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John Van Gelder
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Posted: July 26 2018 at 5:30am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Something I have not thought about for some time is the .221 Fireball, and the bolt action Remington "pistol".

What brings that to mind...? I was out with my neighbor yesterday, he works for the Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services, "federal game agent"..

When I got into his truck, there was bull barrel Remington rifle, with a suppressor, on the passenger seat.

I having some passing interest in fire arms, asked what caliber. when he told me it was chambered in .221, I was more than a little surprised.

He does quite a bit of pest control in urban areas, so the suppressor, a small high velocity round that will not over penetrate is a must. The rifle has a variable scope the upper setting is 25X.

It works well on "pests" up to the size of coyotes, but is a bit lite for anything bigger.

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twillis
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Posted: July 26 2018 at 10:26am | IP Logged Quote twillis

If I remember correctly, Remington did a limited run of 221 Fireball rifles in their Classic series.

221 Rifle

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: July 26 2018 at 12:55pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

This was a relatively new rifle, polymer stock and black matte finish.

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REM1875
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Posted: July 26 2018 at 1:06pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

It was rumoured if I recall correctly the AF was looking
into an automatic 221 fireball for survival equipment for
pilots and crew.
Obviously it never was full developed....

Well I'll be danged look what I found

http://machinesforwar.blogspot.com/2011/02/imp-221-guu-4p-
submachine-gun.html

Nice to know I ain't totally crazy

Edited by REM1875 on July 26 2018 at 1:12pm
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Old Ranger
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Posted: July 26 2018 at 2:01pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

REM1875 wrote:


Nice to know I ain't totally crazy


The jury is still out on that.

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REM1875
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Posted: July 26 2018 at 2:49pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

LMAO WADE
Notice I carefully snuck the word 'totally' in there.....


I actually remember an article from Popular Mechanics or
something back in the 60s or 70 mentioning the 221 as a sub
machine gun .......it was so unusual I remembered it
(unlike this morning medication) all these years ...   
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joed
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Posted: July 26 2018 at 3:08pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I owned an XP100 chambered in .221 FB.   It was a very accurate
firearm but I just couldn't like it.

Now days I believe there are a few vendors chambering it in rifles.   
I believe one of them is CZ and I know Remington made a few but
I don't think they make them anymore.

With a 50 gr bullet 2600 fps was the best I could do in the xp.   In
a rifle the cartridge is capable of about 3000 fps making it a
decent round.   

I wanted to get one at one point but couldn't find any in
production by Remington.

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STCM(SW)
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Posted: July 26 2018 at 4:51pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

I had a T C contender in 221 Fireball.
Just was not my cup of tea. Part of a swap for a .45 ACP
about 20 years ago. Still have some brass and dies for that round some where.....

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: July 26 2018 at 6:50pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

I suspect my neighbors gun came out of some government warehouse, perhaps designed for some other function.

Any military use, was probably discontinued after the introduction of the 5.7 X 28. Which is used in the little P 90 machine pistol.

Edited by John Van Gelder on July 26 2018 at 6:55pm
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richhodg66
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Posted: July 26 2018 at 10:28pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

CZ chambers the 527 in it currently.

If you handload, what will it do that couldn't be done with a .222 or .223?

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turbo1889
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Posted: July 27 2018 at 2:07am | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

richhodg66 wrote:
CZ chambers the 527 in
it currently.

If you handload, what will it do that
couldn't be done with a .222 or .223?


For those who don't handloads I think the
argument for going with the ubiguous 223
is even stronger I think. And as you
mention if you do handload then everything
the 221 does you can make the 223 do.

Now it is true that the 221 does what it
does more efficiently then the 223 does
but it isn't by a significant margin.

It's the old argument of a specific
cartridge being the best for a notch
application and having thousands of
different cartridges for a thousand
different applications or just having a
handful of cartridges that will get the
job done but aren't the perfect choice for
each little nitch application.

To each their own.

And of course let's not forget being
different just for the heck of being
different. That's how the 9x18 Russian
cartridge came to be. The hated the
Germans so much they deliberately made a
new chambering that would fill the same
applications as the 9x19 and 380(9x17
Kurz) both popular German cartridges but
would be deliberately incompatible with
the German cartridges simply because they
hated the Germans so much that they didn't
want any crossed compatibility but wanted
similar performance for similar
application.

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richhodg66
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Posted: July 27 2018 at 4:00am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

I understand the .221 was designed for a short barrel, no problems there, and for handloading would probably do better for what I use the Hornet for, i.e., reduced loads with cast.

When I learned CZ was chambering rifles in it, I was surprised. Kinda figured the .221 was dead and gone, but it always surprises me which cartridges survive in the market place and which don't.

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RT58
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Posted: July 27 2018 at 8:29am | IP Logged Quote RT58

My favorite varmint rifle is a Rem. 700 ADL with a Douglas .221 Fireball barrel. It wasn't chosen to be different or because it was "cool", but because it was the best suited for what I wanted. Super duper velocity wasn't needed, or wanted, but reduced noise was. It has longer case life than a .22 Hornet and was easier to find a base rifle to work with since it's parent case was the .222 Remington.

And as a parent of the highly over-rated .223 cartridge it should get more respect.
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richhodg66
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Posted: July 27 2018 at 8:47am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Not sure where you got that the .221 was the parent case, the .222 Remington was the parent case for both of them, and I believe the .223 was around, at least as a military cartridge before Remington introduced the XP 100.

Never loaded for a .221, highly doubt I ever will, but I seriously doubt there's anything it'll do that a downloaded .222 won't do just as well.

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REM1875
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Posted: July 27 2018 at 9:30am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

turbo

The 9x18 can be made from captured 9 luger rounds by simply
shortening the case reducing the powder they just dumped
out and stuffing 363 bullets into it.
Meaning that captured ammo could be reconfigured. Also the
Germans could not use the Russian rounds...
For years when 9x18 was a scarce cartridge ALL my 9 MAK was
made from 9 mm luger cases.
So there was more to the soviet plan than just hating
Germans.......
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RT58
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Posted: July 27 2018 at 12:17pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

Yup, I was kidding.

The .223 was introduced in 1964 and the .221 Fireball was introduced in 1963. But that doesn't mean a whole lot. The .223, which was so named before the military versions from what I'd read, went through a lot of military testing before being adopted and was then released to the public by Remington. I also believe it had a different name before being named the .223.

I'm sure the .221 was developed before it was introduced too, but I'd guess it wasn't quite as long since it didn't have to wade through all the
bureaucratic cow patties.
Only Remington knows for sure.
richhodg66 wrote:
...Never loaded for a .221, highly doubt I ever will, but I seriously doubt there's anything it'll do that a downloaded .222 won't do just as well.


Here's where I have to disagree, even with my own teachings. Downloading to different power levels is easy and I usually agree with it. But when it comes to precision accuracy it's a little harder to partially fill a case and get as good results.

Edited by RT58 on July 27 2018 at 12:23pm
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joed
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Posted: July 29 2018 at 12:14pm | IP Logged Quote joed

RT58 wrote:

Here's where I have to disagree, even with my own teachings.
Downloading to different power levels is easy and I usually agree
with it. But when it comes to precision accuracy it's a little harder to
partially fill a case and get as good results.


Remington learned early on that the .222 was not a good round for a
10.5" barrel.   TC was not as smart and offered the .222 in the
Contender.   If I recall velocity was quite close and the .221 was
highly accurate.

I owned an xp100 in .221 for awhile.   It was so accurate from a
bench at 100 yards that there were times when I could only find 1
hole in the target slightly larger then .224.   In the XP the .221 pretty
much duplicated a .22 Hornet in speed and trajectory.

Remembering back to when the .221 was offered in rifles I
questioned the wisdom but it is a very good round in a longer rifle
barrel.

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RT58
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Posted: July 29 2018 at 2:21pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

Thanks Joed, I've played around with my .221 the last couple of years trying to see if I could work up a load to get a one hole group but haven't had much luck yet. It'll shoot under 1/2" easy enough, but there's always room for improvement. I am restricted to components I have left though.

My rifle has a Douglas #9 contour barrel which is 1.25" diameter by 30" long. My old hunting load of 19 grains of Reloader 7 under a 40 gr. V-Max bullets averages 3384 fps.

My granddaughter loves to shoot it because it has little recoil due to it weighing 19 pounds.
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Posted: July 29 2018 at 7:43pm | IP Logged Quote joed

RT58,I can't help you much with powder as I used IMR4227 in the
xp.   The best bullet was the 52 gr Nosler match from that gun for a
velocity of about 2600 fps.   With that combination it was very
accurate.   

I also shot a lot of 50 gr varmint bullets from it but nothing shot like
the 52 gr.



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Posted: July 30 2018 at 3:06pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

I've tried IMR4227 and most other powders suitable for the cartridge and a lot of various bullets up to 52 match from several makers. I have never tried the Noslers though and might have to give them a try.

I think I've hit a wall with bullet concentricity and have a few loads ready to try out next trip to the range, which will hopefully be this year. If that is the issue I'll get to start all over again.
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