Remington .22 "Jet" Magnum


#1

The .22 Remington Jet was about as unsuccessful as the .256 Win Magnum. I don’t remember the model number, but I think it was chambered only in a Smith and Wesson .22 revolver. The same revolver could be used to shoot .22 Long Rifle through the use of chamber inserts. I know the inserts exist, but I have never seen one. The real problem with the Jet was case setback upon firing, which caused the cylinder to freeze up. This was likely due to the very long sloped case shoulder. Both ammunition and chambers had to be kept scrupulously de-greased to keep this from happening. I think only very few of the S&W revolvers were sold. Another example of a product appearing on the market without having been debugged thoroughly first, resulting in failure to thrive.


#2

Dennis–I have one of the .22 Jet to .22 LR conversion inserts. Nothing fancy about it. Just plain steel with no markings of any kind.


#3

“Dennis–I have one of the .22 Jet to .22 LR conversion inserts. Nothing fancy about it. Just plain steel with no markings of any kind.”

I think that when one bought the S&W revolver, six of the .22 RF inserts were packed with it. Having never seen the actual revolver or any of the inserts (other than from pictures), I was wondering how the firing pin was set up to handle both centerfire and rimfire priming. Possibly it was adjustable for two positions? In .22 RF, the revolver would have been very slow to reload unless one had a supply of pre-loaded inserts. I believe I remember reading that many of the revolvers were later “re-cylindered” for .22 RF.

If one wanted a .30 caliber silhouette revolver, why not one in .30 Carbine? In my brief handgun silhouette phase, I sure don’t remember anyone using any .30 cartridges, except the .30-30, .30 Herrett, and similar rifle-level cartridges in T/C Contenders. At that time, late 1970s - early 1980s, those favoring revolvers used only .44 Magnums. And I was one of them (with an original Ruger .44 Blackhawk flat top).


#4

Dennis–You may be correct about the movable firing pin on the .22 Jet revolver. Back when I was about 18 a guy who had one of the early revolvers gave me the insert and a single round from the original box of Remington ammunition. To give you an idea when this was, the cartridge was called the .22 Centerfire Magnum, not .22 Jet. The headstamp is “REM-UMC .22 CFM”. I think this designation was only used on the 1st lot of cartridges that Remington made. I know the name was soon changed to .22 Jet. Anyway, back to the insert, it has a small thumbnail cut in the rim area so you can flick out the empty .22 LR case.

I have 6 .45 Colt conversion to .22 LR made by Walther in Germany. They came with an insert barrel. The “cartridges” are loaded from the back with the .22 LR, then a firing block is slid into the end of the case. This block has a solid firing pin off set to fire the rimfire case when the sliding block is struck with the normal .45 Colt hammer. The .22 Jet conversion does not have this set-up, so I would have to guess there was either a replaceable hammer or a movable firing pin. I never saw the gun, so I don’t know. Maybe John Moss can shed some light on this.


#5

DennisK
The steel “conversion units” have the 22 LR hole centered in the base / unit. it would appear to me that the firing pin would need to move, so I can’t answer your question about firing pins, but to add that there were also plastic “conversion units”, same as the steel version, but in I think two or more colors. A yellow somewhat translucent plastic was one, and as I recall black and red were the another colors.

Ron
The first / prototype cartridges were headstamped " PETERS 357 MAGNUM ".


#6

Sorry, I can be no help in the question of the problem of center-fire firing pins with the .22 Jet .22 LR Insert cartridges. Even though we sold a lot of the inserts when they were made, I haven’t handled one in years and don’t recall the details of it. I don’t save, or even partcularly study, revolver items and while I own a lot of revolvers, as I enjoy shooting them, I never saw the .22 Jet as being good for much.

By the way, the .303 adaptors for .32 auto rounds I would call a .30/.303, and I would call a .38 Special necked to use a .32 auto round as .30/.38 Special as the bulet diameter of the “.32” auto pistol rounds runs actually from about .303 - .313". It is much more of a true .30 than it is a .32. JMHO.


#7

“but to add that there were also plastic “conversion units”, same as the steel version”

That’s very interesting. I am surprised that plastic would work in that application, at least for more than just a few shots. Any pictures?


#8

Here such an adaptor:

gunpartscorp.com/Products/880940.htm


#9

DennisK
No pictures of the plastic variations, sorry.

I’ve handled the yellow, it was the same shape & etc. as the steel. I believe the plastic used was very brittle, having been made hard to withstand pressure. But your right they apparently didn’t work very well & had / have a low survival rate. (Bloody rare!) Not sure if they were S&W manufacture or aftermarket.


#10

EOD–That picture shows the thumbnail slot to remove the .22 LR well. Mine is plain steel, not stanless.

Pete–The “REM-UMC .22 CFM” headstamp I was referring to was for the 1st lot of the production ammo for sale in stores, not the prototype. I appreciate your input as I was not aware of the Peters prototype round.


#11

The 1962 Gun Digest, Page 53, discuses the manner of how the S&W Model 53 in .22 Jet/.22 RF can fire both rounds. It says “The hammer nose converts to center-or rimfire ignition with a flip of the thumb, impinging on one of two firing pins.” So, now we know how it was done. It also says you can use either the inserts or a replacement cylinder to fire either .22 Shorts or .22 Long Rifle.


#12

The light 110 grain bullet would not take down the rams and sometimes the pigs would remain defiant.


#13

During my pistol shooting phase the Mdl 53 Remington Jet was one of my purchases. It was very similar to the popular K22 Mdl 17 .22 LR. except for the cylinder which was bored to the Jet. If I remember correctly it was a .357 case necked down to a .22 and looked like a fat .22 hornet. The end of the hammer had a flip-up/flip-down firing pin. Up was center fire and down was rim fire. I believe that my Thompson Contenders had a similar system. It did come with the six .22 LR inserts, which were a pain to use. To switch to LR you hand loaded the inserts and filled them with .22s, then flipped the firing pin to rim fire. After shooting you ejected the six fired cases with inserts and picked out the brass cases from the inserts and then repeated the process. The Jet cartridges were pretty expensive to shoot and many times they stuck in the cylinder. I don’t remember them backing up and preventing cylinder rotation but maybe they did (it was a long time ago). It was not a good .22 LR pistol or centerfire. I soon traded it off for a decent .22 pistol. I only ever seen that one Mdl 53 in a sporting goods store. Maybe I should have hung on to it but back then I was too poor to have a gun that I didn’t shoot.


#14

“The light 110 grain (.30 Carbine) bullet would not take down the rams and sometimes the pigs would remain defiant.”

Likely so, but it may be possible to load somewhat heavier .30 Carbine bullets to velocities that might work OK from a Ruger Blackhawk. I don’t know as I have never tried that (but I did load some 125 grain lead bullets in .30 Carbine for revolver use at one time). As the original topic had to do with a necked-down .38 in .30 cal, it seems to me that round wouldn’t be all that great for use in handgun silhouette shooting either.

I did see a box of .22 Jet at the local gun show yesterday - seller wanted $125. Maybe it’s worth that much to someone. I haven’t checked prices, but I’d assume a nice Model 53 original and complete in the box with all .22 LR adapters might be worth a significant amount.


#15

There is one on Gunbroker right now–asking price $1500.
I have ended up with just the box and inserts from a family revolver that I remember shooting in the '60s, but no one can find the firearm.


#16

Here is my M53 S&W


#17

“I have ended up with just the box and inserts from a family revolver”

I suspect that even those are worth a fair piece of change. It amazes me what prices some of the older original handgun boxes command on the gun auction sites - just like some old cartridge boxes. And there seems to be somewhat of a cottage industry in forging old handgun boxes.

Obviously, the model 53 came packed with a .22 LR-chambered cylinder. I did not know that.


#18

Dennis,
What is the condition of your box? As you can see mine is a little rough.
Bruce


#19

If I’m not mistaken that extra LR cylinder was available as an option later on because of all the complaints about the inserts. My gun did not have one but I seem to remember that they became available shortly after I bought mine.


#20

Better late than never here are two all-plastic inserts. I was right about one being yellowish & the other is a milky-white.

Notice they have the same relief cut / molded in the rim as the steel examples do.