The .225 Winchester

By Chuck Hawks

As of 2003 Winchester is still offering factory loaded ammunition for the .225 for sale, but the sale of brass was discontinued in the late 1990's. To the best of my knowledge there is no other source for .225 Winchester ammo or brass. The handwriting is on the wall, so owners of .225 rifles should stock up on a lifetime supply of ammunition while it is still available.

The single Winchester .225 factory load drives a 55 grain Pointed Soft Point bullet at a muzzle velocity (MV) of 3570 fps and 1556 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy. The 200 yard velocity is 2616 fps and the remaining energy is 836 ft. lbs. The Trajectory of that load looks like this (Winchester figures): +2.4" at 100 yards, +2.8" at 150 yards, +2.0" at 200 yards, 0 at 250 yards, and -3.5" at 300 yards. This would be an excellent way to zero a .225 rifle used primarily for shooting small predators like foxes and coyotes. For varmint shooting a mid-range trajectory of about 1.5" is usually preferred.

Although the .225 can be reloaded with bullets weighing from 40 to 70 grains, bullets weighing between 50 and 60 grains are probably the best choice for most purposes. The .225 is an easy caliber for which to reload and several powders provide good performance. H335, BL-C(2), W-760, IMR 4064, and RL-7 are all good powders for the .225 Win.

Here are some specifications of interest to reloaders: bullet diameter .224", maximum COL 2.500", maximum case length 1.930", MAP 50,000 cup.

According to the fifth edition of the Hornady Handbook, 29.6 grains of IMR 4064 will drive a 55 grain Hornady bullet to a MV of 3200 fps. 32.9 grains of the same powder gives a MV of 3600 fps. Alternatively, 29.8 grains of BL-C(2) will drive a 55 grain bullet to a MV of 3300 fps, and a maximum load of 33.5 grains of BL-C(2) will give a 55 grain bullet a MV of 3600 fps.

The Hornady technicians used Winchester cases and WLR primers in developing those loads, which were tested in a 24" rifle barrel.

Note: A full length article about the .225 Winchester can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

Back to Reloading

Copyright 2005, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.