View Full Version : Old Cartridge still great ?

06-01-2010, 08:31 PM
Is the 222 cartridge enough better, or more
superior than the 223 ?

If the 223 is god due to the great bullets, so be it, but I do not want to give up
an edge I might gain by going 222.
I plan on shooting 52 grain bullets at 100 yards.


06-01-2010, 10:49 PM
The heyday of the .222 pre-dates my shooting days, but from what I gather, everyone was really hotrodding the .222 to get it to perform at it's best. Blowing out the shoulder and other modifications to get the velocity up, as well as running the case as hard as it would go and accepting short case life was just the routine with the .222. If a .223 is built with a 1-14" twist barrel and minimal chamber in a custom tube, there probably isn't much difference between the two cartridges. Lapua makes brass for both, though I haven't seen it for the .222.

If I were to build a full blown .22 Bechrest rifle, it would be a .22-100, or .22 PPC. Both of these cartridges use Lapua brass with small flash holes and have the capacity to get good velocity without ruining the brass after 2 shots. JMHO

jackie schmidt
06-01-2010, 10:56 PM
Michael, in a real, honest to goodness Benchrest Rifle, combined with a shooter who knows how to read conditions, the 223 will not agg as well as a 222. Many have tried. At 100 and 200 yards, it is still about a chamberings ultimate accuracy capability, and in this, the 222 is simply superior.

This is about the same as comparing a 6BR with a 6PPC. While both are phenominoly accurate, the PPC has just enough edge to make it the choice of the vast majority of Benchrest Shooters..........jackie

Stephen Perry
06-02-2010, 02:05 AM
Well said Jackie.

Stephen Perry
Angeles BR

06-02-2010, 05:04 AM
If it ags. better, that is what I need to know.

Even if it is a light rifle.

I am planning on shooting paper at 100 yards. It will be a semi-auto match rifle,
and since the caliber is my option, I wanted a good grouping round that feeds well.

The reduced courses we shoot on are not mathmatically correct, in that the scoring rings are smaller than
they should be. This makes reduced course shooting a much bigger
challange, hence the need for a tight shooting guns.

Common wisdom on these courses is to use the best 223 components and techniques possible.
According to you guys I can do them one better.


Southwestern Virginia

06-05-2010, 06:43 AM
I agree 100% with Jackie. In a benchrest quality rifle the 222 does have an advantage. To me that means a tight neck, turned necks using Laupa brass.

I have fitted the 222 and 223 in similar precision rifles. The 222 does have the edge.

I have also fitted both the 222 and 223 in AR15 barrels. The tight neck 222 is not trouble fee in the AR15 if you plan to shoot semi auto. Expect feed issues. Works with a hand feed bolt in the AR-15. NO GAS TUBE.

If you are planning to use the rifle in the semi auto mode then you will need more neck clearance. My shooting buddy has four precision AR-15 uppers, 222, 223, 6 BR and 6.5 BR. All started life as tight neck chambers using neck turned brass. Now the necks have been opened up on these for semi auto use. With this configeration the 222 and 223 are very similar in precision. In tricky wind conditions the higher velocity of the 223 makes it slightly better.

I do not have any experience with the 6 PPC in an AR 15 platform. However, that said I suspect it could be the round of choice.

We have been using the BR case for the extra powder capacity needed for longer ranges. The BR case is a lot more difficult to work with in the AR 15 platform than the smaller diameter PPC case.

You may want to consider some of these other cases.

There are several 6 mm rounds now in common use with the AR15 platform.

Barrel life on the 222 is more than triple the 223.

Bottom line is if you are going to be shooting the rifle semi auto the 223 would be the better choice.

06-05-2010, 03:12 PM
Is there any way I can talk to your friend about useing the 222 versus the 223 ?

The barrel life is most interesting of an issue.
Since I will be useing a 1/14 barrel, I am wondering why not down load my 223 shells to a more pedestrian pace.

It will be a Clymer neck for semi-auto function.

How close where the groups from one to anothe,r in the two calibers is my biggest question.



Southwestern Virginia

06-06-2010, 07:21 PM

I just emailed you a photo of Mike's latest AR-15 with with the 26" Shilen XX 222 bull barrel. He just started shooting this one this week end. It is a tight neck chamber. Necks are turned down to a 0.0085 wall thickness. This is a heavy rifle. Over the 13.5# weight class. Barrel was hand lapped before the first shot. Scope is a 36X

Mike started with new Laupa 222 brass. Turned the necks and then fired them in the chamber with 50 Gr V Max bullets to fit the cases to the chamber. While he was fire forming the brass to better fit the chamber the groups were down to about 1/4".

In the photo you will see the rifle forearm is fitted with a flat plate. There was some wobble between this plate and the forearm that opened the group. An the trigger in this receiver was about 4 pounds, singe stage. Next weekend I am sure Mike with have these two issues corrected. One of his other lowers has a single stage trigger that is very crisp and set to 8 oz. This makes a big difference.

An issue with most AR rifles is how the barrel fits into the upper receiver. Too Loose. This one is very tight and set with a stud tight compound.

With a little more work and shooting better quality match bullets I expect this rifle to shoot aggs down to 0.150 and maybe better @ 100 yards when wind is not bad. The 222s are very accurate when set up right. But they are not equal to a 6 PPC when the winds blow and the distance is increased.

The 222 barrel life is helped a lot by the case design. Look at the 222 case along side a 223 case. The 222 has a much longer neck. Because of this there is much less hot gas in the chamber throat area. A 223 with the same powder charge will burn the throat faster.

Mikes 222 is a hand pull bolt. It has no gas tube. The thin wall tight fitting BR neck cases do not work in a semi auto. We tried to make them work. Mike got them to work in the 6.5 BR but the semi auto would bend the thin wall necks. And the tight necks do not feed trouble free.

If you want a very accurate rifle in the AR 15 frame the tight neck 222 is a very good choice. But you have to go all the way.

If you want to have a semi auto there is no advantage to the 222 over the 223.

Most of my 223 AR-15 rifles with a fresh barrel would shoot a true agg of about 1/2" using Laupa brass, match bullets and a BR quality scope. This is shooting from a concrete BR table top with quality BR table equipment and four wind flags. All of my AR rifles have had single stage triggers with a very light crisp pull. As light a pull as safe. My Stoner M-4 would shoot five shots into a 1/2" circle in under 10 seconds when the barrel was fresh. Now the barrel has 1,700+ rounds down the tube and 3/4+ groups are the best it will do. It held tight till about 1,200 rounds. I had a 223 26" bull barrel that went over 2,000 round before it started to show signs of age.

I have seen 222 barrels with 5,000+ rounds that would still shoot under 1/4". Capt Bob must have over 15,000 rounds down his 222 barrel and it is still quite good. When it was at 10,000 or so it would shoot with our PPC match rifles on a calm day at 100 yards.

Bottom Line!

How close where the groups from one to anothe,r in the two calibers is my biggest question.

For many years the small group record was a 222. In an AR 15 without the gas tube using a tight neck you can expect 0.015 and likely better. But only if you go all the way.

In a semi auto AR-15 you can expect 1/2" if you use premium barrel, match bullets, Laupa brass, BR quality scope and shoot from a concrete table with BR table gear and use at least four wind flags. The gunsmith who puts the rifle together has to have experience with the precision issues for the AR. Or you can buy a complete precision AR form one of the custom shops. I scoped and set up a "Wilson" for a shooter. It shot 1/2" out of the box with a 6.5X20X50 30 mm tube Leupold scope.

Remember! The scope, the table equipment and the wind flags are as important as the rifle if you want to agg small groups.


06-08-2010, 02:05 PM
I get <= 1/2 MOA with 52gr SMK and about a 1/10 bigger with 69gr SMK and 75gr Hornady BTHP from my AR with .223. I get beat in informal AR BR competitions with 204 Rugers and .223 customs and they are hitting 1/4 to 1/3 MOA. One guy was using 40gr VMax in 8tw custom barrel.

I am factory stock(DPMS Panther Bull 20) except for springs and other small parts.

There are tons of options for AR triggers now: single stage, two-stage, and even set triggers.

A high-end Les Baer will shoot 1/3 MOA out of the gate for about $2300. I think they guarantee 1/2 MOA.

Removing the gas tube and twisting the gas block around will turn the AR into manual mode. I don't recommend semi-auto for nice neck-turned brass.

.222 is a great idea for AR. 6PPC is also available.

06-08-2010, 03:02 PM

Do you know the source for the set trigger for the AR-15. We have been using the JARD and the JP triggers, both single stage. The JP seems to hold the lower settings better. JARD makes two or more different single stage triggers. The one that cost the most is better. For two stage trigger the Jewel is hard to beat.

I agree with you the Les Baer is good out of the box.

Back in 2001/02 I put 2,360 rounds down the 26" bull barrel on a DPMS AR 223. It was good for 1/2" most all the time and would sometimes get down to 3/8". It was a heavy rifle. Thinking back it may have done better if I had been using the flat block on the forearm like we do now days. Now days my table equipment is much more stable. My front rest and rear bag are top notch BR gear.

You can fit your barrel with a gas block with the screw to turn it off. This helps.

06-08-2010, 06:31 PM
What range are you shooting at ? .. oh, could you tell me what does <=1/2 mean ?

(.5 miniute of angle or less ? )( how much less, or how often is it less? )

Can you tell me what your favorite powder is ?

Sounds great off the bat ......but remember, my goal is a
.200 rifle, at 100 yards. all day. every day.

.5 just won't get me there.

Thanks for the added info.


06-08-2010, 08:05 PM

1/2" means a five shot group under 0.5" @ 100 yards. About the sam as 0.5 mil. An agg is the average of five relays of 5 shots each. Most rifles will sometimes shoot a single small three or five shot group. What counts is the agg.

In the 222 the powder is usually H4198. In the 223 several work. H4895 is good. I also use N-133 and N-135. Depends on the barrel and the bullet weight.

If you want 0.20 aggs all day, every day consider a custom bolt action bench rest rifle from Jim Boden or one of the other BR gunsmiths. You will not get it with a 223 in the AR platform.

For aggs under 0.5 inch you need to work on the wind flags. At 100 yards winds can be a 1" group with a perfect rifle.

06-09-2010, 04:57 AM
I wonder how close / different H4198 is from IMR 4198, which didn't work out so
well for me. However that doesn't mean I won't try.

The wind flag is a new revalation, as people I shoot with DENY there is any wind effect at 200 yards.

I mean flat out deny it.


06-09-2010, 06:37 AM
No Wind Flags = No Precision

Do not pay any attention to anyone who denies wind effect at 200 yards. The only thing I have ever shot that did not have wind drift is a laser!

I have seen my 6 PPC drift over an inch at 100 yards at Manatee. Winds of Manatee match in 2002. Blew many flags down.

Even a 5 mph wind will move a 223 bullet a lot at 200 yard if you are shooting tight. Do the math.

IMR and H 4891 are both excellent powders for the 222. But are a little fast for the 223 with heavier bullets.

You should locate and attend a short range bench rest match. Go and look. Talk to the shooter and look at their groups. You will learn more in one morning than you will in a lifetime of shooting with your buddies who deny wind effect at 200 yards.

Precision shooting is not an art. It is the application of engineering and craftsman ship along with learned shooting skills. Go to a match and start the learning process.

06-09-2010, 07:07 AM
I wonder how close / different H4198 is from IMR 4198, which didn't work out so
well for me. However that doesn't mean I won't try.

The wind flag is a new revalation, as people I shoot with DENY there is any wind effect at 200 yards.

I mean flat out deny it.


Shooters that DENY that there is any wind effect at 200 yards have a lot to learn. In fact they do
not know much about shooting at all.

However they are better off than those that admit that wind does have effect at 200 yards but not
on cartridge like .300 Win magnum. Of course .300 Win magnum is less affected by wind than say
a .22 Hornet but it is affected.

The first category of shooters can start learning from scratch, the second category has to get rid of some misconceptions before they can start to learn.

06-09-2010, 09:10 AM
I just recently built a 222 and have had good results with the proven H4895 and. . . 8208XBR.

06-09-2010, 11:03 AM
In regards to wind drift and bullet drop if you will go to this site you can do the math.


You will need to go to the bullet mfr to get the ballistic coefficent for the bullet.

Good Luck & have fun

06-09-2010, 05:40 PM
I really will.

I just hope I don't get addicted.

Highpower, and 3-P smallbore is bad enough !


Stephen Perry
06-12-2010, 02:27 AM
For wind effect check out any Sierra, Hornaday, or Speer ballistic sections.

Stephen Perry
Angeles BR