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...If you have to slow down a 220 Swift, then it is not needed! Move on to a smaller and "slower" cartridge, and leave the Swift to those that can appreciate it for what it is.
If you cannot accept the fact that handloading allows a shooter to customize his cartridge for whatever use he has, then you need to go back to shooting factory loads.

...My last 220 Swift was a rear tang Ruger M77 Varmint that had over 2,000 rounds shot through it before it was gifted to another varmint hunter, and on a very bad day, it would still shoot 1/2" or less at 200 yards with those 55 gr. Sierra bullets.
Sure, 1/4 moa with a worn barrel....now just how many “very bad” 1/4 moa groups at 200 yards did you fire? No need to embellish dude, the Swift is a great cartridge...which benchrest shooters abandoned well over half a century ago.


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"Speed Kills" applies to many things including barrels.

The Swift is a semi-rimmed cartridge and takes a special magazine to make it feed. For that reason, most Swifts are rebarreled to Swift or one of the wildcats. I have a tang safety M77 ex Swift that's now a .240 Cobra.
 

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If you cannot accept the fact that handloading allows a shooter to customize his cartridge for whatever use he has, then you need to go back to shooting factory loads.



Sure, 1/4 moa with a worn barrel....now just how many “very bad” 1/4 moa groups at 200 yards did you fire? No need to embellish dude, the Swift is a great cartridge...which benchrest shooters abandoned well over half a century ago.


I said 1/2" groups @ 200 yards, but to answer your sarcastic question - over 100! Plus, my barrel was used, not worn!

And, I don't shoot factory loads because of the fact that I can taylor my loads to do exactly what I want them to do!
 

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Half inch at 200 is 1/4 MOA (and BS, IMO)

If you got ANY decent accuracy at 2k rounds from a Swift it was because it was loaded like a 222. That's just gunsmithing facts.
 

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I rarely disagree with Jack unless were talking 700 Remington's or in this case the 220 swift, my 700 classic has close to 5k rounds through it and still groups 3/4" at 100yds, velocity has dropped to 3750fps with 38.gr of IMR 4064 and a 55gr V-max.
The key to making any barrel last is not over heating them, don't shoot prairie dogs when it's 95degrees in the shade and your gun will outlast you.
If it's cool in the mornings I limit the number of shots to 7 before letting the barrel cool, as it warms up I drop that back to 5 then 3, and that isn't rapid fire btw. Anything over 80-85 and it gets put away and a 223 becomes the long range gun.
If it's windy barrels cool much quicker so that effects the number of shots and cooling time, you have to use common sense, feel the barrel, don't keep shooting a hot gun.
The average person could use a Swift to hunt coyotes an entire lifetime, pass it down to his kids then theirs without ruining the barrel.
Keep in mind I'm not a naysayer on barrel wear, I've wore out more than my fare share of 22 long rifle, 17 Remington and 264 win mag barrels.
 

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You show more restraint than most.....like granny with a muscle car. :) :)

I came to Idaho in '88 and met a kindred spirit that introduced me to Steve Herrett and the gang. We sent more varmint bullets downrange in ten years than most do in a lifetime. One guy had a burnt Swift M77-V that wanted a new barrel. I installed one and he said he would protect it like a body part and that SS barrel would last forever.
800 round in three hot days and it looked like a fried gator hide. That gun is now my .240 Cobra (which is worse) and will probably last long enough to escape destruction by me, anyhow.

edit-- I ran some 'test' with that worn out Swift before pulling the barrel. Somewhere I have a picture of the chrony screen showing 4400 plus with 37 grain Berger HPs, and accuracy was better than a thrown rock...but barely.
 

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Half inch at 200 is 1/4 MOA (and BS, IMO)

If you got ANY decent accuracy at 2k rounds from a Swift it was because it was loaded like a 222. That's just gunsmithing facts.
55 gr. bullets loaded just shy of 3,800 fps. and never fired more than 3-shot groups and never let the barrel get hot, even though those 3 shots would warm it up pretty good anyways.

Call it what you want, I really don't care!

Never go to shoot with Steve Herrett, but did get to shoot with Bob Milek, and busting soda pop cans at 600 yards with a handgun was a lot easier than most guys could hit a 5 gallon buckets at 100 yards. And yes, this is well documented with old VHS tapes, pictures and a lot of witnesses!
 

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MontyF and that is because they cannot help keep pulling the trigger. If they shot just one or two to zero and then every shot after that had to kill something I bet the barrel would last a lifetime.
There where those who warned me back in 1986 about the 17 Remington. I had a Martini action barreled up by Clyde Moore in Michigan and that rifle must have killed four figures of foxes here in the UK and meany many rabbiits, crows, magpies etc before the group started to get more than 3/4 inch at 100yrds and it was retired after 10years of hard work....not punching holes in paper but doin' what it was designed for.
 

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Keep in mind I'm not a naysayer on barrel wear, I've wore out more than my fare share of 22 long rifle, 17 Remington and 264 win mag barrels.
i got my marlin m25 when i was 13yo. my best guesstimate, i'm going conservative, is around 50-55k shots out of her. 70-75k is the most. 30+ years of shooting her, leaves a nice 1/4" group at 50 yards(cci minimag 36gr hp). i don't clean her until its needed(stuck case in the chamber). then when i'm done cleaning her, i'll shoot 100-150 rounds to dirty her up. i mean no disrespect, but you shot the **** out of 22 to wear the barrel out. i've always thought ...well i didn't think it was possible. my hat's off to you, sir.

i've only had one barrel that was shot out. back in the day, i bought a used savage m340 in 222 rem. i then bought rcbs dies, rem brass, imr4198 and 50gr hornady sp and i had a ball with her. my best guesstimate is around 5000- 6000+/- reloads. i don't know who had it before and whatever the shot count is, but she was accurate. i durned near cried when the barrel shot out. i should have kept her and rebarreled her but i sold her. :(:mad:
 

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I rarely disagree with Jack unless were talking 700 Remington's or in this case the 220 swift, my 700 classic has close to 5k rounds through it and still groups 3/4" at 100yds, velocity has dropped to 3750fps with 38.gr of IMR 4064 and a 55gr V-max.
The key to making any barrel last is not over heating them, don't shoot prairie dogs when it's 95degrees in the shade and your gun will outlast you.
If it's cool in the mornings I limit the number of shots to 7 before letting the barrel cool, as it warms up I drop that back to 5 then 3, and that isn't rapid fire btw. Anything over 80-85 and it gets put away and a 223 becomes the long range gun.
If it's windy barrels cool much quicker so that effects the number of shots and cooling time, you have to use common sense, feel the barrel, don't keep shooting a hot gun.
The average person could use a Swift to hunt coyotes an entire lifetime, pass it down to his kids then theirs without ruining the barrel.
Keep in mind I'm not a naysayer on barrel wear, I've wore out more than my fare share of 22 long rifle, 17 Remington and 264 win mag barrels.
What did you have to do to wear out a 22LR barrel?
 

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What did you have to do to wear out a 22LR barrel?
So if you shoot 22 silhouette enough your gun will eventually not group under an inch at 100m with reasonably priced ammunition like 5 to 6.00 a box stuff nowadays. The gun will still shoot very good groups with the 12-18.00 a stuff but if you do the math it's way cheaper to just have the gun rebarreled.
This happens like clockwork with Anschutz's around 75,000rds. I shoot close to a case of ammunition a year, that's 15 years, not really that long.
I have 40xr that needs a new barrel, it doesn't group good enough to be competitive at ARA 500 with most lots of Tenex. I found a carton of black box recently that it shoots really well but next winter if the economy recovers somewhat it's going in for a new tube. I have not kept track of how many rounds it has through it but I would guess less than 50,000. When it does get a new Pac-nor barrel the Tenex I have sitting around will probably group just fine.
I've wore out a couple of 22lr semi-auto pistols, with the Ruger I had bullets would tumble after 20'.
 

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MontyF and that is because they cannot help keep pulling the trigger. If they shot just one or two to zero and then every shot after that had to kill something I bet the barrel would last a lifetime.
I can understand the problem, since I toasted a couple 22/250 barrels myself. How it happens is by bringing only one rifle and those fuzzy rodents keep popping up all over. Excitement overrules better judgement.
 

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Barrel wear and Prairie Dogs.

I have not shot my Rem. 700 (6mm Rem) more than 20-30 shots per year, mostly at woodchucks and crows. Several Whitetail s. Had it 28 years. Capable of 1/2 min. Accuracy with my hand loaded 70 gr. Sierras (depends more on me). Someday I would like to go out to prairie dog country and shoot a few (hundred). Assuming warm weather and full speed loads what sort of firing pace do you folks think my sporter barrel will tolerate without damage?

Also...are there ranchers in S.W. S.Dakota, or S.E.Wyoming that might let me park my Travel trailer near a dog town for a few days and shoot prairie dogs?
 

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Mister Ed--

A 6mm Rem is frustrating in a prairie dog town! Too many targets and not enough cool time. I would plan on another (smaller) rifle and keep the 6mm for the really long shots or strong winds. A Triple Deuce can maintain a shot a minute on warm days (20 gr. of powder). The 6mm is running at least twice that much nitro so resting time has to be increased. The near uncontrollable urge to shoot charging bull prairie dogs has been the basis of abuse of many, fine rifles.

I took an extra nice 6mm on an antelope hunt in E Wyoming many years ago and a box (100) 75 gr. Speer HP loads for PDs. It was the only varmint rifle in the group so did triple duty of several people taking shots. It wasn't ruined but it it sure lost a lot of life in one afternoon.

I'm a natural sucker for any caliber based on the 7x57. :cool:

Call the County Agent or local game warden in the counties you're interested in. Both will have a list of properties with PD problems, but a lot of that is BLM, too. Most of the Indian Reservations have pay for PD hunts and there's some great shooting there. (Rose Bud in my experience). I've shot sage rats on the big alfalfa farms in Nevada that had several big campers with reloading trailers or presses bolted to picnic tables and portable shooting benches. One pair of guys from Ca said they spent a week and several thousand rounds every year on one farm.
 

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Your prairie dog shooting ensemble should resemble a golf club set in essence, a putter{17hmr or 22 mag" chipping wedge{22 hornet or 221} 5 iron {222 or 223} 3 iron {22-250or220} and a driver{243 or 6mm}, optional would be something akin to one of those oversize Ping drivers like a 7 or 300 just to try and arc one in on one of those dogs that thinks he's safe standing in full view at some ridiculous range.
 

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Kevinbear hit it exactly! We don't have PDs in Idaho but rockchucks are analogous but bigger (targets per hour about the same in good places).
A couple 22 K-Hornets, a .221 Fireball, two 6mm Cheapshots (6x45), a 22-250 and a 6mm is my 'arsenal'. The small 22s are zeroed a inch high at a hundred, the small 6mms zeroed at 225, the 22-250 at 250 and the big 6mm is zeroed at 400 yards.
For groundsquirrels, add another K-Hornet and leave the 22-250 home.
 

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Mr. Ed,

when I am not guiding or take a short break from building guns, I'll see if we can coordinate our times together, and you can come and shoot prairie dogs, gophers, rock chucks, badgers and coyotes with us. We have many guns in all different wildcat cartridges you can shoot, and shooting 300 to as many as 500 rounds a day is the norm.
 

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One of the best pd guns I've ever seen belong to a friend who spent many a day with me sending those rats into the air. We cooked up the idea on the way to Kansas pheasant hunting and he had the gun done by spring.
He bought a new Remington 700 laminated varmint special in 243, had the barrel set back and rechambered for 6mm br, then cut the barrel back to a finished 22". He loaded the then new Nosler 55gr. ballistic tip to I don't remember the velocity but it was +3600.
He could shoot 12-15 shots before the barrel needed cooling, unfortunately like all heavy barreled guns it took quite a while for it to cool.
Being a very good benchrest shooter so he was able to assemble excellent ammunition and make hits way out there with that gun.
 

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Thanks for the expert knowledge and experience you all shared. I learned a lot very quickly about the world of serious varmint shooting. And your invitation, Assasin, sounds like a terrific opportunity and I will consider it seriously. I would want to use my own rifle(s?) and the advice here sounds like a new rifle may be a great idea and well justified. Been looking at a 17 HMR and if only one more I would likely go with this chambering.

Are both “long” and “close” shots common from the same PD shooting set up?
 
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