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Thread: Savage 219

  1. #1
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    Savage 219

    It's cold outside, too much snow and I have cabin fever along with the wants for a 221 Fireball rifle.
    Two actions that have caught my eye are the short barrel rolling block in another thread and a Savage 219 I found today. It's a 22 Hornet and in very nice condition other than a rather ugly side mount scope arrangement.

    Can this be re-chambered to the Fireball cartridge?

    The goal is a decent shooter that I don't have to take out a loan to complete.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    A 219 or 219 Zipper Improved would be a much better choice because of the lower operating pressures, as the 221 Fireball operates at considerably higher pressures.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Yep. That and the need to figure out how to extract rimless cases.

    Have you considered .22 K-Hornet or .218 Bee (or its big brother .218 Mashburn Bee. Nips at the heels of the Fireball).

    For real exclusivity perhaps the R2 Lovell. (I'm being facetious there. Brass is darned hard to find.)

    Now's your chance to join the ranks of the wild-eyed wildcatters. You'll thank me (or hate me) if you follow through!

  4. #4
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    218 Bee sounds great for another project. Really it would be fun to do.

    But, I have the hot running wants for a 221 rifle. It's starting to look like I should find a Savage short action, 223 and rebarrel it. Might be the best way to go.

  5. #5
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    I would not go 221 on your 219. find that short action savage or a mini mauser action. much better and allow you to get the best from the 221

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have a 218 bee on a martini cadet action. 20" Shilen barrel sporter weight. the rifle and scope 2-7 redfield are around 6lbs and balance very nicely between the hands. Its a great walking rifle but is capable of 200 -250 yd shots if needed. I normally load a 45 grn bullet for it.

    There are alot of thee cadets out there in 22 hornet and 218 bee That were built on rimfire barrels. these require the sierra .222 dia bullets

  7. #7
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    I decided to take a second look at the Savage today. It's much better than I was remembering. Pretty much a safe queen, there's a wear ring near the muzzle indicating prolonged storage. Looking closely at the forearm, it is a replacement. It's shorter than the original and with just a tiny bit different finish.
    The 2.5x El Paso Weaver is nice. The mount looks clunky, I suppose I will get used to that. Aluminum trigger guard and no serial number.
    This one is going to stay a Hornet, it's too nice to modify.
    And I have only $75 actual money invested in it.
    I'll shoot it a bit this summer just to see how it does, this is my first Hornet, then it'll go back to safe queen status and inheritance for my daughter.

    Now, If I can just find that right action for a 221.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Have you seen what the prices are on these lately, I sure wouldn't do anything to it but shoot it. I saw one in .22 hornet, not as nice as yours, bring $600 recently. You could sell that gun, and buy a Savage short action, barrel and stock and have money left.

  9. #9
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    I love my 219 in the Hornet. I'd keep it as is.

    I doubt the extractor could be made to work with a rimless case and the pressures these are designed for are things like .30-30.

    They are great rifles, though.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    I wish I could just find a .22 Hornet barrel for mine. They are pretty rare. Personally I'd prefer the Hornet over the Fireball in the 219. The Fireball's advantage is greater MV, to enable longer shots, but the 219 isn't noted for the accuracy such shooting requires.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I've never ever heard of one chambered for a rimless cartridge. Not saying it couldn't be engineered, but it would be a PIA and the net result wouldn't justify it to me.

    I recently picked up one in .25-20. It should be a hoot, and thanks to Richhodg66 I now have the dies to load for it. Basic flat based .25 bullets with powder puff powder charges should be just the ticket for a backyard tin can/golf ball/Necco wafer shooting Rifle Frolic (and maybe the occasional bunny or squirrel or feral cat). Heck, I suppose I could load it up to magnum levels and slay small deer or dumb coyotes- which the OP can manage with a well regulated Hornet too.

    But first I need a chance to shoot up the 3 boxes of jacketed factory stuff that came with the gun so I have some empty brass to play with!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    I wish I could just find a .22 Hornet barrel for mine. They are pretty rare. Personally I'd prefer the Hornet over the Fireball in the 219. The Fireball's advantage is greater MV, to enable longer shots, but the 219 isn't noted for the accuracy such shooting requires.
    It's not that 219's have bad barrels, it's that they have mean triggers that are not amenable to adjustment. Kind of hard to make bughole groups when you're having to squeeze the trigger with a death grip that would make a boa constrictor proud.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Yeah, about the trigger. (Remembering that it's really a shotgun that they fitted with rifle barrels.) Tolerable for hunting deer with the .30-30 barrel, and varmints at fairly close ranges, but intolerable for trying to drop a woodchuck at 200 yards. For a single shot to do that kind of thing the old actions like the Winchester 1885 or Sharps Borchardt do far better. Better yet IMHO is the Stevens 44 1/2, of which I have a few. But they're not cheap, and to be honest I have a $250 (used) Savage/Stevens 200 bolter in .223 that outdoes them all after some minor rework.

    FWIW, you could make a rimmed .221 Fireball by forming from .222R brass. But why bother when the .222R itself is such an accurate cartridge in a rifle. The only reason the Fireball exists at all is the Remington 100, which was a "pistol" made on a shortened Rem 700 action.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  14. #14
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    This one has had professional trigger work, it breaks clean at 2 pounds. Right where I like it.
    I have several hundred 35/40 grain boolits, dies, I think, I need to inventory the die collection and some brass.
    All I need is patience to endure two more months of snow. In the mean time I can be looking for a box of factory ammo.

    For sure, the rifle is too nice to modify, as Koger says keep it's for it's value is increasing.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Envious of your light trigger pull! But, I would take the precaution of subjecting it to a "slam the butt on the ground" test to make sure it doesn't jar off.

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    I have a 219 with hornet 30 30 and 16 ga barrels in a case

  17. #17
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    I agree it could/would likely be OK and work for ya. But in these ol rifles some respect goes a long way and I feel a RIMMED case will better serve ya.
    Ultimate would be the 225 but brass is tough. Having that would allow you to sum
    Placate ballistics of nearly any 22 cf made today.

    But the Zipper is well known and brass is far easier to make from its parent case.

    I like the Hornet and Bee allot. My only Hornet today is a K. More for brass life then ballistics. But I have a few Bees and they will always be special.

    Good luck

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  18. #18
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    Just in case your tempted to test the trigger never ever dry fire a 219. I found out the hard way 60 years ago and my only source of parts was Stoeger. It took forever and a day to come and took some doins for a 15 yr kid with no experience or guidance to put the new one in.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowhouse View Post
    Just in case your tempted to test the trigger never ever dry fire a 219. I found out the hard way 60 years ago and my only source of parts was Stoeger. It took forever and a day to come and took some doins for a 15 yr kid with no experience or guidance to put the new one in.
    And do not pull the triger with it open! when you close it it will break. I have one I broke the pin on that way.
    We go through life trying to make the best decisions we can based on the best infomation we can find, that turns out to be wrong.

  20. #20
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    Great warnings, thank You
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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