22-250 VS .243


January 27, 2007, 03:36 AM
I am considering a bolt gun purchase and was looking for some insight as to which of these two calibers would be superior.

Bench rest shooting
Varmint Hunting

Which will have a longer barrel life all things being equal(no hot loads)
Which round is better for accuracy at distances beyond 400yds
Which has the flatter trajectory or is there a difference
Would recoil be noticably different between the two when shouldering a 10 pound varmint gun
would re-loading costs be significantly different

I appreciate you shared expertise and thanks for responding

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January 27, 2007, 03:48 AM
I don't know the answers to all your questions but the 22-250 is far superior to the .243 as a Varmint round. The .243 can take deer so it's really not considered a Varmint round even though you can use it.

The 22-250 is a much faster round, shoots flatter and will maintain velocity out at 400 yards but the .243 will have a slightly higher velocity past 400 yards.

I'm a big fan of the 22-250 and I'm usually suggesting it over the .222 or .223, not the .243 because it's just not "usually" considered a Varmint round. The .204 Ruger is a good Varmint round too.

January 27, 2007, 04:04 AM
22-250 vs 243 ??HMMM
Well 22-250 is fast and flat
And 243 fast and flat
Anyone that says that a 243 is not a flat shooting that sob is full of it.
I have test fired both rifles at the ranges here in NM.I love the 22-250 but the 243 can make the rounds.
M77 ruger 243
Rem 7 22-250
love both wish I still had those little bastards:fire:
243 is my weapon for all my bench and pest control:evil:

Essex County
January 27, 2007, 01:32 PM
For your intended use I'd opt for the .22-250. Probably hard to find one that doesn't shoot well. As far as barrel wear you'll have to shoot many, many rounds before it is a real issue.......Essex

January 27, 2007, 02:01 PM
Something I'll add is, that in my exrperiance (and I don't know why this is) a 243 seems to be a lot pickier than 22-250 when it comes to developing accurate handloads.

For the non handloader the Winchester white box 40rnd value packs are enough to select a 22-250 over a .243 on the price of ammo alone.


January 28, 2007, 01:17 AM
After hours of internet research I choose the .243. Both are great and well respected rounds. Both rounds have diehard proponents that have well thought though arguments on both sides of your questions. Only two things most will agree on: the heavier .243 bullet is less effected by wind on long shots and the hotter faster moving .22-250 round will destroy a barrel after more shooting then most of us will ever do. Good Luck, I don't think you will be unhappy with either choice.

January 28, 2007, 01:31 AM
Get a Encore and get two barrels..... They will shoot MOA.
The nice thing is that when the wind picks up you can go to the .243 and do better.
Also remember that the B.C in .243 is better also..

January 28, 2007, 01:39 AM
I think they are both cult cartridges in different ways.

For varmint / sub 600 yd target the .22-250 strikes me as a very good balance of speed, precision, and application.

The .243 is often regarded as a "dual purpose" caliber which I think short changes either purpose to varying extents. Something that gets overlooked about this cartridge is that when you look at custom bench rest rigs from the 80's it shows up pretty often. Being a huge fan of the .308 Winchester I have to wonder if it's "thoroughbred" roots are under the surface!

As for recoil from a 10 lb rifle I'd say that the .22-250 is all blast no shove. Then again my "varmint" rig is a .308 Winchester so maybe I'm not too sensitive. I guess I'd say that any average person should be able to comfortably shoot either caliber for long periods.

The reloading question strikes home for me. The .223 diameter bullets are WAY cheaper than the 6mm/.243 bullets are. Plus the number of loaded cartridges per bottle of powder will make the .22-250 a front runner there as well. Given that primers cost a pittance, that isn't worth considering.

Economically speaking the .22-250 is a better choice for varmint/target shooting. Should you choose to indulge in long range shooting or hunting coyotes I'd probably go for the .243.

January 28, 2007, 11:28 AM
neither, go with a 6mm remmy. hotter than a 243, 10 times the bbl life of either. factory ammo is 10 to 12 dollars a box, cheaper than the others.
because of its extra long neck, the 6mm remmy can be handloaded with a bunch of diff powder loadings, while keeping the throat/chamber area cool, because of all the extra brass in the neck.
ohter than that, the 243, will do the things you want better than the 250.

January 28, 2007, 11:38 AM
Of the two I own a .243, since you are reloading it would be a tough call. But my experience is that the .243 is a dandy round for what you intend t use it for.

January 28, 2007, 11:54 AM
What about the .243 WSSM?

55gr bullets at close to 4200fps would up the red mist factor considerably.

January 28, 2007, 12:01 PM
I went with the 22-243 Middlestead and have "blown" away at the performance. Of course not an option unless you reload. Otherwise, stick with the 22-250 if for no other reason than economics.

January 28, 2007, 12:11 PM
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned hornday's 58 grain .243 round. 3750 out of the barrel. It's my favorite varmint round but I must admit it's much more economical to shoot 22-250. The 22-250 will do everything a light weight .243 will do, just my personal taste.

January 28, 2007, 12:15 PM
I haven't seen any data the supports better ballistic preformance from WSSM calibers and their Standard counterparts.
Given that Winchester isn't producung rifles in WSSM they may become one of the Fads gone by the wayside. Don't Take That as Fact!! It is pure Speculation on my part, and has no merit other than it is my opinion.
Another consideration is reloading who is making WSSM Brass? It could take the cost effectivness right out of reloading.
Too many questions about WSSM for me to consider it as a new purchase.

April 22, 2008, 09:02 PM
Sorry to be a bubble buster for those who don't think the 243 is a capable varmit round - with 58 or 75 grain vmax's it kicks butt on varmits. I have both and love my 22-250 but the 243 does well on coyote class varmits - for the little critters I have a 223 REM or Hornet or 17 HMR so my poor 22-250 has been seeing alot of safe time lately.

April 22, 2008, 09:06 PM
neither, go with a 6mm remmy. hotter than a 243, 10 times the bbl life of either. factory ammo is 10 to 12 dollars a box, cheaper than the others.
because of its extra long neck, the 6mm remmy can be handloaded with a bunch of diff powder loadings, while keeping the throat/chamber area cool, because of all the extra brass in the neck.
ohter than that, the 243, will do the things you want better than the 250.

6mm Remington, especially if you roll your own. The .243 is the 6mm's weaker and less versatile sibling. It just got marketed better. If you don't reload, then .243 ammo will be easier to come by, but I still think the 6mm is better. Just something to think about.


April 22, 2008, 09:30 PM
I shot reloads for both today; a Ruger No.1-V in 22-250 and a 25 year old Rem 700 BDL in 243.

22-250 is a bit cheaper to reload; $21.99 for Hornady 100gr BTSP .243 bullets, vs. $16.99 for Sierra 55gr BTHP .224 bullets at yesterday at Bass Pro. 22-250 is also cheaper to buy factory ammunition; can get a box of those Winchester white box 40ct at Bass Pro or Wally World for around $26, or UMC 50/55gr JHP for around $12.99 per box of 20. For the powder I was using (Win 760, admittedly not the most popular for either load) I used an old Lee Dipper (about 34gr) for the 22-250 and 37.0gr for the 243...both are fairly light loads.

The 22-250 is more economical so I'll likely be shooting it more for punching paper...but the 243 will be getting plenty of use! If I had to choose one and only one caliber between the two, I'd personally pick the 243 for its multipurpose capability.

April 22, 2008, 10:46 PM
The 243 with 115g DTACs is an awesone 600 yard round. Plus.

April 22, 2008, 11:51 PM
.25-06... neck and neck with the .22-250 on varmints and superior on a windy day yet has more knock down than the .243... .25-06 Better all around? In my opinion this is so.

April 22, 2008, 11:55 PM
The .243 can't hold a candle to the .22-250 as a benchrest and varmint round. It was never meant to.

OTOH the .22-250 was never meant to be a general-purpose medium game round. The .243 was.

April 23, 2008, 12:06 AM
243 is better at all the above, except reloading costs.

April 23, 2008, 12:21 AM
Personally I like the .22-250 better. Mine is getting some age on it but is still plenty accurate, and have taken plenty of coyotes with it, you just have to take good shots.

April 23, 2008, 12:28 AM
.25-06 he whispers... .25-06... my precious.... .25-06....

April 23, 2008, 07:28 AM
Since you specified "target shooting and varmints" (and did NOT include deer or other larger game) - and since you spoke of a 10-lb. gun which is NOT an easily-carried hunting rifle - there is no question you should go with the .22/250.

Yes, the .243 will be a little less tricky to figure wind/drop for at longer distances and if you expect most of your shooting to be in very windy conditions the .243 would offer a worthy advantage.
However - in Reality - if you are a good enough rifleman to figure wind/drop successfully for the .243 you are also good enough to do it for a 22/250. And if you aren't skilled enough for one, you aren't skilled enough for the other either.:(

The better the rifleman, the less difference the caliber makes (assuming calibers that are appropriate for the chosen task).

Good Luck !


April 23, 2008, 07:32 AM
My buddie has a 22-250 we use for coyote hunting, and i love that thing. So i would say go with the 22-250, plus i believe the rounds are cheaper for the 22-250 verses the .243

April 23, 2008, 08:05 AM
The wind drift equasion, hummm, I've shot a considerable number of both in the prarrie dog towns. To better the 55 grain bullets in the .22-250 with a .243, you have to go to the slower heavier bullets, ie: 68/70 grainers, this means more time in flight and in my humble opinion, its hard to realize a gain in accuracy due to wind drift. This is not what the books say, but what my experience has been. I love both cartridges, possibly favor the .243 by a slight margin. Either will serve you well in the role you stated. Flip a coin, either way you win.

April 23, 2008, 12:28 PM
I had a 22-250 until I got my 243. Have not missed the 250 yet. I like the 243 because it is more versatile for what I like to do. But if I was only shooting paper and dogs, I would probably go with the 250 over the 243........

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 23, 2008, 01:21 PM
I dunno. Tough call. I lean toward the .243 win. Don't kid yourself - with 55 grainers, .243 will push 4200+ fps screamers out that match or exceed .22-250 velocities. This with, oddly enough, better BCs, IIRC. So the .243 is definitely a superior ballistic round for *very very long* shots and/or in *high wind*. But if all your shots are 300 yards or less, it doesn't matter, in which case the .22-250 will work fine/great. Yes it uses lower BC bullets that bleed energy much quicker, but they're going so fast that this doesn't matter until past 300 or more yards. So then you can use .22-250 which as mentioned has the advantages of (a) cheap WWB factory ammo, and (b) less recoil, and (c) someone said handloads are less finicky to find good ones - I don't know this myself to be true, but I can't argue with the man's experience, so let's chalk that up as an advantage also. Flip a coin. Really, the bottom line is probably this:

-If your "varmint" is a coyote, AND you might take 300+ yard shots in the wind, then go with .243.
-OTOH, if your varmint is P-dogs and such -- OR - if your varmint is p-dogs plus yotes, but you won't be taking any super long shots, then .22-250 is superior.

We threw 6mm Rem into the mix above. Can anyone compare .22-250 and .204 ruger? 'Bout the same abuse to your barrel?

Master of Arms
April 23, 2008, 01:39 PM
Which will have a longer barrel life all things being equal(no hot loads)
That would be according to what type of barrel is used and from what company.
Which round is better for accuracy at distances beyond 400yds
Both will get the job done but you can check the ballistics at one of the ballistic charts on the net.
Which has the flatter trajectory or is there a difference
Again, check a ballistic chart.
Would recoil be noticably different between the two when shouldering a 10 pound varmint gun
That would be according to the load that you used in either rifle.
would re-loading costs be significantly different
Close to equal but again its according to the loads.

Try to gather such information from the net because its out there. Both would be exceptional varmit rifles. If I had to choose between the two it would be the 22-250 because it`s naturally more suited for such game.

Art Eatman
April 23, 2008, 07:55 PM
Six of one, half-dozen of the other. I've messed with both cartridges.

Equal accuracy potential. Pretty much equal ruination inside a critter, generally. By and large, not enough difference in trajectory to have any meaning.

I've loaded more for my .243 than for the .22-250s I've had. Most of the loads have been right at max. So far, no degradation in group size at all. With fresh ammo, the last time out with my pet coyote/deer load, I put three behind a dime. Groups nicely with the 55-grain bullets, which is sorta hard on prairie dogs to 300 yards or so.

But I'd figure that a .22-250 would do pretty much the same thing...

April 24, 2008, 04:36 AM
Definately .243 Win. It is more varsitle and with flater tragectory.

May 23, 2008, 12:13 PM
I own a Sako Varmint III 22 250, a Ruger 77 6mm and a Browning B78 25 06. All are great varmint guns but I enjoy shooting the B78 best. Do you really need more then one shot? Actually the 6mm suits me best for varmints. I use the 25 06 for Antalope. All three have Nikon Monarch 3-12 BDC scopes (got a good buy). Honestly if I sold the guns the 6mm would be the last one I would sell. It does the job of both the lighter 22 250 and the heaver 25 06. I have never really considered a 243. I know some will say the 243 is all you need but I don't agree. I have never been a "one gun fits all" person. Hey, I am also on my third wife. Variety is the spice of life. Shoot what makes you happy, mthiwal

May 23, 2008, 06:59 PM
i dont know much about .243's but i own a .22-250 that i reload for. @ 100 yards it shoots 1 hole groups. with a 200 yd zero i aim at top of a ground hogs back when its at 300 and it hits dead center. i think both have about the same trajectory from looking at traj. charts.

May 24, 2008, 03:46 PM
The 22-250 won't beat you up as much during a long day's shooting. Either makes a very capable long range varmit rifle. If you are going to use it as a hunting rifle the 243 is superior.


May 26, 2008, 06:40 PM
another thing is the that .243 is MUCH louder, at least in my experiences. the .22-250 is still really loud but you can shoot it when coyote hunting as long as you dont take more then one shot your ears wont be ringing.

May 26, 2008, 07:19 PM
Comparison :

Caliber Bbl. Life Accuracy Traj. Recoil Cost B.R. Varmint

.22-250 Long* Excellent Flat V. Lt. 1** Fair*** GREAT
.243Win. Long* Excellent Flat Lt. 2** V.Good V.Good

* with cool to moderate loads - many 1000's of rds.
** On a 1 to 10 scale, 1 being cheap. Many sources, mass production of components.
*** Bullets are too light for any breeze at 400 yds.

I shoot in the F-Class 300m compitition on a regular basis so I see these two all the time. I shoot .22-250 (53 Sierra M.K.) on calm - slt. breezy days but I have to switch to my .243Win with 90gr- 105gr. bullets on the windy days.

Varmints cover a broad area. If you're talkin' Prairie Dogs then the .22-250 is much better. Smaller bullets and a little less recoil - and after 500 shots, recoil makes a huge difference! 'Yotes require the heavier bullets of the .243 unless they can be taken at under 250 yds., then either will work. You can certainly HIT them @ 250 - 500 yds. with the .22-250 but the remaining energy is pretty small for a 40 lb. animal.

May 26, 2008, 07:38 PM
For varmits go with the 22-250.

May 26, 2008, 10:27 PM
.243 !! It will retain more energy over longer distance and has a slight advantage bucking the wind. You can also shoot 100 grain bullets. Which will take most North American Game

May 26, 2008, 10:33 PM
I use a Savage 12 FV in .243, better long range, about equal in short range, possibly a little more recoil but you can't really tell in a 10 pound+ rifle. Barrel life should be a little better in the .243.

I like it better because it does everything the 22-250 does, but with better downrange performance and much less wind drift. I shoot 70 gr. BT's in mine out to 300-400 yards, then 85 SMK's and 100's out to 600+.

May 26, 2008, 11:30 PM
You ask five questions I would say,

1, not enough to matter

2,beyond 400 the 243

3, to 400, not enough to matter.

4, no

5, bulk 22 caliber bullets can be bought at a considerable saving over what I have been able to find in 24 caliber or 6mm.

May 27, 2008, 02:13 AM
When someone asks me for a very-long-range varmint rig....
I always suggest the .243 Winchester.

But its all about Ballistic Coefficients...not just speed alone.
The .243 -in standard twist- will handle the long ranges much better. To match this w/the 22-250, you need a 1:8 twist rate using the 80 grain custom bullets (read expensive)....
A varmint rig chambered in 243 using 75-80 grainers will easily get the work done for less money. And the 243 isn't hard to make accurate from a reloading point....which is half the game that I'm bringing to the question.

Happy Hunting!http://www.frontiernet.net/~cuttysark/IGGY/sthumb.gif

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