.223 vs .22-.250 [Archive] - Varmints Den

: .223 vs .22-.250

03-23-2007, 04:43 PM
Ok, I know this has probably been beaten to death somewhere on the forum, but I didn't search all the way through. So.....here we go. If you were going to have a custom rifle built and were choosing between the two calibers, which would it be and why? 223 or 22-250?



03-23-2007, 05:34 PM
I am in the process of having a custom built, in .222 Rem Mag. I already have a .22-250, and I vowed long ago not to own a .223. Why?? you ask, because everybody has one. I'm sure everybody has one because its one of the easiest on the pocket, easiest to find good brass, easiest to load and shoots as well as all the others, ect. ect... I wanted a .222 Rem Mag!

I'm sorry, back to your question. If your going to go to the trouble of building one, I'd be lookng at the .223Ack or .22-250Ack. According to Mr. Ackman, you can get darn near .22-250 speed out of a .223Ack, plus you can shoot the regular .223 rounds if you don't thight neck it. .223 Ack gets my vote. Be a rebel, build a .222 mag like me. LOL Phil

03-23-2007, 06:21 PM
I have two .223's and two 22 250's I like both guns a lot. But when I think about it I shoot the .223's about 4 to 5 times more. The 22-250 has about a 125 yards more range which I really don't use often. The .223 has much less muzzle blast and recoil. It's very hard to beat when it comes to accurate reasonable priced shooting.

Lately I'm finding myself leaving both of them at home and taking the TAC 20. Same easy to find cheap brass used by the .223 and very near the range of the 22 250 with better wind bucking ability. You can easily see your hits as well.

I'd think very strongly about the .223 AI because of the great selection of bullets available in 22 centerfire. If you really want something uncommon get something like a .222 Remington Magnum AI.

I guess I didn't really give you one choice but that's my 2 cents worth.

03-23-2007, 06:22 PM
I, personally would go with the 22-250. I am a high volume prarie dog shooter and have owned and used both. The 223 is cheaper to reload and the brass is a bit cheaper, but, it will not reach out as far as my 22-250's. I built my last 22-250 from a Mauser 98 and it shoots every bit as good as my Remington VSSF. Both are great cartridges and you'll have a great time with either ......decisions, decisions, decisions......what's a guy to do???? .........:rolleyes:

03-23-2007, 07:36 PM
That's kind of like asking which car you should buy, or if it should be a truck. You don't say how you're gonna use it. For high volume shooting like prairie dogs or groundsquirrels, get a .223. But if it's just gonna be for coyotes, do a 22-250.

03-23-2007, 07:41 PM
I would get one of each!!!!!!! Then there is no decision making!!

03-23-2007, 08:08 PM
You guys are exactly right, I didn't tell you the application of the round. Mainly coyotes, bobcats and whitetail. 0-7,800 yards in the wide open prarie of Oklahoma. I have in the safe already a .243, .270, .300wsm, 30-06, 30-30, I really don't know why I want anymore, but I just can't help myself!!!!!!!

I like the idea of just building them both!! But since that is a nice thought, I better get back to the decision at hand. All of your thoughts make perfect sence. I want the range, I want the ability to shoot a little heavier bullet without a great increase in recoil.............sounds like a 22-243.........I've even thought about the .243wssm.........

Here I go again................

03-23-2007, 08:36 PM
Well seeing how you mentioned 700-800yds and on critters bigger than a dirt poodle I'd go with a 22-250 Ai , 26-28" barrel in 1-8 twist to shoot the 75 and 80 gr bullets.

He if its not gonna be a high volume gun at all like for shooting coyotes then I might even do a 22-243 with a 1-7 twist to shoot the newer 90gr VLD bullets.


for that type of range I personaly would go with a hot 6mm like the 243 Ai or 6-284 and shoot the 105gr A-max , it'll put the bigger varmints down a bit faster and more reliably at long range

03-23-2007, 11:55 PM
I'd be looking at 6.5 284.

03-24-2007, 04:00 AM
I always get in trouble for this, but here goes. I believe all 22 caliber's are limited to 300 to 350 yards. Past that distance the wind becomes a factor. If a person wants to shoot past 350 then they should shoot a larger caliber-there I said it. There are some real experts on this site, and I do respect them. I have been shooting ground hogs for 35 years. It is my favorite thing to do, and I probably spend 75 to 100 days a year in the ground hog fields. I can not find a dimes bit of difference between the 223 and the 22-250 out to 300 yards. Past three hundred you need a minimum of a 243 caliber(or larger). Please do not burn me up guys. By the way my vote is 223 Remington. Tom.

Sam in Va.
03-24-2007, 08:27 AM
Tom has a valid point here, I take one execption and may extend the range to say 400 yards esp. for the 22-250.. that being said if you are wanting to shoot 7-800 yards? better get outta the .224's and step up to the 6mms at least and preferably the .284 or .300... Ask yourself seriously.. at what range will "90% of your shots occur" and build the rifle to suit that range. Just a thought. I built a 22-250 8 twist for 500 yard groundhogs and was extremely dissapointed in the bullets performance! I built a 243AI and I have a laserbeam. Would I build a 223 or a 22-250 for 7-800 yard shooting/hunting? NO
JMO, Sam

03-24-2007, 09:40 AM
There are exceptions to nearly every rule, but in general, 350-375 yds are good killing ranges for 22 caliber ammo. I usually try to stay away from giving opinions when this type of question comes up, but since others have voiced their opinion, I'll agree with them. If you feel that most shots will be in the 7-800 yd range, go to the 6mm size pills. Lead death is lead death, but the 6mm pills carry a tad better. Its your money, but if it was me, I'd opt for the slightly heavier version. Bill.................

03-24-2007, 10:03 AM
you said you were building a custom - so you can pick the chambering you want. .223's and .22-250's are fine for factory rifles, but if you are going custom it's time to take a step further.

given the intended targets and situations you are describing - I would go for a .220 Swift AI with a barrel twist set up for a 55 gr bullet... You'll get horsepower, accuracy, brass life, etc.

If you were interested in shorter ranges, I would point you towards a slow twist .22 BR and shoot itty bitty bullets really fast. Longer distances require heavier bullets.

those are my thoughts, and they are worth exactly what you paid for them.


03-24-2007, 10:08 AM
that's a tall order!

03-24-2007, 10:50 AM
For a low recoil, up to 800 yards, varmint to deer cartridge I'd go with a 260 and use 140 gr. A-max's for vermin and 140 gr. Berger VLD's for deer. Trajectories between the two should be close and once you get to 400 yards, flat shooting doesn't mean near as much as high BC and retained velocity. A range finder is a great equalizer of cartridges. FWIW.

03-24-2007, 10:51 AM
That said the 223 is a glaring hole in your arsenal.

03-24-2007, 11:42 PM
As others have said, it all depends on what you want to shoot, and how far.

I will differ with Ackman here (an infrequent occurrance) about coyotes. The .223 is just fine, even preferable to me, for coyotes. I shoot most at ranges of a few yards to 60 or 80 yards. I actually look forward to the occasional 150 to 200 yd "long" shot. Of course, if one were shooting coyotes at longer ranges, the .22-250 would be better!

I've never had a .223AckImp, but sure would love to have one.

03-25-2007, 06:35 PM
A 223 to me is marginal at best beyond 250-300 yds. on coyotes, a 22-250 will give you another 100 yds maybe. This is assuming you know your rifle, have good rest, ammo etc...
As the others have posted a 6mm and larger is the medicine needed for longish range accuracy and knockdown power. there was an article in latest American Rifleman about a professional predator hunter that has a Nesika Bay, Krieger barreled rifle chambered in 6.5-284 and topped with Nightforce optics shooting as many as 700 coyotes per year at ranges up to and beyond 1000 yds shooting 142 SMKs. Pretty impressive if true story.
As stated previously, build the rifle according to the ranges you expect the majority of your shots to be taken.

03-25-2007, 10:48 PM
You all bring up great points and I tend to agree with most. Obviously, not all shots will be taken at that extreme range, but it's always nice to have the tools you need to reach out and touch 'em. I do think I will research the .243wssm a little also. Thank you all for your input, it is highly appreciated.

Woodchuckchucer............I like you sig pic. I take it you ride a little also?

03-25-2007, 11:40 PM
there is no way you need a custom rifle for coyote hunting. I saw 0-700 and 800 yards thrown around also which is pretty ridiculous. You need speed/bc to cover distance and the more powder you burn the more you erode the more so you want a larger diam bore so it errodes more slowly. I see all sorts of mistake here made in choosing a "custom" with no elaboration on your needs or application. The main reason customs exist is the persuit of speed and accuracy with more accurate cartridges. For normal coyote hunting any varmint type gun will do verry well and add a bipod and lots of time in the field and that is where you will see skills develope. If you do go custom you want a more accurate and efficient cart which means an AI. 223 is the perfect coyote gun because its enough gun for most shots and very quiet, 22-250 really goes require ear protection. For longer range you want a larger case in 6mm or larger and I would recomend larger like 257 cal. Now almost any gun capapable of making good 500+ yards shots will be blowing huge holes under 100. I would say to go but a savage or rem SS 223 and a tall pivot bipod and go use it for a year. If after that time you feel you still need something else then by all means. I think you will find its not the gun that makes the shots(or misses) its the shooter. If you go custom lawton has very reasonable custom actions.

03-26-2007, 12:26 AM
while shootin PDs I normally have a .17,,, 223,,,22-250 set up side by side,, two cooling off while Im shooting the other, when a longer shot becomes neccessary,, I reach for the 22-250 every time. I load the 22-250 for
3850 fps because thats were it shoots best, you cant get that velocity from the .223,, both guns are great, but if i had to choose ,, ,, it would be the 22-250. My longest shot with the 22-250 was 739 yards and it popped that PD three feet into the air. my .002

Coyote Duster
03-26-2007, 09:11 AM
When I see what you have already, you don't really have a bobcat rifle. The 223 would be the best choice to get for that. The 243 you already have would be the one for coyotes but it would cut a bobcat in half possibly.
You need something more fur friendly, the 223 would be better than the 22-250 in that respect.

03-26-2007, 12:51 PM
"I saw 0-700 and 800 yards thrown around also which is pretty ridiculous."
"I think you will find its not the gun that makes the shots(or misses) its the shooter."

You take em your way and I'll take em mine.
My longest kill to date is 756 yards. Like I mentioned in my earlier post, it's not nessecarily a case of 'need', it's a case of the 'wants'.

Sorry, he hit a nerve :o

03-26-2007, 04:21 PM
"I saw 0-700 and 800 yards thrown around also which is pretty ridiculous."
"I think you will find its not the gun that makes the shots(or misses) its the shooter."

You take em your way and I'll take em mine.
My longest kill to date is 756 yards. Like I mentioned in my earlier post, it's not nessecarily a case of 'need', it's a case of the 'wants'.

Sorry, he hit a nerve :o

Robbar is exactly right....lots of people are awfully casual about throwing distance around, and 700-800yd coyotes with a .22 definitely is pretty ridiculous. Now if your longest kill (coyote, buffalo, chipmunk, cricket, refrigerator, you don't say) so far is 756yds, how lucky for you. But I'm quite certain it's not done routinely. It wasn't done with a .22 caliber anything and neither .223 or .22-250 are suitable, which you must know, so why the question even?

03-28-2007, 09:39 PM
yotebuster had the right answer

03-28-2007, 10:25 PM
I prefer the 223 for what I do plinking, groundhogs most shots 250yds on in, you can see alot of your hits, very accurate, easy to load, components are fairly inexpensive, just a preference, the 22-250 is great I own a couple of them as well.
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03-28-2007, 11:22 PM
A lot of you are touting the 243AI. I am not familiar with that round and I'm interested to find some ballistics on this. Do you know where I can find some to be able to compare the 243AI to the 243wssm? I do like the idea of a heavier bullet. This lazy-boy, watchin tv, day dreaming can sure get you in trouble!!!!