220 swift change or stay

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by 1984nitro, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. 1984nitro

    1984nitro Well-Known Member

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    So here in a couple months I will be in the market to get a new barrel on my Ruger M77 Mark II chambered in 220 swift. The plan on using this rifle for long range coyote and rock chuck. I want to shoot heavy bullet fast. I am considering the 220 swift improved but not sure if there is something better to do the job. I would like to stay with the .224 but would consider 6mm calibers. Any input will help
    Thanks
    Eric
     
  2. LewisH

    LewisH Well-Known Member

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    I think you will be happier in the long run with a 6mm for that application. Fast twist 6mms with heavier bullets are very popular these days.
     

  3. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

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    I have a 243. win set up for those applications. Just trying to load up some 75 grain vmax around 3400 FPS.
     
  4. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    If you already have the dies and brass for the .220 Swift it would be easier/cheaper to stay that course. Going to the AI version would only cost you dies and maybe more brass, depending on how shot what you have is. Annealing may bring it back around.

    If you want a "new" barrel and really wanted to stay .224 cal then consider the .22-250 AI or .22-243 Middlestead. Both are hotrod .22's. Not sure of the shoulder angle of the Middlestead but the AI version of cartridges makes case stretching not an issue, so I've read. Die setup helps with this issue also.

    If you decide .243 cal, then there are a multitude of great 6mm's out there. Personally, I like the idea of owning a .243 AI. Don't overlook the 6-284 or 6-06, both high end 6's.

    The 6mm's will have a slight edge in the wind and at extended ranges (over the horizon :) ). Put all your choices on little pieces of paper, put them in a hat and let your wife choose. This way, down the road if you don't like it that much or want something else, blame it on her. She chose it for you! :) JohnnyK.
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    A lot of good suggestions.

    I have my own opinion like everyone else and this is what I would recommend.

    First = as far as .224 the swift is hard to beat in the velocity department. I have owned 22/250s
    220 Swifts,and my latest project was a 224 WSSM. it can out do the others in its class but not by
    that much over the Swift (100 to 200 ft/sec) depending on the bullets weight.

    As far as accuracy , the swift can produce some outstanding accuracy.

    If you already have a Swift and all the loading components I would stay with it. It doesn't
    need to be accurized (AI) and staying with the standard SAAME spec. has many advantages.

    With a good high quality barrel and chamber you won't be disappointed.

    There are Lot's of great cartridges available and if you want change then go for it ,but be prepared
    for some difficulty with feeding ,loading fire forming and other things that come with wildcats.

    They are sometimes worth the effort but in this case the Swift is hard to beat for trouble free
    shooting.

    If you want to shoot certain bullets then see what the barrel maker recommends and don't be
    talked into some that will limit you bullet selection.

    A 1 in 14 twist is the best all round twist and able to use all .224 bullets in the swift. something
    like the 223 rem needs a faster twist because of the lack of velocity with big bullets. In fact
    the Swift is fast enough to test the jackets on the lighter bullets.

    My .224 WSSM has a 1 in 15 twist and will destroy most 35 and 40 grain bullets because the
    velocity is over 4400 ft/sec with the 40 grain (The 40 grain ballistic tip) is the only one that
    does not come apart.

    Just my opinion for what it's worth.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. 1984nitro

    1984nitro Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for the great input.
    There has been some great choice mentioned on here. I am having a hard time stepping away from the swift. I know that when out coyote hunting in the Owyhee desert there is many chances for long range in the wind. I believe that it would be the best to step up the 6mm in something fast. But what do you thing if I stayed with the swift shooting the 75gn a-max our of 3 groove 28" barrel. Do think this combination would do the trick for say around 700yds or so on coyote?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  7. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    I have that same rifle. It is a Ruger M77 MKII. I love this rifle and it'll shoot better than I can hold it. My brother and I were out today and were rolling around a softball sized rock at 550 yards with it. That's pretty darn impressive for me. We were well pleased. I am shooting.....

    52 grn Sierra Matchkings HPBT
    38 grains IMR 4064
    CCI 250 lrg rfl Magnm primers
    Winchester Brass

    In my eyes the Swift will always be the king of the 22 calibers. Sure it has had its ups and downs, but it seems to be the golden standard. I loved it a while back when I overheard a guy and his wife talking. I heard him trying to talk his wife into letting him buy a 22-250. His word were, "This is a great gun and a good deal and its almost as fast as a 220 Swift." I chuckled to myself and thought "It may be almost as fast, but it still isn't a Swift."
     
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely.
    Also I have used a lot of 3 groove barrels from Lilja and have been impressed with all of them.

    The 6 groove barrels have worked well also.

    I would recommend the 1 in 9 twist if you want to shoot the 75 grain bullet "Only" But a 1 in 10 or a 1 in 12 if you want to shoot 55 to 65 grain bullets and the 1 in 14 for the lighter bullets.

    You can log on to the Lilja web site and look at his recommendations for your needs.

    I would stay with the 55 to 65grain bullets because most of the time you will be shooting less
    than 500 yards (It is hard to spot them even at that distance) and if you look at the ballistic
    tables the heaver bullets only come into there own past 400 to 500 yards.

    The 3 groove barrels are a little faster than the others (6 an 8 groove) but a little harder on
    bullets if the twist is to fast (7 an 8 twist).

    Unless you are very good at wind dope'ing even the .244 and 6.5s can be tricky at these
    distances (600 to 1000 yards).

    J E CUSTOM
     
  9. 1984nitro

    1984nitro Well-Known Member

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    Sound good thank you all for the information. I am seeing that there a lot of preference in what caliber and chamber to use. I guess the fact that I have all the brass and die make it hard to beat the 220 swift with a fast twist and heavy bullets. I would be really fun to go up to the 6mm but I am limited with bolt face and mag length.
     
  10. ReachnOut

    ReachnOut Well-Known Member

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    Bought a Remington Varmit in 220 Swift many years ago as a backup rifle during prairie dog hunts to give the custom bench guns a rest. Box stock, with the exception of a Jewell trigger it has come to be my all time favorite. After thousands of rounds it still gets the job done with flying colors all the way out to 600 plus. Just something about that Swift that spells fun.
     
  11. 1984nitro

    1984nitro Well-Known Member

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    So here is the next question. I'm trying to get the most out of this rifle so I want to go with the heaviest bullet that will make a difference. I was originally thinking of the 75gr a-max but am thinking of getting the 7" twist for the 90gr berger. Would it be worth it to shoot the 90gr bergers. Also does anyone know what the vel. would be.
    Thanks
    Eric
     
  12. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I have over a dozen 22 cal varmint rifles in most popular wildcats and standard calibers. The best I have used for long range considering all the factors of velocity/accuracy/barrel wear etc. is the 220 weatherby Rocket. It is a blown out 220 swift case that shoots the 52 grain nosler match bullet around 4100 fps with top accuracy. I have shot prarie dogs at 700 yards with that load so I don't think you will have trouble with coyotes at that range. It was Roy Weatherby's first wby wildcat. You can use your 220 swift brass and fireform. It is a wicked varmint rifle. It is so accurate I just call head shots on little doggies at a quarter mile.
     
  13. 1984nitro

    1984nitro Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE
    Again thank you everyone for all the input it has helped a lot.
    I end up going with the pac-nor 3groove 1-8" twist at 28" long in #6 contour. I had it chambered in 220 swift improved. I went with the improved over the normal because I don't think I'm going to be able to fit the 80gr amax in the the mag anyways. So feeding from a mag won't be a problem. I plan on using this rifle for coyotes and chucks and any other small animal so the extended case life of the improved will help a lot.
    Thanks
    Eric