View Full Version : Cartridge Inserts, Adapters and so on Thread

Mad Reloader
10-25-2002, 08:51 AM
Spoke w/ GoodOldBoy, and IHO this would be a good topic for this new forum {and also a chance to share some Madness from Thee Mad Reloader! :D }...so, "Wheeeeee!"

I'm SURE that at some point over the course of you all's hunting careers you've seen the listing(s) for "Shoot .22 LR in .223" or ".32 ACP in .30-'06", and so forth.

Ever wondered if they work?


I've got a fair number of these sorts of contraptions, and for my 1st post in this thread, I'll stick with the basic one.

What this thing IS, is a machined insert with the exterior dimensions of a rifle cartridge...and inside, it's chambered for a smaller round.

There are two makers of these: MCA Sports--which is the one place that's run those little box ads for all these years, and the ALEX company, whose inserts are configured a little differently in that the subcalibre round is held in position at the case shoulder/neck area.

I don't have any of the ALEX pattern--yet--but since they have them to shoot .32 in .303 and 8x57mm, I'll be picking them up soon & taking them for a "test drive".

Currently, I've got a handfull of inserts, which means that my .308 Win can shoot .30 M1 Carbine, .32 H&R Magnum, .32 S&W shorts and longs, .32 Auto, 7.62x25mm...and also 7.63 Mini Whisper!
:confused: That's because the machined metal insert has sufficient freebore to default to the 7.63 Mini Whisper!

Shooting the little .32 pistol rounds in my FN 98-actioned Mauser is about as noisy as a .22LR target rifle...and recoil is about the same, to boot!

For those of you folks out there what picked up a Chicom Tokarev back in the 80's like I did...it's real hard to find loaded ammo for it that meets spec. Sellier & Bellot offers 7.62 x 25--but it's loaded HOT for the CZ-52 pistol. Too zingy pressure-wise for the C-96 Mauser pistol...which means it's WAAY too hot for a Norinco!

But: I think it would be a LOT more fun to pop off 7.62 x 25's as "light loads" out of a .308 or an '06...then reload the boxer primed brass to TT 1930/33 specs for your Tok--than to just bash away with a bullet puller, discard the powder, and so forth.

Plus--these inserts can give you the net result of having a whole passel of rifle chamberings--pretty much a rack full--out of just ONE longarm. And, they're inexpensive enough (IMHO) that if you get bored with let's say .30 M1 Carbine, it's still an '06 or .308 or whatever and the little insert just stays in your ditty bag!

I've got more stuff about OTHER things on these lines--but I've run on enough & got to get to work!

10-25-2002, 09:16 AM
I myself have played with a few (very few) of these caliber inserts and adapters and have found them to be a reasonable plinkers tool. In one of the rifles I added an insert as a test chokeing a 308 down to a 7.62x39mm. Accuracy was reasonable (although not great this was because the chamber in the rifle was actually a bit to large for the insert, upon later inspection it was discovered that this was also what was causing problems in getting a "tack driver" out of the rifle for the owner.) and lets be honest who wouldn't rather buy 7.62x39 at $2 a box instead of 308 at $12-30 for plinking?

I have often wished I had not let my buddy have that insert as I would like to try it in a nice H&R 308 break action to see what kind of accuracy you could really get out of one, but that is neither here nor there.

For a buy? Yes I would buy them again, but I have to admit I would be more than a bit nearvous trying to use them in anything but a single shot, but then again thats just my opinion.


Mad Reloader
10-25-2002, 08:57 PM
Good buddy GOB:

The one you tried out...is a SEMI PERMANENT insert. Back in the late 50's, when the Armed Forces went over to .308 Win from .30-06, there appeared the "Navy Chamber bushing" It was designed to quickly convert '06 rifles in inventory into 7.62 x 51. {for Garands there was a block that also went into the magazine well to go with.}
I haven't used that one--but I knew some Navy & Coasty vets who had...and there seemed to be a little "Murphy's Law" action that went with it. When you wanted it out, it wanted to stay. When you wanted it to stay---it kind of worked its way out! They found a teeny bit of cyanoacrylate glue would keep it in place--but by that time the M-16's were getting into general use, and most of the Chamber Bushings ended up in stockpiles, and were sold as surplus in the '80s. I nearly picked one up, but discovered that the .30-06 barrel in my Mauser 98 was pretty far gone, and was advised to completely rebarrel...

MCA Sports still makes the one you refer to, and if you go to the Cabela's online catalog, they have them, too. IMHO--that's an insert you might keep on hand J-I-C the supply of .308 dries up and all you've got on hand is 7.62x39. Or if you DON'T reload and are attempting to teach a greenhorn how to use a .308--eastern European 7.62 x 39 is 10 cents on the dollar compared to .308 Win. (and I agree-Best off in breaktoppers or bolt rifles!)

Now I prefer the inserts that are auxiliary cartridges that come out with the extractor/ejector, just like a spent casing. They are GREAT for plinking, for teaching a youngster how to handle a centrefire rifle...and I'm looking forward to taking out my .30 Carbine and 7.63 Mini-Whisper ones on a small game hunt one of these days! :)

10-28-2002, 08:06 AM
Some pretty hairy experience from the sound of it buddy. Yeah the one I am referring to is the semi-perm version. I have not tried the ones that come out with the ejector.


Mad Reloader
10-29-2002, 07:13 AM
The auxiliary cartridge type inserts are THE ones for me, FWTW!

Also forgot to mention the "Little Skeeters" shotgun inserts which come in pairs and would change over a 12-ga into a 20, 28 or .410. Planning on picking some up to try out & keep on hand.

FAC Wholesale has an interesting mutation of this concept--ones that will shoot .22 LR in .45 "Long" Colt, each insert has rifling and if used would change over your .45 revolver, technically speaking--into a .22 Pepperbox. I might give them a try if I ever get something they would function in...

MCA Sports has also gotten Adaptors into production of a MOST interesting variety. We've all seen the Savage 24-C, and perhaps a Drilling or 2 during our gun shop/gun show trips. And then there's the T/C Encore & Contender.

:( But the Encore & Contender are only single shots. Bummer!

Sometime in the last 10 years or so--MCA had begun producing Adaptors---picture the Little Skeeters, but STEEL--and longer! --for taking a breaktop shogun and making it shoot rifle & pistol calibres! :eek: Rather like an Encore or Contender...and BTW, if you have a double, order a pair...kind of like a 2-shot Contender!

---which is EXACTLY what TMR's done. Ordered up a pair in .225 Win (biggest .22 CF MCA will do, also avail. in .218 Bee & .22 Jet & .22 Hornet FWIW) and now that they're here, got to get those "slug sights" put on the 12-gauge openhammer Coach Gun and then take it out & try to get it sighted in---then I'm off to do a Varmint hunt...or 2 or 3 or 20! :rolleyes:

Lengths available from the guy are 3" (thereby corresponding to the Little Skeeter but with a little bit of rifling 4 accuracy) 10" (now we're looking at Contender type performance) and 18" (which is what my .225's are--this length should give carbine length rifle performance)

If I like how these things perform--I will in all likelihood get ANOTHER 18" pair in .45-70, possibly a 10" pair in .30-30, mayhaps a 10" pair in .45 Colt after that....

Calibres offered by this guy go from the .22's up into the moderate pressure rifle rounds. .30-40 Krag, 7.62 x 39, 7mm Mauser and .225 Win are the highest pressure chamberings he would make (I asked, he won't do .222 Rem or .223!) (but if you're willing to cover the cost of a chambering reamer rental/purchase--.50-70 and .577-450 Martini-Henry are also possible for an added cost}

Hmm. Now if I could find one that would duplicate the .50-209 Encore set up, I could try out the ML inline rifle concept without purchasing another longarm.... :rolleyes:

At some point I'll post on this topic about insert conversions/adaptors of a more complicated nature, where you're replacing part of a gun's action with a .22 Conversion kit to do target practice or plinking

Mad Reloader
11-07-2002, 07:03 PM
Okay, time for the next installment, and this one is all about those "converters" that will allow you to shoot .22 LR in a Colt .45 Auto, an AR-15, et al.

A couple of my associates over the years have had experience with the "Atchisson Rimfire Converter" which allows one to fire .22LR out of their AR-15, and they rather liked them for practice.

Don't recall anyone in my entourages who has used the "Colt Service Ace" or any of the .22LR conversions for the .45 Auto. George C. Nonte waxed enthusiastically on them...

One I DO have some experience with is the "Latham's Patent" conversion unit for the Webley & Scott #1 Mk VI .455. Numrich GPC had managed to finally make repros of this exceedingly scarce Webley accessory, which will allow me to fire .22 LR in my old ca. 1917 #1 Mk 6.

It MAY function in one of the "birds-head" gripped #1 Mk5 revolvers, which has all parts but the grip panels & frame interchangeable with the Mk 6--but the earlier Marks from the 1882-89 #1 Mk 1 through the Boer War .455 Mk IV won't accept it.

And it WILL require fitting to your particular revolver. Mine still needs work on the cylinder stops and the ratchet....

However, I'm glad I bought it, IMHO it's worth the trouble!

11-07-2002, 07:24 PM
Mad, interesting stuff.
Ceiner makes a converter to shoot 22 LR out of a 1911. It's a replacement slide and magazine. Don't own one, but I've fired an acquantances Ceiner quite a bit, and it works like a charm. Wierd, though...no recoil, and sounds like a 22....it just doesn't feel like you expect that 1911 to feel, when you shoot.
Quite accurate, too. But, not cheap.
On the chamber inserts, what's the economic side look like? Is shooting 32's thru an insert cheaper than shooting squib handloads? Or preferable for another reason? Or, is the chamber insert a way for the non reloader to use lighter loads?

JB in SC
11-07-2002, 10:07 PM
I had a Colt Service "Ace" on a 70's Gold Cup and was very pleased with it. I parted with it many years ago.

I've heard some good things about the Alex, but never seen one in the flesh.

I did have one of the Colt .22 conversions for my AR-15 A2, but the fast twist really made a mess (leading) in the barrel.

Mad Reloader
11-16-2002, 12:32 PM
Jack, JB in SC--

Good point about the bore leading with the fast twist--the guy I used to know who had one had an AR-15 with a slower twist, wasn't a problem for him...but the 1 in 7" popular now may be a detriment...
Squib loads versus use of subcalibres...:confused:

I'm kind of into both. Allow me to elucidate--

My mainline hunting rifles are a sporter FN 98 Mauser in .308 Winchester and an as-issued .303 #4 Mk1 Lee Enfield.

I've whomped up some various loadings for the .308 ranging from some 125-grainers to blast Javelina to a batch or 6 of 180-grainers for that elk hunt (when I finally get drawn)

There are times, though...when I would like to do a whole bunch of shooting, at targets or plinking--and don't feel like lugging several entire cans of .308 along with. And perhaps maybe there's a newby or 2 along with the group who's just getting into shooting. Well, I could drag along a .22 rifle, too....
But there is already the standing joke among my entourage that "It takes so-and-so forever to get ready...and almost as bad-- then we have to carry ALL of Mad Reloader's stuff. Dude, maybe you should just move out to the range. Damn, this is heavy..."
"Hey, at least I was there on time! And my truck was already loaded up! Don't bash that case, will you?" tends to be my reply.
--.32 ACP or even .30 M1 Carbine does take up a little less room than the same number of rounds of .30-30,.308, 30-06, etc. And you do burn a bit less powder shooting the subcalibres than a squib/gallery load in the full size case. (BTW, I handload almost every caliber I shoot. 1 lb of powder goes a LOT farther in teeny weeny pistol casings than in a .308, .303 or .45-70 case)
Disadvantage? Well, you're having to single-load the inserts. But I got this one tyro--I think his name was Tyrone(!)--to start taking AIMED shots, simply due to the fact that he had to keep ejecting and re-loading the one .32 insert I was letting him use.

Lastly, theres the option of you're out and it's a double season--a large game animal and a small & furry one. Old Mossyhorns has managed to elude you yet again. But there's Mister Bun--or maybe THE SQUIRREL(!!) thereabouts, and Opportunity knocks. Take the insert, load up a pistol round, and PAFF! Little & furry is gonna get cooked up later! One could have some gallery loads on hand--but IMO, there's a risk of possibly getting the 2 confused. Meaning Old Mossyhorns gets wounded by the squib-- :( now you've got to chase him down & finish off the wounded animal--or almost as bad, you RED MIST Mister Bun into oblivion with a full-house '06 load! :eek:

Well, those are my reasons. Sorry to have taken a while to get back, had to get some things straightened out in Good Old Days whilst being worked overtime at the day job (more $ for components & BP guns & hunting niftys though!)

Mad Reloader
11-26-2002, 07:22 AM
Here's another tip with regard to those full length adaptors. MCA Sports prefers you specify what model of breaktop single or double shotgun you use when ordering the 10" or 18" insert. Part of it is safety (some older guns cannot handle some of the rifle chamberings MCA makes pressure-wise) Anther is differences in chamber dimensions. My buddy Overkill's 10" insert to convert his ancient Victor Plain into a .30-30 fits in my ca. 2001 openhammer Coach Gun--but my .225 Winchester adaptor wouldn't fit in his!
You see, my coach gun could take a 3" magnum 12-ga shell. His cannot. Ace Dube made sure that the .225 inserts could only go into a modern shotgun.

11-26-2002, 08:42 AM
Sweet. What brand of coach gun do you have? I have been drooling over the Stoeger's for a LONG time.


Mad Reloader
11-26-2002, 09:32 PM
It was a super cheapie I got over at Big 5 sporting goods, Korean I think--Jin Gan brand. Only cost $195. Haven't taken it out as of yet--just after I got it the Recession hit me, and now that I've personally escaped that economic downturn--been so busy working that I haven't been able to get it together to get out there and take it for a "test toast." And my shooting buds here are facing similar dilemmas. They're either too broke or too busy with work. :(

Now that I've got the inserts--I'm raring to go. I am sincerely hoping Smooth&Deadly will be ready after the Dec. 7/8 Gun Show to go out and do some range work. My other shooting buds are somewhat less flexible than she is, and often end up working weekends.

That Stoeger's real nice, BTW!

11-27-2002, 08:51 AM
Yeah I know the feeling. I am usually either broke, or to busy at work to shoot. But thats life, someday (like in 40 years when I retire ) maybe I will be able to shoot as much as I like.


11-28-2002, 04:05 PM
Has anyone had any experience with 7.62x39 inserts? I have a 1916 spanish mauser that has been rechambered to .308 that I am considering installing a semi-perm chamber adapter in. The gun is in good condition and the rifle shoots well, but I am not comfortable with its ability to shoot full bore .308 ammo. I currently handload reduced ammo for it. Good idea, poss. problems? I wonder what the milsurp ammo would do as far as pressure in the .308 bore.

Mad Reloader
11-28-2002, 04:37 PM
GoodOlBoy's the guy that's had the most experience with the 7.62x39 semi-permanent insert for .308 Winchester.

Based on my work with these thingys--pick up a 7.62x51mm Broken Shell Extractor gizmo to keep on hand. Helpful if/when you want to remove it.

Also used to own a Spanish Mauser (traded it to a gun dealer along with a Mosin-Nagant on a pistol purchase) so I have some experience with those, also.

PLEASE don't use the steel-jacketed stuff. There's still some of the East German ball ammo out there, and older Russian rounds turn up. Your action strength is more than sufficent for the 7.62 x39, BTW! The freaky weirdos over at Numrich GPC were even offering replacement barrels for the M-93/M-95 Mausers to rebarrel to 7.62 x 39. (building a sporter on a surplus mil action isn't economical any more, but THEY haven't given up hope yet!)

I think you'd be within the range of safety if that Spanish 93 was already reworked to .308 when it was imported, but just remember to stay away from the steel jacketed ammo!

11-28-2002, 09:04 PM
On the 93's converted by the Spanish to 308: Spain loaded a reduced power military 7.62x51 (308) that was used in one of their assault rifles, I believe, and the 93's were converted for use with that reduced power round.
Zacw, sticking with reduced power ammo is a good idea.

Mad Reloader
03-01-2003, 08:02 AM
Ace Dube also has a couple of "new"/custom chamberings available-- like .38-55, 28-gauge, 7-30 Waters, and might be talked into .50-70 as a custom order

03-02-2003, 04:47 PM
Welcome back Mad Reloader! was wondering what you had cooked up for this thread while we were down.


Mad Reloader
03-24-2003, 08:54 AM
Plenty more in store, just waiting for something to arrive at my lair here in AridZona.....heheheheh! ;)

Mad Reloader
05-29-2003, 10:46 PM

MCA Sports has discontinued the .375 Winchester in 12-ga inserts.

(I tried to order up a pair, and found out from Ace Dube they are no more. Having too much problems at the breech, PSI too high for comfort, excessive wear, and so forth)

The .38-55 is here to stay, however.

He also has some adaptors to shoot .25 Auto in .25-06, .257 Roberts and .256 Win Mag. They are $35 each, however, from his custom shop.

So---ordered up a pair of .45-70 in 12-ga inserts instead. (one of his most popular offerings, BTW!!}

Now to get the 12-ga openhammer Coach Gun back from the 'smith with the rifle sights for slugs....also going to come in handy when it morphs into Double Rifle in either .225 Win for small game or .45-70 for eliminating elk & blasting Mr. Bear!



Brant Buster
05-31-2003, 11:28 AM
And how tightly does it fit into the 12 bore barrel? Do you also know the rifling-rate of the .45/70 - 12 bore adapter? And the price?

Thanks for your help MR!


Mad Reloader
05-31-2003, 11:57 AM

Wait, that's a typo....:D

If the 18".45-70 is anything like the 18" .225 Winchester Custom insert, or the 10" 30-30--fit will be rather tight. Part of the MCA shotgun adaptor system is a rubber O-ring in a barrel step or belt 3/4" or so back from the muzzle end which makes the fully chambered insert fit rather snugly. Also, the machined steel rims of the insert are at about maximum thickness for 12-ga.

Snug as a bug in a jug!!!

I'll send Ace Dube an "E" and check on the twist rate for you. Figured you would prefer that rather than wait until my new set arrives! ;)

Price on the 18" inserts is $95.00 with $9.00 shipping per insert.
(The 10" jobbers of Contender-like performance are $65 with $6 S&H)

Looking at getting a .45-70 double rifle conversion, too? :rolleyes:

If you were thining along the lines of a single-shot like the H&R Topper, the .45-70 might be a bit on the brutal side as far as recoil goes, based on feedback I've gotten from T/C Encore owners using the 18" bbl in that chambering for their arm. A while back Rocky Raab and I debated the merits of .375 Win in 18" bbl Encores--so if you were looking at a single tube, might want to go with Ace's .38-55 instead (also has those in stock, same price!)

But on a double--that's 2 of the inserts, so twice the added weight. Definitely a plus for recoil taming. Since the .225 Win has less than a quarter of the bore area--so even more massive mass of steel--my brace of inserts in that calibre, chambered in the 20" bbl openhammer coach gun...I think my whole thing tips the scales at about 12#...at least that's what Smooth&Deadly said when she picked it up and then started cussing at me because she thought it was SO heavy! .45-70 double insert should be a couple pounds lighter, so that would be quite do-able!

(Which is why that's Ace's most popular 18" insert, I reckon...)

Mad Reloader
06-01-2003, 10:10 PM

Ace Dube of MCA Sports uses R. S. Shaw barrel blanks, just got a reply to my E stating that to the best of his recolection it's a 1-18 for the .45-70 and a 1-16 twist for the .38-55.