We can chamber our rifles for most of the commonly used single shot cartridges. We do not build rifles for rimless cartridges. We do have other reamers which are not listed below, so please contact us if you are looking for something specific. We will add other calibers as demand warrants, and can usually rent reamers for an extra charge. Click on the list items or scroll down for additional information about these calibers.
.22 SHORT This was the first rimfire caliber, and was the most popular indoor gallery cartridge around the turn of the last century. There are many original rifles in this caliber, about as many as the long rifle, as many shooters considered the long rifle to be for outdoor shooting. There is no real advantage to using the long rifle caliber even today for 50 or 75 foot shooting,; and when loaded with black powder, the short fouled the bore less and produced less noxious smoke in poorly ventilated gallery ranges. It is more difficult to find ammunition for the short, and the standard velocity is more trouble to locate. The best available ammunition is the Eley match made for rapid fire ISU pistol shooting. Some shooters use BB or CB cap ammo, but this is generally not very accurate. It is very quiet, however, and produces little smoke or smell for indoor shooting. Do not try to use the special BB caps based on the long or long rifle case.
If we chamber a barrel for this caliber, we use the regular long
rifle barrel with 16 twist, as there are very few slow twist barrels made. Our reamer is a special match grade which
minimizes bullet jump. One advantage of this
twist rate is that it can be rechambered for the long rifle if wanted.
If we chamber a barrel for this caliber, we use the regular long rifle barrel with 16 twist, as there are very few slow twist barrels made. Our reamer is a special match grade which minimizes bullet jump. One advantage of this twist rate is that it can be rechambered for the long rifle if wanted.
.22 LONG RIFLE This has always been a very popular caliber, and we produce many barrels for this cartridge. It is very popular for both Schuetzen (there are a lot of matches for rimfires only) and for black powder silhouette (the ideal practice caliber with no casting or barrel/case cleaning). In silhouette, it has become common enough for special .22 rimfire matches.
Shooting this cartridge at 200 yards is becoming more popular, for in fact it is not a whole lot more wind sensitive than common Schuetzen calibers. Accuracy is not a problem, except for the cost of the best ammunition. Top quality ammo is a necessity in tough competition, no matter what you read in the gun magazines, so you must resign yourself to spending about 15 cents a shot if you are serious.
We have barrels for this caliber made by Badger, Douglas and Shilen. As a practical matter, we have not noted any great advantages for one make of top grade barrel over another. We do not recommend the use of stainless steel barrels, as they cannot be blued, foul more, and have a shorter accuracy life. The barrel weight is not critical, and neither is the length. There is no good reason to spend extra for a barrel longer than 28. All of our chambering is done with match grade reamers, even squirrel rifles. Our barrels are marked only with twist, make, serial number and date, as there is no reason to list the groove diameter.
.22 WINCHESTER RIMFIRE MAGNUM This is an interesting sporting caliber, offering more power than the Long Rifle with very acceptable accuracy. If there are restrictive local laws on the use of centerfire calibers for such things as varmint shooting, this cartridge is the way to go. It is quite expensive compared to other rimfires, but not many shots will actually be fired in the field.
EXTRA LONG CENTER FIRE Originally created as a reloadable version of
the old rimfire .22XL, this is an exceptionally cute caliber. Brass is available from two sources (Bertram and
the people that make a similar modern case), and probably would last forever if breech
seated. It does not offer any improvement
over a rimfire in the field, but is interesting as the smallest reloadable case. You can even use black powder, a recommended load
being 9.5 grains of FFFG with 50 0r 55 grain bullet.
A suggested barrel is .224 with 14 twist.
Original rifles were .226 or .228, so the old molds are not of much use. It is possible to use Lyman 224438 or equivalent,
omitting the gas check. Unique powder works
well, and probably many pistol powders would be as good.
For a real challenge, you could try hollow point bullets for squirrel
shooting, although flat nose bullets are also very effective. This caliber has very little to recommend it for
target shooting, but it could be used for centerfire gallery loads if there are such
matches in your area.
.22 MAYNARD EXTRA LONG CENTER FIRE Originally created as a reloadable version of the old rimfire .22XL, this is an exceptionally cute caliber. Brass is available from two sources (Bertram and the people that make a similar modern case), and probably would last forever if breech seated. It does not offer any improvement over a rimfire in the field, but is interesting as the smallest reloadable case. You can even use black powder, a recommended load being 9.5 grains of FFFG with 50 0r 55 grain bullet. A suggested barrel is .224 with 14 twist. Original rifles were .226 or .228, so the old molds are not of much use. It is possible to use Lyman 224438 or equivalent, omitting the gas check. Unique powder works well, and probably many pistol powders would be as good. For a real challenge, you could try hollow point bullets for squirrel shooting, although flat nose bullets are also very effective. This caliber has very little to recommend it for target shooting, but it could be used for centerfire gallery loads if there are such matches in your area.
.22 WCF (OR HORNET) This caliber is a very fine one for field use, as a low velocity lead bullet load or jacketed load at about 2500 foot seconds. We suggest using a .224 barrel with 14 twist rather than a 16 version as there are many more bullets that can be used. Most of the old Hornet rifles were .223 groove with 16 twist, as the makers used .22 rimfire barrels. While cast bullets of the 224438 type can be used at low velocities, it is certainly a challenge to use them gas checked at much higher velocities if the bullets are cast from Linotype alloy or equivalent. These are good bullets for small game that will be eaten, as the bullets cast of Linotype will not expand significantly. Bullets cast from wheelweights will just disintegrate due to brittleness. For a little more velocity, you can specify the .22 Kilbourn Hornet. The extra speed is about 150 foot seconds, so do not expect to be shooting a .225 Winchester.
.222 REMINGTON RIMMED The brass is available only from Bertram distributors, and is identical with the regular 222 Remington except for having a rim for extraction. When we barrel for this caliber, we headspace from the shoulder of the case, so that headspace is truly correct and rimless cases could be used with the proper extractor. This case is only suitable for varmint rifle use, and ballistics and loadings are the same as the regular 222.
.22 LOVELL 2R This old time varmint cartridge was developed in the 1930s by simply necking down the .25-20 Single Shot to .22 caliber, and blowing out the case somewhat. The capabilities of this case are somewhat improved over the K-Hornet, but not much better. The brass is relatively weak and also expensive, starting from the Bertram .25-20 SS case. This is a nice case from those seeking a real retro caliber, but it is not as satisfactory as the Mashburn Bee.
.22 MASHBURN BEE This is a very satisfactory midrange varmint caliber with readily available brass. It offers considerable velocity increase over the factory load. We recommend .224 barrels with 14 twist.
.225 WINCHESTER A very fine and powerful varmint caliber which is the same as the Improved Zipper. The rim has been reduced from the regular .30-30 size to .30-06 size to adapt it to the bolt action rifles originally made for this caliber. Winchester considered it a replacement for the .220 Swift, although it is not as powerful as that barn burner, but it is nearly up to the .22-250. While the caliber has been technically discontinued, the brass is available from the big ammo suppliers since it is periodically produced by Winchester. This case works well with Varget or 4064. We suggest .224 barrels with 14 twist, unless you want to use 69 or 80 grain bullets which require a faster twist of 12 or 8 respectively. While this actually a semi-rimmed caliber, it seems to work fine with our rifles, and is one the most popular varmint calibers.
.25 HORNET This caliber is the smallest of the .25 calibers that we chamber for, and is designed for use as a smallbore target cartridge using smokeless powder. The case is the .22 Hornet necked up to .25. No claims are made as to suitability, and accuracy results are mixed. It is very possible that some of the new powders, such as Accurate Arms #9, will work well in this case.
.25-20 WINCHESTER REPEATER The original rifles are marked .25 WCF. This is a very nice case, one of the best .25s, and the brass is cheap and current. It is certainly equivalent to the .25-20 SS, being about the same capacity. The head size is the same as the .32-20. It uses small rifle or pistol primers. Best twist is 1 in 12, which can handle bullets up to about 100 grains. For target work, consider only the heavier bullets to aid in minimizing wind deflection.
.25-20 SINGLE SHOT Stevens called this one the 25-20, not noting the .25 WCF as a valid case. Brass is available mostly from Bertram, although others have made it in the last few years. It uses small rifle or pistol primers, but a lot of original brass uses the larger primers. Very fine grained powders work best in this case, but 4227 can be used. Velocities can be higher than the 1350 fps favored by the .32-40, so try a little heat. The faster loads often shoot better than the 1300 fps loads, and fouling is not normally a problem. This is probably the most popular caliber for the folks that like to shoot the .25s.
.25-21 STEVENS This case is about the same capacity as the .25-20, but is a straight case with little taper. Originally made from the overbore .25-25 Stevens, the .25-21 was more successful and more common. Brass is available from Bertram, and uses the small primer. The factory guns usually had a 13 twist, but we suggest the 12, and using 100 to 105 grain bullets. AA 9 is a good powder. Very small groups are possible with this cartridge, but it more wind sensitive than the bigger bores. Casting top quality bullets in .25 caliber is more difficult as well, and a good mold is essential.
.28-222R Made from the .222 Rimmed brass by Bertram, this smaller sized .28 case
.28-30 STEVENS This is a fine original caliber, one made famous in its day by Stevens and also chambered by Winchester and the custom makers. Stevens often rebored and rebarrelled rifles to this caliber. The factory used 14 twist barrels, and this is the preferred twist. We also have 12 twist, but shooters are cautioned against using very heavy bullets in the Schuetzen calibers, since accuracy may not be all that was expected. The normal weight used in the past was 130-135 grains, and this is certainly a good place to start. Since this caliber will often shoot its best with about 12.5 grains of 4227, velocity may be close to 1600 fps. Such high velocity may be a great advantage, as the bullet is supersonic to 200 yards. When pushed to such velocities, the .28 has a very distinctive crack when fired. The barrels that we use are Douglas 7mm in 12 and 14 twist. It is best to figure on about a .284 groove diameter, but Douglas barrels vary due to being button rifled. The original brass uses large primers, but the new Bertram cases use only small primers, which should be borne in mind when ordering a capping tool. This long case must be annealed and full length sized when bought from Bertram, as their brass is really basic.
.30-40 KRAG This is a very fine old hunting caliber, actually very powerful, since it can be loaded to about .308 ballistics. The original barrels used a 10 twist, and can handle the 220 grain bullets. Slower twists can be used with 180 or lighter bullets, but the 10 works very well with everything. This is not known as a target cartridge, as the .30-30 is better, but for hunting deer it is fine and very effective.
.32 MILLER SHORT This little case is made from the .357 Maximum or Magnum case. It uses small primers and must be carefully formed. Our reamer is made by JGS to the original specs, and these have a very small base, requiring sizing right down to the rim. The normal load uses Accurate Arms #9 powder, and you may find that the load must be tailored to the weather. Barrel groove diameter will vary by maker, and the Douglas run from .319 to .321.
.32-222R This cartridge is the .222 Rimmed Bertram case blown out and tapered to about .340 neck diameter. It is somewhat similar to the old .32 Ideal, but intended for smokeless loads only. It has considerable potential with Accurate Arms #9 powder, and can handle bullets to about 210 grains in a 15 twist barrel. One notable feature of both this case and the Miller Short is that the barrel can be rechambered to .32-40 should the original caliber be unsatisfactory, or if you want to shoot in the traditional class.
.32-40 This is the most famous of the old time Schuetzen calibers, and remains a very accurate caliber to this day. Using the large primer, this brass is periodically produced by Winchester. Naturally, this brass is marked .32-40 WIN even though it is a Ballard & Marlin invention. You can buy .32-40 cases from a number of suppliers at present, but the supply is probably limited. If no brass is available, then the .32 Special case can be used. This case ends up short about .04 or so, but seems to work OK. I use it for gallery loads with bullets shot from the case. A number of powders give good results, and the traditional load of about 13.5 grains of 4227 is a good place to start. Best accuracy with this caliber is about 1350 fps, which happens to be an unfortunate area ballistically, as it will go subsonic before 200 yards. Another powder often used is 4759, which seems to work best with an overpowder wad. I would suggest 4227 or another powder in preference, as no wad is required. I have used Alliant ---- and AA #9 with good results. Both of these, and other powders, must be adjusted to give the best result in a range of temperatures so that charges need not be adjusted. This case requires the same extractor as .38-55, .30-30, .219 Zipper and other brass based on these cases, making barrel changes simpler. Bullets are usually breechseated .06 ahead of he case, which puts the bullet completely into the rifling. Our rifles are taper throated from .322 to .314 in about 7/8 length, and a matching bullet can be easily seated perfectly and without distortion. Seated this way in the taper throated chamber, the bullet will have rifling marks its full length except for the base band. In our rifles and factory Stevens, seating can be done most effectively and rapidly with a plugged case, making a mechanical seater both unnecessary and undesirable. Using black powder without a smokeless priming charge, you will have enough fouling to impede breech seating and to cause deterioration of accuracy. For black powder, the .38-55 is less affected than the .32-40. If full feature Pope muzzleloading barrels were available, then the .32-40 would be a good choice; but they are not, and have not been around for close to 75 years.
.33-40 Sometimes called the .33-47, this caliber is merely the .32-40 with .338 groove rifling. It was originally made to enable shooters to get a new barrel by just rerifling a worn out or damaged barrel, but there were a number of barrels originally made in this caliber, especially as Stevens-Popes. It is easy to tell if an original Stevens-Pope barrel has been rerifled by Stevens, as the marking on the underside of the barrel is changed. In these days, it is a simple matter to use a 14 twist Douglas .338 barrel. .33 bullets should be 20 grains heavier than .32s, and another grain of powder can be used. This caliber shoots very well indeed, and it is surprising that it is seldom used in modern made rifles.
.357 MAXIMUM This pistol cartridge is sometimes made into Schuetzen rifles. Since it uses pistol barrel dimensions, you can find lots of light bullets of different shapes for it, and heavier bullets can be cast from custom molds. The case is actually pretty large, but not large enough to have a lot of air space. Velocities can be normal for this type of shooting. This is too small a case for silhouette, and it use is very restricted by its size. It is possible to shoot .38 Special loads from this chamber.
.38-55 BALLARD This stalwart is probably the only caliber well suited for Schuetzen and black powder silhouette. It dates from the 1880s, and was very popular until about 1900 when it lost out to the .32-40. Made for repeating rifles as well as single shots, it is about the only centerfire Schuetzen case in regular production. The current Winchester case, however, is about .05 shorter than the standard 2 1/8 length. Some restruck full length cases are available, and these are the ones that should be used. Modern and most old brass uses large primers. The original guns had mostly 18 twist, but modern shooters prefer 15 or 16 twist barrels to handle heavy bullets over 300 grains. The original bullet weight was 248 grains, but most Schuetzen shooters used 280 or even heavier bullets. Original barrels have larger groove diameters of .378 to as much as .383, so be sure to slug the bores. The modern barrels are about .375 since they are made for the .375 Magnum and similar calibers. There are many Schuetzen shooters who prefer the .38-55 to the various .32s because the bullet is heavy, and they get better results in the wind at 200 yards. There are many silhouette shooters impressed with the light recoil of the .38, and certainly some very good scores have been gotten using it. The down range performance at 500 meters is really quite good with very heavy bullets. Some rams will not go down when hit with the .38, but the same thing applies to the .45s.
For Schuetzen shooting (up to 200 yds.), you should look for a bullet that is about 280 - 300 grains. Look for a tapered bullet, from about .368 to .376, and a flat nose will give you the best hole in your target.
If you plan to do silhouette shooting, you will want a heavier bullet, 300-320 grains. This bullet should have no taper (.376 diameter), and a round or Snover nose seems to give the best flow through the air.
.40 SHORT KRAG At a length of 1.94 this is a pretty good Schuetzen caliber, but best adapted to the seldom programmed ASSRA Class 2 shooting. It is worthless for silhouette, being very short.