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Old 05-31-2005, 06:10 AM
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.22-250 Barrel Life

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Yet another rifle and cartridge for consideration: I was at the range over the weekend and a gentleman let me shoot his Savage low profile varmint rifle. Very, very sweet. That Accutrigger is all they say it is. Anyway, to the point. I am going to get one, and I've always wanted to a .22-250 to add to the collection. I know that .22-250 is one of those cartridges that is considered a barrel burner. Anybody had any experience with this? Is it true? I figure if I load in low and keep the FPS down to around 3200 to 3500, it should be alright. What do you think? --Mykal
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Old 05-31-2005, 07:34 AM
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If you aren't shooting up 'dog towns, they'll last plenty long enough. Heck why load them to a .223 level.... speed kills! Just don't let the barrel get too hot.

What price fun????

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Old 05-31-2005, 08:09 AM
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Like Mike says, it's how you shoot a high performance round like the 22-250 that will determine ultimate barrel life. Put a couple of hundred rounds thru it as fast as you can cycle it and the barrel will be gone. I've had 22-250's that had in excess of 4000 rounds thru them before they got to the point of needing a new barrel.

Load a 50 or 55 grain bullet to 3700 3800 fps and shoot it. Again like mike says if your gonna shoot at 223 velocities get a 223. The fun of having a calibre that shoots that flat and far is shooting that flat and that far.

If your out in the squirrel fields and shoot a hundred rounds over an afternoon and don't let that barrel get to hot that rifle is going to last a long time. After a few years or ten years when accuracy starts degrading have a smith put on an aftermarket barrel and enjoy another ten years or more of shooting.

I got a friend with a pre-64 Winchester in 220 swift. We have killed thousands of squirrels with his and mine. This rifle just had a new barrel put in two years ago. He's been killing varmits with it since 1961 and it has a standard weight 26 incher on it.

I think folks make to much of "barrel burners". Go get that Savage and shoot it, you will like it. By the way the Average guy at home can with a barrel vise, set of go/no gauges and a Savage barrel wrench change out a Savage barrel in about ten minutes which means that you can have a change barrel gun within any calibre that will fit your magazine and bolt face.

Good luck on getting your new gun.
Bob from Idaho
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Old 05-31-2005, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Western, NY
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I have around 3,000 shots through my 22-250 and it still holds 3/4" groups with most loads. Yep, it will burn out my barrel someday, but then so will my 45-70 my 243 etc. I suppose. Rebarreling is certainly not a tremendous expense if you in time trash a barrel and many times you will find you got a better shooter out of it as a bonus. I would simply buy what you want and not be overly concerned about barrel burnout. A lot of that can be mitigated by not overheating your gun and not exclusively using the VERY hottest reloads
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Old 05-31-2005, 04:48 PM
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Yep, Mykal, (just back from the dog towns, so check a fresh thread in a few). Both my partner and I shoot both .223's and .22-250's. All three of the bigger ones we shoot were acquired used! And his shoot very tight holes. Mine's a Ruger #1, so I'm happy with the 1"ers that I'm getting so far with the 322. Just do not let that barrel get hotter than you can touch, then switch guns. Have no idea how many rounds we've fired, nor how many the previous owners' fired, but let's say many thousands now. No worries. The guys who burn their barrels are because of themselves, not their guns. Both of us do hold velocities down to 3500 fps with 40-55 grainers.
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Old 05-31-2005, 06:42 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Had a factory Ruger M77 in 22-250 I had rechambered to Ackley Improved. Shot a couple thousand rounds through it and was still shooting just fine when a co-worker made me a deal not to be refused. He and his brother still use it for varmit and antelope hunting.
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Old 05-31-2005, 06:47 PM
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Freind of mine had a 22/250 built on an Arisaka action about 1975. Medium heavy barrel, 26", rifled ended up at 9 1/2 pounds with scope (an old heavy 4-12X Weaver). He shot tha rifle for years, most fo teh rounds fired at fur rather than paper.

OVer the years the throat did wear a bit...he loaded loinger and longer bullets, seated farther and farther out. He declared it totally worn out once it refused to shoot 70gr. Speers, seated well out, into a 1" groups in 1995.

Call it 20 years of shooting, and by his records somthing over 5,000 rounds fired at fur.

After digesting (figure it in current prices) 5 cartons of primers (lets call that $60), something close to 26 pounds of powder (lets call that $300-#350), 50 boxes of 100 bullets (lets call that $400-$450), and something like 250-300 cases (we'll make these a "freebie"), the choice of rebarreling just didn't look all that bad after pouring soemthing close to $800 through it to burn it out.

Now he's not shy about velocity, figuring that if he wanted .223 speeds he'd shoot his .223...for him, the only reason to own is 22/250 is for the high velocity. Now to be fair, he usully only reaches for that rifle when the critters are past his .222's range, so he's not wasting the power of the round.
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Old 05-31-2005, 07:47 PM
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Thanks for the advice one and all. All your postings helped me put things in perspective. So I'm going to get that rifle, shoot it with a reasonable amount of care up to the cartridges' potential, and replace the barrel when the time comes to do so. Why didn't I think of that in the first place? I think I was suffering from BarrelBurningphobia. Your posts made me think "so you replace the barrel after 4000 rounds or so. Not exactly the end of the world." Thanks again. --Mykal
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Old 12-25-2007, 06:58 AM
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Yeah just stay away from something crazy like a 223 win super short magnum. Don't get me wrong 4600 fps sounds fun and all but I would imagine the barrel life being a bit low.
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Old 12-25-2007, 07:37 AM
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You will spend for more money on ammo than you will barrels and on a Savage the replacement barrels are very resonable and take just a few minutes to replace. With reasonable care 3k-5k isn't out of line for a sub MOA shooter.
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Old 12-31-2007, 07:47 PM
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Hi Guys, this past spring I decided on a varmint rifle and after hours of research and talking to a lot of people I narrowed it down to 2 calibers. The 22-250 and the 204 ruger. I choose the 204 and purchased a Savage 12 FLV this rifle is extremely accurate the only problem I have is 1 shot kills on yotes. I have shot 7 this fall during upland hunting ranges are from 80 yards to over 500 but have just 2 one shot kills. I am using 39gr BKS and H4895 powder and have .5 group @100 yards. If you choose the Savage the barrels are so easly changed I would not worry about burn out just have fun.
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