Reloading for Obsolete Rimfires, by Michael Z. Williamson

Yes, that’s correct. Reloadable rimfire ammo for your obsolete guns.

I can now shoot my original rimfires, most notably my 1863 Colt Pocket Navy conversion.

The company HC Collection in France produces these kits for .32 Rimfire, .32 Rimfire Long, .38 Rimfire, and .41 Rimfire, as well as several pinfire calibers. I bought one to try out.

The .32 Rimfire kit contains cartridge cases, bullets, swaging tools, dies, and instruction (in English.) It comes in a wooden case. Because it shipped from overseas, it did not contain primers, but those are readily available here in the USA. This kit can be used for loading rimfire cartridges for guns made in the medium-bore rimfire era of the 1860s to 1880s, as well percussion guns of the 1850s and 1860s that were later converted to rimfire.
As you can see from the photos, the cases are machined with an offset pocket for a .22 rimfire blank, that serves as the primer. To assure that the firing pins properly strikes the rim of the .22 rimfire blank, the cases have to be properly indexed for a revolver, and manually loaded in single-shot mode for a rifle, even if it is a repeater.
The Loading Process

The instructions are clear, and the process is simple. Swage the case to size if it isn’t already.  Insert case in the die base, place the bullet, and then tap the die with a mallet to seat the bullet. The die depth is setable and adjustable with a wrench.

If the bullet is oversized for your firearm’s bore, the die can be inverted and the bullet tapped through to reduce its diameter .1mm (about .0039).  The provided bullets measured .317, which is very close to factory specification for .32 Rimfire.

The seated case in the die is then inverted, blackpowder added, and the blank pressed carefully in place with a wooden block–this is the necessary sequence since the rim is sensitive to ignition and should not be placed in the hard metal of the die base. I had no issues doing this, but do it over a wooden surface, and press carefully just in case.  The die is sturdy enough to contain a discharge, but you don’t want a hard metal surface underneath.

Note that this requires a standard .22 blank cartridge for use as the primer. DO NOT use a .22 or 6mm nailgun powerload. DO NOT use any sort of smokeless powder.  Also note to fill the case fully with the correct grain powder (FFFg should be correct for a .36), but check an authoritative blackpowder loading table and compare to your weapon, keeping in mind that antiques should be professionally inspected before use, if you are unsure of the condition).  A partially-filled case can lead to chamber explosions.  If in doubt, consult a reloading text on fillers to match the propellant.

The HC Collection kit contains depriming tools and a powder ladle.

Consider It An Investment
This is an expensive investment, but you can order extra cases (I got a total of 36), and they should last multiple reloads, since the pressure is low.  This makes obsolete rimfire firearms viable and functional again.

I may add to this review after I can gauge shooting accuracy.

Note that some banks simply will not process an international charge or transfer to France.  Both my bank and PayPal card declined. Remitly doesn’t serve France.  Ironically, Xoom, managed by PayPal, did.

Shipping took about two weeks. – MZW

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