Monday, August 18, 2014
.22 CCM Progress
I fooled around with the 22 CCM a little this weekend. Previously, I had made some really crappy ammo because the powder compressed and expanded the cases. A bunch of them just let go of their bullets. When they didn't, they shot well but the bullets just fell out of about half of them.
I was using Winchester 296 and a 40 grain Sierra bullet in new brass. I decided to use a quicker powder so the cases wouldn't be so full and two powders that I have on my shelf looked promising.
Alliant 2400 is one of the original "Magnum Handgun" powders and its a tad quicker than 296. Alliant Steel is a tad quicker than 2400 but slower than Blue Dot so there was some sense in giving it a try too. Besides, I have four pounds of the stuff.
I decided to switch to a 35 grain Hornady V Max bullet instead of the 40 grain Sierra. The Sierra is a little longer so that would help with the case volume and power compression issue and I had been reading a lot about bullets fired from the 22CCM not expanding so I wanted something that wasn't just a soft point design.
I found no data for Alliant 2400 in the 22 CCM so I used Accurate Arm's data for the 22CCM with a 40 grain bullet and their AA#9 powder. Its another, similar "Magnum Handgun" powder. Both 2400 and #9 are often used in the same applications so if #9 would work, 2400 should too. Comparing load data that included both powders for a given load in various cartridges other than the 22CCM, they looked reasonably similar. I started low and worked up to 6.5 grains of 2400 with the 35 grain bullet. The ammo went together fine and showed no unusual pressure signs when fired into my gas bottle and glass pack muffler gizmo during the work up process. Primers were CCI Small Pistol (not magnum).
For the Alliant Steel experiment, there was even less data. Steel doesn't meter well so there's no data for pistol ammo. I couldn't find anything on it other than for non-toxic shotshell loads. With it being on the burn rate chart between 2400 and Blue Dot, I decided to try something based loosely on Blue Dot. You might say it was more inspired by Blue Dot data than based on it.
Bearing in mind that there's no data on Blue Dot in the 22 CCM either, I looked in several books that had loads for magnum pistol cartridges that included both #9 and Blue Dot with a given bullet. Blue Dot loads tended to use pretty close to just about almost around something like 3/4 of the charge weights specified for #9. That's speaking in very round numbers. It was never an exact 75% but I used that as a conversion factor to get in the right ballpark.
The idea was that if a safe Blue Dot load in a .357 Magnum (that operates at lower pressure than the 22 CCM) was around 75% of what the same source called for with #9, AND if Steel was a tick slower than Blue Dot, it ought to be safe to start with a charge of Steel that was 75% of the charge of #9 called for in the 22 CCM data in the Accurate manual.
It did work but pressures were so low that it left soot all over the brass. It looked like I had a long way to go 1/10 of a grain at a time to get to a place where the Steel would do the best it was going to do and I was so pleased with my 2400 loads that I curtailed the Steel loading.
I took the little rifle out to the river this morning and chronographed a few of each load. The Steel loads were a good 300 fps slower than the 2400 loads but that was to be expected since I didn't work them up to anything that looked like a maximum. The 2400 loads clocked about 2,260 fps 12' from the muzzle. That's between 10 and 60 fps faster than the current gee-whiz-gotta-write-home-about-this hyper velocity 30 grain varmint loads for the 22 WMR from Winchester, Federal or CCI and my bullet is 17% heavier than their's. Accuracy was good, the ammo didn't fall apart and, unlike the 22 WMR, I will be reloading the empties. This will make a dandy turkey gun.
While there, I also sighted in the red dot thingy on the M1 Carbine.
I had a LER scope on it that was a little hard to use because of the rifle's short stock. The dot will work as well or better at any range this will be used. I also got to test out my completely innocuous, non-threatening and harmless 5 round magazine along with my new normal capacity/high capacity bullet clip magazine thingy. Both worked flawlessly. I didn't bring any 30 rounders but just to make sure that Gaia cries herself to sleep tonight, I'd like to point out that the stock on that little rifle is mahogany.
Last on the list was the .50 Beowulf with the "tough as a Stalin Tank" Russian scope with the illuminated recticle. The scope was destroyed by the 6th shot. It won't focus anymore. I couldn't even see the target through it by the 6th shot. So much for Stalin Tanks. I've named the gun "Rudel."