A bit of history;
This gun was, somewhat obviously, designed in 1890. For a while they were the model 1890, then they became the model 90. Originally chambered for .22L, .22Short and later the .22LR, and then .22 WRF.
They are THE original gallery guns, made famous in shooting galleries and fairs.
This one was made in 1932, and chambered in .22WRF
.22WRF was(is) a higher powered .22, more oomph than a .22 long or long rifle.
Later, the .22 WMR, know usually as .22 Mag was introduced. Very simply it is a WRF that’s been lengthened to hold more powder. Same as the way we got .357 Magnum from .38 Special.
Being bigger, it was more powerful. And popular. It in fact became so popular that the. 22 WRF became obsolete, after a while no longer chambered, and then ammunition stopped being made.
Around that time this gun was modified, to chamber, feed, and fire, the longer .22 WMR.
The only difference in all of these guns for different cartridges, is obviously the barrels chamber, and, as I found out, the carrier.
I had figured that since the shorter round would chamber, (like a 38 in a 357 chamber, the length difference is no problem at all) it would cycle the shorter rounds, and I could fire either round. Much the same as other .22 rifles that will cycle and fire .22 short, long and long rifle.
But “why?” I hear you ask, if the ammo isn’t made?
Well, actually Now, the ammo is made! Its been brought back, from popular demand, so that the older guns can be used!
And I’m glad for it! .22 WMR is a fine round for varmints, and predators. But I hunt neither, and its far too expensive for range/target use. Its too powerful for small game hunting, destroying far too much meat, in a messy fashion.
The .22 WRF on the other hand is light enough for small game hunting, but still a little more oomph than the common .22LR, for range, and bigger animals. Basically its a half step between .22LR and .22WMR.
Now, its not exactly cheap being a specialty ammo, but its about the same cost as most .22 WMR.
Still a little spendy for plinking wabbits, but then again, hunting with a 84 year old pump action is worth it!
Back to my problem;
The carrier is of a controlled feed design, meaning it fully controls the cartridge for its entire journey from magazine to chamber.
This is good, because it allows the gun to function in Any position. Even upside down! Try to do that with most bolt actions, or lever actions. 😉
This is also bad, in our case because it makes the carier a much more exact fir to thr round it carries.
To do so, the cartridge doesn’t just sit on top of the carrier as in a lot of designs, but sits surounded by it. Thus the carrier has to have a channel for the cartridge that is the exact length.
This is important, because, as I found out, how far the round goes into the carrier determines if the next round leaves the magazine. The tip of the round is the cartridge stop while the carrier is down. After if starts up, another part holds the next round.
Whoever converted this gun, deepened the chamber in the barrel, And deepened the channel in the carrier.
Here is a .22 WMR, in this guns carrier.
Here is what happens if you load it with the shorter .22 WRF;
With one round already inside the carrier, what you’r seeing is thd next round un line, partially into the carrier, partially inside the magazine.
And at that poing the gun jams, since that second round holds the carrier from lifting.
Here it is from another view;
Its not a big difference in length, but its enough to cause a jam. WMR on top, WRF below.
So, what we need, is either the cartridge to be longer, so it holds the next round out of the carrier, or the carrier channel to be shallower, providing the same effect.
Here is the shorter WRF inserted just far enough to sit its tip where a WMR tip would be, to hold the next round foreward.
So, our solution, is this part here;
Shown with its retaining set screw.
Like most firearms modifications or repairs, it’s a very small, very simple part, and (relatively) easy to make.
Just needing made to Exacting specifications, thus it’s a deceptively simple little chunk of brass.
It was simple to make, but it wasn’t exactly “easy”. Nor was it quick to make or fit.
Here it is installed, and with its set screw hole drilled and tapped in the carrier itself.
And here you can see its very simple function; It holds the cartridge foreward to where the tip needs to sit, where a WMR tip would be, to keep the next round from feeding, and causing our jam. Simple!
It’s brass because its a low to zero wear part, and it’s an easy material to fit/work with. I could have used steel and heat treated it for wear, but its just not necessary, in my opinion.
It has a “C” shape, to allow a channel for the extractor to pass through, which is what pushes the cartridge forward for chambering. Matching the channel in the carrier itself.
And it works flawlessly! The gun now chambers and fires WRF ammunition again. The only thing I lost was the abillity to Also use WMR ammo. Its still a single cartridge gun. Snall loss, as I’ve explained, I have no real use for WMR.
Overall this was one of my simplest gun fixes. It was interesting to figure out, and tedious to make/fit the part, but was really rather simple, and very fun. Some fixes similar to this have required several days of welding up new steel onto a carrier or bolt, and grinding/filing/refitting it down to size, repeatedly, until it works.