221 Fireball

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Clay Target Guy, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Clay Target Guy

    Clay Target Guy Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  2. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    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!
     

  3. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. venatic

    venatic Well-Known Member

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    The 221 really shines with the 40gr bullets but ain’t to shabby with the 50’s. 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.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. Clay Target Guy

    Clay Target Guy Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  7. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. Clay Target Guy

    Clay Target Guy Well-Known Member

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    One more question,
    At what point in the process are you annealing?

    Thanks
    John
     
  9. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    I anneal before I run it through the sizer for the first time. It is the very first step in the process.
     
  10. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Well-Known Member

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    I have two .221FBs that are to be used for prairie dogs. Am experimenting with 32gr, 39gr, and 40gr pills. I can get >3000fps out of the 10.5" barrelled XP100, and >3500fps out of the 24" barreled rifle using L'il Gun. The pistol is noisy, but the rifle is pretty quiet.
     
  11. Dogmann

    Dogmann Member

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    I have some 221 factory ammo. But no Rifle.
    If anyone is interested in some 221 fireball ammo email or pm me.