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Thread: heavy for calibre bullets in .222

  1. #1

    heavy for calibre bullets in .222

    I had a bit of a play with some 60gr hornady soft points in the .222 the other day
    Its a factory barrel, chopped to around 20-21", 1:14 twist and "shouldn't" stabilise 60's

    I had good success with 100gr in a 1:10 .243 barrelled Parker Hale which equally shouldnt have worked so nothing ventured nothing gained.
    I chucked some 60gr .222 cartridges together in the lee loader and a rough scoop of around 21gr a while ago and shot a circa 3/4-1" five shot group so wanted to see what they would do if I pushed them and tried to measure charges
    interestingly they group 1+" higher than faster lighter bullets




    brass primers and powder as the other .222 loads I use (CCI400, norma, N133)
    targets at 130yds
    freezing cold day with a bit of a stiff breeze that picked up towards the end,
    my wet finger wind meter measured it at 10+mph rising to maybe 15mph

    started out with quite low charges as the combination of my rifle and Norma brass seems to hit max pressure well before the VV data in some loads.
    the first ones didnt seal at the neck properly, soorty shoulders, could have been hard cases but suspect it was low load)
    20.4gr,20.6gr, 20.8gr, 21.0gr and 21.2gr (numbered 1-5 on targets)
    VV data indicates a range of roughly 2750-3000fps for these loads
    The results were interesting (well to me at least!)
    two shots of each the lower charges so not ideal for group indication but still shows a clear pattern

    starting at just over 1" the "groups" shrank to 3/4",
    next one was 7/8" but I pulled the last shot on the left a bit so am pretty confident it would be smaller if repeated,
    if I only took the first two shots like the others they would be the two that are 1/2" apart,
    next group opened up to 1.5"
    then the next one jumped to just over 3"
    all the time the rounds are getting faster (so was the bloody wind and snow!)
    Al holes are perfectly round with no evidience of keyholing or tumbling, but clearly there is a sweet spot on speed but outside of this either the case doesn't obturate or the stability is very poor.







    all shot off sticks while standing on one leg and using my mobile phone and chewing gum....only joking...

    used the roof of the car and then discovered something had scratched the bloody paint!!
    Should have stuck with the sticks!
    Last edited by bewsher500; 28-03-2013 at 16:17.

  2. #2
    You eat to many Pizza's

    Neil.

  3. #3
    just doing my bit for recycling

  4. #4
    Interesting . . I would have thought the 60 grain would have been unstable in a 1-14 twist . . just goes to show, you never know unless you go.

  5. #5
    Interesting, they shouldn't work, but none of them went in sideways. I think you may be on the ragged edge.

    Rather sensitive to powder load, but early days, seating depth etc. and ladder testing might find a sweeter spot.

    Am interested in heavy bullets for small deer in my 12" twist .223 but never experimented. This encourages me to try.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Cadex View Post
    Interesting . . I would have thought the 60 grain would have been unstable in a 1-14 twist . . just goes to show, you never know unless you go.
    I'm surprised that this comes as a discovery because the 1:14" twist handles all standard soft points including the Sierra 63gr SMP.

    The .222 got it's reputation with the 50gr SP so most users tend to stick with that. It's very fast & flat out to 200yds plus where this cartridge shines, but there's no reason not to try the heavier bullets. There are plenty of good loads in the Sierra manual for these, and I've tried quite a few of these over the years.
    If I'm going to be accused of it then it's just as well I did it.

  7. #7
    my theory and thought process behind this is:

    a) they were free (thank you Peter!)
    b) a 60gr doing 2750fps has more energy than a 50gr doing 3000fps (1010fps vs 999fps MV so 3000fps is not enough for 50's to be legal!!) across the entire trajectory
    (if I wind that up to what I think they are doing which is roughly 2850-2900 it is closer to 1120ftlbs, which is roughly what a .243 100gr is doing at 200yds)
    c) the trajectory difference is negligible and they should be doing roughly the same speed at 100yds (I mostly shoot under 100yds)
    d) they are 20% heavier and will undoubtedly buck the wind better than a lighter bullet
    e) they were free
    Last edited by bewsher500; 28-03-2013 at 17:53.

  8. #8
    daft q but how do i check the twist in my cz 527 .222 varmint, tia
    "Seek the wisdom of ages, but look at the world through the eyes of a child"
    http://www.totally22.co.uk

  9. #9
    Interesting stuff.

    I zeroed on 55`s the other day, then moved onto 50`s and the group dropped 1/4 inch, which threw me a bit.

    Yesterdays deer were taken with the 50`s, so we`ll see how happy I am with them today when I get a better look at the damage.

    TBH only moved onto 50`s cause nobody has the sako 55`s that I usually use.

    Reloading is looking even more tempting.

    The above question about twist is not at all daft,, I`d like to know as well, and also how to determine max weight advised for said twist rate

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Spoony View Post
    daft q but how do i check the twist in my cz 527 .222 varmint, tia
    'Struth .... maybe use the CZ website?

    CZ-USA -> CZ 527 American


    Interesting stuff.

    I zeroed on 55`s the other day, then moved onto 50`s and the group dropped 1/4 inch, which threw me a bit.

    Yesterdays deer were taken with the 50`s, so we`ll see how happy I am with them today when I get a better look at the damage.

    TBH only moved onto 50`s cause nobody has the sako 55`s that I usually use.

    Reloading is looking even more tempting.

    The above question about twist is not at all daft,, I`d like to know as well, and also how to determine max weight advised for said twist rate
    As I understand it, the reason a lighter weight bullet (50gr opposed to 55gr) usually strikes lower is because it's quicker so exits earlier in the upward 'barrel flip' phase. Also, as it's usually travelling faster downrange than the heavier bullet (at a short distance anyway) it will strike beneath it on the target. There are two factors in play here.

    I shouldn't bother with the book theory on optimum twist rates, as they're often proved wrong in practice.

    It's NOT the weight of the bullet that's important, but the length and shape of it. If you examine them closely with a caliper you'll see that all the sporting .224 FBSP bullets from 50gr - 63gr vary very little in length - by design.

    If you use LONGER more aerodynamic shapes (boat tails with polymer tip inserts like Hornady 'A-MAX' or Nosler 'Ballistic Tips') in the intermediate weight ranges (52-55grs) then the critical length is much the same. The standard 1:14 twist rate still works fine.

    Once you try HEAVIER and LONGER match type boat-tail bullet shapes (65 - 80grs) in .222 or .22-250 (or even the 62gr standard ammo NATO M109 in .223) then at some point the standard twist-rate isn't fast enough, and in flight 'yaw' sets in. I've found that providing you stick to the standard flat-based SP shape there's no need to worry about twist.

    I have used the Speer 70gr SP at 2800 FPS in my 24" .222 and got 1.2" groups with it. No tumbling or cartwheeling over the distance to the 100yd target . It looks very odd and stumpy, but despite the weight it's only 20mm in length. It is actually shorter than the 52gr Hornady A-Max - which didn't group as well BTW.
    If I'm going to be accused of it then it's just as well I did it.

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