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Old October 14, 2012, 08:14 PM   #1
bekellog
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.220 Swift for deer

I have a friend of mine who shoots a 220 and he was asking me if we could work up a deer load. Right now Im loading a 50 gr. Sierria #1330 and he has shot a deer with it, but it did not penetrate much past the front shoulder. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the heaver 22 sierria bullets or any brand for that matter, shooting deer??? Thanks
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Old October 14, 2012, 09:23 PM   #2
603Country
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I've had a 220 Swift since the 1980's, and it was and is a heck of a shooter. Naturally, I just had to try it on deer. I had some spectacular kills and some less than ideal ones. With the bullets available back then, it just wasn't a deer rifle. These days I still hesitate to call it a deer rifle, but you do at least have some bullets that'll do the job. The Nosler 60 gr Partition is probably the best bullet to use for deer, though maybe some of the Barnes bullets will work well also. The 63 grain Sierra Gameking was the bullet I chose for pigs and it worked real well, and probably would work Ok on deer. Another possible choice would be the 65 grain Sierra Gameking, though you'd have to see if it stabilized in your rifle. According to the folks at Sierra, they say it has the same bearing surface as the 63 grainer, so maybe it will stabilize. I've meant to try and see, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Old October 14, 2012, 10:07 PM   #3
Tom Matiska
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Your most probably have a 14" twist which limits you to shorter/lighter flat base "varmit" bullets..... which will turn the neck or lungs into jello just fine. Tell your friend to avoid quartering meat shots and it should work just fine.
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Old October 14, 2012, 11:09 PM   #4
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
Your most probably have a 14" twist which limits you to shorter/lighter flat base "varmit" bullets..... which will turn the neck or lungs into jello just fine. Tell your friend to avoid quartering meat shots and it should work just fine.
Many of the light weight, flat-base varmint bullets won't even make it to the lungs, if they hit the shoulder; and especially if they hit bone. They are incredibly fragile at .220 Swift velocities.


For my own 1:14" .220 Swift, I gave some 53 gr Barnes TSX FBs a try. They shot well, but I never got a chance to use them on game. I'm sure the petals would shear off if the shoulder was hit, but the base should penetrate and do some nice internal damage.


I would be hesitant to use a Sierra GameKing in the Swift. They're designed to be used at .223 Rem velocities.
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Old October 14, 2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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Your most probably have a 14" twist which limits you to shorter/lighter flat base "varmit" bullets..... which will turn the neck or lungs into jello just fine.
If you want to eat jello, they make that in my flavors ..... comes in a red and white box.....

I like my venison w/o the bruising/bloodshot effect. There are better tools for the job.......
Quote:
I would be hesitant to use a Sierra GameKing in the Swift. They're designed to be used at .223 Rem velocities.
You could always (Gasp!) download it to 3K f/sec....
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Old October 14, 2012, 11:19 PM   #6
FrankenMauser
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You could always (Gasp!) download it to 3K f/sec....
I've never found .220 Swift to respond well to light loads. So, I don't like to suggest it.
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Old October 15, 2012, 12:31 AM   #7
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Just speaking from my experience with the very user friendly .270 WIN- 90gr hp @ 3400 were not any more terminally impressive than the same bullet @3000 ... less buck and blast, too.....
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Old October 15, 2012, 03:14 AM   #8
bigD01
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deer load

would a 55 grain full metal jacket fired from a 220 Swift work as a deer load?
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:47 AM   #9
603Country
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Frankenmauser, I never intended to even try a 220 on deer, but a buddy begged me to loan him a rifle to shoot pigs on a weekend hunt. All I had extra was the 220, so I loaded up some 63 grain, flat base, Sierra softpoints (#1395, I think). They worked great on the pigs, so I tried them out on deer and they worked pretty good. Seems like I loaded them to about 3300 fps or so. So yes, a Gameking will work just fine, but a Partition would definitely be the way to go if I was going to actively deer hunt with the 220. Just DO NOT use an explosive bullet on deer. That's a bad idea, and yes I know that from experience. I'm not talking just theory here...

As for the FMJ bullets in the 220, I don't have any experience at all with them. I'd just expect varying results, with one time being a tiny hole in and tiny hole out and one time maybe the bullet tumbling in the deer and a huge mess. Buy and use the Partition or the Barnes.
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:19 AM   #10
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I know of SO many people who swear thier 223s and 22-250's are great deer guns. But personally I just can't imagine them working well. (lump the 220 swift in there as well)


My own experience is with a 22-250, I was hard up for a deer rifle one season, many years ago and took a 22-250 loaded with factory, blue box federal 55gr soft points into the field. 55gr Being the heaviest bullet I could get to shoot well out of my particular 1-14" twist barrel

I happened upon a large 10 point buck at a hair over 200 yards and put the crosshairs just under its chin (it was looking directly at me)
It dropped on impact, but quickly stood back up...I fired another into the same location and again it dropped only to immediately stand back up. This time it was broadside, but again I fired to the top of the neck/base of the skull.
The end result was a dead deer, but upon skinning it, I found that neigther of the frontal shots penetrated the windpipe through to the spine.


IF you have a fast twist barrel, you might make do with some of the heavier, harder bullets on the market such as the 60gr partition, but if I had to use a .224 caliber again, I would favor the heaviest barnes offering that the rifle could handle...and I would not shoot through the shoulder with any light/fast projectile.
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:28 AM   #11
bekellog
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Thanks for the replys guys i will try these bullets and let you all know
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Old October 16, 2012, 04:51 AM   #12
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An acquaintance of mine due to age and health related issues uses the .223 for 95% of his deer hunting. He is using the Barnes 50 and 55gr TTSX and they drop deer like a lightning strike.

That said my close friend and hunting pardner used them as well in his Swift, with equal results on a couple of deer and hogs but, and not due to the bullet, somewhat lacking results on a couple of others.

If your going to use them on deer keep the shots tucked tight in behind the shoulder, but not through it. The Barnes will turn the lungs and heat into minced meat, but the shoulder will absorb what is needed if you put it through there first.
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Old October 16, 2012, 10:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
would a 55 grain full metal jacket fired from a 220 Swift work as a deer load?
GAme should NEVER be shot with a full metal jacket bullet! The FMJ is designed for military use to "wound and not kill". All hunting should be done with soft point/expanding projectiles. It is even the law in most states.
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Old October 18, 2012, 09:38 PM   #14
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I would imagine the M193 type FMJ would be pretty effective if legal in your state. The only reasion I have not tried them on deer here is due to state hunting regulations. Have seen soft points that preform worse than this type slug.
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Old October 18, 2012, 10:06 PM   #15
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I shot three hogs with Speer 70gr FMJ's out of a 22-250. They shot great out of that gun,I did have some spire points with me also,forget the weight. Since I was shooting an accurate gun(most my guns are bull barrel varmint types) I always go for head shots. All three pigs were dead before even hitting the ground with the 70gr going down the ear channel. Did that with a dozen deer also, just not with 22-250, they were with a .243 VLS.
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Old October 19, 2012, 06:12 AM   #16
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Call the .220 Swift what it is, a high powered "varmint" rifle. Stop trying to turn it into something is isn't. Tell your friend to get a 6mm or 25 cal.
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Old October 19, 2012, 08:49 AM   #17
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My experience is with 22-250 which compares closely to the 220 swift as projectiles go. I have had great success with 60gr spitzer soft points. I would not go any lower than 55gr and 60gr will probably be the heaviest you can go unless the rifling is tighter than 1:14. Stay away from the ballistic tips and those designed to be more explosive than standard soft points. Copper solids such as those offered by Barnes are also good choices. I have a unique perspective on using the larger .22s for deer hunting as my home county once did not allow anything larger than a .22 cal. for deer hunting. The 22-250 and 220 swift proved themselves very effective deer rifles for more than 20 years.
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