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  #1  
Old 12-16-2009, 06:52 AM
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220 swift or 223 wssm


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I've already got

204 ruger
222 rem
222 rem mag
223 mini 14
22 250

for some reason I've got an itch to get another ?

which would be better and why ?

thanx
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2009, 07:28 AM
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I'd choose the 223 WSSM. Terrific brass (thicker and tougher than any other brass, though, so be prepared for different handling), Browning and Winchester rifles have chrome-lined barrels for longer life, but faster twists for more flexibility. In my particular area, WSSM ammo is both more plentiful and the same or less expensive than Swift ammo. Outstanding consistency in factory ammo and domestic brass, and more speed.
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2009, 07:38 AM
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It looks like you have the 22 calibers pretty well covered. Have you considered going with a 17 caliber like the 17 remington or the 17 remington fireball? Just a thought.
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2009, 07:47 AM
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I've got a 220 Swift in a Ruger 77 that I bought back in the early '70s, great accurate gun. However, it strikes me that both the 220 and the 223WSSM are only marginally more powerful than the 22-250, so from a practical standpoint there is little that you will gain above what you already have. On the other hand I will admit that not all of my gun purchases have had a whole lot to do with what I really "needed" or what was practical. If you want another 22 centerfire, go for it!! I think I must own at least a dozen different 357 Magnum handguns.....and one rifle in that caliber as well......so I definitely don't "need" another, but am drooling over one at a local shop and may end up buying it. Maybe you should get one of each!!
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2009, 02:52 PM
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About the only advantage the 223 WSSM has over 220 Swift or .22-250 is that you can get it in an AR upper. Most would not call that any advantage at all. I'm not even sure if you can get a new bolt rifle in either caliber. Remington does make a Sendero SFII in .220 Swift, but its like $900 or more, and they are pretty difficult to find. I think you are pretty well covered.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mattsbox99 View Post
About the only advantage the 223 WSSM has over 220 Swift or .22-250 is that you can get it in an AR upper. Most would not call that any advantage at all. I'm not even sure if you can get a new bolt rifle in either caliber. Remington does make a Sendero SFII in .220 Swift, but its like $900 or more, and they are pretty difficult to find. I think you are pretty well covered.
I would agree with matt.
The other Remington 700 to be on the lookout for in 220 Swift would be their 700 Classic. They made it for one year in 220 Swift, and I was a fool and sold mine
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:27 PM
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CDNN has new Browning Stalkers (and Winchesters, too, I thought?) in both 223 and 243 WSSM for $500->$600 (blue->stainless). A person would be extremely foolish to pass one up if they really wanted one.
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2009, 03:52 PM
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From your existing lineup, it would appear that you're serious about .22 cal. centerfires...If you are interested solely in speed, then the Super Short is the answer. The Swift holds a lot of nostalgia, simply because of its early evolution as a wildcat in 1935. The Swift developed a reputation as a barrel-burner, and in those early days, it was true. The metallurgy finally caught up with the ballistics, and now a Swift will give you just as much good shooting as the next caliber, when properly maintained. I'm not so sure that the metallurgy was ready for the Super Short, as evidenced by the fact that the manufacturers started chrome-lining the barrels to slow the erosion. I'll illustrate:

In one example, from the Hodgdon manual:

.223WSSM: a 52g bullet with IMR4007SSC, loaded max with a 47gr charge, gives you 3851fps at 62,4000 psi. The same bullet in the Swift, at max with a 42gr charge, gives you 3820fps at 52,600 psi. So, doing the math, the WSSM gives you 31fps more, but at the cost of 5gr of powder, and nearly 10,000 psi. Sum it up: 12% more powder, 19% more pressure, 1% more velocity.

Now, this is just a glaring example to demonstrate the point. There are other spreads that are a little more favorable. It's just statistics. In my opinion, the little extra velocity costs you more than it is worth, in terms of powder consumption, pressure, brass life, and barrel longevity. That having been said, the same comparison could be made between the .22-250 and the .220 Swift.

Enough theory--now the real-world experience:

I own and shoot a .223 Rem and a .220 Swift, and have shot several .22-250s and .223 WSSMs. The two friends of mine that bought the WSSMs both regretted it, for different reasons: One shot the barrel (pre-chrome) nearly smooth, and the other is disappointed in reloading the cartridge, in that he cannot seem to equal factory ballistics. Not statistically significant, but that is what I've seen.

Field results: For 10 years I have been shooting jackrabbits much like others shoot prairie dogs: off a bench, next to other shooter buddies, at measured distances. We set up on a remote stretch of flat, straight dirt road, by an alfalfa field. We are zeroed at 300 yds, and sit about 300 yds from the "corridor" where most of the rabbits cross the road to eat alfalfa. We have several calibers making noise at the same time, and we inspect the damage done, comparatively between calibers, bullets, velocities, and distances. We have hundreds of "confirmed kills" from 20 yards out to 624 yards. It's a little subjective, granted, but certain conclusions have been drawn. I have not met a jackrabbit that knows the difference between 3700fps and 3900fps. Terminal performance appears the same. The rather academic difference in paper ballistics simply does not show up in the field. Moreover, the farther out those bullets go, the less the velocity difference. You essentially lose any benefit, real or academic, from a velocity boost past 400 yds or so. At 500 yds, the difference in the amount of energy imparted by a 50gr bullet fired from a .22-250 vs. the same bullet fired from a WSSM is very little in the real world.

If I were to pronounce the most practical .22CF above the .223 Rem, I would have to say the .22-250. It appears to be the most efficient of the bunch. I still own a Swift, and love it. Whatever you decide, when you venture into that ballistic category, be sure that you keep the bore clean and cool, be reasonable with your loads, and most of all, have fun. Apologies for the rambling, but you asked for opinions. Here's mine.

Regards,
Schuter
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:10 AM
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Not sure if you handload or not, but I'd go with the Swift. Seen some trouble surrounding those WSSM's and some of the shops out here can hardly give away the rifles they have left in stock. I was thinking if you handload, you might be able to back pressures off a bit and get them working reliably. But, the Swift is probably a better round anyway.
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2009, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mattsbox99 View Post
Remington does make a Sendero SFII in .220 Swift, but its like $900 or more, and they are pretty difficult to find. .

They run around $1100. If you can't find one, tell your dealer to check with Ellett Brothers out of South Carolina. They've always got them in stock.

My brother has one. It is a twin to my .300 Ultra, except the webbing on his stock is green and the webbing on mine is gray.
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2009, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Schuter View Post
I'm not so sure that the metallurgy was ready for the Super Short, as evidenced by the fact that the manufacturers started chrome-lining the barrels to slow the erosion.
That's simply not correct. The barrels for the 223 and 243 WSSMs were chrome-lined from the start, and they give significantly longer barrel life (as measured by actual long-term firing and accuracy measurements) than the 22-250. There are reports of a few Winchester 70s making it out of the factory w/o the chrome, but then again that time period was just before they closed the company. Hornady did a nice sabotage job on the cartridges by publishing data before the cartridges were even finalized and submitted to SAAMI, using wildcat, un-chromed barrels.

The WSSMs are just like any other, short-than-'standard' cartridge: The 308 is a better choice than the 30-06 for nearly (but not) all 30-caliber bullets because it's a newer design exhibiting better, more efficient use of all pertinent resources (powder, brass, steel, wood/synthetic). So are the 22 and 6mm PPC, the BR line, and the WSSMs and WSMs vs. their competitors. If you don't already have one of the older cartridges in-hand, and don't have an heirloom or historical collection you're wanting to fill out, then there's no sense whatever in buying the older cartridges vs. the newer ones.

Buy what you want and what you like.
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Last edited by MZ5; 12-18-2009 at 09:36 AM.
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2009, 12:18 PM
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Just a kind response to MZ5...

I didn't mean to imply that the chrome lining was an afterthought due to an engineering error. I certainly agree that the chrome lining will increase barrel life. The fact that the manufacturers decided to chrome line the barrels in the small-bore, high velocity short mags seems indicative that they knew that barrel life would be compromised with standard weapons-grade steel. I'm not down on the new cartridges, I'm merely pointing out that it appears the engineers have had to adapt to a demand for more velocity. We are burning a lot of propellant to push very small bullets through very small bores at very high velocities and very high pressures. This creates a very hostile environment in the chamber, throat, and bore. Cause and effect: chrome lining appears to be a cost-effective solution to slow the degradation of the throat and bore. New technology is being developed all the time; perhaps in the near future, advances in both the propellants and the metallurgy will result in even higher velocities, lower pressure peaks, and increased longevity. (We have seen several approaches at achieving this via bullet coatings.) I expect it, and welcome it.

My friend's WSSM, was indeed a Model 70. It had no chrome lining in the barrel. I inspected it. It is possible that he hot-rodded the handloads, and perhaps shot it hot and dirty. That will kill any fine rifle. Subsequent rifles that I have seen have had the chrome lining. I would be interested to hear some feedback on how the chrome-lined barrels respond to various break-in techniques, or if they need them at all. I know that my hard-chromed 1911 has seen more rounds and holster carry than all my other handguns combined, yet shows less wear than either the blued or stainless guns.

As in many different arenas, as we approach the edge of the envelope, smaller gains come at greater costs. The line drawn between "worth it" and "not worth it" is an individual decision, and I don't expect anyone to draw that line in the same place that I do.

Regardless of the technical aspects, market forces will determine if a new cartridge design flies or fails. Any deliberate misrepresentation of data by Hornady, or any other manufacturer, is indeed unfortunate, yet it exists in any competitive environment. It is for this reason that I try to rely on empirical, first-hand data rather than marketing hype or hearsay. It takes me time to gather enough empirical data to draw a conclusion, and I'm old enough to be patient. The Short Mag class represents cutting-edge ballistics, and is a testimony to the resourcefulness of our finest ballisticians. I truly hope they thrive.

There are advantages and limitations to all of them. If we embrace both the limitations and the advantages alike, we will rarely be disappointed. We are all driven by different motivations, based on different experiences and expectations. The common thread, I believe, is FUN. Let's have some.

Regards,
Schuter

P.S. MZ5: I like your Jefferson quote--let's pray that 25 years from now we can still discuss these topics...

Last edited by Schuter; 12-18-2009 at 03:49 PM. Reason: spelling error
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2009, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mattsbox99 View Post
Remington does make a Sendero SFII in .220 Swift, but its like $900 or more, and they are pretty difficult to find.

Just checked Ellett Brothers (wholesale distributor) inventory. They have 3 VSSF-II's available in .220 Swift right now.

Gunbroker:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=150532011

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=150726693

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=150757073

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=150576959


Hardly rare there fellas...lol My brothers is a terrific shooter. That Swift can throw a 40gr at 4000 without breaking a sweat. People have pushed 30gr to 5000.
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Last edited by Tang; 12-18-2009 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:23 PM
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You got me there Tang, but keep in mind that a lot of people don't want to go through the hassle of internet gun sales, but thanks for looking anyway. I'm happy with my .204, its speedy enough, not to mention the far better BC's of .204 bullets.
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  #15  
Old 12-18-2009, 05:03 PM
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That's simply not correct. The barrels for the 223 and 243 WSSMs were chrome-lined from the start, and they give significantly longer barrel life (as measured by actual long-term firing and accuracy measurements) than the 22-250.
IIRC, Browning delayed release of their WSSM-chambered rifles until both feed and barrel erosion issues could be addressed. Also, I think it is important to note that sales numbers for all three WSSMs have been lackluster, at best. In fact, when I went in to buy one at my local shop, they did not have one on the shelf and the brand new 2010 Winchester catalog did not list a Model 70 in either caliber.

The only reason I'm interested in one is because it can be fitted with a 35 caliber barrel and the cases shortened slightly, making a legal rifle cartridge for hunting deer in Indiana. The way some dealers are struggling to get rid of one, I know I won't be paying a premium.

When you consider that not one of the WSSM line of cartridges provides a significant improvement over existing, non-magnum offerings, the only thing you're left with is a stubby, difficult to feed case, operating at pressures/temperatures that are hard on barrels and throats. The PPC/BR lines of cartridges are not popular in magazine-fed rifles for a reason: Those cartridges are certainly very accurate, but they are only practical in the hand-fed or single-shot target rifles they were intended for. That is not how I prefer my hunting rifles to be set up.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:54 PM
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If you could provide a s/n range for the guns without the chrome, I'd very much like to share it with an owners group who has had no luck determining a sequential series w/o chrome.

I was not aware that the PPCs and BRs don't feed well. The WSSMs feed perfectly from magazines. All 3 of mine have never failed to feed once, and the WSSMs are a very rapidly-growing segment of the AR-15 shooting world, so clearly whatever was not (or rather, may not have been?) built right during prototyping by one failing company has been corrected.
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:06 AM
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I was not aware that the PPCs and BRs don't feed well. The WSSMs feed perfectly from magazines. All 3 of mine have never failed to feed once, and the WSSMs are a very rapidly-growing segment of the AR-15 shooting world, so clearly whatever was not (or rather, may not have been?) built right during prototyping by one failing company has been corrected.
If you look at the SAAMI specs on the 300WSM versus the three WSSMs, you will notice that as the caliber goes down, the shoulder angle gets shallower. Instead of 35 degrees, the 25 WSSM is set at 30 and the 223/243 WSSM both use 28 degree shoulders. This was a concession made by Winchester to address feed problems. Single-stack magazines do feed better but it's simple mechanics that a very sharp-shouldered round is not going to feed as well as one with a more moderate shoulder. Take a look at the shoulders on dangerous game cartridges and ask yourself why they are consistently shallow; it's because you don't want to struggle to chamber a 2nd round when something is trying to eat you or trample you into the ground.

Again, the sales numbers on the WSSM line of cartridges don't lie. Things generally move very slowly in the gun world, when you consider all of the 50+ year-old rounds still punching paper and harvesting game animals. The WSSMs were released around 10 years ago and yet it appears their run might be over, already.

I believe someone has already posted this, but the shape of the powder column is one very small contributor to the accuracy of a given round. In a rifle built specifically for bench-rest shooting, this can be worth pursuing, but in a sporting rifle you aren't likely to see any benefit from it. This is not something to put up with feeding problems or shortened barrel life for, to be sure.

"Short fat cases with an abruptly angled shoulder have a history of being difficult to feed properly from the magazines of some rifles. In addition, during its short life the WSSM family of cartridges has already gained a reputation for being hard on gun barrels because of the high velocities involved when using lighter weight 'varminting' style projectiles, although this is a point of some dispute among various knowledgeable gun owners and expert writers."

The only way to keep a WSSM from burning up a barrel quickly is to shoot it slowly and keep it very clean. By this I mean keeping your rate of fire down, your loads on the mild side, and to religiously scrub the bore after every range session. I would also point out that operating pressure for the WSSM line is 65,000 PSI, not 55,000, as it is for the .223 NATO round. Both the rate of fire concerns and operating ceiling make this a less-than-ideal case for an AR, unless you shoot your AR like a single-shot rifle AND use handloads that are reduced to safe pressures.

Further, it has been noted by experienced reloaders that the very strong case of the WSM/WSSM line of cartridges essentially requires full-throttle, high PSI loads to get the case to seal the firing chamber properly, and to give consistent pressure/velocity. In other words, these cases do not lend themselves to reduced loads.

If you own one, shoot it and enjoy it. If you want one, buy it and shoot it. If you like to take a closer look at the "latest and greatest" thing on the market, before buying...consider yourself forewarned. To answer the original OP, I would skip the 223 WSSM and the 220 Swift and get either a 22-250 or something even milder. Like, a .223 on an AR platform, shooting at a reasonable pressure, of course.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:59 AM
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If you look at the SAAMI specs on the...three WSSMs, you will notice that as the caliber goes down, the shoulder angle gets shallower. (T)he 25 WSSM is set at 30 and the 223/243 WSSM both use 28 degree shoulders.
So, in other words, the WSSMs don't have feeding problems because they were designed well so as to not. Non-SAAMI wildcat versions may have feeding problems, but only irresponsible companies or magazines/gun writers would cite the feeding problems of a non-SAAMI-spec wildcat as a condemnation of the WSSMs. ...unless there was an underlying nefarious intent?

My experience agrees with your reading that the WSSMs' thick, tough brass wants/needs to be run at around standard pressure in order to prevent blacking the cases. They don't seem to need to run 'full-throttle' though, IME.

You may have missed the O.P.'s stated list of carts already owned. He already has both a 223 and 22-250. He wants another 22-cal centerfire and is considering the Swift vs. the WSSM.

Though the WSSMs are only 5 and 6 years old for the 22/24 & 25, respectively (perhaps you're thinking of the WSMs, or some other carts at 10 years?) they have enjoyed greater success than the Swift did for some decades last century. The WSSM offers noticeably more speed improvement in general vs. the Swift than the Swift does vs. the 22-250, plus in factory rifles it offers considerably longer barrel life than either, even when shot at very high rates of fire. Combine this with a faster twist rate from the factory than either of those, and one has a super-speedy, long-lived, much more versatile rifle.

Like I said before, buy what you want and what you like. Just be careful not to make your choice based on the significant disinformation out there about the WSSMs.
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Last edited by MZ5; 12-20-2009 at 06:08 AM.
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  #19  
Old 12-20-2009, 09:21 PM
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MZ5--Regarding your request for s S/N range--
My friend got rid of that rifle some time ago, I think it has been 2-3 years. I wish I could provide that data, but I can't.
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2009, 04:16 AM
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What about a 22BR with an 8 twist barrel to shoot heavy bullets. What you have has your bases covered nicely with varminting, but you would be amazed just how good a 22BR can shoot with 80gr amax or SMK's out to 600 or so.
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