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Reloading .22 Long Rifle—a new option for competitors

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Reloading .22 Long Rifle—a new option for competitors

The Sharpshooter mold casts two different bullets, one a standard 38-grain round nose and the other a 25-grain pointed nose, each with a single lubrication groove.

WARNING: All technical data in this publication, especially for handloading, reflect the limited experience of individuals using specific tools, products, equipment and components under specific conditions and circumstances not necessarily reported in the article and over which the National Rifle Association (NRA) has no control. The data has not otherwise been tested or verified by the NRA. The NRA, its agents, officers and employees accept no responsibility for the results obtained by persons using such data and disclaim all liability for any consequential injuries or damages.

Common knowledge has it that reloading .22 Long Rifle cartridges isn’t possible, or at least isn’t practical. But necessity being the mother of invention—in this case necessity being the present drought of .22 LR ammunition—American entrepreneurship has now added the rimfire cartridge to our reloading repertoire.Sharpshooter 22 Long Rifle Reloader, LLC accomplishes this with their .22 LR reloading kit, the heart of which is an old-school hand operated “tong” tool that serves both as bullet mold and bullet/case crimper. The company also sells a resizing die and shell holder separately, as well as the primer material. While all this may seem so simple that reloading rimfire cartridges should be as mundane is reloading .38 Special, the devil, as they say, is in the details.

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Rimfire obstacles

Even the non-handloader is aware that the first obstacle to reloading .22 LR is the priming. Centerfire cartridges, of course, have easily replaced Boxer primer assemblies consisting of the pressure sensitive primer material and anvil integral with the primer cup. In the .22 LR, however, the cartridge case rim serves as the primer cup and anvil, the blow from the firing pin crushing the primer material between rim surfaces to ignite it. While it’s safe enough to ship self-contained primers, handling and shipping pressure sensitive primer material is another matter, and no primer manufacturer sells loose primer compound to handloaders.

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