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What is the fastest cartridge?

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Unread 11-18-2003, 10:57 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 374
Re: What is the fastest cartridge?

Seems to me that back in the summer there was an article in the American Rifleman were a hyper-velocity gun being tested by the military with an Acetyl Delrin (ie, hard structural plastic) projectile was fired at 27,000 fps. That would pretty much minimize the drop chart, eh?

For an off the shelf gun though , a 220 swift is the king of speed. I have one that shoots quite well with the factory heavy SS barrel on it but I don't shoot it any where near the numbers listed above. It has a supposed 26" barrel but it's a ported version so the real barrel length is about 23". It runs in the 3700's with a 55gr and yes, the 50's and 40 go faster but I like the heaviest weight the 14 twist will shoot. If I was interested, I know it will shoot faster than that, but watching a shot at 400 yds from a 22 hit a steel plate before the gun recoils far enough to loose sight of it in a 32 power scope is fast enough for me.

I had a 22-250 that actually had a 26" barrel with no porting and it was faster than my swift. It just didn't shoot as well so I sold it. The 22-250 however, IMHO, is a better round and is easier to get to shoot well. It is just as fast, and get's more speed / gr of powder than the swift without the Pain in the ___ rimmed case of the swift. (Rim is larger than the head of the case). Had I known how hard they were to feed in a magazine, I would have gotten another 22-250. It's the only carry gun I own now, and I wish it fed ammo better. Many times cases stick in the mag. Other than that, it's a ton of fun to shoot, and a site cheaper than the 30 cals I have for plinking.

Remington hasn't made the VSSF with a P for a few years now. (the factory ported version). It's a shame because it's an awesome gun out of the box. I have 500 yard 5 shot groups of 2" and under hanging on my reloading room wall shot off a bipod with no rear rest from this gun. It's a little reworked and bedded and has a nice Burris 8-32 scope but it still has the Rem barrel and stock and reworked factory trigger. I get almost 200 rds out of a pound of powder and a box of Nosler BT 55's is $30/250. Not too bad for someone shooting on a budget. (My budget #'s a little liberal)

The gun has around 1200 rds through it and shows no sign of groups opening up yet. It was factory freebored pertty long so I don't know if the throat has moved or not, not that I would care. I know people say freebore is not conducive to accuracy but in my experience, I see nothing wrong with it.
If you have something that you disassemble and reassemble enough times, sooner or later, you'll have two!
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Unread 11-18-2003, 11:56 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 810
Re: What is the fastest cartridge?

I had a 220 swift many years ago that was my prarie dog gun, i loaded the 45 spitzer with 414 and you could see a vapor trail of sorts, cronoed at 4400. My 50BMG with 150gr 30cal bullets in Sabos with 260grns of 4831 cronoed at 5200, bullets went all over the place, but they got there in a hurry where ever that was, [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

"Let the good times roll"
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Unread 11-19-2003, 12:45 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Bountiful, Utah
Posts: 71
Re: What is the fastest cartridge?

The .220 Swift is the fastest factory round, at 4200 fps.

The 22 Chetah gets up to 4285 fps using a 50 grain bullet and a necked down .308 cartridge.

The .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer hit over 5000 fps, based upon the .378 Weatherby in the 60's by P.O. Ackley.

I've seen two reports of +5100 fps speeds, one with a 22-243 Middlestead and the other with a 22-250AI.

Mark in Utah
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Unread 11-19-2003, 12:54 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montana
Posts: 259
Re: What is the fastest cartridge?

I have a 220 swift AI. Have shot 40gr.BT's at 4850fps but the bullets don't hold together. Pressure is still moderate and plenty of room in case for more powder I'm sure they would top 5000. I have been meaning to try some other bullets without plastic tips, I think that is the problem.
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Unread 11-19-2003, 05:53 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Casper Wy
Posts: 1,377
Re: What is the fastest cartridge?

The fastest I have gotten my Mach5(375/50BMG) to go is 4450 with a 250 grain Barns in front of 208 grains of 872(It is just verly MOA at this speed).Klause claimed 5300fps out this critter.
"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
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Unread 11-19-2003, 07:46 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,757
Re: What is the fastest cartridge?

22/284 with a 30" barrel and 40 gr Bullets will get you "over" 5000 FPS.

Don't blink your eyes at 500 yards or you'll miss the hit.

Ask John Smith at Williamsport about it.

DC [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
Darryl Cassel
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Unread 11-19-2003, 08:35 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: DFW Texas
Posts: 155
Re: What is the fastest cartridge?

Absolutely amazing!!! Keep the info coming.

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