.223 vs. 222 mag vs. 22-204

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by Nutjob, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. Nutjob

    Nutjob

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    Two years ago I had a .223 AI built on a Rem. 700 with a Brux 1 in 8.6 twist to shoot the 75 Amax. The rifle shoots great and velocity runs at 3150 with moly. The problem is I built this rifle to shoot in sporting rifle competition and feeding is not reliable enough for competition.
    The question is..... Which cartridge would you choose for my application? The range is 200 for sporting rifle but I do shoot at 600 as well. Does the extra capacity of the .222 mag and/or the 22-204 give a worthwhile increase over the .223?
     
  2. robbor

    robbor

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    If you dont mind me asking why is feeding not reliable? 3150 sound mighty fast for what your shooting. So you have a feeding problem and you want more speed?
    Would think you would be a ton better off converting it to 22br or even better 6br/brx or higher capacity 6mm cartridge.
     
  3. fdshuster

    fdshuster

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    I had a 222 Rem. Magnum for a short time in an original Sako chambering, and saw no advantage comparing it to my 223's. A big disadvantage I did see though was the requirement (unless you want to reform cases from 204 Ruger), that you use Remington brass---- not very high on my list of favorites. With the 223 Rem. the excellent Lapua brass is available, and if you want to reach out to 600 yds., an 8 twist barrel with the 80 gr. Sierra MatchKings is always an option. A 22-204? Isn't that a 222 Rem Magnum all over again? I will admit that I did like the slightly longer neck of the 222 Rem. Magnum, but not enough to off-set its disadvantages.
     
  4. Nutjob

    Nutjob

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    Feeding isn't reliable due to the near zero taper and the sharp (40*) shoulder I believe. The rifle feeds standard .223 just fine.
    My barrel is 24" and 3150 fps show no signs of excessive pressure.
    I want to use the same barrel and bolt face at this time because I would like to keep this project from costing an arm or leg.
    The 22-204 case is the same length as the 222 mag with a shorter neck and 30* shoulder for a bit more capacity than either the .223 AI or the 222 magnum. It would seem to be an easy wildcat, just neck up .204 and use a .204 Redding die with a .224 bushing. And it would probably clean up the .223 AI chamber without having to set the barrel back.
    I am just the typical rifle geek searching for the most for the least in a cartridge that feeds reliably.
    Thanks.
     
  5. robbor

    robbor

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    yes the 22-204 case seems like a good compromise but the problem i see is i dont think you will get anything past the 3150fps your already getting. 3150 is fast
     
  6. Nutjob

    Nutjob

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    I guess I should have said that I would like to equal the velocity of the .223 AI if possible with the reliable feeding of the standard .223 case. But I wouldn't be heart broken with 100 fps less if reliable feeding and accuracy were outstanding.

    Do you think the .222 magnum with it's longer neck might have an edge in barrel life over the 22-204 if both cartridges were loaded to the same pressures?
     
  7. alf

    alf Silver $$ Contributor

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    A 22-204 reamer will not clean up an Ackley chamber.

    I don't think they'll be any/much barrel life difference between the 222 Mag and a 223, as the body's are about the same capacity, with the neck length being the only difference.

    My 22-204's feed like butter......
     
  8. Nutjob

    Nutjob

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    Thanks guys. Alf your right. I had forgotten how the straight taper of the .223 AI wouldn't allow the 22-204 reamer to clean up the AI chamber. My gunsmith just ordered a new bolt with a .308 bolt face from PTG. I am going with the 22-250.
     
  9. HawkI

    HawkI

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    One should have no issues getting 223 AI loads with a 222 Magnum case, at least I never have. The 222 Mag has the same or just a hair greater, depending on case capacity, the 22-204 slightly more.

    That said, I'd check the feed rails, follower and mag box.
     
  10. alf

    alf Silver $$ Contributor

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    Some cases for comparison.....

    221 Fireball --- 222 Rem --- 223 REM --- 223 Ackley --- 222 Rem mag --- 22-204

    [​IMG]
     
  11. HawkI

    HawkI

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    222 Mag, 222 Mag AI and 22-204
    [​IMG]

    I do believe the 22-204 has some serious merit; some factory would do well to adopt it. 222 Mag AI capacity, easy to form. Just needs more affordable dies.

    I personally like the 222 Mag, or the original "223 AI".

    Was the 222 Mag AI one Parker actually made? I know the 223 "AI" was not...
     
  12. Nutjob

    Nutjob

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    HawkI and Alf, do you have a favorite? Just looking to drive a 75 amax at 3000 -3100 in a 24 inch barrel with the best feeding, accuracy and barrel life.
     
  13. HawkI

    HawkI

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    I like the std. 222 Magnum and run the 75 A-Max at 3,075 with RL-15 and a longish throat (2.420)COAL in a 24" tube. A 700 will run it to 2.8 COAL with the mag box altered and a milled follower for starters, if needed.

    Best brass is older R-P (1970's) or Herters Finnish stuff, else the usual new Remingtons, which run 2 headstamps, so beware of so called "lots". Forster dies are easily procured and work flawlessly with a .224 expander over the stock version.

    I've never ran a 22-204, but have used the 204 and found it a very fine cartridge. Any comparison will be riddled with more similarities than vices.

    Again, if it were I, I'd have the feeding checked and fixed first for your 223 AI; I think its a curable disease.
     
  14. Nutjob

    Nutjob

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    HawkI, for full disclosure.... I have two nearly identical rifles in .223 ai. My good buddy and I had these built by a local smith. I made all the arrangements with the smith and barrel maker. Both rifles shot great but the feeding was difficult. Both rifles also have difficulty with the extractor pushing over the rim to the point where you really have to man handle the bolt to fully close the action. Because I shoot mine for some rapid fire strings in sporting rifle competition (my friend does not shoot competively), I needed a flawless running rifle and bought a Remington 700 classic in .223 that not only fed and closed beautifully, it was also one of the most accurate factory rifles I have ever shot.
    However, it always bothered me that my buddies rifle was not satisfactory for him and that our "custom" rifles left us both cold. He was impressed with my 700 classic and we recently traded rifles. So now I own two rifles that shoot great but don't feed well. Genius eh?
    Both rifles are currently at the smith's. His rifle is getting a function fix. And just to hedge my bets... I am having a Dave Kiff .308 bolt installed and the rifle rechambered to 22-250.
    I just wish I had gone with the standard .223 or .222 Magnum to start with. (Not that it would have helped the extractor issue).
     
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  15. HawkI

    HawkI

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    I wonder if the straight, blown out AI chamber and re-sizing issues is making chambering difficult?
     
  16. Nutjob

    Nutjob

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    When the smith examined my buddies rifle he determined that feeding was better on one side than the other and going to work on improving the problem.

    His comment on the pressure necessary for the extractor to get past the case rim was well within the range for a Remington .378 bolt face as there isn't enough tolerance inside the .378 bolt face for the extractor work properly... sometimes.
    He was going to take a look at both of these issues.

    On the sizing problem... I still had a hard time closing the bolt before fireforming. Also, when I switched from Lake City brass to Winchester the problem lessened.

    I hope the .223 ai comes back working well as I believe it is near ideal powder capacity ( as is the .222 Mag, .22-204 and .22 br) when you consider velocity to barrel life/heating.
    If it doesn't feed well enough for competition it will be relegated to varmints and I'll run the 22-250 with a low pressure load to minimize barrel heat.
     
  17. fivering

    fivering

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    Nutjob:

    If you have feeding problems with your .223AI, and want to shoot it in rapid fire competition, just run regular .223 ammo. I and several others do this all the time, and no noticeable loss in accuracy has been noticed. Have had as high as 100-9x at 300 yds.
    If you think you need the extra speed, increase those loads to near AI levels.
     
  18. Fat Albert

    Fat Albert

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    I have a SA Win 70 223 Rem that was rebarreled by Bullberry in 6TCU and have the same trouble with feeding. That 40 deg shoulder is a pain in the Obama.
     
  19. JoePellegrene

    JoePellegrene

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    I just started testing my 22-204. I 'm using a Bat model B action with a Bartlein 8-twist barrel @ 28" shooting Berger 82bt's seated about .010 into the lands. I retained the original taper of the 204 case when I had my reamer made and with the cone bolt face I have no problems loading or extracting.

    So far I've tried N140, 203B, and R15 powders. The N140 gave the best groups but also made the most pressure. The R15 gave me the most velocity with decent groups but not the best. The 203B as pictured below seem to be right in between the two.

    Best load so far has been 27.50 gr. of 203B .010 into the lands with Fed 205 primers running at 3,050 fps. Also shot very well on a slower node at 2,880. The picture below is Rem primers on the top row with 205's next then CCI 450's. The lowest spread was with the 205's.

    It was really windy when I shot these rounds today and I had to put them down the range fast. I'm sure I can tighten them up a bit if I get on a concrete bench with some better conditions. I'm not finding this caliber to be very picky at all. I could easily shoot it with three different powders and three different primers. The groups I've shot so far have been repeatable. Feels like my 30br but with more BC.

    Also I'm shooting Norma brass turned for a .247 neck. It's more expensive and a bit soft but the measurements are all right there.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. alf

    alf Silver $$ Contributor

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    Great info, keep it coming.

    I feel like it's me against the world with this 22-204 thang.

    Glad to have someone else on the team......
     

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