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.222 Remington Magnum (.22 Varminter, .22 Wotkyns Original Swift)

Cartridge Drawing

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Any difference in performance between the .222 Remington Magnum and the .223 Remington will fit neatly beneath one`s fingernail without the slightest discomfort. This includes both velocity and accuracy capability. Both cartridges were developed as candidates for military duty and therin lies the reason one made it while the other didn`t. Uncle Sam adopted one but not the other. Had the .222 Remington Magnum made it as a military cartridge there never would of been a .223 Remington.

Not many rifles have been available in .222 Remington Magnum. Three that come to mind are the Remington Model 700, Sako L469, and Kimber Model 84. Even so, the .222 Remington Magnum will tote the load when asked to preform on prairie dogs and chucks. It is also an excellent gobbler cartridge, when loaded to about 2500 fps with a 55 grain soft point.

The .222 Remington Magnum probably gained more attention as the parent case of the 6 x 47mm, a once popular wildcat among benchrest shooters than it ever did in it`s original form. Today, it is a dying cartridge and shooters who own rifles in this caliber would be wise to stock up on cases and factory ammunition. If Remington should someday decide to discontinue this cartridge, the only case that can be reformed to .222 Remington Magnum configuration is the terribly expensive 5.6 x 50mm case of European origin.

Like all members of the .222 Remington family, the triple deuce Magnum is seen at its best for varmint shooting when loaded with the Speer TNT, Nosler Expander, Hornady SX, and Sierra Blitz bullets. H335, BL-C(2), H4895, and IMR-3031 are outstanding performers in this cartridge.

Historical Notes:

The 222 Remington Magnum was originally developed as an experimental military cartridge in a cooperative effort between Remington and Springfield Arsenal. Since it was never adopted by the military, Remington introduced it as a sporting round in 1958 as one of the calibers for their Model 722 bolt action rifle, and also for a time in the later 700 series bolt action rifles. At present, no Remington rifles are available in this caliber. None of the other major American sporting arms manufacturing companies offer the 222 Remington Magnum among their choice of calibers. The 222 Remington Magnum is fast heading for obsolescence.

General Comments:

In comparison to the standard 222 Remington, the magnum version has about 20% greater case capacity, and consequently delivers 100 or so fps higher muzzle velocity and an effective range between 50 and 75 yards greater than the 222. Though its case is 4 to 5 % greater than the 223 Remington, the performance of these two is indistinguishable because the 222 Remington Magnum is factory loaded to a lower maximum pressure. The 222 Magnum is nearly 1/10th of an inch longer than the 223 in overall case length and is also slightly longer it body length. As a result, the two are not interchangeable, and although the 223 can be chambered and fired in a 222 Magnum rifle, a dangerous headspace condition exists and case rupture is certain to occur when the round is fired. The 222 Remington Magnum is every bit as accurate as the standard 222 or the 223 and is certainly adequate for anything up to but not including deer. It never achieved the popularity of the standard 222 and has been largely superseded by the 223 Remington. It is, nevertheless, a very fine long range varmint cartridge. Remington still manufactures ammunition in this caliber.

.222 Remington Magnum


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