Opinions on the 220 Swift
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Opinions on the 220 Swift


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Old 07-31-2009, 02:01 AM   #1
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Default Opinions on the 220 Swift

I was just curious about members opinions of the 220 Swift caliber. I have a Ruger M77 Mark2 chambered in the 220 Swift. I originally wanted the 22-250 or 223, but the only caliber available at that time was the 220 Swift. The gun shoots nice. Beautiful gun with a nice big fat barrel. A lot of weight to the gun. I have read that the 220 Swift wears out the barrels fast. Any truth to that? If so, what should I be looking for and what steps should I take to minimize the wear?


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Old 07-31-2009, 12:40 PM   #2
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The 22-250 got the good press from gun writers. The 220 Swift got the groundhogs!

The Swift is really no harder on barrels than any hot, small caliber IF you do not try to wing every possible FPS out of the cartridge. If you are a handloader, adjust OAL length to match YOUR rifle, and keep loads moderate (old saying- fastest load, most accurate load- pick ONE)

Have an old Savage I have used for groundhogs and prarie dogs for years. Closest thing to a Death Ray I own. Flat, accurate, modest recoil, devastating on small varmints.

Have a smith check the leade- front of chamber, rear of start of rifling, looking for erosion from gasses. If OK, should stay that way.


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Old 07-31-2009, 01:08 PM   #3
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Keep it as cool and clean as possible. Thrat erosion can happen, but it is more likely in a hot, dirty gun.

Back off max loads to find the accurate load. The ground hog will not die any faster at 100 fps faster.

Copper fouling is a real issue. Use a good copper solvent bore cleaner like Shooter Choice or Sweet's. The copper fouling will screw up the accuracy long before the throat erosion will.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:29 PM   #4
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I've built .220 & .220 ackley improved and they're no harder on barrel throats than other cartridges with that level of velocity. As robo stated, heat is the main enemy to barrel throats. Any cartridge with that velocity will have very high throat temperatures. Space your shots out 5 minutes between shots, & keep the bore CLEAN & free of copper deposits, and it'll last you a LONG time. A lot of people believe their bore is clean when in fact it's still dirty with copper deposits.
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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the 220 swift is the next best thing to a laser gun (which they will not let me have yet).

Just load to mid range velocities and watch barrel heat. The barrel steel is also much better today than it was 40 or 50 years ago.

My 220 swift had 5,000 rounds down it and it still shot sub .5" 5 shot groups any day of the week.
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:36 PM   #6
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Had a Ruger 220 swift also - bull barrel, trigger job, bi-pods, 4X18 redfield (I think that was the power) killed many a yote, cat, p dog wished I had it back. They are a great gun! Enjoy it. Sold mine due to losing all my good calling ground to the outfitters that moved in
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the great info and advice. Since I don't hand load I should not have any problems. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:54 PM   #8
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If you do happen to burn that barrel up, go for the .204 ruger. What a round. I have two. A ruger predator and a remington r-15 carbine.


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