Building a new 20 VarTarg

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by K9TXS, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. B23

    B23

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    Just a thought, but have you considered building a 20-222 instead?

    They feed smooth as butter, necked down Lapua 222 brass lasts forever and is top notch stuff. The 20-222 is only slightly larger in case capacity than the 20-221 or 20VT so you only burn about two more grains of powder and barrels last just as long.

    When I had my 20-222 built a few months ago it originally was going to be a 20-221 build, even bought the brass and dies, but I knew I wanted it to reliably feed from a conventional hinged floor plate or HS Prec detachable mag box and it seemed like the 20-221 or 20VT was hit or miss on smooth feeding so I started looking at the 20-222 and once I did, I never looked back. I ended up having a HS Prec detach mag system installed and my 20-222 feeds smooth as silk.

    just something to consider.
    20-222.jpg
     
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  2. K9TXS

    K9TXS

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    No not really. I sold all my big boomer rifles and now only have an HMR, 22LF and 20 VT. I have streamlined my reloading now strictly for the 20 VT. Making my on VT brass from 223 rounds, etc. When the VT is complete, one of them will be the backup rifle that would be resting/cooling while the other is working. Both rifles will have the same Pac-Nor barrel, same reamer and machinist etc to get the chamber as close and possible to being the same.
     
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  3. DogBuster

    DogBuster Silver $$ Contributor

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    20-222 rocks.......
     
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  4. hunter67

    hunter67

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    You have my ear. Who is making dies for 20-222?
     
  5. SBS

    SBS Gold $$ Contributor

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    Good question. Maybe someone is making reasonably priced dies now. 2 years ago, Hornady charged me over $200 for a FL only die out of their custom shop -- only option with Hornady at the time. Already had the barrel chambered or I'd have switched to something different (already had a VT).
     
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  6. B23

    B23

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    I'm using Redding 222 bushing dies and a 222 Redding Comp seater. I like Redding stuff so that is mostly what I use, but others make 222 bushing dies and the Forster Ultra Micrometer seater die is another excellent seating die for a fair bit less money. There's options available, a person doesn't have to use Redding, it's just what I typically use.

    For me, the older I get, the easier and more simple I want things. I've got 6 or 7 different rifles I have to fireform for. Is fireforming all that big a deal, no, but if I can have something built that is a straight neck down on a case with top notch brass, like a 20-222, and get the same performance, or better, I'll gladly take the one that requires less brass prep.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  7. hunter67

    hunter67

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    I hear you as I have a 223 AI. I think that I will go VT for now as that is what I have collecting for and after that we will build a 20-222. I dont mind shooting single shot as it keeps me from heating barrels. lol It will also give me the ammo to tell the wife that I need a repeater and the 20-222 will do that. hahahahahahaha
     
  8. Oso

    Oso

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    James Calhoun makes a single shot magazine that is machined so that the round will be picked up and fits behind the extractor claw just as if the round was being stripped out of the magazine. It facilitates the Controlled Round Feed of a single cartridge that is placed into the open port. No issue with extractor having to pop over the rim of the case when chambering a round. I own Calhoun and if you have any problems with the adapter you can send your rifle to Calhoun and he will tune it.

    The other popular single magazine adapter is the Bob Sled magazine.
     
  9. Mark W

    Mark W Gold $$ Contributor

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    I own three and all of them chamber single feed rounds just fine and have for years. I can’t remember which forum it was on, but I remember reading a post on the subject where some claimed they had called CZ USA and were told there was no reason not to single feed. The claw will slip right over the brass lip with no damage to itself or the brass.
     
  10. Oso

    Oso

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    For convenience and reduce fatigue/wear on extractor, I bought the block. I look at it as my "range" magazine. I believe certain cases, such as the Hornets with their raised rim, are of greater concern snapping over the rim.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  11. Justin B

    Justin B

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    Is there any other negatives to picking a 20-222 vs the 20-221??? I want a Vartag so bad!!!! Love my 20 Practical then I built another now the Vartag I don't think it will end.

    Also is there any way to use the LC re-sized brass without neck turning??
     
  12. Evan

    Evan Gold $$ Contributor

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    More powder, less barrel life, more muzzle blast. I don't see the appeal; the 150fps or so you gain doesn't do much for ballistics either. Go 20 Vartarg and don't look back!

    Problem with reformed LC when you don't neck turn (and anneal) is that the shoulder/case wall that is now the neck of your 20 Vartarg is thick, hard brass. Neck tension will be inconsistent and difficult to change.
     
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  13. Oso

    Oso

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    Over past couple of years I have been decreasing the size of my calibers. Big bore is great, but it is hard to beat a day shooting rimfire/plinking. My compromise was the micro calibers...fun to shoot (out to 400 yards), minimal blast and recoil, very good accuracy and still fun to reload. It all started with buying a Sako chambered in .222 Remington to shoot 40gr Vmax. It is hard not to fall in love with one of the mini-mauser actions, like a Sake L46/L461 or new CZ 527. After considering bullet selection and availability, reloading die selection, case capacity, velocity and recoil, I decided to convert a rechamber a Sako into a 20 Vartarg. She should be arriving this week.

    I think the big question is what type of rifle are you planning to shoot the .20 caliber through.
    - If it is an AR15 platform then for easy of loading from magazine stay with a cartridge that is similar to the magazine length and shape of .223. If you want a .20 caliber round that takes no effort to form or load then the 20 Practical is your answer.
    - If it is a Bolt Rifle then the sky is the limit. If you are going to go through the effort of making brass from .223 parent cases then there are any number of calibers. The 20-222 will have a little more velocity than the 20 Vartarg, but it will be easier to find dies and a barrel reamer for the 20 Vartarg. If you are chasing velocity then the 20 Practical (20-223) if the easiest answer. If you are looking for accuracy, limited recoil, and sheer fun then the 20 Vartarg. With a velocity of 3700-3800 fps out of 20" barrel and no recoil, it is hard to not pick the 20 Vartarg. If you have any doubts go check out Saubier.com (varmint shooters who focus on micro calibers).

    If you don't want to form your own brass cases then there are several specialty shops that sale formed 20 Vartarg brass (see sponsors on Saubier.com) or you can buy 221 Fireball brass and run it through a forming die to neck it down from .224 to .204 for the 20 Vartarg.
     
  14. K9TXS

    K9TXS

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    I totally agree. After shooting my Cooper 21 in 20 VarTarg this year for skippy, I decided I needed another one. I purchased a Remington and it is at Pac-Nor now getting it's new barrel.

    I've started forming my 20 VT brass from LC brass. There are quite a few steps to go through, but being retired now, I have the time.
     
  15. Evan

    Evan Gold $$ Contributor

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    Sleeping Giant and High Plains Brass both sell great reformed LC brass in 20 Vartarg for 40 per hundred.
     
  16. SeabeeKen

    SeabeeKen

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    I bought from HPB for my 17 Fireball and the necks ran .015+ and had to turn them all to even them out. Otherwise I thought it was well made. I would recommend buying the 17 fireball brass from them and necking up to 20VT and this should thin them out enough. It also already has the 30* shoulder as opposed to the 23* of the 221FB. I am waiting on a 20VT barrel for my Savage 10MP which is now a 17FB. I also bought some Norma 221 FB brass and was impressed with the consistency in neck thickness. Havent weighed them though. I also bought the SSS extractor kit as someone here mentioned and it worked great. Perfect extraction and ejection every time.
     
  17. JSH

    JSH

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    I have made a lot of brass for various wildcats.

    I know HPB gets good reviews and this is not knocking them.
    I looked at their 221 brass formed from 223. I asked around and was informed it was thick, which I figured it would be.
    So are they turning or reaming the 17FB brass? I would suspect reaming as it is quicker, I won’t say better.
    They have to do something as there is a lot of material to move to get to 17FB, neck wall thickness would be crazy thick with nothing done.
    I would not look forward to necking up 17 to 20 myself.
     
  18. Oso

    Oso

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    I bought some .17-222 brass from Reeds Ammo. It was formed from PPU 5.56 brass. The cases were nicely formed, but not a final product and at $50/50 cases I had higher expectations. The case necks need final preparation (either neck reaming &/or neck turning). About half of the cases had to wide of a neck and the bullet dropped right through the neck and into the case, and the other half were too tight and couldn't accept a bullet without collapsing the shoulder. I was a bit disappointed in the product.... Lapua ruined me... I now expect to be able to load a new case right out of the bag. It was a good motivator to buy neck reaming and neck turning gear.

    My order with Reeds was lost...after months 3-4 months I finally contacted Reeds to determine status of my order. I was given some flimsy excuse that they were waiting on a shipment of brass to be used to manufacture the cases. You can imagine my thrill when the donor cases were PPU. They must have had to walk all the way to Walmart to find the ammo to use... They lost a customer and earned a bad reputation from me... they should have just owned up to a dropped order and I would have been understanding.
    _____

    Great Review: I bought loaded 20 Vartarg rounds from Hendershot's Sporting Goods that are very nice!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  19. SeabeeKen

    SeabeeKen

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    I don't know if they reamed or turned. It didn't have marks on the inside or outside of the necks that I could see. I did form some 5.56 brass into 17 FB using forming dies which did pretty well although i did mess up one case. As you said, the necks were thick (.017" as I recall) so I decided to try HPB. Definitely not using the HPB brass as is in a .232 chamber without turning or reaming. I ordered some 221FB cases from Norma for reforming to 20VT and am very pleased with it. After necking them down they were .013" thick with very little variation and even then only 8 or 10 cases needed brushing up on the lathe. I'll definitely use Norma brass from now on.
     
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  20. Tommie

    Tommie Gold $$ Contributor

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    Messing up is no sin but not owning the error is lame. My experience with Reeds was the exact opposite of yours. Brass was exactly as I requested and delivered quickly.
     

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