Fastest Factory Cartridge?


December 25, 2007, 02:50 PM
Whats the fastest (muzzle velocity) rifle cartridge straight from the factory? I know the .220 swift was the first to break 4000 ft/s, but I know there have to be others faster. Which cartridge can call itself number 1?

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December 25, 2007, 03:13 PM
I think the .204 claims 4225fps with there 32 grainers

December 25, 2007, 03:30 PM
Federal list thier 204 at 4030
thier 220 swift 40 grain nosler bollistic tip is at 4250

I know you can load the 220 swift to the point where it will littler strip the jacket off.

Float Pilot
December 25, 2007, 05:09 PM
I think the old 17 remington mag claimed around 4,000

December 25, 2007, 09:34 PM
I don't have the numbers in front of me, but the .223 WSSM is supossed to be faster than the .220 Swift.

December 25, 2007, 09:45 PM
The 120mm M829A1 APFSDS-T Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot with Tracer round for the Abrams has a muzzle velocity in excess of 5100 fps. Not bad for a projectile weight of a tad less than 20 lbs.

December 25, 2007, 10:05 PM
the retired .225 winchester

Deer Hunter
December 25, 2007, 10:09 PM
The .223 WSSM is 300-400 FPS less than the .220 swift, if i remember correctly.

December 25, 2007, 10:17 PM
not yet a factory cart, but Im sure it will be; the savage 5-35c is supposed to go 4500fps or faster with the 32 grainers, IIRW.
so right now, you are splitting hairs between the swift, 240 wetherby, 204 ruger, 17 remmy , 17 fireball, 223 wssm, or maybe even a 243 wssm.

December 25, 2007, 10:24 PM
220 Swift

December 25, 2007, 10:25 PM
yeah 220 swift is up near 4100 if not abit over in some loads.

225 winchester can hit 4000, same with the 17 rem
22-250 can hit 4000

30-06 accelerator with the 55 grain sabot can hit near 4100.

240 weatherby can hit 3900 with a 70 grainer.
Vmax loads for the 243 show 3750 for a 58 grainer

December 25, 2007, 11:55 PM
204 all the way the hornady says 4225 and the 220 swift hornady says 4220 so the 204 is fastest out of the box

December 26, 2007, 04:42 AM
this is what I was talking about;
especialy read the last 3 paragraphs, and look at the data graph.

December 26, 2007, 07:21 AM
So, the progression of development is...

take one milk jug,

neck down to .17 or .20 caliber,

fill with appropriate powder,

shoot 500 times,

replace barrel

I know a guy that had a .30-378 Weatherby. IIRC, it approached or exceeded 4,000 fps with .30 caliber bullets. Barrel life was sub 1,000 rounds. Handloader showed a .50 MGB necked down to .30 for shooting at 1 mile. I believe the barrel life was 250-500 rounds for that one.

Maybe this one is better. Don't have time to read the article this morning. Still in all, somebody's always gotta have a new pony for the circus.

December 26, 2007, 07:33 AM
From that article and its' "visuals" it would seem the 5mm/35 SMe's accuracy is likely to peak at around 4300fps., and that could be a stretch in a factory rifle with a <28" barrel. Bullet makers may have to take the 30-32gr. pills back to the drawing board to help matters much. Would have been interesting to have seen some results of 35-40grainers launched from 1:16 barrels. Certainly worth watching. :cool:

December 26, 2007, 11:12 AM
yes, and bbl life on the 5-35 is excellent as well, as it is less hot than the 204.
but I am sure they will powder tweak, until they get an accurate round, going over 4400 or 4500 fps, just think of that as a selling point!!!

December 26, 2007, 11:19 AM
yes, and bbl life on the 5-35 is excellent as well, as it is less hot than the 204.

By the charts in the PDF, it uses more powder down the same 20 cal hole. That equals hotter.

December 26, 2007, 04:45 PM
yeah there has been a few 50 calber creations that can shoot a pretty heavy bullet pretty fast :)

December 26, 2007, 08:26 PM
How about the old Remington Accelerators in 308 Win? It was a full 308 load pushing a 22 or 17 ball fitted into a piece polymer material? Have no idea how fast they were, but i know for a fact they could take a buzzard mid-flight at over 200 yards without leading. Uh...don't ask me how i came to know that... :o

December 26, 2007, 09:40 PM
The .220 Swift is still King, with the .204 Ruger, .17 Rem., .17 Fireball and .223 WSSM nipping at it's heels.

That said, I have pushed my .17 Rem beyond my .220 using 20 gr. V-max's; 4265 15' from the muzzle. However, I have not loaded 40 grainers in the .220, and I'm sure they could chomp at the 4,400 mark. But 55 grain pills just below 4,000 seem to be the ticket for 400+ yard dog shots without absolutely murdering the chamber throat.

December 26, 2007, 09:58 PM
Not a factory BUT.. 5278fps :fire:

Happy Holidays


December 26, 2007, 10:22 PM
How light of a bullet do you have to load in the 220 swift to catch the 32gr 204? Everything I've found puts the 204 at the top of this list.

December 26, 2007, 10:41 PM
"Remington reported a muzzle velocity of 4,080 fps for the .30-06, 3,770 fps for the .308 and 3,400 fps for the .30-30. "


Still for sale in .06 from Midway.

I've heard (reliable gossip I guess!??) that the accuracy from these was never all that great compared to a dedicated hyper velocity cartridge.

I've heard that folks have done some things with necked down .50 BMG that defy description--that must be a rewarding line of inquiry.

December 26, 2007, 10:48 PM
tell me more about the 5-35 i read an artical way back but forgot about it who makes it and what gun shoots it

December 27, 2007, 12:24 AM
There's a lot of misinformation in this thread. The fastest factory loaded cartridge is the .223 WSSM. Here's one reference to those indicating the Swift ( for the inevitable naysayer, and if you google, you'll find even more with that conclusion.

I'd clearly prefer .22-250 AI (not factory) over either the .223 WSSM (barrel burner with bad brass), Swift (burner rep, and serious case abuser), or .22-250 (stretches brass too.) But for a factory cartridge, you'll do fine with .204 Ruger or .22-250.

If you want real speed, and you reload, .22-243 Middlestead. It'll use barrels like .223 WSSM and the Swift, but move things along much quicker. There are Wildcats, like the .30-06 case necked down, that may push things faster, but then you're deep in diminishing returns territory.

Again, to be practical, most would be better off choosing the .204 Ruger or .22-250 for factory ammo. If you just have to have speed and you reload, .22-250 AI or .22-243 Middlestead would be better choices. The .22-250 AI runs neck and neck with the Swift but reduces the case stretch (and some say wears barrels slower in the throat due to the 40 degree shoulder.)

December 27, 2007, 01:24 AM
Well my .224 Clark (22-257 roberts improved)28" barrel isn't factory and with a 1 in 8" twist it is made for 75 grain bullets at 3600+fps BUT I have loaded 40 grain ones at 4440 fps at 15'.

December 27, 2010, 01:28 AM
The 220 swift federal for the past 2 years has made a 40 grain nosler at 4250 fps

December 27, 2010, 12:40 PM
I thought maybe Lazzeroni had passed the Swift, but looks like NO. I guess I'd call a Lazzeroni ScramJet a "factory" round. But at $99 a box - it ain't cheap. Still, an 85 grain bullet at 4000 FPS is pretty impressive :)

January 31, 2011, 12:26 PM
You can load the swift with a 50 grain bullet to 4400 fps

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