Twenty Caliber .222 !

I have recently been convinced that the idea of necking down a traditional twenty two caliber cartridge to twenty caliber would make an excellent varmint cartridge!  What a better place to start than with one of the best twenty two caliber parent cases there is, the .222 Remington.  The path that I will follow is the path of least resistance for a wildcat.  That is to just simply neck down the .222 Remington to .204.  This is not a new idea and certainly is not one that I originated.  It was talked about in the 50's not long after the .222 Remington's introduction.  It has been called a .200-.222, .204-.222, 20-.222, Twenty Deuce, Two Hundred, etc.  Historically, twenty caliber cartridges have come and gone.  So why is this idea intriguing?  Well, it will offer greater range and velocity than its parent cartridge.  Some say it is effective up to 400 yards!  No fire-forming or complex resizing is required.  It's close in velocity to a .204 Ruger but more efficient.  Plus, I already have most of the necessary reloading equipment and the Lapua .222 brass is now available!  

Keep checking in on the progress as a relatively affordable highly accurate bolt action Remington 700 based sporting rifle is built.

January 2010 - Making progress...I bought a new 700 BDL action complete, a good used factory Remington 700 BDL Sporter stock, Weaver 35 & 36 scope bases, Burris Signature Zee series rings, and a Sightron SII 6.5-20x scope.  Warren B, aka "Fireball", has helped me out a lot including sharing the best technique to neck size the brass and the short list of sizing tools that are required.  I have toiled over whose barrel to use and who to install it.  I have decided on Hart Rifle Barrels Inc in LaFayette, NY.  It will be a bit of a wait but hopefully well worth it.  They are one stop shopping, fairly local, and have a great reputation. I have sent off the action, PT&G custom reamer and my design specs to Hart.

September 2010 - Barreled action is back home!  Guess what?  It is exactly what I wanted and the workmanship is beautiful.  I am happy I went with Hart and hopefully, when it is complete, it will shoot as well as it looks.  I now have to bed, fit and re-finish the stock to complete the project. 

February 2012 - Finally found time to glass bed the action into the factory Remington BDL stock.  I had opened up the barrel channel and action area a bit and generously enlarged the area around the recoil lug.  I chose a brown Glasbed kit containing Acraglas gel purchased from Brownell's as a bedding agent and aluminum pillars from Ernie the Gunsmith.  I followed Ernie's instructions and tried to be meticulous in fitting and preparing the mating surfaces so that no stress existed or would be created.  I used clear shoe polish as a release agent and covered the entire metal surface with the polish and then the entire exterior surface of the wood with painters masking tape.  It is now all set in place, retained by Tygon tubing, to harden for 24 hours or so.  I'm hoping for the best!

After 24 hours I removed the elastic tubing and temporary action screws, then the barreled action from the stock.  The finished product came out extremely well.  A few small air bubbles but nothing that will affect anything.  It appears as though the action bedding will provide an excellent cradle for the barrelled action.  Next I have to clean off some Acraglas flash and stain and finish the stock.  I am getting enthused again about this rifle.  Can't wait until it is done!

I found the article below very interesting.  It was written by G.R. Douglas of Douglas Barrels, Inc. in January of 1957





      The new development of a “sub” caliber” such as my “two hundred”

      has been brought out after much thought on the subject, and after

      many requests and interest shown in a sub caliber. The new .200

      caliber was primarily intended as a varmint cartridge, but early

      results indicate that it might well have fine bench rest possibilities.

      In the beginning also it was thought that the little 222 
                  case might be the only one that we would use, as it was thought

      that in this little case most efficient results might be obtained.

      Indeed this is true, but since early results have been so promising

      we will at an early date, offer two additional cases, the .219 Don

      Form, and the .250 Savage case, all necked for the little .204”

      bullet.  At this time, we only have the 222 case necked to .200

      ready.  This we call the .200-222.


      An additional reason for the .200 is the fact that it is possible

      to use bullets up to 47 grains wt. (in .700” length jackets)

      which bullets have a fine sectional density, approximately equal to

      a 56 grain bullet in the regular .224 size, by comparison.  Bullets

      currently being made by us, in hand dies, are of 45 grains wt.

      only at this time.  We are arranging with commercial interests, who

      no doubt, will offer bullets soon, in this size.  The 45 grain bullet

      has a sectional density, approximately equal to a 53 grain bullet in

      .224 size.  It can readily be seen, therefore, that with bullets

      in .204” size, and of but 45 grains wt., more favorable results

      might be expected over 50 grain bullets in the regular .224 size.

      Early velocity tests bear out this belief.  Velocity tests, conducted

      For us, by the Shenandoah Gun Shop, Berryville, Va., on their

      very fine and accurate chronograph, show that average velocities

      obtained in the .200-222 with 45 grain bullets, and various powder

      charges, run approximately 200 foot seconds FASTER than a 50 grain

      bullet in the regular .222 at the same, or safe pressure levels.

      From this, then, it can be readily be seen that the new caliber might

      well be a BETTER varmint cartridge, than the regular .222.


      In the attached sheet, showing the loading data that we have used

      to date,  velocities are shown obtained with various powder charges

      all with the 45 grain bullet, and velocities taken at 10 ft. from

      the muzzle, as obtained from a 24 inch barrel (note barrel lgth)

      such as you would use in the field.  Velocities, therefore, are

      really representative of what may be obtained, from a rifle that you

      would actually use, and not from an excessively long barrel, as is

      sometimes done, to get impressive velocities.  All charges were

      weighed, as always should be done, particularly when working with

      test loads, and maximum charges.  Also it should be noted that a

      maximum SAFE charge in one rifle might well be a dangerous charge

      in another rifle, so when devolping a load for your own rifle, in

      any caliber, always use PUBLISHED figures as a guide toward

      developing your own MAXIMUM SAFE loads in YOUR rifle.  Do NOT use

      published figures on loads in general, as applying to all, or your

      rifle, until you have proved them safe to use in YOUR rifle.


      At the moment, we have barrels, blanks, finished barrels, and bbls.

      can be fit to bolt actions (suitable ones, that is)  for this new

      .200-222 ONLY, just now, and we also have reloading dies, made for

      us by R. C. B. S., hand made 45 grain bullets, lead wire, and cases.





Page 2.


      We can fit barrels to any of the bolt actions that normally

      use the regular 222 case, either as single shots, or as repeaters. 

      The bullet jackets that we use, and have for sale are of Speer make,

      and we have them in .675” and .700” lengths. Barrel prices will

      be the same as for other calibers, and as per the price list

      you no doubt already have.  Bullets are priced at $4.00 per 100,

      dies at $13.50 per set, formed cases at $10.00 per 100, and

      jackets at $10.00 per 1000.  A discount of 15% will be granted

      to legitimate gunsmiths, on these components only.  Barrel prices

      remain the same, with same discounts.  (Same as our established

      prices and discounts, that is)




                                      Bore of barrel, nominal, .200”. Groove of barrel, nominal, .204”

      rifling, 8 narrow lands, 8 wide grooves, rifling twist rate used,

      12 inch, with 10, 12, and 14” available.  (12” was used in the

      test rifle, the results of which are given here)  Barrels, all

      triple heat treated chrome-moly, with a Rockwell hardness of

      26 to 30, and with a tensile strength of 125, 000 to 140, 000 lbs.

      sq. inch.  All barrels ULTRARIFLED* (T. M. Reg Pat. Pend.)



45 grain bullet, .2037” diam.


      Powder            Grs. Wt.    Vel.                Powder       Gr. Wt.       Vel.

      3031                 21              3146               4320           23              3107

      3031                 22              3312               4320           24              3286

      3031                 23              3432               4320           24.9           3388 Max.

      3031                 24              3582 Max.      4320           25.9           3569 Blew primer.


      Other powders used were 4198, consider 20 grains as max.  4064 was

      used, 24.5 grains being a full case, giving 3432 fs.  4198 did

      fairly well, showing best accuracy, but pressure sensitive.  19.3

      grains this powder (4198) gave 3310 fs, 20.0 grains giving 3410 fs.


      Accuracy was very fine overall, for a rifle of but 8 lbs. wt.

      Scope used was a Lyman Super, 30x testing as Bench Rest.  Accuracy

      was best with 4198 powder, next 3031, and then followed

      with 4320.  Total AVERAGE accuracy, for all groups, at 100 yds,

      5 shots per group, was an almost unbelievable .526” (65 shots)




      Rifle was factory Remington 722, stock, action, trigger;  barrel

      was my No. 4, cut to 24”, without rear sight ring.  Grade was

      premium; bore was .1998”, groove, .2043”; 12” rifling twist;

      8 narrow lands, 8 wide grooves, ULTRARIFLED.  Total wt. of rifle,

      8 lbs. With scope, even 10 lbs.


      Again, let me caution you, in any reloading.  Work up to maximum

      charges carefully, weighing and check all powder, and procedures.


      See my February ad in the American Rifleman for our

      special offer, toward rebarrelling your 722 for this promising new

      sub caliber.


G. R. Douglas   1-22-57







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