My Experience with 22 Wildcats- 22 Creed vs 22-243 vs 22-243AI

Rugerjim

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Brisbane
And obviously soon to own a middlestead :D *Chuckles evily*

So to begin this little furor, I should say this isn't an "asking for advice" thread. It's a log of my personal experiences and thoughts and feelings from now owning all of these.

In the beginning I owned 2 rifles. An 8 twist creed and a 10 twist 22-243. I soon realized the limitations of the 10 twist, so I got an 8 twist.

Here's what I learned:
1: Anything creed is expensive.
2: The 22 Creed shot amazing groups, but did need to be neck reamed to reach full potential as my neck was tight. (Check your reamer.)
3: Brass is expensive! (Comparatively.)
4: It could shoot heavy pills pretty dang fast.

5: 22-243 plain was accurate AND a tad faster, but a bit harder to develop a super accurate group but was on point very quickly.
6: 243 brass is cheap and everywhere. (PPU brass had the lowest H20 capacity, but thick, strong brass.)
7: Check your reamer again, you want a no neck turn, or get your gunsmith to chase the lands with an appropriate reamer.

8: 22-243AI is an absolute beast, though fireforming is actually more annoying and expensive than i'd like to admit.
9: Lets be honest, most of us want max power and don't wanna hunt with fireforming loads (However they are devastating in this caliber.)
10: PPU Brass maxed out at 54.5gr H20, rem brass 56.7 and Win brass a massive 57.7gr H20!
11: Shooting an 69, 73 and 82gr Rexem F-bomb and C-bomb was absolutely devastating. Holy crap I'd post pictures here but jeesus, it would bring some attention.
12: Will only ever use Rexem (Australian) projectiles now, does exactly as the name suggests, Wreck's em!
13: Accuracy potential is just as good as 22 Creed, but can push heavies even faster.

So I guess the ultimate question is this, what would I pick.
As a do everything caliber, for driving around, being relatively economic, and just killing everything your come across in your bolt gun, if (pigs/dogs/cats/goats/vegans/deer - not sambar) the humble 22-243 Vanilla just can't be beat. I often find 100 brass once fired's for 10 bucks. I ackleyed mine and will burn that barrel out, then go back to a middlestead, then probably a plain. I think the middlestead will just feed better than the AI, and essentially with PPU brass being as thick as it is will be a super-creed. (Few more grains but fireforming still needed.)

I can happily say I WISH I ackley'd my 223AI years ago. If you own a 223 than you are a fool not to ackley it. It is just such a simple yet noticeable improvement.

I'm also happy to report that after all my trials and tribulations, the 22 Creed is a great caliber, but the 22-243 did it all long ago, and is a wonderful, powerful, and economic way to go. You can use plain type S bushing dies to make the brass or start with 22-250 AI FL die and go from there.
If I was to do it all again, I'd simply go straight for the 22-243 Vanilla/plain or the Middlestead and be done with it.

I tried the Jaybird, it was SOOOO Close to the ultimate easy to make caliber, and one day I might explore that, but for now, get a 22 creed, 22-243 plain or a middlestead, with primary going to 22-243. Saying "Yotes got away" with your 22-243 says your bullet choice sucked or you shot terribly, or you're being paid by Horn-daddy to write that ****. Nothing walks away from a 73gr Rexem F-Bomb.... nothing...

Will probably add more later. I wanted to sleep and was having trouble, this got me there... goodnight :D
 

zr600

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
731
Location
Nd
Hi I’m shooting a 22-243. 75g a max h4831sc 3500. My barrel is a 1.8 twist black hole weaponary 26” .750 at muzzle. Gun shoots great, every coyote has been drt. My cousin has a 22-243ai he bought the reamer he’s pushing 77g Sierra tmk 3650. His is a brux #4 at 28”. Both are very accurate.
 

budlight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
1,091
Location
Nevada
Just a question, but how long do your barrels last? I had an about 400 shot target rifle that was ready for it's third barrel when I decided that someone else needed to enjoy it.
 

zr600

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
731
Location
Nd
Neither of ours have been replaced yet there still shooting bug holes. Mine has about 500-600 rounds down it. My throat has moved about .030 though. I don’t expect much more then 1000 rounds till velocity drops way down and loose accuracy.
 

ZSteinle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
1,003
Location
Bismarck, ND
Shooting the 22-243 ai. Love it. Feeds great with a AI center feed mag. Loaded it down to 3375 FPS with 75 a max. Easy on brass and shoots lights out. 47 grain of h4831sc in lapua brass.
 

Varmint Hunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2001
Messages
3,630
Location
Long Island, New York
I shot about 1,000 rounds through my 22-243AI before accuracy went south. The rifle was never shot hot and was cleaned regularly. I had my LGS chop a few inches off the chamber end and rechamber in 22-243 (plain).

The rifle shoots great again with my new load using the 82gr Berger LR bullets.
 

scope-eye

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
485
Location
FL
I have a 22-243AI and a 22-243 Middlestead, and cannot tell the difference between the two when shooting them.
For the first 500 rounds they are match grade target barrels, then from 500 to 1000 rounds they are good varmint barrels, and from 1000 to 1500 rounds they are good hunting barrels. Then I would lop off 1/2 to an inch depending on how inconsiderate I was to the brass when loading them up. Setback, Reset, Rethroat, what ever you want to call it, the times it shot the best was after the first reset my take is that it had a fresh chamber but the rifling was already broken in and the barrel had settled to the final shape it was going to take after all the heat and cooling off cycles. like I said that is just my take what heck do I know.

Dean
 

Rugerjim

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Brisbane
So I shot this group with 73 gr Rexem F-Bombs (at 100). Not bad out of a Howa. True I bedded it and have a barrel from Swan, but it's a beast.
So far I have 2 barrels, one I use to fireform in the old BSA but I don't really care for much of this chat about "barrel burning." All reasonably powerful calibers have limited throat life, but it usually is more than most shoot in a few years. (Other than a 223 which gets absolutely brutalised.)

Most 22 Creed owners notice a barrel slowing around 700 / 800 rounds. They are all about the same. Just chase your lands then set back.

I think I have small occassional feeding issues with my 22-243AI because it has an offset magazine. I think a tikka or straight feed mag would be better but it's still OK. I think the middlestead is a better cartridge for feeding though. But we'll see when by my BSA gets flogged out.

IMG_3382.JPG
 

Txhillbilly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
223
Location
A little south of Cowtown
I really like the 22 CM that I built a few years ago. I purchased two 1-8 twist 20" X-Caliber barrels for it since I shoot / hunt suppressed. I'm getting right at 3500 fps with a 75 gr Amax & ELD-M bullet using necked down Starline 6mm CM brass.
This rifle shoots very good, and is just fun to shoot. I figured I'd get 800 - 1000 rounds out of it before it starts opening up, then I'll swap out the barrel.

MZkFqJE.jpg


5 shot group at 100 yards-

r4uuvKJ.jpg
 

Rugerjim

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Brisbane
I really like the 22 CM that I built a few years ago. I purchased two 1-8 twist 20" X-Caliber barrels for it since I shoot / hunt suppressed. I'm getting right at 3500 fps with a 75 gr Amax & ELD-M bullet using necked down Starline 6mm CM brass.
This rifle shoots very good, and is just fun to shoot. I figured I'd get 800 - 1000 rounds out of it before it starts opening up, then I'll swap out the barrel.
That's a tidy group all day brother.
I did like my 22 Creed but **** the brass is exy here. 243 is just everywhere, people are almost giving it away. I think in many aspects a middlestead becomes a creed with a few more grains of powder. I really think I might buy the hydroform dies for one of the 22-243AI or middlesteads.... or maybe just go to plain 22-243.

Varmint Hunter, how often are you trimming now with your plain?
 

Txhillbilly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
223
Location
A little south of Cowtown
Thanks.
I've heard that you have to pay a premium for a lot of things down there. I also use a lot of 243 brass for my 260 Remington AR, I only hunt with it, so I don't need premium brass that get's lost in the fields at night shooting feral pigs.

I've built a couple AI calibers over the years, but I don't find the gains out weigh the trouble of fire forming the brass, and buying custom dies for them.
 

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