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Old August 9, 2009, 12:06 PM   #1
treefarmernc
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22-250 IS good for deer hunting!

I am making this post to clear up some misconceptions about hunting deer with the 22-250 and other similar cartridges. First of all shot placement. I have read in other posts here that shot placement is more important with the 22-250 than compared to other calibers (“has to be in the spine or head shot”). Shot placement for the 22-250 is the same as would be for any other deer hunting caliber. A gut shot is a gut shot weather it is 30-06 or -250. A 22-250 shot to the shoulder region will have the same effect as other calibers.

I keep getting the insinuation that people are thinking of the22-250 as if it is a .22LR rather than as the high powered cartridge that it is, more than capable of killing 140-220lb (the weight range around here) whitetails at distances of up to at least 300 yards.

Another common comment is that if you use a 22-250 you should expect to do a lot of tracking. I have not seen any difference in the amount of tracking with those that use 22-250 or 220 swift as those that use larger calibers. Any deer that I made a decent shot on with my 22-250 did not get much further than 50 yards, most dropping where they stood or close to it. I did have one that was never found due to a gut shot that was a result of me making a hasty shot.

And of coarse I have missed, witch brings me to the only disadvantage of deer hunting with the 22-250. It does take less to deflect the bullet, such as twigs and stout weeds accounting for one of my misses ( I believe). I am a little bias being that my 22-250 is my favorite, but the statements I have made here is due to me having more experience with the use of this caliber for deer than most other people. These experiences come not from just me but a whole county of deer hunters spanning 2-3 decades.

The county I grew up in (here in NC) had a very unusual law stating that no caliber larger than .22 could be used for hunting. This meant the 22-250, 220 swift and .223 was our only options. This law stood until somewhere around 1998-2000 when it was finally changed allowing larger calibers. Most of my hunting took place in this county but I did hunt in other counties, with other hunting clubs, and with larger caliber guns witch counts for what I believe to be a rounded view.

edit:
I would like to add that I suggest that you use at least a 55gr bullet choice or higher. My 22-250 will throw up to a 70 gr accurately. I am getting about 2.5-3" groupings at 200yrds with my Hornady 60gr soft points of witch I mention a few post down. I use an unaltered Remington 700 rifle.
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Old August 9, 2009, 12:17 PM   #2
DaveInPA
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I wouldn't do it, but if you have luck with it, then more power to you.
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Old August 9, 2009, 12:31 PM   #3
olyinaz
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>>>the high powered cartridge that it is, more than capable of killing 140-220lb (the weight range around here) whitetails at distances of up to at least 300 yards<<<

Been one heckuva lot of mammals in the 140-220lb range killed by 5.56! And .22-250 packs quite a bit more punch than good ol' .223 so yes, I don't doubt one bit that it's a perfectly capable white tail deer round.

Would it be my first choice up North? No, but doesn't mean it wont work just fine and frankly here in Tucson with our white tail deer running more like 90-110lbs I'd use my .223 without hesitation were I a deer hunter any longer.

Just curious, what bullet/load or ammo do you generally use for deer in the .22-250?

Regards,
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Old August 9, 2009, 12:33 PM   #4
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i normally use .308 or .06 for my whitetails... have been thinking of using my ruger .223 for the first of my whiteys this year.... would like to use my pet load so far.... 26grains of ram-tac,,, 69 gr hpbt hornady.
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Old August 9, 2009, 01:00 PM   #5
44 AMP
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You are probably going to get some rather heated replies on this one!

It is not "good" for deer hunting. It is adequate, with the right bullet. It is NOT legal for deer hunting in about 80% of the US! Think about that for a moment.

I love the .22-250, its my favorite varmint round. Using a suitable bullet (not a varmint bullet) I could cleanly, humanely take deer, as you have done. But it isn't a good choice, when better (bigger) rounds are legally available, and it isn't a good choice for the less than dedicated hunter/shooter.

The reason most states ban the use of the .22 centerfires for deer is numbers. Numbers of "hunters" that don't take the time and effort to use the correct "deer class" bullet, or to take shots that are simply beyond the capabilities of the round. Result, large numbers of crippled, wounded (and usually lost) deer. It has more to do with the way people use them, than in any lack of capability in the cartridge itself.

I've got a Winchester M70 varmint in .22-250, and with me behind the stock, using ammo suitable, I can take any game animal within 300 yds, including really big deer, even elk, with confidence, because I know my abilities, and my rifle's. But I can't do that legally! And thats why the .22-250 isn't a good choice for deer, most places.

For big game, all .22CF are "experts" guns. Capable of doing the job if expertly used. And capable of failing when not.
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Old August 9, 2009, 01:21 PM   #6
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You are probably going to get some rather heated replies on this one!

It is not "good" for deer hunting. It is adequate, with the right bullet. It is NOT legal for deer hunting in about 80% of the US! Think about that for a moment.

I love the .22-250, its my favorite varmint round. Using a suitable bullet (not a varmint bullet) I could cleanly, humanely take deer, as you have done. But it isn't a good choice, when better (bigger) rounds are legally available, and it isn't a good choice for the less than dedicated hunter/shooter.

The reason most states ban the use of the .22 centerfires for deer is numbers. Numbers of "hunters" that don't take the time and effort to use the correct "deer class" bullet, or to take shots that are simply beyond the capabilities of the round. Result, large numbers of crippled, wounded (and usually lost) deer. It has more to do with the way people use them, than in any lack of capability in the cartridge itself.

I've got a Winchester M70 varmint in .22-250, and with me behind the stock, using ammo suitable, I can take any game animal within 300 yds, including really big deer, even elk, with confidence, because I know my abilities, and my rifle's. But I can't do that legally! And thats why the .22-250 isn't a good choice for deer, most places.

For big game, all .22CF are "experts" guns. Capable of doing the job if expertly used. And capable of failing when not.
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Excellent post, AMP.

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Old August 9, 2009, 01:23 PM   #7
treefarmernc
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I started out using standard 55 gr Remington High Veloc. soft points with satisfactory results. I now have gotten into reloading and use 60gr Hornady soft points with 35gr of IMR 4064. I find that this combination will throw the 60 gr the same as the store bought 55gr at 150-200 yards allowing me to switch between the two if need be.
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Old August 9, 2009, 02:58 PM   #8
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I wouldn't do it, but if you have luck with it, then more power to you.
Nice post, no bashing and level headed.

Quote:
i normally use .308 or .06 for my whitetails... have been thinking of using my ruger .223 for the first of my whiteys this year.... would like to use my pet load so far.... 26grains of ram-tac,,, 69 gr hpbt hornady.
Don’t take this the wrong way but this is why most people should not use a 22 centerfire, they select the wrong bullet!

You can’t use a varmint/target bullet and expect it to perform on larger game, reliably anyway.

I have used a 22-250 for years but have always used Speer’s 70gr semi-spitzer. I take any shot with that cartridge/bullet combination as I would any other. I have dropped deer from 10 - 240+ yards with the 22-250 and the Speer 70 grainer.

Use a 22 centerfire if you want but please always use the correct bullet.

44AMP's post is spot on. We can use it in my state and I happen to have a favorite walking varminter in 22-250 that is a dream to shoot and carry so I often carry it while hunting the fringe of field and wood.
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Old August 9, 2009, 03:08 PM   #9
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ive never killed a deer with my .22-250, but i have killed a number of them with the .222rem and a 50 gr soft point, the same load i used on groundhog, i kept shots under 100 yards, and shot them in he neck or head just to be safe, with the modern bullets like the 60fr partition and 75gr sirocco, i would have no problem using a .22-250 with normal bullet placement.
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Old August 9, 2009, 03:43 PM   #10
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Love the caliber but I leave deer hunting for deer bullets and varmint hunting for varmint bullets, the 22-250 is a great varmint gun. It isn't prohibited in Wisconsin but a 6MM or 25 caliber and above make more sense for the average shooter who only shoots a couple of times a year if that much.
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Old August 9, 2009, 07:07 PM   #11
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Definately not my 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd choice for hunting deer. There are way too many cartridges better suited to the task.
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Old August 9, 2009, 07:14 PM   #12
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I've never owned a .22-250 but if I did, I wouldn't be scared to use it on the whitetails around here. I've use a .223 for many years and it's always worked great for me. The only reason I won't be using the .223 this year is that I finally got my father's old .30-30 that I'll be using.
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Old August 9, 2009, 07:32 PM   #13
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.243 is the smallest I've used on whitetail ,but daddy took manny a deer with a 22-250
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Old August 9, 2009, 07:41 PM   #14
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Past success with a 22-250 does not guarantee future success. Forward looking statements about what has worked in the past are certain to fail in the future. Statistical reversion to the mean is a natural law. I’m thinking, 'Dude, use a bigger gun.'

Last year, I shot a doe with a 235 grain, 50 cal slug, while black powder hunting. She ran, turned uphill and jumped a five foot fence. I was cussing at myself, "How could I blow that shot?" But, about 15 yards beyond the fence (at least 70 yards in aggregate travel) she abruptly fell dead.

I went from thinking I had missed, or foul hit at best, to thinking I had made a weak lung hit - a distal base of a lung lobe, perhaps. But when I field dressed the deer, I discovered I had made a through-and-through hit on the center of the heart. What more could anybody ask for? So why didn't she drop right there?

I'm not saying 50 cal is not enough gun, obviously. What I am saying is that experiences like this have taught me that it is difficult to be over-gunned, and much easier to be under-gunned. While this deer wasn't typical of a deer shot through the heart, how far could this deer have gone with a .22 cal wound? (I understand the improved factors with a 22-250’s expansion and the benefits of velocity, but work with me here.)

There's a statistical axiom in medicine that says 50% of the people who fall from a height of 25' onto a hard surface will die. Adjust the height up or down and the percentages scale accordingly. It is the same for factors determining the suitability of hunting rounds. Excusing exceptions and considering the averages, a bigger round is better.

Personally, I'll stick with bigger stuff for game, because, sometimes, even what seems like it should be substantial over-kill will disappoint. Eventually, what you witness will defeat everything you thought you already knew about the topic. An animal that turns into a marathon runner teaches you nothing if you leave thinking you missed it. The only thing that’s worse is knowing you hit it, but being unable to find it. Game officials understand this because of the unclaimed deer they find lying in the woods - deer that have traveled miles - with a fairly placed hit but not enough bullet. That’s the reason some States exclude the CF .22s for deer size game.
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Old August 9, 2009, 07:47 PM   #15
ken22250
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it is verry eaisy to be overgunned. i have killed pa whitetails with the .375H&H, that is overgunned, am i wrong?
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Old August 9, 2009, 07:47 PM   #16
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>>> Swift 75gr Scirocco <<<

Now yer talkin'!

Oly
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Old August 9, 2009, 07:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
it is verry eaisy to be overgunned. i have killed pa whitetails with the .375H&H, that is overgunned
I'd have to ask if it ran far. If that was the only concern... nope, not over-gunned.
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Old August 9, 2009, 07:59 PM   #18
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I think it all depends on your area of the world. You know the size of the animals you're hunting and hopefully you know how to properly use the equipment you're using, which includes it's limitations.
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Old August 9, 2009, 08:05 PM   #19
ken22250
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no, it didnt move, it was nocked out of it tracks, but it didnt move under its own power. i just wanted to give it a try.
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Old August 9, 2009, 10:11 PM   #20
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Its not just the "power" of the round, its also about bullet weight and weight ratention(sp?) on impact. You also owe it to the animal to make a quick clean kill so why not use a claiber that leave nothing to speculation.
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Old August 9, 2009, 10:32 PM   #21
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Sierra makes a .224 65 gr. Spitzer Boat Tail Game King, I expect you could get 3400 FPS from a 22-250. That has 1085 ft-lbs at 200 yards, and 864 at 300.

It wouldn't be my first choice, but if that was all I had I wouldn't be afraid to use that on a deer, especially CA's scrawny coastal Blacktails.
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Old August 9, 2009, 11:32 PM   #22
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Sure you can shoot a deer with a 223 cal bullet and if everything goes right it will die. Ok, it will reliably kill a Labrador sized white tail. They are very accurate weapons, and with the right bullet it is adequate for small deer, but it doesn't really have tremendous energy, leaves a very small wound channel, which means that this deer will bleed slowly and leave a poor trail to track if not an instant kill. I have no problem with it within its limitations. I believe that all hunters should have ethics concerning their quarry. If you have the right shot, the right shooting experience, the right bullet, the right conditions , you see what I'm getting at here, too many ifs. I'm not saying don't, but I am saying you better get it right everytime or else you're not an ethical hunter, I have a 223 rifle, but here in Montana, year before last, while there are no restrictions on rifle caliber, there were 6 hunters attacked by Grizzly bears that beat them to their kill, if you were carrying a 22-250 you would be bearfood. I hunt mule deer with a 300WBY and with the right bullet it will not blow them half. I'm not sure that I could ethically hunt deer with a 22.
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Old August 9, 2009, 11:55 PM   #23
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A 22-250 shot to the shoulder region will have the same effect as other calibers.....
What bullet have you put thru the shoulder bones of a deer that penetrated the same as other calibers and didn't blow up?
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Old August 10, 2009, 12:27 AM   #24
treefarmernc
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It is not "good" for deer hunting. It is adequate, with the right bullet. It is NOT legal for deer hunting in about 80% of the US! Think about that for a moment.
It is good for whitetail with the right size bullet is a better way to put it. So far as the supposed 80% and what it means to my thread... NOTHING. I talking about the ability of the 22-250 to handle deer effectively, witch I have proven on a fairly large scale.

Quote:
The reason most states ban the use of the .22 centerfires for deer is numbers. Numbers of "hunters" that don't take the time and effort to use the correct "deer class" bullet, or to take shots that are simply beyond the capabilities of the round. Result, large numbers of crippled, wounded (and usually lost) deer. It has more to do with the way people use them, than in any lack of capability in the cartridge itself.
I would suggest that you take the .22 out of that paragraph and then you would be correct. Irresponsibility is a problem no matter what you are shooting. From a slingshot all the way to a 50 BMG, If the person does not use their equipment correctly they will cause more harm than good. To single out only .22 calibers is being extremely short-sighted .

Quote:
But I can't do that legally! And thats why the .22-250 isn't a good choice for deer, most places.
I am not telling people to break the law. If it is against the law to use .22 in your state or area then don’t use it. (Duh!!!) The purpose of this thread is to inform you that the 22-250 WILL kill deer the same as most popular deer calibers with has been proven here with normal healthy sized whitetail deer.

Quote:
For big game, all .22CF are "experts" guns. Capable of doing the job if expertly used. And capable of failing when not.
After reading this last statement it is clear that you did not fully think or read my post through. What I have written is not merely an opinion that I have blindly come up with, but a collaboration of experiences of a very large group of hunters spanding all ages and levels of expertise. IT WAS A LAW that we could not use larger than .22 for deer hunting and not a choice therefore the conclusions were born out of necessity. In the end it is fact that through real world trials and experiences is that the 22-250 is just as capable at deer hunting as any other popular deer hunting caliber. No, this does not include larger game such as bear or elk because I have no experiences with these, but when it comes to white tailed sized game then YES 22-250, 220 swift and even .223 is just as capable as a 30-06.

And buy the way Flatbush Harry, all guns and calibers should be handled expertly and are capable of failing when not.
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Last edited by treefarmernc; August 10, 2009 at 08:01 AM.
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Old August 10, 2009, 12:52 AM   #25
treefarmernc
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What bullet have you put thru the shoulder bones of a deer that penetrated the same as other calibers and didn't blow up?
Buy saying shoulder region I was referring to the front area or kill zone of the deer. And yes, the chance is there for the bullet to explode when hitting bone resulting in the same out come...dead deer. The worst that can happen is having to throw away one shoulder. It is not usually a problem with my 60gr soft points.
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