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218bee vs 219 zipper or 25-20 vs 25-35

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by andym79, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. andym79

    andym79 Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Hi guys as you may have read from my other post I am having a hard time pick between a model 94 in 219 zipper or in 25-35.

    I have decided to let myself have a 94 chambered in 219 or 25-35 this birthday and a 92 chambered in 218 or 25-20 next birthday.

    So I am now posing the question differently 218 vs 219 and 25-20 vs 25-35.

    I shall have one in 22cal and one in 25 cal.

    Help me decide!

    Here are my thoughts, the 22cal will most likely be used with jacketed bullets and the 25 cal with cast. I am wondering if the zipper might be a bit overbore for a 55grain projectile (though some people shoot a 55 grainer in the 22-250 and 220 swift.

    I am also wondering from my experience of shooting cast if better performance and accuracy might be achieved with the smaller cases, the powder fills more up, with less air and no need for fillers. My logic being I don't usually drive my cast any harder than 1800fps and usually between 1000-1400fps. Therfore a large case is kind of a waste and will only lead to more air inside each case or the need for fillers or slow powder (the last two are not my prefered choice).

    I guess what I am saying is in my opinion the 92 case are more suited to low velocity cast and the 94 cases to medium velocity cast.

    By that logic a 219 zipper and I appologise if anyone is happily shooting cast well with their zipper really doesn't seem like a suitable cartridge for shooting cast at all. Where as the 218 bee might do better with jacketed ammo but seems better suited to cast than the zipper.

    Likewise the 25-20 is probably a more logical choice to shoot cast than the 25-35 though the difference is probably less marked in the 25 cal cases.

    From what I have said a 219 zipper and a 25-20 seem like the right choice; but I have kind of wanted a 25-35 for a while and the bee has always appealed to me.

    Is there any reason that the zipper couldn't be used with heavier/longer bullets if I specified a 1:12 twist rather than the more typical 1:14.

    Sorry that this seems like ravings and I maybe making litlle sense. I have never struggled to make a decision like this before.

    Am I wrong in assuming that 22cal cast is the hardest to master (the 22lr excepted)?
  2. Gordon

    Gordon Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    central Kali.
    a 25-35 94 and a 25-20 model 92 makes alot of sense ! #1 while the 25-35 has a quick twist and the 25-20 does not they both seem to shoot 85 grain boolits very well for under deer sized game. The 25-35 has made a good 150 yard deer cartridge for me in the 1970s on a California ranch. I used factory 117 grain loads in it, I sold it in the early 80s. The 25-20 I still shoot in a model 1892 and a Remington #2 sporter rolling block with an 8x Litchert scope. I shoot 85 grain cast boolits in the 25-20 and also in the 25-35 super 16 Thompson Contender .
  3. witchhunter

    witchhunter Senior Member

    Aug 29, 2012
    Lassen County, California
    I think it depends on your intended usage. The Bee is an excellent 22 caliber round with cast or jacketed bullets. It is a small game wonder. The 25/20 is, in my opinion, just a fun gun to shoot. Low recoil, slow cast lead bullet. Not really a hunting round of any consequence. It could be used for small game, but the Bee has clearly superior ballistics. The 25/35, on the other hand, is a great deer round out to 150 or so. The .219 is kinda like the 25/20, not really dominant in it's class. You can load a 70 grainer though, but for what usage? For anything bigger than a rabbit, the 25/35 clearly outdistances all of them. The 25/35 and the .218 Bee will give you a great small game or varmint round and a one for deer sized game as well. All of them are just plain fun to shoot. I don't have a Zipper, but I have 94's and 92's in the both 25/35 and 25/20 as well as other oldies.
  4. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Senior Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Elbert County, CO
    On the 94, the .25-35 is still the obvious choice, IMO. On the 92, though, you're just gonna have to evaluate pros and cons. Neither the .218 Bee or .25-20 are especially powerful, but they're not rimfires, either. Suitable for small game, close range varminting, small predators. I don't know what the ammo/brass/bullet situation is over there, but it should definitely factor in. Here, neither is especially common, both pretty much handloader's cartridges.

    If you go .25-20 and .25-35, it does simplify your bullet stocking situation. Both can use the lighter weight .257" pills (60, 75, 85 gr.). The .25-35 can also run the 90-120 grainers.
  5. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Senior Member

    Nov 6, 2006
    I'm prejudiced because I have always wanted a .25-20 for no justifiable reason. So I'd go there. Again, it is not a reasonable addiction.
  6. eldon519

    eldon519 Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2005
    Unless you already stock components for both, I would just pick .22 cal or .25 cal for both rifles. Then you've got less components to deal with.
  7. andym79

    andym79 Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    There seems to be no love for the zipper! There seems to be a consensus that the old M94 just isn't good enough for the cartridge, combined with peep sights I guess there is an element of truth in that.

    "A pairing with a Marlin 336 and scope might make a better match, but then if your dead set on a 22 cal lever, the BLR in 223 with a decent scope would probably be the best rifle for accuracy!"

    Would most of you agree then that the 219 zipper is an accurate cartridge, but only a very skilled marksman can get the most of it in a 94 with aperture sights!

    The tide of opinion and more importantly the versatility of the 25-35 seems to make more sense in the 94 option.

    Still I seem to be a sucker for the odd, but is the zipper a step to far into the odd?

    Is it true that Winchester only produced a few thousand 219 zipper model 64S and the zipper was half dead by 1941?

    Went out to the range for a while this morning with my 30-30; and at 100 yards, its a good rifle with a good barrel and shoots well with cast using NOEs 311041 mould and loads of H4227 or H4198.

    When I did my part 3, 4 or 5 shots touched each over or overlapped at the 100 yards. When the wind kicked, the shots were separated by between a 1/4" and 3/8". When I didn't do my part however the shot were about 1/2" apart in a group 1-3" inches away from the centre.

    Conclusion this 30-30 with a decent barrel in a humble M94 with peep sights and the right load can shoot better than I can, variation in the rifle accounts for at most 1" at 100 yards where as variation in the shooter anything from 1-4" over a sustained range session.

    The comment above from myself coupled with the thoughts going through my mind this morning draw only one conclusion.

    If the 30-30 shoots better than I then the 219 zipper definitely will, but to what avail, its a moot point!

    If I had a lever with peep sights in 6mm ppc (yes I know its not rimmed (just say its a rimmed version)) would I do much better at 100 yards probably not, with a scope yes, but that true of all but the worst cartridges.

    So why have a cartridge that definitely more accurate than the shooter can do and probably better than the rifle can achieve?

    None I guess.

    The 218 bee is probably the choice for a 22cal friendly rifle, less powder used, easier to form brass and more cast friendly in my opinion should I want to.

    The decision I think is 25-35 in 94 and 218 in the 92. More than that is a bonus.

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