.22 Spitfire ?
I have been playing with a ruger 77/22 hornet for a while now and i like the rifle alot. It is so handy to carry and very leathal on small varmints. However the brass quality for the hornet is less than ideal. I recently read an article about the 19badger and started thinking maby a .224 version of the 30 carbine case might be very similar to the 22 hornet but with more robust brass and a more modern case shape. After a little research i discovered this has been done in the m1 carbine platform with decent results. Im wondering if any one had tried this in a bolt action rifle and what the results may have been. How hard would the old spitfire brass be to find, or would i have to form my own from new 30 carbine brass. Aslo are there forming dies available or wold they have to be custom made. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
It is just a bit bigger -- you can look the two up on the internet to get "sorta SAAMI" sizes -- but the .221 Fireball offers just about the same thing, except the Spitfire is a semi-exotic wildcat. If it's the latter you want, have at it. Felt that way myself from time to time. But if you want the ease of getting it going, the Fireball is a factory round.
From Ken Howell's book, RCBS makes form dies for the Spitfire. I would imagine they also make the other needed dies. You can look up cost, but when I made a .30 Herrett, I was stunned about how much RCBS wanted for a two-die set for an oddball cartridge. For forming dies, the set Butch Lambert makes (if he still does) will make just about anything. These are essentially the design used by Skip Otto earlier, & I imagine others was well. Worth having if you do any wildcatting.
Back to Ken Howells' book: He gives water displacement (not capacity) as 28 grains water for the Spitfire. For comparison, the standard Hornet displaces 21 grains water, and the .221 Fireball 33 grains water.
Going on -- the K-hornet (RCBS version) is also 21 grains, but the Hornet improved (Niedner, 25-degree shoulder) is listed at 22 grains. There is probably an Ackley version, a bit bigger still.
The .22 Remington Jet (Factory) displaces 28 grains, but the rim is .440. The Standard 218 Bee is given at 27 grains water. 218 Bee brass is going to be better than the Hornet; I use to shoot a .32-20 in Hunter Silhouette, and it did quite well. The Bee, of course, is just a .32-20 necked down by the factory. The Bee's rim s a little bigger though, .400 versus .350 for the Hornet, and .36 for the Spitfire; .378 for the Fireball. The rims of rimless cartridges can be turned smaller of course, as the guys who shoot a 6BR (or wildcat based on it) with a PPC boltface have to do. May be other issues with any of the the slightly larger cases, but it'd be the same for a Spitfire, I'd think. Ruger owners would know about your particular rifle.
Then there is the .22 Flea at 13 grains water (made on a .32 ACP case). At .358. the rim fit is good.Smallest case I heard of is the .22 Epperson Cricket, based on the .25 Auto case. Rim is just .302.
A good source for wildcat info would be Cheechacko, who posts here from time to time. Also Todd Kindler, the VarTarg guy, might also be a resource, at
Hope this is at least interesting, if not useful.
There is also the .22 CCM (Cooper Centerfire Magnum), but the brass is proprietary & might be a bit risky if they quit making it. Displacement is 15 grains of water -- bigger than the Flea. I have no idea how it fared with shooters. Much smaller rim.
Last edited by Charles E; 07-26-2012 at 12:44 AM.
I thoroughly agree with everything said by Charles, and enjoyed reading his post. One option he forgot or may not be aware of is the 22 Garin. This man, Paul Garin I believe took the 30 Carbine case and made a family of cartridges including: a .17, .20, .22, .24, and a .25. He has a website and made a book/manual with overviews and compares ins and load data. Around Xmas he sent a few out for free and I got one. Good read.
I know that he is/was doing business with Cooper Arms. Also he has a BR rifle for these chambering on a Panda built by Gary O'cock.
Anyways start at his website. It's called the Garin Sure Strike System.
Good luck. Tim
Just found this on the International Ammmunition Association forum.
5.7mm Carbine Conversion page
Last edited by Stonewall; 07-26-2012 at 09:42 AM.
thaks for the input guys, the rim size was a big reason i had considered the spit fire because when i miked the bolt face on my 77/22 it should accomodate the larger rim size with no mods. I had hoped for the 218 bee to work but its to large and the ruger beeing a controlled feed action i didnt want to create that much extra work. One concern with the spit fire is the fit in the rotary magazine because the case itself is considerbly wider than the hornet but the lips on the magazie could be filed back pretty easily im sure. I had considered the FN 5.7x28 but the balistics seemed more similar to the 22wmr than the hornet and may be on the weak side for coyote, i had also looked into the 221 fireball but the hornet was a perfect fit for semiresidential wood chuck and coyote hunting and the 221 seems a little more than i want for report and velocity. For now I am furtuniate to have a functioning rifle and no immediate need to change the barrel yet, so i may find some universal forming dies and see what it takes to make spitfire brass from 30carbine stock before i spend money on a barrel and dies.