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Thread: Used 22-250...???

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Default Used 22-250...???

    I've had a real itch to buy a predator rifle lately. Actually have fondled a few in the local gun stores but other than the caliber I sure haven't made up my mind about the brand. Other than enjoying shooting them, a real gun aficionado I'm not. I'll be the first to say I do not know all the technical "in's and out's" of a firearm. I know some but not all.

    So I've been reading a bit about the 22-250. What I've noticed that's been said more than a few times now, is that because of the nature of this fast round, burning out even a relatively new barrel is a distinct possibility. So, with that in mind should a guy even consider used if he were to come across even a very high quality brand rifle? Other than shooting one, and condition of the overall firearm, other than the obvious, is there any way to tell the condition of the rifling in a used gun just by sight when looking at one in the store?

    Also, I've read that you want a pretty fast rate of twist in this caliber to utilize it's capability. For instance, (not that I'm a long range shooter) but some are saying 1:14 is way to slow for reliable "extra" long range shooting of the 22-250....(I believe I read somewhere that Browning made their "Eclipse" in 22-250 and it had a 1:14 twist). I would imagine some of you guys can get an idea just by looking close at the rifling at what the rate of twist is, but I've never tried to do this. Any hints, or do I just find the rifle and look it up on the internet first?

    With the low prices on some of these relatively good budget guns nowadays, I just have to wonder if a guy should even take the chance on a used firearm in this caliber? But here again, I sure wouldn't mind owning a fine used rifle, (never owned a Winchester yet), if I knew it was in good shape.

    Thanks in advance for your tutelage....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    The .22-250 can be hard on barrels, no doubt about it. But, most of the mythology surrounding it was born in the days of softer steels and cruder alloys. You can, if you're really abusive, burn one out in a single sitting.

    A modern rifle though should have no issues with typical sport shooting and we're short on prairie dog towns that encourage high volume fire up here. I'd look down the bore and see what it looks like- if it had good crisp rifling near the throat, I'd likely give it a whirl. At worst, you'll rebarrel it- depending on the deal you get on the rifle, maybe still not so bad if it's something you want. If the bore looks rough, you can use that as a negotiating position with the owner and talk them down. I have seen a .22-250 that was missing the first 3" of rifling- and it still shot surprisingly well. I wouldn't have paid money for it though.

    Most of the guys I know up here that shoot the .22-250 are Native or Bush subsistence guys shooting seals, wolves, and caribou. They'd never shoot the barrel out in a century. Based on the guns I've seen- the bore is likely the most pristine part of the rifle.

    A lot of the older guns used a 1:14 twist, and it won't stabilize bullets over 55gr or so very well. The newer rifles, generally use a faster twist (1:8, 1:9) to stabilize the newer 65gr and up bullets. If you want a predator gun, I can't see it mattering much since you'll usually use varmint bullets anyway and the heavy weights are centered around long range or big game. Personally, I think there's better cartridges for both of those uses.

    Some barrels will have the twist stamped on it. Otherwise you can take a cleaning rod, jag and a tight patch and measure how long it takes to complete one turn- that'll give you a good idea of the twist.

    The newer guns like the American and the Savage are such a good deal and seem to shoot uniformly well. Heck, some are truly stellar. They don't have much soul though.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  3. #3

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    Down in prairie dog or ground squirrel country I'd be extra hesitant in buying one unless I knew the owner and the gun pretty well. Most of the issues come from lots of repeated shooting through hot barrels, and you just aren't likely to get that kind of abuse here in AK. Down in prairie dog country I take 3 rifles on a shoot and switch between them every 5 rounds or so. But some of my shooting pards bring only 1 rifle and go through 300-500 rounds in a couple of hours. Ouch. Up here, if the bore is clean and I'm satisfied with the price, I'll likely buy it.

    As for twist rate, put a piece of masking tape on your cleaning rod a foot or so up from the tip. Make a mark on it. Now put a jag and patch on the rod and seat it into the barrel till the rod tip is flush with the muzzle. Now push the rod slowly into the barrel until that mark on the tape makes one full revolution around the rod. Mark the rod again right at the muzzle, then pull the rod out and measure the distance between the tip and that second mark. Done.

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    Hey 4mer...I had the same intention six or seven years ago, and I bought a used 22-250 (Tikka 595). It didn't work out for me, through no fault of the cartridge. Without a doubt it is a great cartridge. I handload for all of my center-fire, and I worked some loads for it without much problem. Unfortunately, that fine rifle and fine cartridge became a gun-safe queen for me. I just didn't use it because I didn't predator hunt as much as I had planned.

    However, last year I went to plan B. I rebarrelled it to a 7mm and had it chambered for 7mm-08. I then put it on a diet and dropped some significant weight to make it my mountain hunting rifle, and I worked-up some great 120grn TTSX loads for it. That former safe-queen had a busy fall this year and went on a sheep hunt up north, a mountain goat hunt on Kodiak, and a deer hunt on POW with me. I'm telling you this because you have options.

    BTW, you no doubt already know this, but just in case...first and foremost, optimal twist rate is a factor of bullet length. For the same caliber, longer bullets require a faster twist to stabilize in flight. Usually, not always, bullet weight and bullet length are related...heavier bullets are longer...usually, but again not always. For example, a .25 caliber 115grn TSX (all copper) is significantly longer than a 120grn Partition (lead core), and I can tell you from experience, that particular TSX requires a faster twist. Of course, there is also a relationship between length of bullet, sectional density, and long distance performance. Anyway, be thinking what bullet you would use for your predator application of the 22-250...and then go from there with determining twist.

    Got to go cut onions for stuffing...happy Thanksgiving guys.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Hey 4mer...I had the same intention six or seven years ago, and I bought a used 22-250 (Tikka 595). It didn't work out for me, through no fault of the cartridge. Without a doubt it is a great cartridge. I handload for all of my center-fire, and I worked some loads for it without much problem. Unfortunately, that fine rifle and fine cartridge became a gun-safe queen for me. I just didn't use it because I didn't predator hunt as much as I had planned.

    However, last year I went to plan B. I rebarrelled it to a 7mm and had it chambered for 7mm-08. I then put it on a diet and dropped some significant weight to make it my mountain hunting rifle, and I worked-up some great 120grn TTSX loads for it. That former safe-queen had a busy fall this year and went on a sheep hunt up north, a mountain goat hunt on Kodiak, and a deer hunt on POW with me. I'm telling you this because you have options.

    BTW, you no doubt already know this, but just in case...first and foremost, optimal twist rate is a factor of bullet length. For the same caliber, longer bullets require a faster twist to stabilize in flight. Usually, not always, bullet weight and bullet length are related...heavier bullets are longer...usually, but again not always. For example, a .25 caliber 115grn TSX (all copper) is significantly longer than a 120grn Partition (lead core), and I can tell you from experience, that particular TSX requires a faster twist. Of course, there is also a relationship between length of bullet, sectional density, and long distance performance. Anyway, be thinking what bullet you would use for your predator application of the 22-250...and then go from there with determining twist.

    Got to go cut onions for stuffing...happy Thanksgiving guys.
    In bullet relation to twist, bearing surface area of the bullet means even more than bullet weight or length. Some bullets have a very long sharp point on the front and a boat tail on the other end. With a relatively short area in between where the bullet actually contacts the rifling. Where as a lighter bullet minus the boat tail and having a more abrupt point will have more length contacting the rifling than the heavier bullet and may very well be more accurate with a faster twist than it's sleek counterpart.
    The old Speer 75 grain varmint bullets in 243 had more bullet touching the rifling than a Sierra 85 btsp. In this case the lighter bullet would require more twist....another example of what Doc just eluded to..

    4merguide, I didn't get out last weekend to take advantage our first snowfall and kill some coyotes. However the gang went with out me and killed 4 coyotes. Two of them were killed at at over 200 yards with a Savage B-mag in 17 WSM. We don't have any wolves here- bouts and coyotes die easy. I am really thinking about getting a Ruger 77 in the new 17 offering. A 17 caliber 20 grain bullet running 3,000 FPS should handle a big portion of my vermin killing. I watched a 500 round box of 17WSMs sell for $85 on an auction sight today. That's a big plus. My only drawback is something that I learned when I built a 17 mk4 for prairie dog snuffing a couple decades ago. That is that you have to clean a 17 caliber bore more often if you don't want those itty bitty boolets going of in mid air from the friction applied to the ultra thin jacket.

    I burnt out 2 barrels in a 243 in a 30 year span back when chasing coyotes had more meaning to me than it does now. Back then I couldn't run to the store without taking and out of the way route that lead me past a couple coyote haunts. I shot a way lot of bullets down that bore over the years.

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    I had a beautiful Ruger V in .22-250. Bull barrel and a Leupold scope. Hardly shot it. Sat in my safe for years. Hated to sell it, but I did. Did I mention that I hated to sell it?
    You should not over look a nice used .222 or even a sweet old Winchester in .225. There are some nice bolt guns chambered for .223 also. Any of them would do what you want, especially with hand loading.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    I had a beautiful Ruger V in .22-250. Bull barrel and a Leupold scope. Hardly shot it. Sat in my safe for years. Hated to sell it, but I did. Did I mention that I hated to sell it?
    You should not over look a nice used .222 or even a sweet old Winchester in .225. There are some nice bolt guns chambered for .223 also. Any of them would do what you want, especially with hand loading.
    We have a young 35 year old that has joined our coyote gang. He has made some amazing shots with his tang safety bull barrel 22-250. He bought it about 4 years ago off gunbroker from somebody in Alaska. Clean as a pin and a true half inch gun with handloads. I am sure that it has killed 100 coyotes in it's short time in Iowa.

  8. #8

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    I am a devoted fan of the 22-250.

    My first foray back in the 70s was a Ruger#1. Problems with the ring /integral bases meant shimming extraorinare to achieve a POI impact.

    In the 90s. I bought a 40X KX that was an amazing rifle. Amazing in how heavy it was...over 13 lbs field ready with a 6.5X20 Leuy up top....and amazing it would break 4300 FPS with 40 grain BTs. Let's just say it shot VERY small groups with those bullets. Rem's Custom Shop does produce some high quality products.

    My current 22-250 is a Sako 85 varmint. It is perhaps the best overall compromise of extreme accuracy...reasonable weight (about 9 lbs scoped)...and with the single set trigger a joy to shoot.

    If you can't get it done with Varget or R15 and a 50 gr BT, something is wrong. Even with the 24" barrel on the Sako, we're doing over 3700. This will cream any varmint anywhere.

    If you want a true hunting rifle for deer and up, look elsewhere.

    7STW

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post

    As for twist rate, put a piece of masking tape on your cleaning rod a foot or so up from the tip. Make a mark on it. Now put a jag and patch on the rod and seat it into the barrel till the rod tip is flush with the muzzle. Now push the rod slowly into the barrel until that mark on the tape makes one full revolution around the rod. Mark the rod again right at the muzzle, then pull the rod out and measure the distance between the tip and that second mark. Done.
    Thank you for that interesting piece of info Bbear.....

    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    4merguide, I didn't get out last weekend to take advantage our first snowfall and kill some coyotes. However the gang went with out me and killed 4 coyotes. Two of them were killed at at over 200 yards with a Savage B-mag in 17 WSM. We don't have any wolves here- bouts and coyotes die easy. I am really thinking about getting a Ruger 77 in the new 17 offering. A 17 caliber 20 grain bullet running 3,000 FPS should handle a big portion of my vermin killing. I watched a 500 round box of 17WSMs sell for $85 on an auction sight today. That's a big plus. My only drawback is something that I learned when I built a 17 mk4 for prairie dog snuffing a couple decades ago. That is that you have to clean a 17 caliber bore more often if you don't want those itty bitty boolets going of in mid air from the friction applied to the ultra thin jacket.
    Originally I had been thinking about the new Savage A17....even held one in my hot little hands the other day! But, with my number one reasoning for buying a new predator rifle being that I really want a wolf hide, I decided it was too light and not a long (enough) range shooter. No doubt it will kill one, but I'm thinking that if I ever should get so lucky as to even see another wolf, it might be waaaaaaay out there. I realize that even the 22-50 may be a bit light for a big wolf as well, but being as accurate as they say it is, and with the right slug, I feel that it's definitely doable.....unless, of course somebody wants to talk me out of it with a better option. But with that option not being a round for deer as well, as I already have a 270.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I bought a Remington 700 bull barrel in 22-250 for predator hunting,, after I cut a couple critters in half, it went back in the safe and has been there over 8 years. I would sell it cheap, but I could not do so without saying that I found it not very good for fur, too fast IMHO. In my very limited wolf hunting experience, I find they don't like to stay put. In other words most shots I have had a chance at have been running. I bought an AR and have it set up if I get a chance to try for them again, and I have a 22 bolt for it to take lesser predators given a chance.
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    One quality AR-15 "LOWER" with an outstanding trigger. Plus a 16" quality upper in a .223 Wylde or 5.56X45 (Not .223 Remington) and an 18" upper in 6.8 SPC-II (Using 110 gr. Accubond) Both will do 3/4 MOA or better. And one ten round magazine for each cartridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I bought a Remington 700 bull barrel in 22-250 for predator hunting,, after I cut a couple critters in half, it went back in the safe and has been there over 8 years. I would sell it cheap, but I could not do so without saying that I found it not very good for fur, too fast IMHO. In my very limited wolf hunting experience, I find they don't like to stay put. In other words most shots I have had a chance at have been running. I bought an AR and have it set up if I get a chance to try for them again, and I have a 22 bolt for it to take lesser predators given a chance.
    That was also my assessment of 22-250 years ago on coyote, too hot for pelts. Something 223 or under is better, I like the 256wm but it's an old game and there are a lot of great classic rounds in this class too.
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    I have an old Ruger M77 in 22-250 that went on a lot of prairie dog hunts when I lived in Montana. The rifle still has the same accuracy as it ever did. Consistently hitting a target the size of a quart jar out 3-400 yards. I would guess that rifle has about 10,000 rounds through it by now. Hand loads being the cheapest 55 gr at the moment and varget. There used to be (1970's) two schools of thought on using this and similar high speed cartridges on fur bearers. One was to use very expensive and hard to find disintegrating bullets and the other was to use solids. Both seemed to work equally well. I have killed some darned big dogs, deer, and hogs with this cartridge. I now have the luxury of other choices for use however I would have no second thoughts about using this for wolves.

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    I have a Y2K ish Ruger All Weather KM77RFP in 22-250. All weather stainless model. It is a tack driver but likes the lighter grain bullets. I don't recall the twist rate. I have a Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x50mm scope on it. It is the 22" barrel not the 26" Ruger target model. I think in the past I tried the heaver 95 grain (or was it 70 grain) bullets and it was key-holing them on the target paper. I have a few Ruger .243 rifles that I use now for heavier bullets. Both are about the same cost to shoot and they use the same case/action so if you want to shoot heavier bullets, then get a .243 they are great too for predators and accuracy.

    Sobie2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sobie2 View Post
    ...they use the same case/action ....
    Same action certainly, but entirely different cases. The 22-250 is derived from the 250 Savage, while the 243 is derived from the 308 Winchester.

    I'm betting you knew that and I'm lecturing the choir, but I wanted to clarify for folks on here who might not be so experienced.

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    I shot a fair number of red fox using a 222 rem 700 BDL Varmit, bull barrel gun, using 55 gr FMJ bullets, and there was usually some stitching needed to the pelts afterwards. My go to favorite was a Rem 700 ADL 6mm with a Redfield Widefield 6x on it shooting 100 gr bullets - lots of coyotes and some deer fell to that gun, it was one that for some reason just didn't miss... The 6mm was very hard on fox pelts...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Same action certainly, but entirely different cases. The 22-250 is derived from the 250 Savage, while the 243 is derived from the 308 Winchester.

    I'm betting you knew that and I'm lecturing the choir, but I wanted to clarify for folks on here who might not be so experienced.
    They all go back to the 250-3000 Savage case on the family tree but the only thing Winchester didn't alter was the case head . . . and even that they altered from .473" to .4728" (whole .0002") on some drawings trying to get the Savage taste out of their mouth I suspect. They are close that you could cut down and form 308 Winchester family brass to run in the Savage family or 22-250 if needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    ...close that you could cut down and form 308 Winchester family brass to run in the Savage family or 22-250 if needed.
    With some serious neck reaming involved. A bud picked up the conversion die set from RCBS at no small expense when 250 and 22-250 cases got really scarce a couple of years back. What a bunch of high dollar riggamarole....

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    4mer,

    I shoot the 22-250 a lot and currently have three on board. I don't buy any with 1:14 twist.
    My Kimber is 1:12
    The Dakota is 1:7
    The R700 Fairnorth is 1:8

    I shoot harder and heavier bullets for varmints because we may run into a larger varmint here in Alaska.
    The Kimber 1:12 shoots the Sierra Match King 52gr and that bullet is very fur friendly exiting coyotes with limited damage.

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