Savage Model 99s

Loads for .22 Savage Hi-Power

Q: I'm seeking info on reloading for .22 Savage Hi-Power.

Have new Norma 5.6x32R cases full-length sized and primed
with WLR primers and Hornady 70gn .227 projectiles.
Problem is determining a safe load for use in a Brno 12ga/.22
Savage combination gun. ADI lists only two loads - no
pressure figures- no starting loads, just maximum as
follows: 21.5gn AR2207 2900fps; 24.5gn of AR2208
2900fps. In your manual 4th Edition, you list 20gn of
IMR 4198 2700fps and 22gn IMR 4198 for 2800fps; and
24gn of AR2208 2625fps and 28gn at 2950fps. I know
how to check for high pressure and want to comply with
SAAMI recommendations. What do you suggest? Also, I
have a .218 Mashburn Bee I want start reloading for with
35 and 40gn projectiles. Any suggestions? I have an
RCBS Rockchucker II press but have trouble seating
primers level with the case head. I have a reamer
(uniformer) for small rifle primer pockets, would that
same tool be suitable for large rifle primer pockets?
In my .222 Rimmed Martini I am loading 19gn IMR4198
over a 40gn bullet - your suggested load is 19.5gn.
performs well and I expect it gets 3200fps. I am an
inveterate reader of your column and appreciate the
fact that you take time to answer all the questions.
Stanley.K. Rodwell

A: For a start, I wouldn’t exceed the starting load in any combination gun, even a strong one like your Brno as extraction is weaker than with a bolt-action. If I were you I’d load 26gn of AR2208, shoot it in your Brno and see if it extracts easily. If not, drop back to 24gn of AR2208. If you can’t get decent accuracy with the 70gn Hornady in the .22 Hi-Power, I suggest you give the Sierra .224 63gn semi-spitzer a try. This may sound wrong, but European rifles (and some combo guns) may have shallower grooves than the old Savage 99 for which the Hornady 70gn bullet was designed, and often shoot better with .224″ bullets. Also, metric barrels may have a 1:10″ twist instead of the standard 1:12″ twist for the .22 Savage Hi-power and that doesn’t help accuracy. Anyway, I’d be interested to hear how you get on. You didn’t tell me what action your .218 Mashburn Bee is built on. However, after your cases have been fireformed, I’d use the maximum loads for the standard .218 Bee e.g 14gn IMR4198 with the 35gn bullet for about 2925fps and 13gn behind the 40gn bullet for about 2800fps. One American gunwriter recommended 16 to 17gn of IMR4198 behind a 45 or 50gn bullet in the .218 Mashburn, but didn’t specify what action was used. For fireforming cases a charge of 11gn of IMR4198 should do the trick. The best powder for the .218 Mashburn would be L’il Gun which churns up an extra 200 fps more than IMR4198. If I can borrow a .218 Mashburn Bee, I’ll work up some loads for it with Lil Gun. It should equal the .222 Rimmed. Reading primers doesn’t tell you much unless you use the same primer all the time and get to know how it looks with different loads. Some primers have softer or harder cups than others. A primer pocket uniformer for small rifle primers which has a diameter of .175″ won’t work with the large primer pocket diameter of .210″.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.