.222 to .218

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by connieken@sbcglobal., Dec 11, 2011.

  1. connieken@sbcglobal.

    connieken@sbcglobal. New Member

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    I'd like to convert an H&R .222 ultrawildcat to .218 bee, what is involved and
    is it cost effective? Can it be done by a local gunsmith or does this need a
    rifle specialist? Any suggestions for someone in the central california or surrounding states? Thanks in advance, kk.
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    What is the parent case of a .222 Ultra? The 218 started life as a 32/20, which is a pretty small cartridge, with a rim. If your .222 Ultra started as a larger round, or is a rimless cartridge, I think the only thing you could do is replace the barrel.
  3. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Welcome to the forum Connieken

    take a look i dont think its a viable conversion

    the "Bee" is the top pic...

    Hey if you have read a article by Boyd Allen, Jim Borden, Lester Bruno, Mickey Coleman,

    these guy's are Master gunsmiths and wildcat makers , the engineering they perform is way beyond most folks

    Jim Bordens work especially , he's famous for making sleeves for chambers and i've done a couple myself but got it wroing a few times too , you have to be perfect with micron tolerances to redo what they have done and they based their on the Russian .220 , and they gave it away as too dangerous , but they do play and write up there efforts , but to repeat it , spend 10 years doing other wildcats first as they have all done please ,,

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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  4. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    It is not a viable conversion.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I agree with SC, Not viable at all. best bet is to browse the popular auction sites for a used .22 hornet or K hornet barrel and ream the chamber out for the .218. That would probably be your least expensive route, unless you run across a barrel already chambered in .218 bee.
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I still want to know what the parent case of a 222 Ultrawildcat is, 'cause the picture Jack posted is a 222 Remington Magnum.
  7. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Alpo, you got scrambled up on the context of the original post. The rifle is an H&R Ultra Wildcat (that's the name that H&R stamped on em, but it's also called a Model 317) and the caliber is most likely .222Rem.
    The 317 is a rebadged L461 Sako action.


    But as for rebarreling and/or rechambering a .222 to .218 Bee...No on two accounts.
    First, you would need a new barrel with the correct twist rate for the .218Bee. A Bee or Hornet typically has a 1:16" twist where a .222 will usually have a 1:14" to 1:12" twist.
    Second, you would need to have the bolt face of the rifle modified to accept the larger .218Bee case head.

    Best bet if you've got your heart set on a Bee is to find a Hornet and have it rechambered. Or you could dig back a few years and find a vintage Bee like a Winchester 65 lever action or 43 bolt action, but those are rare birds.
  8. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    the .222 ultra was standardised a while back and Remington made it the .222 Rem Magnum

    some wildcats get adopted by mainstream ammo makers , this is one
  9. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Jack, in this case Ultra Wildcat is the name of the rifle model.
    Google H&R Model 317 and you'll see a few for sale in assorted .378" case-head calibers. It's an L461 Sako that was marked with H&R model names back when they were importing Sakos into the states in the late-60s & early-70s.
    The Ultra Wildcat name was mainly pointing towards the .17/223 proprietary cartridge that H&R was pushing for a couple years but the name was used on all of the 317s.

    We've had a few of them come through here. A very nice rifle with typical Sako factory woodwork that will rank right up there with a Weatherby.

    Here's a thread from last year showing that particular model.
    http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=85179
  10. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Okie doke. I'll buy that. But him getting one in 22 Hornet would not help him. The Bee was not based on the hornet.
    [​IMG]

    It was based on the 32/20. Totally different head-size.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Well, if push come to shove, it was probably based on the 25/20, but that was just a necked down 32/20, so it's all same-same.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Alpo, the bee is based on the .32/20 and brass can be made from either .32/20, .25/20 or .357 magnum brass. But where the .22 hornet barrel will help is it is rifled with the proper twist and the chamber is smaller then the bee and can be rechambered with a chambering reamer for the bee. You can go bigger but you cant go smaller. Kinda like reaming out a .308 chamber to .30-06, but not conversely. Only thing to do then is to open the boltface up from .373 to .408 for the bigger casehead and modify the extractor and magazine to feed the new rimmed cartridges.
  12. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Yup, the steps that Josh posted are exactly how you would do a Hornet to Bee conversion. Easy enough to do if you're up for a little machine work. A Mauser style bolt is easier to modify than a Remington/Sako style bolt though...you've already got a flat bolt face to work with so no need to machine the bolt itself. Just the extractor

    Easiest way in my mind...
    Find a single-shot Hornet (H&R/NEF Handi-Rifle, Ruger #3 carbine, etc) and rework it for the Bee. Much fewer parts to modify that way.
    But if we're going down that road, we could go with the Ackley Bee or .22/357Mag right away and get a little more case capacity while we're at it. :)

    Kinda hope the original poster pops back in to give a few more details...and to check the "progress" on the custom rifles we're scheming up. :D
    Bench-building a rifle isn't near as fun as building one for real...but it's a heckuva lot cheaper!

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