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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    UK
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    8

    Default .22 Rimfire case not extracting

    Not really a gun, but it's a gun related problem!

    I'm making a tennis ball launcher that uses .22 blanks, I've researched the law and as long as it can't be made to fire live ammunition with regular hand tools and without special knowledge it's fine (in UK), to make sure it can't be easily adapted I've made the chamber from hardenable steel and not drilled all the way through, then drilled holes in the side at the barrel end for the gasses to escape, when I'm finished working on it I'll harden it so it can't be drilled easily without annealing it, which should count as special knowledge, hardened steel welded into a barrel is part of the deactivating process so if it's good enough for them it's good enough for me!

    Now on to my problem, to start with I made a quick and easy spring loaded pin to fire the blank, to make sure it would launch a tennis ball, rather than waste my time making something fancy when it's not going to work, once I get this ironed out I'm planning on making a bolt action for it, it turns out it does work, rather well! But it did show up another problem, the blank slides in easily and will drop out if you turn it upside down, but after it's been fired it's hard to get the empty case out, sometimes I can just about pull it out with my fingers, other times I need to lever it out with a screwdriver.

    What would be causing this? Is it because the hole isn't smooth enough? I just drilled it, would reaming it fix the problem? I know I'd probably have to start over because the hole will be too big but that's not really a problem, I don't have a reamer either, so I'd have to buy one, but I'm not going to buy it unless I know that's the problem, I'm not a fan of wasting money! If I need a reamer does it have to be a chamber reamer or will a regular chucking reamer work?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Burnie/ Adelaide
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    53
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    4,710

    Default

    It is likely that the pressure involved is enough to slightly expand the cartridge case out, making the fit tighter. A smoother hole may help but you might have to make up an extractor to at least start to eject the spent brass.

    Michael

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    formerly from Sydney (north of The Harbour), NSW, Oz
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    63
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    281

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Turbo View Post
    Not really a gun, but it's a gun related problem!

    I'm making a tennis ball launcher that uses .22 blanks,
    snip
    Now on to my problem, to start with I made a quick and easy spring loaded pin to fire the blank, to make sure it would launch a tennis ball, rather than waste my time making something fancy when it's not going to work, once I get this ironed out I'm planning on making a bolt action for it, it turns out it does work, rather well! But it did show up another problem, the blank slides in easily and will drop out if you turn it upside down, but after it's been fired it's hard to get the empty case out, sometimes I can just about pull it out with my fingers, other times I need to lever it out with a screwdriver.

    What would be causing this? Is it because the hole isn't smooth enough? I just drilled it, would reaming it fix the problem? I know I'd probably have to start over because the hole will be too big but that's not really a problem, I don't have a reamer either, so I'd have to buy one, but I'm not going to buy it unless I know that's the problem, I'm not a fan of wasting money! If I need a reamer does it have to be a chamber reamer or will a regular chucking reamer work?
    out of interest, are you using .22 starting pistol blanks, or something more powerful like .22LR or Ramset blanks?

    I think what you are doing is really "gunsmithing" -- even if you are in the UK.

    but to answer your question
    .22 cartridges use relatively light gauge brass casings that expand into the sides of the chamber to become a very tight fit when fired. To reliably extract the spent cartridge you will need to incorporate a pair of extractors and an ejector into your mechanism. In effect you will be incorporating a .22 action (without the barrel) into your tennis ball launcher. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to purchase a low cost .22 firearm and modify it, but if you do, you will definitely -- at least here -- be stepping into the realm of a firearms maker or armourer -- which has a whole lot of legal requirements.

    Perhaps, you should forget about using .22 blanks and use compressed air as the propellant.
    regards from Canmore

    ian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Armidale NSW
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    47
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    870

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    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    Perhaps, you should forget about using .22 blanks and use compressed air as the propellant.
    ... or CO2.
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
    __________________________________________________
    Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like crazy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    207

    Default

    If you need to make a chamber reamer, a D-bit reamer is easy enough to make given the 22lr is a straight walled cartridge.

    But yes, thew brass is expanding and keying into the rough sides of your "chamber" would be my guess too.

  6. #6
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    formerly from Sydney (north of The Harbour), NSW, Oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornetb View Post
    But yes, the brass is expanding and keying into the rough sides of your "chamber" would be my guess too.
    I'm not sure that the casing is keying into the chamber walls per see, more that after firing the casing becomes an exact fit to the chamber
    regards from Canmore

    ian

  7. #7
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    Jan 2011
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    Far West Wimmera
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    58
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    4,095

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    I recently handed in a very old worn Mauser 22LR. It was no longer useful. I believe it may have been used for firing a lot of 22 shorts as it had pitting in the chamber. 22LR cartridges would not extract reliably. A combination of wear issues, but the pitting made the cartridge harder to move.

    I researched building a machine to throw tennis balls some years ago. The main design I found, involved an electric motor driving 2 rollers in opposite directions so that a ball dropped down a chute was guided between the rollers, which flicked the ball out. This idea has the benefit that it is an continuous operation and does not require reloading. Depends on your requirements.

    My thought at the time was to teach a dog(s) to drop a ball into the machine. For various reasons we don't throw balls for our dogs very much anymore, including the fact that tennis balls in particular can cause very bad teeth wear due to the dirt they pick up. I have have to learn to pick them up with my hands.

    Dean

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    683

    Default

    How did you drill the chamber, needs to be reamed with a chamber reamer if the size is not correct it will never work

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Murray Bridge S Aust.
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    66
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    For what you are trying to do, I'd ask the local gunsmith for an old worn out rifle, explain that you only want the bolt action and chamber.
    Because you drilled the hole that is where you are having problems. If you look at the drilled hole through a microscope, you'll see a group of valleys and ridges, as a casing expands it will take the form of the chamber that it is fired in. If you are intent on proceeding with it, I'd make a D bit reamer with a slight taper inwards towards the "barrel" end, it only needs to be a couple of thou smaller, as the shell is ejected it only has to move a few thou and it'll come out easily. If you look at a .303 case you'll see that it has a fair amount of taper on it, that is to prevent jamming from dirt mud etc. according to the gunsmith that I spoke to, when I used to do a lot of shooting. I had 3 of them.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    out of interest, are you using .22 starting pistol blanks, or something more powerful like .22LR or Ramset blanks?
    I'm using "launcher" blanks, they are for dummy launchers for dog training.

    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    To reliably extract the spent cartridge you will need to incorporate a pair of extractors and an ejector into your mechanism. In effect you will be incorporating a .22 action (without the barrel) into your tennis ball launcher. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to purchase a low cost .22 firearm and modify it, but if you do, you will definitely -- at least here -- be stepping into the realm of a firearms maker or armourer -- which has a whole lot of legal requirements.
    Quote Originally Posted by KBs PensNmore View Post
    For what you are trying to do, I'd ask the local gunsmith for an old worn out rifle, explain that you only want the bolt action and chamber.
    I was planning on having an extractor and ejector but don't think it will work reliably because of how tight the empty case can be to remove as it is. It would be easier to modify a firearm, but there's no real way of doing that legally, for some reason in the UK they don't like you having any part of a firearm that's not registered to you, so if I did somehow come across someone willing to sell me bits from a firearm I could end up in quite a bit of trouble!

    Also I'm just doing it for the fun of it, making all the parts myself is half of the fun, my mates get to join in afterwards!

    I'll have a go at making a reamer with a slight taper and see if that solves the problem.

  11. #11
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    formerly from Sydney (north of The Harbour), NSW, Oz
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Turbo View Post
    I'm using "launcher" blanks, they are for dummy launchers for dog training.

    I was planning on having an extractor and ejector but don't think it will work reliably because of how tight the empty case can be to remove as it is. It would be easier to modify a firearm, but there's no real way of doing that legally, for some reason in the UK they don't like you having any part of a firearm that's not registered to you, so if I did somehow come across someone willing to sell me bits from a firearm I could end up in quite a bit of trouble!
    Here, what you are doing counts as building your own UNREGISTERED firearm, which will get you in as much, if not more, trouble than modifying a registered firearm.
    regards from Canmore

    ian

  12. #12
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    Jun 2013
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    Tasmania
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    Default

    He's in the UK.

  13. #13
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    I know, that's why I prefaced the comment with "here"


    besides, following the "troubles", I suspect building what amounts to a firearm action - chamber, bolt, firing pin, extractor, ejector -- amounts to "manufacture" even in the UK.
    regards from Canmore

    ian

  14. #14
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    It's only ILLEGAL, IF he gets caught
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBs PensNmore View Post
    It's only ILLEGAL, IF he gets caught
    don't you mean, there's only consequences IF he gets caught?
    regards from Canmore

    ian

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