Accuracy - 221 vs 222 vs 223

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by 65BR, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. 65BR

    65BR

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Messages:
    350
    Is the 223 as good as the 221 and 222 re: accuracy? Day in day out, any average rifle?

    Like to hear from guys who hunt with these, what bullets you use, distances, game, and results.
     
  2. varmintshooter

    varmintshooter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Yes
     
  3. pacificman

    pacificman

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    490
    I might be wrong but I think the .222 started it all as one of the most accurate rounds anywhere...but now days
    with proper load work-up with almost any good rifle you could probably take your pick as I think any one of those
    calibers would be inherently accurate. I use 50 grain bullets in mine and could grab any one of them with confidence
    as far as accuracy. All for shooting prairie rats at anywhere from zero to about 600 yards or a bit more. My .223 has
    a faster twist rate for the heavier bullets to go a bit further when windy. I have found that the 20 caliber bullets pushed
    at higher speeds seem to be the ticket for really reaching out far...hence.... 20V/T...20-222...20 Practical...;):D
     
    jepp2 likes this.
  4. XTR

    XTR

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,924
    Yes, but that goes for any/all chamberings. The differences that you read about on the interwebs is minuscule, you are talking about group size capabilities measured in thousandths of an inch, and it applies to rifles built to the highest levels of precision, and trigger pullers that can actually get everything out of them. Then it's still a maybe.

    Shoot what you like.
     
  5. velocette

    velocette

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Technically, the .222 should be the superior in accuracy. In fact, as noted above any of them in average rifles can outshoot most shooters. (a blunderbuss could outshoot some of the shooters I've seen) I have two ,223 rifles both of which, when I do my job, with selected handloads will shoot groups under 3/8". So will my .222.
    In fact, it comes down, more to the skill of the shooter, quality of the bullet, load, wind, temperature and whether you or the rifle are having a "good" day.
     
  6. 65BR

    65BR

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Messages:
    350
    Thanks guys, my experience was limited to a 700 VLS (many loads and using an M8 24x BR Scope), Howa SS Sporter, and Winchester Coyote (HORRIBLE as a dog, bad barrel, traded rather than waited for Winchester to take the time to repair or replace based on their ETA). The VLS and Howa was at best around 5/8s. I like around 1/2" or better.

    So V - what 2 rifles are you using? OEM or custom? Interested in what brass, bullet, powders are preferred. My better loads back then were using 2015BR powder and 50 NBT's as I recall. Lastly, in using say an 8 twist barrel in 223, how is the accuracy using 40-55s? Or do you mostly use 60-75s, etc?

    Thanks all.
     
  7. TheOtherZilla

    TheOtherZilla

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    799
    I don't have a 221 but do have a 223 in a bolt gun as well as a 222. Can a 223 be as accurate as a 222? Most people do not take load development for the 222 far enough to get to the true accuracy potential of the cartridge. Like me they get it good enough and stop.. My 223 actually prints a tighter group than my 222. I am sure that if I wanted to take the time to further develop very accurate loads for my 222 it could be made to out shoot the 223 accuracy wise.. For hunting purposes IMO they are fairly equal.
     
  8. LCazador

    LCazador Competitive shooter and reloader for 50 years+ Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    625
    I have all three and without hesitation, I'd recommend the 222 for best accuracy and no doubt best all around performance. My 221 sports a 35 degree shoulder and it can definitely challenge both the triple deuce and the 223 in both the accuracy and speed dept. I've also experimented with a 35 degree shoulder on the 222, but I didn't see much enhancement to justify the modification. I'd recommend a minimum of12 twist as todays bullets are much longer overall. Of course if you want you can go with an even faster twist.
     
    Gabe22BR likes this.
  9. moorepower

    moorepower

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    332
    Since you ask about HUNTING accuracy, and not BR, Any of the above can work equally well. I asked about 500 prairie dogs on a recent hunt if they felt "more dead with my .222 that shoots 1/2" groups with the 50Vmax and 20.5 grains of H4198, "if" they would feel any less dead if it was a .223 that could "only" shoot 5/8" groups and most of them said no, except the ones that don't have a head, and they gave me the silent treatment. I shot 100 rounds of .17HH with 25hp factory ammo, because the loaded ammo was cheaper than brass, but it only shot 1 1/8" groups, and I can't say a single miss was because of the accuracy of the round. Sierra uses the .223 to test for accuracy. The average person with a factory barrel in a factory gun, will never be able to tell the which is more accurate, as long as you have the best load the rifle will shoot. If the wind is blowing I will take a 5/8" gun shooting 3400 fps to a 1/2" group at 3200 fps any day. A swirling wind will give you more drift than the extra 1/8" will ever get you. Set a Prairie dog size target out at 300 yards and in 20 rounds and shoot with a 3/8" shooting .222 at 3200 fps and then a 5/8" shooting .223 at 3400 fps and if the wind is swirling, I will bet you that the .223 will give you more kills. I used my .222 L461 a ton in the dogtown, because it is a pussycat to shoot, easier to see your hits and quieter, and well, I just love the Sako. When it was dead calm, I was shooting the .22H or .17HH. If I owned a .221 at the time, thats what I would have been shooting. No round you have listed is bad, and they will ALL hunt equally as well when it is calm.
     
    TheOtherZilla likes this.
  10. 65BR

    65BR

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Messages:
    350
    Good stuff, thanks all.
     
  11. Dan Hall

    Dan Hall

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Sierra uses the 223 for their 22 caliber bullet accuracy testing.
     

Share This Page