Discussion regarding rifles chambered in 22 TCM
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By Rangemaster1
#13653 Hello guys, I'm new to your site and hope I can be helpful.

I became very very interested in the little 22TCM after finding some articles on it. I've read quite a bit about the round and decided to build a mid range varmint rifle for local ground squirrels, which I truly enjoy hunting. If I like the way it shoots, I'll build another one for my grandson since I have another Model 7 receiver. The factory rifle is basically a beefed rimfire which doesn't have the rigidity I prefere. Hopefully, for those who want a more accurate firearm, some manufacturer will start building rifles on a centerfire receiver, if they're not already doing it. I'm fairly certain the cartridge will have to get a SAAMI spec before they will though. Right now it's considered a wildcat.

I'm going to build the rifle on a Remington Model 7 receiver, one of which I've had for some time. The receiver and bolt will be blue printed and I will use a heavy duty recoil lug. I'll glass bed the action and float the twenty-four inch PacNor barrel. Because I'll be shooting the 36gr Varmint Grenade bullet, the barrel twist is 14 tpi which will stabilize the little bullet quite nicely. The lead free VG bullet is required for hunting in the People's Republic of Kalifornia.

I'm waiting for the chamber reamer to arrive from Pacific Tool and Gauge. It should be here. Next week. I thought I would document the build for anyone who might be interested and publish my testing results after I begin shooting. I'll be reloading my ammo, but I will also test factory rounds so that those who don't reload have a reference. I already have three boxes of factory ammo to shoot.

Since I'm not concerned with overall cartridge length, I'll be seating the my bullets so that the bearing surface is mostly in the neck, with the base of the bullet even with the neck/shoulder junction. I'll be using Redding dies, which I already have and I'll be using them in the Redding turret press. I plan on starting with Lil Gun powder, but other powders will be tested. The round should be good for pressures up to about 55,000 psi since it's designed using the 223 case deminsions, but I'll approach that pressure carefully. Anyway, till next time. I'll get things going as soon as possible and take pictures of the build as I progress.
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By Old Gun Nut
#13655 Welcome, Rangemaster 1! Please, please, please keep us up to date on this project. I've been killing varmints for as long as I have known how to shoot. You're the one of the first people I've heard of that that is putting the 22 TCM on a real good bolt gun. I agree with your comment about the RIA bolt rifle. One recommendation I will suggest is putting a shorter barrel on it. I really don't think you'll gain any velocity with a barrel over 20" with the tcm; perhaps even lose a little. I think you're on the right track with Li'l Gun and the Varmint Grenade bullet. Best of luck to you with your TCM project.
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By Rangemaster1
#13656 Hey Gun Nut, thanks for the reply. I tried to reply and was shut down for some reason, so I'll try again.

The reason I'm going with a longer barrel is because I'll be shooting my own loads which will be longer since they don't need to fit into a small magazine and I can use more powder. I can also use various powders to determing the most effective. I can also exceed the factory pressures because I'll be shooting in a much stronger chamber. I'm guessing I can get around 3000 fps with the right powder. Naturally I'll sneak up on any loads I'm using. Small cases can be real testy. Half a grain too much powder and they start blowing primers. It'll be a work in progress, but I'll try to document everything so those who are interested have some sort of benchmark to work with. I'm itching to get going, but since I'm a full time gunsmith with way more work than I need, I have to steal time from other projects just for my own sanity and enjoyment. I'll keep you informed and we'll see how it goes.
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By MANual_puller
#13657 You don't need to worry about doing anything special to get more powder in the case. 14 gr is right up to the bottom of the case neck and is WAY too much powder.
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By dungheap
#13676 Welcome aboard, Rangemaster! Hope your stay will be mutually beneficial.

To save you some putzing around, bullets like the 30gr Varmint Grenade,, 34gr Midsouth Varmint Nightmare Extreme, 35gr Hornady V-Max and the 35 gr Nosler lead free and flat base tipped bullets seem to shoot best if you want to get some good varminting velocities. Heavier bullets, even 4 0 grainers, seem to be too slow and have rainbow trajectories. With those lighter bullets, LilGun is the go-to powder by a long shot (pun intended). 11.5 grains or more with the light bullets works best. I've been using mostly Federal 205 type primers, but other small rifle primers seem to work equally well.

It will be good to see what results can be garnered from a true "built" rifle. My Savage is "built," but with absolutely no finesse at all -- Tupperware stock, Stevens 200 barrel, factory Model 10 type action with no mods, and it will go under an inch fairly often.

For all the putzing around involved in reforming cases, I'd definitely go with the factory Armscor brass.

FWIW...
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By 1911SHOOTER
#13677
dungheap wrote:Welcome aboard, Rangemaster! Hope your stay will be mutually beneficial.

To save you some putzing around, bullets like the 30gr Varmint Grenade,, 34gr Midsouth Varmint Nightmare Extreme, 35gr Hornady V-Max and the 35 gr Nosler lead free and flat base tipped bullets seem to shoot best if you want to get some good varminting velocities. Heavier bullets, even 4 0 grainers, seem to be too slow and have rainbow trajectories. With those lighter bullets, LilGun is the go-to powder by a long shot (pun intended). 11.5 grains or more with the light bullets works best. I've been using mostly Federal 205 type primers, but other small rifle primers seem to work equally well.

It will be good to see what results can be garnered from a true "built" rifle. My Savage is "built," but with absolutely no finesse at all -- Tupperware stock, Stevens 200 barrel, factory Model 10 type action with no mods, and it will go under an inch fairly often.

For all the putzing around involved in reforming cases, I'd definitely go with the factory Armscor brass.

FWIW...


dungheap,
I do not yet have a TCM rifle, but ditto on what you said about factory Armscor brass. I would make
sure it is Armscor USA, not Armscor Precision. Still problems with the Precision. I had quite a few
expanded casings with it in my .22TCM 1911. However, the USA runs like a dream. On days I go
to the range, I carry it in my 1911, as I do not like to dismantle my guns at the range. I trust it
as a defensive round, just do not want to have to unload on anybody in a Walmart parking lot etc....
it is a very penetrating round.

Also, welcome to the Zoo, Rangemaster! Hope you have as much fun as we do.
Blackie
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By Rangemaster1
#13679 Hey Dungheap, what are your loads with the 36 gr VG? What powder and weight? Did you find any over pressure problems when you started? Since you are using a center fire rifle from the git go, it should be able to handle whatever max pressure the little TCM can dish out. What kind of velocity are you getting?

I have 300 factory cases that I have fl sized and are ready to go. I also have 200 factory loaded rounds. I measured a bunch of factory loaded cases and will use the largest (only by .002") as my "go" gauge. The sized new brass measures slightly smaller so as long as a factory round fits I'm good to go. I order all my Reamers without a free bore so I can custom cut the freebore to my customers bullet length. I've done the same with the TCM. Since the VG like to be close to the lands. I'll cut the free bore to plus five thou. I can always make it longer. I don't care where the factory bullets sits, but it should be way back of the lands. I haven't measured the base to ogive comparison for the two loads, so I guess I'de better do that. That round nose may stick out farther than I think. Anyway, keep those cards and letters coming.
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By dungheap
#13681 I have not tried the 36gr Varmint Grenades at this point, but with any of the other 35 gr (or close to) bullets I've tried, right in the range of 11.5 gr LilGun has been good. I went up to 11.8 or 11.9 gr with the 30gr Varmint Grenades, which yielded the best groups with that bullet. That being said, if I were to try the 36 grainers, I'd likely start at, say, 11gr and work up from there. The velocities I get on the higher end with these bullets is in the 3100 - 3300 fps range, the latter with the 30 grainers. Accurate #9 is worth trying, as is N110 and W-296, but none of those come close to the speed you can get with LilGun. The new CFE BLK may be worth trying too with the light bullets. At this point, I've loaded the cases (gradually) right up to the base of the bullet with no pressure problems. For both speed and accuracy, the jury is still out on that one -- didn't get a chance to chronograph those loads yet. I have tried some slower powders with disappointing velocity results (not bad accuracy, though) and some faster ones that also yielded so-so velocities, generally poorer accuracy, and some pressure spikes, sometimes within .2gr of the preceding charge that showed no pressure at all.
If I were going to go after PDs or skippies, I'd get a bunch of the Midsouth 34gr VNE bullets, work up the load with LilGun, experiment with primers a little, and have at 'em. Near as I can tell, there isn't much out there that's going to top that combination for the money. JMO.
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By Rangemaster1
#13689 [quote][/quote]

Thanks for the info, Dungheap. That will come in handy. I can't imagine a pressure problem unless you would use ten grains of Bullseye.

Unfortunately in Kalifornia we have to use lead free projectiles, so all of my hunting fodder is LF. I'm going to try to upload a pic of my intended cartridge with a comparison with the factory load and bullet.

Image
Last edited by Rangemaster1 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By dungheap
#13696 I think the Barnes Varmint Grenade bullets are lead free, at least according to the description, and the lead free Nosler bullets also shot real well.

Too bad about those Left Coast restrictions, but you ought to be able to find a good load with any of those. Then again, one could always do the smart thing: Pack up and move to somewhere where things are a little more sensible.