Nick Harvey answers shooters’ questions.
I have the chance to buy an old Sako L46 in .222 Remington. The rifle shows some external wear and tear, as might be expected at its age, but the bore is still bright and shiny. You don’t hear much about then .222 today as it is the .223 that gets all the play. What can you tell me about this fine little cartridge?
What is your favourite .222 accuracy load?
– Merv Hughes
The .222 Remington was introduced in 1950 and to herald its appearance Remington brought it out in a sleek, short-action boltgun, the Model 722. A year or two later Sako got into the act with the L46 and I owned one for a number of years. The .222 was the brainchild of Mike Walker of Remington Research and Development Center, himself an avid accuracy addict with an impressive list of successes in benchrest competition. The sweet shooting .222 soon notched up numerous wins in precision shooting matches and became a popular choice for the sport. Although Remington claimed it was a completely new commercial cartridge and not revamped from any existing cartridge case, I suspect it evolved from the rimless .30 Carbine cartridge. By using a similar head size and a longer cup draw and necking the new length to .22 you have the .222. However, since the .30 Carbine was not a commercial cartridge at that time, I guess the .222 did live up to the “new” claim. By my rule of thumb the .222 is accurate and effective out to about 250 metres. For a varmint load I like a good 50-52gn bullet driven at around 3100fps by 21.5gn of AR2219. Incidentally, that’s the most accurate load I’ve found for the .222.