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Old August 25, 2012, 09:24 AM   #1
Ricky Bobby
Join Date: October 23, 2011
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22-250 barrel twist comparison

Hopefully going to pick up a new 22-250 rifle in the near future & need help making my decision. I have it narrowed down to 2 choices, one with a 24" 1-12 twist barrel & one with a 26" 1-14 twist barrel. Should twist rate be a deciding factor in my decision making?

Rifle #1 is the Savage Predator Max-1 with 24" 1-12 barrel

Rifle #2 is the Kimber 84M Varminter with 26" 1-14 barrel

It will mainly be used for coyotes @ 250 yards or less 95% of the time and might get the occasional 350-400 yard shot when it rarely occurs.

I like the fact that the Kimber weighs in less than the Savage and has a barrel 26" long, but afraid that the 1-14 twist is going to be a somewhat picky eater. I can probably use a broader range of bullets in the Savages 1-12 barrel, but don't like the fact that it weighs over a pound more than the Kimber. Also, I want to mention that I DO reload.

Please help!
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Old August 25, 2012, 09:40 AM   #2
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What bullet do you plan to shoot? I think that it's only going to matter if you want to shoot bullets heavier than weights in the 60 to 63 grain range, though I can't speak for what max weight/length bullet the 1 in 12 twist can stabilize. If you are going to shoot 35 to 55 grain bullets, either rifle should do quite well. I have a 220 with a 21 inch barrel and a 1 in 14 twist and it stabilizes the 63 grain Sierra, though I just shoot the 55's.
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Old August 25, 2012, 09:45 AM   #3
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Either one is fine for 55 grain bullets and out to 400 yards you'd never know the difference.

The only time I take twist into consideration when I am making or re-barreling a 22-250 is when my customer tells me he wants to fire bullets over 60 grains.

I have done a few 22-250s with 1-8 twist barrels so my customers can shoot 75 and 80 grain bullets. There rifles have been wonderful for shots past 500 yards and can be very impressive a lot farther than that.

For what you are describing as your "mission statement" you could use either one without care, so get the rifle you like best and you'll never look back.
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Old August 25, 2012, 09:54 AM   #4
Ricky Bobby
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I'm pretty sure that I have no interest in shooting bullets over 60 grains. I would more than likely want to shoot the Hornady 53 or 55gr V-Max's or maybe the Berger 55 grainers.
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Old August 25, 2012, 10:51 AM   #5
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Most of the 22-250s I have owned and shot over the years like the 52 or 53 grain bullets the best, and do well with 55 grain bullets. Since the 22-250 is an older cartridge, it was already established with a 1:14 standard twist long before the 22 caliber heavy-for-caliber (68 grains and above) bullets started showing up in the 1990s. The 1:14 twist pretty much limits you to 55 grain bullets and below, the 1:12 will probably shoot 60 grainers as well.
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Old August 27, 2012, 07:12 AM   #6
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I bought a Remington 700 SPS Varmint in .22-250 with a 1:14 twist about 13 months ago.

I started hand loading with 52 and 55 grain bullets because I had tons of them for my .223 and eventually tried some 40 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips that a friend traded me for some Sierra Match Kings.
Seven of the top 10 loads are now 40 grain BTs, 2 are 52 grain Bergers and 1 is 55 grain Berger.
Its top 10 hand load averages range from 0.316 to 0.416 with an overall average of 0.365.

To give you an idea of distribution of accuracy by bullet weight, for its top 25 hand loads that average 0.439 for 213 measured groups:
11 are 40 grain Nosler BTs
2 are 50 grain Bergers
1 is 50 grain Sierra # 1340
2 are 52 grain Bergers
2 are 52 grain Sierra Match Kings # 1410
2 are 55 grain Bergers
4 are 55 grain Sierra # 1345

For my rifle, the 1:14 twist definately favors the lighter bullets.

If you are interested in accuracy, you might want to add a Remington 700 SPS to your list. I got mine new for $ 436 and then eventually upgraded the stock and put in a Timney trigger for a total cost of $ 755.

Based upon my experience with Savages, the Savage should also be accurate right out of the box.
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Old August 27, 2012, 08:18 AM   #7
Art Eatman
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I've never had a problem to have half-MOA from 1:10 twist with 50-grain bullets, so of the two choices I'd likely pick the 1:12. Leaves it open to go heavier than 55-grain if there's a change in the "want to".
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Old August 28, 2012, 10:27 PM   #8
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Wyosmith, thank you for mentioning builds for the heavier bullets. I have been considering doing a 22-250 specifically for 600 to 1K and am wondering if you could speak a bit about what kind of accuracy and velocities can be had. Small critters being what they are, small, builds for hunting chucks and such must be capable of extreme accuracy, but my thought is that the loss of velocity might negate the advantages to be had with the "heavies". Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old August 31, 2012, 09:45 AM   #9
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Sure Ketland
As with the AR-15s, the tighter twist will allow use of longer (heavier) bullets. You will not how fast a 300 Whisper is twisted often they are about 1-7 to 1-8 to shoot 30 cal bullets of 220 or even 240 grains at low velocity. That's because the longer the bullet, the faster you must spin it. Also the slower a long bullet goes the faster you must spin it.
Now back to a 22-250;
The industry standard for the 22-250 is 1-14 and the history of the shell is all around 55 grain bullets. That’s out "base line'
When you want to shoot 65 to 75 grain bullets you need to spin them faster to keep them stable at long ranges BUT you are starting out with the advantage of more speed, so you need not spin them as fast as you would from a 223 or 222. I have found that a 1-9 twist barrel in a 22-250 is excellent for this kind of application
I don't own one myself. As a gunsmith however, I have re-barreled several for customers and friends. I have a friend in Nevada who is "leading the charge" on this and I trust what he's telling me. He had me rebarrel his old Remington about 6 years ago with a 1-9. He's getting comparable size groups to what he had with his 1-14 barrel at 100, 200 and 300.

But he tells me that at 500 600 and 800 there is not even a comparison. At 600 yards from his rifles he's send me a few really impressive letters written on the targets he shot. I had one on my shop wall he shot at 600 that was 5 rounds into just under 4". He is absolutely eleated with the way his new barrels shoots.
Coyotes in northern Nevada however seem to not like this new tool at all. he says he has a good range finder and hunts them in the North Humbolt Range of Nevada. If he has the range and can shoot prone, he seldom misses one.
He has shot at 1000 yards with it too, but never send me a target.

As I recall he is using 4064 and 4320 powders, but I can’t give you exact loads because I didn’t write them down. I wish I had.
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Old September 1, 2012, 09:08 PM   #10
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Keep in mind that stabilization will be enhanced by higher velocity. In other words, a bigger cartridge like the 22/250 can produce more velocity with a heavier bullet than something like a 223. Therefore, the 22/250 can stabilize the same weight bullet with a slightly slower twist rate. That said, I have an old 220 Swift with a slower twist(1 in 16?) which won't tolerate even 60 grain bullets. My old Rem 700 22/250 (1 in 14)will handle the 63 grain semipointed but is not nearly as accurate as bullets 55 grains and lighter.
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Old September 5, 2012, 08:06 AM   #11
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Thank you Wyo, That helps. My hammer for long range now is a .243 with an improved shoulder, followed by my .260 improved . I would like to go with the smaller cartridge and stick with a heavier bullet, so this is just what I need to hear.
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