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Old 02-16-2013, 03:40 PM
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Default Which Varmint caliber & rifle?

I would like to buy a varmint rifle for of course varmints and probably mid/long range target shooting also. Beginning to research different calibers and have somewhat favored the 22-250 & 220 swift. There doesn't seem to be very many firearm manufacturers that make varmint rifles in the 220 swift caliber so I do want to be thorough in thinking this through. I hope there are plenty of you guys/gals out there that can give me some advise with your own experiences with your varmint eliminators. I am a handgun(9mm & 40 cal)reloader also, if that should be something to consider.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:51 PM
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I've shot and used both.............

When I loaded the Swift down for real serious accuracy...It's was runnin bout the same as the .22-250.

My all time favorite of the two, is the .22-250 load with a Sierra 52 gr HPBT Match bullet.

But, I've just about started using the .257 Roberts for an every day kinda thing...Bucks the wind a bit better over distance.



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Old 02-16-2013, 03:56 PM
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I shoot Remington varmint rifles in .223 and 22-250. I use the .223 for mid-range work if it isn't too terribly windy, that way I can take advantage of cheaper reloaded [ not by me ] ammo. We were able to buy it by the 1000 round case for not too bad of a price. I could then use my relaoading time for the .22-250.
I used the .22-250 if the range increased or the wind came up, it has a noticeable advantage in hit ratio over the .223 in the wind or longer range. [ Over 250 yds. ]
It's nice to have both, that way when the 250 barrel is too hot to touch you can grab the other one.
I have no experience with the .220 Swift.
Steve
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:01 PM
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Richard,

I would guess the prairie dog shooters will be stopping by soon to offer their advice, which will be better than mine. Just a couple thoughts/opinions:

-It sounds like you are looking to buy a new rifle. If I were in your shoes right now, I would be looking for something used, and used relatively little(or obviously well cared-for). There seem to be quite a range of choices when you are open to older, used guns, especially in the Swift.

-I had a 22-250 once, and it seems to me to be just about the best choice for varmints. Has a slightly smaller case than the Swift, so velocities are generally a tad slower, but I haven't heard any cases of throat erosion, which I understand could be a problem with the Swift, at least in older models. Should reach to close to the same ranges as the Swift.

I'm sure others will have some great advice for you. Happy hunting(for both gun and varmints)!

Regards,
Andy
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:01 PM
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Keith44 is spot on. I've had a swift and a 22-250. While I had the 22-250 my groundhog hunting partner had a swift. Our rifles weighed 14 pounds each with their big big 2 in Unertl scopes. We couldn't find any difference between them.

Ed
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:03 PM
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As I recall the 220 Swift fell out of favor due to barrel erosion issues. The 22-250 is far more common, even back in the 1990s when I bought mine. I have a Winchester Model 70 26" heavy barreled with aluminum bedded carbon fiber stock. The 22-250 will be easier to find ammunition and components for, and the Swift would only have a slight velocity advantage. You'll be happy with either cartridge if you find the rifle you want.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Which Varmint caliber & rifle?

375 H&H

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Old 02-16-2013, 04:22 PM
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Can't beat the 22-250....love my Savage...!
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keith44spl View Post
But, I've just about started using the .257 Roberts for an every day kinda thing...Bucks the wind a bit better over distance.
Not that it's really relevant to RichardF's question, but my single biggest regret in the I Really Wish I'd Bought That Gun category is when I passed on a certain .257 Roberts twenty-some years ago.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:15 PM
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I just purchased a new Savage Axis in. 223 around $400 with a scope the trigger pull was high so I replaced the spring with one from pen. Now shooting 1/2" groups at 100 yards with 53gr V-Max reloads, awesme gun for the money.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:17 PM
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Savage Mod 10 in 22-250 and ammo is easy to get.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Which Varmint caliber & rifle?

I like my 243. Ammo is easy to find even with people buying whatever they can get. It's good out to 500 for prairie dogs and around 300 for deer depending on the load

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Old 02-16-2013, 09:21 PM
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I am partial to my Winchester Model 70 Heavy Varmint. It is chambered in .22/250 and sports a Leupold 6.5x20 VX 111 scope.




And for longer distances this Tikka 595 .243 fits the bill nicely.


Last edited by rfo1; 02-16-2013 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:35 PM
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What's the current price difference between 22/250, 220 Swift, and .223? I would image for reloaders it's a moot point, but factory ammo must have noticeable $ difference.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:25 PM
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Under normal circumstances, the order would be .223, 22-250, and the .220 Swift the highest. With the current panic, it will be a matter of what you can find.
The .220 Swift is the all time velocity champ, but the above comment on throat erosion applies, and it is not quite as commonly available as the other 2.

Myron
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:32 PM
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Are you just out to harm prairie dogs and woodchucks, or do you expect to shoot coyotes and bobcats and feral dogs?

Going to call-in predators? Take deer, too?

I'd lean toward the .243 for bigger animals. But barrel life is probably better with a .223. Not sure, compared to a .22/250, and the Swift is a barrel burner. Don't think I'd want one of those or a .264.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:34 PM
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Mini-14 Ranch .223.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc5aw View Post
What's the current price difference between 22/250, 220 Swift, and .223? I would image for reloaders it's a moot point, but factory ammo must have noticeable $ difference.
That question reminds me of when I sold off a pencil barreled Winchester Model 70 22-250 that was a fine gun, but I really wanted a heavy barreled 22-250. My boss' son bought it from me, but asked... How much does the ammo cost? I drew a blank. I said... Honestly I have no idea, I hand load and have never bought any. At that point I realized I was a true reloader.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:19 PM
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A Remington 700 SPS Varmint in .22-250 Rem. Would be hard to beat
unless you can find one of the Varmint synthetic models. Put a Leupold
6-18 x a.o. or 6.5-20x a.o. scope on it with Leupold rings & base and you will have the best rig there is. One other BIG advantage to .22-250
is it is NOT .223 so ammo is not a problem.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:39 PM
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I have a 223 Cooper 21, with the ammo it likes would get cosistant 1/4" groups at 200 yards I also have a heavy Savage that shot 5 consecitive M&M's at 200. I sold a Weatherby Vanguard VGX heavy barrel 22-250 (8lbs8oz) that shot just as well with factory Fed. Primium 50gr. I sold it because I have a 22BR that is equal ballisiticaly, and it shoots better! Remember, the scope can cost as much or more than the gun. Spend the extra money an use steel bases and rings. And lastly, if you use a bipod, the best is a Sinclare, but Harris will do (Don't waste your time on Caldwell, they look like a Harris but are flimsy). Ivan
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:08 AM
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While I'm thinking of it, Robert C. Ruark, the famous columnist and novelist, shot a hyena or something similar with a .220 Swift and found it lacking. The bullets blew up without enough penetration. His white hunter was not impressed!

Today, you can get tougher .22 centerfire bullets. But I really don't like the idea of shooting deer or anything bigger than coyotes with a .22 of any kind. It's legal in some states, but unless the shot is taken under ideal conditions, I think power may be lacking. Foxes and coyotes are about the humane limit, I think. You can probably hunt javelina with a centerfire .22.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:11 AM
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I have multiple varmint/target rifles in calibers from 17HMR up to the 338lapua and bigger, and would have to say that for ammo availability {non reloader} you can not go wrong with 223 or 22-250 and I would strongly recommend taking a good look at .204 Ruger. For shooting longer{again varmint} ranges . look at the 6mm/243 and perhaps some of the 6.5 rounds. A lot depends on how much you are going to shoot at a time and how much you want or are willing to spend doing it.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:26 AM
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I'm a fan of the .223 Rem, but once I want more speed and range I look to the 6mm/.243 calibers.

I've had excellent results with the 55 and 58 grain bullet, but a 70 - 75 grain pill is great from a .243 Winchester.

I lost my varmint shooting place, so I traded everything long range off a few years back, but if I were looking to replace it one of the Savage Hbars chambered in .243 would be one I'd consider. CD
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