.221 Remington Fireball

.221 Remington Fireball

Infobox Firearm Cartridge
name= .221 Remington Fireball

origin= USA
type= Pistol / Rifle
designer= Remington / Wayne Leek
parent=.222 Remington
case type=Rimless, bottleneck
primer=Small rifle
btype1=SP - Pistol
btype2=SX - Pistol
btype3=SBT - Pistol
btype4=SP - Rifle
btype5=SBT - Rifle
test_barrel_length=14", 24"
balsrc= Accurate Powder [http://www.accuratepowder.com/data/PerCaliber2Guide/Handgun/Standarddata/22Cal(5.56mm)/221%20Remington%20Fireball%20T-C%20data%20page%2048.pdf Pistol reload data at Accurate Powder] ]

The .221 Remington Fireball was created by Remington Arms Company in 1963 for use in their single-shot bolt-action pistol called the XP-100. [http://www.chuckhawks.com/subscribers/rifle_cartridge_page/221fireball.htm The .221 Remington Fireball (subscription req)] ] This was a special round designed for an experimental pistol, and has the highest velocity of any commercial pistol cartridge. [http://www.chuckhawks.com/221fireball.htm The .221 Fireball by Chuck Hawks] ]


In the early 1960s Remington was working on an experimental bolt-action pistol based on their model 600 action. They wanted a highly accurate pistol that would be well suited for competition. After working with the .222 Remington they realized that it contained more powder than was necessary for the shorter barrels that are used even by specialty pistols. Typical rifle barrels range from approximately 18" to 26", while typical pistol barrels range from 2" to 12". Competition pistol sometimes have barrels as long as 16", still making them shorter than the shortest rifle barrels.

The decision was made by Remington to base their new cartridge on a shortened version of the .222, optimized for their new XP-100 gun. The cartridge gained some popularity with silhouette shooters and varminters, but still takes a back seat to the more common .223 Remington. [http://www.reloadbench.com/cartridges/p221rf.html .221 Remington Fireball at The Reload Bench] ]

Today the XP-100 is no longer in production. .221 shooters can still get Thompson Contender single-shot pistols chambered for the fireball. And some rifle manufacturers are making guns for this cartridge as well. Like the .222 and .223, the .221 is well suited for the high-volume shooting for varmint hunting, having almost the same velocity and trajectory out to almost 300 yards. [http://www.gunsandammomag.com/reloads/0505/ The .221 Remington Fireball in Guns&Ammo] ]


SAAMI pressure levels are actually set higher for the .221 Remington Fireball at 52,000 C.U.P. than for the .222 Remington at 46,000 C.U.P. This was done in an effort to compensate for the shorter pistol-length barrels expected to be used. Because of this higher pressure, in a rifle length barrel the .221 is capable of velocities equal to that of the .222. [http://www.accuratepowder.com/data/PerCaliber2Guide/Rifle/Standarddata(Rifle)/22Cal(5.56mm)/221%20Remington%20Fire%20Ball%20page%20180.pdf .221 Rifle data at Accurate Powder] ]


The .221 Fireball has been used by wildcatters to create a small efficient .17 caliber cartridge. The most common is the .17 Mach IV which is essentially the .221 necked down to the smaller caliber. This cartridge is reported to have a very flat trajectory and to be relatively quiet with low recoil. It has been so popular as a wildcat that in 2007 Remington legitimized it by introducing their own version only slightly different than the Mach IV and calling it the .17 Remington Fireball. [ [http://www.accuratereloading.com/17mkiv.html 17 Mach IV at Accurate Reloading] ] [ [http://www.reloadbench.com/cartridges/w17machiv.html 17 Mach IV at The Reload Bench] ] . A .20 caliber version is also gaining popularity called the .20 VarTarg (VT), vartarg being the combination of the words varmint and target. The .221 Fireball has also been used as the base for the .300 Whisper, sometimes referred to as the .300/.221 or .300 Fireball.

ee also

* List of rifle cartridges
* 5 mm caliber


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