The latest introduction by Nosler has taken a sharp detour from its sibilings. Nosler started with the 6.5 and followed with cartridges with the same size engine but increasing bullet diameter. Last year they released the Patriarch of the Nosler family – the 33 Nosler. The latest introduction, the 22 Nosler, has gone entirely the other way. While it isn’t based off the 404 Jeffery case like the other cartridges to feature the Nosler name are, it follows a theme of cartridge design I’ve noticed.
Introducing new cartridges is difficult. For more than a century cartridge designers have introduced recreational hunting cartridges to excel at any type of hunting or target shooting. There are very few niches left in the market, which is why a majority of the WSM and SAUM cartridges never took off and why the RCM cartridges haven’t taken off. In contrast to this there have been some incredible successes – the 204 Ruger is an incredibly popular varmint cartridge, the 300 RUM was a success and the 6.5×47 Lapua is a celebrated competition cartridge.
There is always a lot of hype around new things – cartridge design is no different. There is a big leap from desire to acquire with a firearm owner though – they have to consider whether the advantages of changing outweigh the challenges. They have to see light at the end of the tunnel before they will walk into it. The first step into this tunnel needs to be an easy one.
The 204 Ruger offered big advantages over the 223 Remington in velocity and terminal performance. It would be easy to convert a 223 chambered rifle to 204 Ruger. 204 Ruger reloading components were readily available almost immediately after its release and you could use a lot of the same reloading equipment. It was an incredibly easy decision for a lot of shooters to convert their 223 to 204 Ruger or sell their 223 and buy a 204.
Nosler is following this theme. If you look at the 30 Nosler and 33 Nosler, they outperform the 300 and 338 Winchester in velocity, terminal performance and accuracy potential. Many new magnum cartridges, such as the RUM or WSM series of cartridges, require a special action length and magazine sizes to work correctly. But anyone who ones a 300 or 338 Winchester can convert their rifles to chamber these new Nosler cartridges. The 30 Nosler brass is available now, with the 33 Nosler becoming available in a few months. The costs for the firearm owner are very minimal, the advantages great and the caliber change can be completely immediately. It ticks all the boxes.
The 22 Nosler follows this same theme as the rest of the Nosler cartridges. Any anyone who owns a 223 can convert their rifle to take the 22 Nosler with little trouble. The 22 Nosler offers increased velocity and terminal performance benefits.
The cartridge developers at Nosler are very clever. The 6.8 SPC case (which the 22 Nosler is based on) offers increased case capacity to the 223. But it can be difficult to make a 6.8 SPC case work in a 223-chambered rifle due to the case head being larger. So the guys at Nosler created a case with the same head size as 223 but the body of the 6.8 SPC – the same rebated case design that was used to create the 284 Winchester and RUM series of cartridges. No modification to the bolt face is required to convert a 223 Remington to 22 Nosler.
As a result the 22 Nosler out performs the 223 by several hundred feet per second – this will mean the average hunter will be able to hold dead-on for approximately 20% longer distance, meaning more first round hits. It will also increase the BC of the projectiles, meaning less wind drift and more accurate shooting at long range.
What’s even more interesting (in my opinion), is what wildcats are going to come out of the 22 Nosler parent case, being itself entirely unique?
Some people will point out that the 22 Nosler is still outperformed by the 22-250, and they are right. But then the 30 Nosler and 33 Nosler are both outperformed by the 300 Rum and 338 Rum cartridges. If you are chasing the highest velocity possible then the Nosler series of cartridges is probably not for you (excluding the 26 Nosler, which is insane). But if you want an uncomplicated build on a normal action length and diameter that will feed cartridges without major magazine alterations, the Nosler cartridges are a better choice than any case that requires an exotic action.
I’m not predicting Nosler leading a revolution and people asking “what’s a 223 Remington” in 20 years time. But anyone looking to customize their shooting platform and get more performance from their firearm needs to consider any cartridge with the suffix ‘Nosler’.
To find out more about new products for 2017 follow the link.
Follow the link to purchase this custom Nosler brass.