View Full Version : Why choose the .222 over t he .223?

arizona hunter
May 17, 2007, 12:11 PM
For those of you that have a .222 Rem, why did you choose it over the .223 Rem?

My .204 Ruger is fabulous for prairie dogs, but have been considering getting another p-dog rifle. Maybe I'll just get another .204, but I've also been considering a different caliber (just because) like the .19's or a .222 or .223.

I do reload so store bought ammo is no issue.

May 17, 2007, 12:39 PM
The 223 has about 200-300 fps edge over the 222, and good quality, low cost ammo is everywhere. There are still the retro aficionados who want a 222, but it offers nothing over the 223, except maybe that "mine's different" appeal.

629 shooter
May 17, 2007, 02:15 PM
In a full blown bench rifle the .222 was king of short range benchrest for a long time , even during the time when the .223 came on to the scene. Regardless I shoot the .223. The bullets are the same for both , most of the same powders can be used but .223 brass is a whole lot more plentiful by various makers.

In a factory gun today it is difficult to find a .222. Remington who introduced the cartridge does not even make any of their varmint rifles in .222 anymore. The BDL sporter in .222 is still available on places like gunbroker. or Bud's gun shop. I can't recall if I ever saw a .222 Varmint in recent years.

The .223 rifles I have also have the 1 in 9" twsit which allows the use of heavier bullets like the 69 grain match. But since yours is more for the varminting the lighter bullets is what you will more likely use.

What .222 did you have in mind?

Joe the Redneck
May 17, 2007, 05:58 PM
The .222 has a longer neck. Some reloaders find that an advantage.

Remeber though, if you get a .223 varmint rifle, check with the maker before you use any mil surp ammo in them.

Best Wishes

Dave R
May 17, 2007, 06:07 PM
Longer neck, better reputation for accuracy. Although I gotta believe that a good handloader could make either one equally accurate.

Maybe just to have a different cartridge than all your your buddies with AR's are shooting?

May 17, 2007, 06:43 PM
Well, I had my .222 quite a while before the .223 came along ( an early Ruger #1.) For wandering across fields no more than a couple of hundred yards wide, it was and is an excellent rifle/caliber combination. The fact that my careful handloads can stay under a .5 MOA in that range has something to do with it.
I later acquired a .223 also. It shoots well, but I still prefer the old Ruger when it comes to a .22 centerfire. Many chucks and a few crows could testify.

May 17, 2007, 10:53 PM
The .222 Remington still holds at least one Bench-Rest record. The .223 hasn't achieved anywhere near that. You'll find a resurgence in the ,222 in open-class ARs in some areas, based on those factors. It depends on what you want to use the rifle for. Prarie dog shooting isn't going to require Bench-Rest skills, or the ultimate in accuracy potential that favors the .222.

Pick whichever one you want to use, and enjoy.:)

May 17, 2007, 10:56 PM
Because I inherited a .222 Sako Vixen from Dad, and it's just too damn pretty to let it go. Hoping to go blow up some prairie dogs with it this spring/summer.

May 19, 2007, 07:18 AM
I have owned both the .222 and the .223.
The .222 is more accurate!

May 19, 2007, 07:44 AM
Doesn't the triple deuce still hold a bench rest record until now? Out of all the 22 centerfire, I think I would pick the 221 Fireball for 100 yard shooting. Nope I don't have one, but I do have plenty of 223. josh

May 19, 2007, 04:03 PM
I've heard for years now that the .222 has some kind of inherent accuracy that the .223 does not. I have no idea how, or why, or if it's true in any way. But I have heard it.

44 AMP
May 19, 2007, 04:18 PM
T/C Contender, I have a .222 barrel, had a .223, but got rid of it. .222 does everything you can get out of the Contender, .223 is just a waste of money (powder). The .221 is supposedly even more efficient from a pistol, but I'll stick with the .222 as I have other guns in that caliber.

I also have a .222 Remington Model 600 carbine. Neat little pest rifle. Not a "varmint" rifle, but a fun gun none the less. I would choose .222 over .223 is the rifle I want is in .222. If I want more MV than the .222 has, I use the .22-250. And when I don't need the power of the .222, I use the .22 Hornet.

My .223s are semi auto, and work fine for that.

arizona hunter
May 23, 2007, 01:33 PM
The 222 I might be able to get hold of is an old Rem 700. But my wifes cousin is not going to give it away, so I may as well get another .204 or a new 223 since brass so readily available for both.

Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it.

May 23, 2007, 03:28 PM
I've heard for years now that the .222 has some kind of inherent accuracy that the .223 does not.
For benchresters, maybe. For the majority of us, you will never see the difference. I have seen groups from a .223 Rem that measured .090", very competitive for benchrest shooters. While that group is outstanding, it is the result of a lot of hard work and high quality equipment. Caliber had little to do with it.

Magnum Wheel Man
May 23, 2007, 03:51 PM
Like "44", I also have a 222 Contender carbine barrel ( yes, inherited it from the father in law )... I had shot it quite a bit after 1st getting the collection, & with my wife's dads reloads, it was a tack driver...

... to me it had a slight edge over the 223 in accuracy, with his best 223 reloads, but very marginal ( OK, not at all noticable with me shooting, as the 223 barrel was more accurate than I can shoot ), but the wife was able to shoot slightly better groups with the 222... both being equal contender barrels

IMO, the 223 is good enough, as it already shoots better than I do, the cost differences in factory ammo ( I don't have time to reload everything I shoot, so I often buy ammo, keeping the brass for later reloading ) easily makes up for the 1/4" or less MOA differences we recorded on paper between the two...