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Thread: .220 Weatherby Rocket

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    Default .220 Weatherby Rocket

    I just picked up a converted '03 Springfield in the .220 Weatherby Rocket caliber. I've looked on the internet and found quite a bit of info on this cartridge - basically an "improved" .220 Swift. I was surprised it still has some following and dies, barrels etc. are stil avalaible.

    I've loaded for some .220 Swifts in the past and found them to be quite interesting to reload for and shoot. I was wondering if anyone on the forum has any first hand info on this cartridge they could pass along esp. with the more modern powders.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    I just picked up a converted '03 Springfield in the .220 Weatherby Rocket caliber. I've looked on the internet and found quite a bit of info on this cartridge - basically an "improved" .220 Swift. I was surprised it still has some following and dies, barrels etc. are stil avalaible.

    I've loaded for some .220 Swifts in the past and found them to be quite interesting to reload for and shoot. I was wondering if anyone on the forum has any first hand info on this cartridge they could pass along esp. with the more modern powders.
    No personal experience with the Rocket, but IMO the Improved Swift is the finest of the fast 22 centerfires. It is as fast as I care to push 55 & 60 grain bullets and accuracy is top shelf. It has measurably less case stretch and brass flow in the shoulder/neck. I have quite a bit of reloading data for a 40 degree Swift. If you want some data PM me and I'll send you a few loads to consider. The heavier bullets definitely prefer slower powders: IMR & H 4350, RL 15 & 19, IMR 4831. Before I had a good powder measure I would use a lot of H414/W760, but they are dirty.

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    PM sent- thanks!

    I'll fire form a round or two before I order dies - probably from C-H unless I can find some cheaper.

    I was reading up on the cartridge and it appears Weatherby built some of the guns on 03 Springfield actions like mine. Someone went to a lot of work to put this one together including changing the magazine box to a staggered design to handle the semi-rimmed cartridges. Markings are from a stamp - not individual characters. More research is in order!

    In any event I got one heck of a nice rifle for $250 - sometimes even I get lucky.


    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    No personal experience with the Rocket, but IMO the Improved Swift is the finest of the fast 22 centerfires. It is as fast as I care to push 55 & 60 grain bullets and accuracy is top shelf. It has measurably less case stretch and brass flow in the shoulder/neck. I have quite a bit of reloading data for a 40 degree Swift. If you want some data PM me and I'll send you a few loads to consider. The heavier bullets definitely prefer slower powders: IMR & H 4350, RL 15 & 19, IMR 4831. Before I had a good powder measure I would use a lot of H414/W760, but they are dirty.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Smile Great Northern Guns

    Was curious if you purchased the .220 Rocket that was on the used racks at Great Northern Guns?

    I looked the gun over many times --- but no evidence it was a Roy Weatherby made rifle --- tho' a nice target or dog-town type package, hence my not going there at the asking price.

    If ya got 'er at $250 should be a quite workable shooter and best wishes on the project... tell us how it goes.

    I'd go ahead and run a few boxes of 55 grainers or less .220 Swift through 'er... see how they fly and print at 100 yards. Then ya have the fire-formed cases to examine and reload. Might be just fine (& simpler case scenario) w/ the Swifts.

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    Default .220 Rocket

    It was the gun you looked at GNGs. I also looked at it many times also before I made them an offer and the seller accepted. I think they had dropped the asking price also; it had a new tag on it at $295 which would have interested me when they first put it out as I have a fondness for 03s.

    I have no idea how the early Weatherby guns were marked or made hence the need for more reseach. The barrel markings were done by someone that had stamps made up for the "Weatherby" and ".220 Rocket" so it was obviously someone that did a lot of conversions in that caliber. There were no other markings under the stock as I would have expected from Douglas or other big name gunsmiths.

    It was also has an interesting breech setup as you may have noticed. Instead of the normal coned breech like a Springfield or Mdl 70 the front of the left bolt lug is cut back and the barrel is modified like a jap military rifle.

    The stock is a nice piece of walnut. If everything else failed I'll rebarrel it or rebore it another caliber and still have a very nice rifle at a affordable price for a gun forged out of nickel steel with a real walnut stock

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Richardson View Post
    Was curious if you purchased the .220 Rocket that was on the used racks at Great Northern Guns?

    I looked the gun over many times --- but no evidence it was a Roy Weatherby made rifle --- tho' a nice target or dog-town type package, hence my not going there at the asking price.

    If ya got 'er at $250 should be a quite workable shooter and best wishes on the project... tell us how it goes.

    I'd go ahead and run a few boxes of 55 grainers or less .220 Swift through 'er... see how they fly and print at 100 yards. Then ya have the fire-formed cases to examine and reload. Might be just fine (& simpler case scenario) w/ the Swifts.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Thumbs up

    Please let me know how the research on your rifle turns out and what it groups w/ .220swift and Rocket loads.

    I think you have a really cool rifle there... hopefully all will turn out great. I looked over that gun several times from guessing spring to maybe up to a couple weeks ago. Very nice gun with potential, and I'm certain a good story to tell.

    See ya at the range sometime -

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    Just sent you a private message Mark

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