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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am in the 'middle' of a project to convert a Marlin Model 56 'Levermatic' rifle from .22LR to .25ACP.

The Marlin has a Steel Receiver and I have found that the Model 56 and Model 62 share many internal parts so I bought a 'surplus' .256 Win Mag bolt and CF internal parts from "Numerich Arms" and had the Bolt body modified to fit the .25ACP cartridge base, then assembled the CF parts into it for 'safe keeping' while I worked to get the rest of the items needed.

This month I finally was able to order the Chamber Reamer, a "Pacific Tool and Gauge" (PTL) .25ACP Match Grade Finish Chamber Reamer, along with a"GO" Gauge to match. I also was able to order a "Lothar Walther" (LW) '.25ACP/6.35 Browning Barrel Blank (26mm diameter by 605mm long) which I was told has a bore and groove diameter tolerance of +/-.0008" from the nominal .243"/.250" so I will be using nominal .25)" to .252" bullets in it. LW lists it a as 6 groove and Twist of one turn in 9.8 inches. I was told that my order and payment made it to LW in time so my Barrel is included in this months Bulk shipment from Europe.

The Donor Marlin Model 56 was already on hand so that is no problem although I will need to refit the Stock after teh Barrel is finished and installed. As originally made the stock forearm presses on one side and the bottom of the barrel and I want my new barrel to be 'free Floating, or to have only one point where it contacts the forearm channel, preferably on the bottom quarter of the Barrel near the Stock front tip.

The Donor Rifle has had several hundred, perhaps well over a thousand, rounds of .22LR fired through it over the years and has served well as a Jackrabbit 'removal tool' and later as a Target rifle at 100 yards consistently and occasionally, and with careful sighting, at 200 yards, so is well proven.

Marlin used a Cross Pin to retain the Barrel in the Receiver without any threads so fitting the new barrel should not pose too many problems to my gunsmith, Willie Clark of "American Gun Works" in Glendale, CA. He has worked on my old Stevens Rifles, my old Winchesters (1873 third models in 44-40 and 1890s in .22WRF), and several revolvers over the years I have known him and has always given me excellent service.

This Marlin has a Factory Serial number on it so is legal to convert to CF and the Caliber markings are all on the Barrel so will change with the barrel.

The magazine problem is that Marlin made them so they are NOT modifiable to fit the .25ACP fatter cartridge although the length would be a good fit. I have bought some 'surplus' Phoenix '25ACP magazines that look like they were originally sized for the .32ACP round and 'padded' with a plastic strip to reduce the length to take the .25ACP round. This Does NOT get the .25ACP to feed correctly as they are NOT constrained side to side and therefore 'jam' if more than 5 are put into the Magazine,; yet still will not 'feed' smoothly with this lesser number.
I think I have found a solution to this by removing the front plastic strip and fitting two thin plastic strips to the sides inside the magazine, and either reworking the original follower or making a new, slightly narrower, one to clear the added side strips. This should constrain the cartridges in a single Vertical column with the rim of one cartridge fitting into the groove of the one below it so they will not 'lock' inside the magazine.
I will need to add a 'lump' on the rear face of the magazine to work with the original Marlin magazine catch.

Now, as to why such a project?
Because.
I have noted on the "Ballistics By the Inch" website that .25ACP Factory ammo gains Velocity as barrel length is increased, and I presume that with careful powder selection and hand-loading that increased performance will be available from my longer yet barrel and "Locked Breech" Rifle action.

At a Minimum, I should see 1000fps with 50 grain Lead bullets presently commercially available from "Carlina Cast Bullets", and suspect somewhat more with a slower burning powder than is useful in a 2 inch barrel. Also there is the possibility of sizing down heavier bullets to fit for more Muzzle energy and longer range shooting within the pressure range of the cartridge(s).

I feel this caliber cartridge has been neglected through the years as advancements have occurred in the Industry. Just Look at the .22 RF series for example, which started out at around 900 to 1000fps and are now pushing 1400 to 1500fps or even 2000fps for the Magnum ones.

As demonstrated by Marlin, the Action is capable of higher pressures with safety and reliability (see .256 Win Mag and .30 M1 Carbine pressure limits) and can handle longer cartridge lengths than this (.910" for the .25ACP but 1.590 for the .256 Winchester Magnum and 1.680" for the .30 M1 Carbine Cartridges).
Both of these larger and stronger cartridges were offered in Factory made rifles by Marlin and are still giving good service years later, at least one in 30 carbine reportedly has been use in a Slaughter House to dispatch over 30,000 cattle for butchering.

Best of all, the reloading costs will be LOW for these 'miniscule' cartridges, a definite bonus for a Retired person on Social Security and Military/Disability Retirement pay.

Best Regards,
Chev. William
 

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Interesting project. sounds like fun.

Didn't see your mention of your new barrel length. not sure the longer the barrel, the higher the velocity, in the very small powder capacity cases. P.O. did an experiment with the 32 acp and actually got the bullet to stop in a very long barrel. once the powder charge has burned and the pressure drops as the barrel volume constantly increases, friction then reduces the velocity in the barrel.

good luck chev lets us know how it works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The barrel Blank is 605mm, or 23.8" long so my finished barrel will be slightly shorter due to Chamber, Head spacing, and crowning.

Best Regards,
Chev. William
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Also not noted in the original post is that the cartridge head spaces on the Rim as it is a 'Semi-rimless) design. This means that, like the .22RF cartridges, this one will ave its rim against the rear face fo the Barrel and housed in the front of the Bolt when the action is closed, except for the lower Quadrant which is a machined slot to allow the Head to slide up into the two Extractors as it feeds from the magazine, then the extractor tips 'cam out into slots beside the Chamber so the Full wall of the case is supported by the chamber.

This should allow loading to a slightly higher maximum mean peak Pressure for Rifle use than allowed for the Blow-back Actions of the Pistols designed to use the cartridge with the ir feed 'cuts in the chamber walls.

Also I am still waiting for my chamber reamer to be finished and sent, some more weeks left on their schedule.

Best Regards,
Chev. William
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sigh, this project is Stalled waiting for my gunsmith to Work down his Backlog of other work ahead of it.
Going on three years now.

Patience, patience,
Chev. Willaim
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I Apologize for the LONG delay in progress.
Since I began this Project my gunsmith has:
Lost His Wife after a lingering Sickness;
Taken on Location Movie Jobs that took him out of state Several times;
Gone through Two Knee replacement Surgeries and the necessary recovery after Each;
Taken a Motorcycle to Spread His wife's Ashes in a favorite Location, then gone on to a Custer Stand Reenactment as an Invited guest of the Indians for their Side of the Story.
Recovered from a Vehicle accident that totaled his Motorcycle and the Recovery from that.
His Local Gun shop Has had a Moratorium on accepting New Projects for about two years now to allow him to Work down the backlog.
He has several of my Projects in that Backlog!

Best Regards,
Chev. William
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Another Casualty of the Delay:
"Carolina Cast Bullets" has Gone out of Business so my 'Commercial Source of the Cast 50 grain Bullets dried up.
"Hunters' Supply" has apparently stopped Scheduled Production of their 63 Grain FN "Pellet Rifle Bullet".
My last Lot of 1000 were obtained By Pleading My case to them and Their finding an Employee who would Hand cast my Order.

A "Group Buy for NOE "Ranch Dog TC255 Molds has stalled at 7 ordered of the Ten Minimum buy required to get them made.

My Income has 'stagnated' while the Taxes and Other "Costs of Living" rise at Far greater Than the Economy.

Best Regards,
Chev. William
 

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Dang, it is always something. I kind of wonder what happened to all the molds I sent to Carolina Cast and the Bull Shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I found out that the Owner of "Carolina Cast Bullets" suffered A Heart attack and Folded the business as he was unable to do the work. That was reported on Some Business Bulletin board that came up When /I searched for the Company name as my 'contact information' no longer Worked.

No Information on what happened to the Molds or other equipment though.

Chev. William
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A further "no progress" update on this thread.
I Do have some Progress on some other Projects though:
.25ACP WS #1 JGS Precision custom chamber reamer received.
.25ALR WS #2 JGS Precision custom chamber reamer received.
.25MACP WS #3 JGS Precision custom chamber reamer Ordered.
Almost all parts need ed for the Win. 1890 Conversion Kit are now on hand.
Four of my 'Wild cat' design Cartridges are listed now on Ammoguide Interactive.

Overall, a Very good year indeed in my opinion.

Best Regards for the 2017 Christmas and New Year 2018 Holiday season,
Chev. William
 
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