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jwiebe
April 28, 2012, 08:02 PM
I am considering buying either a .223 or a 22-250 for varmits. Which is better? I know there is pros for each.

Brian Pfleuger
April 28, 2012, 08:10 PM
Neither is better. It depends on your objectives.

22-250 shoots farther, flatter. It's also louder and high-end ammo probably costs more. It is also more powerful. Theoretically, you'll wear the gun out sooner. Practically, most shooters will never, ever wear out a gun.

223 ammo can be had in bulk, dirt cheap. It's less powerful and doesn't shoot as flat. Everybody and their uncle owns one. Semi-autos are far more common than for 22-250.

Under 300 yards, there's hardly any difference if you're shooting small (woodchuck/prairie dog) critters.

If you load your own ammo, cost no longer matters.

If you want to kill small things under 300 yards, it doesn't matter.

10-96
April 28, 2012, 08:17 PM
Just for the sake of argument- what types of varmints, what kinds of ranges (distances) do you most commonly anticipate, and how populated is the regions you'll be shooting in?

trg42wraglefragle
April 29, 2012, 02:09 AM
What about 204 Ruger?

Also if you just google "22-250 vs 223" you can probably spend hours reading about it. Not meaning it in a grumpy rude way, you'll just get more info and opinions by googling it.

phil mcwilliam
April 29, 2012, 05:43 AM
I prefer the 22-250 cause it shoots a bit flatter, but mainly because it has a bit more power if something larger than a varmit is around. Where I varmit shoot, I also come across pigs so the 22-250 works a bit better for me.
.223 will also work on pigs & they are a bit quieter to shoot. Another benefit of the .223 is its easier to keep your target in the scope & see where you hit because of the lack of recoil.
Either caliber is not going to be a bad choice.

twins
April 29, 2012, 05:51 AM
I've shot a .223 but I own a .22-250. My reason, I reload and all my calibers use large rifle primers....keeping it simple.

I primarily shoot at ~250 yards range so it's a toss-up between the two.

If you already own a rifle (.30 caliber or less) and have access to reloading gear, you already have a varmint rifle with the correct bullet.

hoffbill
April 29, 2012, 08:39 AM
I agree with the previous posters consensus that either will do a great job as a varmint or predator gun. I would say that bullet choice is as important as cartridge with the 22s.. Vmax and similar varmint bullets are great for target, varmints and most predators. If you take on larger game you should consider bullet that provide more penetration such as Barnes TSX or Sierra GameKing. Also bullet weight can be an important consideration for larger critters, and there your barrel twist rate comes into play of course. I have been shooting prairie dogs, coyotes, bobcats, and an occasional hog or deer with the 223 for years and have never felt the need to change for my purposes.

If you have a 243 shooting the 58 gr V max bullet with it will give ballistic performance very similar to the 22-250

kraigwy
April 29, 2012, 08:58 AM
Typically, (not always) the 22-250 has a slower twist then most 223s now days.

With 7-9 twist in todays 223s you can use heavier bullets for larger varmints, and extended range.

If you have one of the 1:12 223s the edge goes to the 22-250.

Having said that I'll confess that I use a 204 Ruger and its light 32 grn pills. I've killed a lot of coyotes with it so the 22-250 and its 40-50 grn bullets would surely do the trick.

I don't have a 22-250 not but I always had a soft spot for that round.

My first real rifle build, where I did the barrel fitting, chambering, action truing, bluing, etc, was on a Pre 64 Model 70 and that puppy was a tack driver.

If I was to pick between the 223 and 22-250 I'd go with the 22-250 for the simple reason I don't have one.

If I could find a couple more Model 70 actions the 22-250 would be on the short list.

44 AMP
April 29, 2012, 12:52 PM
My first .22-250 was a custom Mauser action made a year or three before Remington standardized the round. Fortunately, the dimensions my smith chose were the same ones that Remington did. Let that rifle go in 79, and have been regretting it ever since.

Since the early 80s, I've had a Win M70 Varmint, and tis all one could want in a heavy barrel varminter for field use. My first exposure to the .223 was in Basic training, and I was not impressed much. Especially considering it was in a worn M16A1 "rifle".

Basically, anything the .223 can do, the .22-250 can do with 600fps (or more) velocity. Yes, there is a real world cost to that performance, but its not a lot, considering. Brass costs a bit more, you burn about half again as much powder over the .223, but you get more bang for the buck.

Right now, you can get a .223 that actually has better long range ballisitics than the .22-250, despite the lower velocity, BECAUSE of the developement of extra heavy bullets and fast twist barrels for the .223.

.22-250 barrels are (mostly) still made for the 50-55gr range of bullets, and have twists optimised for them. Traditional varmint ammo. If you get a .22-250 with a fast twist barrel for the heavy long range bullets, the velocity advantage of the larger round ups your performance envelope.

jmr40
April 29, 2012, 01:00 PM
All true. Since I also own AR's, I wouldn't want a 22-250 bolt rifle. Too many chamberings to keep up with as it is. The 22-250 is better, but the 223 does what I need doing.

If I didn't own AR's and were trying to decide between the 2 i'd probably go 22-250.

droptrd
April 29, 2012, 07:08 PM
All true. Since I also own AR's, I wouldn't want a 22-250 bolt rifle. Too many chamberings to keep up with as it is. The 22-250 is better, but the 223 does what I need doing.

If I didn't own AR's and were trying to decide between the 2 i'd probably go 22-250.

My thoughts exactly. Also in my region, Im not really taking many shots past 300 yds - so the advantages of the 22-250 would be lost in my situation. I also reload so Im able to tweak 223 loads to come real close to 22-250 performance.

McShooty
April 29, 2012, 08:18 PM
I have owned four .22-250s: A Ruger 1V, a Browning B78, a Remington 788, and a Remington 700VLS. IMHO, a good .22-250 will be among the most accurate of the .22s, and it is relatively easy to develop a very accurate handload for one. It is also quite versatile. You can load it to .223 levels if you like, or stoke it for a varmint at 450 yards.

Clifford L. Hughes
April 30, 2012, 02:25 PM
jwiebe:

I shoot both the 22-250 and the .223. When I shooting prairie dogs early in the morning I shoot my 223, when the wind comes up I switch to my 22-250. The 22-250 gives some advantage in the wind; however, hitting dogs in the wind is a matter of shooter's skill.

Over all the .223 is less expensive to shoot. Both are equally accurate.

Semper Fi.

Gunnery Sergeant
Clifford L. Hughes
USMC Retired

James K
April 30, 2012, 03:30 PM
FWIW, an story. At the time when the AR-15 was under consideration by the Army, and being hyped by Colt as the most powerful rifle in the world (yes, they said that!), I encountered a Colt rep at the NRA convention.

I asked if he knew of a source for FMJ bullets as I would like to do some testing by loading my .22-250 down to .223 (it wasn't 5.56mm yet) specs.

He went ballistic, practically screaming that I was crazy, that nothing could be loaded DOWN to .223, that it was the most powerful round ever developed, that even a miss by a foot would disable a man, that it would shoot through brick walls, that it would penetrate tanks, etc., etc. He was so funny, I just walked away, laughing. But the politicians (notably JFK) believed that nonsense, and that is how, for better or worse, the U.S. got saddled with the 5.56mm.

Jim

Sweet Shooter
April 30, 2012, 04:17 PM
@James K
FWIW, an story. At the time when the AR-15 was under consideration by the Army, and being hyped by Colt as the most powerful rifle in the world (yes, they said that!), I encountered a Colt rep at the NRA convention.

I asked if he knew of a source for FMJ bullets as I would like to do some testing by loading my .22-250 down to .223 (it wasn't 5.56mm yet) specs.

He went ballistic, practically screaming that I was crazy, that nothing could be loaded DOWN to .223, that it was the most powerful round ever developed, that even a miss by a foot would disable a man, that it would shoot through brick walls, that it would penetrate tanks, etc., etc. He was so funny, I just walked away, laughing. But the politicians (notably JFK) believed that nonsense, and that is how, for better or worse, the U.S. got saddled with the 5.56mm.

Jim

A story indeed. Nonsense. It was adopted for all sorts of reasons. Not one of them listed here.
-SS-

Ozzieman
April 30, 2012, 05:51 PM
For long range with wind I prefer a 24 caliber bullet and I use my Ruger 77 in 6 mm Remington.
But the one I take out the most for ground hogs is my 700 in .223. It's made bad days for ground hogs at over 350 yards more than once.

.300 Weatherby Mag
May 1, 2012, 01:48 AM
Right now, you can get a .223 that actually has better long range ballisitics than the .22-250, despite the lower velocity, BECAUSE of the developement of extra heavy bullets and fast twist barrels for the .223.

I can buy a 1-7 twist .22-250 target rifle from Savage Arms and take advantage of the heavier bullets... I don't know of anyone else offering an off the shelf 22-250 in this configuration...

tuck2
May 1, 2012, 06:09 AM
For yote hunting where only a few shots are expected per day I like the 22-250 Rem and 220 Swift. For prairie dog shooting where a lot of shots are taken per day use a 223 Rem and have few more rifles along like the 204 Ruger, 17 Fireball and 17 HMR. For longer range p dog shooting use a rifle that shoots . 243 Dia bullats but space out the shots so the barrel dont gets so hot.

BIG P
May 2, 2012, 03:58 AM
In many ways its a draw,Just depends on the job at hand.Both are great little rounds,

BIG P
May 2, 2012, 04:00 AM
In many ways its a draw,Just depends on the job at hand.Both are great little rounds.