Solved: Advise re .222 Remington rifle

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by mefizto, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. mefizto

    mefizto

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    Greetings all,

    to give you some background, I have been shooting mainly air rifles (10 m), and .22lr (silhouette). However, the issue with good accuracy for .22lr is matching ammunition to the rifle and then buying a lot of it. Thus, I have been contemplating a center-fire rifle, especially after my friend taught me how to reload. He also recommended .222 Remington caliber as being quiet, low recoil, cheap, and super accurate.

    As I am ignorant about center-fire rifles and did not even know about the caliber, I was wondering if someone knowledgeable could recommend a high quality rifle - I am a proponent of buy once cry once. I do not mind buying an older or used one, in fact, sometimes the quality of older rifles appear to be better.

    The second question is where to buy it. I have been watching this forum as well as shooter's hide one, but these rifles do not appear to be sold frequently. I have also looked at gun broker, but I am rather hesitant about it because the prices for the same type of rifle wary significantly, e.g., from $700 to $1500 and, as noted above, I am rather clueless what to look for and the pictures and description are not very convincing.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Kindest regards,

    M
     
  2. swadiver

    swadiver Silver $$ Contributor

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    first question i would ask is what is the intended purpose for the rifle. formal competition (short or mid and long range), informal competition, hunting, or accurate plinking? once that question is answered, it will be easier to sort through some options.

    have fun
     
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  3. biggun2869

    biggun2869 Silver $$ Contributor

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    I'm assuming Older 1-14 twist. Use a 50 grn bullet (I like the 50 grn Hornady SX and the nosler ballistic tips) I'm really liking LT-32 but old time was IMR 4198. Mess w/ your OAL some and you'll come out w/a fine load.
     
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  4. JohnHenry

    JohnHenry Silver $$ Contributor

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  5. mefizto

    mefizto

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    Hi swadiver,

    competition and eradication of small critters around the house.

    Hi biggun2869,

    yes, I am thinking lighter bullets will be sufficient, see above, so 1:12 or 1:14 twist would suffice? Yes, I have a friend who is competitive F-class shooter, so I got an earful about reloading. ;-)

    Hi JohnHenry,

    thank you for the link, but I still need to know what rifle to look for.

    Kindest regards,

    M
     
  6. littlebuddybr

    littlebuddybr Gold $$ Contributor

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    Not going to be very easy to find a factory .222.

    The older Remington varmint models and sako's. Shot really well and look good also.
    But trying to find one that is in good condition and hasn't been abused isn't easy.

    Best bet is to call bob at the shooter's corner. If he don't have one there talk to him about building you one.

    You will be very happy with a good .222
    I would want the 14 twist and reccomend it.

    Cooper rifles may still make them. They look great. And a lot of people have had good luck with them.
     
  7. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Gold $$ Contributor

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    Hello,

    I have the same background and made the same leap two years ago, almost exactly. I enjoy accurate rifles (I own two 10m air rifles myself).

    My first (and second) centerfires ended up being Sakos in 6PPC-USA. .222 Remington was my 2nd choice, and I'm still open to owning one. 6PPC has a bit more spit and of course arguably better pure accuracy. The advantage remains arguable in many situations and benchrest shooters still talk wistfully about the triple deuce.

    .222 is a great caliber to learn hand loading, strive for accuracy, etc. You could buy an old benchrest rifle or a sporter/varmint gun. Anschutz, Sako, Cooper, and I think Tikka all produce brand new .222's. Not unlike rimfire, price has a modest correlation to average accuracy. .222 has outstanding barrel life and the consumables are reasonably priced. If you prefer 2 stage triggers as I do, you'll have to shop more carefully or refit it with an aftermarket trigger. The Remington 700 series of course have limitless trigger options.

    The new ones are in many cases not better than the old ones. They cost a lot more, but I wouldn't rule out a new rifle. Bob White of the Shooter's Corner has a good selection of both used benchrest and varmint rifles. By this point someone on this forum may have PM'd you already with something in their safe that's been dusty for too long. That could be a great option if one pops up.

    Gunbroker is a bit risky because you don't have much control over the wear of the barrel or bolt. Follow your gut and take care with Gunbroker. Or Guns America or Guns International.

    One thing that affects handloading is the length of the chamber throat. Unless it's a target rifle or rebarreled by a gunsmith, you'll likely need to limit the length of your cartridges so that the bullet "jumps" a bit before it engages the lands.

    Handloading .222 is not difficult and the one .222 I developed a load for was straightforward and easy. Just a basic charge ladder and a seating depth ladder showed a solid one-hole shooter. A single stage press kit is all you really need. I used an RCBS Rockchucker Supreme kit. I also started with a Chargemaster Lite electronic scale and that saved me a lot of time. Warning you now, hand loading is the dark side of centerfire shooting. But shooting centerfire on only box ammo is very limiting both in cost and accuracy. There are a million gadgets to improve your loading and a million details you can explore to better tune it to your rifle. Don't get too obsessed over it because the limitations of the shooter, mirage, and wind reading quickly obscure the accuracy of the load and rifle. It will be development of both you as a shooter, your equipment, and your loading skills.

    If you're thinking about F-Class, you might upsize your caliber choice slightly to .223 Remington, making your rifle eligible for F-T/R class. Unfortunately it won't be competitive. .222 can be competitive in short/medium range groundhog shoots and club level benchrest. 6BR is another great cartridge that is easy to hand load and slightly more competitive in F-Open. No matter what gun you buy though, you mostly won't be competitive at any shooting event until you really learn it and gain experience.

    It's been said that having a mentor is very important. I never had one to show me hand loading, but I did have knowledgeable shooters around to ask from time to time. If you can read, study, and ask questions, then you can learn this from books. But be deliberate, read the loading manuals carefully, and don't skip or assume anything.

    Good luck, David
     
  8. mefizto

    mefizto

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    Hi littlebuddybr,

    thank you for the reply. Could you please be more specific about the specific model of the "older Remington varmint models and sako's"? As noted, I am really in the dark about them, so this would help me with my (re)search.

    Hi David,


    thank you for your thoughtful an thorough reply. I agree with you regarding accurate rifles, in fact, there is no reason to own anything but - IMNSHO.

    I do prefer two-stage trigger, could you please advise, which rifles may be retrofitted. I have briefly though about buying an action and having a rifle built (that is what I did with my .22lr), but finding a nice action with .223 bolt, e.g., blueprinted 700, or 40x, proved as difficult as finding a rifle. But, I;ll keep looking.

    Since Shooter's Corner has been mentioned several time, without any offense meant, is Mr. White trustworthy in a sense that when he describes a rifle, that is what I would get?

    I do have a press recommended my F-Class shooting friend on a way, he also recommended an accurate powder measure. I actually like the reloading process.

    Kindest regards,

    M
     
  9. Tim s

    Tim s

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    There are no less than 7 Sako 222’s on guns Intl right now, less than $1000.
    Remingtons are around as well, I‘d lean toward one from 70’s or 80’s.
    FWIW. I would surely consider a 223 as well, tons of them around and not bad to reload with far better availability. Pretty soft shooting.
     
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  10. K22

    K22

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    While the 222 would certainly be an excellent choice, rifles may be hard to find in this caliber.

    You could achieve the same results with a 223 Rem and have many styles / brands to choose from. I'd consider a Tikka T3X. These are excellent rifles and can be had in either the light weight version or heavy varmint version.

    Like the 222, barrel life is long, recoil very mild and accuracy excellent in a quality rifle. With the 223 Rem this is abundant supply of quality factory ammunition.
     
  11. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Gold $$ Contributor

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    Having an accurate powder measure is helpful but the level of accuracy depends on the type of shooting you do. Getting more accurate than 0.1 grains is truly unnecessary for shooting 600y and under. Champion short range benchrest shooters still use high quality powder throwers.

    One more note about caliber: 222 is generally considered to be more accurate than 223 but really there's not much difference. I think I've been more interested in 222 over 223 ever since the day someone told me "everyone needs at least one .223".

    I have not bought from Mr White but I did talk with him on the phone once about his used rifle selection and he seems to be a highly reputed guy. He did not push me to make a sale and he did not hurry me off the phone. He moves a lot of used rifles so he may not have firsthand knowledge about each one. He also spends far more time selling rifles than updating his website so I recommend you call and ask what he has that's close to what you want. There are many here who trust him and know him but of course it's your money so do your own research.

    If you like being a trigger snob, just do some research. Bix'n Andy makes a Competition and Tacsport two stage for Rem 700 actions and the design is pure trigger magic. Better than an Anschutz match trigger if you can believe it, but expensive.

    The Sakos are almost exclusively single stage triggers. The "A1" series in .223, 6PPC, and 22PPC were available in a two stage trigger. It's a very good trigger, with adjustment, but not a true two stage and those particular rifles run $1000-1500. But I own two of them and consider them to be excellent. I believe Coopers are all single stage.

    I'm not sure why you'd find it difficult to locate a 40x or 700 action in .223 boltface unless you are limiting yourself to your local gun shop. Most gun shops are focused on hunting rifles and AR-series ammo-burners. I buy everything other than primers and powder from on-line sources. Going custom costs a lot of money to do it well, and makes little sense unless you know what you want and what your specific goals are for the build.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  12. centershot

    centershot Silver $$ Contributor

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    I had a 1968 Remington 700. Used it for a multitude of things including prairie dogs. Barrel shot out and I used the action for another build. Sporter weight, not a varmint. Great rifle and caliber.
     
  13. drover

    drover

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    As mentioned above the accuracy difference between the 222 and the 223 is very small, given rifles of equal build quality it would take a very good benchrest shooter to be able to discern the accuracy difference.
    I second the suggestion of purchasing a Tikka T-3X in 223, they are generally as accurate out of the box, have a good trigger, although it is a single-stage rather than a 2-stage. Use the Tikka as a learning tool to learn shooting a centerfire and learning your reloading skills - there is a chance that it may be all that you need anyway unless you get very serious about competition shooting, if you do then you can sell the Tikka and recoup most of your money.

    drover
     
  14. Tim s

    Tim s

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    Bob White is highly regarded, lifetime benchrest shooter and past president of IBS. Hard to do better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
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  15. mefizto

    mefizto

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    Hi Tim_s,

    thank you for the reference re Mr. White, i will call him.

    Regarding the Guns Intl, that might be a good choice for somebody experienced, like yourself, but not for ignoramus like I am; see my reservation re Gunbrokers and David's assent.

    I have considered .223, but rejected it in favor of .222.

    Hi David,

    interesting what you said about the powder measure accuracy, it exactly matches my friend's opinion.

    Great to have confirmation re Mr. White.

    I am not sure about the "trigger snob" but I have experience with both Olympic style 10m air guns, and I have, indeed top-of-the line Anschutz trigger, so there.

    Re action, I have not seen one in the past three weeks I was looking, most bolts are for higher calibers. But, I agree with you, I would prefer a ready-made rifle. I am persistent and patient, so I will find what I am looking for.

    Hi centershot,

    thank you for recommending a specific model.

    Hi K22, drover,

    thank you for your responses, I have decided on .222.

    Kindest regards,

    M
     
  16. SBS

    SBS Gold $$ Contributor

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    In factory rifles, look for a low mileage 40X or find a good used custom barreled one or a used custom action with name brand barrel on it. There are a number of custom barreled .222 rifles around since it was once "THE" benchrest caliber and now long out of favor with the BR crowd. Do not discount getting a 40X or custom action and having it barreled/rebarreled. Since you are looking for accuracy, buy a solid bottom single shot action. Many great triggers are available for the 40X action and numerous custom actions which also use 40X type triggers. When buying used, find a dealer who not only has a good reputation, but will back up his description if it's not correct. I once bought a 54 Anschutz from Mr. White which was supposed to have an exc. bore, but turned out to have a ring in it. Guys with a large inventory may not look carefully at each rifle, but if honest, they will make it good. If you don't find what you're looking for from a dealer, keep an eye on this site and benchrestcentral.com. There was a reasonably priced 40X .222 barreled action sold on this site just about a week or so ago. When you start reloading, be sure to try IMR 8208 XBR. The best powder for .222 years ago was IMR 4198, but 8208 is better in all my .222's (also in 20-222) and is about as great through a powder measure as the 4198 is bad (being long grains). Good luck, it's a great cartridge and I haven't been without at least one in almost 50 years.
     
  17. Oso

    Oso

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    I have several 222's and they are very mild and easy to reload. I am a fan of the older guns, specifically vintage Sako's. If this is your flavor then you want a Sako L461. The predecessor was the Sako L46 (mid 1950's), which had a small external magazine (3 or 5 shot). Finding a spare magazine can cost +$150. Whereas, the Sako L461 model began production in early 1960's and featured several improvements, including an internal magazine, improved safety, and adjustable trigger. Keep your eye out for a Heavy Varmint model (heavy barrel).

    If you are looking for a bench gun then the Remington 40X would be solid or a custom.

    As far as modern production rifles chambered in 222 the models that immediately come to mind are CZ 527, Tikka (I believe), Savage, Howa Mini-1500, and there are a number of custom makers as well as other vintage rifles. Suggest you take a kook on Gunbroker.com and select filters for Bolt Rifles and then caliber filter .222 Remington
     
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  18. JSH

    JSH

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    If you look around one can find a Howa mini in 222 for around $300-350, NIB.
     
  19. AWS

    AWS

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    I'm a big fan of the 222 Rem, I've been using it for coyote hunting for a number of years. I have it in a Sako L-461, Winchester Model 70, a HB Varmint rifle built on a Savage action and have had a Savage 340, a couple of Euro combo guns and all have been very accurate. My goto bullet is the 52gr Speer flatebase HP for hunting coyotes and the 40gr NBT for varmints and paper. Benchmark has worked well along with 748 for powder.
     
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  20. jepp2

    jepp2 Gold $$ Contributor

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    I enjoy shooting the 222 Remington. My personal favorite is an early Rem 40 XBR with a 20" BR barrel. Was an early factory bench rest gun.
     
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