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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is merely a thought exercise, I don't think age restrictions or gun control in general will gain any real traction in the near-term, but I guess the title sums it up. Edit: I'm trying to not get politics involved in this discussion, I'm really more interested in the merits, or lack thereof, of expanding rimfire offerings if centerfire were to be restricted from certain consumer groups.

If there is a successful push to limit semi-auto centerfire rifles to people 21 or older, would it make sense for the industry to take another look at .32 and .38 rimfire (edit: or any other higher or lower performance rimfires)? The tooling likely still exists as both were recently produced in Canada and Brazil(?), so it's not completely unrealistic. With some refinement, you could squeeze a bit more performance out of both, think about where .22 LR would be if development had stopped in the early 1900s. The only hold up I could see is the classic, "We need to download the ammo just in case someone loads these in a revolver from the 1860s." argument. That aside, if .22 LR can be made to work in auto-loaders then I suspect similar designs could be made to work with larger rimfire cartridges... I'd buy a Ruger 10/32 rifle, or a Marlin 39 in .32 Long. :unsure:
 

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They would have be be comparatively low pressure rounds. That generally equates to limited performance. With low pressure rounds, the best way to increase performance is to increase bullet diameter and weight. Think sort along the lines of a lower pressure .45ACP.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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I wonder how much the ammo companies would sell the ammo for? Ammo isn't exactly cheap anymore. And this wouldn't be a reloading type ammo either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I think a modern .32 or .38 rimfire load could safety be brought up to at least .32 S&W or .38 S&W pressures, probably higher if the modern load was modeled on the .32 or .38 Long cartridges. Yes, not great man stoppers, but still small enough to chamber in some modern PCCs without too much effort and just enough power to keep them useful for small game in something similar to a 10/32 concept. Rimmed cartridges are always a pain in autoloaders, but modern companies do have some experience getting semi-auto rimfires to work and, after all, this is a thought experiment that would only be viable if a ban involved centerfire semi-autos below the age of 21. That's a very narrow market 18-21 and semi-auto since I don't see anything on the table offering to ban centerfire lever actions, pump actions, etc.

As to cost, who knows. Nothing will likely ever reach the economy of scale to be as inexpensive as .22LR, but if you were an 18-21 year old and wanted a semi-auto to hunt, plink, compete, who knows, with... you might be willing to pay $20.00/50 or something. People are paying like $8/round for shooting quantities of .32 rimfire now once shipping is factored in, but that is presently a very niche market buying up all of the old stock made in Canada and Brazil.
 

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No. Just….NO.

Reducing my capabilities or paying ridiculous money to satisfy tyrannical demands or mollify the scared wanna-be serfs of the left is NOT the way forward.
 

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No. Just….NO.

Reducing my capabilities or paying ridiculous money to satisfy tyrannical demands or mollify the scared wanna-be serfs of the left is NOT the way forward.
I doubt it would work as a "loophole" very long anyway. They'd just start including maximum caliber size when they specify "rimfire."

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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Ladies. Talk about the ammo, not the politics.

@bumthum if you want to start conversations based on politics, you're going to need to pony up the fee and start them in the proper section. Otherwise they'll just go behind the pay wall and you won't be able to participate in your own "exercises".
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ladies. Talk about the ammo, not the politics.

@bumthum if you want to start conversations based on politics, you're going to need to pony up the fee and start them in the proper section. Otherwise they'll just go behind the pay wall and you won't be able to participate in your own "exercises".
A potential ban on centerfire semi-autos for people under 21 was just the context of why a discussion might occur about bringing back larger rimfire rounds. I didn't mean for the thread to be about politics, it was supposed to be about rimfire ammo. I don't think I mentioned politics except to set the stage for why someone might consider bringing back a larger rimfire cartridge... or maybe introduce a new one. I was also interested in which firearms could be readily chambered for something like a .32 or .38 rimfire round. I'll mind my P's and Q's and avoid politics beyond how the context would affect the technical. 🤷‍♂️

I doubt it would work as a "loophole" very long anyway. They'd just start including maximum caliber size when they specify "rimfire."

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
I could see this as a potential practical stumbling block, but you could make a bottlenecked rimfire round to squeeze performance out of a light .224 projectile (which one suspects would be the upper limit specified if diameter was restricted). I'm not overly familiar with the engineering involved in rimfire cases, but my gut tells me that they won't hold pressure like a centerfire case that has a solid web at the base. Seems to me that the early balloon-type centerfire cartridges routinely failed in the base, even with black powder pressures, and I believe the techniques are very similar for making rimfire and balloon head centerfire cartridges. One of the post-Civil War Spencer rounds was a bottlenecked rimfire and then you have 5mm Remington (~33,000psi) and .17HMR (26,100psi), but I guess one would need to know the limits of what a rimfire cartridge head can hold in terms of pressure. You could at least squeeze .22 Hornet (~25,000psi) performance out of a rimfire case, I would think, and a round like that could get you pretty far in terms of being useful from modern sporting rifles.
 

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A potential ban on centerfire semi-autos for people under 21 was just the context of why a discussion might occur about bringing back larger rimfire rounds. I didn't mean for the thread to be about politics, it was supposed to be about rimfire ammo. I don't think I mentioned politics except to set the stage for why someone might consider bringing back a larger rimfire cartridge... or maybe introduce a new one. I was also interested in which firearms could be readily chambered for something like a .32 or .38 rimfire round. I'll mind my P's and Q's and avoid politics beyond how the context would affect the technical. 🤷‍♂️



I could see this as a potential practical stumbling block, but you could make a bottlenecked rimfire round to squeeze performance out of a light .224 projectile (which one suspects would be the upper limit specified if diameter was restricted). I'm not overly familiar with the engineering involved in rimfire cases, but my gut tells me that they won't hold pressure like a centerfire case that has a solid web at the base. Seems to me that the early balloon-type centerfire cartridges routinely failed in the base, even with black powder pressures, and I believe the techniques are very similar for making rimfire and balloon head centerfire cartridges. One of the post-Civil War Spencer rounds was a bottlenecked rimfire and then you have 5mm Remington (~33,000psi) and .17HMR (26,100psi), but I guess one would need to know the limits of what a rimfire cartridge head can hold in terms of pressure. You could at least squeeze .22 Hornet (~25,000psi) performance out of a rimfire case, I would think, and a round like that could get you pretty far in terms of being useful from modern sporting rifles.
I would appreciate it greatly. Perhaps relate things to hypothetical End of Days scenarios instead?

I don't like burying solid conversations behind the wall, especially when the OP can't see them, and you tend to get some good ones started.
 
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A .50 Spencer carbine is a rimfire.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A .50 Spencer carbine is a rimfire.
I guess the main concern is that it would probably need to be usable in an existing mechanism and it would need to cycle it as well. I think the idea of a HiPoint carbine in one of the Spencer cartridges would be beyond cool, but it's a sizeable cartridge and I'm not sure what form factor a marketable weapon would take.
 

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Maybe .25 Stevens? On paper it doesn't look powerful enough for deer, but maybe it's just a hold over from back when no one cared. It's not like .25 rimfire ammo is readily available anymore.
No idea, as a guess the law is still on the books from a time when people actually hunted rather than shooting long range and call it hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just for comparison sake, here are .32 Long RF, and two variations of .56 Spencer RF, next to .22LR (on the left). While I doubt there is any potential for the .50 cal + rounds, I could see a souped up .32 RF being a great little round in blow back semi-autos. Or, as I mentioned earlier, a necked RF round mimicking .22 Hornet, maybe not in direct blowback though.
Wood Natural material Cone Font Ammunition
 

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I think part of the issue is that most of those large caliber rimfires were originally BP cartridges.

If you’re going to play this silly game of mental masturbation, you may as well develop a new cartridge that takes advantage of smokeless powder. A .350 legend equivalent wouldn’t be that hard to put into rifles, .303 British was used in automatics for decades, it’s already got a rim, and you could easily get a .45 ACP equivalent out of something close to a .44 Henry cartridge with more pressure.

Break the paradigm. There’s zero reason to limit yourself to the low pressure rounds of the past.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think part of the issue is that most of those large caliber rimfires were originally BP cartridges.

If you’re going to play this silly game of mental masturbation, you may as well develop a new cartridge that takes advantage of smokeless powder. A .350 legend equivalent wouldn’t be that hard to put into rifles, .303 British was used in automatics for decades, it’s already got a rim, and you could easily get a .45 ACP equivalent out of something close to a .44 Henry cartridge with more pressure.

Break the paradigm. There’s zero reason to limit yourself to the low pressure rounds of the past.
I agree, that's why I suggested something pushing a .224 projectile at .22 Hornet performance after lklawson pointed out that a maximum caliber might be a limiting factor. If the caliber isn't limited, then I think the real limiting factor would be internal pressure that a rimfire case can theoretically hold up to and I'm not sure where that limit is. As I pointed out, 5mm Remington Magnum was around 33,000psi which is decently high enough to allow for reasonable performance, especially if you were moving a .308 projectile.
 

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Break the paradigm. There’s zero reason to limit yourself to the low pressure rounds of the past.
Sure there is: pressure. Rimfire has always been known for blowouts and the fragility of the case at the rim. The highest pressure I could find on any even modern rimfire round was a tad over 26k

I also foresee reliability issues. It's already hard enough to make sure the primer compound gets all around the 22 rim. Expand the circumference 3 times or more... :eek:

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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I certainly think it can be done but there's gonna have to be a really strong need in the market. In other words, why would gun/ammo makers, make a cartridge no one is asking for? That whole supply and demand thing keeps ringing in my ears.
OK, theoretical, what if, zombie apocalypse, draconian government type of thing,... fine.
Sure it can be done. Down sides, the first one, off the top of my head, Cost! Folks won't pay to go backwards in performance unless there's no other choice. This will mean better cartridge designs. Sure, cartridges from 150 years ago sucked, the metallurgy, designs and manufacturing processes sucked by today's standards. I think we could do a bit better now (only if there was a real need). There were no black powder rimfire cases back then that were "high pressure", not like the 5mm Remington Magnum (33,000 psi) using smokeless powder,... there is now.



Could we do better than 33Kpsi? I think we could but consumers aren't pounding on the doors of manufactures to come up high pressure rimfires in everyday guns. I'm no business genius but if you make a lot of stuff people don't care about you go out of business.
Getting back to Cost. So theoretically it can be done, but what will it cost me? Now it gets sticky! I guessing folks won't like the initial price tag. If you don't have a choice then it's gonna be either buy or live without.

What would it look like, gun wise? Well, I don't think revolvers would change much. Manufacturers might have to change the hammer springs to something heavier but externally everything would look the same.
Semi autos... well, if Coonan could make a 1911 style gun in 357 Magnum, I think semi-autos would probably look the same also but maybe, just maybe, have heavier trigger pulls (for the thicker, higher pressure "brass"). Brass goes in quotes because who knows what they would actually use to get everything to work right.

Anyway, Jmho.
 
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