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Old September 20, 2018, 09:30 PM   #1
Dano4734
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Anyone of my age remember the 218 bee

Boy I loved that old Winchester when I was a kid do they make them anymore. Probably not. I rolled lots of ground hogs with that thing growing up
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Old September 20, 2018, 10:40 PM   #2
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When we were kids, a buddy had one that his dad bought for him. He shot white tail with it and everything else.

It knocked them down purty good. Sweet shootin' rifle. It was a Win M43 bolt gun.

Last time I checked with him, he still has it. That was prolly 5 years ago.
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Old September 20, 2018, 11:15 PM   #3
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Dufus they were not popular but a sweet little rifle.
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Old September 20, 2018, 11:49 PM   #4
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Only thing I can say about the .218 Bee was I'm amazed at the velocity one could get from it with such a low amount of powder. 2500 fps with a 40 grain projectile and uses half the powder a .223 does? A reloader couldn't ask for more.
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Old September 21, 2018, 12:39 AM   #5
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Essentially a necked down .25-20 the Bee was a sweet pest round in the era when cartridges didn't have to fit into an AR to be considered useful.
(and rimmed cases were still commercially viable propositions)

A couple of lever guns, a couple bolt guns, and a fair number of single shots were made or converted to shoot the Bee and its improved version.

Nothing in current production that I know of.

I think Marlin did a limited run of then 1894 in .218, some years back, but I'm not certain. I know they did a .25-20 and I think a .32-20, but good luck finding one of those, and be prepared to pay a pretty penny if you do.
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Old September 21, 2018, 05:48 AM   #6
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i had a ruger # 1 in 218 bee, good rifle even if it was a bit heavy.
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Old September 21, 2018, 06:44 AM   #7
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About 20 years ago Taurus offered a Raging Bee. Chambered in .218 Bee. My brother bought one, and scoped it. He has shot many small varmints with it out to 200 yards.
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Old September 21, 2018, 07:31 AM   #8
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my marlin 218 out shoots my hornet hands down. (but the 222 rem out shoots both and is nearly as quiet.)…...I like small hand easily carried rifles. I would grab a nice cl marlin and pay the grand it takes to get one if I had to.
…. re7 works awesome in the bee with 46 gr flat nose speers. just ruminating. bob
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Old September 21, 2018, 08:04 AM   #9
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I had a Malin 25-20 lever with a tang peep. Bought it in 1945 at a farm sale. A Lyman 310 tong tool with a bullet mold on the handle. Used wheel weights for lead and axle grease for lube.
Shot a lot of “chucks” in the day.
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Old September 21, 2018, 11:12 AM   #10
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Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Yup as well as the 219 Zipper, 22 Hornet and K Hornet and on and on.

I still shoot the 220 Swift and would love to have a slick carbine in 300 Savage.
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Old September 21, 2018, 11:33 AM   #11
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Kind of depends on what your age is, but Hornady loads The Bee. 45 grain HP only though. Both Winchester(supposedly in limited production) and PCI(also not currently available) load it too.
Pretty much the same for brass. Hornady's box of 50 cases runs $37.99 at Graf's.
Don't believe there are any factory rifles currently chambered in The Bee. $1575 for a Win M43 on http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/wi...218-bee-w7156/
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Old September 21, 2018, 04:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Anyone of my age remember the 218 bee
Sure. Got a Winchester 43 hanging on the wall and an original Winchester 1885 Low Wall in the rack, both in 218 Bee. Great little cartridge, but the 223 killed it and a whole slew of other varmint cartridges. I still shoot them just to show new guys that there is something out there besides 5.56 and 7.62.
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Old September 21, 2018, 05:40 PM   #13
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Come and gone like so many, I never wanted one I liked the gun it came in !!!
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Old September 22, 2018, 12:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
Kind of depends on what your age is, but Hornady loads The Bee. 45 grain HP only though. Both Winchester(supposedly in limited production) and PCI(also not currently available) load it too.
Pretty much the same for brass. Hornady's box of 50 cases runs $37.99 at Graf's.
Don't believe there are any factory rifles currently chambered in The Bee. $1575 for a Win M43 on http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/wi...218-bee-w7156/
I may be wrong, but given that .218 Bee is just necked down .32-20, couldn't cases be formed from .32-20?
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Old September 22, 2018, 09:42 AM   #15
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@truthteller: I believer you're correct. Although I'd run the .32-20 brass through a .25-20 die first. The brass is usually so thin that, after re-sizing, you may not need to neck ream.

I always wanted a bee, but could never find a rifle chambered for it, that was in decent shape or affordable. I had to settle for two hornets. One thing I discovered about the hornet: I got better accuracy and more consistent velocities when using small pistol primers rather than small rifle. I wonder if the same might apply to the bee.
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Old September 22, 2018, 12:55 PM   #16
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My first handgun 1975 was a Tc Contender 10" barrel, 218Bee. It was a doe slayer. Shot the biggest whitetail I ever took with that pistol.
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Old September 22, 2018, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthTellers
2500 fps with a 40 grain projectile and uses half the powder a .223 does?
In order to accelerate a 40 grain bullet to 2500 fps, the powder only needs to supply 555 ft lb of energy to the bullet. That's less than half of the energy needed to accelerate a 55 grain bullet to 3240 fps. Therefore, the gun is actually less efficient than the .223.

40 grain bullet @ 2500 fps = 554.57 ft-lb of kinetic energy
55 grain bullet @ 3240 fps = 1280.76 ft-lb of kinetic energy
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Old September 22, 2018, 01:59 PM   #18
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I've had 218Bee in Win 43s. Never had one that was a tack driver. In fact I've
had several 43s in 22 Hornrt and they were nothing to write home about in the
accurracy dept. The cheap Savages shot as good or better. That put me down in
the jaws because Im a solid pre 64 Win guy. A buddy of mine had a Savage
single shot in 218B and had a old Weaver K4 scope on it. Best shooting 218B
I've come across.
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Old September 22, 2018, 03:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.L.E. View Post
In order to accelerate a 40 grain bullet to 2500 fps, the powder only needs to supply 555 ft lb of energy to the bullet. That's less than half of the energy needed to accelerate a 55 grain bullet to 3240 fps. Therefore, the gun is actually less efficient than the .223.

40 grain bullet @ 2500 fps = 554.57 ft-lb of kinetic energy
55 grain bullet @ 3240 fps = 1280.76 ft-lb of kinetic energy
What are you shooting that requires a 55 grain bullet going 3200 fps over a 40 grain bullet going 2500 fps? My point was you can shoot twice as many .218 Bee's as you can .223 because it uses half as much powder and about 25% less lead.
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Old September 23, 2018, 09:11 AM   #20
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There are currently two .218 Bee rifles in my safe. Both are Martini Cadet rifles with Winchester model 43 barrels. One is chambered for .218 Mashburn Bee.
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Old September 23, 2018, 11:36 AM   #21
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Since the Bee has a much smaller case, and is designed to operate a lower pressures, I don't find any X gr powder = XXXXfps comparison between it and the .223 to be valid.

Apples to apples, or dust to dust, compare things that aren't the same, and its a bust!
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Old September 24, 2018, 03:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
What are you shooting that requires a 55 grain bullet going 3200 fps over a 40 grain bullet going 2500 fps? My point was you can shoot twice as many .218 Bee's as you can .223 because it uses half as much powder and about 25% less lead.
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I'm pretty sure you can load .223 ammo with 40 grain bullets and 5 grains of Trail Boss if you don't need 55 grain bullets going 3200 fps.
I sometimes load no powder at all in primed .22 Hornet cases and seat a .22 caliber air rifle pellet in the neck for super quiet back yard plinking fun, actually quieter than most air rifles, and all it costs is a primer and a pellet.

As for the first part of the question, it's not always about killing power but the ability to hit targets that are far, far away. Faster and heavier bullets shoot flatter and don't get blown sideways by crosswinds so badly.
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Last edited by B.L.E.; September 25, 2018 at 04:58 AM.
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Old September 25, 2018, 12:41 PM   #23
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As a younger guy, (under 30) these old varmint rounds always interested me. The Bee, Hornet, K-Hornet....etc. At my bachelor part a couple of months ago, a buddy brought out his family's Model 65 in .218 Bee, as a group we maybe shot a box through it. What a sweet old rifle! I have an appreciate for these cartridges, but don't have one yet. Maybe I need to work harder to find an older rimmed varmint rifle!
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Old September 29, 2018, 11:15 AM   #24
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My grand dad fed his family with his 218 Bee in the late 1930's early 1940's. He killed everything from turkey to deer with that rifle.
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Old October 17, 2018, 11:24 AM   #25
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In 1960, as a 12 year old, I bought a sweet .218 Bee for $65.00. It was built on a Winchester low wall frame by a NY gunsmith, John Dewy. It had 2 1/2X C&P Weaver scope, which I replaced with a 6X Lyman scope. It also came with a tool box of ammo and reloading supplies, included.
Two boxes of factory loads (100 rounds).
A Lyman 310 hand loader and dies.
1,000 cases.
1,000 primers.
One pound of 4227 powder.
And several hundred 45 grain SP bullets.

I learned to reload with that rifle!

Fifteen years later, while in the service I needed money and sold that rifle. The sale still haunts me.
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