which small cf round

Deerstalker6

Well-Known Member
Good Afternoon All,

I currently am just looking into getting a vermin/fox capable small cal centrefire in the summer that's between my wmr and 243,

I don't currently home load for my 243 as yet, This may change in the future though.

I was just wanting a recommendation for a small cf that's going to be used for static shooting mainly vermin but fox capable out to
250 yds shooting distances, but is good for a beginner or for someone new to reloading that's easy to reload for.

Any help appreciated thanks

AJ
 

stubear

Well-Known Member
A couple of friends of mine have .220 Swift - thats a lovely cartridge. Basically zero recoil but with tremendous velocity and accuracy. You can get ammo for it but its hard to find and when you do find it its pricey, so reloading would probably be a good idea.

.22-250 has about the same energy as the Swift but in a short action cartridge. Ammo is easier to find but I have heard it is nice to load for.

Others are .222 or .223 - Less energy than the Swift or .22-250, easy to find ammo for and nice to reload for. Another mate of mine reloads for his .223 AR and love it.

Having fiddled about with some reloading and just found a good load for my .300WM (because I use this rifle for range work as well as hunting and bugger paying £40 a box for ammo and then blasting through two boxes on a Sunday morning) my advice, albeit far from expert advice, would be:

1) Always full length size your brass. Dont bother just neck sizing as eventually the shoulders will come out and your rounds will start to jam in the chamber. JMHO and all that.
2) Personally I haven't found any benefit from faffing about with COAL. Hunting rifles seem to have fairly long throats so they can accommodate lots of different ammo so I just load to SAAMI max length and leave it at that.
3) If your charge weight range is 40-50gn of powder then just load one of each load at 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45 (as you're very unlikely to be over pressure at the bottom part of the range) and then go up in 0.5 grain increments from there. These loads are purely to check for pressure signs not for accuracy. Shoot these before you start testing for accuracy.
4) Assuming you have no pressure signs at any charge level (which hopefully you wont) then I tend to load three to five of each from the mid range charge weight to max load and check these for accuracy.
5) Most factory ammo will give you 1 MOA accuracy so as long as your home loads are giving you 1 MOA or under you're doing well and this will be more than accurate enough for hunting. Hopefully you'll get sub MOA accuracy.
6) Factory ammo is a good guide as a place to start when you start loading. If your rifle really likes 150gn .308 factory ammo then starting out with 150gn bullet heads is probably a good bet.

Hope thats of some use!
 

bobjs

Well-Known Member
yup.

love my 20 tac (posh 204 that uses less powder) easy to load for and I have yet to meet anything that's out run it ;).

very simple load too.

rl10x 23gr
lapua brass formed to 20 tac,
cci small rifle primer
39 or 40 gr pill Hornady of nosler's

and as the man above has said well capable out to and beyond 250 on foxes ( my best is 410 yards) no recoil or lose of sight picture.

204/20 tac/20 prac etc. they all do the same job.

top ones a sako 20 tac with a drone
bottom is a tikka 20 tac with a Zeiss on for long range vermin bashing

bob.
 

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bobjs

Well-Known Member

Sonicdmb73

Well-Known Member
Good Afternoon All,

I currently am just looking into getting a vermin/fox capable small cal centrefire in the summer that's between my wmr and 243,

I don't currently home load for my 243 as yet, This may change in the future though.

I was just wanting a recommendation for a small cf that's going to be used for static shooting mainly vermin but fox capable out to
250 yds shooting distances, but is good for a beginner or for someone new to reloading that's easy to reload for.

Any help appreciated thanks

AJ
I started with a 243 as my only CF rifle fed it home loaded 55 then 58gn bullets. Working up to 87 Vmax as my only fox load in that calibre. I have used quite a few different calibre’s over the years. But when I came to buy one to fill the same gap as you. I bought a 222, inherently accurate and relatively easy to load for. Or 223 in a 9” twist if you want a bit more choice for bullet weights.
However for out and out vermin/fox rifle. I will add to the 20 calibre recommendations. My 20 Tac is very accurate the lad I got it off was shooting rabbits at 600m with it. There’s no loss of sight picture. And it is devastating on foxes. A 20 practical is slightly easier to make brass for. But either is based on 223 there’s no shortage of decent brass to make it from.
Load wise I shoot a 50 grain Berger at 3380fps with AA2520 and federal match primers.
There’s a lot of choice out there realistically most will do what you want.
222 would definitely fit your job.
A standing joke is its harder to find a load that doesn’t work. Than one that does. Even losing many of the usual favourite powders. There’s plenty of suitable ones still. A 40 Vmax over Vihtavuori N130 for instance. Or N133 for a 50 soft point and you’re small deer legal too.
 

25 Sharps

Well-Known Member
A couple of friends of mine have .220 Swift - thats a lovely cartridge. Basically zero recoil but with tremendous velocity and accuracy. You can get ammo for it but its hard to find and when you do find it its pricey, so reloading would probably be a good idea.

.22-250 has about the same energy as the Swift but in a short action cartridge. Ammo is easier to find but I have heard it is nice to load for.

Others are .222 or .223 - Less energy than the Swift or .22-250, easy to find ammo for and nice to reload for. Another mate of mine reloads for his .223 AR and love it.

Having fiddled about with some reloading and just found a good load for my .300WM (because I use this rifle for range work as well as hunting and bugger paying £40 a box for ammo and then blasting through two boxes on a Sunday morning) my advice, albeit far from expert advice, would be:

1) Always full length size your brass. Dont bother just neck sizing as eventually the shoulders will come out and your rounds will start to jam in the chamber. JMHO and all that.
2) Personally I haven't found any benefit from faffing about with COAL. Hunting rifles seem to have fairly long throats so they can accommodate lots of different ammo so I just load to SAAMI max length and leave it at that.
3) If your charge weight range is 40-50gn of powder then just load one of each load at 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45 (as you're very unlikely to be over pressure at the bottom part of the range) and then go up in 0.5 grain increments from there. These loads are purely to check for pressure signs not for accuracy. Shoot these before you start testing for accuracy.
4) Assuming you have no pressure signs at any charge level (which hopefully you wont) then I tend to load three to five of each from the mid range charge weight to max load and check these for accuracy.
5) Most factory ammo will give you 1 MOA accuracy so as long as your home loads are giving you 1 MOA or under you're doing well and this will be more than accurate enough for hunting. Hopefully you'll get sub MOA accuracy.
6) Factory ammo is a good guide as a place to start when you start loading. If your rifle really likes 150gn .308 factory ammo then starting out with 150gn bullet heads is probably a good bet.

Hope thats of some use!
22-250 / 220 Swift is virtually a .243 with .224 bullet, so the OP could load 58 / 55 gr .243 and get identical performance.

I'd go 0.223 or if you fancy something a bit different and happy to reload .222 or .204.
 

Sonicdmb73

Well-Known Member
22-250 / 220 Swift is virtually a .243 with .224 bullet, so the OP could load 58 / 55 gr .243 and get identical performance.

I'd go 0.223 or if you fancy something a bit different and happy to reload .222 or .204.
I stand to be corrected but as far as I’m aware. There’s been problems with availability of 204 Ruger brass etc.
A 20 Tac or Practical is probably a better choice if you’re going to reload anyway.
My rifle with dies some bullets and cases was less than I would of spent on a new rifle in 222 or 223.
Unfortunately for those selling the market for custom rifles holds less secondhand value than many factory ones.
Especially in the wildcat calibre’s, you can potentially pick up a lot of rifle for your money.
I certainly did.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
3) If your charge weight range is 40-50gn of powder then just load one of each load at 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45 (as you're very unlikely to be over pressure at the bottom part of the range) and then go up in 0.5 grain increments from there. These loads are purely to check for pressure signs not for accuracy. Shoot these before you start testing for accuracy.


Hope thats of some use!
Only thing I would add - when doing this stage, well worth shooting them at at least 100m, preferebly 200m if you can. And take your time so that each shot is taken from a cold barrel etc. In effect you are doing a ladder test. Chances are you will find a node where two or three adjacent loads seem to cluster - this will give you the starting point for loading up more rounds for accuracy testing.

Doing it this way you can probably get an accurate enough hunting load with just ten to fifteen rounds. Important when using premium type bullets that are costing over £1 each.
 

25 Sharps

Well-Known Member
I stand to be corrected but as far as I’m aware. There’s been problems with availability of 204 Ruger brass etc.
A 20 Tac or Practical is probably a better choice if you’re going to reload anyway.
My rifle with dies some bullets and cases was less than I would of spent on a new rifle in 222 or 223.
Unfortunately for those selling the market for custom rifles holds less secondhand value than many factory ones.
Especially in the wildcat calibre’s, you can potentially pick up a lot of rifle for your money.
I certainly did.
And conversely lose money when you sell it on.


And my RFD has Hornady and Nosler on the shelf.

Or buy 100 factory, choot ‘em


Don’t disagree that wildcats can offer good value for money but for a new reloader I don’t think they’re a good idea, an established cartridge with plenty of published data is a far better bet.

For pure availability of brass and bullets .223 is the sensible option and as someone else has said a 1:9 twist gives the option of a fair spread of bullet weights
 
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