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22 Creedmoor


Inevitably, the 6.5 Creedmoor would be necked down and up. First came a 6mm version and then this 22-caliber version, the 22 ARC. The hype on the latter is wild. This cartridge has exactly one thing going for it, as with the original Creedmoor, dimensional tolerances for both the chamber and cartridge allow factory guns and ammunition to be more accurate and make it easier for handloaders to achieve good results.

Every other claim you read anywhere about how the 22 Creedmoor is the biggest, baddest, bestest, and whateverest is nothing but Internet-Nonsense. Loaded to the same pressure with the same length barrel and using the same components, the 22 Creedmoor will do absolutely nothing the Swift will not do. Yes, it does have greater capacity but with available components, it offers absolutely no velocity advantage that anyone could ever notice in the varminting field or in long-range target shooting.

The 220 Ackley Improved has about the same capacity as the 22 Creedmoor. I know three serious handloaders and dedicated varmint hunters who spent time and money having a 220 Swift converted to 220 AI.



Each reported the same thing, paraphrased here: I was able to get exactly 0-fps more velocity with the improved version of the Swift, compared to the original version using best components in the same barrel. I had the same experience.

Chambering in a gun that allows significantly longer loads and with a faster rifling twist-rate does allow use of longer, more efficient bullets. With the highest BC 22-caliber bullets now available, such a combination can do things not possible with a factory rifle in Swift or 22-250 using a short-action and a too-slow twist to stabilize such bullets. But, of course, anyone can get a custom rifle built.

A custom gun using a longer action and faster rifling twist chambered in 22-250, 22-250 AI, or 220 Swift and using tight chamber tolerances will do anything the 22 Creedmoor will do.

The difference is availability. For some, an off-the-shelf factory gun has advantages over a custom gun. Equally, for others, a custom gun has advantages over a factory gun. To each his own.

This does not mean I believe anything is wrong with the 22 Creedmoor. The noted advantages in tolerances matter; likely, it is a fine cartridge. The one problem I can point to is the foolishly short neck. This will result in very limited barrel life before accuracy begins to suffer and the gun can no longer take advantage of the long-range potential the high-BC bullets offer when carefully loaded with the best components.

Heritage of this case dates to the 1870s with the introduction of the 40-70 Ballard case.

The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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