Short Actions Shooting an Early L46 with 40-grain ammo

Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by icebear, Jun 4, 2021.

  1. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    As Stonecreek kindly informed me, the first L46 rifles made for the .222 Remington cartridge were made with barrel blanks that were originally made for the .22 Hornet. Twist rate was one turn in 16" rather than the 12" that became the standard for .222. I checked my wing-safety .222 and sure enough, it had the slower twist. Accordingly, I figured that my rifle would probably shoot well with 40-grain bullets rather than the usual 50-55 grain. So, I picked up some 40-grain Winchester Ballistic Silvertips at a show. Unfortunately, the plastic nose cone of the Silvertip makes it much too long for the magazine of an L46, so I had to single load. The good news is, accuracy was excellent. Next step is to find some 40-grain factory ammo that will fit in the magazine, or find the time to load some myself.


    L46 Wing Safety 5-28-21.jpg
     

  2. Foxhunter223

    Foxhunter223 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if they are available in the USA, but one of my shooting friends in his 22 Hornet uses the 40gn Winchester power point projectiles that Winchester load in the .22 magnum bullets. They work very well.

    Pete
     
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  3. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Well-Known Member

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    Icebear, you might try these. image.jpg
     
  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Are the bullets on the Winchester ammunition crimped in? If not you could simply run them into your seating die to make them a little shorter.

    .22 caliber reloading bullets are in short supply right now, but whenever they are available I would recommend trying some Nosler Varmageddon 40 grainers. They are a little cheaper than the Ballistic Tips (or the equally good Hornady V-Max or Sierra Blitzking competitors) but shoot very well in all of the rifles I've tried them in.

    For that matter, the conventional 50 grain cup-and-core bullets like loaded in factory .222 ammunition have always shot just fine in my 1-16 early L46. I haven't had any trouble with 55 grain cup-and-core bullets, either, but the little 40's often shoot the smallest groups, even in my .22 centerfires with a quicker twist.
     
  5. FLT

    FLT Well-Known Member

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    I have a JC Higgins model 52 and it has the 1 in 16 twist barrel , it doesn’t like any bullet over 50 grains either. It is the only 222 that I knew of with the 1 in 16 twist , so I learned something new today.
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    How about that? I also have a Higgins 52 with the 26" barrel, but all I've ever shot in it has been 50 grainers, which it shoots just fine. I have never measured the twist and just assumed it was a 1-14".

    By the way, the 50 grain ammunition I shoot in the Higgins is some ancient "Herter's" factory loads, which are labeled "Made in Finland" and appear to be identical to some Sako factory loads from the same era. Every now and then one of the old rounds refuses to go "boom" (or goes "click . . . boom" instead), but the 98% of them which fire normally are quite accurate and the fired brass from them is top notch.
     
  7. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    I shoot 37 grain James Calhoon Double Hollow Points in my L46 Varmint 222 Rem. At 3500 fps, EXPLOSIVE is an understatement.
     
  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I've never tried them in a high-velocity centerfire, but I've seen a Hornady 35 grain V-Max cut a cottontail into "separate but equal" halves fired from a .22 Hornet.
     
  9. blackjack

    blackjack Well-Known Member

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    Hello Sako Lovers,
    B.S.A. " Hunter " rifles made during the 1950's, used 1 in 14 twist for the .222 Rem. and 1 in 16 twist for the .22 Hornet. The barrels were Jessops Steel and were cut - rifled and lapp finished. I have a .222 Rem. from 1955 and a .22 Hornet from 1956. Both are extremley accurate.
    Blackjack
     

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