Date: Apr 23 2013
The .222 Remington was introduced in 1950 and for the next few decades easily became the most popular varmint cartridge. It was primarily designed to offer "medium velocity" with effective ranges of around 250 yards (perhaps a bit further with some of today’s improved bullets and powders). Bench rest shooters quickly discovered its remarkable consistency and accuracy however, and it soon became the cartridge to beat in competition. In 1973 M.P. "Mac" McMillan fired what has been deemed "The Perfect Group," officially measured at .009 inch, although other competitors present that day felt the group was exactly perfect.
The .222 offers low muzzle report, accuracy, long barrel life and is still a great choice for any appropriate application. It was a ground-breaking cartridge based on a totally new rimless case and would eventually become the parent case for the .222 Remington Magnum, .223 Remington and .204 Ruger. There are many classic rifles so chambered resting on used gun racks.
There are many superb powders for handloading the .222 Remington, and it seems to be more difficult to work up a poor load, than a great load. Proven powder choices include IMR-4198, Hodgdon H-322, H-335, BL-C(2), Alliant RL-10X, Accurate 2230, Winchester 748, Vihtavuori N-130 and many others.
The .222 Remington utilizes .224-inch bullets so choices are extremely broad. Nonetheless, 50- to 53-grain weights seem to offer a nice balance of velocity, accuracy and down-range performance. Hornady bullets from 35 to 60 grains stabilized and proved exceptionally accurate in the vintage SAKO Vixen test rifle with 1-in-14-inch twist barrel.
Nosler Custom brass was chosen to develop all handloads in the accompanying data. All case prep work is professionally done, and they are ready for handloads right out of the box.