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Thread: NO ANSWERS ON THE NET: Can one SAFEY shoot 22lr for practice in a RUGER 5414 (22WMR)?

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    STORMINORMAN is offline Junior Member
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    NO ANSWERS ON THE NET: Can one SAFEY shoot 22lr for practice in a RUGER 5414 (22WMR)?

    My question may seem to be on the "cheap" side: I realize that in their Single Six 22 cal revolvers there were (are) two cylinders. Does the extra depth of the cylinder cuts for the longer 22WMR case make a difference? It doesn't seem to in the case of the centerfire .357 Magnum / .38 Special revolvers from both Ruger or S&W...
    Last edited by STORMINORMAN; 03-07-2015 at 11:29 AM. Reason: spelin'

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    SailDesign's Avatar
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    The WMR case is fatter than the 22LR (5.8mm for the LR, 6.2-ish for the WMR). My quick answer would be No. That's enough space for the case to split and jam itself in there.

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    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    I agree with SailDesign's analysis.
    It is unsafe to fire .22LR in a .22WMR chamber. You may receive a face-full of brass slivers from the blown .22LR case.

    As SailDesign pointed out, the .22WMR case is of greater diameter than the .22LR case, which will cause the .22LR case to split when it tries to expand to fill the chamber.

    This is not the same as using a .38 Special case in a .357 Magnum chamber. In this situation, both cases are of the exact same diameter, but of slightly different lengths.
    Practically speaking, a small length difference will have no effect other than increasing the dirt and fouling deposited ahead of the shorter case's mouth.
    However, under the expansion pressure of the rapidly burning powder, a case that is smaller in diameter must try to expand to fill the diametric space, up to the elastic limit of its material. And when that elastic limit is exceeded, the smaller case ruptures with unpleasant results.
    The .22LR case is made of fairly soft brass, with a low elastic limit. Therefore, it will very likely rupture in a .22WMR chamber. And if it does, I guarantee that you won't like it.


    (SD: I hope that you don't mind that I piggybacked upon your advice. I thought that the question deserved a more detailed answer than you gave. —Steve)

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    SailDesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    I agree with SailDesign's analysis.
    <snip good sh!t>

    (SD: I hope that you don't mind that I piggybacked upon your advice. I thought that the question deserved a more detailed answer than you gave. —Steve)
    Abso-frikkin-lutely no problem. Expansion and explanation are always good.

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    STORMINORMAN is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the prompt and very expansive responces! I guess I should have known about the difference in case size: it is a safety issue and it all amkes perfect sense to me now.

    Thanks, again!
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    Ask Foghorn: Can you Fire .22LR Ammunition Through a .22 WMR Chamber? - The Truth About Guns

    I found a good answer right off the bat from my first search above which coincides with the very good post's above.

    In short, "Do Not" and "Danger" as more than likely the 22LR cartridge will explode/rupture if fired in a 22WMR chamber.

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    Scorpion8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Therefore, it will very likely rupture in a .22WMR chamber.
    Quote Originally Posted by denner View Post
    In short, "Do Not" and "Danger" as more than likely the 22LR cartridge will explode/rupture if fired in a 22WMR chamber.
    I agree with the analysis, up until I ask if any of you have even actually ever done this? I have. The Single Six cylinder is waaaaaaayyyyyyy oversize for the 22LR/22WMR. When I first got mine many, many years ago (circa '96) I wondered why carry two cylinders? So for a long, long time only installed the WMR cylinder and I shot 22LRs when I was carrying it, and had a pocket full of 22 WMRs in case I happened up a stouter critter than tin cans. I never, repeat never had a single case rupture, explode, spit hot anything in any way or any how. All they ever did was shoot. And shoot. And shoot. I'd guess over time I put maybe 3 ~ 4 bricks of 22LR thru the 22 WMR cylinder and never had a single problem. So statistically speaking, the odd of "zero out of 2,000" are pretty good odds. Perhaps in a smaller cylinder like a Ruger Bearcat where the cylinder walls are thinner.... yea maybe there's going to be an issue. But look at the Ruger Single Six cylinder walls and each one is as thick as any rimfire bolt action chamber.

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    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean that you should do it."
    All it takes is one ruptured case.
    So, since you have both cylinders, why take chances?

    It's not that the cylinder wall would rupture. Not even in the Bearcat. Just the brass case within it.
    But you could end up with a hand perforated with brass slivers.
    Worse, you might get a few of those slivers in your face.

    I don't understand why you would want to "carry two cylinders."
    If you've got a pocketful of .22LR, carry and use only the .22LR cylinder.
    If you've got lots of .22WMR, put only the .22WMR cylinder in the gun.
    In either case, leave the other cylinder at home. Or not: Neither is particularly heavy.

    Also, I'm not sure that the Ruger's .22LR chambers are big enough to accept .22WMR cases, even if they are a little on the large side.
    And I don't think that it's worth even the slightest chance of experiencing a case rupture, considering the possible outcome, so I wouldn't use .22LR in the .22WMR cylinder.
    That's why there are two different cylinders.

    Of course, you're not me, and "your mileage may vary."
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    Ya know I hear what you're saying, and I've seen other articles on the same topic, but I've never "seen" any evidence. I have my own (which I don't do anymore) but over all those years I never had a single case rupture or do anything other than "shoot like a .22". Period. Do we have some display guns where this happened? I mean I can find pics of a .300 Blackout shot in a 5.56 upper, I've seen pics of various CF cartridges shot out of the wrong rifle, but I've never seen a picture of a bad 22LR case coming from a 22 WMR cylinder on any firearm let alone a Single-Six.

    Is all we have here to be evidence is some conjecture? Not saying it was "right", but all of my evidence supports the contrary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
    Is all we have here to be evidence is some conjecture? .
    Your general logic and evidence says it can be done. Just because it has been done doesn't entitle it to be any kind of logic, General or otherwise. General foolisness is a better title for knowingly doing it.
    Ignorance is the most common title for doing it.

    I believe you need to do a little more web searching to determine whether or not 22LR cartridges have split being fired from a 22WMR chamber. It has happened with occurrence not to mention erosion of the throat from bullet jump and other issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by denner View Post
    Ignorance is the most common title for doing it.

    I believe you need to do a little more web searching to determine whether or not 22LR cartridges have split being fired from a 22WMR chamber. It has happened with occurrence not to mention erosion of the throat from bullet jump and other issues.
    This isn't a "watch this" redneck moment. So, show me. Where are the links? All we have so far is a whole bunch of theory on why not to, along with 2000-rounds of "it's okay". So, show me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
    ...Is all we have here to be evidence is some conjecture?...
    It is, of course, pure conjecture, based only upon the experiences of others, and upon an understanding of physics and mechanics.
    I have never experienced any kind of KABOOM!, ever.

    I even admit to reloading cracked .45 ACP cases, and shooting them through a 1911...in practice.
    Still no kaboom.

    But I was younger then, and (obviously) stupider.


    Bottom Line: Do whatever you like. It's your life. But when you break both of your legs, don't come running to me.
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    I think people are taking this too far to an extreme. You wanna know what's going to happen to a 22LR in a Ruger Single Six 22WMR cylinder? Upon crushing of the primer, as pressure from the burning powder expands the 22LR case will stretch to fill the cylinder bore because it is fully supported 360-degrees, and the amount of stretch is minimal. There are no weak spots or un-supported spots like feed ramps, extractor cuts, etc. My LRs hardly rattled around in the WMR cylinder, in fact they were pretty well secured. Then, since the WMR barrel bore is oversized for LR, the bullet will depart since the path of least-resistance is going to push the bullet down the bore which is sized for a larger-diameter bullet. It takes way less pressure to do that than it does to rupture the case. This may not be the same for all LR's-in-WMR's such as a 10/22M or 597M.

    It is interesting in the web-link article cited above that the author, to prove his case, uses a shotgun and shotgun shells and not the actual 22LR that he is describing. So far no one has shown any physical evidence, only conjectural. Might not the same be said of shooting 44 Specials in a 44 Magnum, or 38 Specials in a 357 Magnum firearm?

    My experience is only with shooting 22LRs in Ruger Single Six Convertibles in the 22WMR cylinder. Safe? 0-for-2000 is pretty darn good statistically. Can you, should you? I'll leave that up to you.

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    Several years ago I was looking at a Winchester Model 94 chambered in .32 Winchester Special. The seller enthusiastically proclaimed that the gun could shoot .32 Special and .30-30 interchangeably. The thought of him actually doing that killed any interest that I previously had in that gun.

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    Not intergoogle but many many years ago there were pictures in an American Rifleman about this. Not pretty. In a simple google search there are many hits, mostly on other forums with this question and saying don't to it.

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    I think the engraving on the barrel should have been a dead give away.
    '

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    I have been a .22 WMR fan for many years. Although the Super Single six had the dual cylinders, the difference between the cartridges are important.

    The .22 Magnum[WMR] bullet is actually .224 where the .22 rimfire series bulllet is .223.
    Although not significant, the WMR brass case on the other hand is a bit wider [and longer] than the 22lr.
    I did find my accuracy with .22 was not the greatest after years of shooting whereas the Magnum was more accurate.

    But we should not confuse the barrel bore and the chamber.

    Firearms are designed for safety and function, if you decide to push the design you run a risk.

    From a .22lr chamber you can safely fire .22 floberts [cb caps], .22 short, long, long rifle, minimag, even shot shells. I would be cautious with older-antique .22 firearms that might not be designed for the hotter .22 cartridges.

    As for the .22 Mag chamber, Only .22WMR should be used. Modern .22 Mags will also shoot .22 WRF, as well as .22 Mag shot shells.

    The older .22WMR rounds [1960's] from Remington were loaded hot so if you have an older firearm chambered for the .22 WRF or WMR,
    I would refrain from using the hotter loads [these would mainly be old pistols in the WRF].

    Even though something may be possible, that doesn't make it wise or safe.

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