Building A 221 Fireball

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by tenwalker, May 7, 2010.

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  1. tenwalker

    tenwalker Active Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    I already have 2 Rem. 700 LVSF in 221 Fireball's and both are all factory except for Boyd Thumbhole Varminter stocks. I want to build a 3rd. Which when people ask why I respond "You Can Never Have Enough Prairie Dog Guns".
  2. MNbogboy

    MNbogboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2009
    Hi Dale,
    I know its about a year late answering your post but better late than never....

    Actually maybe you can help me out...I have had a set of RCBS 221 dies for about 35 years...A fellow bought them for me to reload for his XP-100....He sold his guns and moved to CA!....Well I often thought of building a Fireball and since Midway had a Shaw barrel on clearance I went for it....With the addition of the go gauge and a small bolt head it will be a simple matter for me to adapt it to one of my numerous Savages and give it a try...This will be my third Shaw barrel....I put a stainless sporter in 260 on a Savage and for three shot groups it does almost as good as my varmint Shilen.....I also have a shaw sporter 25-06 that shoots well under a minute...But that one won't keep up with the Douglas 1/4 bore once it warms up....

    As history goes; I used to load his .221 and my .222 Rem with IMR4198 and had good accuracy with both...But lately there is a lot of scuttlebut going on about Hodgdon's Lil'gun and I am considering trying it with the my new .221.....
    I haven't loaded anything small for a while since my .222 was stolen from my son's place in WI about 15 years ago (a beautiful Herter's U9 presentation grade)....

    I can't wait to get this one over the chrono...The difference between the 10" barrel of the XP-100 and the 24" Shaw should be significant if I remember right a 50gr out of the XP was somewhere between 2600 and 2700 fps...(In those days I shared a chrono with a friend and now it seems all those records are gone after several moves over the years)...According to some load info on reloaders nest & load swap the Fireball in a rifle should reach over 3000.....

    If it shoots good I might just pick up a model 10 or even a Stevens to throw it on...I know it will be a good caliber to start training some more of my grandkids with....I put together a .243 on a 110 for my oldest grandson last year and he took a doe with it in WI last Nov.....He got in on WI new 10 year old law and made good by it....

    It just sounds like a fun shooter...I sure appreciate and consider any info you or others have as a starting off point for the fireball...


    P.S. One of these days we are going to run into each other when I get down to Olsenville when I am visiting my wife's sister & brother-in-law..
  3. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    Some years ago, I built a .221FB on a short Sako action, 22" medium heavy barrel of unknown origin, Bishop AAA birds eye maple stock and put a Leupold 3-9 on top. It has always shot well with the 50 gr. Hornday SX over 17 gr. H322. This is a load I developed, not in the books. I have never chrono'd it but five shots at 100 yds consistently measure .5 MOA. The barrel was one of several my gunsmith took in trade in exchange for labor. The blank was a CM 1-14 twist, with no manufacturers stamp.
  4. strombeckj

    strombeckj Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    go to These guys live and breath small cal. stuff

  5. newhornet

    newhornet Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    I shoot a Trued and Head-spaced Remington 700 with the Factory LVSF Barrel. I load Lil' Gun to 15.0 grains behind a Hornady 45 grain, HORNET Bullet. I chronyed a few weeks ago and got speeds over 3200 fps. Just my 2 cents about the Lil' Gun. I also used it in a .22 hornet and .44 magnum. Very versatile powder.