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Thread: 22 250 for caribou?

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    Default 22 250 for caribou?

    Looking for some advise from some one with more/better knowledge than I have. I was wondering about caribou hunting using a 22 250. What would the chances be of a kill with a body shot at say 400 yards, using say a 60 to 70 grain TSX. I would really like to try it but do not want to wound one and make it suffer more than needed. Thanks for any knowledgable input on this.
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    A .22-250 will do the job on a caribou- particularly shooting a good big game bullet like the TSX. To shoot a heavy bullet (especially a long copper bullet like a TSX) you will likely need a fast twist barrel to stabilize it... your current .22-250 may or may not have one but a 50gr TSX is going to zip through a broadside caribou and should stabilize in any common .22-250. There are some other big game type loads in the that cartridge and they all should work, but avoid a varmint load at all costs.

    I have seen caribou and several deer taken with the .22-250 and it works... 400yds is probably stretching it but half that is definitely doable but I'm pretty conservative in that regard.

    That said- it's on the light side so use it like a scalpel and not a sledgehammer...pass on any less than perfect lung shot through the ribs and stay away from heavy bones. You could make it work but if you have a heavier rifle you'll be better off in the long run.
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    Thanks hodgeman. I was thinking along the same lines as you. I would like to try it, but do not want to just wound an animal finding out.

    My Remington has the 1in 11 twist and the 53 gr TSX call for 1in 12 or faster. Not sure what the heavier TSX calls for.
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    You PROBABLY won't run into a Bear when Caribou Hunting.

    And, Bears don't eat Caribou, anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    You PROBABLY won't run into a Bear when Caribou Hunting.

    And, Bears don't eat Caribou, anyway.

    Smitty of the North
    We had the same discussions last year when I brought up hunting Caribou with a 243. A lot of people poo-pooed me, either to poo poo the 243 in general or because of Smitty's very relevant comment that one may run into bears out there. Then again, many people were of the opinion it would work. (I haven't tried it yet.)

    Caliber for game discussions always unleash a poop storm. (Unless, of course, you're carrying a canon, in which case, everybody loves you.) There is just something bout Alaska where everyone loves everything "big."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
    Thanks hodgeman. I was thinking along the same lines as you. I would like to try it, but do not want to just wound an animal finding out.

    My Remington has the 1in 11 twist and the 53 gr TSX call for 1in 12 or faster. Not sure what the heavier TSX calls for.
    Barnes doesn't give data but it's got to be something on the order of a 1:7 or 1:8 and the bullet is so long it would probably exceed OAL to clear the ogive... I'd try the 53gr number and it will likely give you all you can hope for without going up in bore size.

    Nosler also makes a 60gr Partition and a 64gr "Bonded Performance"- which appears to be an Accubond without the polymer tip...both give you more weight and should stabilize in your barrel being shorter than the TSX.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    55 grain seems to be the heaviest you can stabilize in a standard twist rate for the 22-250. With that said, It will perform just fine on a Bou. I would want a solid like the TSX due to the velocity and to hold the bullet together past a rib. Ever shoot a block of ice with a 22-250? It's impresive. Many people hunt caribou with an AR or .223 bolt and do very well. The rifle your shooting will do better. As previously mentioned, the down side is possible bear issues.
    My most accurate load with heavier bullets is the Combined technology ballistic silver tip over 35 grains ov Varget. Consistently produces 1/2 MOA. I have never shot an animal with that bullet so don't know how well it will hold up or what kind of penetration to expect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post

    My Remington has the 1in 11 twist and the 53 gr TSX call for 1in 12 or faster. Not sure what the heavier TSX calls for.
    Math says 1/8 for 70g TSX, you get a double whammy going heavy in small bore of much longer bullet at less velocity.

    Haven't done the math but Your 400 yards is optimistic, something around 300 is likley where you will be getting too slow for a solid and a bullet that may kill at 400 will grande at 100. likley to not have enough speed left out there to do the job very relialiby that far out with that light of bullet. A heaver bullet would be nice for retaining energy out there but then in small bore you have issues getting speed even closer in. There is a reason 7mm is what most long range hunters like, big enough to push enough mass to kill well way out yet small enough to shoot fairly flat.
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    Default 22 250 for caribou?

    The Barnes 62 gr TTSX says 1-10 or faster on the box. It shoots great in my AR (1-8), I wouldn't hesitate to hunt caribou with it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Barnes doesn't give data but it's got to be something on the order of a 1:7 or 1:8 and the bullet is so long it would probably exceed OAL to clear the ogive... I'd try the 53gr number and it will likely give you all you can hope for without going up in bore size.

    Nosler also makes a 60gr Partition and a 64gr "Bonded Performance"- which appears to be an Accubond without the polymer tip...both give you more weight and should stabilize in your barrel being shorter than the TSX.
    I'm not sure how applicable this is to this specific caliber, but 1:7 is the magic twist rate for the 105 grn Sierra Match King in 243, which is also a long and slender (compared to the 60 grn I shoot in a 1:10 barrel) bullet, so I bet you guys are in the right ball park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    The Barnes 62 gr TTSX says 1-10 or faster on the box. It shoots great in my AR (1-8), I wouldn't hesitate to hunt caribou with it.


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    Yes 22-250 or any (22 caliber high power rifle) will sure kill a caribou the issue as I see it is . . . just how far will it effectively kill a caribou and of course what about bear encounters. I say the range is rather limited because the terminal ballistics performance of small calibers comes more from speed than bullet mass and speed is lost all the way to target. The farther out you poke the more speed is lost and the less durable the bullet needs to be to kill effectively. Then the inverse is true too, your all loaded for that 400 yard shot but the game presents you a 40 yard shot that will likely grenade your longer range more frangible bullet.


    I'd think best to keep shots inside 200 yards and only favorable angles with 22 caliber . . . and pack a 44/45 handgun in case Mr. bear comes along. But if you just grab a bear tag and plan on killing a bear it all but guarantees you will never see one!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Yes 22-250 or any (22 caliber high power rifle) will sure kill a caribou the issue as I see it is . . . just how far will it effectively kill a caribou and of course what about bear encounters. I say the range is rather limited because the terminal ballistics performance of small calibers comes more from speed than bullet mass and speed is lost all the way to target. The farther out you poke the more speed is lost and the less durable the bullet needs to be to kill effectively. Then the inverse is true too, your all loaded for that 400 yard shot but the game presents you a 40 yard shot that will likely grenade your longer range more frangible bullet.


    I'd think best to keep shots inside 200 yards and only favorable angles with 22 caliber . . . and pack a 44/45 handgun in case Mr. bear comes along. But if you just grab a bear tag and plan on killing a bear it all but guarantees you will never see one!
    Agree 100%, I sure wouldn't try past 200, maybe even 100 at most.


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    Thanks for all the info. Looks like most all feel the same way I was thinking when I asked this question 22 250 and 400 yds is not the best idea. Looking at some other options.
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    I have killed many deer out to 400yrds with my 22-250 You just have to work up a load that works for you. I shoot with a bipod and a 16 power scope. After shooting ground squirrels in eastern Oregon for years head shots on a deer are not that hard to do, as long as the wind is not to bad.

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    Ah... The wind, MGH55 is dead on about the wind. Ballistic wise your fine with this round but it always seems to be breezy when caribou hunting and that wind likes to blow these little bullets around pretty good. Just another thing to think about
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    I couldn’t think of a worse idea than long range head shots on anything. Head shots are very low percentage shots that result in a lot of wounded animals running around jawless or blind. I have ended several whitetails over the years that were wounded with headshots. I had a neighbor who thought himself quite the shot and extolled the virtues of head shots. “clean miss or drop dead” he would always say. Bull**** I say, I have found and put down at least 6 whitetails over the years that had been shot in the head and were left starving or wandering days or weeks later. Even if your good enough to consistently hit an orange swinging around on the end of a string at 400 yards, it is the lowest percentage shot you could take at any range. behind the shoulder into the vitals is the only way to go.

    Do everyone a favor, shoot a game bullet (TSX, Nosler PT, Accubond, TBBC), and hit them behind the shoulder. It will do fine at any reasonable range.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Thebear_78 View Post
    I couldn’t think of a worse idea than long range head shots on anything. Head shots are very low percentage shots that result in a lot of wounded animals running around jawless or blind. I have ended several whitetails over the years that were wounded with headshots. I had a neighbor who thought himself quite the shot and extolled the virtues of head shots. “clean miss or drop dead” he would always say. Bull**** I say, I have found and put down at least 6 whitetails over the years that had been shot in the head and were left starving or wandering days or weeks later. Even if your good enough to consistently hit an orange swinging around on the end of a string at 400 yards, it is the lowest percentage shot you could take at any range. behind the shoulder into the vitals is the only way to go.

    Do everyone a favor, shoot a game bullet (TSX, Nosler PT, Accubond, TBBC), and hit them behind the shoulder. It will do fine at any reasonable range.

    I'd say that is very sound advice there.
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    TheBear: do you have on game experience you can share using the Nosler Part. & Nosler Bonded 64 grain?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thebear_78 View Post
    I couldn’t think of a worse idea than long range head shots on anything. Head shots are very low percentage shots that result in a lot of wounded animals running around jawless or blind.
    +1!!! I've only used a headshot as a first shot in the field one time... range was only about 40 yards. It worked but if I knew then what I know now, I'd likely have passed. Watched a friend zap a moose in the head facing him at under a hundred yards- surprisingly the bullet didn't even take Bullwinkle off his feet- it did stun him long enough to put a couple in the boiler room but the lack of effectiveness on the headshot was surprising. He had a .300 which was plenty of gun but the bullet missed the brain entirely. I'm sure the wound would have eventually been fatal but who knows how long that would have taken.

    Brain is a small target and the head moves more than any part of the body- the lungs are far larger and far more stationary than anything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Agree 100%, I sure wouldn't try past 200, maybe even 100 at most.


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    agreed! using 55gr .223 i've never shot one much past 100 i think 200 might be about my comfort limit even with a good broadside shot. while a 22-250 prob a little better than a .223 there are IMO way better calibers to be carrying around out there. i think unless you are an expert marksman 400yrds might be a little dicey.

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