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Old October 5, 2013, 09:15 AM   #81
Junior Member
Join Date: November 10, 2011
Posts: 10
222 may be obsolete, but it isn't dead yet.

My neighbor came over a while back and needed 222 ammo. I had one once so I still had dies and some brass lying around.

In spite of it's reputation, I had a Ihica LSA55 (Tikka) in 222 that I could not get too shoot, except with cast. It was a 50 yard varminter. That experience left me with a very poor opinion of the 222.

Fast forward 30 years and after having similar problems with a couple of 223Rems, I finally figured out what I had been doing wrong. I figured it out and my 223's rock, great shooters. I'd like that 222 back now.

Firstly, the 222 family does not reload like a 30-06, lots of differences. The "zone" is a lot smaller, and leaving the "zone" gets silly fast.

If you are new to reloading these (222, 223 or 222 Mag) I'll offer the following hints.

Start with CCI 450 primers, switch later if you want, but start with them, especially with ball powders.

When using ball powders, don't load below starting loads, and some starting loads may be erratic and display "funny" pressure signs.

Don't try and load to max. Max loads can go to very max, very quickly, if you want fast, buy a 22-250.

Try 40 gr bullets, (especially with 1-12 or 1-14 twist) they are not a long range bullet but they sure beat a 22RF. They shoot flat, work well to 150 yards and disintegrate when they hit dirt. Move up to 50 gr, then to 55 after you gain experience.

Use CFE 223 powder, as it is very stable and gives consistent loads. I use Hodgdon data and usually end up in the middle, half way between min and max. (I'm a bit of a renegade, I just start there, but I can't tell you to do that. What you load is your decision, not mine.)

These hints will fast track your success, and you'll feel like an expert in no time.

If you already are an experienced 222 etc. reloader, you probably stopped reading long ago, and that's ok.

Have fun.
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