.220 Swift Accuracy Load


Art Eatman
March 18, 2007, 01:54 PM
I've been going through the wild animal box and have found several varieties of bullets in the 40- to 55-grain sizes. From the books, 4895 and H414 are mentioned. Way back in the past I used (and have on hand) 4064.

Anyhow, anybody here worked up some tight-group loads for a Swift?


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March 18, 2007, 04:54 PM
I have had incredibly good luck with Sierra 52 and 53 grain boat tail hollow points and right around 42 grains of H-380. With this combo both my old Ruger model 77 and my current Savage BVSS-S will shoot sub inch groups. The Ruger is gone now but the Savage will do right around the half inch mark at 100 yards. The H-380 is temperature sensitive so if you are gonna be sittin out in the middle of the desert somewhere you will wanna keep your ammo in a cooler or at least the shade. Other than that it is really good combo.

Art Eatman
March 18, 2007, 09:22 PM
Yeah, those Sierras worked well in another Swift I once had.

Thanks for the info; I don't have any H-380, so I'll meddle around with what I now have.

Just went out sighting in the rifle. Nice to find that a 55-year-old rifle can shoot one MOA with 37-year-old ammo. :) Split a couple of case necks, but that didn't seem to matter. The rest of my loading will be with new brass, mostly. I'll use the old stuff for plinking.

Thanks again,


March 18, 2007, 10:43 PM
Art, one of the loads that shot the best in my 22/250 was 38 grains of Accurate 4350 and the 64 grain Winchester Power Point Bullet. It stabilized well in my 1 in 14, it is a short stubby bullet for its weight, and killed coyotes well. The best group I ever shot at 100 yards was with this bullet, I had 5 bullets in one ragged hole. The light superfast bullets did not give me good results on coyotes. Look into some loads at www.accuratearms.com.

Art Eatman
March 18, 2007, 10:56 PM
55-grain have done okay for me from a .223 on Wily, but I mostly use a .243 on them. Wanna try some of the 55-grain bullets for that. I've used the Sierra 85-grain HPBT, and they're seriously ruinacious. :)


March 19, 2007, 01:22 AM

It's been years since I owned a Swift. This load information is be dated- please check to insure that it makes sense with currently available products. Though I'm old enough to recall seeing 48 grain loads on the shelf, I've never loaded any bullet under 52 grains for use in a 220.

For 52 to 55 grain bullets when I wanted speed plus adequate accuracy (1/2 or 5/8 MOA) I used 38 to 40 grains of DuPont's 4064. Be very careful with this data for two reasons: First, there at least used to be some lot to lot variation and second, 4064 isn't (or wasn't) a forgiving powder. If you load to 60kpsi you'll find that the slope of the p/t curve is much steeper than you'd expect in extrapolating from loads in the 50kpsi region. Then again, this information was derived from tests using a linter rather than pulp based 4064. The current product may be less likely to cause trouble for an unwary user.

For pure accuracy, I used to use 55 grain match bullets over as much DuPont 4831 as I could compress and still seat the bullet. Accuracy was a bit better than 3/8 MOA (in favorable conditions) out of the 40XB I was using. I never did pressure test this load, but IIRC it clocked just under 3500 fps on an ald AVCO unit. Again, do check with whoever is currently providing data for this powder-


Art Eatman
March 19, 2007, 10:09 AM
Yeah, I used 4064 back in the '70s. I tend to stop at around 50,000 psi.

I imagine the majority of my playtime with be 50- to 55-grain bullets at around 3,700 or thereabouts.

I don't figure to shoot all that much, really. It's a 1952 Model 70 Supergrade, but it's not a safe queen.


Art Eatman
March 19, 2007, 03:46 PM
Doesn't like H414. Happier with 35-year-old reloads, so far.

Next: 4895 with 50-grain Hornady, Sierra and Nosler Ballistic Tips.


March 19, 2007, 08:39 PM
I don't personnally have a .220 Swift, but when I asked my .220Swift Guru, he said Reloader-15.

He's over 70yrs old and still shoots competitively (bench rest).

He said of the available components......
IMR-4064 and Reloader 15. Might want to throw Varget into the mix. If it won't shoot with any of the three, its the barrel !!! 50 or 55gr bullets, whichever you prefer, or the rifle.....

I prefer 50gr bullets in my Remington .22-250 w/1-14"bbl. It's not too tolerant regarding bullets over 55gr. But, It'll shoot sub 1/2moa with good bullets with either of the three powders mentioned above and throw H380 into that line up too. Also either bullet weight if bullets are good (Nosler, Sierra, Berger). It dosen't much care for Hornady bullets.

There really isn't that much difference between the .220 and .22-250. Kinda like the .308 and .30/06; so powder choices are similar.

March 19, 2007, 08:46 PM
Yo, Art...You got Ken Water's "Pet Loads" Book??

He's got listed 45 Speer Spitzer, W 120 primer, 40.0 of 4064 giving a velocity of 4,053. Listed as a max load, excellent accuracy. OAL @ 2.61

He also listed a 55 gr Speer Spitzer, W 120 primer, 38.0 of IMR 4895 @ 3,888 @2.66 OAL as very accurate. Maximum load.

FWIW...I've been using Nosler BT's and they're super, super accurate. Might try those too. I'd also lean towards Varget with heavier bullets (50-55), though the IMR's will probably work fine.

Dunno about ball powders, big cases, small bullets, and hot ambient temps. I'd think hard on that.

I've been going through the wild animal box and have found several varieties of bullets in the 40- to 55-grain sizes.

I think the biggest increase in accuracy over the last 30 years is quality of bullets. Back in the 60's, a 1" group was rare as hen's teeth. Now, people just yawn at 1". I read a thing where they took some rounds left over from the 60's and fired them in new production rifles. They got 60's type groups. Took modern ammo and fired it in 60's rifles. Got great accuracy. Biggest gains seems to be from improvements in ammo (particularly bullets), not firearms.

Art Eatman
March 19, 2007, 11:17 PM
No joy. Grump. A smidgen better, but still not righteous. Okay for coyotes, but not for prairie dogs.

I'll work with some 4064, next. And I have 200 Sierra 52-grain HPBTs left.

My old Swift, back mid-'70s, was a heavy barrelled Ruger 77 that I'd put a Canjar single-set trigger on. Redfield 3x9, FCH. I regularly got 3/8 MOA for five shots with the 4064 and the Sierras.

This rifle hasn't been free-floated or anything. I hate to mess with a collectible. I just don't want to have it lying around gathering dust.

It's 85 miles between my house and the full-bore retail store. I pretty much for now gotta use what's on hand.

At least it's not far to the nearest benchrest. Front porch. :)


March 20, 2007, 07:38 AM
I've never had a Swift, but FWIW, I've read they can be particular about bullets.

To save the long trip, maybe order in some Nosler BT 50's and let the mailman do the driving.

From the loads Waters had, the 4064 should work. Of course, "should" and "do" may be different.

Art Eatman
March 20, 2007, 12:05 PM
The Noslers didn't do any better than the Sierra or Hornady flat-base. I haven't yet dug out the 4064. I may wind up going back to the Sierra HPBTs and 4064.

I'm gonna take a brief break from frustration, though. And, I wanna see if my Sako .243 likes these 55-grain bullets. :)


March 20, 2007, 10:47 PM
Sierra 53gr HPBTs and 37.5 gr of 4064 shoot great on paper in my Swift, but doesn't do the best on groundhogs. For the ground hogs I like 55gr Ballistic tips over 37.5 gr of 4064.

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