View Full Version : It pains me, but the 220 goes back in the safe

January 16, 2012, 07:30 PM
Deer season is over, so I parked the 260 and 270 in the safe and took out my 220 Swift to do some coyote hunting. Well, I'm not doing so good finding coyotes, but the pigs are running all over me. Twice this week I've put a 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip in the lungs of a big pig and twice I can't find the darn pig. I've got to face it that the bullet might be great for coyotes, but not so great for what I'm trying to do to pigs. Somebody is going to now tell me to shoot em behind the ear, but the ear has been 300 plus yards away both times. I could go to a different bullet, but I think I'll just drag out the 260 again. Only problem is that the 260 has that compact rifle barrel of 16 1/2 inches, and I don't have all the muzzle velocity I'd like to have for 300 yard shots. I'm just griping. Thanks for listening.:)

January 16, 2012, 08:26 PM
Put it in his ear next time, he will be waiting for you when you arrive at his side.:D

Also, 300yds away probably does not constitute running all over you.

January 16, 2012, 08:35 PM
What makes you think you put a bullet thru the pig's lungs? A Noslet BT designed to blow up on a squirrel might be a little light on penetration.

January 16, 2012, 08:40 PM
Use the .270 with the same 130 grain bullets you use on deer and shoot em wherever you want:D Same bullets will put an equal stop on the coyotes if you see them:)

January 16, 2012, 08:44 PM
Yeah, I don't believe the problem was the .220 Swift, It was the projectile you used.

The 60 grain Nosler Partition and 70 grain Speer for example would have worked.

January 16, 2012, 08:47 PM
use a 55 gn hollow point or soft tip guranteed kill

January 16, 2012, 08:49 PM
use a 55 gn hollow point or soft tip guranteed kill

What does that mean?

Which brand and are they structured for big game?

January 16, 2012, 08:50 PM
...Only problem is that the 260 has that compact rifle barrel of 16 1/2 inches, and I don't have all the muzzle velocity I'd like to have for 300 yard shots...
Have you looked at the 100 gr X bullets and partitions? You should be able to get 3000 ft/sec from them in that 16 1/2 inch barrel and do fairly well out to 300 yards.

You'll only be about 7" low at 300 if you sight in at 200. Alternatively, if you sight in at 300 yards, you'll be less than 5 inches off the line of sight out to about 350 yards.

Velocities will be high enough to reliably expand the bullets over those ranges as well.

January 16, 2012, 09:28 PM
Can you get closer to the pig? That seems to be a way to still use a rifle that you wish.

January 16, 2012, 10:06 PM
Well...I already admitted that I was using the wrong bullet. When I shoot a pig, I want to see a dead pig, and that's not happening. I have some 65 grain Sierra GK's and some 55 gr Sierra GK's and half a box of 60 gr Partitions, but I'm just going to get the 260 back out. As for my not really being run over by pigs, that's true, but there were about 10 of them and the one I shot was the closest big one. And somebody made a good point about maybe the bullet wasn't in the lungs. It's possible that the bullet didn't make it that deep, but more probable that the bullet got that deep but no way it exited. So no blood trail. I think what I'll do about this depressing situation is that I'll load up some 100 grain bullets to around 3000 (if I can) and go with that till next deer season. I've killed pigs at 390 and a coyote at 356 with that stumpy barreled little gun, using the 120 grain bullets, but I'd like a faster flatter bullet. I'll have to pick one, but I'm thinking Sierra GK. If I can get the 100 grainers to about 3000, that'll put me on about the same trajectory (give or take an inch or two) as the 65 grain Sierras in the 223 and the 130 grain Noslers in the 270 out to 300 and 400 yards. I like that because I won't have to do much heavy thinking on trajectories if they all shoot about the same. Now I'll have to do some thinking on which powder is best to get me to 3000 fps accurately in that short barrel and with the 100 grain Sierra. I've got 3031, 4064, H335 and Varget, and I've heard good things about Reloader 17 in this caliber, but haven't bought any yet.

Of course I could just drag out the 270, but that's too easy and wouldn't give me any excuse to work on this.

January 17, 2012, 05:54 AM
Shot placement is key.....Even with a big bore.....

January 17, 2012, 06:17 AM
What came to mind is a book I read long ago "Use Enough Gun" by Robert Ruark.I talks about using a Swift in Africa with some regret.

I don't want to get too far into the debate about whether the Swift is a hog gun.With the right bullets and good shot placement,knowledge of anatomy,etc,sure,a 17 Mach 4 is probably a crackerjack Cape Buffalo rifle....for somebody besides me.

As you already figured out(good for you!) put the Swift in the safe and select another one of your fine rifles.

I use a .257 AI with 115 gr Ballistic tips on antelope,deer,sometimes varmints.With the scope on it it weighs 7 lbs.Its a nice rifle,and I have no doubt I could be successful on elk with it,but I do not carry it elk hunting,simple because I have better choices.

IMO,our responsibility is to deliver a quick,merciful kill.

I think most of us would agree sighting in your rifle is one element of that responsibility.Developing a degree of marksmanship and limiting the range of your shots so you can confidently hit vitals is another element.Equal in importance with these is selecting a cartridge/load/bullet that will dependably get the job done.

OP,I give you credit for recognizing what did not work,and changing.I do not intend to slam you.You are OK.I have learned some things the hard way,myself.

But blowing shallow craters in big game with varmint bullets ,or shattering a forleg by shooting too far,or a gut shot cuz gee,the wind does move the bullet at 400 yds,etc,are all pretty much the same.We can make better choices.

phil mcwilliam
January 17, 2012, 08:04 AM
Interesting result with your 220 swift using 55 grain ballistic tips. I've shot hundreds of pigs with my 22-250 using winchester super x 55 grain pointed soft point factory ammunition over 30 years of pig hunting & have had no problems dropping them. Got to admit a .30 caliber is better for a "Texas heart shot", but the 22-250 would always either anchor them, or provide a serious blood/gut trail to follow. Maybe steer clear of ballistic tips unless shooting varmits.

January 17, 2012, 10:20 AM
in the .220.

Originally designed for hunting.

January 17, 2012, 01:45 PM
Load up some of the .22/Nosler Partitions and shoot some pigs, I want a report.

January 17, 2012, 02:05 PM
I wrestled with that problem for a few years, before doing something about it.

I just couldn't use the .220 Swift more than about once a year (if that), unless I was shooting paper. I tried to find ways to make it more useful, but I couldn't. The biggest problem was that it was illegal for most game, where I hunt.

In the end, I rebarreled the rifle to my own 6mm wildcat (consider it a .243 Win), with a 25" Shilen 1:10" twist barrel. I can hunt big game. I can pop varmints. I can shoot paper. It's a great compromise. I do miss the laser beam performance of .220 Swift ...but not much. The 6mm is pretty close. ;)

January 17, 2012, 07:47 PM
I'll have to pick one, but I'm thinking Sierra GK. If I can get the 100 grainers to about 3000, that'll put me on about the same trajectory (give or take an inch or two) as the 65 grain Sierras in the 223 and the 130 grain Noslers in the 270 out to 300 and 400 yards. I like that because I won't have to do much heavy thinking on trajectories if they all shoot about the same.
There is a lot of merit in matching trajectories between rifles. You might be able to match close enough out to a couple of hundred yards past your point blank range. For a discussion, see http://shootersnotes.com/articles/paired-rifles/

Regarding powder, look at AA 4350 -- several folks are reporting 3200 - 3279 ft/sec in 24 inch barrels and 100 grain bullets. That will translate to somewhere between 2940 and 2990 in the 16 - 1/2 inch barrel. Depending on your rifle, you might get a little more, or a little less.

January 17, 2012, 10:29 PM
I have actually shot a lot of pigs with that 220 and the 55 gr Ballistic Tip, but only at relatively short ranges. When we bought this little ranch I was blasting a lot of coyotes and only the occasional pig. Now the pigs are numerous and the coyotes are harder to find. And when I find the darn pigs, they are never where I expect them to show up. Anyway, my trusty old 220 just isn't enough gun. I considered doing some 22 caliber bullet swapping and going to the 40 grain varmint bullets in the 223 and moving today's 223 bullet, which is the 65 grain Sierra Gameking, over to the Swift. That would improve the Swift performance on the pigs, but I don't think it would get me what I want. It'd be nice to have a 257 AI, but I do have that 260 and about 80 rounds of loaded Nosler 120 gr Ballistic Tips and another 50 or so bullets still in the box. I'm going to shoot those up and then maybe switch to the 100 grain Ballistic Tips. Or...I might just get some more cases and find me a 100 grain load and put together some just for pigs and coyotes and save the 120 grainers for deer season (but I won't ever need that many bullets for deer). Whatever happens over the long term, what is going to happen in the short term is that I'm going to do some 200, 300, and 350 yard shooting with the 260 and the 120 grain bullets to be absolutely sure of the drop that'll have to be compensated for. I've got that Burris scope on it with the BDC dots. I'll just go ahead and do my homework until I'm solid gold to 350 or so. I'm capable to 300+ already with that rifle, but I just don't yet have the same confident warm fuzzy feeling that I have on shots that far out with my 270. But, I'm retired. I've got time and bullets and gunpowder. And I've got pigs. And thanks for your comments.

January 17, 2012, 11:07 PM
Your 220 will be fine with the right bullets. I had the same problem with a 22/250 and light bullets on coyotes, hitting bone would create a shallow wound and a long follow up. I went to the 64 grain powerpoint and 38 grains of 4350 in the 22/250, and the results improved dramatically. I could now shoot them coming, going and sideways, and always had good penetration. Shot a couple of javelinas and deer with it as well, and killed them DRT. On top of that, it was one of the most accurate loads I ever shot in my riifle, I could put 5 shots into a ragged hole at 100.

January 28, 2012, 12:33 AM

How about this for a Hog gun? 458 SOCOM. I borrowed the photo off of another forum.

January 31, 2012, 11:57 AM
Okie..nice pig..nice shot....

January 31, 2012, 05:04 PM
It sounds like you have made a good plan but I'm wondering why you want to move to 100 grain bullets in your 260?

January 31, 2012, 08:38 PM
I just got back from the woods and from blasting a big pig with that 260 and the 120 grain bullet. The answer to your question about why would I consider going to the 100 grain Ballistic Tip is that I'd like to get above 3000 fps in that 16 1/2 inch barrel and flatten the trajectory just a bit out to 400 yards. But, this afternoon's pig was at 350 yards and with the use of the Burris BC dots, I knocked the pig flat on the spot. So maybe I don't need the 100 grain bullet after all. The Burris dots are dead on at 200 and 300, so maybe I just better leave well enough alone. This coming week, I'll try out some Reloader 17 in the rifle and will try both the 100 and 120 grain bullets. Whichever is more accurate is probably what I'll use. Anyway...that's what I'm saying right now. I might just stay with the 120 grain version.

As for the 220, I think I'll work up some 65 grain Sierra loads and try that on a few pigs just to see if they'll flop over on the spot. I expect that bullet will stabilize, but I haven't tried it yet.

February 1, 2012, 09:51 AM
Thanks for the reply and congrats on your pig!