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Heaviest bullet for 22-250?

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Unread 05-13-2013, 09:38 AM
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Re: Heaviest bullet for 22-250?

With the standard 1/14 twist, you don't have much room for flexibility. Before I re-barreled my 22-250, I had tried up to 60g Hornady spire points in mine. They stabilized @ 100 yards (didn't shoot them further), but accuracy was very poor, about 2.5+". It didn't even shoot 55g bullets very well. 50g and 52g bullets shot the best.

Were I in your shoes, I would be looking at different bullet construction, rather than increasing bullet weight. I would be taking a hard look at the Barnes 50g TSX and the Hornady 50g GMX. In conventional bullets, you could try the Hornady 55g and 60g spire points, the Sierra 55g Gameking, or possibly the Berger 55g Target bullets (the thicker jacket may help).

Two more possible options are the 60g Nosler Partition and the Winchester 64g Power Point. I don't know if either of these would stabilize in a 14 twist. I suspect the only way to know would be to try them.

The other obvious problem you are going to have is the current lack of component/ammo availability. You may have problems even finding bullets to try. Only patience or some good horse trading are likely to be of help with that.

After about 400 rounds, I got so frustrated with the finicky accuracy and limited range of useful bullet weights that would work in my 22-250, I went with a 1/12 twist Shilen. I am still breaking it in, but I am much happier with the results. I really think the 22-250 is among a number of chamberings that sorely need an update to the specified factory twist.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 11:51 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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Re: Heaviest bullet for 22-250?

Thank you guys for all of your input. I currently shoot a 50 grain ballistic tip and have great results. Was just hoping to get a little bigger bullet for whitetails. Looks like I'm limited with my barrel-caliber.
One shot, one kill; the only way to hunt!
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Unread 05-13-2013, 12:47 PM
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Re: Heaviest bullet for 22-250?

crittr- my son inlaw shot all sorts of bullets out of his 14 twist reminton 700 vssf; up to and including the 63 sierra semi ptd. . all shot 1/2 inch. i bet your tikka will do the same. there are plenty of bullets to try that are made for larger game like - the tsx in various weights and the 60 grain partition. you could always load the 257weatherby down with an 85 or 100 grain fb, 2800-3000 fps.

Last edited by roninflag; 05-13-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 366
Re: Heaviest bullet for 22-250?

Got a 223 Ruger with a 1/12 twist and shot the 64gr Winchester bullet.....
Shot a deer with it and it did the job.. Second choice would be the 60 gr Nosler p/t bullet...
Have a 257 Roberts Improved a sweet shooting and has put several deer in the freezer
Whitetail and Mule deer this past years longest shot was around 350 yards and one shot put the deer down.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 01:55 AM
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Re: Heaviest bullet for 22-250?

I ran some stability calculations using the Miller Stability formula on JBM Ballistics to see what I could find out. These calculations were run @ standard temperature and pressure, so they are not altitude corrected.

To my surprise, the Barnes 50g TSX does not stabilize in a 14 twist. The 45g TSX shows marginal stability, but does stabilize.

Another mono-metal option would be the Cutting Edge 40g Raptor. CE says it stabilizes in a 14 twist and the Miller formula agrees, though the stability factor again shows marginal stability.

The 60g Nosler partition does not stabilize.

Sierra says their 60g Varminter will stabilize, but couldn't verify that by calculation because I couldn't find a listing for bullet length. I wasn't able to do any calculations for the 63g Varminter for the same reason.

Couldn't find length info for the Winchester 64g Powerpoint, so no calculation for that one either.

Berger says their 55g Target bullet works in a 14 twist. Miller formula says no.

Obviously, there is some room for the "fudge factor" here. Any theoretical formula can only give you an idea of what to expect, but can't be definitive w/o testing. Where the formula and the bullet manufacturer disagree, I would be inclined to believe the manufacturer, but that is a judgement call.

Overall, it looks to me like you would be pretty safe in going with a 40-45g mono metal bullet. Likewise, up to 55g conventionally constructed bullets, such as the Hornady Spire Point, Sierra Gameking, Berger Target, etc. should work. Some 60g conventional bullets may work, as well, but you are starting to get into marginal territory there.

Alternatively, if you can borrow a 12 twist or faster .223, it will open your options considerably.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 07:16 AM
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Re: Heaviest bullet for 22-250?

I also ran the 53 gr V-MAX, which is a long boattail, through the Berger twist calculator and it said that the 14 would not stabilize them. But I don't think it takes the plastic tip into account which puts the CG of the bullet back. In any case, they did stabilize.
- Mark

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Unread 05-14-2013, 07:47 AM
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Re: Heaviest bullet for 22-250?

I have seen some folks report good results with the 60g Partition or the 53g VMAX in a 14 twist. I have even seen someone on this site (can't remember who) who reports good results with a 69g SMK in a 12 twist!

I guess that just goes to show that there is no substitute for trying a given bullet in your rifle, regardless of what the calculator says!
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