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 10 .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893 (Read 512 times)
Knute1
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.22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
May 20th, 2018 at 2:03am
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According to the 1895 Ordnance Report (page 21), they were already thinking about a .22 caliber cartridge being developed in 1893. I guess this would be a grandfather to the 5.56 round of today. Seems like they had just developed the .30 Government and were still experimenting with powders. That would be forward thinking.

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madsenshooter
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #1 - May 20th, 2018 at 10:41pm
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Wow, those weight 22 bullets would require a very tight twist, less than 1/7 would be my guess.
  
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Zgun
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #2 - May 21st, 2018 at 4:59pm
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The ordnance department may have done the math and decided after the report that a 120 grain .224 bullet would have been way to long and heavy for caliber. With the powders of the day it may have been very difficult to stabilize the projectile properly.

The Greenhill Formula suggests the longest .224 bullet that can be stabilzed with a 1 in 7 twist with velocity 2800 fps or greater is 1.290 inches.  I could not find any .224 bullets that weigh 100 plus grains that are commercially available. ( I don't think anyone manufactures a bullet this heavy for .224) The avg length of the 90 grain bullets available is about 1.2 inches.  The avg length increase of .224 bullets is about 80 to 90 thou per 10 grains. So a 120grain .224 bullet would be about 1.53 inches long. A 1 in 6 rate of twist would likely be required to stabilize a 120 grain .224 bullet that is 1.5 inches long.

REFERENCE MATERIAL:
The Greenhill Formula

The Greenhill formula is an empirical equation that does a good job of establishing the barrel twist necessary so that a bullet of a given length will be adequately stabilized.

T= The twist required (number of inches for one revolution)
D= The bullet diameter (in inches)
R= The bullet length to diameter ratio (length divided by diameter)
K= Velocity constant
     Use 150  for velocities between 1500 and 2800 fps
     Use 180 for velocities above 2800 fps

Rate of Twist = K x (D/R)
                  

Conversely, to find out what length bullet will be stabilized in a given twist, use:

Bullet Length = K x (D x D/T)

Note that it is bullet length, not weight that is important.

Max Length bullet calc. using above formula.

Caliber      Bullet Diam.      V. Constant      Length for 1 in 6
223 Rem    0.224                180                         1.51

Zgun
  
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madsenshooter
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #3 - May 21st, 2018 at 5:09pm
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I could've done that math, but I just guessed going on heavy .243 bullets in the 6x45, the 6mm Lee, and the weights (lengths) they are shooting in highpower with the AR and the twists they use.  Good references Z-gun.
  
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Zgun
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #4 - May 21st, 2018 at 5:20pm
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Good guess based on experience, you nailed it Madsenhooter. Faster than 1 in 7. I have never run into a 1 in 6.

Zgun
  
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waterman
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #5 - May 22nd, 2018 at 1:15am
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I think it is wrong to just assume a bullet diameter of .224 at that stage of the game.  Only a couple of years later, the 6 mm Lee Navy was called a .236, but we know the bullets ran .243 or .244.

The early Krag Gallery Practice Rifle I played with had a groove diameter of .226.  The Savage .22 High Power was .228.

Some of the early cartridge collector books tell us about the diameter of experimental smallbore cartridges.
  
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Zgun
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #6 - May 22nd, 2018 at 12:44pm
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Good point Waterman. Not assuming it would be exactly .224 but any bullet diameter between .220 and .229 weighing 120 grains would require a fast twist rate and a velocity of 2800 Fps or greater to stabilize properly. That was my intent of the explanation.

What bullet weights were typical of the Savage High Power ?

Does anyone know of published reports of experimentation using 22 cal bullets ? I would love to see that data if it exists.

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madsenshooter
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #7 - May 22nd, 2018 at 3:55pm
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Nor have I, but the Lee Navy, which they were playing with at about the same time, was 1/6.5.
  
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waterman
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #8 - May 24th, 2018 at 1:09am
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I have had two Savage 99s in .22 High Power.  Bullet weight was 70 grains.  Both were take-downs.  Would do no better than a 4" group at 100 yards, even with a tang sight.

No longer have either one.  I never measured the twist, but a visit to Phil Sharpe's The Rifle in America tells me twist was 1:12.  The cartridge is simply a necked-down .25/35 WCF.
  
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Knute1
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #9 - May 24th, 2018 at 2:39am
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Here is some follow-up from the 1896 report. Sorry for the poor images, but it should answer some questions.

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The table shows a diameter of 0.22157", not sure why that number is run out to that many decimal points. The weight is 120 grains with a velocity of 2600 fps. Rate of twist was not shown. I could find no further follow-up in the 1897 report.
  
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #10 - May 24th, 2018 at 5:54am
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The book History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, Vol. 1 (Revised) by Hackley, Woodin & Scranton describes the experimental Cal. .22 1895 Experimental Cartridge in some detail.  Gene Scranton provided one of his excellent pen and ink drawings of a loaded cartridge.

Springfield Armory made at least one .22 caliber barrel and perhaps one in .20 caliber.  Frankford Arsenal made 250 unprimed cases, 250 118 grain bullets, 25 112 grain bullets and 25 250 grain bullets.  The cases were tinned brass, Case length was 2.745".  Head diameter was 0.430" and rim diameter was 0.512".  Bullet diameters were .225".  Overall length of a loaded round was 3.471".

The case looked like a stretched-out Krag, but was smaller in diameter and longer.  With only 250 cases and 300 bullets made, there were probably only one or two test rifles made.  The cartridges were probably too long to function through the Krag magazine, but they could have been loaded singly, all that would be necessary for an experimental cartridge.  Muzzle velocity with the 120 grain bullet was about 2,600 fps.  Since there is no further record of the cartridge, it was apparently not a great success.

Note that the bullet diameters are greater than the diameter reported with the earlier Army document.  The same is true for the diameters of the .30 and .45 bullets.  These guys used bore diameters, not groove diameters.

My adventures with an early Gallery Practice Rifle, with a groove diameter of .226" make me think that the internal barrel dimensions may have doomed the experiment from the start.  Deep grooves in excess of bullet diameter are not conducive to good accuracy. 
  
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Re: .22 Caliber Discussed In 1893
Reply #11 - May 24th, 2018 at 6:57am
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The Navy trials that the Caliber Reduction Board ran led to the 6mm Lee Navy, but they tried several other cartridge case types, both rimmed and rimless.  There were two forms of 6mm Remington, both short and fat and rimmed.  There were at least two forms of 6mm Luger, a rimmed case for a German rifle or two.  And there was a rimmed version of the Lee Navy, recommended by Winchester because it would function more reliably in Gatling guns.  I have seen samples of all those cartridges, but they are definitely rare.
  
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