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Faster twist .222 Rem

14 Oct 2020
@ 08:13 pm (GMT)

Nick Dawson

Hi all,

I’ve got a beautiful little BSA Hunter in .222 that is in need of a re-barrel, unfortunately the tube on it has had it. I absolutely love the wee thing, it’s just the business for general hunting round the bush/side creeks/river flats and is my default ‘put meat on the table’ rifle.

I had contemplated doing another 6x45 (6mm-223) but the mag is too short and I can’t be bothered with the drama of folding up another mag box and getting the mag well milled, not to mention the potential for feeding issues.... So I have come back to just giving her a quality new barrel chambered for .222. Question is should I twist faster than the usual 1-14”? And if so is it worth going all the way to 1-8” to use the heavyweight ELD-M or 75 BTHP from Hornady? I think the .222 has enough case to get useful velocity, but am I going to get a useful gain in terminal performance (out to 200yds) to warrant the chance from the ‘tried and true’? There is heaps written about fast twist .223s but damn near nothing about the .222. I guess it’s just not cool anymore.....



15 Oct 2020
@ 08:16 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Faster twist .222 Rem
Hi, Nick. I’ll bump your topic to the top with a bit of gratuitous, armchair advice.... Sounds like you have a collector-quality rifle that you’re using on medium game to great effect, pushing the limits of the caliber. I assume it’s a 24-inch barrel, and that your new barrel will be that length, in order restore the rifle to its original configuration, even though a shorter barrel might make it even more handy as a brush gun. You know that velocity is your friend, yet you don’t want to preclude the use of the longest, heaviest bullet now available. Still, you don’t want to fuck up a good thing. If you went with a 1-12 twist, you could load the 60 grain Partition without fear of instability. It’s a flat-base, so no worries about powder impingement or excess COAL. Your tried-and-true bullets will still work, without fear of excess jacket strain that a 1-8 twist might entail.
15 Oct 2020
@ 09:55 am (GMT)

Ed Sybert

Re: Faster twist .222 Rem
I have a lot of experience with fast twist .223s and can say that hunting accuracy with the lighter bullets, down to 50 grains is not greatly impaired by faster twists. I have ARs with 1-7" and a very accurate Remington 40X with 1-8" twist. Have you calculated what twist is needed with the newer heavy bullets? You may not wish to go as fast a twist as my rifles, but you can certainly approach without fear. Please keep us posted on what you decide to do. Best, Ed
15 Oct 2020
@ 12:29 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Faster twist .222 Rem
Hi Nick
if your in nz I think I got a mag box/follower/bottom metal here off a bsa I was given that if you decide to change calibers you can have.

I assume you reload, I would go faster twist, think you need to look at what barrel manufactures you plan to use and see what twist they offer to begin with.
you also need to be aware of throat design of reamers, you might have mag room but if throat is short you might be getting cramped up with long projectiles.

there's obviously some advantages going to 223 over 222 but its all personally choice.
you could even go to 222 rem mag and neck up 204 ruger cases
15 Oct 2020
@ 09:51 pm (GMT)

Nick Dawson

Re: Faster twist .222 Rem
Thanks very much for the input guys!

What I’ve come down to is going with a 1-12” twist, to give the old girl a bit of a ‘tweak’ without risk of making it some weird orphan that doesn’t do anything well. The 60gr partition will be a nice addition to a classic old girl for when I’m chasing deer up close.

I just couldn’t get comfortable with doing anything radical with her, as they are becoming more sought after. A mate of mine has modified four of them into 6x45s and a 7.62x39, but I think I’m a bit too sentimental to put mine under a milling machine!

I have a wildcat itch to scratch, so will keep her warm in the safe for the next wee bit, and get to work on something fun and a bit ‘utilitarian’.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on what that is!

And thanks Thomas for your kind offer. Yes I’m in NZ, but your BSA parts are safe at your place
16 Oct 2020
@ 04:34 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Faster twist .222 Rem
Nick, If it’s not possible to remove the iron sights from the old barrel, and install them on the new one, have a look at the post entitled:

Bending and modifying the Tikka T3 plastic stock

Forum member, Magnus, who posted it, is quite knowledgeable about, among many other things, installation of aftermarket iron sights.
30 Oct 2020
@ 12:49 pm (GMT)

Nick Dawson

Re: Faster twist .222 Rem
As a bit of an update to this, I picked up a Howa mini action .223 with a 1-8” twist barrel, deciding to leave the BSA as is for the meantime.

A point to note with these, is that the factory synthetic stock is NOT rubberised and is an easy job to bed unlike the hogues on the full size 1500.
I spent almost all day trying to run the bore in, as it seems to be somewhat rough in the throat area. Being a .224 barrel I couldn’t use scotchbrite to speed things up. It’s improving slowly, will just take a bit of time. Shooting .5s with some factory ammo, so going ok.

The magazine is a bit of a shambles, but I’m shortly to fold up a 5 shot centre feed mag and potentially a hinged floorplate for it to try out. Got some Ti sheet from work which folds beautifully.

Overall, a neat wee package that will be good for general ‘poking around’ varmint/goat/small deer with the 75gr BTHP Hornady.


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