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hdwhit
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Posted: January 13 2018 at 2:27pm | IP Logged Quote hdwhit

First of all, so everyone can get it out of their system, I am not talking about a very tiny part of the male anatomy.

What I am talking about is a wildcat cartridge (yes, there are sporadic factory loadings) based on the 30 M1 Carbine brass necked down to 224 (or sometimes 223).

Col. Melvin Johnson (of Johnson Machinegun fame) came up with the idea of re-barreling the M1 Carbine down to 22. He (and his son, who is still alive, and I have communicated with him) ran a company producing new and re-barreled rifles to fire this cartridge. Plainfield Machine and later Iver Johnson (no relation), amongst others also chambered commercial M1 Carbines in this caliber. Production records filed with the ATF suggest as many as 2,500 rifles may have been made.   

It was hampered by the fact factory ammunition was only irregularly available and depending on who built your rifle, the bore might be .2230, .2235 or 0.2240 and unless you had a gunsmith slug your chamber and leade, you had no idea what you were dealing with.

This has been a long introduction to what is really a short post. I got "infected" with the 5.7mm "bug" back in the 1980's. I am still trying to perfect a loading for the rifle. My rifle's bore is one of those that is bigger than 0.2230 but not quite 0.2240, and so is referred to as 0.2235 although that is not 100% accurate. So, if you know anyone that has one, I would be willing to share everything I know with them and would love to learn from anyone who knows about loading for the cartridge.

The promise of the round is truly seductive; it is the "holy grail"; a semi-automatic rifle firing from a 30 round box magazine pumping out 40 grain bullets at 3,000+ fps with a flat trajectory to 300 yard and ZERO perceived recoil. Any constructive input would be welcome - along with referrals to friends that are familiar with this cartridge.

Thanks.
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RT58
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Posted: January 14 2018 at 7:33am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I almost had my custom varmint rifle chambered for a .22/.30 Carbine round. I had read about them long ago and had looked for an Iver Johnson M1 chambered for the 5.7, which I never did find. P.O. Ackley had data for the .22 Carbine, which was made my a different inventor and also mentioned the 5.7 with a couple of loads for it. He also said data for the .22 K-Hornet could be used, but never having a rifle chambered in any version I can't verify that. After long deliberation on a number of possible chamberings I decided on the .221 Fireball and couldn't be happier. A good, M1 Carbine type semi-auto built around the Fireball would be a great rifle, in my opinion, for varmints and everyday use.

I ran across a forum not long ago dedicated to the 5.7 Johnson which I believe is attached to a site operated by Melvin Johnson's son, if you don't already know about it.
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Buffalogun
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Posted: January 15 2018 at 7:14am | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

The cartridge goes by the name .22 Spitfire, also.



Mike

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REM1875
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Posted: January 25 2018 at 3:23am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

I was always fascinated by the 5.7 Johnson but have
never ever knowingly seen one so anything you can tell
us about it will be read with great interest.....

a semi-automatic rifle firing from a 30 round box
magazine pumping out 40 grain bullets at 3,000+ fps with
a flat trajectory to 300 yard and ZERO perceived recoil.


It's very appealing

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Pete D.
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Posted: January 28 2018 at 5:30am | IP Logged Quote Pete D.

Necking down that stiff M1 carbine case must have been quite a chore.

Pete

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RT58
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Posted: January 28 2018 at 10:04am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I'd heard making the brass was quite a chore and most .30M1-.22 conversion barrels could be ordered with no gas port, making it a straight pull bolt action.

Mr. Johnson didn't come up with the idea as there were several variations before his, what made him different was that he patented his cartridge and instead of pushing it as a varmint round he tried to sell the idea to the military as a combat round. They apparently weren't interested in the concept at the time and as usual Mr. Johnson's idea was ahead of it's time.
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hdwhit
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Posted: February 09 2018 at 10:10pm | IP Logged Quote hdwhit

As far as forming the brass, there are two approaches.

The first one is to take a 5.7mm sizing die and shove the 30 Carbine brass into it. It is difficult (particularly on a press without compound leverage) and the result less than satisfactory - in essence you are simply creating a round that will be used to fire-form the case.

The second is to get the set of forming dies from RCBS or Redding (now just Redding as RCBS closed its custom shop) which in concert with the sizer die form the neck in three separate drawing operations which are actually very easy if you're using a lubricant like Hornady Unique or Imperial Sizing Wax. The caveat here is that each of the dies has to be meticulously adjusted so that you're not moving the shoulder as you form it.
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hdwhit
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Posted: February 09 2018 at 10:13pm | IP Logged Quote hdwhit

The mouth of the case does thicken when it is formed (the brass has to go someplace) so it has to be neck reamed and then resized or the neck must be turned.
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hdwhit
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Posted: February 09 2018 at 10:15pm | IP Logged Quote hdwhit

I should mention that I did find Col. Johnson's son who was a young man when the 5.7 was being made. He was able to provide a lot of information about the development of the rifle and the cartridge, but not a lot of information about reloading for it.
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