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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 10-16-2018, 10:53 AM
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Default New Bolt Gun .223 vs 22-250

I am new to bolt action rifles and using scopes. I recently got a RAR .22WMR and I'm loving it. I know it's not the most accurate round at 100 yards but it's giving me 1" groups and I'm learning a ton about bench shooting and technique. I've been doing some pest control on ground squirrels and rabbits at friends property and it is far superior to the .22lr in trajectory and the lead free (CCI Copper) .22lr seems to be terrible past 50 yards.

I'm enjoying it so much that I would like to reach out a bit more. I have been reading about varmint cartridges and the 22-250 seems to be quite impressive but I'm wondering for my needs if it's not really necessary.

I'm over 50 and hunting is really something fairly new so I'm learning as I go. I don't think I will ever get to the point of hunting deer or larger type game but where I'm shooting pests there are coyotes and small wild pigs and that is likely the largest I would consider with this rifle. Definitely not ready to step up to something like a .308.

After reading the pro's and cons I'm thinking the 22-250 is a bit out of my league. It seems to be more of a specialty round and although it's a nice performer the .223 seems more than adequate considering I would likely be shooting under 200 yards. Also I am purchasing some reloading equipment soon (already load 12ga for trap) and will be doing some .223 for my AR along with some pistol calibers. I figure it would be easier to just add in some more precision loads for a .223 bolt gun rather that setting up for yet another caliber like the 22-250. I've also read the .223 is much easier on barrels.

So within the variables I talked about is the 22-250 overkill? From what I am understanding the 22-250 has advantages at much further distances but not so much out to 200 yards.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:28 AM
ChuckDizzle ChuckDizzle is offline
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.223 all the way. It's a super versatile affordable cartridge.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ChuckDizzle View Post
.223 all the way. It's a super versatile affordable cartridge.
It also helps that I have a few thousand once fired cases.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:36 AM
JackEllis JackEllis is offline
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I try to be practical (yeah I know, stick-in-the-mud) so when it comes to varmints, a .22LR and .223 get the job done. Bet part about the .223 is, brass is free because I just pick up other people's.

I thought about acquiring a .22-250 but range brass in that caliber is hard to find and the cases are expensive. It uses more powder. From the perspective of a landowner (if you're shooting on someone else's property), it's flat trajectory means more sprinkler pipe and livestock are within easy range. I do know someone who shoots squirrels with a .22-250...at half a mile...but he used to be on the Army rifle team.

I'd go with a .223 unless money isn't a constraint and even then I'd probably go with a .223.

BTW I have two .223s. One is a Howa 1500 with a heavy barrel and the other is a Tikka T3 Lite. Both shoot very nicely but the Howa is a bit less expensive to acquire.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:48 AM
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Between the two, the .223 seems like the better choice: cheaper yet effective for your needs. The .22-250 is an awesome round, but really only useful for reaching out on game at 500 yards or so. You can load .223 for some skinny Columbian blacktail deer, I know a few people who do.
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Old 10-16-2018, 1:06 PM
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Donny, you dont even need to go as powerful as .223 for critters the size you are talking. .17 Hornet is a super cool little cartridge which is well suited to squirrel and rabbit at distances out to 300 yards, and it is relatively quiet with almost no recoil so you can see your hits through the optic and not have to worry about it being too noisy. CZ makes a nice rifle, the 527, chambered in .17 Hornady hornet, and it is a winner. One of the nice things about the small bullets .17, and .20 is that they give up all their energy on target, which is considered an ideal attribute for small varmint hunting. Just food for thought.
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2018, 1:10 PM
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Go 223.
Brass is cheap.
You can reload 50 or 52 grain bullets. There are a fast load.

Just make sure you get a 1/9 twist or 1/8 twist.
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2018, 1:15 PM
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The .223 is your best bet. I love prairie dog shooting and have a .204 Ruger and a .22-250, but I shoot the .223 more than anything else. The .223 is plenty and with the copper bullets we have to use in CA, will work on small pigs. Just get one with at least a 1 in 9" twist so it can shoot the copper bullets well. I have an older Savage 110 (before they offered the short action version on the Model 10, 16 etc models. It has a heavy barrel, 1 in 9" twist and still shoots a half inch or less with loads it likes after hundreds or even thousands of rounds. I also have a CZ 527 American in .223 for walking around shooting but it has the 1 in 12" twist. I believe the newer ones have a 1 in 9" - the heavier Varmint models do, for sure. The 1 in 9" Savage will not stabilize bullets longer than the 69 gr Sierra Matchking.
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Old 10-16-2018, 1:56 PM
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From what you posted IMHO the .223/5.56 would work just fine.
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Old 10-16-2018, 3:18 PM
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223 will work fine. Newer cartridge than the 22-250.

That said, it is fun to load and shoot the classics...
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Old 10-16-2018, 4:47 PM
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Another vote for the .223. Soft shooting & inexpensive to load for. With 1:8 twist, you can load copper, and it will do everything you’re asking, and more.
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Old 10-16-2018, 6:42 PM
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Under 200 yards? The 223 gets the nod. Cheaper, longer barrel life and ammo is plentiful. Don’t get me wrong. 22-250 owners that I know absolutely love them. But a bolt action 223 has minimal recoil and is easy to reload economically. 223 is fine for varmints and coyotes at the range you shoot.

Good luck. Have fun. Stay safe.
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Old 10-16-2018, 8:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XVIga_Rob View Post
Another vote for the .223. Soft shooting & inexpensive to load for. With 1:8 twist, you can load copper, and it will do everything you’re asking, and more.
I agree with this. It’s just a great round and the 1:8 is a great twist for copper.
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Old 10-16-2018, 9:29 PM
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The .223. Go to just about any range or shooting area and your going to find brass. In addition to hunting varmint it would also make a good general purpose round in a survival scenario. You can buy it anywhere and there's plenty of reloading supplies available for it. Barrel life is also longer with a .223
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Old 10-16-2018, 9:40 PM
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I have both. Love the 22-250 but for practicality I would go 223. It will do everything you need. The down side of the 22-250 is that traditionally the barrels are slow twist for bullets 55 gun and under. That being said it is a awesome round. The other thing is with a 22-250 you need a brake to not get scope blackout. 223 is not a problem seeing your hits.
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Old 10-16-2018, 9:54 PM
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The 223 wins hands down for being able to find ammo/brass and such easier and usually cheaper. Plus you can kill squirrels at so very long ranges with practice. The 22-250 is great but overkill and louder with a bit more recoil. I would suggest the 223 over the 204R for some of the same reasons. I do not own a 22-250 for these reasons but I do have a 204R. The 223 does everything needed and is easier to get brass or loaded ammo. You can also get mil surplus(5.56) ammo for target/fun shooting if you do not(or if you do) reload.
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  #17  
Old 10-16-2018, 10:00 PM
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I own four .22-250s and two .223s. If I had it to do over, they would all be .223s, although I've enjoyed shooting ground squirrels at 500+ yards with the .22-250s. I've also killed three squirrels with a single round on occasion - the one in the back looks like hamburger.
Hot .22-250 loads are hard on barrels, brass, wallets, and high-volume shooters.
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  #18  
Old 10-17-2018, 2:24 AM
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I am an avid varminter and have had the chance to send bad news to a whole bunch of ground squirrels.

From a practical view: the 223 is very capable and will work well for you.

From an entertainment view: more speed is better. The 22-250 will be easier to connect with squirrels at various ranges and wind conditions. Plus the higher velocity will make for more enjoyable displays.

I shoot a 223, 223AI, 22-250, 243, and my favorite is a 243AI at ~4200fps.
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Old 10-17-2018, 7:36 AM
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I guess my conclusions were spot on. Thanks for all the good advise!
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Old 10-17-2018, 8:10 AM
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Like most responses, the .223 Rem is the wise choice.

I'm looking for a dedicated varmint gun. I want a .222 Rem because of its famed accuracy. It was the first cartridge to put five rounds though one hole. For a long time, it was our most accurate center fire cartridge.

The .22-250 Rem is another excellent cartridge. However, theory and reality don't always intersect. Killing a pint-size critter at 500 yards is doable, but by only a tiny percentage of hunters.

If I could find a Sako Vixen in .222 Rem that doesn't require a mortgage to buy, I'd own my perfect varmint gun.
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Old 10-17-2018, 8:14 AM
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BTW, a few years ago, I watched a woman drop a fork mule deer with a .220 Swift with a single shot. While I wouldn't recommend a .220 Swift for mule deer, this woman obviously knew how to shoot her gun and where to place bullets. That small buck dropped like a rock.
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Old 10-17-2018, 8:23 AM
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Hi MongooseV8,

The .243 Win is another of a few inherently accurate cartridges. I'll assume the AI version is equally as accurate. I don't own a .243 Win, but I easily could manipulate myself into owning one ;-)

I have a couple .270 Win rifles that'll shoot one-hole groups with hand loaded hunting ammo. If I had time to dedicate, I'd find out what they'd do with tricked out target ammo.

My point is often we already own rifles that'll perform well when assigned other applications. Were I asked to reduce coyote population, I'd grab one of my .270 Win rifles loaded with 130 grain Sierra GK, 60 grains of H-4831, W-W brass, & Fed 210M primers. That load will shoot one hole groups all day long and drop mule deer farther than I can shoot.
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Old 10-17-2018, 9:09 AM
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Default .22-250 is great

But, the extra performance comes with a shorter barrel life, more expense to buy(or reload), and no real plinking ammo.

If you really want to reach out to long range with a .22 then get the .22-250

The .223 is fine for most every day applications.
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Old 10-17-2018, 9:13 AM
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223 Remington will be the more versatile round and will be cheaper to shoot, even more so when reloading. 1-8 twist bolt gun would be nice, but not too many offered out of the box. 1-9 will still work with light fast expanding/fragmenting varmint loads. For coyotes and small pigs I’d pick the 223 shooting long heavy hunting bullets thus the need for 1-8 twist. The 22-250 will shine if they offer it with 1-8 twist barrels, with the rapid acceptance of 224 Valkyrie a fast twist 22-250 should stretch performance another 100-150 yards. The 22-250 provides very explosive performance with 50 grain varmint bullets. I used my Win 70 HBV 22-250 on prairie dogs, 300 yards below were pink mists. 55 grain bullets does better up to 600 yards. I’ve wanted to try fast twist with 22-250, but I was active duty military and ended up getting stationed overseas. I’ve seen a custom fast twist 22-250 back in Utah and it was ringing steel at 1000 yards with ease.

I forgot we’re in California requiring non lead bullets for hunting. Not so sure what grain bullets as all copper bullets weight less than lead core bullets. I haven’t played with non-leaded bullets in .224.
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Old 10-19-2018, 4:55 AM
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A fast twist 22-250 is on my bucket list.
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Old 10-20-2018, 4:52 PM
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I have both a 223, and a 22-250.
I got the 22-250 first. And I love it. But the 223 is way more fun.

Take care
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