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Choosing Between .204 .223 And .22-250

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by On An Island, Sep 17, 2013.

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  1. On An Island

    On An Island Member

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    If someone offered you one free rifle (bolt gun), brand new, for shooting range paper, steel and the occasional varmint in your choice of .204 Ruger, .223 or .22-250, which caliber would you choose and why? Let's say no more that 400-500 yards max. I'm not concerned about the make of the rifle, just the caliber.
     
  2. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    .223 for ammo availability and versatility.
     
  3. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    There are good reasons to pick any of the three- 204 for it's terminal performance on small critters and low recoil, the tried and true 223 for availablity and lower cost; and the 22-250, undoubtedly the king of the centerfire 22s for it's extra horsepower, reasonable cost and availability.

    As I've used the the 22-250 in the past and currently have a precision 223, I think I'd ask for the 204, a caliber I've yet to shoot
     
  4. YZ

    YZ member

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    The 223. All of the above, plus the 22-250 barrels are rated for a shorter lifespan.
     
  5. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    .223

    I like my .22-250 but I'm sure that the .223 will be cheaper. I think most shooters using the .22-250 reload their own. Take that into account.
     
  6. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Member

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    if you reload i'd go for the 22-250. if not then the .223
     
  7. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    Even if you reload, .223. Half the powder.
     
  8. montanaoffroader

    montanaoffroader Member

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    Actually, I already made that choice. The last new rifle I bought was intended for coyotes and varmints, and there were rifles in my price range in all 3 chamberings. I wound up going with a .223, just because of the ammo selection available at the time.
     
  9. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    I'd choose .204 Ruger, because I already have a .22-250 bolt action and a .223 AR.

    I like having a variety of calibers and I load my own ammo.
     
  10. yzguy87

    yzguy87 Member

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    I personally would choose 223 if my primary use was hunting paper and steel and secondary use was hunting varmints due to ball ammo being less expensive ammo and availability
     
  11. Comrade Mike

    Comrade Mike Member

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    A .223 is going to last you longer, more available components and less powder hungry. .22-250 is a big time barrel burner.
     
  12. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    This. The 22-250 is the most versatile .22 cal centerfire made. It can be loaded everywhere from mild .22mag levels with cast lead, up to barn burner 4000fps loads. It can be easily down loaded to .223 levels or full charged to exceed the .223 by nearly 1,000fps.

    That said, the .223 is available everywhere, whereas even some well stocked gun shops wont have 22-250 on hand. Bottom line: Reload? 22-250. Dont reload? .223.
     
  13. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    for that purpose 223
     
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

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    Out to, call it 300 yards, the .223 will do pretty much anything the .204 or .22-250 will do. Prairie dogs, coyotes, paper...

    And, with proper loads and careful shooting, it will work on deer, although I'd say "smaller deer" than something like the large Maine Whitetails. :)
     
  15. sirgilligan

    sirgilligan Member

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    I recently made that very decision and chose the .223 with 1 in 9 twist barrel.
     
  16. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I have a older Bushmaster AR, a CZ 527 in .204, and an ultra accurate Remington 700 in 22-250. If I were gonna grab one out of the safe, it would most likely be the AR. Second would be the .204.

    FWIW, in a month I'm going on a prairie dog hunt in Montana, and probably won't even take the 22-250. Too loud, and it will do little the others won't do. The .204 is a dream to shoot and groups .4's. The AR shoots dime size groups at 200+ yards.

    I hand load everything.
     
  17. jehu

    jehu Member

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    If it's 300-500 yards you are going to want the 22-250. Everyone will come on here and say that the 223 will work for those distances too, and it will until the wind starts blowing, then your playing a whole nother ball game. The wind bucking 22-250 will do everthing the 204 & 223 will better.:banghead:
     
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

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    There's not a lot of difference in trajectory from 300 yards on in. But after 300, everything starts a more rapid descent. Everything. Some have less fall-off than others, as a function of bullet weight and muzzle velocity. That's the reason that the .22-250 would work better at 500 than a .223 or .204. No big deal.
     
  19. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    I have shot and killed deer with .223 and .22-250, the .22-250 is just so much better.
     
  20. Geno

    Geno Member

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    I don't know about the .204 Ruger, but the .22-250 Rem will beat steel to pieces very quickly. I have several AR500 steel armor plates, and the literature that came with them indicates that the velocity is what causes damage, but the projectile's caliber or weight. The projectiles' velocity has to be at 3,200 FPS or less at impact, or it will cause damage.

    My .22-250 Rem, loaded with 35 grain projectiles had a muzzle velocity of 4,400+ FPS. Even loaded with 55 grain projectiles, 3,800 FPS is quite easy to achieve. If you intend have to download in order to be able to use a .22-250 Rem on steel, you might as well go with a .223 Rem and load at standard velocities. For what it's worth, even 40 grain HPs in a .223 Rem will damage steel at 100 to 200 yards.

    Geno
     
  21. PJSprog

    PJSprog Member

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    I've been considering this very question. My choices have been narrowed to .223 or .22-250. I've long been a fan of the .223, and a friend has great success with his .22-250 ProHunter. Admittedly, I have little knowledge of and no experience with the .204.

    Good to read others' experiences with all choices.
     
  22. Saleen322

    Saleen322 Member

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    I would try the .204. I don't own a .204 and I do have sort of 3-22-250s and 6- .223s so I am not defending something I bought. However here is something interesting I found when I looked at the caliber before. The 22-250 will shoot flatter than the .223 in any fair comparison so the question becomes, "What advantage would a .204 Ruger have over a 22-250 in performance?" Berger (and maybe others as well?) makes a 55 grain .20 caliber bullet that has a BC around .381. With a 100 yard zero, shoot a 22-250 with a 55 grain bullet (approx 3800 FPS) vs a 204 with a 55 (around 3300 FPS) and @ 500 yards the 22-250 is down 43" vs the 204 down 40". Well, no fair you say as the profiles are different....OK....switch the 22-250 to a 70 grain VLD. The 22-250 velocity with the 70 grainer would mirror the 204 with a 55 grainer AND the BC is about the same for both so you would have the same long range potential (bullet drop) with both. Now you can argue that the 70 grainer would have more energy but if that is the major factor for selecting the rifle you use, you would probably be shooting a bigger round than any of the three. YMMV

    http://bergerbullets.com/ballistics/
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  23. Orange90

    Orange90 Member

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    I vote 22-250 whether you handload or not. Its the only caliber here that I would be comfortable enough with to go deer hunting. I know any caliber can take an animal that's roughly deer shaped but I would like to think that most folks want a clean kill and not chasing the darned animal up mountains and valleys and frozen tundra riddling it with bullets. Of course, its way overkill for prairiedogs and squirrels...
     
  24. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Like I said before, I have all three. What I think what most posters are missing is
    The 22-250 will toast your barrel in 1,000 to maybe 1,500 rounds +/- depending on your load and shooting habits. That means a dozen trips to the range if you shoot a hundred rounds each time.

    So yeah, the 250 will whack varmints better. But it won't kill paper any deader. And it costs more to shoot. And it ruins the barrel 5x faster. And it's louder.

    If I were gonna just go out and shoot ground hogs, it would be the 250 hands down. That's not what you asked.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  25. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I have .223 in ar and. 204 in a single.shot h&r.
    IMHO the. 204 may be a little light for coyote size varmints.
     
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