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Old December 24, 2011, 07:34 PM   #1
gringojosh
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.223 vs 22-250 at long range?

Hi, I'd like to know which is the better round for shooting further than 400 yards. Will I see any difference in performance between the two rounds at distances of 600-800 yards? Just wondering for the occasional long-range shoot which would be the better round. (Bolt action for both)
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Old December 24, 2011, 08:09 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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A 22-250 will launch a 50gr bullet at 3900+ fps, 223 will launch the same bullet at about 3,500 fps.

A 22-250 will launch a 35gr bullet at 4,450+ fps, the 223 will launch the same bullet at about 3,800 fps max.


To achieve an 800 yard zero with the 50gr, the 22-250 will be 93 inches high at 600 yards. The 223 would have to be 117 inches high.

With the 35gr and 800 yard zero, the 22-250 would be 62 inches high at 600 while the 223 would be 89 inches high.

The 35gr bullet from the 22-250 would drift 108 inches at 800 yards in a 10mph cross-wind. The same bullet from 223 would drift 132 inches.


The above is your "long answer". The short answer is that there's absolutely no question which round has better ballistics at ANY range. Ballistics is rarely the only concern, but if it is, the 22-250 wins easily.
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Old December 24, 2011, 10:30 PM   #3
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The .22-250 would be "better" based purely on case capacity and velocity potential.

However! You're more likely to find a .223/5.56 set-up with a fast twist barrel (1-8 or 1-8) for tossing the heavier .224" bullets, say the 75-80gr match bullets. These bullets are far superior to any little 55gr pill past 300 yards, as they have higher ballistic coefficients. They bleed speed more slowly and resist wind better.

I've never seen a .22-250 on the line of a Highpower match, and I've seen pleny of other creations used. My guess is that whatever the .22-250 might offer, it isn't worth the trade-off in barrel life, muzzle-blast and powder consumption to a target shooter. If somebody is using a case that big, it's with a 6mm or a 6.5mm, which is better yet for downrange ballistics.

(FWIW, I compete in NRA and CMP matches with an AR-15 Service Rifle, .223-caliber, out to 600 yards. When the day comes and I "upgrade" it will probably be to a 6mm match rifle.)
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Old December 24, 2011, 10:43 PM   #4
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Hands down the 22-250 is a better round out past 400yds. With the right twist and heavier 77-80 gr. bullets the round will do well out past 1000 yds. If I am not mistaken,( and I'm sure someone here will correct me if I'm wrong) the 22-250 is the tactical round for the guys out in Aussie land. Down side is increased throat erosion, but nothing is free. Depending on how many rounds you send downrange, that may never enter the picture.
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Old December 24, 2011, 10:56 PM   #5
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I agree when talking long range there is on comparison the extra powder and speed of the 22-250 makes launching 90gr projectiles not a bad idea.
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Old December 24, 2011, 10:57 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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While the .22-250 is the larger case with higher velocity potential, few if any of the guns have a fast rifling twist for the heavy, high BC bullets you need at ranges above 400 yards.

Something like a Tikka T3 with 8" twist .223 barrel shooting 75-80 grain bullets would do just fine at 600 yards.

To do better with a .22-250 would take a custom barrel installation.
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Old December 24, 2011, 11:00 PM   #7
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compare

So....if I read this correctly, what is being said is that when shooting the same weight bullets from barrels with the same rifling twist rate, the 22-250 is a better long range cartridge.
Correct?
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Old December 24, 2011, 11:04 PM   #8
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Yes.. .223 wins in price, availability, recoil (), and if you want a AR in 5.56. Ballistically as said above 22-250 hands down.
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Old December 24, 2011, 11:28 PM   #9
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If shooting for long range, why are you limiting yourself to 223 or 22-250. Of those two the 22-250 would win. But what about the 6mmBR, 243, 257, 260 or 270?


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Old December 24, 2011, 11:49 PM   #10
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Jim makes a reasonable statement. But some people do just like what they like. Alot of people ask me why i want my primary .308 to be a 18", basically the answer is because I can. Plus i just like more maneuverability with the rifle and OAL length will become longer with a 9" suppressor added.
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Old December 25, 2011, 12:36 AM   #11
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Most 22-250 have 1/14 twist barrels vs what used in the 223. I know some that had 22-250 build with 1/8 and 1/7 twist barrels as varmint rifles and they shot those barrels out pretty quick. some when back to the 1/14 twist for the 22-250/22-250AI some build 6Br cases like that for the VLD bullets.

I've never looked at the 22 cal for LR and all my 22 cal are varmint rifles and since I would have something build just better calibers. If your looking a factory rifles best choice be the 223 find the right barrel twist for the bullets you want to use.

I don't shoot the 22-250 anymore I'm shooting the 22BR with 1/14 twist barrel and my new 223 has a Kreiger 1/14 twist barrel.
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Old December 25, 2011, 02:19 AM   #12
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In common hunting rifles the 22-250Rem is the winner as far as trajectory.

If ya wanna talk custom guns, different calibers, twist rates.... we could be here for a while lol.
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Old December 25, 2011, 03:59 AM   #13
Jezz
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my rule of thumb,

inside 300yards you will get away with using a .223, but further on then that ill be reaching for the 250 or bigger
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Old December 25, 2011, 06:28 AM   #14
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This topic is a pet peeve of mine, as another error in the gun culture. Even before there was a www, there were guys posting on the usenet that the 223 was a 200 yard gun and the 22-250 was a 400 yard gun. This is unqualified non sense.

The factory 22-250 rifles have a slow twist rate, typically one turn in 14", and the factory ammo is make with the weak 1889 7.65x53mm Mauser case head built with a large Boxer primer. The 22-250 Rem is registered with SAAMI at 65kpsi and with those large Boxer primer pockets, it can be handloaded to 67 kpsi.

While a .223 may be registered with SAAMI at 55kpsi, is good for 75 kpsi with handloads for an individual rifle and still have long brass life.

So using the bullets the factory 22-250 will shoot, and running at the pressures that allow long brass life, the 22-250 has the ability to push a 50 gr Vmax at 3966 fps

Meanwhile a 223 with the same bullet and barrel length and long brass life constraints, will do 3700 fps.

A 50 gr Vmax slows down from 3966 fps to 3700 fps in 50 yards.

That does not mean that the 22-250 has a full 50 yards more range, just that much more velocity.

Now, if one re barrels a rifle to 22-250 with a fast twist barrel, 22-250 chamber, and uses Lapua 308 palma cases [small primer pocket] sized down to 22-250 and the necks turned, then at 90kpsi and with a 90 gr VLD bullet at 3283 fps.

The 223 with the same constraints gets 2781 fps.

A 90 gr VLD slows down from 3283 to 2781 fps in 280 yards.

What does it all mean?
A) With the kind of 22-250 I have, and the kind of 223s I have, like 99% of the other handloading guys working up loads to the threshold of long brass life and then backing off a safety margin, the 223 is with in 50 yards of the 22-250.
B) But theoretically, 1% of the guys out there, might get 280 yards advantage.
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Old December 25, 2011, 07:32 AM   #15
gringojosh
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Thanks everyone for the advice. My primary reason for looking at these two calibers was to have a varmint rifle that will double as a target rifle, so I stuck with the most common "varmint" rounds. But if the rifle weighs 10 pounds, maybe it's just as easy to move up to .243 or .308. I've only shot lightweight hunting rifles so I don't know much about target guns.
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Old December 25, 2011, 01:18 PM   #16
old roper
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here something the 22-250

http://www.accurateshooter.com/cartridge-guides/22-250/
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Old December 25, 2011, 01:55 PM   #17
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P-990, not too many years ago we had a guy who was shooting high power with 22-250 in a modified M1 Garand. He shot very well on the reduced 200 yard course.

Gringojosh, the operative word in you Q is 'occasional', so the correct answer might be, which ever one you happen to be shooting at the moment. Without knowing what terminal ballistics you will require, e.g., pop can, p-dog, paper target, dirt clod, etc., it is difficult to suggest what is 'best'. Work out your ballistics tables for each rifle that you have, then go have at it.
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Old December 25, 2011, 02:54 PM   #18
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My limited experience with prairie dogs is that there were plenty of targets inside of 300 yards. To shoot beyond that is based on deliberate intent, and thus one should have a rifle specifically set up for that purpose. Such a rifle is not a carry-around "light plinker" or walking-hunting rifle.

For target shooting on an occasional basis, 600 to 800 yard shooting requires "more scope than gun", in a sense. Most any faster-twist .223 and heavier bullets will do okay in even a light sporter, so long as the rifle is inherently accurate and the number of shots in a slow-fire string is no more than five or so.

For deliberate target shooting at 800 yards, more velocity is better. More consistency in group size due to shorter travel time of the bullet. I don't recall any specifics, but having the bullet's velocity remain above the speed of sound is important. Factors here include barrels around 26", twists suitable for the heavier target bullets, and suitable powder capacity of the case.
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Old December 25, 2011, 05:23 PM   #19
gringojosh
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Think I'm gonna go .243 Winchester with a 100-grain bullet.
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Old December 25, 2011, 09:41 PM   #20
Art Eatman
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Sorta casually in passing, I've read of guys getting very good results, very tight groups, from .243s at Ma Bell distances. Might have to do some Google searching for info. Haven't read much about that, here at TFL or over at THR.
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Old December 25, 2011, 09:56 PM   #21
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I think the reason you don't see the 22-250 in fast twist rates is that the lighter bullets would probably spin apart when driven that fast.
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Old December 25, 2011, 10:14 PM   #22
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One of the best 'past 400' sporters I ever shot was my late nephew's 700 Sendero in 7 Mag, using 100 grain bullets.

That said, I've shot a couple of 700's in 22-250 at 350+ that were capable of taking the cap off a detergent jug, if the shooter pulled his load.
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Old December 26, 2011, 09:36 PM   #23
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There are much better rounds for over 400 yards than either BUT the 22/250 is the winner of the two in the field. In real life, you may not have a chance to use a range finder and the flatter trajectory of the 22/250 at longer range gives a wider range of "hold on the brown".
I've made quite a few hits at 1/4 mile(440 yards) with a 22/250 but don't even try if I'm using a .223. If the distance is off by just a few yards, a miss is assured plus wind drift is greater with the .223.
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Old December 27, 2011, 06:32 AM   #24
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22-250
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