.222 Remington (using Sierra bullets)
Date: Nov 20 2018
The .222 Remington was introduced in 1950 and for the next 20 or 30 years was easily the most popular varmint cartridge in the U.S. (before, being bumped from that position by the .223 Remington). It was primarily designed to offer “medium velocity” performance, filling the rather large gap between the .22 Hornet and .220 Swift, which resulted in an effective range of around 250 to 300 yards. The “deuce,” as it is often referred to, was based on a completely new case that was modern in every respect. It was rimless and is the basis for many other cartridges, including the .222 Remington Magnum, .223 Remington/5.56 NATO, .204 Ruger and others. It found great favor with bench rest competitors, as it proved to be exceptionally accurate. For reference, current Remington factory loads list multiple 50-grain bullets with a muzzle velocity of 3,140 fps. The .222 Remington offers comparatively low muzzle report and long barrel life and is still a great choice for any appropriate application.
There are many superb powders (extruded and ball) for hand loading the .222 Remington, and it is easy to duplicate factory load velocities. In developing many loads for this cartridge, it seems that any reasonable combination of components will give respectable results.
In Spite of its name, all .222 Remington rifles utilize bullets of .224-inch diameter, so bullet selection is vast. In the accompanying hand loading data, Sierra bullets were used that range in weight from 40 to 65 grains, but the most useful and popular for general varmint shooting are 40 to 55 grains. Bullets in this weight range generally produce the best accuracy when fired in rifles with a one-turn-in-14-inch twist rate, which is the standard twist found in the majority of production rifles. Nosler Custom cases were chosen to develop all hand loads in the accompanying data, due to their high quality and uniformity.