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Thread: 222 Remington versus 223 Remington - why one over the other?

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master

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    In off the shelf factory rifles I dont think you will see much difference accuracy wise. In a accuracy built custom rifle I think the 222 will win by a little bit. I have had 222s in bolt actions that were real tack drivers. First rifle was a savage 110 in 222 I used full power jacketed for varmints and a lead 55 grn loaded down for squirrels. It was a moa rifle. I have shot 223 in HP matches ARs built for accuracy with fast twist barrels to use 75 and 80 grn bullets again very accurate barrels and the slightly larger volume helps with the heavier bullets. Both can and are very accurate. As has been said for many years the 222 held a lot of records. Its a nice mild mannered round with easy recoil and muzzle blast. They normally shoot very well.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    In off the shelf factory rifles I dont think you will see much difference accuracy wise. In a accuracy built custom rifle I think the 222 will win by a little bit. I have had 222s in bolt actions that were real tack drivers. First rifle was a savage 110 in 222 I used full power jacketed for varmints and a lead 55 grn loaded down for squirrels. It was a moa rifle. I have shot 223 in HP matches ARs built for accuracy with fast twist barrels to use 75 and 80 grn bullets again very accurate barrels and the slightly larger volume helps with the heavier bullets. Both can and are very accurate. As has been said for many years the 222 held a lot of records. Its a nice mild mannered round with easy recoil and muzzle blast. They normally shoot very well.
    You said it. For a while in the 1950s the .222 was a primo benchrest cartridge. The .223 never has been.

    I've always liked that long neck, which is more friendly to cast bullets.
    Eleutheromaniac

  3. #23
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    I had boring 198? vintage Savage 340 . I shot Rem , FC , Win , and Hornady 50 gr SP , nickle groups at 100 . 4/5 touching the 5th went a little wild but was well within the 1" grid with a 62gr NOE 225-55 at 2640 fps over 19 gr of H322 . 1-12" twist .

    223 same everything cast in a Savage Axis and Stevens 200 both with 1-8" shot about 2" on 20 gr and only 2130 fps before groups completely fell apart . Same results in 3 ARs with both A2 and M4 profiles in 1-8" twists .

    Final impressions the 222 delivered better results with cast , going faster on less powder but I expect results would be a dead heat with equal twists and the only advantage being burning less powder .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

    I was young and stupid then I'm older now. Me 1992 .

    Richard Lee Hart 6/29/39-7/25/18


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    Brother I'm going to be Pythagerus , DiVinci , and Atlas all rolled into one soon .

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Harter66, what was the alloy used? I have a nice Sako L46 in 222, with a 1 in16, bet it will shoot that load as well. Shoots the old 19.5 4198 and a 50 like it thinks it's a bench gun, but I want a cast load. Just gotta get rountuit, kinda back burner for now.
    “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

  5. #25
    Boolit Bub
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    Im a fan of the triple duece. The advantage of the 223 would be off the shelf availability

  6. #26
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    One of my regrets over the one that got away was a beautiful Sako L46 Vixen in 222. Great rifle, great cartridge. In the caliber .22 they should have quit right there. I have owned several hot 22s like 219 Zipper improved, .219 Donaldson and a .225 Winchester which I still have. All too loud and and in my opinion not needed. That's my opinion and I am sticking to it.
    A GUN THAT'S COCKED AND UNLOADED AIN'T GOOD FOR NUTHIN'........... ROOSTER COGBURN

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gewehr-Guy View Post
    Somewhere I read a comment that the good old 30-06 was a perfectly proportioned and balanced cartridge, and that Browning scaled the dimensions up to make the .50 BMG cartridge, and if you study the .222 Rem it appears to be just a small 30-06 case!
    Mike Walker of Remington scaled down the 30-06 to create the 222. It has been the basis of the 223, 222 mag, 17 Rem, 221, 17 Fireball, 300 BO and a whole bunch of other wildcats, esp the TCU contender cartridges.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  8. #28
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    There would be no 223/ 5.56 if the long neck on 222 lent itself to full auto weapons. The 222 is one of those classics that would still be popular except the 223 and ARs have taken over. I don’t think there is enough difference in the two to make much difference. I do think 222 is more accurate on average because of the long neck.

  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy Rapidrob's Avatar
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    I had the honor of knowing the first man in NRA history who fired five shots into the same hole at 200 yards in the 50's using the .222 Remington cartridge.
    My wife's go-to rifle for varmint hunting is a .222 Remington Riihimaki Sako. It is one fine shooting rifle at long range.
    When the U.S Army was looking for a new cartridge they knew the accuracy of the .222 Remington but it lacked the ability to penetrate a helmet at long distance ( 500 yards ) so working with Stoner/Remington the cartridge developed was the .222 Special *which could do he job. It was later ( in 1959 ) renamed to the .223 Remington. The rest is history.
    *The other cartridges tested were:
    .224 Winchester
    .224 Springfield
    The .222 special was designed in part by Remington working with Stoner.
    With that being said, the .222 Remington with its longer neck is more accurate but for a military cartridge the .223 has the longer range wanted by the U.S Army and is almost as accurate.
    While the .222 Remington can be loaded to a much higher pressure to achieve the penetration needed by the Army, pressures were deemed to be too high to be safe in combat conditions.

  10. #30
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Did anyone mention what the limits are for feet per second with cast boolits without gas checks and boolits with gas checks for the 222 Remington?

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy
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    Now you got me going to get my L46 action Marlin 322 Heavy Barrel rifle out
    of the back of the safe and "exercise it" again. The Marlin microgroove crapped out at under 1K rounds
    on PDs in South Dakota, rebarrelled with Douglas Premium 12 twist barrel. Great gun. Shot very well with Hornady 55SX.
    Looking at lead bullets for it.
    Now, OTOH, I since had built up a rifle with Savage 110LH single shot action with a Douglas Premium 12 twist,
    Herters TargVar stock. Caliber 223. This rifle, with same 55SX bullets would do 0.4" groups at 100yds
    Of course higher velocity than the ol L46 222. Did PDs with the 223 way out there.
    Again, I am looking now at the L46 Marlin322 and do some lead bullet work with it.
    beltfed/arnie

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy
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    Oh, interestingly, my Marlin 322 was purchased from Klein's Sporting Goods back in 1958 by
    a good friend $88 as I recall. He mostly shot 22 cal pellets /primed only cases in his basement with it. We were in high school at the time.
    I shot as said, I shot out the microgroove barrel on PDs in S.D. they were known to have short life in 222R. and had to rebarrel it.
    beltfed/arnie
    Last edited by beltfed; 03-24-2020 at 06:17 PM. Reason: add a note.

  13. #33
    Boolit Buddy
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    I don't think you can go wrong with either one.
    I like the .223 simply because it is a military cartridge.

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy
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    Correction, .556 minor different but it is there.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master dh2's Avatar
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    I have nothing against the 222 but being around Army bases for the last 30 years made the choice for me 223 brass is in good availability I have had a bolt action 223 that has done most of my varmint hunting , and now AR-15 , so to me that takes away the appeal of the 222 for me, I have in resent years got a 220 Swift and built a 22-250 Rem. AI but still feel 90% of varmint hunting shoots can be done with the 223 and I have not found a place in the world that ammo was not available

  16. #36
    Boolit Buddy
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    At the range where I volunteer, the 223 is favored by those who want brass that's easy to find and once fired brass is cheap. But even they describe the 222 as inherently more accurate. "You have to work at it to make a 222 inaccurate." is commonly heard when the two cartridges are compared.
    I'm a varmint shooter, so I have a pair of 22-250's.

  17. #37
    Boolit Grand Master
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    With bullets from 50-55 grains from twenty years ago the .223 had the slight edge in range and power, the .222 had the edge in accuracy. With modern bullets of 55+ grains, the .223 with its quicker available twist is the way to go.

    I have had a few rifles in both calibers, honestly for field use I could never see any difference in performance. As for coyotes at 400+ yards, that is .22-250 (or bigger) territory not .223 to me.

    With all that said, I had a Remington Model 788 in .222 Remington that would put five shots under a nickel at 150 yards prone with sling, on demand (I could see pretty good in my younger years). I wish I still had that rifle, everything I shot at that had fur just died. I replaced it with a 788 in .223, it never shot as well as the deuce. Not that it was a poor shooter, it just didn't measure up to the .222.

    Robert

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    I shoot both in either bolt or single shots (semi-autos are a separate subject) and my experience has been that the 222 has been much easier to cast for than the 223 which I can only attribute to the 222's longer neck. In my case my 222's (all three) have preferred a round nose boolit at any velocity up to 2200 fps. On the other hand, my 223 bolt gun. a T/C Venture only wants a semi-point boolit with a small meplat at a velocity of about 2100 fps (but not slower) and is so accurate at 100 yards that it outshoots jacketed bullets at velocities several hundred feet per second faster. Unlike the 222's that took to CB's like a duck to water, it took well over a year and several molds to find that sweet spot for CB's with the 223 bolt gun. It was a very frustrating but very satisfying adventure with the 223 bolt gun. Both my 222's and 223's are all sub MOA at 100 yards when my eyes are having a good day. FYI - I have a 223 single shot that won't shoot any CB's over 1400 fps accurately proving that every rifle barrel seems to have a unique personality.

  19. #39
    Boolit Buddy 444ttd's Avatar
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    in the early '90s, i used to have a savage m340 in 222 rem with a 6x scope(i think it was bushnell?). i loaded up some 6000-7000 rounds in 50gr hornady sp and 4198(have to check my book). i bought the 340 used, so i cannot tell you how many cartridges or reloads were used. in the three or four years i had her, i did some fantastic shots. (hey i was young once) the furthest shot that i used was 475+/-ish yards on a groundhog. the electric fence was 450 yards from my spot, the woods line was 500 yards. there was no laser range finder thingys back in the day. the wind was nil and it was HOT!!! the first shot(dirt plume) was way under the groundhog. i adjusted my aim and then i shot the second time. the dirt plume was over the groundhog. the groundhog kept eating, so i adjusted a little bit and shot. the groundhog spirit ascended into sky while the rest of her went "wha..............". i shot her in the shoulder so she didn't go anywhere, bang...flop.

    the 340 was a dream to shot. 1/4 - 3/8" at 100 yards(5 shots) was normal for it. but in the end, 1 - 2" groups then it had to go. the throat was burned out and the last 5 or 6" of barrel looked smooth. the gunsmith(who was a friend) said just get another barrel, but being young and dumb, i sold her. i've had 223 and 22-250 and ai version(which was accurate as !@#$) but it wasn't no 222. i've gotten rid of .22 calibers(just have the 22 lr's) and i've have a 20 vartarg with 34gr (midway or midsouth) hp and some rel7 and i'm golden. i have to take my chrony out, but its going 3500-3600fps. careful handloading(neck trimming, weigh the case, weigh the bullet nosler or hornady 32gr, trim exactly....) and it go 1/8" at 100 yards(5 shots). i don't do that anymore, so i'll trim them if i have too, gave up on bench rest primers(i use whatever small rifle primers i have on hand)......and the reloads go 1/4 - 3/8" with an occasional 1/2" at 100 yards. the furthest shot that the 20vt makes is 320ish yards, but mostly its 200-250 yard shot. i've laid out groundhogs, foxes, a 'yote or two (or three or four), feral cats and dogs, cans, rocks.........whatever.

    for people who ask what is a 20 vartarg?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.20_VarTarg
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  20. #40
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    R King sorry I'm not getting reply notices .
    I'm using a 75/25 of WW and tamper seals that are believed to be 1-20 w/about 4.5% copper in solution . It is odd but I can get an alloy that does the same with range cores over 40% plated bullets . I water drop and get a bullet of about 18bhn that acts like a 22 in the barrel and 14 on target . Copper induction by solution is the only rational explanation . These are commonly antipilferage seals on GI ammo cans , NPG gas regulators where a lead seal is used and on gasoline pump counters .

    Old Bear Hair
    I am getting 2640 fps in a 24" 1-14" with an NOE 225-55@62 gr, I believe now marked 225-62 FP . Just a plain Hornady check , the alloy above and Darrs lube with extra paraffin and STP .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

    I was young and stupid then I'm older now. Me 1992 .

    Richard Lee Hart 6/29/39-7/25/18


    Without trial we cannot learn and grow . It is through our stuggles that we become stronger .
    Brother I'm going to be Pythagerus , DiVinci , and Atlas all rolled into one soon .

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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