View Full Version : Standard Cartridge Series - 218 Bee

Jay Edward
10-10-2004, 09:23 AM
As it happens NF...the 218 Bee is the next cartridge in this series.

I've known many riflemen that are loyal to this cartridge 'above and beyond'. As a matter of fact, there is a fella, locally, that's been after me to rebarrel his Martini Cadet in this chambering.

I've shot this cartridge a couple of times, even owned a Model 43 in this chambering, but I have no real experience. I'll look to NF to give some commentary.

10-10-2004, 03:26 PM
The 218 Bee is the companion cartridge that I pack when I am shooting the 22 hornet. The Bee is very economical to shoot as long as you reload. Factory ammo is in my opinion very expensive. The gun I use with this cartridge is a Ruger #1 topped with a 6 power Leupold M8 scope. I try to keep my shots on praire dogs within a range of 200 yards, and have found the cartridge to be extremely efficient when utilized in this manner. My particular rifle shoots the 40 grain v-max the best followed by the 40 grain ballistic tip. Surprisingly the cheap 50 grain winchester power point shoots almost as well as the two premium bullets. Since all three bullets produce 10 shot groups under an inch at 100 yards out of my rifle, I choose to reload the cheaper winchester bullet. Given the maximum range that I try to limit myself to there seems to be no real reason to use the more expensive ones for the small gain in accuracy.

I have had the best results using H4198 in this cartridge and use it exclusively at this point. My rifle will allow me to load 14 grains with the 50 grain win and 15.3 grains with the two 40 grain bullets mentioned. I use winchester brass and WSR primers. I am able to seat bullets quite a bit longer since I am using a single shot rifle. The cases have been very durable, and it is an easier round to work with than the hornet, at least for me.

Interestingly enough, both the Hornet and the Bee responded incredibly well to attention given to the primer pocket and the flash hole. Deburring of the flash hole seemed to be a really worthwhile undertaking.

This cartridge is very economical to load with about 500 rounds coming from every pound of powder. Using the cheaper winchester bullet, I can shoot this round for about 11 cents each. An afternoon or weekend spent with the 22 Hornet and the 218 Bee in tow can produce gratifying results with low noise levels and almost no recoil. They are two great calibers to use to introduce the young and the young at heart to the joys of centerfire shooting.

Thanks for including this one in the forum Jay, it is one of my favorites. I like the older cartridges that do just what they were developed to do, and do it well.

10-10-2004, 04:41 PM
NF & Jay,

This is one of my favorite classic cartridges and I have never owned a rifle in this caliber. But I keep lookin'!!!! Had the opportunity to buy but prices were more than I wanted to pay.
Ideal little cartridge for the Martini Cadet.......I rebarreled a Martini Cadet for my cousin but it was the 218 Mashburn Bee........ummmm good! I apologize guys but I could never get warm and fuzzy feelings toward the 22 Hornet......I always thought the Bee was so much better. Doesn't make me right on the matter -- just my biased opinion on the subject. The Bee along with the .222 Remington, 223 and 22-250 just about cover whatever needs to be done when it comes to the 22 caliber centerfires. I could be wrong and it very definitely wouldn't be the first time and for sure----not the last.

Ol' John :rolleyes:

10-11-2004, 12:12 AM
Now now John, don't go and ruin my good oipinion of your taste in general by saying bad things about the Hornet. The Hornet is my favourite rifle in my (very small) collection.

Over here the Bee is virtually unknown while the Hornet is widely used.

Although I have no experience with the Bee, one of the things I like about the Hornet is the much smaller case head which means it fits into really small bolt faces.

The most amazing thing about the Hornet is those Hornady Varmint Master bullets. Can you bvelieve 3200ft/s from my 24" bbl for those 35gr V-max bullets?

I use 10gr of a local powder behind a 45gr SP at 2500ft/s for "general" shooting. I use mostly Sellier & Bellot brass which I find give longer life than the Winchester brass (cases are much thicker). Surprisingly, my rifle also stablise the 60gr Nosler partition. I launch them at only 2200ft/s but this is good for about 180 yards and are good for game in the Impala class.



10-11-2004, 08:10 AM
A fine little cartridge. A friend of mine shoots it thru an old lever gun he's had for many, many years. He recently bought a double action Taurus revolver chambered for this particular round to go with the lever gun. At $40.00 a box for factory ammo, you about gotta reload.

10-11-2004, 10:31 AM
Now now John, don't go and ruin my good oipinion of your taste in general by saying bad things about the Hornet. The Hornet is my favourite rifle in my (very small) collection.


CAmigo, please do not take it that the Hornet is not a good cartridge! I just happen to prefer the 218 Bee. What makes a good cartridge? Does it accomplish what you want it to do? Are you satisfied with ammo availability? If you reload, are components available at a reasonable price? Does the cartridge design lend itself to long case life? If the answer is YES, then its a good (perhaps EXCELLENT) cartridge for your purposes and requirements!!!!

I have not owned either the Hornet or the Bee but I have had the opportunity to shoot both.
The cartridge that I find fills all my expectations and needs is the .223 Remington. Brass & bullet availability is HIGH and COST OF COMPONENTS is LOW!!!!! For coyotes and smaller critters to 250 yards--IT WORKS! For Texas Hill Country deer (125#'s and less) at 125 yards and less...IT WORKS!!! For varmints past 250 yards..my choice is the 6.5x08 Ackley Improved....for Antelope and White-tailed size critters to 350 yards..once again..IT WORKS!!!
These 2 cartridges fulfill all my expectations and applications......so they are my cartridges OF CHOICE!!!!!! It doesn't make them the BEST cartridges by any means for everyone that shoots!

The Hornet is the cartridge that works for you and, evidentally, fills the bill with my definition of a good cartridge for you.......You done good, neighbor!

Ol' John

10-11-2004, 11:41 PM
I was just pulling your leg John. Every-one to his own and there are no wrong decisions!

I have a 220 Swift for longer ranges but out to about 180yards my 22 Hornet does everything I need it to do and reloading it makes for very cheap shooting.

I envy you your 6.5. I am still waiting for my 6.5-06 license application to be processed. It is almost 9 months now (which is standard in our environment).



10-12-2004, 08:06 PM
About 65'
I was in Womeldorf's in McAllen, they had a Win. bolt action .218 Bee with an unknown brand German 4x scope for $35 and a Savage .303 straight stock carbine with receiver sight for $35, I wanted both, but only had enough for one, I took the .303, figuring it would be more useful.
It has been, but I still wish I had the Bee too!