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Old April 4, 2014, 12:00 AM   #1
tdoyka
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22-250 ai

i'm currently thinking of a new gun barrel for my encore. i have a 16 1/4" mgm barrel in 20 vartarg, but i would like something a little better. tc encore in 27" mgm barrel in a 22-250 ackley improved, with a rifle twist of 1 in 8" or 9". bullets should be 60-75gr. groundhogs, cotoyes, and foxes will be on the menu from 250-400 yards, 20 vartarg gets out to 250yds. the 22-250ai will be better than the 220 swift because of brass and dies. is this all right? i'm disabled from a stroke, so excuse me if i messed something up
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Old April 4, 2014, 04:10 AM   #2
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Standard .22-250 will get you to 400 just fine, without the expense of custom AI dies and having to run heavy for caliber bullets. Not that I think you'll go wrong with the fast twist AI if that's what you really want.
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Old April 4, 2014, 05:28 AM   #3
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The only problem with the regular .22-250 is case-stretching. The AI version has a more abrupt shoulder that cures the excessive stretching. I didn't do it to my Remington 700 because it shot so well and didn't want to screw that up.
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Old April 4, 2014, 07:58 AM   #4
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To each, his own BUT, I've shot a standard 22/250 for 35 years and don't see much problem with the cartridge. Yes, the cases stretch a little but trimming is no big deal. As far as gaining performance: I doubt much is gained w/o going over normal pressures.
Unless you're willing to torch a barrel every 2000-2500 rounds, the 22/250 is not a high volume, rapid fire round so handling cases isn't that difficult. I used to shoot 20-30 per week during coyote hunting and reload the same 100 cases every month.
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Old April 4, 2014, 08:53 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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.22-250AI is a cool cartridge. I've thought of doing one myself. My reason, though, is pure speed. There's no real world advantage over the .22-250, especially if you're going to be shooting much. The AI is going to eat your barrel for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I load the ordinary .22-250 with 35gr Nosler LFs and get over 4,400fps in a 24" barrel. It's "hold on fur" to 330+ yards on woodchucks.

If I did the AI, I'd do a long barrel, 32"+, and go for 5,000fps and I wouldn't do fast twist. Check JBM Ballistics Calculator and see if you can find a bullet that shoots flatter and has less drift out to 400 than a warp speed 35gr. If you do, it won't be by much (insignificant). Plus, the difference between 1:8 or 9 and 1:12 or 14 is going to be a couple hundred fps.

Long answer short, go AI if you want but the ordinary .22-250 (and the lower recoil, quieter .204Ruger) would do everything you need out to 400, easy.
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Old April 4, 2014, 09:44 AM   #6
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A normal 22-250 with a 1:8 or 1:9 twist barrel will handle heavy pills beautifully.

No need for ultra blazing speed, anything over 3,000 fps with a 75/77 gr bullet is plenty. Reloading data can be a bit sparse for the heavy pills though.

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Old April 4, 2014, 01:31 PM   #7
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As others have said, loading heavy bullets in a 22-250AI is a wildcatting exercise, there is little loading data available. That said, there are several people I know who use 22-250AI and heavy bullets for long-ish range shooting (F Class) very successfully. I have been shooting a 22-250 for over 30 years, and I see little to gain out to 400-500 yds. If I wanted a long-range 22-caliber centerfire cartridge to launch heavy-for-caliber bullets, I would go with a 22 Middlestead or one of the 22-6mm variants (like the Texas Trophy Hunter (TTH) or .224 Newton) with a fast-twist barrel. They will actually shoot well out to and beyond 1,000 yds if you are capable. Just be aware that barrel life is pretty short when you start launching small caliber bullets in front of large quantities of powder. If, on the other hand, I wanted an accurate, low-recoil 400-yds varminting rig, I would lean towards the 20-caliber rifles like the 204 Ruger.
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Old April 4, 2014, 04:34 PM   #8
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Hey the way I see it, you only go round once, might as well get what you want. I wouldn't go over a 24 or maybe 26" in length with the barrel though. Once you get much over that range they start to get a bit cumbersome to get around.

I have a 25-06 AI I had built and I used a 28" finished length barrel on it. Oh yea it will reach out there and touch something really good too. I shoot the bulk Remington 120gr CL as my main bullet and reaching 3350fps with it is pretty easily done. I haven't even tried anything lighter in it over the 4-5 years I have had it going, but I bet it would really rock some 100gr Ballistic Tips out there. I bet they would make a splash when they hit something as well.
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Old April 4, 2014, 11:20 PM   #9
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the 22-250ai will go around twenty or so years. the first year will probaly get around 200-250 rounds and then 50-60 rounds a year. the barrel will be .810" and won't be able to shoot it very often. the 20 vartarg and the 223rem take care out to 300 yards. the brass won't have to trim very often, and dies won't be a problem either. what should your choices be, from 60-75gr? and what twist should i get?
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Old April 5, 2014, 05:39 AM   #10
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The trouble I've found with hot .22-250 and other cartridges using .224 bullets at ranges beyond 300 yards is not trajectory, but wind deflection.

A couple of us chose the .22-250 Rem for several uses, including killing lots of critters under 300 yards and for informal target matches. We really liked the accuracy and flat trajectory. It even killed a couple of deer for me, using solid-based bullets. However, hunting rolling grassy terrain for woodchucks, misses weren't as visible as the larger/heavier bullets from the deer rifles we started out with...mostly .30-06s.

I switched to 6mm Rem and .243 Win, using 85-90 grain bullets to hold better in spring winds here in Central Maine. Results were good and bullets more frangible than those we used in the '06, reducing chance for ricochets. Misses were somewhat more visible than those from the .22-250.
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Old April 5, 2014, 05:54 AM   #11
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Well here is what I have learned, which may or may not help you out with your decisions or not.

First off, just because you look at the manufacturers recommended twist doesn't necessarily always mean that a particular weight will not shoot good with a particular twist. Length has more to do with the accuracy than weight does. Granted you can have two identical weight bullets, but if one is a match type HP and the other is a lead tipped, the lead tipped one will be shorter and can usually be made to shoot over a wider range of twist, if that makes sense.

Another thing is, that just because you are putting in more powder, it doesn't necessarily mean your going to get more velocity due to it. That is a balancing act as with some powders the more you use the hotter they burn which results in a quicker rise in pressure. So if your using XYZ-2225 in a standard 22-250 and getting say 3350 form a particular amount, it doesn't necessarily mean you can just add more of it and get 3550 from the AI version. Usually you will have to go to a slightly slower burning powder to make up for the added volume to keep the peak pressures lower. Faster twist means more pressure, and it builds faster as well.

With my 25-06 AI with a 1-9 twist 5C Broughton, I quickly found that my standard powder RL-22 for the regular version was a bit fast when I got up over the loads I normally used. I couldn't reach the same velocities, without hitting pressure issues. However switching to Ramshot Magnum, I am able to get more than enough velocity without seeing the pressures spike up like they did with RL-22.

If and when you build your rifle, build it based upon a selection of weights and lengths, and try and pick a compromise. While you might be initially looking for a twist that will shoot the 70gr weights, you might also consider going slightly faster if possible. In other words you might find the 70gr bullet selection is a bit limited, but find that 80gr bullets have a wider selection of not only brands but also types. So if your on the ragged edge of getting the 70's to stabilize the 80's probably won't at all. On the flip side however, going to this faster twist, can with some bullets actually rip the jackets apart at the higher velocities, depending on how they are built, or based upon what type of rifling you have. A 3 groove will not be as easy on them as say a 4 or 5 groove, and standard rifling will be harder on them than say a canted land or polygonal. Just that some jackets are thinner and more fragile when considering the varmint type which are designed to virtually explode on impact. I have also seen this to be true when pushing conventional weight and caliber J-4 jacketed bullets to higher than normal velocities down a rough or tight twist barrel. Of course if you throw in some of the solid copper types like Barnes or the newer ones from other brands, then everything changes. However just because those type will shoot great doesn't mean the standard cup and core types will handle it. Like I said it is a balancing act, and only you can determine what your end goals will be.

This link will help out a lot with figuring out what might work best for you, Barrel FAQ

Also before spending a dime, it will pay big to contact and speak with a couple of different barrel manufacturers about your plans and see what they recommend and why. Trust me when I say, they know what works and won't work, but they will build you anything you wish to spend your money on.

One last thing to consider, velocity isn't everything. Myself, I compromised on my twist to enable me to shoot a heavier custom made bullet which is longer and heavier than the standard 120gr heavy weights which are factory made. That said, had I gone with a standard 1-10 twist, I could probably reach another 100+fps before hitting any pressures that I see with the 1-9. Even so I still accomplished my goal with getting higher velocity than I could with my standard 25-06 using standard weight bullets. As it is, it shoots VERY flat out to over 350yds, and is 1/2 to 3/4" accurate out to 300yds with the 120gr bullets and the load I have worked up. I might should have gone with the standard twist, but I am not fretting over what I have in the least.

Hope this helps.
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Old April 5, 2014, 08:30 AM   #12
old roper
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tdoyka, gunsmith that build my rifles builds lot of the 22-250 and 22-250AI for local PD shooters. They get 28" barrels 7/800 rds some have the barrels set back new chamber cut others just burn the barrels out.

They have twist rate calculators
http://www.jbmballistics.com/ballist.../lengths.shtml
http://www.bergerbullets.com/litz/TwistRuleAltWP.php

For the AI I use parent case max velocity for bullet I want to use.

I have Berger manual they have lot of data for 22-250 with 64 to 75gr bullets if that's range you want to stay at they go from 30gr to 90gr.

I would run ballistic first find out what work they decide.
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Old October 13, 2015, 05:57 PM   #13
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I had a 22-250 ai built on a ruger 77 action. 1-7.7 bartlein heavy barrel. I'm shooting squirrels at 550 with no problems and beyond 1000yds at 12in rocks. 80 gr Berger vld's with 40 grains of 4831. She's a laser!
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