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Author Topic: 218 Bee  (Read 3742 times)

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Offline Banjo picker

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218 Bee
« on: January 02, 2014, 10:09:44 PM »
I have been studying up a bit on this little cal., and think it would be pretty sweet to mess around with for a while....Was wondering if any one on here had one or ever had had one....brass for it will be a little high priced to start with, but if I don't load them too hot should last a while... Guns are hard to find as well... haven't been made in a while...Is there any think else close that I have missed... must be center fire so it can be reloaded....Banjo
Never explain, your friends don't need it, and your enemies won't believe you any way.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 11:40:20 PM »
Tim, the 218-Bee fills the niche between the 22Hornet and the 222Remington.

Nice cartridge, good on varmints out to possibly 200 yards.

The book says the lever guns won't produce the accuracy of a good single shot or bolt gun, but we already knew that!

If you get a lever gun, just play around with the load data a little and you should find a sweet spot!

I have a Ruger bolt action model 77/22Hornet and with it, I can head-shoot a squirrel at 75 yards!  Done it a few times!

The 218 Bee has a little more whack than the Hornet!

The 22Hornet can take Whitetails out to 100 yards or so, just make sure your hit is in the ribs/lungs.

Might not be your ideal rifle/cartridge, but it will get the job done!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline Crow99

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 06:46:27 PM »
The Bee can be a sweet little round.. I've got two myself; a Marlin 1894 lever action made in a limited number back in the 1990 ' s and a Ruger No. 1 S  single shot also from the 1990's. I've shot both extensively and two more different rifles in the same caliber you will not see. The Marlin has a 1 in 16" twist barrel and the Ruger has 1 in 14. The Marlin won't feed pointed bullets (I use Speer 46 great flat points) and the Ruger has a definite preference for Nosler 40 grain Ballistic Tips. For powder, the usual fast burners work: I MR 4227, AAC1680, 2400, and so forth.
The .218 was only made in 1 bolt gun afaik, the Winchester 43... good little gun, a friend of mine has one... be prepared to pay collector prices.
Both the Marlin and the Ruger have been a bit cranky as far as accuracy and I've had to fiddle with both. If I were to pick the more useful, I'd have to know how you wanted to use it... lever gun for walking and woods hunting, single shot for groundhogs and things not requiring speed..  Ruger has better accuracy.
If you really want a decent bolt gun, I might recommend the CZ 527 in Hornet. I've got one of those too. Not at all cranky and actually prefer it to my Bee's.  Jmho of course and your mileage will vary..

Offline CX3

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 08:15:29 PM »
I dont know much about the bee but my dad always talks about them as to a great little shooter.  I would be more apt to get a hornet or the new 17 super mag.  I also have a couple 222 Rems and they are sweet as well.  I can attest to the hornet as well its a nice round for what it is. 

But I cant say Id pass on the opportunity to own a neat caliber like the bee either.  But I really like accessibility of ammo/reloading stuff, and Id imagine the bee would be a tough one.  What caliber of bullet is it? Im not around my reload manual right now, the reason I ask is what about a 204?  Or do you just like the older type guns?
John 3:16
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2014, 09:12:09 AM »
The 218 Bee is 22cal (or .224) and the 204 Ruger is 20cal (or .204, or 5mm).

~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline Clark

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2014, 10:41:11 AM »
The only thing I know about the 22 Hornet and I assume that it applies to the 218 Bee is that unlike their larger centerfire cousins, you can shoot them without hearing protection and not regret it. I have a 22-250 and would never shoot it without hearing protection. My dad has a 22 Hornet and when shooting targets, yes I wear the protection but when hunting...no reason.  All of which is to say that the report is somewhere between 22 LR and the bigger 22 centerfires.

Clark
SAF Certified Forester

Offline Crow99

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2014, 11:00:53 AM »
Well, the noise is a relative thing. Yes, both the bee and the Hornet arerelatively low noise rounds which makes them suitable for use in somewhat built up areas. A couple of shots when hunting is no problem, but at the range I would always wear hearing protection regardless. I've been shooting for all but 10 of my 66 yrs and gunsmithing for about 40. My hearing is still pretty good due in large part to regular use of hearing protection... earplugs are cheap.

Offline CX3

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 05:52:18 PM »
I had no idea it was 22 cal.  I figured 20 cal
John 3:16
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 04:31:37 PM »
Hey guys thanks for the replies.  I have owned a nice Rem 700 in .223.  Should have kept it, but you know how that goes.  I haven't looked at the Hornet very much, but will look into it... and I am not acquainted with the 204.  The 204 sounds interesting.  I will check it out as to current production and power charge... Also what is the CZ 527 in Hornet..? thanks Banjo
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Offline Crow99

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 05:34:05 PM »
Yeah , you possibly should have kept the Rem. 700 in .223. Probably as good an all around varmint rifle as there is. And if you decide you want to change calibers, the 700 action is probably the one most re barreled by gunsmiths today.
The .204 uses a slightly larger capacity case (still .223 head size) and a smaller diameter bullet of lighter weight to achieve some pretty high velocities.  Disadvantages include that you will have to buy a smaller cleaning rod specially for this caliber. I know a lot of folks like the caliber ,but I can leave it alone myself.
The CZ 527 is a nice little bolt action rifle made in the Czech Republic and imported here by CZ USA.  Available in Hornet , .222 , .223 , and .204 among others. You should check CZ USA' s Web site or look at a local gun shop. One of the few new factory rifles available in Hornet.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2014, 11:08:52 PM »
Tim, the 204 Ruger fires a .204 diameter bullet (20 Cal) weighing 32 grains at a published 4,225 fps.

Very flat shooting.

Great varmint round, on coyotes, no exit hole!

Only shot 1 coon with my 204 and no exit hole!

Not ideal, but I've taken coyotes at 400+ yards, dropped right there!

The 204 Ruger case is the same as a "necked down" 222 Remington Magnum!

My reloads average 4,125 fps, using IMR 4198 powder, nice!


~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline Tom L

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2014, 01:07:44 PM »
I used to know a guy who killed his deer every year with one. from the upstairs window of his cabin up in pa.
I heard they wear out barrels quickly because of the speed. anybody else hear this?

Offline Crow99

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2014, 01:52:18 PM »
Opinions on barrel life seem to vary all over the place. Just Google "204 Ruger barrel life" and you'll get a lot of opinions.  It doesn't seem to wear out steel any worse than any other round that kicks out 4000 fps, and if I really wanted one I wouldn't let that possibility deter me.  Seems that most folks can get at least 1000 rounds of accurate shooting out of one....

Offline Crow99

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2014, 01:55:34 PM »
And back to the OP's original question, both the .218 Bee and .22 Hornet can last a whole lot longer than that....

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2014, 06:08:34 PM »
Crow99 in one of your earlier post in this topic, you said you preferred your hornet to either of the bees... I would like to know why.?  I have looked at the CZ rifles website.... would not mind owning one at all.... but I am only gona get one rifle in this range, and don't want to buy one and wish I had bought the other.... Looking for a new rifle is almost as much fun as buying one..  I saw a shell for a 218 Bee at an old friends house that used to supply guns and livestock for movies, and have had the hots for one ever since... He had a 219 zipper rifle as well, but the Bee struck me as a need to get gun.  If you saw Dancing With Wolves or the Patriot you seen some of his guns and stock...Banjo
Never explain, your friends don't need it, and your enemies won't believe you any way.

Offline Crow99

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2014, 06:46:28 PM »
Banjo, that's a really good question. I got the two Bee's several years ago and had a LOT of enjoyment from them.  I am and have been an accuracy nut... competitive shooting, gunsmithing, and all that.  It boils down to the fact that the Bee is basically a single shot or lever action round; and the Hornet is basically a bolt action and/or a single shot round.  My pick ultimately revolved around action type preference in favor of the bolt.  I also was intrigued with the CZ ' S Euro - classic style and history.  I think these days it's a bit easier to come by Hornet brass too. I haven't really checked lately since I have enough of each to last a while.

Despite some claims to the better, I believe you'll find that each is about a 150 yard round for groundhogs and they will perform similarly.  Accuracy edge probably goes to the Hornet at least with my guns.  The CZ usually puts 5 shots into less than 3/4 inch at 100 yd.  I was really happy if my Marlin Bee shot less than 1 1/2 inches.  The Ruger No. 1 could be cranky... but I could get less than 1 inch out of it much if the time.

Each round has an interesting history, and has been wildcatted to an extent.  The Euro ' s really embraced the Hornet way back when, and Are still pretty enthusiastic. Not so the Bee.  The 222 Rem killed them both in the 1950's, along with a lot o f other 22 Cal rounds.

I do think that whichever one you end up with you are likely to really enjoy it. They're both really fun and interesting to load and shoot.

Oh and... do you only have one chainsaw?  Why only one gun then? ;D ;D Get both.

Offline gspren

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2014, 06:57:59 PM »
  As to a CZ bolt I have had one in 22LR for about 5 years and its a nice quiet squirrel gun. No complaints about quality and it has wacked a few groundhogs too.
Stihl 041, 044 & 261, JD 2355 4X4 w/fel, JD 620, Yamaha Kodiak 400 & trailer, Kubota 400 RTV,  P&M OWB, 75 acres to play.

Offline Crow99

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2014, 07:28:09 PM »
I have a CZ .22 also. Nice rifle. I like CZ ' S traditional wood and steel approach to things.. Although they do surprise you with the odd plastic part from time to time.

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2014, 08:37:51 PM »
Oh I have several chain saws... but they each have niche.  I have a tiny little 180 that only goes camping... I have an 024 that goes around the fence line and small fire wood... the 460 does the bulk of the bigger work when I am cutting logs and the 084 is for bringing down the big ones with its 36 in bar... this next rifle will be for the whole between the 22's and the big boys... 44 henry and the 7 mag... I know that for accuracy I will need either a single shot or a bolt action... I may have to change gears and look for a hornet... I should be  able to find one locally .  But just maybe some of the gun manufactures will bring a new bee out of the closet...Banjo
Never explain, your friends don't need it, and your enemies won't believe you any way.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: 218 Bee
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2014, 08:09:04 AM »
There's a rather "new" one out now Tim!

It's the 17-Hornet, which is a 22-Hornet necked down to 17 caliber.

Published velocities 3,600+fps and moa accuracy!

This one would be nice if you needed a little "quieter" rifle!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer


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