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awndray
02-13-2014, 10:23 AM
I don't have time right now, but I'm doing my homework now so I don't have to waste time when I do. I'm looking at varmint calibres: 223, 22-250, 243. These are the factors I'm considering. Please chime in with your thoughts.


I currently have a 223 in my safe, but cannot use this AR for hunting.
I'm surrounded by farmland and would like to offer my services to my farming neighbors and try my hand at coyote hunting (superbrad, I'm looking at you). I'm guessing this will take place in some open fields. Therefore, I see this rifle having a 20-24 inch barrel.
I don't know much about the ballistics of either round other than what I've been reading online and it's hard to make out what best suits my needs, taking into consideration possible distances and wind.
I would like a round that is readily available, whether I need to grab a box of factory loads from at a local store, or find the components to load my own.
I don't currently reload due to time restraints, but I am geared up for 308 and 30-06. I'm open to the option of adding some dies to my shopping list.
I don't want to destroy the animals just for the sake of killing something. I'm not looking for a spectacular display of blood spray. If I can find the right person, I'd like to donate the fur to help the community.


Thanks, folks.

Strewth
02-13-2014, 11:01 AM
I have very little experience with the other rounds, but I vote .223; then you can handload some wicked tackdrivers for your AR as well? Very available ammo, shoots flat (maybe not so flat compared to the others?), tons of info online?
But I've been on a minimalist kick with calibres lately. And I think my next bolt gun will be .223:). Not biased at all.

awndray
02-13-2014, 11:08 AM
Ah yes, the minimalist route. I keep wanting to consolidate, in every aspect of my life, but it's difficult to let go of some things. I'm not a pack rat by any means, but I could probably do with fewer toys.

BrotherRockeye
02-13-2014, 11:09 AM
I settled on the .223 myself.

22-250 and .243 were too much boom and powder used for the same result

.204 was too light with wolves being a consideration here

.222 was another option but I opted for the more common .223 simply for availability of brass and commonality with semi auto rifles.

With a .223 already owned I would suggest a bolt rifle in the same cal and a set of dies to reload for it.

lone-wolf
02-13-2014, 12:06 PM
I went .223 for availability and I don't shoot long distances.
.22-250 seems to me better than the .223 in every way, and if it's burning to much powder, you could reload it closer to .223 speed couldn't you?

BrotherRockeye
02-13-2014, 01:14 PM
I went .223 for availability and I don't shoot long distances.
.22-250 seems to me better than the .223 in every way, and if it's burning to much powder, you could reload it closer to .223 speed couldn't you?

what would be the benefit of downloading the 22-250 to .223...over just using a .223?

lone-wolf
02-13-2014, 01:20 PM
what would be the benefit of downloading the 22-250 to .223...over just using a .223?

You still have the option of loading it faster.
Flexibility.

Satain
02-13-2014, 03:23 PM
Get a Mossberg and use your 10 round AR mag's and call it a day...
Oh ya super performance from Hornady drops the dead in there tracks./

BrotherRockeye
02-13-2014, 03:28 PM
You still have the option of loading it faster.
Flexibility.

and how would that save powder?

which was originally why you suggested down loading the 22-250...

never mind, I think we're going in circles :p

Dmay
02-13-2014, 03:28 PM
Well, way too much agreement here, somebody has to speak for the dark side. I'm gonna say you already have a sissy 223, so go for something with some zip....223WSSM.....243 AI.....240 Weatherby.....25-06.....257 Scramjet.....


(All in good fun of course)

Satain
02-14-2014, 02:10 AM
Well, way too much agreement here, somebody has to speak for the dark side. I'm gonna say you already have a sissy 223, so go for something with some zip....223WSSM.....243 AI.....240 Weatherby.....25-06.....257 Scramjet.....


(All in good fun of course)
Surprised you didn't say 300 Win mag LoL!!!

road kill
02-14-2014, 05:34 AM
Time to expand your experience with other calibers. I like the 204 and it is fur friendly from my experience. If you don't want to stay minimalist the the 223 by all means. I shoot a 17rem, 204, 222 and 223 and still need to get back to my old favorite the 22-250, some say i'm just a gun hoarder, buying stuff just cause i can.

Drache
02-14-2014, 06:11 AM
.223 is always nice and easy to find. After buying my .243 I really like this caliber. Big enough that with the rifle bullet I can take large game and yet I can find lower grain rounds perfect for varmints.

My vote is between the two.

JustBen
02-14-2014, 08:45 AM
I have a .222, and its a real tack driver. However, you pretty much need to reload.

Personally, I'd buy another 223 if I didn't have a large set of brass of the 222. Norinco ammo is available...

DOA
02-14-2014, 09:51 AM
Dosen't distance and cost play a factor? If you are shooting shorter distances and want to save pelts, maybe a 17?

The 223 is prob the most cost effective with versatility. I've been considering the Mossberg MVP to share mags but the 22-250 is soooo much fun.

tuffteddyb
02-14-2014, 07:02 PM
.223 all the way,Easy to get ammo,Can get in bulk.
Easy to reload for,Just cheaper too shoot,and if you want to
add a twist,make it into a ackley improved,will do anything the 22/250 will do.
Says the guy with a 223 and a 22/250 and a 25/06 ,lol

AdamW
02-16-2014, 11:57 AM
It's always a toss up for me when going out for coyotes or gophers. My R1 in .223 or my Rem 700 in 22-250. I like both a lot but looking at it now I should have gone with something in the 6mm/.243 or 25 cal range.

M.T. Chambers
02-16-2014, 10:22 PM
I'm old school and really like my .218 Mashburn Bee in my CPA (Stevens 44 1/2) single shot, if forced to get a bolt gun I would opt. for the .221 Fireball, .222 rem, .22 Br. in that order, you don't need that much, noise and recoil to kill a skinny gopher.

Waterloomike
02-17-2014, 10:52 AM
.22-250 with a bull barrel is awesome.

But it's subject more to personal preference than anything.

sk8r
02-17-2014, 05:21 PM
.223, because,.... 100 meters, 55g.



http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3758/11572232514_bfa30877b2_z.jpg

BrotherRockeye
02-17-2014, 10:14 PM
I'm with sk8r on this one :)

this was the first group out of the .223 Axis I got from justBen after I lightened the trigger.

3 shot group @ 100yds off the mirror of my truck with factory Remington 55gr FMJ

I opened up an old beer box and put it on a brush pile. Shot one, then aimed at the hole and shot 2 more...that's a dime.

http://imageshack.com/a/img580/7774/axisgroupsmall.jpg

if Boyds was making stocks for them then I'd likely still own it....

superbrad
02-18-2014, 04:03 PM
.223 is all you will ever need around here for yotes... my longest shot on a dog was 250 yards and that was because the damn thing stuck as far away as it possibly could... I have a rem 799 which is a Zastava mini mauser action in a stock Boyd's checkered stock... beautiful short rifle... a breeze to carry between sets and has 9 dogs in about 14hunts under its belt.... Let me know if you want to come out sometime or if you want me to head up when you find a tract of land... I'll grab the foxpro and quiver critter and see what we can do....

http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h402/superbrad1/crittergitter_zpsd0511c75.jpg

superbrad
02-18-2014, 04:06 PM
Also, if you are on a budget and just want to try this out don't be afraid to pick up a handi- rifle.... you won't be shooting doubles but those little things are tack drivers....

http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h402/superbrad1/IMG-20111127-00138.jpg

BrotherRockeye
02-18-2014, 04:14 PM
(Nice iron Brad)

I'll second the H&R.
I've never had one that didn't shoot and the .204 I had printed my first 1 hole group.

awndray
02-19-2014, 06:59 AM
You do like those Boyds stocks, don't you? :)

I think the logical choice is the .223. So my next question is, how badly is that pill affected by wind? In my neck of the woods, the gusts get pretty strong and constant. Brad, where you hunt, is it open fields or do you hunker down on a line of bush?

superbrad
02-19-2014, 07:27 AM
I hunt mostly open fields.... majority of them are under 150 yards long so not much wind to worry about.... a 55gr. pill doesn't get affected by the wind too much... POI at 100 yards is usually plus or minus an inch or so.... minute of coyote is pretty easy....

superbrad
02-19-2014, 09:42 AM
Also Awndray, if you want to try out a hunt to see if it holds your interest, you can always use your .308 or .30-06..... not overly fur friendly but legal for the municipalities around here as long as there is no open big game season....

awndray
02-19-2014, 09:50 AM
Good to know. Thanks. Could be a decent way to break in the Savage 10TR. :shoot2:

awndray
07-01-2014, 05:07 PM
I think I found a varmint rifle :D

http://www.gunownersofcanada.ca/showthread.php?14324-June-Rifle-and-Vortex-Giveaway-From-Gun-Owners-of-Canada&p=155419&viewfull=1#post155419

DOA
07-01-2014, 05:22 PM
LOL awesome!

webster
07-02-2014, 12:53 AM
Nice, congrats! :)

superbrad
07-02-2014, 07:06 AM
Congrats bud.... You know you need to drop that in a Boyd's right?

Grey_Wolf
07-25-2014, 10:34 PM
I settled on the .223 myself.

22-250 and .243 were too much boom and powder used for the same result

.204 was too light with wolves being a consideration here

.222 was another option but I opted for the more common .223 simply for availability of brass and commonality with semi auto rifles.

With a .223 already owned I would suggest a bolt rifle in the same cal and a set of dies to reload for it.

I have a couple of 222's and love 'em. One light weight Savage 340 that the Boss can use and a Savage Model 25 Light Varminter for me :) Never had a problem finding "store bought" when needed though got into reloading about a year or so ago. Best move I ever made! Very good and accurate caliber. Easy on the shoulder, relatively quiet, simply a caliber that you could shoot all day having fun.

BrotherRockeye
07-26-2014, 02:41 PM
I had a Krico triple deuce that I loved. Super accurate rifle. Brain fart and she's gone...

.222 is a great cal. but that doesn't change my recommendation to awndray. For his purposes, which is what the thread is about, I say .223.

BrotherRockeye
07-26-2014, 02:48 PM
I guess its moot anyway since he won that .243...

lone-wolf
07-26-2014, 08:47 PM
Savage 340

What do you think of that rifle? How well do they shoot?

Grey_Wolf
07-27-2014, 11:55 PM
What do you think of that rifle? How well do they shoot?

I like it. It has a metal mag unlike the Model 25 with the plastic pos. (Can't understand why Savage would detract from an otherwise nice rifle by putting that cheap plastic thing on it.) Shoots Federals like holy hot dam and seemed to like the 52 grain Bergers with X-Terminator.

BrotherRockeye
07-28-2014, 10:04 AM
340's are good rifles overall. Extractors can be an issue. Have seen some surprising pieces of wood hidden under the varnish too.
They were a working mans rifle.

saskcoyote306
10-27-2014, 09:26 PM
I think the .204 is the best varmint round on the market. Flatter shooting then a 22-250 with no recoil so you can see hits in scope. Factory loaded Vmax at 4225 fps on gophers is devastating...it can kick a gopher 10 ft in the air ( well about 4 good size chunks) If you after coyotes or wolves a 39 gr Blitzking hammers them with next to no pelt damage. I have had a number of .204's and its my favorite along side the 220 swift. Funny thing is I own neither and shooting the standby .223...boring as heck but cheap to find brass and does what its supposed to do.

Cheers!!

zulu
10-27-2014, 09:52 PM
So where's the range report on this one?

awndray
10-28-2014, 06:21 AM
Out-of-the-box, meh. The scope blows. I'm taking this deer hunting soon, so I'll have to throw an old Elite 3200 on it for that trip. Otherwise, it goes bang and it delivers. One thing though; I think it's a youth model. It feel mighty short. I didn't really notice until this weekend when I actually shouldered it. Hell, it still had the tags on until Saturday.

Gunexpert007
10-28-2014, 06:25 AM
I would say it depends on how much shooting you plan to do . If it is just a once in awhile activity......go with the 22-250 ; if you are going to be using alot of ammo , get a 223 as ammo is plentiful and cheap.....

kennymo
10-28-2014, 08:46 AM
Maybe time to trade it for a 223? My favorite coyote caliber. Flat enough, cheap enough, lethal enough and minimal fur damage. I already regret not having one right now...especially with all those boxes of 223 sitting in the locker. Fingers crossed for a Savage Hog Hunter in 223 once the wifey gets back to work next summer. I loves my short n'heavy barrels.

I'd really like to give the 220 Swift a go sometime. So many different calibers already though. The first gun safe cleanup is probably in my near future....

762shooter
10-28-2014, 01:12 PM
It's always a toss up for me when going out for coyotes or gophers. My R1 in .223 or my Rem 700 in 22-250. I like both a lot but looking at it now I should have gone with something in the 6mm/.243 or 25 cal range.

I'm curious, why would you want to up to 6mm or .25 cal to shoot coyotes and gophers?

762shooter
10-28-2014, 01:15 PM
.22-250 with a bull barrel is awesome.

But it's subject more to personal preference than anything.

I have a friend who is a commercial animal control officer and trapper. He also hunts coyotes for their pelts in winter. He shoots a 22-250 with a medium weight barrel almost exclusively and takes in the neighbourhood of 100 coyotes a year with it at ranges out to about 300 yards. He thinks it is perfect for what he does.

furtaker
01-01-2015, 09:25 PM
I have a .243 and a 223
The 243 is nice as my wife can also use deer hunting.
But it was not nearly as fur friendly as my .223
I call very open fields and have no issues. If you are calling then a 200yd shot is well above average.
For me the fun is getting them as close as possible.
But the long shots are still fun too...

Omenator
03-21-2015, 02:05 PM
I'd say a .223 or 22-250 would be great for coyote hunting. It just depends how far you're gonna shoot as the 22-250 flattens the trajectory a bit. Do note that if you want to shoot heavy for caliber bullets, you need to watch the twist rate on whichever gun you choose. For the .223, 1-9" to 1-7" seems to be the sweet spot for the heavy (70grain or so) bullets.

Camo tung
03-21-2015, 02:17 PM
I use a bolt .223 for coyote and up and a .204 for closer coyotes and gophers. Doesn't fit a minimalist agenda but it's good to cover the spread!

Petamocto
03-21-2015, 05:26 PM
Yes the obscure calibres technically outperform the 223/5.56 by a hair, but not in any way that matters to the average shooter. Certainly not enough to overcome how readily available and cheap 223 is.

223 is here for a long long time, and you can do everything from bulk Norinco to hand loads that make it equal to the obscure rounds. No reason to choose anything else, especially since you already have an AR to share ammo from.

kennymo
03-21-2015, 05:38 PM
22-250 obscure? Where the heck do you buy guns? ;)

Petamocto
03-21-2015, 05:50 PM
Everything is relative. Yes technically it's not obscure or super rare, but compared to 223 it doesn't hold a candle for availability.

The OP wants to make sure ammo availability is never an issue, so if a small store only sells a few rounds, 223 will likely be one of them.

lone-wolf
03-21-2015, 05:54 PM
.22-243 is the clear choice.

awndray
03-22-2015, 08:20 AM
Since I have found/won my varmint gun, having experienced the lack of availability of 243, I'm going to start reloading that calibre.

road kill
03-23-2015, 07:23 AM
I haven't tried the 55 gr bullets in my 243 but worked up a load for a buddy for his Salvage. I was impressed with the accuracy and velocity was very good, i can't remember all the details and i gave him the data. I usually use 100gr Hornadys for deer with very good success.

Dime
05-04-2015, 09:53 PM
Hey, first post on this board!

I really like my 700 vls in 243. 55gr vmax shoot well my rifle seems to like the 75gr vmax a little better. However I did have a friend load up some 100gr Speer pspbt projectiles are they shot really well also. It's a versatile cartridge IMHO.

lroy
12-02-2017, 03:40 PM
HI Varmint hunter.
I have a 223 in a Weatherby, I really like it and it is very accurate. Super smooth.[Good for foxes, rabbits & crows.].
I also have a 243 In a Savage. Bolt actions both of them.
I was out for wolves this morning, and it was the 243 I took out.[The 243 is good for anything, in my humble opinion..
I found that the 243 is a very good all around gun.[ Good for bears, Wolves an Coyotes.Deer, and Moose
I reload and I have lots of choice of ammo for the 243.
My 2 cents worth.

awndray
12-02-2017, 03:57 PM
I agree with the 243 being a good, versatile caliber. I'd need practice to take a moose down with it, but deer hasn't been a problem for me.

lroy
12-22-2017, 02:11 PM
I'm an old guy so my choice for a Varmint gun is a hard decision to make
It has to be a bolt action.
A detachable magazine is preferable.[ you can switch bullets weights, really quick].
If you want to hunt deer also, I would go for a 243.
I reload so I can make 55grain grenades for the 243 or I can load it down to 223 or 22-250 velocities.
Or I can load 100 grain bullets for deer and bears.
You can go for a heavier grain weight in a 243.
I have had, 22 magnums, [toys], 222 Remington, deadly, 22-250 super deadly and 243 Winchester.
I presently own a 223, I love it , super accurate and [Tons of free brass].
I also have a 243 Winchester, I use it for bears, crows, wolves, foxes, and those [northern long eared prairiedogs], [rabbits].
If I had to choose of only 1 rifle it would be a 243.
It works for me.

MarkR
12-24-2017, 05:41 AM
I don't have time right now, but I'm doing my homework now so I don't have to waste time when I do. I'm looking at varmint calibres: 223, 22-250, 243. These are the factors I'm considering. Please chime in with your thoughts.


I currently have a 223 in my safe, but cannot use this AR for hunting.
I'm surrounded by farmland and would like to offer my services to my farming neighbors and try my hand at coyote hunting (superbrad, I'm looking at you). I'm guessing this will take place in some open fields. Therefore, I see this rifle having a 20-24 inch barrel.
I don't know much about the ballistics of either round other than what I've been reading online and it's hard to make out what best suits my needs, taking into consideration possible distances and wind.
I would like a round that is readily available, whether I need to grab a box of factory loads from at a local store, or find the components to load my own.
I don't currently reload due to time restraints, but I am geared up for 308 and 30-06. I'm open to the option of adding some dies to my shopping list.
I don't want to destroy the animals just for the sake of killing something. I'm not looking for a spectacular display of blood spray. If I can find the right person, I'd like to donate the fur to help the community.


Thanks, folks.

.223 for coyote and fox; FMJ so you don't blow the hide all to bits, ammo is inexpensive; .22-250 if you want to vaporize ground hogs out to 200+ yards, ammo is expensive to buy and reload; .243 good for both coyotes and deer, ammo not real cheap, but reasonable to reload. I have a .223, had a .22-250, never had a .243, but did have a 6.5 x 55 (with hollow points at 100 yards, groundhogs just disapeared!).

Back in the day, we shot a lot of them and fox with the .223; perfect for the job.

road kill
12-24-2017, 08:35 AM
Since my last post on this subject I have picked up a pair of 22-250's. I wonder what this cartridge with a fast twist barrel would do. If the Ruger #1 I picked up used turns out to have a shot out barrel I may use that to try a fast twist. Initial groups haven't showed anything bad but weather shut me down. The 204 remains my go to coyote rifle but is limited to 200 yards.

Magnum v2.5
12-26-2017, 02:11 AM
Since my last post on this subject I have picked up a pair of 22-250's. I wonder what this cartridge with a fast twist barrel would do. If the Ruger #1 I picked up used turns out to have a shot out barrel I may use that to try a fast twist. Initial groups haven't showed anything bad but weather shut me down. The 204 remains my go to coyote rifle but is limited to 200 yards.

Do you just want to kill em, or save hides. Long, heavy for caliber 22 bullets are usually very frangible. So a tiny hole in, tennis ball exit. A hunting bullet in a 6, 25, 6.5 imparts as much energy, with less sewing of hides.

Added benefit is a rifle also usable for hunting.

Swingerguy
12-26-2017, 04:33 AM
On the topic of varmint rifles, does anyone have experience with a .17 hornet for gophers? The ballistics look encouraging out to 150-200 yrds.
I would like to hear some real world anecdotes before investing in the rifle and dies and all of the components to reload for it.
Thanks.

road kill
12-26-2017, 06:12 AM
I have used my 17 Hornet on gophers and it is a great little cartridge. I haven't shot any gophers passed 200 yards, up to that range it does a very good job. Not as flashy as the bigger rounds but effective. Reloading could be interesting with those little bullets though.

road kill
12-26-2017, 06:15 AM
Do you just want to kill em, or save hides. Long, heavy for caliber 22 bullets are usually very frangible. So a tiny hole in, tennis ball exit. A hunting bullet in a 6, 25, 6.5 imparts as much energy, with less sewing of hides.

Added benefit is a rifle also usable for hunting.

The 32 gr Sierra bullets I use on coyotes haven't come out of any coyotes I have shot. About 15 coyotes I used those bullets on were nice to skin with only a small entrance hole.