22-243 middlestead???

Daniel Ludwig

Active Member
Nov 8, 2004
Elizabeth, WV
first off, im new here, nice site!!!
im looking into building a 22-243 middlestead for local varmint hunting and maybe a trip to Wyoming for prarie dogs and coyotes. just wondering if anyone here has any experience with this round, looking for info on case forming, case life, barrel life, accuracy, twist reccomendations, etc. i have a bench setup, but no super long shots, about 550-600 tops.thanks in advance for any info.
I own and shoot a 22-243AI but for your purposes I'd suggest a 220 Swift with a 9" twist.

The 22-243 Middlestead will cost more for dies, will require fireforming, will have a shorter throat life and be less efficient overall.

For shooting out to 500-600yards the Swift loaded with 69gr-75gr bullets would be a good choice. The 22-250AI would also work well but it would require fireforming too.

Just my 2 cents - VH
VH, i have owned a Ruger mkI 77V swift for along time, its a good round, but i just wanna go faster, been looking at the 22-243 middlestead, 22-243AI, and the Cheetah mkI.
reason being i have a pile of 243 brass im not using as i dealt off my 243. i know i will have lots of time in fire-forming, and a good bit of change in dies, but i want to build a wildcat rifle, a heavy one, while my father is still able to help, he got me into guns and i owe everything to him, this is kind of a special project, will probably do most of the work with the same tools he did his Eddystone 1917 based 15 3/4 lb 25/06 on in '74. plans are mauser action and a #7 douglas barrel, some manner of wood stock...something like the guns i grew up around.
thanks for the advice though
i haven't got one, but i do fancy one. i'd go for it if i had the means....

best of luck with the project and keep us posted.

Does a 75 grain really blow up PP's? This 4th of July I spent a week in western South Dakota helping out the local ranchers.

One day my friend and i went through 500 rounds of 223 55 gr. HP's They do Okay. I got the record for popping one 6+ feet in the air. But that round doesn't devistate them. My .277 with 100 gr sp loaded to @3600 fps vaporizes them.
I have a lot of experience with the straight 22-243 ( no shoulder changes, just neck the 243 straight to 22). I choose this over all the different versions because there is no fire forming required and I don't want to have a bunch of time in brass I might lose in the field.

The rifle is a Remington 700 with a 26 inch barrel. Twist is 1 in 8. Neck diameter is .262 so there is no neck turning with Winchester brass.

I get 3450 fps with 80 gr VLDs.

I use Redding .243 Win Type S full length bushing die with a 22 cal neck bushing so the sizing die is a standard item.

My seating die is again from Redding. I took a 22-250 Competition seating die and reamed the sliding chamber portion of the die with my chambering reamer. This makes a great die that fits the chamber exactly.

I have killed rockchucks out to 962 yds and my furthest coyote was also 960.

I have had great luck with reduced loads with the 40 gr Ballistic tip @ 3800. This load hits the same point of aim as my 80 gr load out to 300 yds. Much less fur damage if a bobcat comes to the call.

I would unquestionably go with a 1 in 8 twist to give you the most options in bullet selection.

My cousin and I used the 22-243 on a New Mexico antelope hunt this year and killed two bucks at 450 yds and 560 yds with one shot each. I have seen or shot over 30 deer and antelope with this setup over the years and it works very well.

I don't shoot many prairie dogs but I do hammer on the coyotes a lot and in my opinion this is the best coyote setup in the world.

Barrel life is 1200-1500 rounds. I am on my 6th barrel.

Good luck

If your interested, here is what I had built:

Rem 40x blueprinted/trued action
28" Hart 7 contour, 22-243AI bbl w/8" twist
McMillan BR stock
Jewell trigger
Nightforce 12x42x56 w/20moa bases

Best varmint load: 75gr A-Max (moly) bullet
48.2gr RE22 - Fed 210M primer - Lapua case

Aver. velocity: 3,670 ft/sec
Best group: .625" @ 600yds

This load is very lethal on fat Pa groundhogs out to 800+ yds. I have not yet had kills over 900 yards.

I have shot a 22-243 middle for 20 plus years. No brass fire forming is required simply run 243 case through 22-243 middle die and trim. Load, fire at praire poodle and out pops a brass fit to your chamber. Great caliber....Russ
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