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The Firing Line
What are some pros and cons of each cartridge? Which one do you think is a better all around?
.223 is typically cheaper (army surplus) than .22-250.
They are both fine rounds, performance wise I guess you'd have to give it to the 22-250 but I think I would go with a .223 due to the availability and cost of ammo.
Ditto to Jay. I've owned both. The .22-250 was my best tack driver and I've kicked myself over and over for selling it. I won matches with it as well. But I decided I was reloading for too many calibers and I have several in .223 and only the one 22-250.
Also, you don't say anything about the style of rifle you want. If you're talking .22-250 that says bolt-action. You just won't find that in much of anything else. And it probably won't be cheap. (I'm all about Cheap!) But in the .223, the options are endless. I've got it in a pistol (T/C). I've got it in an AR-15. I've got it in a single-shot break-action that you can pick up for under $200 and still shoots great.
.223 - (+) CHEAP ammo
(-) No "knock down power"
.22-250- (+) "Tack-driver !
(-) "heard" they will burn out a barrel quicker.
I think the .223 is a better round, but this just my opinion:
-Cheaper Reloading Components
-Can fire almost 2x the rounds before you have and stop and let your barrel cool down (Talking when you're shooting prarie dogs fast and frantically)
-No noticable difference in terminal performance (Shot coyotes and prarie dogs to 600 yds with both cartridges)
-Extremely accurate round
But the .22-250 is a good round too, it shoots a lot faster that's for sure but I don't see that as a real big advantage. (I know many people do, just the way I shoot long range it just means fewer clicks on my scope).
I owned two Identical Rmington 700 VSF's, one chambered in .223 and the other in .22-250. I ended up keeping the .223 and stripping the action off the.22-250 and having a custom .308 built on it. The .223 did everything I needed it to do and I didn't see the need for two varmint rifles.
As already said the .223 ammo will be cheaper. The 22-250 ammo is a little more. But the 22-250 will shoot further than the 223 and flatter. The 22-250 has a little more knock down power. So in my opinion the 22-250 is a better round.
Both very nice rifles and it depends on what you like personally. I would classify them like this:
22-250 - FLAMING FAST! 40 grain goes 4100-4200fps. That is FAST! You can see your target blow up in your scope before it recoils. If shooting p-dogs, you aim right where you want to hit from 100-250 yards and don't worry about the wind because it is so blazing FAST. It costs more to shoot but a Ferrari costs more than a Mustang. If you shoot thousands of shots daily at p-dogs, you will shoot your barrel out faster than the .223 but it will last for thousands of shots. Oh, and did I say it was FFAASSTT?
.223 - A pretty amazing round. The same 40g bullet will limp along at 3700-3800 fps... this is still FAST! Just not quite as fast as the 22-250. Other than seeing p-dog guts in the scope before the recoil moves it, I don't really notice the difference. I have mine zeroed for the 50 grain bullet going 3450 fps... still very flat shooting. You can shoot this one in the AR platform and use it to shoot running coyotes like an exterminator. It is one of the cheapest center fires to load for or to buy ammo for because of the tons of it made. If there ever was a commodity cartrige, this is it.
Both are very accurate and you might be able to shoot 1/4 inch groups with either. Both shoot game from p-dogs to deer without much difference. Some think you can't shoot deer with them but I'm hear to tell you... they are deadly as long as you hit a vital area with a hunting bullet. In a bolt rifle, I would use the 22-250 and load it for max speed just for the fun of it. I would shoot the .223 in a good accurate AR platform (e.g. Bushmaster or DPMS) if possible to take advantage of the automatic reloading on running varmints. If I were shooting benchrest targets with the .223, or didn't want to pay over $500 for the rifle, I would use a bolt action with that as well. Good luck... you can't make a mistake... you will love either of them.
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