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Thread: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

  1. #1
    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Question .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Ever since Dixie Gun Works had that .22 cal. breechloading BP rifle, and like a fool I didn't buy one, and they quit carrying them, I've wanted one. I've been looking for parts and that sort of thing to make a breechloader similar to the Sharps, and I think I need to just make one from scratch.

    Options are swing breech, dropping breach, or true muzzleloader(not a first choice). I'm thinking either swing breech(breechblock swings to side for loading) or dropping breech is the way to go. Since the load would be 5-7 grains of FFF or FFFF BP it could be built fairly light.

    What ya think? Crazy idea, or a neat toy and conversation piece?
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Sounds like a fun project. Would it be possible to make the swing breech some sort of close-fitting dovetail setup for good gas sealing, with an inline ignition system using #11 percussion caps, maybe? Load the ball, into the chamber, top it off with powder, swing the breech closed, cap and shoot! You could use a 1911-style action with a little creative tinkering.
    Jerry
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    Senior Member cpj's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    It's a crazy idea, a neat toy, and a conversation piece. Do it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zee View Post

    I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    A gas checked 55 grain cast bullet made of pure lead would probably work better than a round ball. Ream the chamber with a long tapered throat and funnel the bullet into the rifling nice and easy.
    Jerry
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  5. #5
    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teach View Post
    Sounds like a fun project. Would it be possible to make the swing breech some sort of close-fitting dovetail setup for good gas sealing, with an inline ignition system using #11 percussion caps, maybe? Load the ball, into the chamber, top it off with powder, swing the breech closed, cap and shoot! You could use a 1911-style action with a little creative tinkering.
    Jerry
    If I go the side swing breach it can be made squeaky tight fit by using a side milling cutter. Side swing or vertical swing via underlever is doable, and I like the underlever better. A 1911 frame and slide could be adapted, too.

    What I'm thinking on the swing breech is a part of a circle fitting a part of a circular cutout in the barrel(vertical). Tip up controlled by a trigger guard lever, ala Stevens Favorite. Tip up the swing breech to load powder and bullet, swing back down into firing position, cap nipple on rear, and fire with hammer from maybe a 1911. I have plenty of spare fire control parts for 1911 pistol so that is what I'll use whatever action I end up with. I also have 3 .22 cal. bullet molds in 30, 40, and 55 grain. Ignition definitely percussion cap.

    I've sketched out all three this afternoon; now I need to get serious and get on the drafting table and make it go from sketch to working drawings.

    No matter which way I go, it's gonna need a dedicated cleaning rod as I suspect with that small a bore, it's gonna need cleaning after 2 or three shots.
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Senior Member Big Chief's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Here is an idy, but it is a NAA mini.

    Backup!

    https://northamericanarms.com/shop/f...s/naa-22lr-cb/
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    That one's a chain fire waiting to happen. The future Darwin award winner who fires that would at least be referred to as "Lefty" afterwards!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    Just an old fart making the PC Patrol earn their pay!

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    Moderator Wambli Ska's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    I vote for traditional muzzleloader. Actually a mini Hawken would be a hoot!!
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton

  9. #9
    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wambli Ska View Post
    I vote for traditional muzzleloader. Actually a mini Hawken would be a hoot!!
    It would take me 2-3 years to whittle out the stock and fit the parts. Nope!

    I solidified my plans this morning, anyway, and a traditional ML is out, unless I can find a .32 cal. CHEAP so I can epoxy a barrel liner in it, and shorten the distance from the back of the breech plug to the flash hole. 5-7 grains of BP doesn't occupy much space, at all. And shoving a pure lead conical .22 bullet down a slightly fouled bore would be a no go for sure. And a patched round ball would have to be around .214 diameter. Good luck not only finding a mold, but casting something that small! I have a .22 rimfire conical heel bullet mold with two cavities, one for 30 grain and one for 40 grain, so the mold is already a done deal.

    Going with lever action activated tip up breechblock. Remember the Ithaca single shot lever action rifle? Same principle on the breechblock, but it will tip UP instead of DOWN. Checked my parts stash and have a few levers to choose from that can be modified to do the dirty work. Solves partially the fouling problem by not having to shove the bullet/patched ball through BP fouling.
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

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    Senior Member zorba's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Then forget .22, and go to .177! Plenty of round balls available in that caliber - I even have a mini BP cannon in .177.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"
    "Religion can't be allowed the coercive power of government,
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    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by zorba View Post
    Then forget .22, and go to .177! Plenty of round balls available in that caliber - I even have a mini BP cannon in .177.
    Round ball would have to be patched, so I'd need a rifled barrel with a 0.167-0.168 bore and a 0.177 groove diameter. Nope, nope, nopety nope. Round ball of groove diameter, even with a patch between ball and powder isn't accurate(at least lousy accuracy in a pellet gun. I tried that already. ), and a .177 cal. rifle would require cleaning after each shot. And powder charge would be even smaller than the .22 cal.
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

  12. #12
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by tennmike View Post
    Round ball would have to be patched, so I'd need a rifled barrel with a 0.167-0.168 bore and a 0.177 groove diameter. Nope, nope, nopety nope. Round ball of groove diameter, even with a patch between ball and powder isn't accurate(at least lousy accuracy in a pellet gun. I tried that already. ), and a .177 cal. rifle would require cleaning after each shot. And powder charge would be even smaller than the .22 cal.
    .22 cal lead balls.
    https://www.amazon.com/Gamo-Round-15.../dp/B001B4SFHE
    Patch them with thin silk. What else you got
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton

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    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wambli Ska View Post
    .22 cal lead balls.
    https://www.amazon.com/Gamo-Round-15.../dp/B001B4SFHE
    Patch them with thin silk. What else you got
    From a .22 cal BP rifle, that 'what else' is EXTREME POWDER FOULING! Pushing a teeny little lead ball down a fouled barrel would be near impossible. It's near impossible with a heavily fouled .50 cal. rifle with a heavy fiberglass ramrod, so trying to shove a teeny .22 cal ball, patched or not down the bore with a highly flexible .22 cal. fiberglass or brass ramrod would be an exercise in futility. And I ain't in to toting my 'Sailors Book of Magic Words and Phrases' around when I shoot it!

    Like I said, IF I can find a .32 cal. caplock muzzleloader for cheap, with a removable drum nipple, I might be persuaded to bore it out for epoxying a .22 cal. barrel liner in place. Buying parts, or a kit, for .32 cal. halfstock rifle is prohibitively expensive for this project. I gots parts, steel, and .22 rimfire barrels galore, so I just have to whittle away at the metal that doesn't belong there to make my rising block rifle.

    I DO have about a dozen pistol cap locks that I could use for a caplock rifle. Since the .22 muzzleloader would be tiny to begin with, they'd be the right size for that. And I just happen to have three muzzleloader rifle stock blanks. Might be a project for later.
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

  14. #14
    Moderator Wambli Ska's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by tennmike View Post
    From a .22 cal BP rifle, that 'what else' is EXTREME POWDER FOULING! Pushing a teeny little lead ball down a fouled barrel would be near impossible. It's near impossible with a heavily fouled .50 cal. rifle with a heavy fiberglass ramrod, so trying to shove a teeny .22 cal ball, patched or not down the bore with a highly flexible .22 cal. fiberglass or brass ramrod would be an exercise in futility. And I ain't in to toting my 'Sailors Book of Magic Words and Phrases' around when I shoot it!

    Like I said, IF I can find a .32 cal. caplock muzzleloader for cheap, with a removable drum nipple, I might be persuaded to bore it out for epoxying a .22 cal. barrel liner in place. Buying parts, or a kit, for .32 cal. halfstock rifle is prohibitively expensive for this project. I gots parts, steel, and .22 rimfire barrels galore, so I just have to whittle away at the metal that doesn't belong there to make my rising block rifle.

    I DO have about a dozen pistol cap locks that I could use for a caplock rifle. Since the .22 muzzleloader would be tiny to begin with, they'd be the right size for that. And I just happen to have three muzzleloader rifle stock blanks. Might be a project for later.
    Excuses, excuses...
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton

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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    I always wondered if a swing-breech rifle using a round ball, why not use a .22 blank? Not BP, but like a blank from a starter pistol.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06

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    Moderator Wambli Ska's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Ps. And I'm sorry that I'm puzzled that the thread title is .22 cal muzzleloader when you are fighting off all efforts to get you to build an actual muzzleloader
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton

  17. #17
    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wambli Ska View Post
    Ps. And I'm sorry that I'm puzzled that the thread title is .22 cal muzzleloader when you are fighting off all efforts to get you to build an actual muzzleloader
    Twas muzzleloader to start with until I started pricing pieces/parts. And thought about it, and the obvious problems. I have a T/C .32 cal. Cherokee and it requires cleaning of crud after 3-4 shots or the patched ball can't be seated over the powder. A .22 cal. would require cleaning a lot more. Making it breechloading would clear that up a bit and also make it easier to do the abnormally often cleaning.

    A barrel, that would have to be sleeved with a .22 cal. liner, a breechplug for same, and a trigger would cost the price of a nice rifle. And a deep hole drill that I don't have would also be required, and they ain't cheap. Only other option would be to buy a .36 or .40 cal. barrel which would be big enough to fit a liner without first drilling it out, but it would be unnecessarily heavy.

    Not entirely ruling out a true muzzleloader, but I would have to find parts that don't blow the bank! IF I can find a .22 cal. octagon barrel that isn't prohibitively expensive, then I'll give it a second look.
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

  18. #18
    Moderator Wambli Ska's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Seems to me that making an octagon barrel out of one of your "surplus" .22 barrels should not be THAT difficult
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton

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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Why does it have to be octagonal? A surplus barrel will work fine, since it's a fantasy rifle anyway.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06

  20. #20
    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    I'll be going both ways at once at the same time. Because I can.
    Barrel for the muzzleloaders will be ROUND because my .22 barrel blanks are ROUND. And I can get a router bit to cut the barrel channel for a ROUND barrel. Barrels for both will be 18-24" depending on what I end up with, but thinking 18" is going to be the target length.
    Lock will be one of my pistol locks to fit with the small bore rifle. Ordered trigger, breech plug, and drum today. Stock will be the maple one I have already And will be cut down from full stock length to half stock length.
    The breechloader drawings are just about finished, too.

    If you want one with a freakin' octagon barrel then I suggest you get to work because I'm not doing one in octagon! Even a .40 cal. barrel blank is way too expensive to play that game, and .22 octagon barrels start at over 2 Benjamins. Not gonna happen!
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

  21. #21
    Senior Member CHIRO1989's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Could you do a .22 sabot in that .32 barrel?
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11

  22. #22
    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by CHIRO1989 View Post
    Could you do a .22 sabot in that .32 barrel?
    You could do an inline fired with only a shotshell primer with an inline muzzleloader fitted with a .22 barrel liner. Twist in a ML is too slow for a .22 bullet or ball. It would be keyhole city all the time.
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

  23. #23
    Senior Member Elk creek's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    If a round ball key holes would you know it?
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.

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    Senior Member CHIRO1989's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by tennmike View Post
    You could do an inline fired with only a shotshell primer with an inline muzzleloader fitted with a .22 barrel liner. Twist in a ML is too slow for a .22 bullet or ball. It would be keyhole city all the time.
    Your just not using enough powder
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11

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    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elk creek View Post
    If a round ball key holes would you know it?
    The round balls wouldn't keyhole, but their flight would be like a golf ball without dimples. Past the muzzle it would be anybody's guess where it lands. The fastest twist .50 cal. twist rate for ML rifles is around 1:24 which is twice as slow as the normal 1:12 twist for the .22 LR.

    I tried some of those.30 cal. sabots for .22 cal. bullets in .30-30 ages ago. Slow twist made for really crappy accuracy, and they did keyhole a lot. If I'd necked down a .50 BMG case to .30 cal. and used a 230 grain powder charge I might have got enough spin velocity to stabilize them, but firing them from a sleeved 105mm howitzer would have been a little awkward!
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Mike really looking forward to this one.

  27. #27
    Moderator Wambli Ska's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by tennmike View Post
    The round balls wouldn't keyhole, but their flight would be like a golf ball without dimples. Past the muzzle it would be anybody's guess where it lands. The fastest twist .50 cal. twist rate for ML rifles is around 1:24 which is twice as slow as the normal 1:12 twist for the .22 LR.

    I tried some of those.30 cal. sabots for .22 cal. bullets in .30-30 ages ago. Slow twist made for really crappy accuracy, and they did keyhole a lot. If I'd necked down a .50 BMG case to .30 cal. and used a 230 grain powder charge I might have got enough spin velocity to stabilize them, but firing them from a sleeved 105mm howitzer would have been a little awkward!
    Now there's a worthy experiment!!!
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton

  28. #28
    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    The Brown Truck of Happiness dropped off a package from Dixie Gun Works. It contained a tang breech plug, a few drums with nipples for ignition, and a trigger and trigger plate. I ordered more than one drum and nipple because I might have need for a matching pistol.
    Got notification that my package from Numrich Gun Parts shipped yesterday.
    Procrastinated all day yesterday and didn't do any drawing, and will do more procrastinating today. I need the parts in hand from Numrich to take measurements and they aren't here, so.....................
    Also ordered a router bit to cut out the barrel channel on the caplock rifle. Not spending a week with scrapers and chisels to make a barrel channnel; that's just silly.
    And the muzzleloader caplock will have all iron furniture. Squirrels can see shiny sh.............. stuff.
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

  29. #29
    Senior Member early's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    There's got to be strange lights, sounds, and smoke coming from your workshop.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.

  30. #30
    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: .22 cal. muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by early View Post
    There's got to be strange lights, sounds, and smoke coming from your workshop.
    Not yet. I'm still accumulating the necessaries (parts). Gotta have the Numrich parts for measurements and to draw out the necessary modifications to same. And that Dixie Gun Works order I got today had a sale flyer in it. I ordered some more stuff I didn't know I needed until I saw it. Also got a new cap lock pistol kit coming, too. Danged sale flyers are my downfall.
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.Mark Twain - Notebook, 1898
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. --Mark Twain

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