View Full Version : Why is the 22-250 such an appealing varmit hunting round?

November 14, 2001, 02:56 PM
I've been reading more about varmit hunting and I'm looking for a nice rifle set-up. I'd be interested in your experiences hunting with the 22-250 or any similar.

I'd like to find a round that has a lighter or much lighter recoil then my .308 Rem 700. Also, I don't handload or reload since I don't have the room for it. I'd be relying on factory ammo.

November 14, 2001, 03:18 PM
There is a very wide varity of .223 ammo. From mil surp to match ammo. It is a good choice.

November 14, 2001, 04:09 PM
VELOCITY and it shoot pretty straight as well. It works well on varmint class critters (squirrels to coyotes). Explosively so at the smaller end. Flat trajectory.

Factory loads will give you ~400 fps over a 223. Federal loads a 40gr bullet at ~4000 fps. Several other weights are available.

The ammo is pretty common. Walmart and the local shop tend to have it on the shelf. You will not find inexpensive surplus ammo, though.

Recoil is light compared to your 308 or a 243. Not a problem to fire several hundred rounds on a good dog town.

As for a set up, look into a Remington 700 VS, Leupold optics and getting the trigger adjusted. Of course you can always build up a custom rifle...

Check out Varmint Hunter magazine as a resource.

Art Eatman
November 14, 2001, 09:07 PM
A Nebraska gunsmith/varmint hunter, Jerry Gebby, was the person most responsible for the success of the "Varminter", as he called the .22-250 wildcat back in the 1930s.

It and the .220 Swift are the top of the line in hotshot .22s.

Unless your shooting is rather infrequent, I urge you to also consider reloading. You can load down from maximum, for longer barrel life; you can find some particular combination of powder charge and bullet which maximizes your accuracy.

My uncle had a Gebby-barrelled rig back in the early 1950s. It was indeed rough on jackrabbits. I had a Sako .22-250 for a while; it was equal in performance to my Swift for jackrabbits and feral cats out to 300 yards and more. Any really-hot .22 will serve for coyotes, as well.

They can, with heavy bullets, be used for deer hunting, but I consider that to be marginal for anybody but experienced, skilled hunter/shooter types.



November 15, 2001, 09:56 AM
Let me also suggest something in the .243 caliber arena. Most real varmit hunters carry many rifles. Mainly for overheating but also for different wind speed and distances. The 22-250 is by far one of the most popular rounds because of the availability of components. Some of the 6mm's are also very popular. The 6mm's offer a better wind toerance and better balistic coefficients. They drop less at long distances and are alo very low recoil. I really like the 6mm-284. It is comparable to the 240 weatherby. The nice thing about these calibers is that you can use them on larger game with the heavier bullets. Whitetail and antelope are within the range for this caliber. 220 swift is another good one but has a reputation to eat out the throat of barrells because of the pressures. 223 is good except it is not as flat a shooter as the 22-250 since it is a lot slower. It depends on what range you need. if you are in the 500 yd range then you need something bigger like 22-250 or 240.

November 17, 2001, 02:11 AM
22-250 is the way to go because it has a mild recoil and is fairly flat shooting and you can buy ammo at most places that sell ammo. I have several varmint rifles but the 223 and 22-250 are the most economical if you don't reload. you start getting into bigger stuff and wildcats you will feel the pinch at the cash register. try buying 6mmPPC , 240 weatherby, or 6mm-284 at the local K-mart or walmart. If they have it and don't laugh you right out of the place you'll spend enough cash to repaint a small car!!!

November 17, 2001, 07:46 AM
VELOCITY and it shoot pretty straight as well.

Yes it do. :D

Actually, velocity, range, trajectory.

I use both the .223 and .22-250 on groundhogs. Both are highly effective! For prairie dogs, I think the .223 might be better because in multiple shots, it won't heat up as quickly or wear out the barrel as quickly as the .22-250.

They are both great rounds for varmints. There is also a hard core following of the .220 Swift. I see that as more of an enthusiasts' caliber. I think handloading is mandatory with the Swift, whereas there is plenty of good factory ammo for the .22-250 and even moreso for the .223.


Art Eatman
November 17, 2001, 08:37 AM
Jeeper, the "throat erosion" of the Swift is pretty much a myth.

Yes, in the early days there was more throat erosion than with an '06 or .30-30. However, as there came to be more and more super-fast magnums, these, too had faster rates of wear.

The Swift, today, is merely one of a large family of fast-wearing cartridges. Probably no worse than the .22-250...


November 19, 2001, 12:53 AM
The 22-250 shoots almost line of sight for about 250 yards and takes them down like they have been hit by a lightning bolt. :D

Tom Matiska
November 23, 2001, 09:12 AM
Slow twist rate. Most of the 22-250s (ditto 222 Rem) on the market have 1-14 twist. Varmiters like their "photon torpedo" loads, and you can put more of them though a 1-14" twist with less fouling problems. Put the same photon topedo loads through a 1-9" 223, and the ratio of shooting to barrel cleaning goes south.


Art Eatman
November 23, 2001, 09:25 AM
Tom, some of the photon torpedo loads (or velocities) over at Varminter.com certainly bear out your statement! :)