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221 Fireball

 
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  #1  
Old 10-28-2013, 11:55 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 83
221 Fireball

I had a 221 Fireball years ago and sold it, I have always wanted another one. Well I stumbled into a Remington 700 LVSF 221 Fireball the other day and grabbed it. In my old Fireball I always shot 50 gr bullets.

Buddy of mine has one and he was telling me that he shot nothing but 40's out of his.
I have several 50 gr bullets as that is what my 223 likes. I am thinking (if I can find them) it makes sense to load up on one bullet for both guns and call it good.

My question is starting from scratch, would you shoot 40 gr or 50 gr bullets. This will be used for varmint, paper, and play. Not looking for a barn burner load as far as speed goes but figure I should be able to get 3000 with the 50's and around 3150-3200 with the 40's.

Thanks for the input, in advance
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2013, 04:07 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sedalia, MO
Posts: 1,253
Re: 221 Fireball

Clay Target Guy,

The 50s will give you great results in a 221FB, but try to stick with the thinner jacketed versions for this cartridge. It doesn't generate the velocities that the bigger cases do, so you need a "softer" bullet to get decent terminal performance. Easy to get good accuracy, uses very little powder, low noise levels and virtually no recoil, it's a great little round in a rifle. You'll like it!
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Kevin Thomas
Lapua USA
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2013, 05:15 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 291
Re: 221 Fireball

I bought the same gun a few years back, Remington Light Varmint Stainless Fluted in 221 Fireball. Very inconsistent POI. I'd get little groups but they were all over the place on the target. I discovered the synthetic stock was giving random points of contact on the barrel. I folded a business card and stuffed it under the front of the forestock and got the same POI.

Swaped out the POS synthetic stock with a Boyd's Thumbhole Laminate. Wow, what a difference. Now it shoots little bug hole groups. Far and away my favorite load for this gun is the Nosler 40 grain Ballistic Tip using Reloader #7 powder and Federal primers.

I also reform my own brass from 223 military brass. This link will show my process. It looks somewhat tedius but it's not that bad.

I finally got around to it - 223 to 221 Fireball (pic heavy) - Shooters Forum

I've spent quite a bit of time with this gun and sent lots of bullets down the barrel. It's a fun gun to shoot and you get many, many, many reloads from the brass. This is it.

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  #4  
Old 10-29-2013, 10:34 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 16
Re: 221 Fireball

The 221 really shines with the 40gr bullets but ainít to shabby with the 50ís. I settled on AA1680 for the 40gr and as mentioned Reloder 7 is a good choice for 50gr.
From a 22 inch barrel I get 3450fps with the 40gr bullets and have killed quite a few predators with my CZ.
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2013, 05:37 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 291
Re: 221 Fireball

venatic - I clicked on your photo and looked at your album. Man you are in a target rich environment. Good for you. Looks like the bobcat population might be on the decline. I bet the critter post office has your picture on the wall with a tag line ... public enemy number 1.

I recommended a CZ Fireball to a buddy of mine and he has taken tons of groundhogs with it on his farm in PA. Nice gun. What kind of glass you using?

I tried 1680, H110, LilGun 4198 and some others. There was not a bad powder among them but I got best accuracy with #7. The Fireball is an easy cartridge to load.
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2013, 08:44 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 83
Re: 221 Fireball

Flashhole, I went to your link and read it, very well done.
I have a few questions:
1) The first die you run your brass thru, is it just a standard FL 221 fireball die?
2) at any point do you ever anneal your brass?

Thanks

John
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:19 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 291
Re: 221 Fireball

Clay Target - Thanks for the good words.

Yes, the first die is a standard 221 Fireball FL sizing die. I have two sets of 221 dies and I found the RCBS FL die works better than the Hornady FL die.

When I first started reforming I was not annealing. I do anneal now and get less fallout. Out of 50 cases I will lose 3 or 4 to neck splits. I don't start with high quality brass, just military grade stuff I pick up at the range. I don't sweat it if I lose a few ... they're free.

Commercial 223 brass is a bit softer than military brass but the web is not as thick and since I ream and turn the neck I prefer the brass to be thicker at the start. They come out quite uniform and last a really long time. Primer pockets give up the ghost before anything else does.
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