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220 Swift vs. 22-250..almost twin, the latter enjoy way more commercial success..why?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by saturno_v, Nov 17, 2009.

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  1. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    I can't help to notice that the 2 rounds, in current commercial loadings are almost ballistically identical (ok a very slight edge to the 22-250)

    Why the first is almost forgotten (or at least not well known) while the second is extremely popular?? They were born almost together (2 years apart) the 22-250 as wildcat cartridge.

    If you ask to any young kid remotely interested in hunting and rifles, they will know what the 22-250 is (it can whack a coyote half mile away will be the probable answer)...try to ask about the 220 Swift....

    The 220 Swift originally gained a bad reputation as barrel burner...why not the 22-250 also?? I the reason because the 22-250 was widely commercialized later, when modern metallurgy solved the probolem of extremely short barrel life??

    Experts please explain....:D
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    When the Swift showed up, HiVel #2 was a commonly used powder. Single-based nitrocellulose, it burned somewhat hotter than the DuPont IMR double-based powders. My guess is that part of the "barrel burner" label derived from the hotter powder. I vaguely recall, and am to lazy to look it up, that the HiVel gave slightly higher velocities.

    My father used a 1952-vintage Model 70 SuperGrade Swift. My uncle built a Varminter with a Gebby barrel on a Mauser 98 action.

    Last time I shot the Swift, I got 3/4 MOA with ammo that my father had reloaded some 30 years prior. I got a tad better with some fresh loads. The Varminter reliably shot 1/2- to 5/8-MOA.

    They both used IMR powder. 4064 works well in the Swift. I don't recall what I used in a couple of .22-250 Sakos I've messed with. My heavy-barrel Ruger 77 Swift was reliably 3/8 MOA.

    If there's any drawback to the Swift, it is that case-trimming is needed much more often than with a more bottle-necked cartridge. Some say every third reload. That plus the "barrel burning" hype and Remington's advertising probably made the difference. I don't recall Winchester ads actually pushing the Swift...
     
  3. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    I think you answered your own question. The factory loads were hotter in the 220 Swift and it did burn those early barrels. A 48gr bullet in excess of 4000fps was a blowtorch with the powders available back in 1935.

    Actually it was 30 years difference to when the 22-250 was legitimized in 1965. Better powders with a heavier bullet made the barrels last much longer.


    NCsmitty
     
  4. dirtyjim

    dirtyjim Member

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    i have a 220swift AI & a 22-250. with the 220swift AI you don't have to trim the brass any more than you would with the 22-250 & with the standard 220 swift you don't have to trim it nearly as much as you hear on the internet.
    if you need more velocity than the swift you'll need to step up to the 224 middlestead or22-6mm, i have a 22-6mm project rifle thats almost finished.
    i still like to use the swift as it was intended, a light bullet at very high velocity makes critters explode
     
  5. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i thought the slight edge went to the swift
     
  6. dirtyjim

    dirtyjim Member

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    it does
     
  7. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Some modern commercial loadings give a slight edge to the 22-250

    I just did check the Hodgdon max reloading data for both for some common bullet weight (both 24" test barrel)

    45 gr. 4100 for the 220 Swift, 4042 for the 22-250, 58 fps advantage for the 220

    50 gr. 3947 for the 220 Swift, 3945 for the 22-250, 2 fps advantage for the 220

    55 gr. 3839 for the 220 Swift, 3786 for the 22-250, 53 fps advantage for the 220

    70 gr. 3397 for the 220 Swift, 3327 for the 22-250, 70 fps advantage for the 220

    So yes, loaded to their max specs the 220 has a minuscole advantage (I would say almost non existent)
     
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Think because the .220 Swift used a long obsolete 6mm Navy semi rimmed case and a light 48 grain bullet had alot to do with it!
     
  9. 257WM_CDL-SF

    257WM_CDL-SF Member

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    I have had both both are great rifles.But there is nothing the 22-250 can do that the 220 Swift cant.Also the 220 Swift was almost 150 to 200 fps faster with same bullet
    The 220 Swift is KING of the varmint cartridges
     
  10. dirtyjim

    dirtyjim Member

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    one of the things to keep in mind on the 220 swift is most reamers have the throat ground for shorter varmint weight bullets, if your going to step up to the 70+ grain bullets you may need to lengthen the throat so you don't have to set the bullet back to keep it out of the rifling & loose some case volume.
     
  11. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    In 1964, Winchester sought to replace the 220 Swift with the new .225 Winchester. Remington's introduction of the 223 in 1964, along with the 22-250 in 1965 spelled the death knell of the 225 Win, and it faded into obscurity for the most part.


    NCsmitty
     
  12. Afy

    Afy Member

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    Why the obsession with velocities..
     
  13. rundm

    rundm Member

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    Because velocity and bullet make little critters blow up. If you run a 26in barrel the swift starts to run even better than on the 24 in barrels. A 220 swift ackley is something amazing
     
  14. ricebasher302

    ricebasher302 Member

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    This is somewhat unrelated, but where does the .223 WSSM fall into the mix? I've heard it can be a vicious varmint load, but it seems it has never really taken off. I've heard that the velocities it can offer in handloads can tax even modern barrels. Lighter loads can be matched by the Swift. Any experiences?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
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