.219 Zipper

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A photo of the .219 Zipper, a Winchester-created cartridge made by necking down the .30-30 Winchester to accept a .2245 caliber bullet. The Winchester Model 64 was their only rifle to be chambered in this round. Photo sourced from iCollector.com.

The .219 Zipper cartridge was created by Winchester Repeating Arms in 1937 to be used in their Model 64 rifle. It is a 30-30 Winchester cartridge necked down to accept a .22 caliber bullet (actually .2245 caliber). Marlin Firearms also offered their Marlin Model 336 rifle chambered for the cartridge.

While the .219 Zipper was supposed to compete against other varmint cartridges of the time, most lever-action rifles use tube magazines, which prohibit the use of a pointed spitzer-style bullet. This meant problems with accuracy. Winchester stopped producing .219 Zipper ammunition in 1962, Remington Arms stopped production of the cartridge soon afterwards.

Although flat or round-nosed projectiles cause rapid loss of velocity, the .219 Zipper is a fast-moving cartridge and is suitable for small game or varmints, including coyotes, and even deer and wolves if loaded with a heavier 55 grain bullet, according to Frank Barnes in his book Cartridges of the World. He also notes that it works well in guns designed to fire rimmed ammunition, such as rebarreled Steyr-Mannlicher M1895s or Lee–Enfields, but not in Mauser-type actions, which are not designed for this purpose. However, Winchester's Model 70, also a Mauser-type action, had been successfully adapted to semi- and fully-rimmed cartridges, such as the .220 Swift and the .219 Zipper.


The .219 Zipper is the parent case of the .219 Donaldson Wasp. Also, P.O. Ackley created the .219 Zipper Improved in 1937. Leslie Lindahl's Chucker and Super-chucker and "wildcat" case modifications by Hervey Lovell, Lysle Kilbourne, and W. F. Vickery offered similarly superior ballistics in stronger single-shot and bolt action firearms according to Charles Landis in his 1947 book Twenty-Two Caliber Varmint Rifles (Small Arms Technical Publishing Company p.60).


Bullet Weight / Type Muzzle Velocity Muzzle Energy
46 gr. (~2.98 G) Speer flat-nosed 3,220 ft/s (980 m/s) 1,059 ft lbs (1,436 J)
50 gr. (~3.24 G) Hornady SX spire point 3,194 ft/s (974 m/s) 1,133 ft lbs (1,536 J)
55 gr. (~3.56 G) Nosler Spitzer boat tail 3,097 ft/s (944 m/s) 1,172 ft lbs (1,589 J)

NOTE: The ballistics data above are for maximum loads, as determined by the writers for Accurate Arms. This was based upon the Winchester Model 64 rifle being chambered in .25-35 WCF and .30-30 Winchester rather than SAAMI specifications.

Cartridge Specs & Dimensions

  • Parent case: .30-30 Winchester
  • Case type: Rimmed
  • Bullet diameter: .2245 in (5.70 mm)
  • Neck diameter: .253 in (6.4 mm)
  • Shoulder diameter: .365 in (9.3 mm)
  • Base diameter: .422 in (10.7 mm)
  • Rim diameter: .506 in (12.9 mm)
  • Rim thickness: .063 in (1.6 mm)
  • Case length: 1.938 in (49.2 mm)
  • Overall length: 2.260 in (57.4 mm)
  • Case capacity: 34 gr H2O (2.2 cm3)
  • Rifling twist: 1 in 14 in (360 mm)
  • Primer type: large rifle
  • Maximum pressure: 42,000 psi (290 MPa)

Other Information


  • Barnes, Frank C., ed. by John T. Amber. ".219 Zipper", in Cartridges of the World, p.9. Northfield, IL: DBI Books, 1972. Cartridges of the World

Charles S. Landis - "Twenty-Two Caliber Varmint Rifles" - Page 60

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