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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, just picked up a rf sedgley 220 swift on a trade today. It is missing the lyman 48 and someone put a reg sight on the barrel. Other than that it is in awesome condition, I would say 80% but after I got it I found out low number serial numbers on the 03 receivers can go boom in the wrong way.. of course I find that after the fact... would it be ok to shoot? also I can find no info on the 220 swift caliber being an option from sedgley but the rifle is about 80 plus years old and it has all the Forrest proof marks.. anyone have any insight on this rifle??
 

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That is a nice find. The 48's are frequently on ebay and par for the course on ebay the prices are all over the place. Be patient I see them all the time including the long slides.
I have long been of the belief that all the guns that were going to blow up did so a long time ago. According to the investigator that dug into the problem I was right. The total failure was 58 out of 1,000,000 and some of the failures were attributed to ammunition. Not the crystallization in the alloy causing the metal to be brittle after improper heat treating. Bear in mind all of that rifle is about 80-90 yrs old not just the receiver. I don't own any long gun newer that 1927. Don't be mean to it or it will get even.:thumbsup:
You really need to read the article I found on the low number receiver question.
Information On M1903 Receiver Failures - M1903.com
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That is a nice find. The 48's are frequently on ebay and par for the course on ebay the prices are all over the place. Be patient I see them all the time including the long slides.
I have long been of the belief that all the guns that were going to blow up did so a long time ago. According to the investigator that dug into the problem I was right. The total failure was 58 out of 1,000,000 and some of the failures were attributed to ammunition. Not the crystallization in the alloy causing the metal to be brittle after improper heat treating. Bear in mind all of that rifle is about 80-90 yrs old not just the receiver. I don't own any long gun newer that 1927. Don't be mean to it or it will get even.

You really need to read the article I found on the low number receiver question.
Information On M1903 Receiver Failures - M1903.com


That was a very interesting read.... so in the past 100 years only 58 or so confirmed receivers failed out of millions.... And also I'm not 100% sure but a 220 swift surely couldn't put out as much psi as a 30-06 Could it?. I have 375$ in it as we speak so a lyman 48 and a replacement hood will be in order ? the only thing that gets me is why was that Winchester style sight added?? Makes no sense to me.. and now that I think about it I have m1924 serb mauser circa 1926 with a wore out bore and pitting on receiver and it has gone bang everytime no problem! But that old war horse is gonna be a wallhanger as she is going on 100! But I plan on taking her to the range here and there and maybe an occasional hunting trip!
 

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If your '03 was made at Rock Island the serial number puts it way above the danger zone. Even if it was made by Springfield I would take the steps I listed. $375 !! Hell the stock is worth more than that. You did good.
The 220 swift is one of my favorite cartridges. I have built several riffles around the round. Pressures can get up in the 50's with the hot loads and higher with the over loads. The concern I would have is the throat and bore erosion. The early 220's got a bad rep for excessive throat and bore erosion. The early rifle barrels weren't really ready for a 4,000fps cartridge. Many shooters merrily shot the throats out of their rifles racing to the target with their bullets. When you begin working up a load you really need to watch that cold barrel spread. I would be surprised it that throat is not shot out. Don't mean to be a damp rag on your find. I have replaced lots of barrels that could not group under 1 1/2 inch a 50 yds. If Popeye will chime in he can tell you more about the barrel problems and possible solutions IF there is a problem.
 

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Yup. That's a nicely made rifle.

Why would someone change the sights? Different people do different things for different reasons. The way the rifle is now is the way it is. As North said, I'd be more worried about a shot out barrel than a missing sight.

Even missing the sight and, maybe, with a shot out barrel $375 is an exceptional price.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The first thing I did when I got my hands on it was pop the bolt out and look at the rifling. I was very impressed, it is very bright and the rifling looks better than most modern rifles I have owned including some ars! I honestly believe this gun has a low round count but there is only one way to find out : ) now if it is shot out as it very well could be, would it be a bad idea to rebarrel it due to it being fairly rare/piece of history??
And North, you raise an excellent point, I honestly don't know if it is a Springer or a rock due to the weaver base mounted over the factory roll marks. All I can see is 'u.s' toward the left side then the rest is covered. I'll pop it off and have a look, it never occurred to me that it could be a rock island
 

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I wouldn't trouble trouble until trouble troubles you. Put some accuracy, varied load recipes, i.e. bullet shape/weight, velocity etc., loads though it. See how it groups with a cold barrel 3-5 round shot string. I would work iron sights at 50-75 yds to get started. It also cuts down on the waking and marking while the barrel cools off. If all the groups are splattered all over the targets then begin worrying about a barrel replacement. You can't just stick any barrel in there. It has to match the current barrels contours. A real pain in the rump but necessary when dealing with a stock like yours.
Please let me know what you come up with. Range report.

 

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You have an excellent point there... going now to see what wally world has ammo wise if anything at all. Have a box of hornady 55gr Imax for it. Gonna see what else I can fine. Will have a range report saturday!! Gonna start at 25 to see if I can hit with it. The rear sight looks about 1/4 inch lower than the front so that could spell trouble right there. Also do I need a specific lyman model 48 or are they all basically the Same? I see ones that say 1903 sprg and mauser action
 

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If you are going to go through the effort to replace it I would go all the way. I have learned, the hard way, to do it right and not regret the out come. Cheaping a rifle like that is like putting a plastic stock on a L.C. or Parker shotgun.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I'm going to shoot it first to see if the barrel is still good and if so I'll restore it the rest the way with a peep and front hood. You seem to have alot of knowledge on these types of rifles as i do not, so my next question will be how much do you think it is worth as it sits now?? Not that im going to sell her but I've seen them in auctions going anywhere from 700 up to 2000 but they were 100% original and in 90% or better condition, but that was several years ago.
 

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I wouldn't venture a guess. I don't appraise a gun I haven't handled. I will say the bidding should start at around $700. You can never tell on collector pieces. If there is a hole in someones collection the sky is the limit. If the market is down $700 is a good sell. Who knows. Guns International is the site I use for retail values I consider it a buy site. Bass Pro, Salter, and many other major retailers market their used collectibles on that site. The Blue book is a waste of time for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
North, Popeye here is the range results. The first two shots were taken at 30 yards (1st pic) had one flyer but that was me, had a horrible rest the whole time and my eyes suck, I need glasses but my pride won't allow it.. Notice the keyholing? The second group was 5 rounds at 75 yards(2nd pic) with two rounds going into the same hole at the bottom left. And My suspicions about the aftermarket sight was correct, it's way too low. Secondly I would attribute the keyholing to under stabilization of the round. I was running 55 gr hornady varmint express poly tipped ammo and according to my research all that was offered when the round first came out in 1935 was a 40 - 50 gr pill. 15 grains dont sound like much but the twist rate (no clue what it is) may not be sufficiently stabilising. But personally I am impressed. I wasn't expecting a 1.7 inch group at 75 yards with a sawhorse bench rest (all my stuff is buried in storage due to moving) I will get some 40gr ammo and do more testing. This old sporter is a joy to shoot! No felt recoil at all! But she is due for a thorough cleaning. And ps it is a springfield action.
 

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Our family has owned .220 Swifts since the 1930s. I own three, all very accurate. If your rifle is "Key Holing" it may have a worn muzzle or damaged crown. It is not uncommon for high velocity rifles to suffer eroded muzzle ends. This occurs when oxygen rushes in to fill the vacuum created by hot gasses behind the bullet. The oxygen and hot gases burn and erode the bore.
The .220 Swift barrel can be chambered and bored up to a .240 Cobra.

https://www.loaddata.com/Cartridge/240-Cobra-PO-Ackley-Data/6357
 
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