I already have several deer rifles 30-30 to a 300 cal however now I'm trying to decide to purchase a small game rifle something other than a .22. I have been leaning toward a .223 or 22-250. I would like some feed back on which one would benefit me the most.
I have had a .223 and a .22-250, both of which served me well. I found that the .22-250 allowed me to reach those coyotes further out as the winter wore on and they became a little more cautious. However the .223 uses less powder and brass can be quite a bit cheaper. Not knowing the range you will be shooting, I would suggest the .22-250 to give you the added range and flexibility.
I have since traded these two rifles for a .222 (shoots like dream) for anything smaller than a coyote and a .243 Win for coyotes and antelope.
What are you planning on using this for the most? Are varmints your main focus or squirrels? If you are looking for something all around, something a little slower like 22 Hornet or 218 Bee might be good medicine. Especially if your typical shooting ranges are 150-200 yards or include lots of edible critters. There are quite a few sporter weight rifles (without the big bull barrels) for toting through the woods chambered in these rounds. If this is going to be strictly targets and long range varminting, 223, 22-250, 220 Swift would all be great choices. Just about any of the major manufacturers make excellent heavy barreled bolt action varmint rifles, Ruger has the No. 1 single shot (my personal favorite), Browning was making a Mini version of the Model 71 in 218 Bee, I'm not sure if they still are, but reports were that it was a very accurate lever gun. Whatever your fancy is, there are some really excellent rifles, actions and cartridges out there. Just find something that suits you and your intended use. Good luck and let us know what you decide and how it performs. One of the most accurate rifles I have ever shot was a Ruger No. 1 in 220 Swift. It was really something.
I'm looking for the next rifle in the same type of cal. The need for me is to have a less expensive round to practice and occasionally varmint with.
Ruger has the #1S in 218 Bee which is neat and has a traj like a slow 30-06, which makes sense for cheap practice.
I'd also like to find a Sako or Kimber in .222 Rem. It was, and is, a benchrest caliber, so I'd expect excellent accuracy... The Czech CZ also comes in .222 & .223 and would be a suitable, though I'm not sure as accurate(?) as the other brands.
If you're heading out after coyotes in the winter and want some hide left, better stay away from those 4000 fps 22-250 bullets--many times it'll blow terrible huge holes in them. I shoot a .17 Remington for coyotes when I intend to pull the hides. 22 Hornet would also be a good choice within 150 yards with a 45 grain round nose hollow point (Remington's "hornet" bullet)--it will often exit, but with only a half-inch hole which needs one or two stitches. Do a little research on the .17 Remington--it performs amazingly well and leaves a hide worth skinning.
The Ruger No. 1 in Bee is the hands down winner in the "cool" catagory. Decent ballistics too. But if cost is any part of the equation, get the .223. While I'm not impressed by the durability of Savage's big game rifles, a heavy barrel .223 should hold up well and give excellent accuracy on a budget.
I use a .243 Winchester with 100 Gr bullets. Shoot anything from paper to deer. I shot a cow elk at 200 yards once, ( It was the rifle I had at the time ) Took one shot and she didn't move, broke one rib and right into the top of the heart. I was impressed with that and I didn't have any blood shock. I have to say the .243 is small for that.
I reload for it at about .20 a round and am really impressed with performance.
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