|The Remington .221 Fireball came out with the Remington XP-100 Pistol. Any time you get a propietory cartridge that has only one gun chambered for it, you have a cartridge that will not be around long. But the pucky little fireball is now chambered in the T/C Contender, Remington's Mdl. 7 and 700, plus Savage has a rifle in that caliber. The cartridge looks just like a .222 cut down aways and loaded with a .224 bullet and a little powder and bang away. The cartridge was the brain child of Wayne Leek, an Engineer at Remington. The decision to use a new rifle action Remington had been working on for a single shot bolt action varmint pistol was something so new that many shooters did not consider the benefits. The bolt action rifle actions are the most accurate and stable platforms one can get. And with it being a single shot there was no cut out in the bottom of the action, which meant of course that the action was solid as a truck. The name of the cartridge was meant to excite and rev up the younger shooter into buying it. But the actual reason for the name had to do with the fact that you was firing a rifle cartridge in a 10 1/2" barrel. The first time I fired a round just at dusk I thought my gun had exploded. Talk about a fireball! If the gun hadn't been so Buck Rogers looking I think they would have sold more of them. On my XP-100 I immediately set to making a replacement thumb hole laminated special custom stock. I love it, I made it to fit my hand and it has just the right balance for me.|
Factory ammunition was sparce, with only one bullet, a 50 gr. pointed softpoint at a published 2,650 fps. The trajectory was a nice tight curve. Midrange trajectory at 100 yards was +.8 inch. With -3.9 inches at 200 yards. And still going 1,800 fps. That this was a good 200 yard varminet round was no argument. But with the round only good for one type of hunting, that limited it's potential and eventually it lagged and then in 1998 it was dropped from Remington's catalog. The XP-100 pistol went on to be chambered for several other better rounds and even got a blind magazine for three shots. And now you must reload to shoot your XP's and that doesn't bother the die hard owners. They have been hand loading from the start, even though factory ammo was even cheaper than most .22 centerfire ammo.
Brass can still be bought and any .22 cal bullet will work. But after the larger calibers came out in the Rem. XP-100 a lot of old Fire Ball guns were rebarreled for larger caliber cartridges. So finding one in the original .221 might be hard. My gun is not for sale. LOL