Good caliber for reloading and accuracy


January 26, 2003, 03:47 AM
I've been considering getting a good bolt gun that I can tweak the upmost accuracy out of and really get into reloading from a performance standpoint rather than a cheapskate standpoint. I was thinking .223 since it's so popular, but if I'm reloading, who cares if it's popular. I'd like to stay in the .22 range, but there's so much to choose from. I like the idea of the .22 Hornet, but the .219 and the .221 would be nice and exotic. I'm thinking max range of around 300yrds, so it doesn't have to be a supersonic round, just something with good inherent accuracy. So what would you suggest?

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Car Knocker
January 26, 2003, 04:35 AM

January 26, 2003, 05:49 AM
From some Hot Rod performance garage:

Money = Speed.... How fast do you want to go?

The 22-250 is a good entry into the realm of accurate reloading... historically accurate for the ranges you're looking for, readily available componants, fairly popular and can hunt as well as bust paper.

'Course, if the money is available and you're have a little reloading background, you can "give into the power of the dark side": stuff like the 22PPC or the 22BR, both popular with the benchrest crowd, and both allow ( or is it REQUIRE) a huge amount of "tweakability" in the form of case prep and load development.

Most of these rifles are custom rigs (spelled PRICEY), but can be found used. Try Benchrest.Com's ( want ads or Guns America (

As for the reloading part, Accurate Reloading .Com ( is a good source of info. One other source for reloading for accuracy is Sinclair's ( 10th Ed Reloading guide. I've had this book since before I started handloading, and it's an invaluable reference for loading for accuracy. Tools, BR type case prep, break-in, cleaning, etc. Regardless of which caliber you decide to go with, it's a good book to have on hand.


January 26, 2003, 07:54 AM
if you are bent on a 22, then 22-250 is the way to go. if you don't mind moving up a little, 308 win is real tough to beat.

January 26, 2003, 08:11 AM
you might enjoy what I did as my first rifle project: Found an 03A3 that some one had 'sporterized': he tokk off the front and rear sights, drilled & tapped for scope, modified bolt handle, then slapped on a Fajen stock rather sloppily so that the action actually moved back about 1/8" on firing. But the metal was in great shape and the bore pristine. I had nothing to lose.

So I refinished the stock, glass-bedded, fit a Timney trigger, learned how to checker. Then I worked up a load for .30-'06 until I got 1/2MOA out of the old girl. Had a wonderful time with it for not too much dough, and learned a lot that I later used for more sophisticated projects.

That said, Hornet or K-Hornet are more comfy to shoot, cheaper to load, and have great accuracy potential though I don't think of them as 300-yd cartridges. But this will only be your FIRST project anyway!

January 26, 2003, 09:22 AM
22-250 is capable of really good accuracy when fired from a good platform. If you are wanting to get silly with the accuracy take a look at the 22 PPC or BR, they are the ticket, they have that exotic panache as well. 220 Swift will stack bullets too.

Instead of wasting more time talking I will just say that I agree 100% with Echo3Mike ^^^.

Art Eatman
January 26, 2003, 12:07 PM
Well, there's lebenteen gazillion, four hunnert and thutty-eight point six good cartridges out there...

Are you figuring you'll mostly do benchrest shooting, punching paper as you keep working on ever-improving the accuracy? No occasional hunting? Not particularly gonna do much casual, offhand-type shooting?

And, about what sort of total budget for this? And how much reloading gear do you now have?

:), Art

January 26, 2003, 12:49 PM
Your original idea of .223 is not a bad one if you are just shooting to 300 yds. I have shot the .223 in informal fun matches at 300 yds for several years and it does surprisingly well. Recently I built a .223 AI. and am having a lot of fun with it. It requires more in the way of dies and fireforming though. The 22 BR would probably be my choice if you want something with a little more punch. (6BR would be my first choice, but since you said you want to stick with the .22) I also have a 6BR on a Stolle action that shoots very well. There is excellent brass available for the BR (Lapua), and it lasts almost forever. Also, this round is generally thought to give better barrel life than the 22.250 with similar velocities. You should probably at least consider the 6BR. It is just so easy to load and shoot well. And you get less wind drift with the 6mm bullets that cost basically the same as the .22 bullets. Also recoil is still minimal. That being said, the 22 BR is not that much more trouble. There's just the extra step of neckin it down, which is not bad. Still if you are only shooting to 300yds, the .223 will reliably work for that range. These other choices being discussed will reliably reach out much further. At any rate sounds like a fun problem to have....pooch

January 26, 2003, 01:39 PM
The 22-250 is a great round that is easy to reload. That is the first rifle round that I started loading years ago. Does a great job on varmits. Good luck on your decision.

January 26, 2003, 02:33 PM
The .222 "triple deuce" will do about anything a .223 will, and has a bit more inherent accuracy. If a more forgiving round for reloading exists, I haven't met it. WW brass, 40 gr Nosler BTs, R7&1/2 primers, Benchmark, H-322, AA2015 give wonderful results in mine.

Mike Irwin
January 26, 2003, 07:40 PM
The .220 Swift is capable of some amazing accuracy as long as you don't try to push it to the magical 4,000 fps mark.

Keep it around 3,700 and with a good rifle and barrel you can easily cut sub 1/4" groups at 100 yards.

January 26, 2003, 09:55 PM
for 300 yards and less, the .222 is almost impossible to beat. The .22-250 is much faster, of course, but it takes more powder, makes MUCH more noise, and wears out barrels quicker.

The .222 is accurate enough for bench rest competition, easy on barrels, easy on ears, economical, and above all, FUN!

January 27, 2003, 05:07 PM
Look at under "Complete Rifles" for an outfit called Shooter's Corner.

Call 'em. Talk to Bob or Craig, tell 'em Bogie sent you, and that you're looking for a used BR rifle in .222, or whatever. They can set you up.

January 27, 2003, 05:10 PM
For instance, this is one of their listings...

B113. 222 or 223 Heavy Varmint (We will rechamber at no charge) Benchmaster R/R action, Shilen bbl c.900-1000 rnds, early Shilen R/H laminated thumbhole walnut glassbedded stock w/skipline checkering, Hart 2oz trig, Kelbly scope mnts, Gunsmith: John Bunch, Exc to VG. Classic 1960’s/’70’s BR rig both accurate & handsome, $889

January 27, 2003, 09:33 PM
Thanks, thats about what I was looking for. Can't wait to get this move behind me and get my bonus in hand. I'll probably go with the .222. The 22-250 and .220 swift may be in my future, but it's not unusual for me to run thru 500rds a week (man I love working 3 days a week) and I'm not sure how that would treat a barrel on one of those supersonic rounds.

January 27, 2003, 10:43 PM

Kahr carrier
January 27, 2003, 11:01 PM
223,22-250,6mm or 308.

January 28, 2003, 01:46 AM
Looks like my budget is about $1200 for rifle and scope, so I'll have to add goodies as I go. All I need for reloading is the dies. I've got alot of researching to do. That 6mm BR is starting to look pretty neat.

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