The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 19, 2023, 03:13 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 2,285
Said I wouldn't; I did. 220 Swift

So, I didn't last a month into 2023 before I dove into another project. Bought a long (27 1/2") Shilen barrel on a post-64 Model 70 action. Twist is 1:12. It comes with brass and dies. No stock.

The Swift is famous for outrageous velocities with light bullets, and infamous for burning out barrels with those loads. From what I read, most folks today load 50-55 gr rounds at saner speed, and barrels do better. Guess I'll find out. This is a case where I have powder and shot on hand. Of course, I would welcome any shared load experience.

My question is how to stock her. First thought is to go back to Richards Microfit, this time for a AAA myrtle. And I promise not to stain it. Alternatives include Hogue and McMillan. I always consider cost, but if saving money were that important, I'd have a different hobby.
ligonierbill is offline  
Old January 19, 2023, 04:52 PM   #2
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 3,005
I always consider cost, but if saving money were that important, I'd have a different hobby.
Ain't that the truth
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old January 20, 2023, 02:57 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 2,285
OK, no advisers. I went ahead and requested a quote from Richards for a AAA myrtle stock. Just a couple bucks less than a McMillan. I promise - nothing but Tru-Oil will go on this wood. The barrel and action are finished in desert tan, so should look good with the light myrtle. I was thinking of selling a couple to make room, but...nah.
ligonierbill is offline  
Old January 20, 2023, 05:35 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: November 30, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posts: 1,639
AAA Myrtle ... Oh Me , Oh My ... that should be Beautiful ...
Color Me Green !

I like the way you roll ... post photo's please ,
gwpercle is offline  
Old January 20, 2023, 07:02 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: In the valley above the plain
Posts: 13,131
Shooting "reduced" velocities with 50-55 gr bullets definitely helps barrel life.
A few members here have commented on such in the past. And I saw it with my own.

I sold a factory .220 Swift Ruger 77 tang safety barrel to another member here, who is a pest and predator control contractor in Montana. Looked great. Shot great. I was just tired of the brass prep and short case life, but wanted to rechamber, rather than sell the rifle.

It saw some screaming 40 gr loads in its life, but shot mostly 52 gr HPs at ~3,800 fps. I think I remember estimating 2,000 to 2,200 rounds, based on the number of reloads marked on the ammo boxes. (Though not always mine, the rifle and brass were in my family since new. Their history was known.)

A couple years later, the buyer sent me a message saying he fed the barrel a similar load and the it was still shooting like the day he installed it, with thousands more rounds through it. (He goes through barrels like candy - averaging something like 2,500 rounds per year.)
Those V/T Ruger barrels are known to be very hard and much more erosion resistant than some other brands, but I still count that as extremely good barrel life for the cartridge and cannot help but think that the "reduced" loads were a key factor.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old January 21, 2023, 12:23 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 2,285
Well, the proof will be in the chronograph, but looking at what Speer, Sierra, and Nosler are getting with 24-26" barrels and extrapolating with Quickload, I think I can run 50 Nosler BT at a bit over 4,000 and 55 SGK at 3,900 without approaching 62 ksi. It's an outrageously long barrel, and Re-17 looks to take advantage of it. I have not fired a modern rifle with a barrel longer than 26".

Richards Microfit says 8 weeks for the stock. Then the fun begins.
ligonierbill is offline  
Old January 21, 2023, 04:33 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 15,215
45 years ago, I built a 22-250 and put it in a AAA myrtle stock. I didn't stain it, I just used TruOil on it. It looked beautiful, but the finish wasn't very durable so about 10 years ago I refinished it when I rebarreled it. I wish I had used just a light golden stain on it to show the grain. So, after saying that, my advice is either use a light color stain just to show off the grain or use something that will darken as it cures like Tru Oil does.

For comparison, here is a AAA maple stock I put a light stain on.

As far as your loads go, yes, use a 55 grain bullet. Your max speeds won't be as high, but out past 350 yds your trajectory will be flatter. And your barrel will last a lot longer.
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services

Last edited by Scorch; January 21, 2023 at 05:12 PM.
Scorch is offline  
Old January 21, 2023, 06:14 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 3,954
I’ve had a 77V since the early 80’s. On the second barrel now. Both barrels loved 38.5 gr of IMR 4064 behind a 55 gr Nosler BT or a 55 gr Sierra GK. I saw an article in a gun mag many years ago that said there was never a 220 Swift that didn’t like that load. So, I tried it. Yup!

Sight it an inch high at 100 yards, and you’ll be on at 200, down 5” at 300, and down 15 at 400. And 35” down at 500, if that matters.

I’ve mostly used Norma brass and case life has been very good.

The New Mexico cowboy I bought the rifle from had the barrel chopped to 20” so he could put it on his truck dash for coyote shooting. When I wore that barrel out, I went with a 20” barrel again. The heavy 26” barrel would have been a bit much for my needs.

Last edited by 603Country; January 21, 2023 at 06:20 PM.
603Country is offline  
Old January 22, 2023, 09:00 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,676
I never had a .220 Swift, but enjoyed a couple of .22-250s. They had nearly swift performance, but easier on barrels. Accuracy was fantastic, allowing me to win several informal target games, including Turkey Shoots. (No turkeys were sacrificed, except the frozen/packaged kind.) Wife Bunnie won one with a perfect dead-center shot at 100 yards, shooting my .22-250 Remington 700.
Picher is offline  
Old January 22, 2023, 11:53 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 7,954
77V barrels

No Swift for me but a Ruger 77V, 22-250 purchased used in the early '80's. Same shop had a Swift as well, but I went with the 22-250. Dang thing still shoots like a house afire. Ruger outsourced their barrels at that time, and I've read that the early 77V's may have gotten Douglas barrels. I've never met anybody that had one that didn't claim they shot great.
bamaranger is offline  
Old February 9, 2023, 02:01 PM   #11
Right to bear arms
Senior Member
Join Date: March 6, 2011
Location: LaFayette GA
Posts: 197
I have the same gun. Ruger 77V from early 80's. After 500 rockchucks still .25-.50 MOA
blued metal and walnut stocks
Right to bear arms is offline  
Old February 9, 2023, 07:51 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,676
Georgeous stock!!! Nice rifle!!!

I still have a .223 in a Rem 700 Stainless Fluted 21" that's a real shooter too. She's a great carry rifle and I often take her for a walk down back to the big fields. Last year, I scored a couple of Eastern Coyotes that were sleeping near a mowed field, and woke up to see some turkeys in the next field. Quick shots with the .223 at 35 yards got the first and an offhand shot as the second one was running dead away at 200 yards! One of my better shots.
Picher is offline  
Old February 9, 2023, 11:17 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: November 10, 2014
Posts: 1,274
I had 3 rifles in 220Swift, pre 64 M70, Ruger 77 and 03 sporter will Douglas barrel , custom stocked. Always shot 55gr bullets in 222s up. Much better load for Groundhog than the 4110fps barn burners. A little wind or stem of a weed can deflect light bullets. And a decent varmit bullet will come apart if it hits much on way to target.
Drm50 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2021 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Page generated in 0.04609 seconds with 8 queries