222 vs 223


March 9, 2010, 08:49 PM
I guess it's a strange question but I have my reasons. Here in Aus it's become difficult to get access to properties to shoot on. Ever since our previous Govt introduced ridiculous gun leglislation attitudes have changed towards shooters. All of a sudden we became the criminals.

If you can find a land owner who will give you access, the calibre you use has become an issue. So I am looking for a calibre which will convince the land owner there isn't a war going on in the back block.

Smaller calibres are the answer, if only to satisfy the land owner.

I am looking at the 222 and the 223 and I ask this question. The game will be varmints, dingoes, rabbits and foxes. If the occasional pig happens to cross my path it will pay to have a calibre to handle it.

So, rifle fire noise is critical. But, would I lose much killing power by choosing the 222 over the 223? I would prefer the 222. Suggestions welcome.

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March 9, 2010, 09:01 PM
He is a professional hunter/varmint reducer.

He used the AR type rifles for a while to knock down the hog population on three big ranches, till the govt made him give them up.

Now he uses bolt actions in .223 and .308 (I think) and shoots more game in a week than I have in a lifetime.

Head shots on hogs with a .223/5.56 rifle works great according to him.

March 9, 2010, 09:18 PM
I have both .222 and .223 rifles, and I think that you'll be perfectly happy with a .222. For what you want to do with it, it should be perfect.

For lower noise shooting I was going to suggest a .22 Hornet, but it might be a little small for pigs (I'm not sure how big they get there?)

March 9, 2010, 09:58 PM
oz_lowrider, many Americans are aware of the plight of our fellow shooters and hunters in Australia, and what the government gun grabbers have done to the heritage of your country. We have heard the reports that crime is on the rise there since the government stripped gun owners of most of their rights. Quite typical for socialists.

To get to your query, the minor differences in the ballistics of the 222 or 223 allows you to choose either caliber without worry. Your personal preference can dictate your choice.
I have a 722 Remington in 222 and a barrel on my Thompson Contender in 223, and they are wonderfully accurate.


March 9, 2010, 10:03 PM
If you get a .222 get into handloading. It can be done simply and cheaply with lee products. Are you allowed to use moderators in Aussie land? I own the .222 and I love it, it is super accurate and has the same effect as the .223 in bolt action rifles. The only advantage of the .223 is being able to use heavier bullets, however you need a faster twist rate in the barrel which you are not going to find in a production bolt rifle. My suggestion to use is to get a .222 with a 26" barrel, blc(2) powder, small magnum rifle primers, and an inexpensive 55gr bullet like the Sierra Blitz. Go for a 4-12x or 6-18x scope and headshots at 300yrds should be no problem for you.

March 10, 2010, 12:09 AM
No, moderators are prohibited in Aus. Even semi autos are restricted. Yes I do reload so I can keep cost down and load lighter loads down near 22Hornet if I chose to go that low. It sounds like the 222 would be ok and the 22-250 even better but I heard the 22-250 cases stretch badly and full length resizing should be avoided.
As suggested the choice is mine, but thanks for the feedback I'll take it on board.

March 10, 2010, 12:14 AM
The 222 has a much longer neck but slightly smaller case volume. The 222s longer neck would be an advantage when looking for the optimal seating depth = more accuracy.

March 10, 2010, 12:16 AM
In response to NCsmity. Since the Govt Buy -back of guns( confiscation) the real criminals rejoyce. There has not been one crime committed by a:cuss: licenced SSAA member so it only shows, the crooks will always have guns and committ crimes. The honest shooters still cop the crap. It made me weep whan I saw all those beautiful rifles go to scrap, what a waste. That was the crime.

March 10, 2010, 12:28 AM
^^^ It really is too bad. I think there are quite a few of us this side of the pond that will live and possibly have to die by a little phrase coined by the late Charlton Heston “from my cold dead hands.”

Anyway I vote 223 Rem because you can always down load.

March 10, 2010, 12:35 AM
JP, what are some good general principles and things to do or avoid when seriously downloading a 223 or 22-250?

I've never done it, and am under the impression that below-min loads can lead to detonation & destructive pressure spikes. Please enlighten me.

March 10, 2010, 10:36 AM
Go to Gunbroker.com and search for 223 brass. If you reload and start to look at the prices to get 1000-2000 units of brass it's hard to look past the .223

You could get a good buy on a few thousand units of brass and be set for life. Use hollows or plastic tip varmint bullets though, not FMJ.

22-250 is more that you will need and 222 is not worth messing with considering what you can do with .223.

There are published low velocity loads for the .223.

Art Eatman
March 10, 2010, 11:16 AM
Downloading seems to be best done with slow-burn pistol powders. Definitely do some data-hunting first, however. "Slow" for pistols can be "Oopsie" for rifles.

My only downloading has been with 2400 in various 30-caliber cartridges. Around 20 to 25 grains, with darned near any bullet of whatever sort. 150-grain jacketed; 169-grain lead gas-checks. Don't go over 20 grains in a .30-30, however. .308, .30-40 Krag, .30-'06, no problem.

March 12, 2010, 03:56 PM
OZ, you indicated you prefer the 222. It is an excellent cartridge and I doubt what you hit will know the difference between 222 and 223. I have found the 222 to be more accurate than any cartridge I have ever shot.Mine is a Remington 700 in standard weight barrel.I reload Hornady 55 SP w/cannulure. Hornady #4 gives data for a 55 grain bullet at 2700 fps. Lee products are excellent. Byron

Jim Watson
March 12, 2010, 04:03 PM
The .222 is a superb round but I cannot recall it being any quieter than a .223 from when I owned a couple. It is semi-obsolete and you might one day find yourself short on brass and forming it laboriously from common .223.

I have read of loading Blue Dot in .223 which should reduce the muzzle blast at least somewhat.

How light a load can you get by with? Speer has extreme low loads around 1600 fps for many calibres.

March 12, 2010, 04:12 PM
.223/5.56 is the way to go.

.222 would work but...

March 13, 2010, 12:29 AM
The .222 is a superb round but...It is semi-obsolete and you might one day find yourself short on brass and forming it laboriously from common .223.

Re-forming .223 to .222 isn't that laborious. Unscrew the decap pin / spindle assembly from a QUALITY* FL Sizing die, lube well, and squeeze them through. Replace the decap pin / spindle assembly and FL size again, then trim to length.

I re-formed 1500 .222s from once-fired .223 PMC brass last week. My evenings were busy, but not unpleasantly so, and the new brass is fantastic.

* I said QUALITY FL Dies, because my Lee die kinks the brass around the reformed neck, but my older Pacific Durachrome leaves the neck perfectly formed. I like Lee products, but the re-forming requires more than a good die; it takes something extraordinary.


March 13, 2010, 01:02 AM
A few years ago ( about 55/57 ) I was using a 222 for deer hunting---I had no trouble
knocking them down. DNR officers always gave me hell for using that cartridge.
One year ( 5 AM ) a DNR guy was sitting on my trailer tongue---I told him to come in b/cause it was warmer & he could hear better. I asked --why did you guys always give me hell for using that cartridge? He said " eventho we use that cartridge for winter deer kill--we don't believe the average hunter is a good enuf shot to handle that cartridge"
I won't say what I said............................:eek::eek::eek:

Jim Watson
March 13, 2010, 08:47 AM
my older Pacific Durachrome leaves the neck perfectly formed.

Bit of an aside, I had a Contender .357 Herrett and TC branded dies obviously made for them by Pacific. The quality was great. If they had been as readily available here as RCBS and Lyman, I would have had more in standard calibers.

March 13, 2010, 09:13 AM
I haven't found much difference in noise levels between 222 Rem and the 223 Rem myself.

What does seem to make a difference with noise levels, is longer barrels. I would say my 223 HB with a 26" barrel is not as bad as a Ruger 77 Mark II in 223 with a 22" barrel I own.

If you need to download the 223 Accurate 5744 powder works well. Or in just about any of the 22 center fire calibers. Speer reloading manual have reduced loads for 5744 in the number 14 manual.

The 22-250 is an excellent round but noise levels will differently be noticeably louder than a 223 Rem or 222 Rem. I routinely shoot 22-250 Rem and 223 side by side Rem varmint hunting.

March 13, 2010, 09:42 AM
Reduced Loads can be very dangerous. Most powders aren't candidates.

H4895 can be safely used for reduced loads in 223 and most any caliber that lists the use of H4895! Pistol powders are especially dangerous because they burn "Fast" and you could easily overcharge a rifle case. On the other hand H4895 can be reduced by as much as 40-50% but even if you fill the case odds are it's still safe to shoot. Please do your own research and call the powder companies and tell them what you're up to. I'm not going to post a recipe here but you can find them no problem. As always be careful.

PS Hodgdon PUBLISHES the use of reduced "Youth" loads using H4895 here: http://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/Youth%20Loads.pdf

Hope this helps! Have fun safe shooting! :D

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