In 1950 history was made, America’s first true rimless 22 caliber center fire cartridge was introduced. The 222 Remington was originally chambered in their Model 722 bolt action, here it gained the term “Triple Deuce”. Oddly enough there are tons of bullets that have gained some form of “term” or “slang” when referred to among shooters, it may be some weird part of history. The 222 Remington was completely new, it was not based on any past cartridge like most “new” cartridge designs. The real thing that made the 222 Remington stand out in the world of shooting sports, was its superb accuracy and not impressive velocity.
The 222 Remington was a natural selection for varmint, pun intended, because of its 3100 feet per second velocity, and its capability to handle the 50 grain bullets. The accuracy of the 222 Remington also was very remarkable, even in non tuned factory rifles fine accuracy was often achieved. This accuracy is what drew the attention of the bench rest community in the shooting sports. Many bench rest competitors found that in a custom tuned rifle the 222 Remington was very capable of one hole groups, not until the PPC family of cartridges designed for bench rest shooting did the 222 Remington fall from its high point of domination. Still, there are numerous 222 Remington cartridge lines in production, and every major firearm producer had produced or still produces a rifle chambered in 222 Remington.
Since the 222 Remington’s beginning it has always been seen as a great varmint cartridge, to this day this is where it has maintained much of its popularity. With its inherent accuracy, the useful range of the 222 Remington is up around 250 yards, although some would argue that on a still day the 222 Remington is able to achieve higher useful ranges. This accuracy couple with the fact that the accuracy is usually obtained while using the 50-55 grain bullets has lead this cartridge to the hall of fame for varmint shooting.
Since the 222 Remington’s creation Speer has brought the TNT hollow point to market, with the 222 Remington’s accuracy and gained bullet weight over the 22 Hornet, the TNT hollow point offers superb terminal ballistics and accuracy. The thin fluted jacket of the TNT hollow point designed by Speer has such a high expansion rate it is normally only found in the higher velocity cartridges. This alone has helped keep the 222 Remington at the top of the varmint cartridge list. With the 222 Remington being a bottleneck case design, the 222 Remington happens to be a reloaders dream. The longer case neck of the 222 Remington allows for excellent bullet alignment during the reloading process, while the smaller case means that the pound of powder sitting around can last a very long time. Either way many reloaders decide to stay around the 50-55 grain bullet weights anything heavier seems to affect the trajectory and overall performance very badly. Many producers of factory ammunition have in fact even gone as far as to drop the heavier weighted bullets for the 222 Remington because of the performance difference. A hugely popular time for the 222 Remington is the turkey season, while the 55 grain full metal jacket 222 Remington can be loaded to around 2000 feet per second, the reduced velocity helps to keep the hides and meat damage in turkey to a minimum. This fact helps keep the 222 Remington at its prime and also helps keep your Thanksgiving day meal in one piece, a great achievement considering that its all because of the cartridge design.