The .221 Remington Fireball is a centerfire rifle cartridge introduced by Remington Arms Company in 1963. It was originally developed for the XP-100 bolt-action pistol, which was a specialty firearm designed for handgun hunting and long-range shooting. The .221 Fireball is based on a shortened .222 Remington case, which accommodates a .22 caliber (5.7mm) bullet.
The .221 Fireball is known for its high velocity, flat trajectory, and low recoil, making it a popular choice for varmint hunting and target shooting. The cartridge offers impressive performance in a compact package, with typical bullet weights ranging from 40 to 55 grains and muzzle velocities between 2,700 and 3,200 feet per second, depending on the load.
While it was initially designed for the XP-100 pistol, the .221 Fireball has also been chambered in various rifles, particularly those intended for varmint hunting. The cartridge’s performance characteristics make it well-suited for hunting small game, predators, and varmints at moderate ranges. The .221 Fireball has a dedicated following among varmint hunters and competitive shooters, though it is not as popular or widespread as cartridges like the .223 Remington or .22-250 Remington.