|52 gr H2O
|large rifle or small rifle
Neck Bushing size: .250 +/-
Guide Creation Date: 2016
The 22 Creedmoor is quickly establishing itself as the go-to big 22cal. The advent of the 6mm Creedmoor immediately had folks necking the hornady 6mm down to 22 cal and upon doing so found virtually the perfect case capacity for heavy weight .224 bullets. The .22-243AI, middlestead, and 22-6 were speed demons to be sure, but there were always crippled due to mag length restrictions or fire forming considerations. The 22-250AI was always an option, but many folks weren't accepting of fire forming. This left the straight neck-down of the rather vanilla 22-243win the most appealing option for those wanting more 22cal performance than a straight 22-250 would offer. Yet the 22-243 had obstacles of its own, with it often having somewhat narrow and finicky accuracy nodes. Then too there was always the discussion of barrel life, and cases with lots of body taper and shallow shoulder angles tend to tear up throats. There certainly was room for a "better mousetrap" and the 22 Creedmoor does an exceptional job of filling that void.
The 22 Creedmoor finds itself in the perfect configuration for functionality with heavy bullets within short action magazine system limitations. Getting to 22CM from 6CM is a straight forward pass through a FL die. Now we have Alpha Munitions producing factory 22 Creedmoor brass, and the stage is set for a complete takeover of the big 22cal scene. It will not be long and 22CM dies will be in stock at the usual sources.
I have been shooting 22 Creedmoor since 2014 and have pressed it into service as my primary coyote hunting cartridge. The tough northern coyotes we hunt have a reputation for taking some vicious hits and then just getting back up to run off. This is something that plagued me with the traditional 22-250 and caried over into the 22-243win I ran prior to switching to the 22 Creedmoor. Even when using the venerable mainstay 52gr SMK at 4100fps from the 22-243, it was not uncommon to have squarely hit coyotes get knocked down and then run off to die 150yds later. No doubt running a heavier bullet with both the aforementioned cartridges could have eased my troubles, but I was quite interested in the Creedmoor and wanted to try it out.
Several years later and the 22 Creedmoor has completely established itself among my 22 cal firearms. The 22-243win and 22-243AI I was shooting have found themselves virtually untouched, while the 22CM has dominated coyotes in a way no other 22cal has before it. The accuracy nodes are wide and forgiving, the feeding is boringly reliable, and the performance out in the world has been dominating. My main 26" barrel is pushing 80gr Berger's at 3525fps and is relentless inside 800yds.
Bullets being an entirely application-driven choice makes it difficult to suggest one, but if you're looking for top choices for the 22 Creedmoor they would easily be the heavier of the class such as 75gr hornady, 80gr SMK, or 80gr Berger.
22 Creed brass is or has been made by Alpha Munitions, Peterson Cartridge, ADG, and Hornady. You can also neck 6mm Creedmoor down to 22cal easy enough. You could even use 6.5mm brass, it would simply take more work to neck down.
Varget, H4350, and H1000 are the most common powders used with the 22 Creedmoor. Varget and the faster propellents finding favor with the light weight bullets in the 50gr range while H4350 and H1000 being used with the 75- 80gr class bullets.
Your favorite large rifle or small rifle magnum primer. Federal and CCI offerings are most popular.
I've done extensive testing with several of the latest batches of headstamped 22 Creedmoor brass. It is my feeling that Alpha Munitions OCD 22 Creedmoor is the best presently available. Extremely stable and very accurate across a great many firings. With proper annealing and die setup, it will no doubt serve you very well! I was able to get a very consistent load with an 80gr Berger VLD Target in the 3450fps range that produced 45 firings on the brass. No doubt it could be run hotter, but I don't believe the 22 Creedmoor should be ran above 3500fps with an 80gr, even with this amazing brass from Alpha Munitions. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should! 3450-3475fps would seem to be a really excellent place to operate with an 80gr weight class bullet. You can see the brass stress test which was broadcast live, in the video below.
All load data for reference only. Use at your own risk!
When starting with 6mm Creedmoor brass, you will need to neck it down to produce 22 Creedmoor. 6CM starts out at a neck diameter of approximately .271" and a loaded 22 creedmoor with hornady brass will end up at about .254-.255". If you've neck turned, it will be closer to .252". You can use a full length (no bushing) sizing die to go from 6mm all the way to 22cal in one step, so long as the die is of good quality. A .250 diameter neck will typically provide desirable results for both as long as you are running an expander ball of the appropriate diameter in your die. Those of you using bushings will typically want to take two steps to neck down. Starting with a .260" bushing on the first pass and finishing with a .250" will often work quite well.
When I must neck down a cartridge, I typically start with a bushing die and use various bushings to get the desired result. Once I lock in on the bushing size required to size effectively, I will load up 3 rounds at a hot load and fire them in my chamber. I then send those pieces of fired brass off to Whidden Gunworks to have a custom full length sizer and micrometer seater die set made.