Fred Johnson (aka chicharrones on Rimfire Central) sent us photo of his  “.22 Magnum All Purpose Carbine” be build by modifying a Zastava bolt action rifle. I live the concept and the execution. Fred writes …

Here’s a creation I came up with in early 2015. I modified a Zastava bolt action rimfire rifle chambered in .22 WMR. At the time, I had a specific desire to have a “survival/truck” carbine that was short, yet still shootable by an adult.

chicharrones-zastava-3

The original rifle was 41″ long and had a 22″ barrel. I cut and crowned the barrel back to 16.25″ and I shortened the length of pull to 13.5″ by trimming the buttstock. The rifle is now 34.25″ long.

I also made a “trapdoor” buttplate, inspired by the Savage 24C. Each hole holds 6 rounds of .22 WMR ammo, for a total 18 rounds in the buttstock.

chicharrones-zastava-4-2

I installed a new Marbles front ramp/sight and a Williams receiver mounted aperture. On the pre-existing rear sight base, I mounted a modified piece of Weaver rail to mount the Bushnell TRS-25.

The doubled up and modified ammo butt cuff holds two to three spare 5-round magazines. With three full magazines and the buttstock full of ammo, the carbine has 33 rounds of ammo ready to go.

It shoots as well as it did before the modifications with the only limitation being the use of an unmagnified red dot. However, the red dot works very well with a 6 o’clock hold on target and of course it is much more visible in low light compared to the aperture sight.

It was a fun project.

Thanks for sharing!



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  • JamesRPatrick

    Proofread…

    • Cian Smith

      Normally I hate this kind of comment, but yeah, that intro paragraph made me feel slightly retarded while reading it, lol.

  • allannon

    Make it a takedown and color me interested. 🙂

    • Fred Johnson

      I think with a different rifle design, the stock could have been removable from the action with a single screw. That Zastava has 3 screws that have to undone to remove the stock from the action.

      Some sort of “twist-lock” mount near the grip to remove the buttstock might work? Or maybe some sort of hinge?

      • Southpaw89

        You could look to the old experimental Japanese paratroop rifle from WWII for inspiration, just an Arisaka with a hinge just forward of the grip. It proved not to be strong enough for combat purposes, but could fill this purpose nicely.

        • Fred Johnson

          I’ll have to look more closely at that design. Possibilities, possibilities . . .

  • Blake

    A tiny little reflex sight would fit much better with the concept than that huge Bushnell…

    Otherwise, cool setup 🙂

    • Fred Johnson

      That Bushnell does look a little big since it’s not sitting on an expanse of rail. You should see that Bushnell mounted on one of my handguns, it looks even larger. 😀

  • Kivaari

    I like it. The .22 Mag is a great cartridge for general use, and makes a fine “survival rifle”.

    • Fred Johnson

      Thank you. I like .22 Mag in this type of gun. It doesn’t lose too much steam either.

      Here are some chrono numbers I got from it after the barrel chop.

      Hornady VMax 30 grain = 2359, 2287, 2322 fps

      Remington 40 grain PSP = 1996, 1880, 1885 fps

      Winchester Super X 40 grain JHP = 1907, 1888, 1875 fps

  • sliversimpson

    This is awesome. I wish I had the mechanical competence to do this kind of work. Just the fact that it’s “home-built” or “hand-crafted” makes it cool in addition to the fact the .22 mag is so versatile.

    • iksnilol

      chopped barrel and stock is within the realm of the hobbyist, just be careful on maintaining OAL over the minimum.

  • Edeco

    I’ve been wondering what would happen if a CZ455 22 LR were reamed for 22 WMR. My understanding is CZ’s bores are tight to begin with and the LR bore will be a couple thou tighter than the WMR bore. I guess it would just extrude, make more pressure earlier. But maybe the cases would stick or the metal jackets tear…

    Also the Ultra Lux would be neat with a peep sight.

    • iksnilol

      Eh, the CZ455 is already a switch barrel. So just get a .22 WMR barrel, put it in and enjoy.

      So no need for that.

      • Edeco

        Good point. But I still wonder if good things would happen if the WMR were used in a CZ bore not intended for it. Velocity, accuracy… Being a switch barrel makes it more enticing in a way, because if it doesn’t work, one would only be out a barrel (unless it blows up/warps the action etc.).

        • iksnilol

          A squeeze bore?

          It seems interesting, though you don’t think radically enough. Think .22 mag through .17 HMR. Just ream out the chamber and a throat large enough for the projectile to be released safely. Then you’d get high pressures and some good velocity.

          I’ve always wanted a 5.56 to 4.5 mm barrel. I mean, you gotta capitalize on 5.56’s advantage (velocity).

          • Vince

            For a while an RFC Sponsor was offering a 17 cal barrel that shot 22 lr from a 10/22 as I recall. Of course this is with lead bullets but it worked very well. Well enough to offer it commercially. So as long as you stayed with plated 22 Mag rounds instead of jacketed and used a decently strong bolt action the squeeze down barrel from 22 Mag to 17 cal would probably work just fine.. AND you would get a 30-40 gr 17 cal bullet which would be quite streamlined for high retained energy instead of the 15-25 gr 17 cal bullets!

            Now, before someone goes off about the added pressure of the 22 Mag….. (you know you were going to right?) the 22 Short, 22 Long, 22 LR, 22 Mag and the 17M2 all have the exact same SAAMI Maximum Average Pressure (MAP)!! 24,000 PSI if memory serves. The 17 HMR goes a little higher at 27,000 PSI again if my memory has not gone too bonkers. The 17 Win WSM is a whole nother story but the small cased rimfires are all identical in MAP except the HMR which is not that much more.

            Good to see another RFC guy on here!!

          • iksnilol

            I am not on RFC, though I’ve thought about joining. I like rimfires. And I will admit, I am interested in the .22 to .17 barrel after comparing prices of .22 LR ammo with .17 HMR ammo. While it wouldn’t be as powerful as .22 Mag to .17 it’d still be powerful while being cheap. Too bad I can’t find much info on them. What happened to them? Were there issues or did the guy selling them die?

            Eh, I ain’t worried about pressure. If I use a CZ455 that’s made to handle .22 Mag then I think it’ll handle the added pressure fine. Just use a good bolt action, not something with a soldered on bolt handle as a locking lug. Besides, with what I’ve messed around with I am probably the last guy to sweat the small stuff.

  • Tassiebush

    I really, really like your rifle Fred! I have contemplated something similar for quite a while.

  • Cian Smith

    Fred, what’s holding that trapdoor closed? I’m not familiar with the Savage inspiration…

  • fmike15

    Nice!

  • itsmefool

    I “live the concept” too, but I really love my Winchester takedown lever-action carbine in .300BLK!

    • Fred Johnson

      That would be something to see! Got a link?

  • Vince

    He stopped making the 22LR version when the 17HMR and 17M2 became popular due to a lack of interest.

    If you own a rimfire or are thinking of it you really owe it to yourself to check out RFC. I am a Mod there and have been a member since 2002 and we have a huge number of very friendly and very intelligent folks there. Much of what is discussed in not limited to rimfire as we have stock and metal working sub forums. Knife sub forums and many others including everything from airguns to centerfire but the vast predominance is rimfire.

    It started as a 10/22 forum but that was a long time ago. Having said that there is no better place to learn anything about that popular rifle/pistol.

    Jump in the water is fine!!

  • uisconfruzed

    Nice, I’d like a smaller profiled and threaded barrel to reduce weight, and give me the option of mounting my Sparrow.