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.220 Swift Loads #16551359 10/22/21
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B52RadarNav Offline OP
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While I have frequented this site for a few years, I just recently registered so a newbie to the group. I searched around on the forums before posting this, found some interesting info here or there, but perhaps I’m not versed enough to narrow down search data. All that said …

I just picked up a Rem 700 VSSF in .220 Swift and looking forward to working up some hand loads. I have all kinds of load books, but would like to hear from ya’ll about what has worked best for you on powder and projectiles – have .40’s, 50’s, 55’s and 60’s to load that I got in a package deal. Will be doing a prairie dog and coyote hunt next year, looking to see what others have loaded for the 300-600 yard ranges. Open to any help or thoughts you can share.

Thanks in advance for the help.


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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: B52RadarNav] #16551392 10/22/21
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Never had the urge to shoot 60’s, but 40-55 Nosler, Sierra and Speer have all performed very well. As far as powders AA2700 is the primary choice. Excellent fill ratio, good velocity and accuracy. Burns a little cooler so it’s easier on the throat plus not as temperamental on warmer days. That said have also had good luck with
H380
H4895
Varget (although poochy in velocity)
4064
Benchmark

Good luck.



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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: Swifty52] #16551445 10/22/21
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Appreciate the help here.


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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: B52RadarNav] #16551575 10/22/21
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What Swifty said would also add Re 15 from years of experience.

Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: unahunt] #16551787 10/22/21
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On RL-15 had a recommendation of 38.5 gr up to 40gr … seems I’d get signs of pressure around that 40gr and too high?


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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: B52RadarNav] #16551846 10/22/21
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Originally Posted by B52RadarNav
On RL-15 had a recommendation of 38.5 gr up to 40gr … seems I’d get signs of pressure around that 40gr and too high?


Shouldn’t but that’s the reason to work up as every rifle is different. The only reason I left out 15 is I never got the results I was looking for.



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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: Swifty52] #16551852 10/22/21
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Understood Swifty, appreciate the help.


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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: B52RadarNav] #16551884 10/22/21
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Originally Posted by B52RadarNav
On RL-15 had a recommendation of 38.5 gr up to 40gr … seems I’d get signs of pressure around that 40gr and too high?


Every rifle is different. Start lower & work up in 1/2 gr. increments. Also seating depth can make a big difference in group size. I settled on RL15 too after having pressure excursions with H380 & 2700 on hot summer days, so 86ed their further use. Too lazy to dig out the old notes but I stopped a touch below book max with both H4895 & RL15 because the groups were so small & started growing with more powder. RL15 got a bit more fps than H4895, both shot tiny groups. I had a lot of Hornady 50gr SXs that shot very well & was able to get them close to 3900fps without them coming apart in flight. Speer 52 & Hornady 53 match bullets shot well too but didn't have the same 'splodey effect as the SXs out at 450+ yds. Norma brass couldn't be beat at the time & may still be top of the food chain if you can find some. As always my stuff is/was different than your stuff so YMMV.

Also, my Swifts were all 14 twist which limited pointy bullet selection to 55gr & under. Not that that's a bad thing... Unsure what twist yours has.


The old Dutchman once told me that fate watches over fools, drunks, & handloaders. Since getting on the internet, I'm pretty sure he was right.
Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: 358WCF] #16552071 10/22/21
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Originally Posted by 358WCF
Originally Posted by B52RadarNav
On RL-15 had a recommendation of 38.5 gr up to 40gr … seems I’d get signs of pressure around that 40gr and too high?


Every rifle is different. Start lower & work up in 1/2 gr. increments. Also seating depth can make a big difference in group size. I settled on RL15 too after having pressure excursions with H380 & 2700 on hot summer days, so 86ed their further use. Too lazy to dig out the old notes but I stopped a touch below book max with both H4895 & RL15 because the groups were so small & started growing with more powder. RL15 got a bit more fps than H4895, both shot tiny groups. I had a lot of Hornady 50gr SXs that shot very well & was able to get them close to 3900fps without them coming apart in flight. Speer 52 & Hornady 53 match bullets shot well too but didn't have the same 'splodey effect as the SXs out at 450+ yds. Norma brass couldn't be beat at the time & may still be top of the food chain if you can find some. As always my stuff is/was different than your stuff so YMMV.

Also, my Swifts were all 14 twist which limited pointy bullet selection to 55gr & under. Not that that's a bad thing... Unsure what twist yours has.


IIRC all remmy 220 Swift had 14 twist. Also if you can find 60-63 grain bullets less than .75 in length they should stabilize. As far as hot days getting pressure with 380 and 2700 I just backed off .5-1 grain if it was going to be over 85.



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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: B52RadarNav] #16552351 10/22/21
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I have been reloading for the swift longer than any other cartridge that I use, I thought that I had tinkered with every powder possible until I saw Swifty52 listed Benchmark ???????? I never tried that powder in a swift. Then I realized Benchmark was not even created yet when I did most of my load development.

My hands down favorite powder for the swift is W760 (most say H414 and AA2700 are the same as ???)
Never shot anything but 55 grainers in any of my swifts saved the 40's for my 222.
Always liked Norma brass the best and Fed 210's
All of my swift's have been picky with seating depth and prefer close to the lands
Have proved it to myself and others several times that a well tuned 220Swift is more accurate than a 22-250 10 times out of 10.
The only thing I could disagree with Swifty52 on is......H380, I Hate this powder, I loathe this powder, most temp sensitive powder ever

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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: B52RadarNav] #16552568 10/22/21
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I use the 50 grain Sierra Blitz, regular or medium velocity version (both chronograph identical velocities and shoot to the same point of impact) in all centerfire from the .222 on up including the Swift because this bullet is accurate in everything I've used it in. For the Swift, I've seen slightly better accuracy with Varget vs. H4895, one of the few times I've seen a Varget load shoot more accurately than an H4895 load.

Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: 358WCF] #16552690 10/22/21
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Originally Posted by 358WCF
Originally Posted by B52RadarNav
On RL-15 had a recommendation of 38.5 gr up to 40gr … seems I’d get signs of pressure around that 40gr and too high?


Every rifle is different. Start lower & work up in 1/2 gr. increments. Also seating depth can make a big difference in group size. I settled on RL15 too after having pressure excursions with H380 & 2700 on hot summer days, so 86ed their further use. Too lazy to dig out the old notes but I stopped a touch below book max with both H4895 & RL15 because the groups were so small & started growing with more powder. RL15 got a bit more fps than H4895, both shot tiny groups. I had a lot of Hornady 50gr SXs that shot very well & was able to get them close to 3900fps without them coming apart in flight. Speer 52 & Hornady 53 match bullets shot well too but didn't have the same 'splodey effect as the SXs out at 450+ yds. Norma brass couldn't be beat at the time & may still be top of the food chain if you can find some. As always my stuff is/was different than your stuff so YMMV.

Also, my Swifts were all 14 twist which limited pointy bullet selection to 55gr & under. Not that that's a bad thing... Unsure what twist yours has.


Thanks 358WCF on the RL 15, helpful info for sure, have some Norma - curious if any particular primer or really didn’t matter?


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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: B52RadarNav] #16554544 10/23/21
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Originally Posted by B52RadarNav
Originally Posted by 358WCF
Originally Posted by B52RadarNav
On RL-15 had a recommendation of 38.5 gr up to 40gr … seems I’d get signs of pressure around that 40gr and too high?


Every rifle is different. Start lower & work up in 1/2 gr. increments. Also seating depth can make a big difference in group size. I settled on RL15 too after having pressure excursions with H380 & 2700 on hot summer days, so 86ed their further use. Too lazy to dig out the old notes but I stopped a touch below book max with both H4895 & RL15 because the groups were so small & started growing with more powder. RL15 got a bit more fps than H4895, both shot tiny groups. I had a lot of Hornady 50gr SXs that shot very well & was able to get them close to 3900fps without them coming apart in flight. Speer 52 & Hornady 53 match bullets shot well too but didn't have the same 'splodey effect as the SXs out at 450+ yds. Norma brass couldn't be beat at the time & may still be top of the food chain if you can find some. As always my stuff is/was different than your stuff so YMMV.

Also, my Swifts were all 14 twist which limited pointy bullet selection to 55gr & under. Not that that's a bad thing... Unsure what twist yours has.


Thanks 358WCF on the RL 15, helpful info for sure, have some Norma - curious if any particular primer or really didn’t matter?


B52... WLR, but these were from 2 different late 80s lots in the grey & red boxes. All my Swifts are gone, but at least one lot of the newer WLRs in the blue box seem to produce pressure sign a bit sooner in other chamberings with no corresponding velocity increase. Try a few different brands/types to see which your rifle likes best. Magnums should be unneeded with RL15, but...

The mid velocity IMR3031/50SX load I used in my Model 54 Winchester liked RP 9 1/2s.


The old Dutchman once told me that fate watches over fools, drunks, & handloaders. Since getting on the internet, I'm pretty sure he was right.
Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: B52RadarNav] #16555229 10/23/21
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B52, boy, you need a wake up pill on how R#15 is a barrel eater....no schitt! Heat index is among the hottest on R#15. IMR 4064, while popular is also a barrel eater.

Read BoatAnchor's post....take it to heart! AA2700 is one of the coolest powders on the market today, and 44-44.5g in a Rem case, with a 9 1/2 primer shoots tiny bug holes with the 50g Nosler ballistic tip at a solid 4000 fps in a 26" barrel with less than 10 fps SD!

Win 760 is a great powder for the 50-63g bullets, but AA2700 burns much cooler.


Seat those bullets no more than .003 off the lands. As the lands gets washed out, try and find a 55g Sierra Semi point or a 55g Sierra BTHP, then go to a 63g Semi point as the leade gets washed out.

Sell the R#15 to someone that you do not like.

PS. Start off at 43g of AA2700 with a 55g what ever, Rem 9 1/2. tiny kiss on the lands, expect no paper between the bullet holes, 55g Noslers are wicked ugly on coyotes, 55g hornady SP on hogs and deer.

Last edited by keith; 10/23/21.
Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: keith] #16555324 10/23/21
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Love the forums here, you get school’d from every angle and learn all kinds of great stuff with some good humor along the way.

Many thanks to Swifty52, 358WCF, lotech, and Keith - appreciate y’all taking the time to provide me with some helpful info!


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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: B52RadarNav] #16555608 10/23/21
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I bought my 220 in the early 80’s. It’s an old tang safety Ruger from the mid 70’s. Back then, some gun writer said that the gold standard load for the 220 was 38.5 gr of IMR 4064 behind a 55 gr bullet. I worked up to that load, found he was right, and that’s the same load I use today.

Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: 603Country] #16557503 10/24/21
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Thank you kindly sir for taking the time.


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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: 603Country] #16557665 10/24/21
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Originally Posted by 603Country
I bought my 220 in the early 80’s. It’s an old tang safety Ruger from the mid 70’s. Back then, some gun writer said that the gold standard load for the 220 was 38.5 gr of IMR 4064 behind a 55 gr bullet. I worked up to that load, found he was right, and that’s the same load I use today.


Just going to throw this out there for info. According to Phil Sharpes 1938 book Winchester produced 3 factory loads.

45 grain bullet, 41 grains 4064 for 4250 FPS
48 grain bullet, 39 grains 3031 for 4140
56 grain bullet, 34.5 grains 3031 for 3497



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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: Swifty52] #16559398 10/24/21
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Originally Posted by Swifty52
Originally Posted by 603Country
I bought my 220 in the early 80’s. It’s an old tang safety Ruger from the mid 70’s. Back then, some gun writer said that the gold standard load for the 220 was 38.5 gr of IMR 4064 behind a 55 gr bullet. I worked up to that load, found he was right, and that’s the same load I use today.


Just going to throw this out there for info. According to Phil Sharpes 1938 book Winchester produced 3 factory loads.

45 grain bullet, 41 grains 4064 for 4250 FPS
48 grain bullet, 39 grains 3031 for 4140
56 grain bullet, 34.5 grains 3031 for 3497


See those powders worked just fine back then, and that is why they are still around today....

which is kinda why I have plenty of it stocked up....

how many people would be claiming 4064 or 3031 would be too fast of a powder to consider in a 220 Swift in today's world...


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Re: .220 Swift Loads [Re: B52RadarNav] #16559402 10/24/21
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I stick with good old W760/H414 in my Ruger 77 Mk. II. When I shoot the barrel out, am planning to go with a 1:12" or faster twist to stabilize the wonderful high-BC Hornady 53 grain V-Max (if accurate, of course.)

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