The .218 Bee

By Chuck Hawks

The .218 Bee was named for its bore diameter, it actually uses standard .224" bullets. It is based on a necked-down and blown out .25-20 case with a 15 degree shoulder. It is a neat little rimmed cartridge with an overall case length of 1.345". The SAAMI maximum average pressure for the .218 Bee is 40,000 cup.

Winchester's .218 Bee factory load uses a 46 grain hollow point bullet at a MV of 2760 fps and muzzle energy of 778 ft. lbs. At 200 yards the figures are 1550 fps and 245 ft. lbs. According to the Winchester ballistic tables, the trajectory of that load looks like this: +1.5" at 100 yards, 0 at 150 yards, and -4.2" at 200 yards.

According to the Hornady Handbook, Third Edition a 45 grain spire point bullet can be driven to a MV of 2900 fps with 13.0 grains of H4227 powder, a 50 grain spire point to 2700 fps with 14.2 grains of H4198 powder, and a 55 grain spire point to 2700 fps in front of 14.0 grains of H4198. All of the foregoing loads were developed in Winchester cases using Winchester primers. Reloaders wishing to duplicate the factory load can use the Speer 46 grain flat point bullet in front of 14.2 grains of IMR 4198 powder with a CCI primer for a MV of 2738 fps, according to Speer reloading data.

Note: A complete article about the .218 Bee can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2004, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.