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Author Topic: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber  (Read 2374 times)

Offline 7mmfan

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opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« on: December 11, 2019, 08:58:15 AM »
I'm close to putting my money down and buying a new rifle. I'm looking at a compact, lightweight rifle I can carry in the off season for coyotes, grouse, whatever. It will also be used to teach my son to shoot in a couple years. I've narrowed it down to .223 or 22-250. I've always wanted a 22-250, but I'm not convinced that it is so much better than .223 that I should just go for it. The things I'm considering:

Reloading
Off the shelf ammo price/availability/selection
Recoil (young shooter)
Accuracy to 300 yards
Ability to kill deer (legal in Idaho)

I've been leaning towards the .223 because of the overwhelming availability of ammo, but I do reload so I'm not to terribly worried about it. If someone can convince me that the 22-250 is significantly better, I may go that way instead.
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Offline Skillet

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2019, 09:15:16 AM »
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2019, 09:20:58 AM »
The 22-250 is a lot more horse power than the .223. If deer were even a possibility with this rifle than 22-250 absolutely.  Get one with a 10 or 12 twist so you can shoot some heavier pills.
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2019, 09:25:12 AM »
With that said, if you reload, get a .243 and just load down. You can push a 55gr ballistic tip from 2,500fps up to 3,900fps if you want or load 100gr pills for deer. I've got a very reduced recoil load with 55's that my kids have been shooting since they were little ones.
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Offline Eric M

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2019, 09:31:37 AM »
Another vote for the 22-250. And as far as availability, a few years back there was no 5.56 or .223 on the shelf due to "ammo shortage", but I could still find shells and hand loading components for the 22-250.
https://www.petersenshunting.com/editorial/versus-best-coyote-caliber/272881

Offline Yondering

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2019, 10:05:42 AM »
Everything you listed as "wants" points to the 223. Just get one.

You'll shoot a 223 more (less recoil & blast, less barrel heating, less noise, cheap component/ammo costs, etc) which translates to more practice and better skill, your son will enjoy it more, and powder will last you a lot longer. If you buy factory ammo, 223 is plentiful and cheap, much more so than 22-250. And, if you can't kill a deer within 300 yards with the right bullet in a 223, the problem is the shooter, not the gun or cartridge. There's nothing wrong with a 22-250, but "more horsepower" isn't everything, and isn't necessarily desirable.

I don't buy the shortage argument especially with the follow-up about 22-250 components always being available. 223 brass is everywhere, just wander through a few gravel pits and pick it up for free. Both cartridges use the same bullets, and there is a wider selection of powders that work really well in the 223.

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2019, 10:08:23 AM »
For 300 yards, since you reload the 22-250 would be my choice over 223.   Especially if deer is on the menu, as you're getting ~20% more energy at 300 yards with a 22-250.   Although I agree with Karl on just downloading a 243 if needed, as it gives you more future uses as your son grows. 


Except you mention grouse, which couldn't use a 243 on grouse in WA.  I don't know ID regs well enough to know if you can there.   Granted I'm assuming you're taking headshots on grouse with any of the calibers mentioned anyway. 


A combination gun could be fun for the mentioned use of walking around gun for coyote/grouse/deer.   Double Badger in 243/.410; Baikal IZH 94 in a variety of rifle/shotgun combos; or an older Savage 24 (I don't like the new ones).   
     
« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 10:31:09 AM by kselkhunter »

Offline HUNT JR

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2019, 10:14:49 AM »
Another vote for the 22-250. I have seen far more coyotes eat a .223 and run off to die than I have with a 22-250. Most of my coyotes shot with a 22-250 are DRT.

Offline Yondering

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2019, 10:21:29 AM »
Another vote for the 22-250. I have seen far more coyotes eat a .223 and run off to die than I have with a 22-250. Most of my coyotes shot with a 22-250 are DRT.

Coyotes shot with either one in the right spot and good bullets don't run very far. Don't blame poor shooting on a cartridge.

I have to wonder how many of the recommendations for a 22-250 here are just because it's what that person owns...

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2019, 10:25:14 AM »
Get a light .223 plinker and when he's ready get your son a dedicated .243 present that's his only when he passes hunter ed.


Offline ellensburgpo

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2019, 10:33:54 AM »
Between the 22-250 and 223 Iíd go 223 but frankly they cover the same ground. Cheaper ammo and for a kiddo itís a good start. Out of all the guns in the safe, the 223 I set up is hands down my favorite to shoot. Cheap ammo and no recoil. If coyotes are eating 223ís and running off thatís more a comment on placement and bullet selection I bet.
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2019, 10:35:02 AM »
Another vote for the 22-250. I have seen far more coyotes eat a .223 and run off to die than I have with a 22-250. Most of my coyotes shot with a 22-250 are DRT.

Coyotes shot with either one in the right spot and good bullets don't run very far. Don't blame poor shooting on a cartridge.

I have to wonder how many of the recommendations for a 22-250 here are just because it's what that person owns...
that's a pretty big assumption. I own multiple .223's and have shot the barrel out of several 22-250's. Both have very minimal recoil, lots of ammo options, land ots of platforms to choose from. To me, I come back to the deer. .223 will kill deer no problem but it NEVER hurts to have more "horsepower" when taking the life of an animal. My daughter is a 55lb 10 year old. About as small as a big game hunter is gonna get. If she can shoot all of the above mentioned calibers than i think Rory's kids will be just fine with any of them.
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Offline HUNT JR

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2019, 10:42:00 AM »
Another vote for the 22-250. I have seen far more coyotes eat a .223 and run off to die than I have with a 22-250. Most of my coyotes shot with a 22-250 are DRT.

Coyotes shot with either one in the right spot and good bullets don't run very far. Don't blame poor shooting on a cartridge.

I have to wonder how many of the recommendations for a 22-250 here are just because it's what that person owns...

I have shot plenty of both guns so it isn't based off just what I own. I agree with Karl in that more horsepower is never a bad thing. In my experience I have seen fewer coyotes eat a 22-250 regardless of shot placement. If you choose not to believe me that is alright by me. I agree a 223 is fine, but a 22-250 is better.  :twocents:

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2019, 11:19:55 AM »
I think the 300 yard and deer requirements are what is driving the 22-250 comments.  If you removed those from the list, then sure it doesn't matter as much between 223 and 22-250 and the cheap ammo arguments likely win out for the 223.   


Some quick ballistics for a deer load since you handload:
22-250 - handload a 60gr Partition (as example) up to 3400-3600fps MV, with 800+ ft-lbs of energy on impact at 300 yards.

223 - handload a 60gr Partition up to 2900-3100fps, with 600-700 ft-lbs of energy at 300 yards.

223 cheap factory loads are going to range from 400-500ft-lbs at 300 yards depending on brand and bullet; many of them varmint bullets.  When looking at deer suitable bullets in 223 the "cheap" and available factor isn't as significant.


For deer inside 100 yards, or coyotes in general, the performance differences between the cartridges become less important.   

Offline huntnphool

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2019, 11:26:03 AM »
With that said, if you reload, get a .243 and just load down. You can push a 55gr ballistic tip from 2,500fps up to 3,900fps if you want or load 100gr pills for deer. I've got a very reduced recoil load with 55's that my kids have been shooting since they were little ones.

 Iím with Karl. You May enjoy the size/weight and at some point want to pack it for deer. That option is gone in this state if you drop below the .243. :twocents:
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Offline b23

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2019, 01:24:28 PM »
If this will be a relatively shorter-ish range fun gun and you'll be shooting it a lot, I'd probably go 223.  If you'll only be shooting this a couple hundred rounds per year, just about any of the above that have been suggested could be the better choice.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2019, 02:02:49 PM »
Ok, lets simplify this, as some of you have brought up some good points.

The deer aspect was a pretty significant "what if" in my department. Realistically when the boy is ready to hunt, he'll have his own rifle, of significant enough caliber to not be a consideration in this department.

This gun is meant to teach shooting technique to a young one, and to have a small fun to shoot caliber that is accurate out to 300ish yards and can be reloaded or not break the bank if buying off the shelf. Most likely targets will be grouse and coyotes. Short, compact, lightweight are the key components I'm worried about.

I've never shot a 22-250 or 223 before. Is the recoil difference between a 223 and 22-250 noticeable? Is it noticeable enough to punish an 8 year old boy who is likely to be big for his age?
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Offline HUNT JR

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2019, 02:13:09 PM »
As far as recoil goes neither have that much recoil but the .223 is going to be the lighter recoiling rifle in a lighter package. I couldn't imagine that it would be any issue for an 8 year old to shoot either though.

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2019, 02:23:29 PM »
Ok, lets simplify this, as some of you have brought up some good points.

The deer aspect was a pretty significant "what if" in my department. Realistically when the boy is ready to hunt, he'll have his own rifle, of significant enough caliber to not be a consideration in this department.

This gun is meant to teach shooting technique to a young one, and to have a small fun to shoot caliber that is accurate out to 300ish yards and can be reloaded or not break the bank if buying off the shelf. Most likely targets will be grouse and coyotes. Short, compact, lightweight are the key components I'm worried about.

I've never shot a 22-250 or 223 before. Is the recoil difference between a 223 and 22-250 noticeable? Is it noticeable enough to punish an 8 year old boy who is likely to be big for his age?

If deer is removed, then I would change my recommendation from 22-250 over to just a 223.     


An 8 year old should be fine with a 223 recoil.   Worst case you could start him on the subsonic stuff. That Atomic subsonic 223 ammo is only 188 ft-lbs of muzzle energy....that's 22lr levels.   Plus would be more useful on grouse than a full power 223 round. 

   

Offline hunter399

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2019, 02:31:05 PM »
My vote 223
If it where me I would not shoot deer farther than 200 yard maybe 250 ,I would say 300 yard if your excellent shot .A perfect lung and a shoulder shot could mean the difference between filling a tag.
With that said cheap rounds for coyotes and grouse,
A lot Better bullets for deer.
If I lived in Idaho and was hunting timber for deer 200 yard less I would hunt deer all day every day.
Two birds in the Bush is always better than one in the hand-that way you can always go to the Bush and hunt another day .conservation=Better hunting.
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Offline h20hunter

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2019, 02:39:35 PM »
.223 super versatile and in the right conditions far more capable then 300. That being said I say go bigger, more versatile, and will allow for further use in various hunts for really forever. Get out the man bun, here it comes......dah dah dah 6.5 creed! Get one that will last and he will own it forever.

Offline b23

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2019, 02:41:51 PM »
Ok, lets simplify this, as some of you have brought up some good points.

The deer aspect was a pretty significant "what if" in my department. Realistically when the boy is ready to hunt, he'll have his own rifle, of significant enough caliber to not be a consideration in this department.

This gun is meant to teach shooting technique to a young one, and to have a small fun to shoot caliber that is accurate out to 300ish yards and can be reloaded or not break the bank if buying off the shelf. Most likely targets will be grouse and coyotes. Short, compact, lightweight are the key components I'm worried about.

I've never shot a 22-250 or 223 before. Is the recoil difference between a 223 and 22-250 noticeable? Is it noticeable enough to punish an 8 year old boy who is likely to be big for his age?

Of those two, based on your criteria, I'd definitely go 223 over 22-250.

Maybe even consider a CZ 527 17 Hornet in their American model. 

Offline huntnphool

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2019, 02:48:19 PM »
Ok, lets simplify this, as some of you have brought up some good points.

The deer aspect was a pretty significant "what if" in my department. Realistically when the boy is ready to hunt, he'll have his own rifle, of significant enough caliber to not be a consideration in this department.

This gun is meant to teach shooting technique to a young one, and to have a small fun to shoot caliber that is accurate out to 300ish yards and can be reloaded or not break the bank if buying off the shelf. Most likely targets will be grouse and coyotes. Short, compact, lightweight are the key components I'm worried about.

I've never shot a 22-250 or 223 before. Is the recoil difference between a 223 and 22-250 noticeable? Is it noticeable enough to punish an 8 year old boy who is likely to be big for his age?

Of those two, based on your criteria, I'd definitely go 223 over 22-250.

Maybe even consider a CZ 527 17 Hornet in their American model.

 .204 as well
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Offline syoungs

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2019, 02:57:15 PM »
to me, it seems like you really want the 22-250. That in itself is enough reason for me to get one.

Realistically, for the uses that you have posted out, the .223 is a better choice. Much cheaper and more abundant factory ammo. Brass is cheap for reloading. powder is cheaper for reloading. Can reload it down to bunnyfart loads and use it for the grouse, can up it to a higher load for coyotes/deer. amazing barrel life, so it could easily turn into a hand-me down.

The recoil difference isn't that huge, but it is there. the .223 is softer shooting with factory ammo, and can be downloaded further.

If I were in your shoes, I would go .223. the barrel life, cost and recoil all drive me to thinking that its the best rifle for your intended uses, though I do understand the draw to other calibers. I own a few guns that are very redundant in their capacity, just because I can lol.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2019, 03:40:28 PM »
Ok, I'm leaning now. The next question would be which one to get? This gun will spend a lot of time strapped to a pack with the goal of not being in the way. Shorter, more compact and lightweight the better. Stainless and synthetic preferred for longevity. Suggestions on rifle brand/model?

Have looked at the Ruger compacts, Tikka T3Xlite compact, I believe Howa has a compact rifle as well.
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Offline b23

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2019, 03:54:09 PM »
Have looked at the Ruger compacts, Tikka T3Xlite compact, I believe Howa has a compact rifle as well.

Of those three, the Howa is the only one I have any personal experience with and it was actually in a 223 with a 20in barrel, but it was more of a varmint contour and not a skinny barrel, regardless, it was a very good shooting little gun.

Never owned one, but you always hear good things about the Tikka's so I don't think you can go wrong there, either. 

I've never been much of a Ruger fan so of those three, the Ruger would be my last pick.

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2019, 03:59:39 PM »
See Howa photo above.  6#

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2019, 06:28:02 PM »
.223 super versatile and in the right conditions far more capable then 300. That being said I say go bigger, more versatile, and will allow for further use in various hunts for really forever. Get out the man bun, here it comes......dah dah dah 6.5 creed! Get one that will last and he will own it forever.

 I'm surprised you can sit down at the bench to shoot that man bun of yours with those skinny Jean's you been wearing. At least thr shakes have worn off since you started drinking soy vanilla lattes.
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Offline jackelope

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2019, 06:46:08 PM »
I can tell you with 110% certainty that if grouse is really something youíre interested in shooting with this new rifle, the 22-250  has waaayyyy too much horsepower. Think poof! and feathers everywhere nearly vaporizing your quarry.
Bad idea.
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Offline 7mmfan

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2019, 06:51:27 PM »
I can tell you with 110% certainty that if grouse is really something youíre interested in shooting with this new rifle, the 22-250  has waaayyyy too much horsepower. Think poof! and feathers everywhere nearly vaporizing your quarry.
Bad idea.

I've experienced the ploof with a number of different rifles over the years.  I'm quite familiar with it unfortunately  :chuckle:  I'm thinking head shots strictly, hence the smaller, lower recoil,  highly accurate caliber.
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Offline Yondering

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2019, 07:38:25 PM »
I agree with Karl in that more horsepower is never a bad thing.

And that's where we disagree, because more horsepower certainly can be a bad thing when it's not worth the trade off. It comes at the cost of recoil, barrel heat, etc and in the case of larger cartridges, for most people it translates to less practice and proficiency with the rifle. I know the common thought among a lot of hunters here is that a big magnum is better than a smaller cartridge for hunting, but when you get the opinion of people who actually shoot a lot, that suggestion usually changes to using smaller cartridges. With a few exceptions of course.

You and I may not feel like there's much difference between shooting a 223 and a 22-250, but for an 8 year old kid? It may be the difference between shooting 5-10 rounds for practice and 50. That's been my experience in teaching my own kids to shoot. And if a guy loads his own ammo, the smaller powder charges and plentiful free brass for the 223 should not be overlooked.

Offline huntnphool

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2019, 11:14:19 PM »
 Iíve owned several, Iíd purchase the Ruger again, the Howa... :dunno:
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Offline b23

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2019, 12:12:14 AM »
I agree with Karl in that more horsepower is never a bad thing.

And that's where we disagree, because more horsepower certainly can be a bad thing when it's not worth the trade off. It comes at the cost of recoil, barrel heat, etc and in the case of larger cartridges, for most people it translates to less practice and proficiency with the rifle. I know the common thought among a lot of hunters here is that a big magnum is better than a smaller cartridge for hunting, but when you get the opinion of people who actually shoot a lot, that suggestion usually changes to using smaller cartridges. With a few exceptions of course.

You and I may not feel like there's much difference between shooting a 223 and a 22-250, but for an 8 year old kid? It may be the difference between shooting 5-10 rounds for practice and 50. That's been my experience in teaching my own kids to shoot. And if a guy loads his own ammo, the smaller powder charges and plentiful free brass for the 223 should not be overlooked.

This is kinda why I mentioned the little 17 Hornet.  It's like a big overgrown rimfire on steroids but has close to zero recoil, isn't all that loud, and is cheap to shoot, not to mention they generally shoot pretty well right out of the box with factory ammo.  They're actually a really fun little gun to shoot for any age.

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2019, 07:11:33 AM »
Have some experience with both. I don't own either, although in the market for a nice 223. Here is my  :twocents: Recoil I notice little difference between the two, however my oldest daughter (11) did. Neither were bothersome for her, but she certainly could feel a difference.

    The 223 is a centerfire "plinker"  in my mind. Its the 06 of the varmint/small deer world. Tons of reload options, tons of OTC options, lots of gun options, easy to shoot. Does what it needs to without flash and flare and if a guy has one he really has no need for anything else. BUT if serious about crossing into deer territory there are better options. If serious about shooting longer distance at dogs there are better options, if combining both their are certainly better options.

   

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2019, 08:38:02 AM »
If you want a fun gun, Ruger is now making the Ruger American Ranch in 6.5 grendel with a 16" barrel.  This would be an awesome predator/deer gun.  Only problem is it is not stainless. 

As far as the 223, Get a 1:9 or 1:8 twist.   Shoot 60 grain partitions or 64 nosler protected points for deer.  No need to go up to a 22-250.

I have a tikka stainless 223, and it is a great gun, it's good practice for hunting season since i also use a tikka 270 or -06 for deer and elk.  Another good option would be a savage 16 LWH in 223.  It's a lightweight gun with i believe a 20" barrel.     

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2019, 08:54:07 AM »
If deer is not gonna be an option then .223 is the more obvious choice but once again, recoil is so minimal on both I'd just get what you want.

I've mentored 10 youth hunters over the last 16 years. One of the issues with recoil sensitivity that I figured out was lack of confidence and lack of shooting form (recoil management). It starts with a rimfire. A bolt action .22lr and coaching is gonna teach the basic fundamentals and skill that transition into shooting centerfire. After my first youth hunter, I started using the .22 and every kid since puts 500+ rounds through a rimfire before we move to a centerfire.  If a kid has some size, this goes more quickly but like I posted earlier, my daughter is tiny. She started hunting at 7. She was under 4ft and weighed 40lb. We shot a thousands rounds of 22 before we ever touched the .243.  She is 10 now and only 58lb but she has the confidence to handle the weapon in her hands and she doesnt even think about recoil. We still start every spring out with the .22 though. Most grown men could benefit from some .22 training as well  :chuckle: 
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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2019, 10:23:19 AM »
Karl, you are right about training with the 22. Thats exactly what I did with my nephew before he started hunting. We went out several times just shooting the 22 and practicing form and trigger control. His first with a center fire was my 7mm-08 and he bullseyed the target. It rattled him though and it took a while to get him back on track. I'm viewing this rifle as the medium between the two. Something that will allow him to practice at distances similar to hunting scenarios and work in hunting scenarios so he can gain confidence before we step up to the hunting caliber. Just adding a step to what you did. Plus, we can all benefit from more time behind the trigger, and I don't want to shoot out my 7 mag or 7mm-08 doing that. This will be the practice gun in the off season.

Probably going 223 after all this discussion. Everyone's input was valuable and appreciated.
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2019, 10:34:39 AM »
Oh there was definitely steps between .22 and hunting calibers.  You are right to work up to the boomers. I am a big bait and switch guy too.  Reduced recoil loads all summer and then right before season I'd rezero with full power hunting loads. When they shoot at an animal they never even notice. Same with shotgun. Get some reps in with target loads and then come turkey time, swap out the target loads with the good stuff. To a kid, they are all just yellow shotgun shells :chuckle:

As you know, keep range sessions short and fun. Reactionary targets like steel plates, swingers, milk jugs, etc are always a hit.
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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2019, 10:48:01 AM »
Reactionary targets like steel plates, swingers, milk jugs, etc are always a hit.
   :chuckle: good shooting!

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2019, 11:40:13 AM »

As you know, keep range sessions short and fun. Reactionary targets like steel plates, swingers, milk jugs, etc are always a hit.

Milk jugs are still my all time favorite target. That and little green propane tanks...  :yike:
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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2019, 02:43:33 PM »
This is kinda why I mentioned the little 17 Hornet.  It's like a big overgrown rimfire on steroids but has close to zero recoil, isn't all that loud, and is cheap to shoot, not to mention they generally shoot pretty well right out of the box with factory ammo.  They're actually a really fun little gun to shoot for any age.

I haven't tried a 17 Hornet but sure enjoy the 22 Hornet. I have to agree something like that is worth considering too, although it's still hard to beat component and ammo availability for the 223.

I think the right solution is to buy one of each.  :chuckle:

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Re: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber
« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2019, 06:38:23 PM »
I'm close to putting my money down and buying a new rifle. I'm looking at a compact, lightweight rifle I can carry in the off season for coyotes, grouse, whatever. It will also be used to teach my son to shoot in a couple years. I've narrowed it down to .223 or 22-250. I've always wanted a 22-250, but I'm not convinced that it is so much better than .223 that I should just go for it. The things I'm considering:

Reloading
Off the shelf ammo price/availability/selection
Recoil (young shooter)
Accuracy to 300 yards
Ability to kill deer (legal in Idaho)

I've been leaning towards the .223 because of the overwhelming availability of ammo, but I do reload so I'm not to terribly worried about it. If someone can convince me that the 22-250 is significantly better, I may go that way instead.
Based on your criteria, I'd say the .223 is probably the better choice.
However, it really comes down to which criteria you prioritize more over others. The 223 certainly wins as far as off the shelf ammo/price/availability/selection goes (at this instant anyway). Both are good for reloading and both have pretty mild recoil (though the 223 will have a little less).
Of the two, the 22-250 is certainly better for hunting deer. However, just to throw it out there, you should probably look into the 224 Valkyrie if you really want a .22 caliber rifle for hunting deer.
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