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Thread: HELP!!! Looking for a new cartridge and rifle need some input!!!

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy cumminsnut76's Avatar
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    HELP!!! Looking for a new cartridge and rifle need some input!!!

    Ok, so another of everyone's favorite threads. I need some opinions on a new cartridge. Yes I want to know what everyone thinks lol.
    So here is some idea of what I am looking for. Let me know what you think

    -small varmint cartridge smaller than 223 but larger than 22lr want center fire
    -reloading for the cartridge is fine as long as dies and cartridges are readily available
    -cast boolits are ok but will probably be mostly copper jacketed
    -not wanting super high velocity somewhere around 2000-2400 out of a carbine length barrel
    -also looking for a rifle. prefer bolt action with a magazine but i do have an encore so custom barrel is an option
    -wanting a lightweight walking varmint type rifle
    -would like to keep muzzle report to a minimum
    -been looking at the 22 tcm, 22 hornet, 218 bee, 256 win mag, 5.7x28 etc.
    -not interested in a suppressed round

    Give me your opinions!
    "Life's tough......It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    -John Wayne

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    222 is smaller than 223
    thats my favorite small caliber, very accurate, idk if 14 twist will allow mild loads while still being stable tho. I imagine 35gr vmax or similar would work fine. mine with normal loadings starts losing stability with 50gr nosler boat tail ballistic tip but 50gr soft points are stable

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    222 is the one

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Never worked with 22 tcm so cant comment there. 22 Hornet and its guises is a fine cartridge. good for around 150 yds on chucks, can be accurate is mild both recoil and report. Brass can be harder to find but components are available. Loading is straight forward and standard equipment is all thats needed. Rifles can be harder to find, most that have them hang onto them. 218Bee is a good cartridge brass can be nonexistent at times. Falls in between hornet and 222 rem performance wise in a good rifle 250 yds maybe 300yds. rifle are much rarer in this caliber and a custom may need to be built. 222remington is a fine cartridge held many bench rest records for many years. In a good rifle 300-350 yds is do able brass and components are available readily rifles are more prevalent though again those that have them hang on to them. Cases can be formed from 223 brass in a bind fairly easily. Its a mild mannered cartridge easy on components with 50-55 grn bullets is very effective round. A little over your desired velocity range though. Again I haven't worked with the last 2 any so cant comment there either.

    A bolt action is harder to find in the rimmed cartridges, But a martini cadet rebarreled to either makes a fine light weight rifle Mine with 20" shilen sporter barrel weights around 6 lbs.. The 222 rem works thru short actions and is normally very reliable. Savage Remington Winchester and others have all made rifles in this caliber. A 700 short action with sporter barrel will go around 8lbs.

    The last route to remove questions is to have one of the custom makers make a encore barrel in each caliber for you and have gun with them. LOL

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



    atr's Avatar
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    I think the .222 is the way to go.
    Or second best would be the 22 Hornet.
    I have both and enjoy shooting both but the .222 is my favorite of the two.

    There are good .222's out there.
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    One of my 'favourites' is a little 218 Mashburn Bee, my rifle built on a Cadet martini with a 20" barrel and weighs only 6 1/2 lbs with a 4x Pecar scope mounted!
    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    YMMV but here is my thoughts! .17 MachIV, .204 Ruger or 25/45 Sharps. I have a 256WM, i really like it but an MGM barrel in 25/45 throated for boolits gives you lots of cheap and easy to find brass. Plus it can send an 87gr bullet at close 2900fps if need be. I spent 9 months deciding on which pistol caliber for a Contender carbine, so understand the dilemna and process. Midsouth has great prices on .17 and .20 cal bullets in bulk, if that helps. Todd/3leg

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    222Rem is probably the best choice but exceeds your velocity window. I have always thought a 221fireball would be just perfect. Then there is the 256 Win Mag as an obscure interesting one. It is rimmed but can easily be made from 223 brass to feed in a bolt gun easily. Personally , I would just go 222Rem, readily available and cast friendly throats and twist rate.
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub gumbo333's Avatar
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    Yep, 221 fireball, very efficient and effective.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    I grew up with a Remington 722 in 222 Remington. Been loading and shooting that gun for fifty years. I do not have a reason to trade for any other caliber in its class, but I already have it. But If I didn't have it, it would be a hard choice to make. The 22 hornet has always been around in the family and friends and is a little easier to down load and maintain accuracy in my opinion. I have never loaded or messed with the other's you asked about. The 222 has done everything I needed it to do with extreme accuracy. But for a light walking around gun I would think the 22 hornet has been around so long that there are a lot of guns chambered in it. If you are looking for used guns the 222 and 22 hornet should give you the most choices.
    Keep us posted on what you decide.
    Tony

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy cumminsnut76's Avatar
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    OK so how is muzzle blast and report on the 222 compared to the 223? I have a Ruger bolt gun in 223 and like it a lot but i'm wanting something a little easier on the ears and a little more pleasant to shoot. Also wanting something the wife will want to shoot more, she does not like the muzzle blast of my 223. Also realistically 150 yards or less will probably be the norm. Keep them coming I appreciate the help!!!!!
    "Life's tough......It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    -John Wayne

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I've never been a party pooper, but you already have what you need in the .223. Just load it to do what you want. You can approximate any smaller cartridge by judicious loading.
    Sorry; I'm not usually the voice of reason either. I'll shut up!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Moderator Emeritus


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    17 Hornet, 22 hornet or 222 in that order. Loaded to your level a 17 cal 25 gr still explodes things @ 2400 fps. Get a contender carbine bbl and you will soon have all 3.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I got a 22-250 and got it to shoot like a 22lr for the load and cast boolit .It works for me . It will have more use for what ever I want. Just a idea to give.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy pertnear's Avatar
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    Sounds like a .25-222 Copperhead is what you need.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...222-copperhead

    BTW: Howa makes a mini-bolt action perfect for this project. Reasonably priced too.
    Last edited by pertnear; 07-16-2019 at 02:37 PM. Reason: added BTW...
    Visit my fictional blog "The dr Chronicles" about a laid-back Texan named dr - Enjoy!

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    kinda had a good point there, 223 even with jacketed can be loaded all the way down to subsonic then its basically a 22, and it probably already has a twist more suited to reduced speeds. id atleast research and try some reduced loads. even if only to give you an idea what kinda specs you like

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy cumminsnut76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    I've never been a party pooper, but you already have what you need in the .223. Just load it to do what you want. You can approximate any smaller cartridge by judicious loading.
    Sorry; I'm not usually the voice of reason either. I'll shut up!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

    HAHA I totally agree but then where is the fun in not buying a new gun? lol
    "Life's tough......It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    -John Wayne

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad *** Wallace View Post
    One of my 'favourites' is a little 218 Mashburn Bee, my rifle built on a Cadet martini with a 20" barrel and weighs only 6 1/2 lbs with a 4x Pecar scope mounted!
    I have basically the same setup with a slightly different scope. It is a fun and accurate cartridge without the hangups of weak brass like the hornet (I have a couple of those too).
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    At one time CZ sold rifles chambered in 221 fireball which is a very accurate, but, short range round.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    If you load your 223 down to the velocity and pressure range that you indicated, it would be hard to tell from a 222 at that same level. The Hornet will be a bit more mild, as would a Bee or 221 fireball( name not withstanding).
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check