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Author Topic: opinions wanted on new rifle caliber  (Read 1760 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 »

Online 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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Online 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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