.220 Swift

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.220 Swift Gun Stats

.220 Swift

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220 Swift Ammo The 220 Swift Ammo remains the fastest production cartridge ever made. It dates back to 1935 when Winchester introduced it into their model 54 bolt action rifle. The original inspiration of the 220 Swift Ammo came from Grosvenor Wotkyns, who wanted to neck down the 250-3000 Savage case. However, Winchester necked it down to .22 caliber and loaded it with a 48-grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 4110 fps. The 220 Swift Ammo uses .224 bullets despite its name and continues to be the most accurate high-power .22 cartridge created. Like other high-velocity cartridges, it usually has erratic performance on larger specimens unless you utilize bullets constructed for this purpose. The .220 Swift Ammo shoots flatter than other ammo at 325 yards. It is also known to deliver 725 foot-pounds energy. The cartridge length of the 220 Swift Ammo is 2.680 inches, leaving enough room for standard short-action magazines. In addition, with its powder capacity, today’s longer high B.C. bullets are an excellent choice for increasing its versatility. With the 220 Swift Ammo, you can achieve muzzle velocities as high as 3,350 fps with a 75-grain bullet. It is also famous for its precisions and offers users long-range performance and minimal wind deflection. Besides its use for long-range rodent control work, it is also ideal as a long-range coyote cartridge. In states where .22 calibers are legal for hunting big games, the 220 Swift Ammo is a proven killer of mule deer, pronghorn, and even whitetails. It is an excellent choice for ringing steel at a distance; all you have to do is pace yourself.

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.220 Swift Specs

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Winchester introduced the .220 Swift in 1935 as a small game and varmint hunting cartridge with velocities over 4000 feet per second. It has been a controversial cartridge with proponents citing superior accuracy and flat trajectories while critics call it an “overbore barrel burner”. Modern metallurgy and cryogenic treatment has helped mitigate this issue.

.220 Swift History


.220 Swift Usage

The .220 Swift is still popular among varmint hunters for groundhog, prairie dogs, marmot, and other small game or predators. It uses a slow twist rate to stabilize small, light bullets for varmint hunting but custom barrels can be installed to use heavier bullets for medium sized game.

An Alaskan wildlife control officer, Frank Glaser, used the .220 Swift to hunt medium and large game in the 1930’s and 1940’s. He did claim it was inadequate for bears, having to shoot an aggressive sow 11 times in defense of his life.

.220 Swift Trivia


.220 Swift Design

The .220 Swift is a semi rimmed, bottleneck cartridge with an overall length of 2.68” or 2.58” depending on bullet type and a case capacity of 47 grains (H2O). It fires a .224” diameter bullet using large rifle primers with a maximum pressure of 62,000 PSI.

.220 Swift ammunition options include full metal jacket, soft point, hollow point, and polymer tipped hollow point in flat base or spitzer type bullets with weights ranging from 40 grains to 77 grains. Proper rifling twist to bullet selection is needed for accuracy and effective use.

.220 Swift Types


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