Friday, January 09, 2009

Modifying .22 Rimfire Ammo

The cost of all ammo is up, even .22 LR. Folks are finding they feel to make do with the lower priced offerings. Some of these bullets are solids or not so effective hollowpoints. While this is fine for plinking and marksmanship training, the ammunition is less than effective on game. Consequently, some modification is needed. This is an old problem. One of the approaches was to create the "small game bullet" or SGB.

The SGB is simply a standard lead round nose (LRN) with a tip flattened. This dramatically increases effectiveness and some say, it improves accuracy as well. The concept has been so successful that CCI produces the SGB load for the .22 LR that uses a swaged bullet. There are other methods which shooters can use.

The first method used was filing or cutting the nose off. As you can see in the photo, different sizes of flat on the meplat (tip or nose of the bullet) can be achieved. The first tool available was the Hanned SGB Tool. Sadly, the Hanned Line has gone out of business and the tools are no longer available new. However, the concept is simple and a tool like the Hanned SGB Tool or Beljan Tool (shown here) is easy to make.

Using steel, round bar stock, cut to the length of a .22 Short, Long or Long Rifle round (as preferred). Drill/bore a hole the diameter of the cartridge through the length of the round. Counter sink one end for the cartridge rim. Adjust length as necessary to give the desire meplat size. Harden to resist file damage.

Actually, depending on how much use you actually want to get from the tool, most any material can be used, even wood. Also, you don't have to counter-sink for the cartridge rim. Beljan, who manufactured the tool shown, did not but instead created a nylon base which was cupped on both sides/ends and counter-sunk (that is the BASE had the counter-sink) to different depths to provide different meplat sizes (as you can see in the first photo).

These tools sold for $12-$39 but neither is available now. So, what is a fella to do? Well, there is an alternative!

Paco Kelly's ACU'RIZER is the thing. Using a die and plunger/piston, this die swages the bullet, still in the case, to both uniform OD dimensions and reform the bullet nose. There are more possible permutations than I can imagine. For me, the big hollow point, or Nasti-nose, and very slightly cupped flat point are the two biggies. Just as important is the ability to size the bullet to a size appropriate to your firearm. This can be particularly important to shooters of the convertible Ruger Single-Sixes which have bores better suited to the .22 WMRF.

Paco has redesigned his tool and had to redesign the fixtures at the same time. This is a great tool with great flexibility.

- article Paco Kelly's ACU'RIZER

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