Author Topic: Why would it be so difficult to manufacture 56-50 rimfire cases and ammo?  (Read 4915 times)

Offline 1911tex

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They did it for 40 years with late 1800's technology.  22's are manufactured by the millions.  I believe if the 56-50 rimfire would be a one time fired case, maybe cheap aluminum cases?  Just thinking about the hand load possibilities on a small scale.  The 360 degree primer.  Would there be enough demand?  Anyone have the info on the original production technology?  Undoubtably it would be expensive per cartridge to purchase in specialized small scale.....but shooting the thousands of 1860/65+ carbines and rifles with original ammunition and without purchasing aftermarket blocks may be competitive with current production centerfire cartridges available over the internet. Maybe the cases can be purchased for individual reloading?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 12:24:13 pm by 1911tex »

Offline Dave Fox

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    The only modern such attempt of which I'm aware was Navy Arms commissioning a run of .32 and .41 calibre rimfire ammunition in the '90s, I believe. Despite the plethora of firearms chambered for these rounds, the effort was not sustained.
    I pounced upon several boxes of these at the time even though I had no guns in which to use them. Glad I did. I've now acquired and fired (to the edification of folks at my local shooting range) a Moore patent infringement .32 revolver and a S&W 1 1/2 seven-shooter, both of Civil War vintage. I've also acquired an over-under Remington derringer and a single shot Colt Thuer, both .41 rimfire and both sometimes carried by me as secondary CCWs. These Navy Arms rimfire cartridges now go for as much as $7.00 a cartridge and I have an eccentric but handy friend who reloads them(!)
    Am not sure there are thousands of Spencer owners out there ravening to acquire rimfire ammunition for their weapons, especially given readily reloadable alternative centerfire options are available which require no permanent modification of the weapon. I shoot an original cranky 56-56 and much smoother 56-50 with the drop-in centerfire blocks and flat-nose magazine followers. Were rimfire alternatives available, the economics of it, after a few range sessions, would keep me reloading centerfire brass.

Offline Galen

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Years ago there was a cartridge offered that was primed with a 22 short case. First you would pull the bullet dump the powder from the 22 short. Then insert the primed brass into a chamber machined in the brass rim. Load with black powder and bullet and your ready to go. made your Spencer a single shot but it was great for shooting your wall hanger.

Offline Dave Fox

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Dixie Gun Works offered them. Don't know if they do now. Clever folks with proper machines periodically produce small runs of various rimfire cartridges of solid brass stock using .22 blanks as primers. Dixie used to publish instructions for making explosive minies using .22 blanks. Back in the '60s asa teenager I tried making some, mercifully without success.


Offline ronc54

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Re: Why would it be so difficult to manufacture 56-50 rimfire cases and ammo?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2019, 11:45:24 am »
    Just found this thread, wishing that someone would make some rimfire again as well.  I have a very nice Ball repeating carbine I would like to shoot a few times.  I don't think anyone will make a centerfire conversion for it, not sure it is possible as on the Ball the hammer strikes the rim of the cartridge directly.  The Dixie rimfire conversion cases are .890 in length to fit the 56-52 and 56-50.  I believe the 56-50 case length is about 1.16 inches in length.  Roberson Cartridge Co (https://www.rccbrass.com/product/56-50-spencer-rimfire/) makes a rimfire conversion 56-50 case that appears to be full length but have a minimum order of 50 at $5.61 each.  A little concerned about the shorter case in the Ball due to the split chamber design.

  How well do the Dixie cases shoot using round ball as they recommend?

Thanks,