210") is almost perfect for 22 LR reloading. This mold has been recommended by several folks who load black powder 22 LR rounds. Cost is $73 + $33 for handles if you need them.

3) Surprisingly, one of the most useful parts of Sharpshooter's kit is the tiny plastic funnel for putting primer compound and gunpowder into the case. I found exactly the same funnels on eBay priced at $10 for 20.

4) I made my own cleaning/packer tool from a piece of old umbrella strut that I cut, filed and bent to fit into the rim area.

So, for about the same price as the kit, you can build/assemble a superior kit to make 22 LR reloads. One other item that would be nice is a loading block with properly sized holes. Frankford Arsenal's #1 Perfect Fit Reloading Tray for 25 ACP might be a good option, or you could just make your own using 1/4" holes.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
@35remington,

I'm not sure of the value of any load testing of this sort without chronograph results. "Seems slightly hotter than Blazer" isn't exactly quantifying an important variable to any substantial degree. How much hotter than Blazer seems like a very, very important thing to know. Velocity data will answer that question.

As I always have said, the science is in the shooting and the information gathered thereby. Don't give that short shrift by eliminating a very important observation....the actual velocity obtained. A better estimation of the safety of the load is thus gained.
I absolutely agree and will eventually get that data. The inside shooting range I was testing at, will not allow me to setup my chronograph in front of the bench :-( There is an outside range I use to do my chronograph measurements, but it is at a private gun club and I have to be invited by a member (its too expensive for me to join). It has been a while since I was there, so I should be able to get a friend who is a member to give me an invitation. Stay tuned, more testing is planned with measurements instead of subjective impressions ;-)

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
@30wcf,

Thanks for the data on the bullet. That makes it possible to calculate a QL prediction for this loading:

24" barrel

40 gr 30wcf bullet OAL = 0.457, 0.090 seat depth

40 gr 30wcf / 1.5 gr Bullseye / 0.980 OAL
15631 psi / 1377 fps / 168 ft-lb / 99.4% Burn / 62.1% Fill

So QL over-predicts the velocity by ~100 fps. This implies that the max pressure is probably closer to 12770 psi (which would deliver 1280 fps) than the 15631 given above. It looks like there is plenty of pressure safety margin in this loading. Thank you very much for running these chronograph measurements.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
@777funk,

US patent 4432819 gives this formula:

Lead Nitrate = 40%
Lead Hypophosphite = 40%
Glass Powder = 20%

Unfortunately, you must synthesize the lead hypophosphite yourself from lead nitrate and calcium hypophosphite. The lead nitrate can be ordered from Elemental Scientific, and the calcium hypophosphite can be ordered on eBay. Sodium hypophosphite can also be used and is usually a little cheaper than the calcium salt. Here a link to a course I wrote on reloading primers. The procedures for making and using these and other primer compounds are provided:

http://aardvarkreloading.com/resources/Homemade Primer Course Update.pdf

Good luck and be safe!

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
@All,

After being distracted by several other projects, I returned to reloading 22LR rounds a couple of months ago. The latest work addresses some of the initial problems I encountered. The first was with lower base bulges that standard resizing dies could not reach. These bulges sometimes make chambering reloaded rounds difficult or impossible. A friend I met on Castboolits (Traffer) has made me one of his custom resizing dies that completely resizes the case all the way to the rim.

Knockout punch Auto part Hardware accessory Nut Metal
Screw Fastener Auto part Metal Hardware accessory


On the negative side, you have to beat the case out of the die using a metal pin inside the case and it is slow taking ~10 sec/case. However, it does a beautiful job of resizing the entire case.

Problem two was making a strong reliable priming compound. Several Eley Prime type non-corrosive rimfire primer formulations are available to those who don't mind doing a little chemistry. One simple primer mixture comes from Eley's patent US4432819. This compound requires that you synthesize lead hypophosphite. However, other than dealing with a toxic lead compound (most are toxic) the synthesis is quite trivial.



US4432819
Rimfire Formulation EPH 0


%
gr
Pb(NO3)2
40.0
13.2
Pb(H2PO2)2
40.0
13.2
Grit
20.0
6.6



Total
100.0
33.0

In addition to being an inert powder before being moistened, another nice benefit is that it is self binding. Once water is added to initiate the reaction between the lead nitrate and lead hypophosphite, the growing crystals of lead nitratohypophosphite form an interlocking network that makes a durable pellet which is locked into the rim. The downside of this formula is that while adequate to ignite the gunpowder, it is noticeably less powerful than lead styphnate based rimfire compounds. Because, the primer in 22LR rounds significantly contribute to the overall propellant pressure, a weaker primer will reduce muzzle velocity.

A desire for more energetic rimfire primer compounds has led me to try several Eley Prime lead styphnate based priming mixtures, EPS0 and EPS2. Unfortunately, both of these mixtures create a fragile pellet that instead of firing often turns into a loose powder when the firing pin strikes the case. A durable pellet can be made by either adding ~0.5% gum arabic to the primer formula or by adding a 3% solution of shellac in alcohol to the dried pellet. While both of these solutions fix the fragile pellet problem, they also tend to kill the primers.




Rimfire Formulation EPS 0


%
gr
Styphnic Acid
21.6
7.1
PbO
19.9
6.6
Ba(NO3)2
20.0
6.6
Tetrazene
3.5
1.2
Glass
35.0
11.6



Total
100.0
33.0



US4640724
Rimfire Formulation EPS 2


%
gr
Styphnic Acid
24.9
8.2
PbO
23.0
7.6
Ba(NO3)2
22.5
7.4
Tetrazene
4.6
1.5
Glass
25.0
8.3



Total
100.0
33.0

To solve the fragile pellet problem, some of the self binding EPH0 compound above was used as a binder for the EPS0 and EPS2 formulas. Since I already had both EPH0 and EPS0 prepared, I decide to mix them together in a 50:50 blend. Mathematically calculating the formula of the resulting blend gives the following which was designated EPM4 (BTW the 3rd letter in my naming system designates the primer technology used, H = Hypophosphite, S = Styphnate, P = Picrate, T = Tetracene, D = DDNP, K = KDNBF, I = iso-DDNP, L = Lead Dinitrosalicylicate, and M = Miscellaneous/Mixed.)



50%EPH0/50%EPS0
Rimfire Formulation EPM 4


%
gr
Styphnic Acid
10.8
3.6
PbO
10.0
3.3
Ba(NO3)2
10.0
3.3
Pb(H2PO2)2
20.0
6.6
Pb(NO3)2
20.0
6.6
Tetrazene
1.8
0.6
Glass
27.5
9.1



Total
100.0
33.0

This compound was found to give both a durable pellet and the strong firing typical of lead styphnate based primers. The above formula was slightly modified to make it easier to create directly. The tetracene was increased to 3.5%, the glass was reduced to 25.0%, and the odd leftover 0.7% was moved into Ba(NO3)2. These changes give the following formula which was designated EPM11:




Mod EPM 4
Rimfire Formulation EPM 11


%
gr
Styphnic Acid
10.8
3.6
PbO
10.0
3.3
Ba(NO3)2
10.7
3.5
Pb(H2PO2)2
20.0
6.6
Pb(NO3)2
20.0
6.6
Tetrazene
3.5
1.2
Glass
25.0
8.3



Total
100.0
33.0

This formula was made and tested, and found to work identically to EPM4. This is currently my favorite non-corrosive primer compound.

A similar combined technology rimfire primer compound was patented in 1934 that was based on lead picrate and lead nitratohypophosphite. The patent formula is shown below:



US2116878
Rimfire Formulation EPP 11


%
gr
Lead Picrate
30.0
9.9
Pb(NO3)2
33.0
10.9
Pb(H2PO2)2
12.0
4.0
Glass
25.0
8.3



Total
100.0
33.0

For improved safety, the formula was converted to an Eley Prime type mixture which was designated EPP12.



Mod EPP11
Rimfire Formulation EPP 12


%
gr
Potassium Picrate
17.7
5.8
Pb(NO3)2
45.3
14.9
Pb(H2PO2)2
12.0
4.0
Glass
25.0
8.3



Total
100.0
33.0

This formula was tested and found to work well. While you could see fire coming out of the barrel when the primers fired, they were less energetic than EPM4 and were more similar to EPH0 primers. Even so, this is an interesting approach since it uses picric acid which can be easily made from over the counter compounds. This formula was modified to make it more like EPM11 by increasing the lead hypophosphite to 20% and adjusting the lead nitrate and potassium picrate loadings to give the most efficient usage of lead nitrate possible.



Based on EPM4
Rimfire Formulation EPP 14


%
gr
Potassium Picrate
14.0
4.6
Pb(NO3)2
37.5
12.3
Pb(H2PO2)2
20.0
6.6
Tetracene
3.5
1.2
Glass
25.0
8.3



Total
100.0
33.0

This formula was tested and gave excellent results. It was found to be as energetic as EPM4 and EPM11.

In conclusion, with the case bulges solved and the availability of several good non-corrosive rimfire priming compounds, reloading 22LR rounds is now easier than ever.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
@wvhunter308,

In response to "what will they think of next?" I have spent many hours reviewing patents from all over the world looking for ideas and things to try. I recently reviewed patent US4336084 which concerned a safer method for mixing primer compounds. While interesting, the nugget I extracted from the patent was a rimfire primer formula that Winchester was probably using in the early 1980s. It was based on lead styphnate, which was no surprise, but what really got my attention was that the formula did not contain tetracene. Getting tetracene requires either a multi-step synthesis or access to an expensive, controlled precursor (aminoguanidine). So, a primer formula that does not need tetracene is quite appealing. I converted the patent formula to a safe Eley Prime type compound that I call EPS27:

EPS27, EP version of example 3 in patent US4336084
Ingredient % gr
Styphnic acid 23.5 7.8
Lead oxide 21.6 7.1
Barium Nitrate 26.5 8.7
Lead Dioxide 6.8 2.2
Glass powder 21.5 7.1
Binder 0.1 0.033
------ ------
100.0 33.0

I mixed up a batch of this compound and reprimed 10 resized and prepped 22LR cases. After allowing the primer compound to completely dry, several of the empty cases where fired in a Ruger SR22 pistol to evaluate their sensitivity and power. I am pleased to report that the compound fired with a bright muzzle flash and nice strong pop. The remaining cases have been reloaded with 1.0 gr Red Dot and a 20 gr lead projectile. These rounds will be tested during my next trip to the range.

In summary, the above rimfire compound works well and eliminates one of the more difficult to obtain ingredients normally needed for lead styphnate based primer compounds. I personally do not consider styphnic acid all that difficult to synthesize, so this approach to a non-corrosive primer compound may interest the more adventurous among us.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
@Goldtrigger,

its good to know this can be done in a pinch, the chemistry has me a bit put off but its probably like making a pot of jambalaya once you know how to do it its no problem
The chemistry required to make styphnic acid is only slightly more involved than making jambalaya. The worse part is working with hot (100C) concentrated acid solutions. So, you run the risk of both thermal and chemical burns. However, with the proper equipment and training, anyone who is handy in the kitchen could make this stuff. I run this reaction on the picnic table behind my house. The only serious mistake I have made so far, is during workup of the final reaction mixture I got a few drops of the highly staining yellow solution on the wife's kitchen counter (while she was not at home, thank goodness). Thankfully, I found out that baking soda dissolves and remove these stains, that is the only reason I am alive today. If you saw the reaction done once, you would see how easy it is and be able to do it yourself. Plus a small run goes a long way. A 0.2 mole synthesis makes enough styphnic acid to reload 4,000-5,000 SP primers or reprime the same number of 22LR cases.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
@All,

During a visit to the range last week, I tested some of the 22LR reloads I have made using 1.5gr Bullseye. Things where going great until 1 round decided to lose its rim during firing. The rim separated so perfectly that when I finally removed the remaining brass tube from the chamber you had to look very closely to tell which end was the case mouth and which end was the base. No harm done to me or the Ruger SR22 pistol I was using at the time. I guess this goes to prove that brass failure is one of the pitfalls of reloading. I am not discouraged by this unfortunate hiccup, but I do plan to be more discerning in my brass inspection. The metallurgy of any fired case is unavoidably different than when it was first made due to the stresses and temperatures of firing. Experience helps us decide when it becomes different enough that it can no longer be safely reused. There is a huge amount of experience on this and other forums to help us safely make these decisions on most centerfire pistol and rifle brass. Rimfire brass not so much. However, if you just happen to know anything useful on how 22LR rimfire brass should be inspected, I am all ears.

Be aware, I am only reloading 22LR for the challenge and learning experience. With prices having dropped to ~$20/500 round brick over the last couple of years, I have stocked up on new ammo in preparation for the next 22LR shortage. I was never "one of those guys" who staked out Wal-Mart waiting for shipments came in. Rather, I would pick up a brick or 2 each month after the last crisis had passed and shelves were well stocked. After a couple of years, my stocks are well into the comfort range. Being stored in sealed ammo cans in the cool, this ammo should last a very long time. Once I have completed my 22LR reloading experiments, I will write everything up for posterity and only use the commercial ammo I have purchased in the future.

Marshall
 
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