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Old June 23, 2005, 08:59 PM   #1
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Rechamber 222 Rem to 223 Rem (5.56mm)

It seems that the 222 Remington is now gone to the same place where 8-track tapes and B&W TVs were sent; I often see fine rifles (Anschutz, SAKO, etc.) in this "exotic" caliber in gun shows, estate sales, gun shops, etc., but the ammo is rather expensive compared to the 223 REM. and not always available.

What are the limitations to rechamber a "standard" 222 Rem into a 223 Rem?

I have heard that SAKO barrels are almost impossible to machine. Is this true? What about rechambering an Anschutz?
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Old June 23, 2005, 10:34 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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DeHaas says the L46 Sako magazine is just long enough for .222 and not recommended for .222 Magnum. It would be marginal for .223. As would the rather scarce early BSA. A later 461 would be ok. I don't know about the barrel steel business.
The .223 is a higher pressure cartridge than .222 and those Anschutz 153s are rear lockup, just an enlarged version of their Match 54 .22 action.
I have seen Remington .222s rechambered .223; letting their owners shoot cheap surplus or wallyworld ammo... and destroying what is getting to be a little collector interest.
It is no problem to me, I handload and you can wear out a barrel with a hundred cases.
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Old June 24, 2005, 03:17 AM   #3
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The steel may or may not be tough to machine...

However, cryogenically treating the barrel will align the molecules and make it considerably easier to machine and the finished work will have tighter tolerances.

Good luck on the magazine problems.
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Old June 24, 2005, 10:32 AM   #4
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Machinig a Sako is like machining any other rifle.

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Old June 25, 2005, 08:27 PM   #5
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Anyone caught rechambering .222's into 223's should have their fingers broken and their tools taken away.
"He who has it, would do well to have it, as if he did not have it."
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Old June 25, 2005, 08:41 PM   #6
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Buy some reloading dies.

Or better yet, save yourself all that trouble of rechambering...and send me the I already have dies, but 222.

So the way I see it, It's " win-win", I'll even pay for the shipping
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Old June 25, 2005, 08:51 PM   #7
Dave Haven
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Anyone caught rechambering .222's into 223's should have their fingers broken and their tools taken away.

IIRC, the .222 still holds the world record of .009" for a 5-shot group at 100 yards set in 1973 by Gale McMillan.
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Old June 26, 2005, 11:24 AM   #8
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Just buy .222 brass, some 4198, some 50 grain match bullets and Federal 205M primers and load it yourself from scratch. has Remington cases for $15.72/hundred. They also have Lapua for $35.91/hundred. The Lapua will be much more consistent in terms of case wall and neck concentricity, and would be my choice for target shooting or varmint shooting to about 200 yards (after that, I want something faster). For general plinking and varmints out to about 100 yards, I would get the Remington brass. The European .222 dimensions aren't exactly the same as the U.S. dimensions, the biggest difference being casehead to shoulder length, which is longer in the CIP chamber reamer specificaiton. But either way, I would expect to shoot once to fit the chamber, then neck size only. They will last a long while.

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Old September 17, 2009, 05:37 AM   #9
African hunter1
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Rechambering of .222

Hi There

From what I can gather it seems like not all the guys including my self are supporting the idea of re chambering a .222.
Well if some one are interested in re chambering a Sako L46 .222 Rem, I would be glad to take over any spare mags that they might have for this rifle as I'm a proud owner of a number of Sako's in my collection, but the .222 L46 is one of my most priced possessions as it's spotless and capable of producing a 11.5mm grouping at 100m.
For this reason I do enjoy taking it with on a hunt from time to time.

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Old September 17, 2009, 06:09 AM   #10
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My Sako was re-chambered for .223 as soon as I bought in in 1968-69. Have never had any feeding or other problems with the gun.
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Old September 17, 2009, 12:29 PM   #11
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Factory ammo for 222 is still available, brass is still available, I don't see where it has died yet. As Mark Twain reportedly once said, "The reports of my death are a little premature". Still, if you want to rechamber, go ahead, it's your rifle. Rechambering is no big deal. Just make sure the round you intend to rechamber it to will fit in the magazine, and mark the barrel with the new chambering.
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