Why I Chose The 220 Swift

Fall 1998

I had always read about the 220 Swift with great interest and of course heard the idea that it burns out barrels quickly and other pros and cons.

Like the Hornet, you don't see a lot of 220's at the gun range and don't see too many of them at gun shows, which only compounds the mystery and uniqueness of the caliber.

I was to attend the annual Prairie Dog Conference in the summer of 1999 and for that reason, was exploring my options for a caliber that would extend my range beyond my current calibers.

Leaning towards a 22-250 simply because of availability and popularity, I got involved in a BS session at the local gun shop and one of the usual patrons countered my decision with the notion that the Swift would perform better for me.

He started spitting numbers, facts and figures that I can't even quote now. It was one of those conversations where you wish you had a recorder.

When he was finished, I was having the shop owner quote me a price on a new Ruger MKII Target in 220 Swift. I winced at the price of $525 knowing of course that did not include optics, dies, brass, powder, tax and what ever else I thought I would need.

The shop owner called his supplier, they had only one available and the owner assured me he could get that one but made no promises if I did not let him know pretty quick.

I like the shop owner and was confident he was being straight with me, however, I do not like to feel rushed, I waited.

There are those who will read this and have trouble understanding why $525 would cause me to balk while others will understand completely. To the average Joe, that is a chunk of change.

Something I would need to meditate on, that reads, go to work on Santa Clause. She was already aware that I was shopping, so it came as no surprise to her. It was only like $50 more than the Savage short action 22-250 that I had priced earlier.

A couple of weeks later at a gun show, one of the vendors had a table full of Rugers. There was no 220 Swift but the dealer politely informed me that he would be happy to order it and would give me the show price of $450. He was from a town about 30 miles from me and I could pick it up there.

Saving $75 from the get go plus tax on that $75 got my attention rather quickly. The dealer gave me his card and said if I wanted the gun to just call and leave a message on his machine.

That evening I called and placed the order and picked the gun up a week later.

The last gun that I purchased "Brand New" was in 1988, so I guess you could say I was a little excited. This was to be my first Ruger.

I looked it over as he pulled it from the box and handed it to me. It looked great. We boxed it back up and I headed for home at a high rate of speed.

Once home I went over it with a fine toothed comb, heck I even read the owners manual. I wrote a complete review of the rifle in the January issue of "The Firearms MagEzine."


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Last Modified: Sunday, May 24, 2009 11:08 PM