222 Low-Drag

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by deadduck357, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. deadduck357

    deadduck357

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    In the last couple years there have been some new and exciting cartridges come to our sport or some would say 'obsession', and I know a lot of you are tired of new flashy cartridges but I (and my gunsmith) have been working on something for a little over a year now that I would like to share and hear what you guys think.

    [​IMG]

    222 Low-Drag (222 LD-AR)

    COL: 2.260"
    Rim Dia: .378"

    As of right now that's all the case specs I can share. I've had a lot of guidance and recommendations from several knowledgeable people within the industry and from being a member here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  2. deadduck357

    deadduck357

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    Rifle built by gunsmith.

    [​IMG]

    Rem 700 action (worked over by gunsmith)
    Shilen Match barrel 20" 1-7
    Timney trigger
    Grayboe Renegade stock
    Mesa Precision bottom metal
    Accurate Mag magazine
    Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50 scope
    Leupold Pic base
    TPS TSR rings
     
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  3. deadduck357

    deadduck357

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    Worked up some loads using Hornady 75gr ELD Match bullets.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. 17VLD

    17VLD

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    Nice looking rifle and cartridge,you can’t go too far wrong with the .222 case.
    I am curious about your velocity and the accuracy you get from this set up,have you reduced the body taper?
    Matt
     
  5. natdscott

    natdscott P100, HM, DR, experienced beginner. Gold $$ Contributor

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    Other than "be mine", what does it do that existing cartridges from .222 Remington through .224 Middlestead cannot do?
     
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  6. deadduck357

    deadduck357

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    The 5.56x45 w/77gr Sierra has a MV of 2750 out of a 20".


    [​IMG]
    222 Low-Drag 75gr Hornady - 20".


    But lets see what this thing will do...
    [​IMG]


    The 224V w/75gr MV is 3,000... out of 24"


    [​IMG]

    Lets continue

    [​IMG]
     
  7. deadduck357

    deadduck357

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    Same taper as 5.56x45.
     
  8. deadduck357

    deadduck357

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    Middlestead based on 308 case?

    More later, gotta get some sleep.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  9. natdscott

    natdscott P100, HM, DR, experienced beginner. Gold $$ Contributor

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    Yep. The .22-243 Middlestead is a .224" necked version. I suppose it could be called lots of things. .22-08 made the most sense to me, but I wasn't asked.
     
  10. Coleridge

    Coleridge Silver $$ Contributor

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    Not sure what your trying to keep secret. If it was 4S it wouldn't be on the internet...
     
  11. deadduck357

    deadduck357

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    At the range to see what it's capable of. Try not to let yourself puke from the bench color. The paint was donated (you can see why) and they used it.

    [​IMG]

    Let me state that I'm not a competition shooter as many here are. Also I'm a novice reloader without the skills, equipment, or knowledge as the majority of y'all have. The gunsmith helped me immensely.

    I know that it's frowned upon to shoot groups with less than five shots but with limited rounds three is all I got for now. Still just trying to find what works.

    Please note that the following targets were measured and marked by me from center to center while it was still attached to the backboard; that's when the pictures where taken. Forgive my ignorance with regards to the measurements. After pulling the target and taking it back to the bench the gunsmith looked it over and measured them again. He looked at me and asked me "how did I measure these". Anyway the corrected measurements will be below each target image.

    Each frame is 1"
    Orange dot is .50"

    100 Yards
    75gr ELD Match
    A2230
    [​IMG]
    .488" OSG
    .264" OC

    [​IMG]
    .512" OSG
    .288" OC

    [​IMG]
    .421" OSG
    .197" OC
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  12. deadduck357

    deadduck357

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    Another day. Trying another powder.

    Each frame is 1"
    Orange dot is .50"

    100 yards
    75gr ELD Match
    H322
    [​IMG]
    .525" OSG
    .301" OC

    [​IMG]
    .540" OSG
    .316" OC

    [​IMG]
    .359" OSG
    .135" OC

    Oh, the gunsmith measure and marked the targets this time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  13. linebaugh

    linebaugh Silver $$ Contributor

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    Okay I will take a stab at it but I don't think you will like my critisism.

    I have the same stock and bottom metal on my 223AI with a 26" tube. I went ahead and cut mine for an adjustable cheek, lengthened my LOP and added 9 oz of lead to the butt to get the gun to balance.. Nice feeling set up and for the way yours is set up I predict the balance is about correct.

    As for the round. I predict your smith simply took a 223 (5.56x45) reamer and fed it in .060 short so that you could use .222 brass and blow the shoulder forward .100-.110.
    On the surface this is a reasonable idea IF it was intended to be used primarily in an AR platform... as some of your top secret idea above seems to indicate with the AR on the end of the name. You are using it in a bolt gun with plenty of mag room so it makes little sense to me.

    In a bolt gun it could prove to be an accurate round and have a very correct case capacity for target work. I don't know much about that nor do I intend to find out as there are many highly accurate 223's out there.

    At any rate considering you don't seem to be worried about accuracy and more so about showing some velocity gains over larger capacity rounds I will just tell you this. You need to change the name of your secret round to the 222-OP (over pressure) because the numbers you post in a 20" tube (3100fps) are basically out of reach for my 223 AI which has a much higher case capacity. 3100 fps in a 20" tube with less capacity than a standard 223 is not going to happen with pixie dust and naming your own round. It happens because you are running 70k of pressure. I expect to shoot that velocity area with my 223AI and a 26" tube @ around 60kpsi

    The 75gr eld is the bomb and one of the most efficient bullets out there. I don't know if you can get target accuracy out of them or not but the accuracy you are getting now is common enough that I for sure would not be bothered... but I do not shoot target diciplines.

    Good luck on your round.
     
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  14. Knotwild

    Knotwild Silver $$ Contributor

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    I see you have the numbers 22 and 22.5 on your H322 groups. If this is grains of H322, the Hodgdon website indicates this would run a 75 gr in a .223 Remington at 2785 fps in one of their test barrels at 48,100 CUP. Where does the your velocity come from?
     
  15. deadduck357

    deadduck357

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    Well, by God I'm glad you did. I'm very excited about this experience and the lack of interest here has me butt-hurt. Figured that y'all would find this cartridge interesting. Most of cartridge designing and case prepping knowledge I have come from you fellows. My gunsmith helped me with the case forming and load development.

    I decided on the stock and bottom metal because the package was much less expensive than than other big names available. It has worked out great and seems solid. The bottom metal dropped in snuggly without the need for much of any fitting but the gunsmith had to opened up the barrel channel because of the overly large barrel diameter.

    The reamer and headspace gauges were built by PTG per the specs on my cartridge print. Dave Kiff and I went back and forth a few times to get it right. You are correct, I designed this cartridge to function in the AR-15 out of STANAG length mag with a maximum 2.260" COL. Using a bolt gun as the test bed was the logical choice to eliminate concerns with gas system, buffer and spring and to concentrate efforts into cartridge development.

    With my inexperience keeping it "top secret" is to allow me time to work on this. I still have much work to do and you guys could knock this out in no time.

    I want it to have both accuracy and velocity. It's showing good potential for both but more experimenting is needed. We have been cautiously concerned about pressures and watching it vigorously. Kiff designed a "special" chamber for this round so we're using pressures as an advantage.

    The 75gr ELD is providing good results but more testing is needed.

    Thank you for replying, any criticism from y'all is appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  16. deadduck357

    deadduck357

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    It is.

    Cartridge design, chamber design, and pressure.
     
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  17. Coleridge

    Coleridge Silver $$ Contributor

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    If you want replies, I'll do the same & hope you take it as well....

    First off, my guess is standard 222 with the shoulders blown forward (similar to the 6BR v/s 6BRX).

    You have stated several times that you are new-ish or inexperienced. I'm confused why you wouldn't spread info & take advantaged of the knowledge (and help) here from the board. Also-still, if it was "top secret" I'm confused why you would post it for the world to see in the first place (possibility you want to be validated or praised?).

    As linebaugh stated and many know. There are no free lunch when it comes to velocity. You either get there with "more fuel" or "more pressure". Unless you guys are "vigorously" using a pressure gauge, there is no clue what kind of pressures your experiencing. A 75gr bullet going 3100fps with 22gr of powder, no matter what the case design is--- the pressure is extreme... The tight chamber and good brass helps keep things together, but take the same "materials" with more powder (via more capacity) and run same pressures, it's going to be faster. FWIW, you can run any cartridge you want to extreme pressures. Might surprise you what you can do with a 223 at 70K!

    There is no shortage of "new" cartridges that will fit in the AR frame. The 22 nosler & 224 valkyrie from the big names and then many-many wildcats. New cartridges with more VELOCITY sells ammo & guns (why they develop the new stuff, not like we "need" anything new); that's why they do it. Not picking on you or your smith, but I can't help but imagine the more money, knowledge, and resources from those teams that produces those cartridges wouldn't have went a different route if a smaller case capacity would have got them closer to the goal (more speed in AR length). There is a reason they didn't "use pressures as and advantage".

    I think a LOT of guys on here understand that & likely why your not getting the OMG response you seem to be expecting...

    It's a neat project and appears your having fun playing with it. If your barrel stays together, sounds like a success. Not everybody on this forum drives 100mph without a seat-belt though.
     
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  18. nakneker

    nakneker Gold $$ Contributor

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    Dont get butt hurt Deadduck. I admire the fact that your doing what your doing, it’s a road many of us have been down before and your doing a better job than I did when I tweaked my first case and created my “own” chambering.

    The 222 is my favorite small centerfire and it’s a fun case to play with. It would be simple to do the something like a 223 improved and get a load of performance and have all the Dies and loads of reloading info at your fingertips. Where is the fun in that? You’ll learn far more doing what your doing and you’ll always have a sense of satisfaction knowing that your creation is yours.

    For the sake of time I need to cut this short. I would encourage you to share rather than keep secret. The amount knowledge and good spirited guidance found on this forum is rich and abundant. Hats off to you though, looks like a fun little rifle that’s producing good results!

    I enjoy motorcycles too and there is a saying I have learned to live by. I like it. “There are bold riders and there are old riders but there are no bold old riders”. I kinda live by that in my reloading too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  19. Dale264

    Dale264

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    Id sure find this whole write up more interesting if we had more information other than a made up cartridge name and a few photos. I think its pretty awesome you're able to get these velocities out of a bolt gun but your standard AR isnt going to be able to hold up to the pressures you must be running, not to mention brass life will be horrendous. Best of luck and keep posting updates!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  20. Evan

    Evan Gold $$ Contributor

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    I like the concept, but I don't see it catching on in it's current configuration. It's the name really :D, you need something catchy like the 22 Demonhawk or something. Strong imagery from a cool name will help it take off. For example, I plan to one day build a 6mm Catbird, just cause of the name. I won't even need to shoot it, I'll carry it up and down the firing line and try to bait people into asking me what it is, then I'll say "Oh this? This is my 6mm Catbird, it's like a 6-06 improved but better."

    You need that kinda machismo for your Napoleonic 223 so that the AR owners will want to slogan their barrels and receivers with the name for the world to see. "Yeah, I thought about a 223 but it's really just too played out. I decided to go with the 22 DemonHawk instead. Uses less powder and shoots groups in the zero's when I do my part. I mean, this pearlescent night sky blue paint job was a critical part and it really pops with the stainless barrel. It's got a sweet black eagle with red eyes painted on it too. Cool, right?"

    Pretty descriptive scenario there for ya. Not saying I want to build a pearlescent night sky blue AR... That would be insane... said my wife :oops:

    Fun aside, just doing a simple ratio: 223 shoots a 75 at 2600 with the same powder charge at ~55ksi. Yours, at 3100, will be making at least 65ksi. Likely more though because velocity and pressure aren't linear. Just going to reiterate what others have said: proceed with caution. You are undoubtedly above the rated maximum pressure of your parent cartridge and exploring uncharted territory, safety-wise.

    I would recommend you use a very nice micrometer and closely monitor the outer diameter at the 0.200 datum on your brass after each firing to see if that dimension is getting bigger. If it is, then you are swelling your chamber with the pressure. Most barrel's yield strength is above 85ksi, if everything is to specification. If the mill gave Shilen a bad batch or your barrel ended up in a softer condition, then your yield strength is lower. If your chamber pressure exceeds the yield strength, the barrel will stretch and fired brass will grow in size after each firing. That's if you're lucky. Unlucky, and you get to experience a bomb detonating inches from your face.

    If you can share the water capacity of your cartridge, someone could run Quickload and get you a better guesstimate at what pressure you're at now.
     
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