.220 Russian?

Is this a .220 Russian?

It is a CWS case headstamped “T” at 12 o’clock and “65” at 6 o’clock. OAL is 38.6mm. Inside neck diameter is approx 5.5mm.

By look, headstamp and measurement, I would say it is a .220 Russian - a cartridge designed primarily for the Running Deer Match in international competitions. When they first few showed up years and years ago, many of us thought it was the Russian’s answer to the “new” .223 Remington, and that because of the dated case, it was a pure military cartridge.

Cheers John, I’ll record it a a Tula 1966 .220 Russian.


While that cartridge is commonly called a 220 Russian it is more correctly a 5.6 x 39mm. The 220 Russian headstamps did not appear until SAKO and LAPUA started making the case and I believe the only Russian made cases or cartridges so headstamped are the very late ones.


Ray - one can argue that the latest designation most widely used on headstamps now, including Russian (or the very few I have seen, anyway), represents the most correct designation-usage. I’m not making a statement in favor of either usage over the other, just pointing out that the .220 designation has been more widely used, and that even the Russians have headstamped ammunition in that way. Most of the other Russian headstamps have simply the manufacturer’s designation and a date. I don’t recall seeing any headstamp using the 5.6 x 39 designation, although this is out of my field (although I have had a lot of these go thru my hands), and it probably does exist with that headstamp caliber-designation.


What you said is correct.

I was only telling Falcon that his particular case, manufactured in 1965, would have been designated a 5.6 x 39 at the time it was made. To me, it would be sorta like calling a T65E3 cartridge a 7.62 NATO or, worse yet, a 308 Winchester.

There are SAKO, LAPUA, and Russian (Tyva) cases that are headstamped 220 Russian but they are all later made. There are also LAPUA and Russian (Tn3) cases headstamped 5.6 x 39. I believe that all of the Russian made cases are steel while all of the Finnish cases are brass.

The Russian cases are outside of my area of interest also. I’ve done more research on the Finnish cases because of my interest in Benchrest and their connection with the 22 and 6mm PPC wildcats. It’s interesting that the straight 220 Russian case and one necked up to 6mm are gaining in popularity among Benchrest shooters. It appears that they shoot just as well without changing the shoulder angle or eliminating the body taper as is done to make PPC brass. Maybe the original 5.6 x 39 design was a good one afterall.


Entendido! You are totally correct in context of your intended usage. Sorry, I misunderstood the limitation of the designation-usage intended. And what, you don’t like it when people say “I gotta M1A that uses 30 NATO bullets.”? You should work in a gun shop for 38 years and answer requests like “Gimme some bullets for my A.C.P. caliber pistol,” or “I want some .30 caliber ammunition for my gun.” What type of gun sir? “I don’t know, but it shoots the 30 caliber stuff.”