View Full Version : .22-250 capabilities

Irish B
February 18, 2012, 08:16 PM
What's the largest thing you would feel comfortable taking cleanly with a .22-250? What's the smallest thing you would feel comfortable taking without annihilating?

February 18, 2012, 09:57 PM
Have taken hogs just over 300 lbs, 170lb. deer.
Small game groundhog if they're far enough away.
If inside 100yds. its a mess but the buzzards still like them.:D

February 18, 2012, 10:06 PM
I shoot a 220, which is about the same thing. If you use the right bullet (Nosler Partition or its equal) you can shoot pigs and deer, but that really isn't a good caliber for that use, but yes you can do it. As for small stuff, I shot a crow once and mostly all that was left was a cloud of feathers.

February 18, 2012, 10:19 PM
I would say coyotes would be the largest. I would not worry about overkill.
I would use the .22-250 on anything I was not gonna eat.
I have heard of elephants killed with 22 rimfire but it is just not the right caliber. For hogs and deer I would want a .243 at least and would prefer a .270.

February 19, 2012, 11:51 AM
Largest = coyotes. Smallest "without" annihilating = coyote. .22-250 sure can make a mess of fox.


February 19, 2012, 07:10 PM
I hail from Montana, and we have big bodied deer here. My ex-wife shot a mulie with a .257 Roberts 100gr bullet @ 2900fps, that weighed 218lbs field dressed. I shot a whitetail last year that dressed out at 208lbs. Her .257 felled her buck just as instantly as my '06.

I would not hesitate to use a .22-250 with heavy for caliber bullets. I would keep my shots under 300yards, and my angles within 45 degrees of broadside. IF YOU HIT THE VITALS, IT WILL DIE IN SHORT ORDER. Short of poor bullets or bad hits, there is no refuting this simple truth. Many deer, antelope, and even elk (for which I call .270 a practical minimum) that "get away after a perfect hit" were not hit so perfectly after all, but pride and testosterone will not let the hunter admit it.

There is a chamber adapter that will allow you to shoot .22lr at rabbits, but failing that you should use lightly loaded fmjs with head shots for small game. If you hit meat, well...KA-BOOM!

Pelt hunters out here (I know a few pros) differ between light HPs for no exit wounds, and FMJs for small holes.

I met a local man with a detatched retina who uses a .223 for elk, but he gets within 100yards and basically "bowhunts with a rifle", but I think this would be pushing the fast .22s a bit too far, especially if one has better options.

February 20, 2012, 07:31 AM
I question why you're concerned about the 22/250 destroying a smaller varmint animal. Few if any hunters eat stuff like groundhogs, rock chucks, or prairie dogs. In most cases the detructive damage is a plus as it lessens the chance of a critter dragging off to die under someones porch or barn.
While I've shot deer with a 22/250 and killed them cleanly, I don't consider it an appropriate or even adequate deer round. Sooner or later a bullet won't hit just where it should or at the perfect angle and the kill won't be quick or clean. There are so many better deer cartridges that only the odd occasion would permit the use of the 22 centerfires for deer.
I'm sure there will be some snotty comeback on this opinion but I stand by it. Really, if you can't handle a suitable cartridge, don't brag about being inadequate.

February 20, 2012, 12:45 PM
I'm in the 'yote' group, for the largest animal with the 22-250 in this area.

Course, not to many mt. lions around these parts but it may be a descent rd for them. The cat hunters can chime in on that one.

February 20, 2012, 01:45 PM
I know the 22-250 will kill deer,however for my choice coyote size game will be the largest I hunt with my 22-250. The smallest game any varmint that's at the wrong place at the wrong time :D

February 20, 2012, 03:51 PM
But my close friend shot a 17 point buck that scored 193 7/8 with a 22-250. Neck shot at 200 yards.

February 20, 2012, 04:11 PM
I would agree with the coyote\coyote answer. Although if you are interested in selling the pelt the 22-250 is almost on the overkill side, you are better off with a 220 swift or even a 223. But it is fun to see a prarie dog get launched in the air by a 22-250 and a balistic tip.

Art Eatman
February 20, 2012, 04:56 PM
Er, uh, the Swift and the .22-250 are basically identical, as far as velocity. :D

February 20, 2012, 11:02 PM
M previous post aside, I do think that proper deer rifles are .25 caliber and up. The key to killing deer cleanly with a fast .22 is...restraint.

February 21, 2012, 10:38 AM
All bout the bullet you use. A 60gr nolser partition on deer=fresh meat. That same bullet on a fox big mess. I use 55 gr nosler ballistic tips for fox and b-cats to save hides, 99.9 % of the time there is no exit with the ballistic tip even on foxes.

Art Eatman
February 21, 2012, 05:39 PM
The R&D in bullet technology, these recent dozen or so years, has made the centerfire .22s become far more useful for larger critters. They're no longer limited to "just varmint-sized critters". Even so, I still feel that bigger is better, generally--particularly on angling shots.

February 22, 2012, 01:03 AM
Well said Art. I also second Logan's choice of a fairly tough, heavy-for-caliber bullet. I would, in fact, go heavier still. Dead is, however, dead.

February 22, 2012, 01:54 AM
I wouldn't hesitate killing a whitetail with a 22-250. Have killed around ten the last three or four years with a 223. All head shots, bullet finds the weakest part of skull and looks like a baseball came out of skull when it exits. Just got a 22-250 about 2 months ago. Got it dialed in on reloads and looking for a varmit or a hog in a day or two.

phil mcwilliam
February 22, 2012, 07:28 AM
My first centerfire rifle was a Sako 22-250, back around 1980. I live in Australia. I've used my 22-250 successfully on mice, starlings, rats, crows, rabbits, hares, foxes, dingoes, kangaroos, goats, pigs, fallow deer, red deer & waterbuffalo. Back then I didn't have a choice so the 22-250 was used for everything.
I've found the 22-250 a little destructive of anything smaller than hares, & chest shots suitable for dropping animals the size of pigs. Once you start getting into deer sized animals & above you must make surgical precision shots on game in order to humanely kill with a 22-250, & you must be prepared to pass on taking an animal if no shot presents itself.

February 22, 2012, 08:50 AM
We here in the North East are forced to "Bow hunt" with a rifle. I would use a ballistic tip bullet just like in my .223 and never worry about it for deer. West Virginia hunting regulations : a 25 caliber or larger rim fire is legal for deer . What do you think of that next to a 22-250?

February 22, 2012, 09:21 AM
well my brother in law takes his 250 out for deer and I use 223(which many consider inferior) for deer so I would say that would be the largest I would feel comfortable with it. as for smallest without vaporizing... a really big rabbit :o

February 22, 2012, 10:37 PM
A guy I used to work with grew up and still used a 22-250 until he he was injured in a motorcycle wreck. He said it was was good for whitetail up to about 200 yards. I know he always got his limit of three every year.

February 23, 2012, 12:10 PM
Oops I was thinking about .22 hornet, not .220 swift, that is what my cousin has started to use along with a 35gr vmax, sure does a nice job of preserving the pelt.

February 24, 2012, 11:20 AM
The 22-250 cartridge with a good bullet is entirely capable of killing deer. Whether the shooter is might be a different story. I'd feel a lot better carrying a 22-250 for deer than a .357Mag pistol. But that's just me, I guess.

My first centerfire was a 22-250 Rem Mod 788 and I used it to shoot everything I hunted back then. Killed several mule deer and lots of coyotes and lots and lots and lots of ground squirrels. My load for everything was a
55gr Speer and 38.0gr of H380 - Bruce Hodgdon's personal load. Nowadays I'd go for one of the heavier premium bullets for deer.

February 24, 2012, 04:54 PM
If a .22-250 was all I had, taking deer would be no problem. Heck a .22 LR will take deer if you do your part. I never used a .22 LR or .22-250 on deer, and prefer at least a 30.06 for deer.

I have taken many varmints at long ranges with my .22-250. It is a heck of a varmint round and a tack driver. Use the .22-250 for deer if want, but there are most definitely more forgiving rounds for thick woods hunting.

February 25, 2012, 09:05 PM
Actually, the .22-250 is not really any more likely to deflect in brush than any thing else. The old "brush-buster" myth is pretty well debunked. But where you have a good point is this: In heavy brush, it is easier to find game that goes down hard, and leaves a lot of spoor. In a stand of from a rest at a stationary whitetail, this does not automatically rule the sub-.25 caliber guns out. But a simple 50 yard broadside running shot can turn into a lost cripple real quick. Again, the key is restraint. A mere .30-30 or .257Roberts will shoot clean through both a leg bone and the vitals. A 55gr fast .22 will do it sometimes, but not every time.

Big Pard
February 26, 2012, 08:47 PM
Since the OP asked "..What you feel comfortable..." I'm thinking it is a personal decision. I have killed deer with a 22-250 with a shoulder shot and had a complete pass through. So I guess my answer is a deer for the largest and ground hog for the smallest since that is where it shines.

March 9, 2012, 09:00 PM
Back in my grad school days in UT some buddies and I would head out to a valley N of the Great Salt Lake and hunt up a mess of jackrabbits.

Some of the guys used their deer rifles, but I had a 22-250 for that purpose. Most of the meat in the front quartes was pretty stringy and sparse, but from the ribs back there is a lot of meat...made the cleaning of a couple dozen jacks go a tad faster when you only skinned and gutted to the ribs.

Many stews and casseroles with jack meat back then.

As long as you hit them in the front half, most of the meat was untouched.

As for larger game than jacks, it is also perfect for javelina.

I did walk the UT woods once with my .22-250, but didn't have a chance to take one. Usually reserved my .270 for that job.

March 11, 2012, 08:39 AM
I love my 22-250 and use it for varmits ie: Marmots, Prarie Dogs, "dillers" and such. Coyotes and Pronghorn, Sheep, and Goats are left up to my 25-06. For Deer, Elk and Moose, its the 300WM. And for the Bruins, 378WBY.