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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, this is my first post here although I’ve been reading many.
I’ve been really thinking of building a varmint rifle in 220 swift (I have a set of dies and box of ammo that came to me in a box lot I got at an auction.)
So it’s been In the back of my mind to build one on a remington 700 action.
im asking for advice on the cartridge as well as rifling rate, and any other thing I should know about this cartridge. And if it’s really worth the effort.
thanks in advance
 

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I have a friend who has one. It shoots good although not any better than my 22-250. If I were going to build one I think I would look at something like a 1-10 twist. It should shoot everything from about 55gr to maybe 69 gr. As far as I know all factory rifles have been offered with the standard 1-14 twist and it is my experience that the 52 gr bullet is as heavy as it will stabilize. It would be interesting.
 

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I'm not sure I would let a box of ammo and a set of dies be a strong influence on what will be a much more sizable investment in building a rifle.
That said, using comparable bullet weights, I doubt that you or the varmints could tell the difference between a 220 Swift and a 22-250. I have a minimally modified (shoulder set back slightly and steepened for a longer neck, with less case stretch) 220 Swift wildcat, called a 220 Wilson-Wotkins Arrow built in 1954 by Sam Wilson on an FN commercial Mauser action. I don't 'hotrod' it, 53 grain Hornady match bullets at about 3850, shoots very well with groups under .3".
If you just 'want' a 220 Swift for nostalgia reasons, or whatever, I'd say go for it. If you want to keep things simple, a 22-250 might be a better long term choice for future component availability, with virtually the same performance. A little faster twist of 12" (or 10" if you must), for either chambering, will give you a broader bullet weight range. If you go the 220 Swift route and choose to 'hotrod' it, shorter case life and barrel life will be the likely result, shoot it like a 22-250 and and it should have a similar life, albeit the case life will suffer some due to the shallow shoulder angle.
 

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I have 700 Classic, it's shoots 55gr. bullets just fine. 700's require you to load the magazine carefully so as to not get the rim over the last cartridges rim already in the magazine. I don't know if the follower or the feed rails are different for a swift than other cartridges but I could measure mine if your interested.
The Swift is the king of the varmint cartridges, I always wanted a custom one with a 1-9 twist for heavier bullets, I use the classic Norm Johnson load of 38.0gr. of IMR 4064 which I believe has been discontinued. It still shoots that load inside 3/4" at 100yds at 3750fps, love the cartoon like effect it has on coyotes, all their hair seems to stand up at once on the bullets impact, 55gr. V-max. There's never any doubt there hit, you know it, they know it, none of that twitching their tail like nothing happened and running off to die 200yds away like can happen with smaller/slower cartridges.
I've shot a few deer and antelope in Wyoming with the swift as well, it's a decent antelope cartridge inside 250yds with a nosler 60gr. partition bullet, not enough for mule deer.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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1) Hi, this is my first post here although I’ve been reading many.
2) im asking for advice on the cartridge as well as rifling rate, and any other thing I should know about this cartridge.
3) And if it’s really worth the effort.
1) Your first post here was a day after you joined, this is your 11th. 😉
2) Honestly, there is nothing you "need" to know about it, that isn't in a quality reloading manual. It's a wonderful varmint rifle, that burbs a fair amount of powder. It's pretty straight forward what lots of powder down a small bore does if you want to be a high volume shooter.
3) "worth it" is an individual preference. If you've been wanting to do it a long time, then if course it's worth it. Anything you are interested in, should be "worth it" to you.
The only time you care about "worth it" to anyone else, is when you are starting a business.

Cheers
 

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Over the past decades, I have been very tempted to get out of 223/5.56 and into its bigger brothers, like 220Swift, and, especially some of the Ackley Improved cartridges.

But, then I learned that I really don't want, nor need, a light .224 diameter bullet to exceed 4,000 FPS and all the downside results from that, as stated above.

I load a Barnes .224 diameter solid copper at just under 3,900 FPS,... a few hundred feet per second slower, and a few hundred foot pounds less, than the big brother Swift. But, I doubt, all the yotes I have shot here in the Az high desert new the difference.

I think, if you compare the lowly little 223/5.56 caliber's ballistics, to the 220 Swift,... balanced out with the cost of each caliber's bolt gun in today's market,... you will be able to answer your own question.


Now, for a few caveats,... I am sure that if looong distance hunting is you goal,... the Swift most definitely will retain better ballistics for you! BUT,... thinking about very looong distance shooting, and, actually doing it, has always escaped coming together for me, personally.

As stated above, it is a nostalgic caliber of GREAT PERFORMANCE, of which I wouldn't question! And, if that floats your boat,... go for it!!!

Me, personally,... I had to question if I would actually do the type of shooting that 220 Swift would shine at,... and, to justify the costs. I have had a few firearm tools in the safe waiting for their specific and proper use, in the past,... that bugged me, but, your mileage may differ.


Good luck on your choice!
 

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A Swift really needs it's own magazine box as the M70 and M77s have. Otherwise 'hooked' rims are a PITA. Sell the dies and brass and barrel up a 22-250 instead. If you HAVE to have velocity, make it an AI.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the responses, I like older, obscure cartridges this is why I want a 220 swift....but I’m starting to rethink the need to build one at this time. I wanted it for coyotes but the cold realization is my 6mm remington would be a better choice for me. I think I’ll just wait and find a rifle already chambered in the swift.
 

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Thanks for the responses, I like older, obscure cartridges this is why I want a 220 swift....but I’m starting to rethink the need to build one at this time. I wanted it for coyotes but the cold realization is my 6mm remington would be a better choice for me. I think I’ll just wait and find a rifle already chambered in the swift.
Mtnman _

Howdy !

Have spent plenty of time out in this corner of the .224" calibre performance envelope....
I have owned/loaded for/shot many .22-250s including customs, a .220 Swift; .22BR, .223; and was pretty aware of what a shootin buddies' .225Winchester M-70 varmint was capable of. I also shot my wildcat .22-35Remington in Hart 24" SS 1-14 for many years.

What barrel length and twist you might want for your .220 Swift should be influenced by what your intended application is.
Whether PDs, rockchuck, groundhog; et al.

When shooting groundhog, my recommended guideline for minimum delivered energy @ distance is 450ft lb.
IMHO - For a groundhog type of application, a 26" 1-14 shooting a 55BT varmint bullet should be good for making a 500yd kill; as a Swift w/ that barrel + informed cartridge component choices can generate that level of energy.

If a longer range application is anticipated for your .220 Swift ( such as 1,000yd ), I suggest you go w/ a 28-29" 1-8 barrel. That's what I did when I re-barrelled my 24" 1-14 .22-35Remington ..... I put on a 28" K & P SS 1-8.
This twist was great for stabilizing 75 "A"-Max. Going 29" barrel lg would have been even better IMHO.

The Swift's goofy rim won't matter if you go w/ a single shot action, such as a Savage 112V.


With regards,
357Mag
 

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My preference for heavier bullets in any cartridge is the higher bc's to reduce wind drift and increase energy on the target, my swift does not shoot 60gr. v-max bullets very well at all with the 1-14" twist barrel. Even my 700 remington groups the 55gr. better than the 60gr. with it's 1-12" twist barrel, Ar's with the 1-9" twist group better with 60's than any other bullet.
Whatever 22 centerfire you go with keep that in mind.
As far as using a 243 for coyotes I'm not a fan, tried it and found I lost the sight picture in recoil and was unable to call my own shots, it's also slower to recover from for follow up shots. However a muzzle brake would cure both issues with the 243, might be good way to make your gun a little easier to handle in those fast and furious coyote encounters we've all had. Thinking all this would also be applicable to the 6mm remington.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As for the 6mm remington and keeping your target in the scope. I grew up hunting ground hogs with a 6mm rem and seem to be able to keep the target in the scope during the shot as well as with my .257 Roberts. So I won’t think that’s a real issue and I’m thinking boiler room hit on a coyote with a 75 grain bullet he won’t be tough to find.
 

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I ordered one of these on ebay 3 weeks ago, supposed to get it next week. Also got the bushing for 1/2x28 so it'll work on all my threaded barrels, planning to use it on rifles when a 11" suppressor is to unwieldy.
Once you've become accustomed to shooting rifles with reduced recoil it's hard to go back, 7-08 dosen't really need it but the 7 short mag and 6.5prc will surely benefit.
6.5 Creedmoor 5/8-24 3.5 Inch Muzzle Brake Compensator W/ Crush Washer | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Kevinbear, I recently bought a ruger predator in 6.5 creedmoor and was looking at that exact muzzle divide for it. I would really appreciate your thoughts on it after you’ve had a chance to use it.
I never found the recoil on my 6mm rems bad at all, I have three a 700 varmint with a heavy barrel, one I built on a mauser action (because my dad said I couldn’t) with a heavy barrrl and a unertil scope and the last one is new to me remington 700 sporter that I think has headspace issues or has been opened up to Ackley improved because I chamber a round but it won’t extract.
 

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One of my friends bought a 6.5prc the same time as I did, his came with a very similar muzzle break and makes a big difference in that cartridge.
 

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Once you've become accustomed to shooting rifles with reduced recoil it's hard to go back
@Kevinbear

When you shoot a prairie dog with a 110 grain Vmax from a 300RUM you forget aaalllll about recoil.

RJ
 

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Funny video, when talking about the "ultimate" cartridge in and caliber as far as maximum performance certain ones always stand out in campfire conversations, for instance in 30 cal for years it was the 300 weatherby, in the last 10 years I've noticed the 300 rum come up more often than not, that just one example of many.
Invariably when the conversation switches to 22 calber it goes like this, I've got this super duper "fill in the blank" that will outshine all the other varmint rifles in the field, the response goes like this, yea....but how does it compare to the Swift?
My point is all new 22 centerfires eventually get compared to the 220 Swift, none really outshine it imo. I'm not the nostalgic type but I love the fact it's been around since 1935.
No rifle collection is really complete without a 22 Hornet and a 220 Swift.
 

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What was the factory velocity of the 48 gr. load? Was it like 4140 fps or something? I wonder if it actually did that. Because I was looking in my old Lyman No. 44 manual and their factory duplication velocity was a little less than 4,000 with a 50 gr. They shot a Win. 70 with 26" barrel. Still a really fast and powerful load though. Way ahead of it's time.
 

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I never liked those light bullet loads, they were probably awesome for running coyotes from the standpoint of having very little lead on shots inside 250yds but the heavier bullets do so much better in the wind and with long range trajectory I never shot them.
I've never had trouble with the rim myself, the case is unique in that it's much heavier in the web area than the 22-250, they still separate after to many reloadings but it's up in the middle of the case and they fall out of the chamber instead of sticking like the 22-250 can.
 
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