22-250 vs .204 on distance

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by Remmington31, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Remmington31


    Dec 30, 2008
    I am having a real problem deciding between a new .204 or a 22-250. I was set on a .204 but when I went in to buy it my dealer said that he recomended a 22-250. I like taking the long shots on p. dogs and he says that the .204 will not travel as far. ,He has never shot a .204 just going off of what he has heard) Which will be the most accurate at the long shots,300 to 500yds) is my question. Please help I am ready to buy one and get in the field!!
  2. 6BR


    Jun 22, 2008
    It depends on the twist of your barrel, however, because it sounds like your going to buy a factory rifle the twist rates for the 204 and the 22-250 will be set up with slower twist barrels for the lighter bullets. So, that being the case, I would highly recommend you go with the 204 Ruger.

    For example lets say we are using the same grain bullet, a 40grn V-Max and a 26" barrel out of both rifles. Both rifles will shoot both bullets at a velocity of 4100fps. However, the 204. 20 cal 40grn bullet have a BC of .275 and the 22-250 .22 cal 40grn bullet has a BC of .200. I think it's pretty obvious which rifle will shoot flatter, it's the 204 hands down. Even if the 22-250 moves up to a 50grn V-Max, that bullet has a BC of .242, so even the heavier .22 cal 50grn bullet still has less BC than the 204 20 cal 40grn Bullet.

    The bottom line, the 204, using the 40grn V-max will out shoot and shoot flatter than the 22-250 using either the 40grn, 50 or 55grn .22 cal bullets.

    For example here is the MOA adjustments in Elevation and Windage at 500 yards for the 204 Ruger and the 22-250 using the 40grn V-Max at 4100fps;

    204 Ruger at 500 yards: Elevation Adjustment-5.25
    Windage Adjustment-4.25

    22-250 at 500 yards: Elevation Adjustment-6.75
    Windage Adjustment-6.75

    Because the 22-250 holds more powder I ran the numbers for the 22-250 shooting the 40grn V-Max at 4400fps, which would be a hot load, here the adjustments at 500 yards with that velocity;

    22-250 at 500 yards, 40grn V-Max Velocity 4400fps;
    Elevation Adjustment-5.75
    Windage Adjustment-6.25

    The above numbers proof the 204 will out shoot the 22-250 even if it shoots the same bullet 300fps faster. I used my Nightforce Ballistics Program to run the numbers. It is pretty obvious that the 204 Ruger is the flatter shooting rifle when using the light varmint bullets.

    However, if the 22-250 is set up with a fast twist barrel for shooting bullets like the 75grn A-Max or 80grn Mk, than the 22-250 will easily out shoot the 204. But in your situation this will not be the case because most all factory 22-250's will have a 1-12 twist barrel. So, that means the 204 Ruger will out shoot the 22-250 at the longer distances.

    The bottom line, go with the 204 Ruger. If you reload, you might want to look at the Savage LRPV or the new Savage F-Class style rifles chambered in 6BR. If you want the ultimate varmint cartridge, the 6BR is the way to go. The new 6BR Savage F-Class has 1-8 twist barrel. The great thing about the 6BR, with a 1-8 twist, you can shoot the lighter varmint bullets like the 70grn BT and 75grn V-Max along with VLD type bullets, too. The 6BR will shoot the 75grn V-Max,BC .330) at 3500fps and that combo will easily out shoot both the 204 and the 22-250.

    Let us know what you decide to go with. If it comes down to either the 204 or 22-250, the 204 is the better of the two.
  3. Bob3700


    Jul 16, 2006
    The 204 will have slightly less noise and recoil if that is a factor.

    It is really hard to beat a good 22/250 with a long bbl,26-28 inches) for maximum effect on the target. 50 gr bullets at 3800 fps really deliver the ft/lbs on the target and make pasture poodles fly.

    I don't think the 204 has the boiler room for that sort of effect.


  4. 6BR


    Jun 22, 2008
    Bob3700, that's what many people think. However, at 500 yards, the 204 Ruger shooting the .20 cal 40grn V-Max Bullet at 4100fps has more energy on target, 454 pounds compared to the 22-250 shooting the .22cal 40grn V-Max bullet at 4400fps with 323 pounds of energy at 500 yards. Even if the 22-250 shoots the 50grn bullet, at let say 4000fps, it still has less energy at 500 yards,445) than the 204 Ruger 40grn V-Max.

    Here are some energy numbers;
    204 Ruger, 40grn V-Max, 4100fps-Energy at 500 yards-454 pounds
    22-250,40grn V-Max, 4400fps-Energy at 500 yards-323 pounds

    Once again, the 204 Ruger is actually flatter shooting with more energy on target than the 22-250 when using the .22 cal 40grn V-Max or 50grn V-Max.

    The 204 is the way to go if your going to be set up with a slow twist barrel. Plus, the noise and recoil are much lighter than the 22-250.
  5. Ackman

    Ackman Silver $$ Contributor

    Sep 7, 2006
    It's a tossup between the two cartridges. Pretty much depends on how much shooting you do and if you'll be reloading or not. I haven't priced factory 22-250 ammo but factory .204 loads aren't cheap, shoot very much and it'll get expensive real quick. A .204 uses quite a bit less powder, it won't heat the barrel nearly as fast and that's a factor when there are lots of targets.

    Comparing them ballistically, you can run the numbers through a program and see for yourself. Don't compare 40gr bullets because it's not an accurate comparision and shooting 40's in a 22-250 is silly anyway. Also .204's don't shoot 40's at 4100, most people say they're doing more like about 3800. With the 22-250 you'd be shooting 55's or 50's. A good 22-250 will do 3850-3900 with 50's, mine's doing 3925 in a 24" barrel.

    Forget ft/lbs of energy.....prairie dogs only weigh a couple pounds and it doesn't take a lot of energy to kill one. Also forget elevation adjustment, you'll be zeroed for a couple hundred yds anyway and just want to know the drop past that.

    At 6500' elevation, 80* temp......with 250yd zero a 40/204@3800 and a 50BK/22@3900 both have the exact same 9.5" drop at 400yds. With about 11" of drift the .204 has 1.2" less than the 22-250 which isn't much difference. Past that things start to open up a little...at 450 the .204 shoots .1",1/10"!!) flatter and has 1.8" less wind drift. At 500 the 204 still shoots only .3",3/10") flatter, which is negligible. Windage with the .204 is 2.2" less....still not a whole lot when it's up around 20" and you're holding off for wind anyway. Some people who love the .204 think it's a wonder cartridge, but those are the numbers without any fudging.

    With the 22-250 you'll be using more powder to shoot a heavier bullet....more powder=more heat and more recoil. The .204 uses less powder for less heat and recoil, but will probably copper foul about the same. A .22/50gr bullet with bigger cross section going about the same speed will hit harder. Your call really, again it depends on shooting habits and personal preference.
  6. 6BR


    Jun 22, 2008
    Ackman, well said, but I think I would still go with the 204 if I were re-loading and using the small varmint bullets. However, I, too, agree that it's a toss up if your going to use factory ammo.
  7. Alycidon


    Jan 13, 2008
    I have sold a 22.250 and am currently waiting for the 20BR that replaces it to be finished. This is set up for 50 grain bullets and should perform out to I am told 800 yards.

    You dont as a rule see the impact with the 22.250, you do with the 20, as already said the 20 shoots the same weight bullet flatter with less drift and more energy on target. Not that it matters much but you also use a bit less powder.

    To my mind it is a no brain decision, the only downside is currently a limited range of bullets but most things are catered for between 32gr and 50 gr..

    Happy new year to all from England.

  8. js223


    Jul 23, 2008
    If you're looking for a factory rifle, Savage does sell the Model 12 LRPV in 22-250 with a 9 twist. Hornady #6 lists 3300fps for the 75 A-Max,BC listed as .435). That would certainly get out to distance very well. Just so you know it's out there.
  9. 6BR


    Jun 22, 2008
    The Savage 22-250 LRPV with the 1-9 twist barrel would easily out shoot the 204, at longer ranges, shooting the 75grn V-Max. Now that I know that, I would go that route. If there is a 223 factory rifle with a 1-8 or 1-9 twist barrel, I would go that route, too. If you want to shoot varmints out to 500 yards with a .22 cal, look for a rifle with a barrel twist of either 1-8 or 1-9.
  10. Obtunded


    May 3, 2005

    I have been using 204 for the last 3 seasons, a new rifle every season) and I am very happy with the results. I will continue to use the 204 in my love of doing more with less, but it has its short comings. I feel that the factory twists are not tight enough to stabilize the heavier bullets,40+ grains). and the throat is too long for light bullets. Having said that, I have managed .75 MOA from the last 2 SPS varmints I have used and the worst thing that can happen is having to take a second shot at a long distance critter.

    I have killed coyotes very dead at ranges up to 425 meters with the 32 grainers, so I no doubts about its long range energy. or accuracy. It has an excellent point blank range for gophers and P-dogs.

    They are good for about 12-1500 rounds max. I find it is cheaper to replace the whole rifle than re-barrel and i end up with a Remmy Action with which to build bigger and better things.
  11. jo191145


    Mar 8, 2007
    Big fan of the 204.
    Big fan of Savages also.

    Obtund is correct when he says the standard factory twist of 12" in 204 is hit or miss. an 11 twist would be much better for the 40's.

    Pushing a 40gn in a 204 to 4100fps is most likely impossible. I know I've never acheived it and I did try:nono: Not smart.

    The 204 really shines out to 400yds. Beyond that distance Sav's 22-250 in 9 twist would be a better choice. Less barrel life and more recoil but ballistically superior.

    Savage also offers its 223 rifles in 7" or 9" twist.

    I'm hoping Savage continues its innovative trend and is the first to offer the 204 with an 11 or 10 twist.
    Just heard a report of a 10 twist stabilizing the 50 gn Bergers.
    Nonetheless if one wants to shoot the 50 Bergs a 9 twist 20BR would be the right choice.
  12. ALO


    Jan 8, 2005
    Rem. 31. I saw your post with interest because several years ago, I went prairie dog hunting in Montana, outside of Miles City. I took along a Cooper in 204 an old Savage,I think its a model 110) 22-250 using 55 grain Nosler bullets,I settled on these because they were cheaper when purchased by the bulk. Now this Savage was about a thirty year old rifle and probably did not have very much rifling left in barrel but, man, it shot!! The New Cooper really was accurate and the 40 grain Bergers really shot well - out to about 250-275 yards. Once it got past that - things started to get a little dicey! The winds in Montana played havoc with the little 40 grain and 32 grain,factory Hornady) loads. So when the winds started blowing, the old Savage came out and I was able to conistently hit prairie dogs out to 450 yards and ocassionally further. After about a day, I started using the 22-250 almost exclusively. When I got home and started to clean the 22-250, it was spewing out little copper shards. SO I finally got it cleaned out and decided to was time for an extreme makeover and replaced that old worn out barrel with a new Krieger 1-8 chambered in a 22-250 Ackley and once again it is truely an accurate shooter. Amazing how these things can become resurrected. AL O
  13. chestsprings


    Oct 13, 2007
    I'm having the same questions, only between the 6BR, & the 22-250, & the 204. I am going to buy one of them.

    from a friends trajectory/ballistic chart, to 700 yds, the 22-250, with Hornady 75 gr. A-Max's, not V-max), will out shoot a 6BR. or a 204.

    when I say 'out shoot', I mean, it will have less wind drift, & shoot flatter, than a 6BR shooting either a 75 gr. or a 105 gr., etc.

    doesn't seem right to me, except the 75 A-max has a BC of .435

    with the people who have trajectory/ballistic software, maybe they can verify the above. I may have put the wrong #'s in a column.

  14. fdshuster


    Jul 30, 2007
    I'm not attempting to slam or praise any particular cartridge: they all have their good and bad points: do not believe there is any one that is perfect. As a reference, I follow the results of the 200 to 600 yd. competition Varmint type matches to learn, first hand what combinations are winning the matches. As an example, in the February issue of 'Precision Shooting' the 'winners', and ctgs used at the South Fork Rifle Club 'The World Championships' are listed on page 52. The results at the annual Hickory G'Hog and Egg Shoot also 'tells it like it is'. These are real world results, fired in the heat of competition: no alibis, no delays for weather conditions, etc. We are fortunate to have such a wide selection of cartridges, rifles,'scopes, equipment, etc. available. A far cry from what was available in the 50s' and 60s'.:)
  15. favload


    Aug 22, 2008
    I just sold my Savage Predator Hunter in 22-250,1-9 twist)and I would HIGHLY recommend one! I only sold it to purchase another pistol while I still can here in NY! Anyway, I also own the 6BR LRPV which is the most accurate rifle I have ever owned, in 22-250 it would be awesome too. But back to the 22-250 PH, if your going to cary the gun the PH can't be beat. It comes in 223, 204 and 22-250. Mine shot under 1/2'MOA all day long and I reloaded over 1000rds for it of all weights,50-69gr). The 22-250 is nice because you have the ability to shoot heavy bulets with the case capacity to push them along. This increases your hunting options. With a good heavy Barnes x bullet it could even be used for deer close range. I would go with Savage and in 22-250 from what I have seen!! The PH comes in AWESOME camo and at a great price!
  16. wyo


    Jan 17, 2006
    I agree with what others have said about the .204. What you get ballistically in comparison to some of the .22 centerfires for the economy [economical to shoot in comparison to a 22-250] is hard to beat, especially now with powder going up in price and availability concerns. And then throw in the the ability to consistently see hits, etc.. If it gets real windy I bring along my .243 anyhow. I don't own a 22-250 and will probably sometime in the future but because performance and economy are most important to me I favor the .204 for most dog town situations that I encounter her in northern Wyoming [if it gets too windy it seems almost a waste of good ammo to shoot anything, I'll wait another day].
  17. P1ZombieKiller

    P1ZombieKiller Gold $$ Contributor

    Aug 10, 2008
    Your a very wise man!!!!
  18. wyo


    Jan 17, 2006
    Yea, unless it's real windy my .204 works great. If it's real bad it's not even very fun tryin to shoot my .243 [my percentages go down and for me it's about percentages not how many shots I get]. I can see if someone comes out from back east, though, where they won't want to have to put shootin off for a day.

  19. gube


    Jun 13, 2007
    IMHO the 204 is basically a ballistic twin to the 22-250 but burns 1/3 less powder, which produces less heat, and with the added bonus of seeing your impacts through the scope. Factory bullet offerings are quite expensive, so re-loading is the way to go.
    This is what I get to see through my scope with my 204's.
  20. CdnHotshot


    Jul 9, 2005
    Depends what you want to accomplish...
    I hunt coyotes and distances are limited with certain bullets for clean kills. I have all these and love all of them but each has its limits.

    22-250 Factory TIKKA 595 Master 24' x 1:14 w/52gr. Berger @ 3900 fps Very accurate with bullet seated 3 thous from rifling with RL15 or Ramshot BigGame. Ideal calibre for coyotes or windy conditions to 450 yards or more.

    20BR BAT 26'x1:11 PacNor w/40gr. Berger @ 3950 fps
    Ideal for coyotes & targets but limited to 450 yards

    20PPC SAKO AI 24'x1:12 PacNor w/35gr. Berger @ 4000 fps
    ideal for coyotes & targets but limited to 380 yards

    Currently building a 20DASHER 26'x1:9 to shoot the Berger 50 & 55 grain bullets @ expected 3800 fps with expected accuracy distance of 600 -800 yards

    There isn't a bad choice !!

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