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Thread: 22-243 Middlestead

  1. #1
    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default 22-243 Middlestead

    Since I read about the 22-243 Middlestead in Cartridges of the World I always thought that this cartridge has potential as a good predator hunting round. Anyone have any experience with this wildcat cartridge? Thanks

  2. #2

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    I can't recall if it was a Middlestead, but long ago I spent an afternoon shooting rockchucks with Fred Huntingon, who was using a 22-243 sporting a Shilen barrel. As I recall his bullet of choice was a 52 grain match hollowpoint, but I can't recall whether it was Speer or Sierra. This was a little over three decades ago, so details are foggy. I do recall his complaint that he wasn't 100% happy with any of the powders available at the time. The enormous crop of new ones available today might breathe new life into this old round.

    BTW- I was alternating between a 22-250 and a 220 Swift on that shoot, and as I recall there was a fair difference in performance between those two, but I didn't see much practical difference between the 220 and Fred's 22-243. I suspect though, that due to the powder connundrum, he probably wasn't realizing the potential of the extra case capacity.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    A real hot-rod ctg. I shoot a .22/6MM Remington and there are a lot the same. Generaly people stay with a 1 in 10 twist. Rl-22 has worked great for me. I shoot a lot of 80 grain bullets out of mine. Bullets made on Blackmon dies. using J-4/Berger jackets.

    Works great on caribou in the wind at getting out there ranges. I think you would be vary happy with the Middlestead. I know you would have fun fire forming these cases as it an easy case to work with.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Default Seal hunting cartridge

    I was thinking that this caliber would be a good round for seal hunting out in the ocean too. Seals dive pretty fast sometimes, well depends on if your squeezing the trigger as their heads are coming up out of the water or going down. When they are coming out of the water, you have a little more time to get a good bead on them. With a faster bullet you may improve your chances of killing them as they are going down too. Article stated that the 22-243 is a fast accurate round and has a slightly longer reach over the 22-250 and 220 Swift. Sounds like a good hunting cartridge for spotted and bearded seal and with the heavier bullets would be good for sealion. This may be a good project to start considering. Kinda like the idea of a custom seal hunting rifle.

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    Default 22-243 Winchester vs 22-243 Middlestead vs AI ?

    Just checked AmmoGuide and found 2 variants of the 22-243. This site listed the 22-243 Winchester with a 30 degree shoulder and a .241 neck and the 22-243 Middlestead with a 34 degree shoulder with a .241 neck.
    Cartridges of the World stated the Middlestead variant had a 30 degree shoulder with a .300 inch neck.
    I was also doing a websearch on other forums where the AI was applied to both variants and sometimes the cartridge was just called 22-243 AI.
    Which is the correct information; Cartridges of the World or AmmoGuide and is the 22-243 AI another variant ? The one I am considering I guess is the plain version. Thanks

    (22-243 Middlestead) http://ammoguide.com/?catid=559
    (22-243 Winchester) http://ammoguide.com/?catid=197

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    Man I really enjoy researching new/old cartridge designs. Decided to share some of my findings with you thus far.

    Just found out this morning that PAC-NOR Barreling, Inc. has four different chambers available for the 22-243: Ackley, Ackley Improved w/.256 neck, Middlestead and Winchester.

    Also found a couple of articles in one of my books titled: Wildcat Cartridges I&II Combo Edition

    Volume I: Wildcat Cartridges The 22-243 by Ken Waters pgs. 26-27
    Volume II: 22-243 Wildcat by James D. Mason pgs. 142-146

    This cartridge is so modern for such an old timer. Online info stated that cartridge case has 5 percent more capacity than a 220 swift. Also can reach velocities exceeding 4000fps. Info also stated that this cartridge has excellent accuracy.

  7. #7

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    I'll toss in some unsolicited and barely related advice based on experience with several 243's. I had trouble locating 243 brass one time and simply reformed a bunch of 308's I had on hand. Lucky for me I checked them before shooting, because squeezing down the neck resulted in neck walls that were WAY too thick. If I'd loaded and fired them, I don't think the neck could have expanded much at all, which points to the potential for some wild pressures since I was using some really hot loads. Might even have been a problem on milder loads.

    If I was building a 22-243 I'd spend some time thinking and talking with the smith about neck dimensions. I'd be pretty specific in finding out whether a 243 simply necked down would not have too thick walls, or plan to ream all your neck walls in a tighter chamber. I can guarandamtee that if you were starting with 308's to make your cases, you'd have neck wall that wouldn't even chamber once you seated a bullet.

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    Thanks Brown Bear for your advice, I am planning on doing a lot more research and reading before I seriously consider proceeding with a 22-243 rifle project.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    If you go with no-turn necks, you will still have to go with inside neck reaming. For the kind of shooting you are talking about (from the boat) you might want to stay with off the shelf ammo. It's not like you are taking long shots out of the boat.

    Dropping brass in the boat or over the side is not going to make you to happy after spending your time making brass to fit and the money you will spend on tooling.

    A fair amount of money will be spent just to get you to the point of a usable hunting rifle. This is one of the biggest reasons that people stay away from true wildcats. The resale value is next to zip on them.

    I don't think there are all that many people that truly understand the care and feeding of these wildcats.

    I don't mean that you should not give-up. Just that there is just a little more to this than shows on the surface.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Thanks Big Al, guess you are also saying that a person would probably need to spend a considerable amount of money on reloading equipment and tools to really get into feeding these wildcats.
    I do have a couple of Sierra videos in my library titled: Introduction to Rifle Reloading, 2nd set is titled: Highpower Rifle Reloading, both presented by G. David Tubb. 2nd video set has a good explanation on the use of advanced reloading tools. He also explains neck turning and inside neck reaming, so I do have an idea of what you are talking about.
    You are probably right when it comes to hunting out of a boat, especially out on the salt water. A stainless factory rifle with factory ammo would do the job. Nothing wrong with a 220 Swift or 22-250. I used a 243 Winchester for years and it was also very effective on seals. 22-243 still sounds like an interesting round.

  11. #11

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    Having absolutely nothing to do with the 22-243, but everything to do with the 358-375 Ruger:

    Macks Sportshop in Kodiak (907-486-4276- talk to Eric or Jess) is clearing out a bunch of stuff. Among them are half a dozen bags of original 275 grain Bear Claw bonded core bullets in .358. At half of their old price, or $24 and change. I've got all I need, but felt I should be sure and pass this along. Talk about a great bullet for your rifle!!!!!!

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    Have you considered the .223 WSSM? You can see some loads on Hodgdon's website.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Having absolutely nothing to do with the 22-243, but everything to do with the 358-375 Ruger:

    Macks Sportshop in Kodiak (907-486-4276- talk to Eric or Jess) is clearing out a bunch of stuff. Among them are half a dozen bags of original 275 grain Bear Claw bonded core bullets in .358. At half of their old price, or $24 and change. I've got all I need, but felt I should be sure and pass this along. Talk about a great bullet for your rifle!!!!!!
    Thanks Brown Bear, I will give their shop a call tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Have you considered the .223 WSSM? You can see some loads on Hodgdon's website.
    Haven't really considered any of the WSSM cartridges. I will have to read up on the 223 WSSM. Thanks

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    This is an area that I have helped folks along the Kuskokwim river with in the same situation you are discussing right now and my advice is to go with a rifle chambered for the 5.56 NATO. The reason is you have a chance to get brass from the Guard. You buy 1,000 once fired cases and you are good to go for a long time. I have sold many 1,000's of rounds to these same folks for their .223's and they have killed more than a few caribou, walrus, seal and moose with my loads. Is this the best ctg for all of these? NO it is not. Does it work? YES.

    Would you care if you loose brass from a .223? I don't think it will cause you any loss of sleep.

    The rules that apply to subsistence hunting from the Man that has to feed a family with his rifle, are simple. As much as you can, as fast as you can and as cheap as you can.

    I refuse to believe that any rule other than that need apply.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Having absolutely nothing to do with the 22-243, but everything to do with the 358-375 Ruger:

    Macks Sportshop in Kodiak (907-486-4276- talk to Eric or Jess) is clearing out a bunch of stuff. Among them are half a dozen bags of original 275 grain Bear Claw bonded core bullets in .358. At half of their old price, or $24 and change. I've got all I need, but felt I should be sure and pass this along. Talk about a great bullet for your rifle!!!!!!
    My bad.

    Those are Bitterroot Bonded bullets, not Bear Claws. Big difference, and a great savings.

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