View Full Version : Why some 22 rifles can shoot shorts, longs ,long rifle

07-27-2005, 12:24 PM
I have an old Sears Tubular rifle which can fire shorts,longs and long rifles 22. What make this rifle able to shoot any of theses rounds. where as my Ruger 10/22 can only shoot long rifle? Just Curious would like to understand this? Is it the spacing in the bore? Thanks


07-27-2005, 12:41 PM
Probably the magazine. All three of htese rounds are a diferent length. the shroter ownes will probably not feed in the rotary magazine fo the 10/22 but will through the tubular magazine of your old rifle.

I had an old tube-fed Winchester pump rifle that said the same thing. My Dad told me not to use shrots or longs as it would foul up the chamber.

Besides, can you even find shorts or longs nowdays?


07-27-2005, 02:16 PM
I haven't seen any longs in a long time.. though I can get shorts no problem... 3 or 4 stores locally here carry them, and these are not speciality gun shops.

07-27-2005, 02:32 PM
I agree I can get shorts pretty easy, but longs? Have not seen those in a . . . . . .long time. . . . . . . :D


07-27-2005, 04:17 PM
What I am asking is it in the bore of the barrel itself which allow you to shoot these several sizes of 22 ammo in my tubular rifle? Also what stop you from shooting a 22 short in a rifle that said to shoot only 22 long rifle? I was curious about this.


07-27-2005, 04:47 PM
Nothing but the ability to feed the ammo itself will stop it. If the gun cannot FEED the ammo it will not go into the bore. If it can then it will.

Back in the day more than one yahoo I knew put a long rifle into a worn out long chamber, and managed to fire it (Usually causing some nice buldges in barrels etc.)

In a 10/22 the feeding mechanism in the magazine itself is particularly finiky at times (even more so if using after market clips like the hotlips clips) and you will even find a few examples of long rifle ammo that don't want to feed.

On a tubular magazine the load mechanism is so straight forward (Usually that is) that in some guns you can even cycle empty shells through it (although I am not sure why you would want to)

Hope this helps.


07-27-2005, 05:52 PM
In a 22 autoloader, like a 10/22, you need the power of a long rifle cartridge to cycle the action. If you tried to fire shorts in a 10/22 the action would not eject the empty and load another cartridge into the chamber.
Now, if you wanna single load them, you can put 22 shorts into a 10/22 singly, and fire them, with no harm to the rifle. You'll have to open the bolt by hand to eject the empty. Done it many times.
My 10/22 will feed 22 longs just fine, and cycle them- most of the time (got a box by mistake many years ago).
These days, if you find a box of longs, they'll cost as much or more than long rifles, so the long is rather pointless.
But anyway, you wanna shoot shorts in a 22 autoloader- go ahead, won't hurt a thing. If you do fire many shorts in an autoloader, clean the chamber afterward- shorts tend to carbon up the forward part of the chamber, and the dirty chamber may hurt cycling of 22 long rifles later.

07-27-2005, 09:15 PM
Further to your post, Jack. I have a Ruger 77/22. I 've never trid it, but I am certain that I could had feed it with shorts or longs (if I oculd find them). But I'd not be able to use it as a magazine rifle. the rotary box is set up to only feed LRs. (And like GOB said, in a somewhat finicky fashion at that.)


08-18-2005, 04:28 PM
I had a JC Penny rifle when I was a kid, the one that was tube fed, with a 2 piece stock and retractable red sling, that fired all 3 just fine. In fact it held 25 shorts. But my Winchester mod 77 didn't feed shorts even tho it had a tube. Im guessing it took more force to blow back the bolt in the Winy. because the action spring was much stronger.
One thing I have noticed shooting shorts out of my Contender and several bolt guns is that they dirty up the chamber ahead of the lands making insertion and extraction of the longer cartridges difficult prior to shooting them..

Rocky Raab
08-18-2005, 05:18 PM
You're pretty much all correct.

Actions other than semi-auto can usually fire all three lengths just fine, but...

The "but" is that they may not feed properly from the magazine, and/or they will leave a ring of burnt lube and powder in the chamber if you fire a lot of them. That ring has to be cleaned out before you try to fire longer rounds in that gun.

Semi-autos are generally set up to feed and fire one kind of ammo only. At least 99% of the time these days, that means the longer, more powerful and MUCH more popular .22LR version. I have seen a few semi-autos set up for shorts only. Volquartsen used to modify Ruger 10/22s to fire shorts only - called it the Firefly.

Only very rarely do I see semi-autos that will fire any and all three. They were made a half century ago when all three kinds of ammo were popular.

Bottom line: ALWAYS, ALWAYS go by the caliber stamping on the barrel (or elsewhere). If it says ".22LR only" then that's it.

Aim to maim
08-18-2005, 06:52 PM
Remington still offers their Model 552 Speedmaster tubular magazine semi-auto. It will fire 22 short, long and long rifle interchangeably. I believe it is derived from the Remington Model 550, which was introduced in 1941, so Mr. Raab's statement about such rifles dating back half a century is essentially correct.

Mickey Rat
10-28-2005, 04:45 AM
Get a Remington 550 series and it will even fire CCI Short CB Caps! The Long CCI CB Caps won't work. I have 2 and my brother has 2, all 4 work with Short CCI CB Caps.

05-09-2006, 09:49 PM
my remington 552 loves then all. btw cci and federal still make longs and wal-mart carries them in some areas.

Mickey Rat
05-10-2006, 11:54 AM
I just found a Remington Model 24 (Browning copy) takedown 22 semiauto in a pawnshop for 125.00. It is 22 SHORT only! I really love the wierd ones. I loaded 4 CCI CB caps into it and it fired them semiautomatically. I plan to purchase a new recoil spring, and cut the old one down to function more reliably with the CB caps.

This will be my new "truck" gun. I dropped it off yesterday to have it industrial hard chrome plated for durability.