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.219 Zipper Reloading Data
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I'm still validating .219 Zipper loads:  Check back occasionally to see what I have added.


By the way:  If you have any loads to share, please e-mail them to me.

IMPORTANT--READ THIS BEFORE USING ANY OF MY LOADING DATA!

First:  The .219 Zipper has been around a long time.  These loads were developed using newly manufactured rifles, and my chamber dimensions and reloading components may differ substantially from yours.  I have no control over either your rifle or components, so you assume all risks associated with using this data.

Second:  I don't own the equipment necessary to pressure test these loads.  Even if I did, there are no actual pressure standards for the .219 Zipper.  I computed pressure from load data and muzzle velocity, and most experts will tell you that there is some risk associated with this practice.  I used my estimated pressure, along with pressure signs such as sticky extraction, case head measurements, and primer flatness to determine whether or not a load is safe in my gun.

Third:  There is no such thing as a free lunch.  If you use my reloading data, and get higher velocities than those listed, it means that your pressure is higher than mine!

Fourth:  The only Zipper rifles available today are either vintage rifles or custom-built guns.  Be careful!

General Reloading Information:

Major manufacturers no longer offer .219 Zipper brass; however, Starr and Quality Cartridge offer high quality cases at reasonable prices. 

Cases can be formed easily by running .25-35 brass through a .219 Zipper sizing die and trimming.  Cases should be neck turned/thinned before use.

With a very small amount of effort, .30-30 or .32 Special brass can be transformed into Zipper brass.  Redding, CH4D, and RCBS all make high quality dies for this task.

I make my cases from Winchester .30-30 brass.  Water capacity, including case neck, is 34.9 grains.  This is slightly less than the .22-250, but greater than the .223 Remington. 

Two factors usually limit lever action pressures:  Case strength and case stretch. Excess pressure can cause cartridge brass to turn to liquid--Squirting about as if propelled from a firehose.  This is very dangerous.

Lever Actions such as the M94 and Marin 336 have springy actions that allow the bolt to move rearward a few thousandths of an inch during firing.  This permits cases to stretch slightly. Excessive pressures can cause cases to stretch so much that they wedge the bolt against its latching mechanism, making case extraction difficult--Causing Sticky Extraction.  

Difficult extraction is one of many signs that your loads may be a little too hot! 

There is no SAAMI pressure standard for the .219 Zipper.  The SAAMI maximum average pressure for the .30 WCF, on which the Zipper is based, is 38,000cup/42,000psi.  The more recent 7mm Waters operates at 45,000psi. 

During testing, my custom Marlin functioned flawlessly as long as pressures remained at or below 42,000psi.  Pressures above about 48,000psi caused sticky extraction, and when estimated pressures hit 50,000psi, extraction was no longer possible--I had to knock-out cases with a cleaning rod.  If extraction is sticky, back-off a couple of grains.

Increasing pressure beyond 42,000psi yielded so little velocity gain that it was hardly worth the decreased brass life and difficult extraction.  42,000psi is my max lever gun pressure. 

I didn't actually pressure test any of the loads.  I used a ballistics program to estimate the pressure necessary to achieve measured velocities given powder weight, bullet weight, friction factor, and powder type.  The program isn't perfect, and can't possibly account for all of the possible variables that might affect pressure.  Take any of my pressure information with a grain of salt.

Reloading Data:

Beware!  The following tables list loads at two distinct pressure levels.  Lever Gun loads are held to about 42,000psi.
 
Single Shot loads were tested in my TC Encore.  They produce considerably higher velocities and pressures!  I emphatically warn against using these in lever action rifles or other guns not specifically designed for high pressures.
 
My TC Encore has a very long throat.  Rifles with shorter throats will have even higher pressures.  Drop starting charges 10%, and work-up SLOWLY!

Zipper Loads
lineup.jpg
L: Swaged 56gr FP, Center: Remington 55gr PHP, Right: Winchester 64gr PP

Data in Table L1 functioned well and was safe in my Marlin .219 Zipper lever gun.  The normal loading practice of using only flat points or hollow points in lever action rifles might seem unnecessary in the low powered Zipper.  Perhaps it is, but the folks who designed the Zipper used only flat or hollow point ammunition.  Of course, Spitzers can certainly be used when either singly loaded or when loaded with 1 in the chamber and one in the magazine.

I made the 56gr flat point (Left) using RCE Co. Swaging dies.

The Remington Hollowpoint (center) is a bit more streamlined, and seems to work OK, too.

Original Factory OAL was 2.26"; however, I can load both of these bullets a bit longer (2.35") and have no feeding problems in my lever gun.


Table L1:  Near Factory Duplicates.

1938 Winchester ads claimed 3050fps and 3390fps, respectively, for the Zipper's 56gr and 46gr bullets. Only the 56gr load seems to have been continued after the war, and 24" muzzle velocities were listed as 3110fps.

The 56gr FP is no longer available, so I approximated the originals using swaging equipment from RCE Co.

I also used the Remington Pointed Hollow Point bulk bullet, and obtained excellent results.

Flat Point 45 and 46gr bullets intended for the .218 Bee are available from several manufacturers.  These bullets are usually very economical, and can easily attain the 3390fps of Winchester's 1937 factory offering.

Bullet

Velocity

Powder Type

Powder Wt.

56gr FP

3110fps

IMR3031
26.2gr**  Note:  Near factory duplicate.

55gr PHP (Remington)

3125fps

IMR3031

25.6gr

55gr PHP
(Remington)

3125fps

IMR4895

24.5gr

55gr PHP (Remington)

3125fps

H4198

21.8gr

55gr PHP (Remington)

3390fps

H4198

22.4gr

46gr FP (Speer)

3390fps

IMR4198
21.0gr

46gr FP (Speer)

3390fps

Reloader 7

21.7gr

55gr PHP (Remington)

3125fps

Reloader7

21.1gr

55gr PHP (Remington)

3125fps

IMR 4064

26.0gr

55gr PHP (Remington)

3125fps

H322

23.0gr

55gr PHP (Remington)

3125fps

Varget

25.9gr

46gr FP (Speer)

3390fps

H322

24.1gr

55gr PHP
(Remington)

3125fps

Benchmark

24.0gr

55gr PHP
(Remington)

3125fps

H335

24.2gr

55gr PHP
(Remington)

3125 fps

Reloader 15

27.4gr

Table L2:  Non-Traditional Lever Action Zipper Loads (24" barreled Marlin 336)

Speer's 70gr semi-spitzer and Winchester's 64gr PowerPoint Spitzer have fairly thick jackets, and can be used on small species of deer. They are both very accurate in my 1:12 twist Encore and 1:10 twist Marlin; however, I doubt that these bullets will stabilize in the usual 1:14" twist Zipper barrel. Remember...these are Spitzer bullets. Loading one in the chamber and one in the tubular magazine avoids the possibility of an accident.

Bullet
Velocity
Powder Type
Powder Wt.
64gr PSP (Winchester PP)
2900fps
IMR3031
22.0gr

70gr semi-spitzer (Speer)

2725fps

IMR3031

22.2gr

64gr PSP (Winchester PP)

2900fps

IMR4064

24.5gr

64gr PSP (Winchester PP)

2900fps

IMR4895

23.6gr

64gr PSP (Winchester PP)

2900fps

Reloader15

26.0gr

70gr semi-spitzer (Speer)

2725fps

Reloader15

24.2gr

High Pressure Loads (Strong Actions Only, no Lever Actions):

The following data is intended for strong single shots or bolt actions.  It almost certainly exceeds safe pressures for lever action rifles.  Calculated pressures (in my rifle) were 52,000psi or less.

The following data was obtained from my 26" barreled TC Encore.  It has a very long throat, which decreases pressures.  These loads were quite safe in my rifle, but if your rifle's throat is shorter than mine, your pressures will almost certainly exceed mine.

IMR3031 and IMR4064 are favorite powders for this cartridge.  With the charges listed, and 53 gr bullets, I got about 3250fps; however, other sources claim up to 3450fps for these same loads.  I suppose the discrepancy can be explained by my Encore's very long throat.

26" was a standard barrel length for most target rifles.  Rifles with 24" barrels will deliver 70 - 100fps less velocity.

Remember--There is no free lunch!  Velocity requires pressure.  If your velocities exceed those that are listed (and you are using the same barrel length and components), your pressures are probably higher than mine.

Table HP1:  High Pressure Loads (Strong Actions Only).  TC Encore/26" bbl.

Bullet

Velocity

Powder Type

Powder Wt.

52-53gr JHP

3,450fps

IMR4198

24.1gr

52-53gr JHP

3250fps* See Text

IMR3031

27.2gr

52-53gr JHP

3250fps*  See Text

IMR4064

28.3gr

63gr JSP

2950fps

IMR3031

25.6gr

Orphan Cartridges