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Thread: 222 vs 223

  1. #1
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    222 vs 223

    can the more experienced tell me if there is any advantage for either calibre. looking to buy a new rifle to shoot deer and goats and maybe a few bunnies. as will probably be a new rifle looking for a nice compact set up and may do a custom setup with a 20 inch barrel or shorter and a mini action with a very light stock. have been looking through reloading manuals trying to find the best 22 cartridge for efficiency and size to power . I like compact light rifles and have only actually shot deer with a 223 don't seem to be able to get any deer when carrying a bigger calibre. thoughts?

  2. #2
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    The 223 has a bit more oomph, the 222 is known for being a bit more precise. Really they'll both kill the same animals with the same bullets with the same shot placement though. 222 generally has slow twist barrels for <53gr bullets. 223 is shifting towards fast twist barrels for lobbing heavier bullets.

    I like 223 due to brass availability and it being a bit faster and flatter for critters, yet not being handicapped at 55gr for longer range stuff (have taken my CZ527 223 out to 800 with 68gr bullets).

  3. #3
    Member 199p's Avatar
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    223 keep it simple

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  4. #4
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    the best 22 cartridge for efficiency and size to power ...... maybe think about 22-250 as another option ? Personally I went back to the 222 from 223 'cos I had the chance to buy a mint condition old Sako Vixen, and wanted the old school wood n blue look/feel. Wonderful little rifles.
    timattalon and rewa like this.

  5. #5
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    220 swift not an option?

  6. #6
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    There is no perceivable difference on game in my experience from taking rabbits to deer with both.

    You however, will notice that 223 can be purchased in bulk and for much cheaper than the trebly.

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  7. #7
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    .223 imo is quite a bit more versatile with a reasonably fast twist.
    You can shoot a much wider range of projectile weights (40 to 90gr?) all at significantly faster speeds.
    The .223 though a slightly bigger cartridge than the .222, is not big enough to be in a different "class". They are still firmly in the same category where the .223 simply outclasses it.
    Projectile price between the two is the same (though you can run heavier more expensive ones through the 223 if you wish).
    The powder difference is small enough that savings from the smaller .222 will be negligible, and the cost difference made up multiple times over when one considers the low priced and common .223 brass / ammo.

    I got a new 223 recently. Shooting 75gr pills at 2960fps. Im sure I could push it over 3000 easy enough. Though the .223 cartridge is only a few mm longer than the .222, the extra performance is significant.

    I understand there is a lot of nostalgia surrounding the .222, but unless a guy wants it for nostalgia reasons or just likes the cartridge - (which is cool, I get it). Then there is not much of an argument for the .222, imo.
    Last edited by ChrisW; 14-05-2019 at 05:51 PM.
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  8. #8
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    The .222 is cool, no two ways about. But the .223 is a whole lot more practical for the reasons that ChrisW outlined above.
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  9. #9
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    222 if you want nostalgia, 223 if you want practicality. I've had several 222's and switched to 223 due to shooting a lot of rounds and wanting to run off the shelf ammo at affordable prices. I did reload for the 222 but got sick of being on the press so often.
    viper and xtightg like this.

  10. #10
    By Popular Demand gimp's Avatar
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    In practical terms there is very little to recommend the .222 over the .223

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsaw View Post
    the best 22 cartridge for efficiency and size to power ...... maybe think about 22-250 as another option ? Personally I went back to the 222 from 223 'cos I had the chance to buy a mint condition old Sako Vixen, and wanted the old school wood n blue look/feel. Wonderful little rifles.
    Strongly agree on the 22-250 same pill big thump still cheap enough to shoot bunnies with

  12. #12
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    Although the 223 is only 1.5mm longer than the 222 the 223 has at least a 10% increase in case capacity. This is due to the much shorter neck and the shoulder being further forward on the 223 case. Generally this will produce a 200 to 300 fps increase in speed in favour of the 223.

    If you are building a custom you will be able to choose what twist you want which will let you shoot the heavier projectiles in either calibre as long as your twist is fast enough.

    ChrisW has given some very good reasons for choosing the 223 which I agree with and I would like to add that as time goes by 222 ammo and cases are becoming less prevalent than they were in the past.

    CR Pain import the Schultz and Larsen Legacy which is a very light, slick miniature action that is available in 223 with either a 1:8" or 1:10" twist. Being a switch barrel design you could even get a 300 BLK barrel for it.

    Tech
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  13. #13
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    I dont use projectiles over 55grns in my .223 and dont feel undergunned at all.....not interested in stretching her barrel too much....by using 50grn projectiles at less than maximum speed Im pretty much duplicating trebly results but with the ease of components or loaded ammo.
    the likes of a barnes 50grn turns the wee rifles into giant killers
    either will be great,toss a coin and be happy either way.
    bing and rewa like this.

  14. #14
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    The 222 was designed for use with the 50 gr bullet whereas the 223 was loaded with the 55gr. Both calibers can handle larger and smaller weight projectiles but if I had to choose I think it would be the 223. As stated with a faster twist barrel you can use heavier than the norm bullets which would be good on bigger animals. you get a little more speed with the 223 and there is a wide variety of off the shelf ammo at reasonable prices. in saying all that I have a soft spot for the trebly, shot a lot of animals with the ones I have owned. Both are as good as each other IMO.

  15. #15
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    ChrisW & Mathias sum it up nicely.

    I have 1 x .223 & 3 x .222ís (Sako 85, A1, L461) in the safe & love them all but if it were me then Iíd go .223

    It has a broader range of projectiles to use if you have the right twist but in saying that, my .223 with 55 gr projectiles has accounted for ALOT of deer. Iíve recently changed up to 63 gr Sierras & found them harder hitting on deer with better results.

    I definitely give the .223 a BIG thumbs up.

    As for the .222ís Iíve been running Hornady SPís where they kill well too & drop deer in their tracks but the .223 has a better edge & although they are very similar, after shooting both calibres side by side you can feel a difference.

    Another caliber to look at if you reload is Kiwi Gregís .22 Terminator

 

 

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