The .22 Long Rifle rimfire cartridge has its sensitive priming compound distributed around the inside of its rim. It is fired by the impacting of the firing pin against the relatively soft cartridge case, which detonates the priming compound. Any crushing of the rim can cause a rimfire cartridge to be 'discharged' before it is chambered if the rim of the cartridge receives a sharp blow from any source. For that reason the user of a firearm chambered for a rimfire cartridge must regard any jam or feeding problem as a signal to immediately stop using the gun until it can be determined what is wrong.
If a cartridge hangs up, jams, or binds when being hand chambered or when being fed from the magazine into the chamber, do not attempt to force it into the chamber by pushing or striking the bolt.
Most failures of a cartridge to feed or to chamber are caused by a damaged magazine, improper gun handling, or defective ammunition.
Whatever the cause, the gun user must, above all, recognize that rimfire cartridge jams can result in the very potentially dangerous situation of a cartridge discharging before it is chambered. If this occurs, the cartridge case will rupture and its fragments will fly out of the gun with sufficient force to cause injury. Always wear shooting glasses!
Was this article helpful?