.222 Remington

Introduced in 1950 as the first true .22 calibre CF rimmed cartridge the .222, “Triple–Deuce” rightly gained a reputation for superb accuracy. For a while this cartridge was seen in bench rest competitions, and held almost all of the shorter range accuracy titles until the advent of the more resent PPC family.

Though I love this cartridge, and know of a few others out there that sing its praises, the .222 has today been over-taken by the .223 in popularity. I think it is fair to say that the .222 is a generally more accurate round than the .223 and can carry a 50 grain bullet accurately to 200 metres. Better shooters than me, with the right recipe are knocking over Mr Fox at 270-300 metres. The .223 will obviously give you a bit more power, and with the right barrel twist, heavier bullet choice, but for varmints the .222 is more than enough, and can produce explosive damage with the correct bullet selection.

 

There are a few other attractions over the .223, no real recoil, I can see the bullet hitting the target as there is almost no barrel flip, and is quieter than its .223 big brother with a moderator fitted. The cartridge was considered to be so good, that the .50 cal as used in long range sniper rifles is an up-sized .222.

The targets are laid out at 100m and 200m, with the addition of steel plates the size of bathroom tiles for a little extra fun.


    

                      .223                                              .222                                       .50

The first three shot group is with the Hornady 55 grain V-Max, a very popular varmint bullet. This was over 20 grains of IMR 4198 and gave 3010 fps average. There was a little cross wind that gave sudden small gusts that made compensation a little difficult. My CZ 527 American was used with a Brugger & Thomet AG moderator as this was my varmint configuration. Interestingly the .223 with the maximum load of 20 grains only gives a listed 3100 fps with Varget giving 3200.

   

                      Dogtown HP 50 grain                                           Hornady V-Max 55 grian

 

The steel shows the same point of aim as at 100m with a maximum drop of 3.2 inches, I am sure I can do better.

 

 200m 5mm Mild Steel Plate shows zero at 100m.

The rifle was then zeroed to 200m which is my normal preference and produced this target.

200m zeroed

I did shoot the budget bullet offered by Midway “Dogtown” in 50 grain with the same recipe, and that gave 3124 fps average with similar accuracy, though you would get the odd flyer, that after 50 rounds was not put down to the shooter, but to some bullet variation in precision while being manufactured, as the V-Max did not suffer the same. Unfortunately those photographs were accidently deleted, but as a budget alternative or for shooting at the range then they are fine.

I am tempted to go lighter to get me around the 3500 fps mark and with potentially negligible drop at 200m. The plate was 5mm mild steel plate and the bullets cut through it like butter with bullet tracks of over 6 feet, so I think that the knock down power by using the lighter 40 grain bullet would not be compromised.