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Old July 16, 2006, 04:39 PM   #1
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.22-.250 vs. .243 for varmints?

Which is the better option?
What are the capability differences?

This will be an exclusively varmint rifle...out to about 400 yds or so will be the average shot...
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Old July 16, 2006, 05:44 PM   #2
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What kind of varmints? Personaly I would go with the 22-250. Plenty of punch for prairie dogging, and is decent for coyotes too.
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Old July 16, 2006, 05:54 PM   #3
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Varmits? .22-.250 all the way bro. .22-250 shoots flatter, faster, farther. Winchester has ths rounds in bulk, so unless you plan to reload, it's cheaper to shoot also. I've had one for over 20 years. Killed a few varmits with it. Killed two Whitetails with it also. You can get the bulk rounds at Wally World. Can't get much cheaper than that.

Good luck.
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Old July 16, 2006, 05:57 PM   #4
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Depends on the varmints, but I'd say the .22-250 would be a great purpose rifle for coyote on down.
The .243 would give a bit more room to play if you wanted a bit more versatility though. Especially if you are in an area where the 'yotes get exceptionally large or you have a cougar/cat season.
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Old July 16, 2006, 07:48 PM   #5
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by all means go with the 22-250 we have one in a remington 40x it will
drop dogs at very long ranges,also we use it for benchrest you can shoot
in the same hole all day long!!
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Old July 16, 2006, 09:37 PM   #6
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400 yds

If you're going out past 300 as you say, then you need to buck the wind, so either .243 or 6mm rem would be first choice. A .22-250 or .204 ruger close second choice (preferably .22-250) - they won't buck the wind quite as much, but they're lasers getting to the target quicker, so they don't have to.
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Old July 16, 2006, 09:55 PM   #7
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You asked for "capability differences", so for what its worth, you can neck down .308 brass for a .243 if you reload (and have .308).

You said exlusively varminting, so although I have no experience with it, .22-250 has always had a good following, so go for it. I personally prefer more versatility, as 38splfan alluded to, so that's why I have a .243. If I got serious into varminting, I think .22-250 would be high on my "next to get" list.
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Old July 16, 2006, 11:37 PM   #8
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Personally, my first choice would be the .243. It can handle critters all the way up the the size of white-tails.

If you're leaning toward the small-bores, you might want to do a little research on the .220 Swift. That's one of the flattest-shooting rounds on the planet. In its infancy it had a reputation for eating up barrels, but I think all of the major manufacturers have overcome that.
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Old July 17, 2006, 01:11 AM   #9
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I have both, .243 in a Sako Forester and the 22-250 in a Savage BVSS 12. Have loaded both for varmit and feel that I have more range where I shoot with the 22.250. The Forester is a thin barrel and must let it cool between shots where I can rap out more with the savage between rests. Use the .243 now with a moly 105 grain Hornady for deer.
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Old July 17, 2006, 10:09 AM   #10
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Exclusively for varminting? For all that I really like my .243, I'd go with the .22-250. Many people have a good number of kills on prairie dogs and crows to 400 or so. On general principles, I'd stay a bit closer on coyotes, from the old "clean kill" standpoint.

As far as the rifle itself, I'd go with a medium to heavy barrel. Less "walking around" of the barrel if you get into a bunch of prairie dogs and get all enthusiastic. If occasional shots are all that you figure on, a light or standard weight of barrel will do just fine. Hard to call in enough coyotes that you'll shoot so much that barrel-heating would be important.

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Old July 17, 2006, 12:12 PM   #11
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I just bought a 22-250 and went through the same thought process you are. I chose a Howa 1500 22-250. It's a bit cheaper to reload than the .243 over a longer period of time than the .243 due to less powder, but other than that they are both great choices. I looked into 220 swift, and really liked the ballistics, but brass is a bit more expensive, factory rounds are difficult to find, and the 22-250 was very, very close ballistically speaking. So that's what I bought. After working up my hand loads, I got a 1/2" moa w/ 4 shots @ 100yds with that little rifle using a bench w/ towels rolled up as a rest. (had to improvise, left my rest in the garage) Granted, not all the shots were that close. But that's why I reload to get the sweet spot. If you buy one, and don't own reloading equipment, buy some. You can load 3.5 boxes for the price of one factory, and get some really awsome groups if you do your experimenting, with whatever caliber you choose. If you are looking for speed, 55 gr on the 22-250 seems to be optimum at longer ranges, and for .243, go w/ a 70 gr. Use boat tails to help maintain down range trajectory.
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Old July 17, 2006, 12:29 PM   #12
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I absolutely love a 22-250 for varminting. It has been my go-to caliber for almost 30 years. Flat shooting, accurate, powerful enough for anything you will need to shoot while you are out varminting, and very satisfying all around. That said, I also love the 243 for all the same reasons. I have owned 243s and absolutely loved them, because they buck wind better than the 22-250 and hit every bit as hard. However, they do kick more than a 22-250, and take more powder to reload than a 22-250, and the bullets cost more too, but not tremendously so.

I would say it depends on the type of varmint shooting you intend to do. For high-volume shooting, where recoil becomes an issue, go with a 22-250. For coyote shooting, sneak and peek, one or two shots a day type shooting, go for the 243. The issue is recoil. I know, I know, I hear it all the time, the 243 doesn't kick. BUT, after 300 rounds on a hot day in a t-shirt, you wish for a 22LR. Being slapped 300 times in one day has an effect on you and encourages flinching.

Muzzle blast affects you too, but the 22-250 and 243 are about even on muzzle blast. After a full day of shooting, you will be punch-drunk from all the concussions.
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Old July 17, 2006, 09:19 PM   #13
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Thanks to all for the information...

At what point or should I say distance does the .243 out perform the .22-250?
I've learned that with the right circumstances I can get the 'yote around here to within 150yds...but no one aside from myself hunts them either...
So for that distance, my .22mag does the job...but I'm quite certain eventually I'll encounter a smart 'yote that won't break the 150 circle...

When that happens I want to be able to "broaden his horizons"
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Old July 17, 2006, 10:21 PM   #14
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I have a 22-250 in Winchester 70 HBV shoots great! If I have to do it over again I'd go with the 243Win just because I have other rifles chambered in 223Rem. The 243 can go further and wind has less effect on the heavier VLD 6mm bullets. josh
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Old July 17, 2006, 10:30 PM   #15
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The deciding factor is , Do you reload? If you do I would say a 243 firing a 65gr V-Max. That is my primary in the bigger fields. My 22-250 goes to shorter fields, say out to 350 yrds. My longest shot on a chuck was 673 yards with the 243 load.
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Old July 17, 2006, 10:38 PM   #16
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I think the .243 would win if you were wanting a more versatile rifle. It is a good varmint cartridge and very capable pronghorn and deer rifle. But since you stated varmints only I'd go with the .22-250 the only thing I don't like about factory rifles is they all have a 1-14 twist rate. This limits you bullet selection to around 55 grains or less. I think if the factory offered a 1-10 or 1-12 that would be great to get into some heavier bullets with better down range performance.
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Old July 17, 2006, 11:01 PM   #17
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a 243 is a great "el camino" cartridge. theres better rounds for deer or varmints. but you have both from a 243. but if youre only wanting to hunt varmints, id go 22-250. check out the 204 ruger also. it shoots quite a bit flatter according to the tables ive seen. and kicks like a 22lr.
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