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  #1  
Old 01-05-2007, 05:07 AM
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.223 vs .22-250


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Thanks guys for all your help. I would like to hear your opinions on this long standing arguement between these two rounds. I am looking to purchase a long range varmint rifle and would like to hear what brands you all prefer. I have done some research and it seems that the higher cost rifles like Kimber,Tikka etc.. dont preform any better that a Savage. I just want something that I can punch tacks at 200 yards,,and then go out further. Let me hear from you,,,,thanks a bunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2007, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orionsoracle
Thanks guys for all your help. I would like to hear your opinions on this long standing arguement between these two rounds. I am looking to purchase a long range varmint rifle and would like to hear what brands you all prefer. I have done some research and it seems that the higher cost rifles like Kimber,Tikka etc.. dont preform any better that a Savage. I just want something that I can punch tacks at 200 yards,,and then go out further. Let me hear from you,,,,thanks a bunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well the idea that higher priced rifles don't perform better than a Savage is, in the words of the Spanish philosopher, bunko puro. Take a look at a Cooper Phoenix rifle and you'll see. I plan to reward myself with one in the next couple of months. The Cooper's come with test targets that usually have groups in .2's (yeah done in a tunnel) and no Savage can compare. My friend has become a Cooper junkie, now owning three of them. I also have a Remington 40XB in .22-250 that killed more ground squirrel than most people will ever see, and a copy of that little gun will set you back $2,200. It shot .25" out of the box, something a Savage can't do without luck and tuning. The Savage is a fine rifle and a great value, it will do the job, but if you want to really stretch the range then the rifle will have to shoot within at least .25" to .5" for squirrel sized targets. So if you're really planning on having a long range tackdriver, then you may want to be certain the Savage will do what you expect.

I use the .223 in a custom built Remington 788 that takes squirrels within 150 yards, but beyond that, say out to 250 yards the .22-250 reigns supreme. The .223 doesn't have the velocity to launch heavy enough bullets to "buck" the wind at those distances. The time of flight is too slow so the wind has more time to act on the bullet's flight. When things are still, then ranges can be stretched out.

The .223 is more fun, cheaper to shoot and recoils less, but the .22-250 will allow for the longer shots with 55-60 grain bullets at higher velocity. No matter what you buy you will have fun, so go do it!

Last edited by axlenut; 01-05-2007 at 09:19 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2007, 09:41 AM
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Out-of-the-box accuracy is invariably better guaranteed with the high end European and custom rifles. The Savage or a Remington may match the performance and may not. My Savage 10FP required a stock change and some tuning and load development to shoot .308's below .5", but my Steyr Scout did it out of the box. My old Remington 600 in .222 always turned out groups in the "2's right out of the box. What you will get is hit or miss with the less expensive rifles. Those that come with groups are usually going to be good.

The plus side of the Remingtons is the vast selection of aftermarket parts and equipment and tooling available, and the large number of people who can customize them and get them shooting tiny groups. The Savage's increasing popularity is growing these areas for it. In the end, you really want to decide whether to lay money down now, or to save now, but set both money and time aside for custom work in case you don't get lucky out-of-the-box?

I've shot the .223 to 1000 yards at Camp Perry. Single-loaded 80 grain VLD's are required for best performance, so you need at least an 8" twist with 7.5" being even better. The Army Marksmanship unit has it's guys do this with match-barreled M16's. The same loads keep up with the .308's to that range, though the .30-06 loaded to modern rifle pressures will beat it. So, if you have a fast twist barrel that can stabilize the heavy high-BC bullets, you may do just fine with .223 to quite a distance, but that specialized barrel and loading are required. The .22-250 will take less specialization to get there and will need a bit less elevation compensation.

Incidentally, wind drift is not a function of the bullet's total "hang time" on the way to the target, but rather is a function of the difference between that time and the time it would take for the bullet to get to the target in a vacuum. This is a function of the ballistic coefficent at the velocities in flight. It explains why a long, high BC bullet at lower velocity can buck wind better than a light, fast bullet that gets to the target sooner.
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Last edited by unclenick; 01-05-2007 at 09:45 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2007, 11:03 AM
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I've spent lots of years chucking .224 bullets downrange both at varmits and some benchrest competition. If your looking for ultimate accuracy you'll probably want to get into one of the dedicated bench guns and cartridges such as the PPC cartridges.

As for the argument between the 223 and the 22-250, well out to 300 yards there's not a lot of difference. Past that the 22-250 begins to shine.

Tell you what I'm shooting now is two guns. A few years ago I switched from the 22-250 to the 243 Winchester. With 55 grain Noslers at just under 4000 fps it gives you an edge over the 22-250 for flat shooting and carries lots of energy to coyotes out to 500 yards.

Now for the new gun. Last year I had two friends whom are big into varmit shooting and both of them bought guns chambered in the new Ruger 204. This cartridge pushs 32, 35, 39, 40 and 45 grain bullets between 4200 and 3800 fps depending on the bullet weight.

Shooting between 24 and 26 grains of powder it shoots flatter than the 22-250 and the 220 Swift and recoil is so light you can watch your hits in the scope.

I finally bought a CZ 527 Varmit with a 25.5 inch bbl and even with the heavy barrel and a target scope it just tops nine pounds. This makes it a great rifle to carry to coyote setups and capable of shots to 500 yards.

It's one you may want to consider when looking at a new gun.

As for the 223 vs 22-250 argument both do an excellent job. If you don't reload the 223 ammo is more obtainable. My favorite of the two edges toward the 22-250, but I've used both and can't gripe on either for accuracy.

Here's my new CZ and a couple of hundred yards targets. It wears an old Japanese Tasco 8 by 32 target dot scope I picked up at a pawn shop several years ago. The other two varmit rifles I shoot are a 243 Rem 26 inch VLS with a BSA 6 by 24 illuminated mil dot scope and a Ruger #1 B 26 inch bble in 243 with a 2.5 by 10 Weaver Classic scope.

The targets are the first two handloads from the 204.
Attached Thumbnails
.223 vs .22-250-cz-527-204-2.jpg   .223 vs .22-250-700-vls-243.jpg   .223 vs .22-250-ruger-stock3.jpg   .223 vs .22-250-cz527-204-40gr-horn-09-09-063.jpg   .223 vs .22-250-cz-527-204-0909061.jpg  

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  #5  
Old 01-05-2007, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orionsoracle
Thanks guys for all your help. I would like to hear your opinions on this long standing arguement between these two rounds. I am looking to purchase a long range varmint rifle and would like to hear what brands you all prefer. I have done some research and it seems that the higher cost rifles like Kimber,Tikka etc.. dont preform any better that a Savage. I just want something that I can punch tacks at 200 yards,,and then go out further. Let me hear from you,,,,thanks a bunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will say that there are those high dollar precision rifles being built today, that Remington and Savage will never match. The ole saying, "You only get what you pay for is very true in custom high dollar rifles".

It is very possible to end up having a Savage or Remington that will in fact (with handloads) with some minor tweaking, give you 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards but that does not make them bench guns by any means.

I favor for the average weekend shooter or varmint hunter, the caliber .223 because it is cheaper on ammo and out to a distance of 300 yards .....there really is NONE OK. Now past that 300 yard marker, yes the 22-250 will shine but so must your abilities in doping the wind etc inorder to make hits.
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2007, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orionsoracle
Thanks guys for all your help. I would like to hear your opinions on this long standing arguement between these two rounds. I am looking to purchase a long range varmint rifle and would like to hear what brands you all prefer. I have done some research and it seems that the higher cost rifles like Kimber,Tikka etc.. dont preform any better that a Savage. I just want something that I can punch tacks at 200 yards,,and then go out further. Let me hear from you,,,,thanks a bunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lotsa critters... use a .223.

Few critters, long range, big messes ... use a .22-250

That should about sum it up!
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2007, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG
Lotsa critters... use a .223.

Few critters, long range, big messes ... use a .22-250

That should about sum it up!

I always enjoy your posts MikeG, simple and to the point.
Next Christmas, the bottle of Aberlour goes into your stocking It's a little too refined for kdub anyway....I use Glenfeddich in my Zippo.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2007, 06:03 PM
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mabybe a 204 ruger....

Quote:
Originally Posted by axlenut
Well the idea that higher priced rifles don't perform better than a Savage is, in the words of the Spanish philosopher, bunko puro. Take a look at a Cooper Phoenix rifle and you'll see. I plan to reward myself with one in the next couple of months. The Cooper's come with test targets that usually have groups in .2's (yeah done in a tunnel) and no Savage can compare. My friend has become a Cooper junkie, now owning three of them. I also have a Remington 40XB in .22-250 that killed more ground squirrel than most people will ever see, and a copy of that little gun will set you back $2,200. It shot .25" out of the box, something a Savage can't do without luck and tuning. The Savage is a fine rifle and a great value, it will do the job, but if you want to really stretch the range then the rifle will have to shoot within at least .25" to .5" for squirrel sized targets. So if you're really planning on having a long range tackdriver, then you may want to be certain the Savage will do what you expect.

I use the .223 in a custom built Remington 788 that takes squirrels within 150 yards, but beyond that, say out to 250 yards the .22-250 reigns supreme. The .223 doesn't have the velocity to launch heavy enough bullets to "buck" the wind at those distances. The time of flight is too slow so the wind has more time to act on the bullet's flight. When things are still, then ranges can be stretched out.

The .223 is more fun, cheaper to shoot and recoils less, but the .22-250 will allow for the longer shots with 55-60 grain bullets at higher velocity. No matter what you buy you will have fun, so go do it!

The 223rem will be cheaper...less recoil, but will have problems past 250 in my experience shooting p-dogs here in Montana. I have a Cooper Phoenix in 204ruger and with 40graners I shoot right with guys with 22-250's. But again they are expensive..... In either case the 22-250 can be used for a wider range of game, depending on your load. I know guys that use a 22-250 for p-dogs in summer and for deer and antelope in the fall and winter....
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2007, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumberjak
I always enjoy your posts MikeG, simple and to the point.
Next Christmas, the bottle of Aberlour goes into your stocking It's a little too refined for kdub anyway....I use Glenfeddich in my Zippo.
Thanks, bud! I'll be sure to get you my address in time for the holiday next year
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2007, 08:10 PM
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O' Slayer of Okieland's mighty forests - you still got the habit and require a Zippo? Tsk, tsk, tsk!
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2007, 08:18 PM
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I just picked up the stevens model 200 in 223 its a savage rifle without the accu trigger and I hit the orange dot 3 times one on top of the other at 200 yards.. dont even need the accu trigger but if you really want long range I would pick up the 22-250 the 223 is only good up to 300 yards I went with the 223 cause I needed a military rifle round in case SHTF and A gun to hunt coyotes with so I took out two birds with one stone and dont be leary about the savage rifles you are just giving up the high cost nothing else
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2007, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orionsoracle
... I am looking to purchase a long range varmint rifle and would like to hear what brands you all prefer. I have done some research and it seems that the higher cost rifles like Kimber,Tikka etc.. dont preform any better that a Savage. I just want something that I can punch tacks at 200 yards,,and then go out further...
If all you want to do is punch paper at 100 or 200 yards, it doesn't make much difference what make rifle or caliber you choose. There are probably quite a number of combinations out there that will do the job adequately. For some people, cost is a major factor. For those, a Savage would be hard to beat. Other people prefer to have fancier wood, or something you don't see everywhere you go. For those, a Kimber or Cooper might be the way to go.

For punching paper or small varmints out to 250 or 300 yards, a .223 would be a great choice. Beyond that range, or for larger varmints, I prefer something with more punch and a flatter trajectory. This is where the .22-250, 220 Swift, etc., or one of the .243's with lighter weight bullets really have an advantage.

Most of the commercial bolt action rifles in .223 have a 1:12" twist barrel that's best suited to lighter weight bullets, like the 40 to 45 grain varmint types. These can be very accurate, and give explosive performance on small varmints at closer ranges, i.e. <250 to 300 yards. Most of the AR's in 5.56mm have faster twist barrels (1:7" to 1:9") and are designed to shoot heavier weight bullts, like 50 grains and up. These can shoot the light weight bullets, but that's not what they're designed for.

A buddy of mine has a heavy barreled Savage .223 single shot rifle that with 40 grain hand loads can shoot 5 shot groups at 100 yards with about all the holes touching. That type of performance would be hard to beat with a rifle at any price. Despite this, this guy uses his Savage in .22-250 for most of his long range varminting. The .22-250 isn't quite as accurate as his .223, but he likes the extra reach the .22-250 gives him.

Here are some of my varmint rifles. The one on top is a Bushmaster XM15 Varmint Special in 5.56mm (1:9" twist) with Leupold VX-III 4.5-14x40mm LR scope.
The one on the top in the photo below is my Winchester M70 Coyote in 243 WSSM with Leupold VX-III 4.5-14x50mm LR scope. The lower one is my Kimber 84M Varmint in .22-250 with Leupold Vari-X III 4.5-14x50mm Illuminated Reticle scope.

For target shooting at a 200 yard range, with the right loads, any of them can give under .5 MOA accuracy. For varminting, if most of my shooting will be under 300 yards, I'd probably go with the Bushmaster. If I'm going to do a lot of walking, and the shots will be under 400 yards, I'd probably go with the Kimber. It the shots could be beyond 400 yards, I'd pick the Coyote.

I'd also like to try one of the new Savage Long Range Precision Varminters in 204 Ruger. From everything I've heard, the 204 Ruger would make a really great long range praire dog or light varmint round, with .22-250 like trajectory, and such light recoil that you could see your hits through the scope.

I guess the point of all my ramblings is that there really isn't just one round or rifle that will do everything. Many will give the performance you want. Others will give the performance and will be beautiful to look at too. You just can't have enough target/varmint rifles.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:01 PM
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"You just can't have enough target/varmint rifles."

Very true!

So the answer is, buy one of each!

.
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2007, 12:41 PM
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"long range" being the operative words: I'd go with the .22-250

You can get a really accurate rifle, if you want to spend the big bucks to buy one. Or you can send the rifle to Hill Country and they'll make it accurate, or you can do it yourself.
Yes, you can buy accuracy, but not necessarily buy it off the shelf.
If you buy a Kimber or something a bit pricier than the average stuff, there is no guarantee it will shoot better than a less expensive Savage.
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2007, 02:52 PM
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Well lets see:

CZ 527 Varmit in 204 Ruger-----------$550.00
Set trigger--------------------------------Free
Scope Rings-------------------------------Free
Super Sling-------------------------------$12.95
Sitdown bipod----------------------------$69.95
8 by 32 Tasco target dot scope----------$75.99 used
Half inch 100 yard groups----------------Priceless

The fact that it shoots as flat as the 22-250 or a 220 Swift and gives you the ability to see the hits in the scope make this a premier varmit rifle. Another good point is if you plan on harvesting coyote or bobcat or fox hides this load usually won't exit making your hides worth much more. If you've ever shot coyotes with a 22-250 they are super explosive and usually tear hides up where you've got to sew them and value goes down.

Darn I'm really beginning to love this little rifle. Forget the 22's and take a good look at this new 20 caliber round.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:17 PM
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You want to shoot coyotes and the like, go the .22-250. Otherwise, use the .223. I prairie dog annually in WY and we always run out of ammo. My partner usually has 1000 rds, and I'm right near it, divided between the two for both of us. Can't tell the difference between them. I use 40 grain Vmax's, he's 50's, still can't tell the difference. Our guns are just usual run of the mill stuff, and we're easily at .5" or less and haven't really tried for better. All it takes is good bullets, like the Vmax, great powder like H322 or Benchmark, and time...I've even got a Ruger #1 now shooting down near .5" which I'd been told couldn't be done. Nonsense.
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  #17  
Old 01-09-2007, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faucettb
Well lets see:

CZ 527 Varmit in 204 Ruger-----------$550.00
Set trigger--------------------------------Free
Scope Rings-------------------------------Free
Super Sling-------------------------------$12.95
Sitdown bipod----------------------------$69.95
8 by 32 Tasco target dot scope----------$75.99 used
Half inch 100 yard groups----------------Priceless

The fact that it shoots as flat as the 22-250 or a 220 Swift and gives you the ability to see the hits in the scope make this a premier varmit rifle. Another good point is if you plan on harvesting coyote or bobcat or fox hides this load usually won't exit making your hides worth much more. If you've ever shot coyotes with a 22-250 they are super explosive and usually tear hides up where you've got to sew them and value goes down.

Darn I'm really beginning to love this little rifle. Forget the 22's and take a good look at this new 20 caliber round.

If we are bringing other guns into this discussion....yep...the .204 is a great one to bring in
Very intriguing caliber!!
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