American Rifleman - July 2017 - 50

THE 22 NOSLER

The Nosler Varmageddon AR rifle, built by Noveske, is chambered in 22 Nosler and
features an 18" barrel rifled with three grooves in a 1:8" right-hand twist.

Behind The Design

Unlike its brethren-the 26, 28, 30 and 33 Nosler cartridges-which are parented by the antiquated .404 Jeffrey,
the 22 Nosler's case is unique; it's not derived from the similarly sized 6.8 mm SPC and, thus, brass cannot be created
from such. The case, which measures 1.760" in length (the
same as the .223 Rem.), tapers from 0.420" at the extractor
groove to 0.400" at the shoulder. Due to its increased girth
(when compared to the .223 Rem., which measures 0.378"
and 0.354" at the same points, respectively), the 22 Nosler
has an appreciably more capacious case.
According to Zach Waterman, Nosler's public relations
manager, case capacity is 36.0 grs. of water at overflow and
33.0 grs. with a 55-gr. Ballistic Tip seated to give a cartridge
overall length (C.O.L.) of 2.260". By comparison, the .223 Rem.
holds 27.4 grs. of water when the same bullet and C.O.L. are utilized. Waterman reported that .223 Rem. brass holds 31.0 grs.
of water at overflow. A five-grain difference is noteworthy.
Supplemental case volume offers several benefits. First,
there's extra room for propellant, which permits higher
velocities. With an increase in velocity comes a flatter trajectory and less wind deflection-boons to varmint hunters and
competitors alike-all while boosting on-target energy levels.
Second, long-for-caliber projectiles, which are typical of
those used in High Power Rifle competition, occupy considerable propellant space when seated to a cartridge's SAAMIstandardized maximum C.O.L. For example, Nosler's .22-cal.,
77-gr. HPBT Custom Competition (CC) bullet measures 0.980".
When seated to the maximum C.O.L. of 2.260" (in either the
22 Nosler or the .223 Rem.), 0.480" of the bullet protrudes
into the case. As you'll see shortly, the 22 Nosler is less affected.
Of course, there is the downside that, due to the larger
circumference of the 22 Nosler's case, it cannot be used in
.223 Rem./5.56x45 mm NATO magazines. Instead, 6.8 mm SPC
magazines are employed.
The 22 Nosler's 30-degree shoulder (the .223 Rem. has
a 23-degree shoulder) begins at 1.389", as opposed to the
.223 Remington's 1.438". This prevents the latter from
chambering in a gun designed for the former. A longerthan-caliber neck is a byproduct; at 0.245" in length, the
22 Nosler's neck is 0.042" longer than that of the .223 Rem.
As with the .223 Rem., the 22 Nosler has a rebated rim
measuring 0.378" in diameter, so no modification to the
standard AR bolt is necessary. Simply change the barrel
or upper receiver to 22 Nosler and you're good to go (for
another option, see the sidebar on p. 52). Lastly, because
of the 22 Nosler's design, case stretching will be minimal,
which should assure long reloading life.
The 22 Nosler is a SAAMI-approved and -standardized
cartridge. Like the .223 Rem., maximum average pressure
(M.A.P.) is set at 55,000 p.s.i. Keep in mind that, although
the existing gas block of your .223 Rem./5.56x45 mm NATOchambered AR will work with the 22 Nosler, due to higher gas

50

JULY 2017

volume (i.e. increased charge weights), Nosler recommends an
adjustable gas block.

Making Comparisons

A degree in engineering physics isn't needed to realize
that, when the 22 Nosler and .223 Rem. are standing sideby-side, the former will significantly outperform the latter.
But, the proof is in the pudding, right?
Only three factory 22 Nosler loads were available as this was
written: Varmageddon 62-gr. FBHP, Trophy Grade Varmint 55-gr.
Ballistic Tip (BT) and Match Grade 77-gr. HPBT CC. Listed velocities for each load from the 18" barrel of an AR are as follows:
Varmageddon, 3100 f.p.s.; Trophy Grade Varmint, 3350 f.p.s.;
and Match Grade, 2950 f.p.s. Nosler doesn't have a comparable
.223 Rem. load in the Trophy Grade Varmint line, but one is
available in the Varmageddon series. Loaded with a 55-gr.
tipped projectile-albeit flat base in design-it attains 3100
f.p.s.-the same velocity, but with a bullet weighing 11 percent
less than that of the 22 Nosler load. Using Nosler data, from an
18" barrel the differences in drop between the two at 300, 400
and 500 yds. are 1.4", 4.4" and 9.7", respectively. The differences would mount even further if using muzzle velocities from
Nosler's 24" test barrel, which are 3500 f.p.s. for the Trophy
Grade Varmint load and 3100 f.p.s. for the Match Grade load.
When loaded with the same 77-gr. BTHP CC bullet, how does
the .223 Rem. compare to the 22 Nosler? Not favorably, since
the lengthy projectile occupies considerable propellant space,
which enables it to attain only 2550 f.p.s.-400 f.p.s. slower
than the 22 Nosler. Again, using Nosler's numbers, from the 18"
barrel of a 22 Nosler-chambered AR, at 300, 400 and 500 yds.,
the 77-gr. pill drops 3.1", 9.0" and 18.7" less than when propelled by the .223 Rem. Wind deflection is reduced by 2.2", 4.1"
and 6.8" at the same distances. Finally, whereas the 22 Nosler
adds 154 ft.-lbs. of punch to that of the .223 Rem. at 500 yds.
(i.e. a total of 515 ft.-lbs.) from the 18" barrel, it increases by
220 ft.-lbs. when expelled from a 24" 22 Nosler barrel.
Is the 22 Nosler comparable to the .22-250 Rem.? Let's see.
Nosler's Trophy Grade Varmint line has a .22-250 Rem. load
featuring a 55-gr. BT pushed to 3500 f.p.s. (from a 24" barrel).
From an 18", 22 Nosler-chambered barrel the same projectile
hits 3350 f.p.s.-200 f.p.s. slower-but is within 50 f.p.s.
when fired from a 24" barrel. For all intents and purposes,
that's virtually identical. And when handloading (see sidebar),
similar numbers can be achieved using several grains less
Match Grade 22 Nosler
cartridges carry 77-gr.
Custom Competition
bullets. They are manufactured on dedicated
machinery and are
individually inspected.

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2017

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2017 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 5
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 6
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 7
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 8
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 9
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 10
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 11
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 12
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 13
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 14
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 15
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 16
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 17
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 18
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 19
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 20
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 21
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 22
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 23
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 24
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 25
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 26
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 27
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 28
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 29
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 30
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 31
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 32
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 33
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 34
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 35
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 36
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 37
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 38
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 39
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 40
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 41
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 42
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 43
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 44
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 45
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 46
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 47
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 48
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL3
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL4
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL5
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL6
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL7
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL8
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL9
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL10
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 49
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 50
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 51
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 52
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 53
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 54
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 55
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 56
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 57
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 58
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 59
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 60
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 61
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 62
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 63
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 64
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 65
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 66
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 67
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American Rifleman - July 2017 - 69
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 70
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 71
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 72
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 73
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American Rifleman - July 2017 - 76
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 77
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American Rifleman - July 2017 - 84
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 85
American Rifleman - July 2017 - C1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - C2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - E1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - E2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - MW1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - MW2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - S1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - S2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - SW1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - SW2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - W1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - W2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 88
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 89
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 90
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 91
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 92
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 93
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 94
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 95
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 96
American Rifleman - July 2017 - Cover4
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