Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Pellets from the .223 Rem...?

The .223 Rem or 5.56mm NATO is a versatile cartridge and is widely used for varminting and, in some places, for deer. However, some folks find even this relatively mild cartridge to be too much for some uses. Also, a natural tendency to frugality can encourage the adaptation of a single arm so chambered to a multitude of uses.

One of those many uses can be the elimination of the smaller vermin in and about the house. And one way to do that is to use primed cases to fire .22 caliber air rifle pellets.

Of course this isn't a new idea by any stretch of the imagination. Sub-power loads have been used since the development of firearms. So far as the .223 cartridge is concerned, soldiers have been doing all sorts of things for years. Shooting pellets loaded ahead of blank cartridges is just one "trick" soldiers use to amuse themselves. The Convert-a-pell is however a much better system. For one thing, air rifle pellets are not designed for the velocities likely generated ahead of the fast powder used in the blank cartridges. With the Convert-a-pell, the sole propellant is the 209 shotgun primer. The cases are standard nickel-plated (to make them easily distinguishable, there is no other reason I can discern) and have been altered to accept the primers by drilling out the base and counter-sinking the hole. Because the 209 primer contains the anvil this system works just fine. Loads can be tuned by changing primers by make and type.

Actually, one could could make these oneself with a bit of care. It just takes a drill, properly handled countersink and patience.

How do they work? Well, I think that they are noticeably louder than the Aguila Colibri or even the CCI CBs. They are less accurate, too. Even at only 25 yards group sizes will be twice those of the Colibri and 4 times the size of a properly set up air rifle. However they are fun.

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