The .224 Texas Trophy Hunter (TTH)
By Chuck Hawks
The .224 Texas Trophy Hunter (TTH) was developed in Texas specifically for shooting the small whitetail deer and pronghorn antelope found in that state. Some Texas outfitters found that their sports were flinching with their regular deer rifles and missing what should have been easy shots. These guides began carrying .223 and .220 rifles in their vehicles to loan to customers hunting these relatively small animals. Eventually the idea of a larger capacity .22 "deer" cartridge took hold (particularly among the Texas Trophy Hunters organization). The .224 TTH is, therefore, an attempt to create a minimum recoil cartridge for small CXP2 game. An article promoting the .224 TTH was written by Horace Gore with Ralph Lermayer and described it in some detail.
This new .22 wildcat is based on the 6mm Remington case necked down to accept .224 inch bullets. The rifling twist is specified at a very fast 1 turn in 8 inches to allow for the stabilization of bullets weighing up to 85 grains. Ironically, the .223 WSSM, introduced by Winchester as a commercial cartridge a year or so after the .224 TTH was developed, is its ballistic twin.
After reading Mr. Gore's article, I added the .224 TTH to the expanded versions of the "Rifle Recoil," "Rifle Trajectory," and "Optimum Game Weight" tables (see the Tables, Charts and Lists Page) so that it could be compared to other cartridges. I used the figures quoted in the .224 TTH article, an 80 grain spitzer bullet (SD .228) at a MV of 3650 fps from a 26 inch rifle barrel. Unfortunately, this load cannot be easily duplicated as the 80 grain bullet described in the article was custom made for testing the .224 TTH and is not commercially available. Winchester factory loads using the 64 grain Power-Point bullet for the .223 WSSM are also included in those tables.
If you compare the killing power and recoil of the .224 TTH handload using the custom made 80 grain bullet to the parent 6mm Remington cartridge it will became obvious that necking the 6mm Rem. case down to .224 and using a custom made 80 grain bullet gained nothing. As might be expected, killing power is less than the 6mm Rem. and recoil was reduced by only 0.4 ft. lb. With commercially available 60-64 grain bullets the .224 TTH is inferior in killing power to all modern .24 and .25 caliber deer cartridges.
I will grant that the .224 TTH will undoubtedly do for small deer and antelope under the right conditions and with careful bullet placement. Never the less, its bullets are deficient in weight, frontal area, and energy. The 6mm Remington provides better performance on CXP2 game from the same case at a similar level of recoil.
Copyright 2005, 2014 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.