.221 Fireball


June 18, 2012, 12:00 PM
I would like to hear from folks out there who load .221 Fireball. What loads do you like...quantity and type of powder? Preferred bullets? Muzzle velocity? The rifle you have? I just "discovered" this round and think it might suite me very well. Look forward to hearing from you.


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June 18, 2012, 01:23 PM
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information. Had the Remington xp 100 221 fireball handgun when they first came out. Used IMR 4198-17.0 gr. & 50 gr Sierra- 2536 fps average- CCI 450 primer. Stayed around 1" with the 4 X Leupold scope on it. The IMR 4198 was old Dupont made powder. Newer lots may be different. Looks like its now made by ADI (AR2215) http://www.imrpowder.com/PDF/MSDS%20Files/Smokeless/IMR/Single%20Base_IMR-SR-PB/IMR%204198%20Single%20Base%20-%20Australia.pdf

June 18, 2012, 06:27 PM
I have a Rem 700, 24" 1-14 twist barrel and Contender Carbine with a 22", 1-12 twist Bullbury barrel.

The Contender shoots 50 grain bullets better than the Remington. The Remington gets a smidge higher velocity than the Contender.

2900 fps plus with 50 grain bullets, 3100 fps plus with 40 grain.

I use mostly AA1680 but have some loads with H322.

I have tried IMR4198, IMR4227 and Lil Gun in a 10" Contender barrel before I got the rifles. I did not like the results but I have not tried them in the rifles.

I still have the 10" barrel but have not shot it in a long while. The rifles are more fun.

June 18, 2012, 07:18 PM
Hmm, somethings amuck here with ADI msds and what they have on their web site for Imr 4198. One paper (msds) says equivalent is (ar2215) and another says (ar2207). --> http://www.adi-powders.com.au/handloaders-guide/equivalents.asp

June 18, 2012, 07:57 PM
One paper (msds) says equivalent is (ar2215) and another says (ar2207). Yes, i noticed that before. This is why its smart to start low and work up the powder charge. Till a few days ago, i thought IMR 4198 was still made in Canada. Hodgdon has to screw with everthing.

June 19, 2012, 08:22 AM
CZ 527
15gr 2400
40gr Nosler BT


Kevin Rohrer
June 20, 2012, 10:43 AM
I am getting velocities of >3000fps with L'ilGun in my 10.75" barreled XP-100 w/ 40gr. Bullets.

June 20, 2012, 03:34 PM
Mine is a Rem 700 that started life as a Light Varmint Stainless Fluted (LVSF). I did the trigger adjust myself and it is light and crisp. Didn't care for the soft tupperware stock because I'd get random barrel contact that would result in random shot placement so I replaced it with a very rigid Boyd's Laminate. Couldn't be happier unless I got it for free. I have a Redfield variable 3-10 wide field of view scope on it but the gun/cartridge is good enough to warrant a bit more magnification for varmints. No problems getting iddy biddy groups at 200 yards and have shot crows considerably farther.


I've tried lots of powder, bullet and primer combinations and what works best for me:

Light bullet load - 1.3cc Lee Dipper Cup of Reloader #7 with Nosler 40 grain Ballistic Tip bullets, CCI BR-4 primers (Fed 205 is a good substitute).

Heavy bullet load - 1.0cc Lee Dipper Cup of H-110 with Nosler 55 grain Ballistic Tip bullets, Rem 7 1/2 primer (CCI 400 is a good substitute).

Had disappointing results with 4227 and 1680. I use accuracy as the determining factor for what constitutes a good load. Mine may not be quite as fast as some of the others but very accurate in my gun.

I also got tooled up to make my own brass from 223 Rem. I like using the thicker military brass and turning the necks back to a consistent dimension. I'm sure that has a very positive influence on accuracy. Brass lasts darn near forever. The primer pocket is the first thing to go.

I recommended a buddy of mine try a CZ 527 American in 221 Fireball and he loves it, especially the Single Set Trigger. His has accounted for a large pile of groundhogs. I may pick up one of these myself if I find the right deal.

You will not be disappointed if you buy a gun chambered for 221 Fireball.


Should have taken this pic belly down. This guy has no head from the eyes up.

June 20, 2012, 05:53 PM
Mine is a Rem 700 that started life as a Light Varmint Stainless Fluted (LVSF).

Nice rifle. i don't blame you for making improvements.

I have a Rem 700 LVSF as well but in 17 Remington. I changed triggers and free floated the barrel to get it to shoot consistently. But with the slender barrel, after three or four rounds the barrel would heat it up and it would begin wander.

When I got mine, I had a choice of 221 Rem or the 17 Remington. As I already had two 221 Rem rifles, one a different model Reminton 700, I decided to try something different.

June 26, 2012, 08:17 PM
I love the 221 Fireball round for its accuracy, consistency and efficiency. I just shoot paper and reactive targets with it in a Kimber of Oregon Model 82 and Rem 700 Classic rifles. Both like the same loads:

R-P cases
Rem 7-1/2 primers
LilGun powder (11 gr. for 53 Sierra MatchKings) or (14.5 gr for Sierra 40gr BlitzKings)

Even old timers at my club who shot the Fireball in XP-100 pistols when they first came out (yes, they loved the IMR-4198 powder) now use this LilGun recipe. I love Nosler bullets, but the slight boat tail of their ballistic tip bullets have not proven as accurate as the true flat base Sierras. I've yet to try the new Nosler "Varmageddon" bullets in my Fireballs. They have a flat base, and the 55 gr works great in my 222 and 22-250 loads. :)

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