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!