shorts in a semi-auto?

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by squirrelnutzipper, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. squirrelnutzipper

    squirrelnutzipper New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    Hi. Forum newbie, but crusty old crackpot rifleman. Question: What I want is a .22 rifle that will shoot all lengths of ammo, including the CB shorts. I'd prefer a single shot or bolt action. Problem with that is, I'm a leftie shooter. Nobody stocks left handed rifles, and to try to get someone to order one is just not worth the aggravation they would put me through. I'll settle for a semi-automatic, but all the ones I see are only made for LR. I'm wondering if I can use shorts in a semi-automatic if I load them manually one at a time into the chamber? Any advice is much appreciated.:)
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    Single loading shorts in a semi-auto is no problem. The chamber will take long rifle, longs, or shorts because the rim stops the case from entering too far into the chamber....The gun headspaces on the rim. Be sure to clean the chamber after using shorts or long rifles may not chamber due to the build up of burned powder in the spaces that the short does not use but the longer case of the long rifles does.

    The limit for most semi-autos is the way the feeding of ammo from the magazine is done. Some semi-autos require ammo of a certain length (22LR) or they jam up in feeding. There are some semi-autos out there that will feed long rifles, longs and shorts from the magazine but the shorts may not operate the mechanism. In that case you might be able to fit a reduced recoil spring or just manually operate the bolt. You might have to do an investigation and call a few manufacturers to find out which ones.

    The problem today is that shorts are rarely found for sale and probably are an insignificant part of the production of most 22 ammo makers. And that is only going to get worse with time so manufacturers no longer consider shorts when they design a gun.


  3. squirrelnutzipper

    squirrelnutzipper New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    Now that you mention it, I don't think I've seen shorts for sale in any of the stores around here. It didn't occur to me that getting them would be a problem. I've been using an air rifle for pest control. I'm wanting to get a .22 rimfire because of the increase in the coyote population here. But, I'm worried about the proximity of other houses. I live in a rural area, but still, considering the effective range of a .22 LR, it certainly is possible that I could miss an intended target with tragic results. I figured the CB shorts are no more powerful than some airguns I've seen, so I wouldn't have to worry about that. It's one thing to say that you should always be aware of what's behind your target, but you know in the heat of the moment, when you're chasing a squirrel or racoon up a tree, sometimes you're just not using the best judgement and paying attention to your surroundings the way you should. I'd like a .22 that would fire LR when I encounter a coyote, but would also work with shorts for smaller game and pests.
  4. nolacajun

    nolacajun New Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    We have a couple of places here that still handle the 22 Short cartridge, but the price is way high. Over $5.00/box of 50.

    If you want to shoot shorts, my recommendation would be to haunt the pawn shops and gun shops that sell used firearms and find an older rifle, probably a single shot or bolt action, and go that way. Preferably one with a a tubular magazine as they will smoothly operate with a tube full of mixed ammo...shorts, longs, and long rifles.

    You might also try to find someone who sells the Colibri rounds...for rifles. No powder in them, and only accurate for MAYBE for 40-50 yds with any punch. Good for squirrels and other vermin in the back yard and almost no noise. Expect to pay about $20.00 for 200 rounds. And make sure they are the ones for a rifle, not a handgun.

    Hope this helps....

  5. squirrelnutzipper

    squirrelnutzipper New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    Yeah, thanks for all the great advice. I was going to buy the Mossberg Plinkster from Dicks Sporting goods, but only because I haven't found what I really want. I think I'll keep looking.
  6. Oregon Shooter

    Oregon Shooter New Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    I wonder if any rimfire 22 is adequate enough to kill a coyote.
    Anything that is going to be safe to shoot in a rural setting would only wound a Coyote.
    Anything other than a clean kill is cruel and should be avoided if possible.
    As for smaller vermin, Colibri rounds will put a good sized dent in a coffee can but won't go thru the metal.
  7. keppler

    keppler Member

    May 3, 2003
    Eastern Oklahoma
    I have an old Remington 550-1 that shoots shorts, long and long rifle. Been years since I shot anything but long's been years since I shot it at all. Seems like it worked in semi-auto most of the time with the shorts. It has what was called a floating chamber, I think most of the older semi-auto Remingtons had this feature.
  8. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I spotted Remington .22 shorts at Wal-mart the other day. I think they were about $3.50 for a box of 50, but I'm not sure... I still have most of a box, and I rarely use them, so I didn't look closely.
  9. squirrelnutzipper

    squirrelnutzipper New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    Gotta disagree with you there. I'm with you totally on the need for a quick, humane kill. But, it's all about shot placement. Coyotes around here have been killed with air rifles. A high power air rifle will fire an 8gr. pellet at 1,000fps. A well placed head shot will take down game the size of a coyote or large racoon. A .22 caliber, 40gr. slug at 1,200fps is certainly adequate. The most important factor in a humane kill is the skill of the shooter.
  10. Oregon Shooter

    Oregon Shooter New Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    You need to remember that the 22s has a lot lower velocity and ft lbs energy than a 22lr.

    As example Remington short is a
    29gr. with 640 fps and 35ft lbs energy @ 50 yards

    A Remington gold lr is a
    40gr. with 1113 fps and 140ft lbs of energy @ 50 yards
    (I chose this bullet as it was the same brand and in the middle of the velocity range that Remington offers)

    I chose the 50 yard ballistics as this would be closer to the range that you would hit your target, rather than @ the muzzle.

    I think that when it comes to a killing shot the energy is More important than the velocity.

    I have a Westernfield pump 22 that shoots S,L and LR. It was made by Noble for Wards. I don't know if any other older or newer pumps shoot shorts but a pump would solve any problems for a left hander.
    Some of the Lever guns will also shoot all lengths.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
  11. squirrelnutzipper

    squirrelnutzipper New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    Thanks for the info. I'm still learning, even after half a century of staring down a rifle barrel. I guess I should have been more specific about my intended use of a .22 caliber rifle.
    I think a .22 could take a coyote at 50 yards with the right load, like a HV LR or Mag, But that's not what I 'm doing, hopefully. I do want the ability to do that if necessary, but mostly I'm shooting at squirrels in my bird feeder at no more than 24 yards. I've been very effectively using a Crosman air rifle for that purpose, but I wouldn't want to have to take down a Coyote with it. Also, there has been a recent influx of fisher cats into this area. Heard of them? They are relatives of the weasel. They like to feed on domestic chickens and house cats. I'd take out a few of those if I got the chance.
  12. mikewilson

    mikewilson New Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    I have a nice little Savage Arms .22 Bolt Action that is accurate up to 100 yards + with a 3x scope! Can't beat it for the money! I can shoot the eye out of a dime @ 300 ft.
    (100 yards!). ! I use, as recommended, .22 LR Hi-Velocity Hollow points, by CCI. Sounds simple, but that is what works in this rifle! I know Savage doesn't have that good of a reputation, but for what I use it for, it's unbeatable!
  13. squirrelnutzipper

    squirrelnutzipper New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    I'd love to have a Savage bolt action. And, Savage does make a left handed model. Problem is, like I said earlier, nobody stocks left handed rifles. I'd have to order it. What a pain. Buying a gun off the rack is hard enough these days (not complaining, I suppose it should be). But to order one, they really put you through the wringer.
  14. Oregon Shooter

    Oregon Shooter New Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Never heard of a fisher cat, sounds like a pesky varmit.

    The ballistics on the Aguila Colibri with a 20gr is 1085fps with 6 ft lbs enegy at the muzzle. (if my info is correct) that would be alot lower than a pellet would be. Probably wouldn't kill to big of a critter but would smart like heck.
  15. squirrelnutzipper

    squirrelnutzipper New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    I guess I just don't understand the relationship between fps and ft lbs of energy. But I do know that with a pellet gun that shoots an 8gr pellet at 600 fps, I have consistently made clean kills on squirrels from 20 yards, with proper shot placement of course. Seems to me, that with 20gr at 1085fps, which is supersonic speed, I'd be putting down a 40 lb. racoon with no trouble. Maybe the difference is that I'm coming from mostly an airgunning background. With airguns, you learn that larger caliber and increased velocity does not compensate for poor marksmanship. As I've always maintained, if you hit a squirrel in the butt with a 50 caliber slug, it's still likely to get up and run away. A .177 caliber pellet in the head does the job every time.
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