220 Swift loads--opinions

RiverShooter

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
24
Location
Dalton, NH
Long live the Swift!!
Load it like a Swift - that means 55s @ 3800 or higher. It really is tough to beat the old 4064, but 760/H414 gets a little higher velocity for me. I almost always load the 55 grain bullets - Ballistic Tips, Vmaxs, Sierras- whichever shoots good in your rifle.
Oh yea.... Pics or didn’t happen !!!
Here’s my Cooper Jackson Game

View attachment 222797
View attachment 222799
Have been shooting 760 and 50 grain V-Max's for years in my Swifts. Superb accuracy and killing power.
 

436

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
1,010
Location
NorthWest
The .220 Swift has been dear to my heart for over 50 years. Over that time I've found "the load" that worked for me in near every .220 Swift I've shot it in. It started with Nosler book #3 page 131... I might mention at this point; I have all the Nosler reloading books as references and this load is scaled back too (37.0gr) after book #3 and doesn't show up before #3 in #1 or #2 I have no idea why (perhaps powder)(liability) because some folks tried to push it, it is safe as it stands in book #3 in all the rifles I fired it in, but... I digress; the load is a Nosler 55gr Ballistic Tip, CCI BR2 primer, Winchester brass, the powder is RL-15 (39.0gr) "you have to weigh out each charge; don't throw charges with powder thrower, the book shows velocity at 4050 fps, on my chronograph, Oehler 35P 3 sky screen fired from a Remington M700 26" barrel it was a consistent 4000 fps with their 55gr BT with 1/2 moa and better with five-shot groups at 100 yards, on Yote's it's a meat ax "way" out there. I did shoot a few Deer with the .220 Swift and that's another story,
Zero day 001.jpg
another bullet & load. Cheers.
 

Treeslug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
360
Location
New Braunfels, Texas
The .220 Swift has been dear to my heart for over 50 years. Over that time I've found "the load" that worked for me in near every .220 Swift I've shot it in. It started with Nosler book #3 page 131... I might mention at this point; I have all the Nosler reloading books as references and this load is scaled back too (37.0gr) after book #3 and doesn't show up before #3 in #1 or #2 I have no idea why (perhaps powder)(liability) because some folks tried to push it, it is safe as it stands in book #3 in all the rifles I fired it in, but... I digress; the load is a Nosler 55gr Ballistic Tip, CCI BR2 primer, Winchester brass, the powder is RL-15 (39.0gr) "you have to weigh out each charge; don't throw charges with powder thrower, the book shows velocity at 4050 fps, on my chronograph, Oehler 35P 3 sky screen fired from a Remington M700 26" barrel it was a consistent 4000 fps with their 55gr BT with 1/2 moa and better with five-shot groups at 100 yards, on Yote's it's a meat ax "way" out there. I did shoot a few Deer with the .220 Swift and that's another story,View attachment 223201 another bullet & load. Cheers.
You guys all have some beautiful rifles, but just think how much prettier those rifles would be if they had their bolts on the other side. You could all shave off one-quarter MOA if you shot left-handed. Don't ya hate that kinda talk!
 

Mike Matteson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
555
I use a load that's from a Sierra first reloading book. My barrel twist is 1-14 in M-98 24 1/2" length heavy. I didn't have a chronographs at the time, and haven't set one up to check the velocity yet. Sierra Manual shows 55gr SpFb, 39gr IMR 4064, @ 39gr. with a Rem 9 1/2 primer in Rem brass. Velocity shown @ 3900fps. This is extreme accurate load in my 220 Swift. I have been away from it for years, but now a have a new area to shot ground squirrels at. So I am going to put it back into action. Love that rifle even with a right handed bolt, and being left handed.
 

436

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
1,010
Location
NorthWest
The .220 Swift. One loves it or hates it, the truth is it's a remarkable cartridge for the varmint game, in some circles mythological. Me? I had a love affair with since the '60s with that said it's not my all-time favorite varmint cartridge, my go-to is my Weatherby Varmintmast MkV in .224 Wby Mag, which I believe I bought in 1971 "why" just because it falls right into the high end of the middle of everything else, and it a great shooter in so many ways... but I digress. One of the most interesting articles I read about the .220 Swift was one P.O Ackley in his book Volume 1 page 83 writes about testing the .220 Swift on a 1/2 inch armor-plate from the front of a U.S halt-track with three cartridges for a penetration test, a 100gr .270 Win, .30-06 Gov't A.P. and the .220 Swift 48gr factory load. The shots were fired at 30 feet, the .270 Win had no penetration the .30-06 Gov't A.P made shallow craters .070" and .098" deep respectively'..., the .220 Swift punch two holes right through it leaving holes of a 3/8" diameter in size, as I said mythological, but like all .220 Swift loads the key is always velocity, more is better, so to speak. As a Deer cartridge, I've killed Deer with one... but, I don't recommend it, the Deer I killed with it wasn't all that impressive when shot at ranges from 90 yards to 300 yards, with one complete failure on a very big Idaho Whitetail, luckily another hunting buddy picked him off in a canyon next to me, yet... I've seen a few dropped by others using a .220 Swift under 500 yards they hit the ground as though lighting hit them to quote P.O.Ackley, this was later on in life when better bullets came out. So if you are shooting the .220 Swift enjoy it, it is a great cartridge and in its own envelope hard to beat as a Yote rifle. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving to you guys and gals here.
 

Mike Matteson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
555
A buddy of mine has a .220 Swift and we are looking into doing some reloading for it, leaning towards a 50 SBK and either AA2700 or H-380.......looking at a load that will stay in a coyote. Open to suggestions as some of you forgot more than I know.....................thanks!!
I would go to a full metal jacket bullets (55grs). That way they don't come unscrewed on the other side of the coyote. Cheaper too, and it's my understanding that's what the pelt hunter are, or were using FMJ bullets. The other way is to slow the bullet velocity down. The swift wasn't built to go slow. I don't know what the twist rate your barrel is. I believe the the older rifles barrels are in 1-14 twist. New hot of the press 220 Swift, could be at higher rate of twists. Everybody it seem to be on a roll increasing the twist rate to push heaver bullets down the tube, and that find by me. My older reloading manual with Sierra only shows bullets up to 63grs. I can remember when Speer came out with a 70gr bullet. I still have the same box of them. I shot 1 to 3 of them using their reloading guide. Blow a primer out the back of the case. I never used them again. Unloaded the others and put back in the box. My brother was going deer hunting with us and all he had at the time was a 220 swift in Win model 53 if I remember correctly. I would get a reloading manual if you don't have one. I know my new Sierra manual shows a higher twist rate for the 220 swift which they slowed the 55gr bullet down a lot. It took me a bit to figure out why they had slowed down the 55 gr bullet. There twist rate increased on the 220 swift.
 

Calvin45

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
705
Location
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada
To elaborate on my brief recommendation....I played with a very finicky 220 swift once...tried other things, none of them did well. But the flat base 55 Nosler varmageddon over 38 grains of 4064 was the ticket. I had tried the 53 vmax because of the bc but it wouldn’t stabilize. IF I had the chance to play again I might try the 53 varmageddon. No boat tail. Higher bc. I’d also be curious about imr 4166 compressed. It’s slower burn rate but also denser so you can fit more in there. Copper erasing. Temp insensitive. Might work...

But the safe bet is a plain old 55 over plain old 4064.
 

436

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
1,010
Location
NorthWest
To elaborate on my brief recommendation....I played with a very finicky 220 swift once...tried other things, none of them did well. But the flat base 55 Nosler varmageddon over 38 grains of 4064 was the ticket. I had tried the 53 vmax because of the bc but it wouldn’t stabilize. IF I had the chance to play again I might try the 53 varmageddon. No boat tail. Higher bc. I’d also be curious about imr 4166 compressed. It’s slower burn rate but also denser so you can fit more in there. Copper erasing. Temp insensitive. Might work...

But the safe bet is a plain old 55 over plain old 4064.
Question; was your .220 Swift twist 1-14" ? I never used a .220 Swift in 1-14" but, I do have a Weatherby .224 Wby Mag with a 1-14" twist and it won't shoot anything heavier than a 52gr and love flat base bullets. What it really shot into one hole in their old Barnes 50gr VLC "blue coated" bullet, which is also a flat base, I have no idea why Barnes stop making them, I bought deep back then and have enough to last a lifetime for as much as I shot it.
Wby MK V Varmintmaster 22.250 rebarrel project 005 (1).jpg
 

Mike Matteson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
555
My 220 Swift is a 1-14 twist. I used 55gr flat base Sierra bullets. Velocity was somewhere around 3900fps. I didn't have a chronograph at that time. I never gone back and checked it. I feel I will get to that again next year.
 

436

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
1,010
Location
NorthWest
My 220 Swift is a 1-14 twist. I used 55gr flat base Sierra bullets. Velocity was somewhere around 3900fps. I didn't have a chronograph at that time. I never gone back and checked it. I feel I will get to that again next year.
Amazed that the 55gr'ers shoot so well in your rifle with a 1-14 twist, although I'm sure flat base bullets help in that combo.
 

Primary

LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.

 
 
Top