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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.224 Weatherby Magnum

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Nov 15 2018

Roy Weatherby experimented with an improved version of the .220 Swift, known as the .200 Rocket, but was unhappy with its ballistic results as velocity gains were minimal. In 1963 he introduced the .224 Weatherby Magnum cartridge in a scaled down version of his Mark V rifle. The case featured the standard Weatherby double radius shoulder, a belt, and was not based on any exciting case. Velocities were much more moderate than the Rocket and were very close in performance to the now familiar .22-250 Remington that would be introduced two years later (1965). Current factory loads from Weatherby list a 55-grain softpoint bullet at 3,650 fps. Clearly Weatherby was ahead of his time in targeting this fine combination of velocity, performance, efficiency and respectable barrel life. Although rifle availability from Weatherby has flickered the past two decades, ammunition and brass cases continue to be available.

In developing loads for the .224 it proved to be a fun, accurate and an efficient cartridge. Many of the early German (and some Japanese) rifles feature generous free bore, or rather long throats, and it is usually beneficial to seat bullets out for such rifles and experiment to find the accuracy “sweet” spot. Also, if hand loaded ammunition is to be fired in a single rifle, adjust the sizing die so that cases will headspace on the shoulder rather than the belt, which will generally improve accuracy and extend case life.

The German Mark V Varmint Master test rifle used here featured a 1:14 twist rate, with overall accuracy being observed with 50-, 52-, 53- and 55-grain Sierra bullets.