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Old July 18, 2011, 09:21 PM   #1
Join Date: July 18, 2011
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22-250 rem twist rate

I have always found it interesting that the "standard" twist rate for a 22-250 barrel is 1:14". My 22-250 shoots great but anything heavier than a 55 gr. bullet is not going to stabilize in a 14 twist barrel. Now the .223 rem seems to be available in production rifles with faster twist barrels, 1:9" seems to be common nowadays. So a lot of .223's can shoot the heavier bullets. I am not trying to step on anybody's toes, but in my opinion the 22-250 has more potential when it comes to longer range shooting than the .223 does but I think the 22-250 is handicapped by the slow twist barrels. I am aware that you can have custom barrels made in any chambering with any twist rate you want but many of us dont have the coin for custom work.

I have read that some of the .204 ruger guys have similar issues where they are stuck with very few options for bullet weights because the .204 also has a slow twist rate.

Maybe the higher velocity of the 22-250 and the .204 has something to do with it. Any thoughts?

Last edited by jagwire; July 18, 2011 at 09:45 PM.
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Old July 18, 2011, 09:24 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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It is because the .22-250 is seen as a varmint rifle where velocity is king.
A 14 twist has been usual in .22 centerfires ever since the cases got bigger than .22 Hornet and they do very well with 50-55 grain bullets.

The .223 is a military offshoot where long range and penetration count more.
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Old July 19, 2011, 02:06 PM   #3
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Savage has some 22-250 1 in 9 varmint rifles.

Model: 12 VLP DBM on their site.
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Old July 19, 2011, 08:30 PM   #4
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In my humble opinion, the 22-250 (and the Swift) have the slower twist because they were designed for 50 or 55 grain bullets for varmint hunting. Back then, if you wanted a bullet bigger than that, you got a bigger cartridge. The 223, on the other hand, was designed for military use. I've got a 223 (and a Swift), and I like the 223 quite a bit, but quite honestly, it really isn't much of a cartridge. Uncle Sam wanted a light cartridge so that we grunts could carry a bunch of it, and that's what they settled on. Once it was a military round, and not a varmint round like it's twin brother (222 Magnum), it was decided that a heavier bullet was needed. And if you are going to shoot it in long range matches, which you'd reasonably expect the military cartridge to do, you needed a longer bullet with a better BC. All that leads to the need for a faster twist. So now the 223 is a varmint caliber and a military round, and it has become the darling of everyone that reloads because of the many combinations of bullet and powder you can use. I'm like the rest of the world, I reload all sorts of combinations in the 223, after I finally gave in and bought one. But in my opinion it's only a military cartridge because Uncle Sam said it was. It's a varmint cartridge with big ideas. I think it's the only military round that I'm aware of that people will ask on this forum "is the 223 enough cartridge for shooting pigs"? That question speaks volumes.
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Old July 19, 2011, 08:42 PM   #5
Art Eatman
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Early loads with Jerry Gebby's "Varminter" which later became the Rem .22-250 and with the .220 Swift were commonly loaded with 40-grain bullets. The "heavy" 50- and 55-grain bulets were pretty much post-WW II. But, the 1:14 twist does okay with the 55s...

Odds are that most users of the .22-250 are varminting with bullets of around 50 grains, so that's the likely "why" of the twist rate.
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Old July 19, 2011, 10:45 PM   #6
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Slow twist will also last longer than a fast twist. Your 1 in 14 22-250 will shoot the 64 grain WW PP bullet very well, it was a 1 holer at 100 yards with my 24 inch BDL, and killed coyotes much better than the lighter bullets.
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