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Old 01-01-2012, 10:21 AM
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Default Lil-Gun, and the .221 Fireball

I have shot a CZ 527 in .221, for several years now. Absolutely love the thing. The most accurate rifle I own, and I own a bunch.

My handloads with IMR 4227 wound up at the max recommended of 16.0 grs. Recent chronographing showed I was only getting 3050 fps. Most manuals show in the neighborhood of 3300 fps.

I have read many articles extolling the virtues of Lil-Gun in this caliber, so I bought a pound of it to try.

The Nosler loading data showed a max of 16 grs, with a velocity of 3384 fps. Pressure at 48,900 CUP.

I loaded 10 rounds with 16.0, ten with 15.5, and ten with 15.0.

The chronograph showed a bit over 3300 fps with the 15.0 gr. load, slightly over 3400 fps with the 15.5, and GASP, an average of nearly 3600 fps with the 16.0 load.

Primers had severe cratering with the 16.0 load, bad enough that I only shot five to test, will break down the remainder. These used (usually) hard CCI primers.

The 15.5 load still had mild cratering.

No cratering with the 15.0 load, easy extraction, and it met my velocity goal,so will stick with this one.

A full grain variance, in this tiny cartridge, is a LOT. Didn't expect this much variance, but another lesson in being careful. A chronograph also helps immensely.
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:57 PM
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Please tell us what bullet you were loading. Lil Gun also works quite well in the even smaller .22 Hornet. I second your plea to be very careful with powder charges in these very small cases.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McShooty View Post
Please tell us what bullet you were loading. Lil Gun also works quite well in the even smaller .22 Hornet. I second your plea to be very careful with powder charges in these very small cases.
Sorry, I am loading a 40 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip.
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:34 AM
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You might want to use a Magnum primer with that load. Magnum primers will withstand the pressures a little better although the 15.0gr load sounds like it good enough...
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:42 AM
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I was using 15.0 grains of LilGun under a 50 grain V-Max with mine. Remington BR Primers. I was firing this from a Remington 700 Stainless, Fluted, Lite Varmint.

My Drop Chart says 3162 FPS. No idea when I chronorgaphed this load temperature wise.

I am sure this load is plenty hot. As was said above LilGun can go hot in a hurry, so work up slowly in small increments. Also keep in mind we are in the middle of the Winter now. What you might get away with now at 30 deg, may be blowing primers in July.

I was shooting the 221/50 V-Max in our Long Range Tactical Rifle Matches, as well a Multi Range F Class Matches, in Lite Tactical Division. Lite Tactical ( 204, 221, 222, and 223) shoots 100 thru 600 yards. Open Division shoots 100 thru 800 yards.

The 221 did fairly well to 500 yards. At 600 yards some days it would group ok, and some days it wouldn't.

I broke the 700 down a couple months ago and had a .224 1/7 Brox Match barrel installed with a Match Chamber in 223. It is a tack driver. I still need to get an AI Magazine conversion on order for it before the next match on 22 January.

I need to find a good home for the Fireball barrel one of these days.

Bob
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:24 PM
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I load and shoot 221 in a Rem XP 100. Hodgdon lists a 50 gr Nos BT loaded with 13.5 gr of H110 at 2637. I've never checked them with a speedo, but will now. I bet that 16 gr load at 3600 had some pop. Maybe H110 is not an ideal powder for this one, I'm going to start some with 4227 and compare. Loading small cases leaves no room for carelessness.
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