Home Forums Hunting Predator/Varmint Hunting New predator cartridges interesting to anyone?

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  • scruffyscruffy
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    Post count: 2420

    Has anyone else found the new 22 caliber predator cartridges craze to be kind of interesting?  In reading a few of the latest issues of predator hunting magazines the long bullet craze has bled down into the 22 caliber world more and more.  Even though it’s been a year or more for some of these cartridges being released,  they’re being pushed as the best thing to poke a coyote since bread started being sliced…

    Personally, I’ve been making a shift back to the 22-250 as my primary coyote getter.  I used my savage 22-250 for over a decade without complaint, but then when calling bobcats took more of my focus I bought a tikka 223 and carried it almost exclusively.  I’ve had much better luck with the 22-250 on coyotes and since I call in the timber for bobcats (and blew up a couple with the 223 and vmaxes at close range…) I started using a 12 gauge for those bobcat stands…  So I’ve migrated back to the 22-250 as my primary rifle this winter.

    One of the reasons for shifting back to the hot rod 22-250 is it’s speed.  I just seem to much more consistently “catch up” to those running or trotting coyotes with the faster 22-250.  The 22-250 didn’t take as much lead, and didn’t seem near as finicky with the lead as the 223 was.

    Soooooo, I was interested to compare the 22-250 to say the new 224 Valkyrie.  Article after article says the high BC heavy bullets are faster out beyond 500 yards.  Um, the overwhelming majority of coyotes are shot under 300 yards?  So how does the new cartridge compare at typical in your face to 300 yards “coyote range”?

    Well, the load I’m currently feeding my 22-250 and the three hornady 224 valkyrie loads compared for speed and drop –

    55 grain vmax 22-250 load is 3680fps at the muzzle, 2511fps at 300 yards, 1880 fps at 500 yards.  Drop at 500 yards is -33.9″

    60 grain vmax 224 valkyrie is 3300fps at the muzzle, 2258fps at 300 yards, 1690fps at 500 yards. Drop at 500 yards is -42.6″  (almost a foot more drop!?!)

    75 grain bthp 224 valkyrie is 3000fps at the muzzle, 2319fps at 300 yards, 1920 fps at 500 yards.  Drop at 500 yards is -41.7″ (still almost a foot lower!?!)

    88 grain match 224 valkyrie is 2675fpx at the muzzle, 2205fps at 300 yards, 1920fps at 500 yards.  Drop at 500 yards is -47.4″ (holy cow, over a foot and few inches lower!?!!!)

    So the 75 and 88 grain stream lined high BC bullets “catch up” the 22-250’s velocity at 500 yards, but the 22-250 has been pulling away for that 500 yards so the drop is a foot, or more, different…

    IMHO for a coyote hunter, the lead on a running coyote at 100 yards, 150 yards, 200 yards, etc, is more important than bullet drop at 500 yards, much less hundreds of yards beyond that where the drop for the valkyrie is less than the 22-250…  Since I noticed the lead difference between my 22-250 and 223 which are 400fps apart, the difference has to be even more pronounced with the 75 grain valk that’s almost 700fps slower out of the gate, and the 88 grainer that’s 1000fps slower out the gate, and still hundreds of fps difference at 300 yards.

    The ability to hit a moving coyote, IMHO, is a major criteria for a coyote cartridge.  Regardless if the coyote won’t stop for a shot, you missed the first shot, or you hit him on the first shot and need a followup to anchor it, some cartidges are better than others for making that moving shot.

    On the forums it’s been interesting to read where the discussion goes from there.  If more velocity is needed for the long bullets, then build a tight twist 22 creedmoor to push the long heavy bullets.  To which I love the quote – “why hitch a plow to a race horse”.  All the load data I’ve found have the 22 creedmore pushing 75 grain or larger pills at 3500fps to 3600fps, with some comments saying the lighter varmint pills (vmax) will fly apart at the velocity the creedmoor would push it.  Lots of conjecture there, but this topic, for me anyway, has degraded to trying and create a better mouse trap, to sell more mouse traps, but the best mouse trap was created a long time ago, and isn’t broken…, so the only thing left is to market mouse traps that are shiny but aren’t as good…

    Meaning, selling new predator cartridges, that in a bolt gun anyway, aren’t as good as the benchmark 22-250.

    Now, for the AR platform, trying to improve on the 223, I can see the 22 nosler, valk, etc making a solid run at besting the 223 in performance.  But not as an overall king cartridge for coyote, IMHO.  😉

    WhipWhip
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    Post count: 2401

    I have been a fan of the Varminter (22-250) since the 1960s. My Uncle Kenny built rifles for 22-250 when it was a wildcat round. Wish I had one of those. My only problem with it has been the WY reg requiring at least a 60 gr bullet for big game. I have always wanted to hunt with mine but it won’t shoot 60gr and larger bullets. It’s 1-14 twist just doesn’t work well. I have considered a new barrel for mine with a 1-9 twist but don’t want to lose the ability to shoot those smoking fast 55s and holding right on running coyotes. Love the old Varminter. My Uncle gave me a bunch of ,250 Savage brass that was resized to 22-250 when I bought my 22-250. I still have a few left as keep sakes.  I have wondered why AR 22-250 never made it big? Great article Scruffy. Made me travel down memory lane.

    Whip

    scruffyscruffy
    Participant
    Post count: 2420

    hmmm, my savage 22-250 has a 1-12″ twist, which is supposed to stabilize those 60-64 grainers, and still do great with the 50’s.  Might be an option, to re-barrel and run those 60 grain nosler partitions or something similar bullet wise?

    WhipWhip
    Participant
    Post count: 2401

    It’s all about selling new guns . The 6.5 is all the rage here in WY for big game. I ran into guys shooting prairie dogs a couple of years ago with 6mm PPC claiming it was the end all be all of rounds for varmints. I had the pleasure of knowing Bob Milek years ago and meeting reps from Browning and Hornady. They all had innovative new products to test and sell. I was a driver for them and they talked about all the new stuff then. I didn’t get anything besides all the empty brass I picked up and a thank you bottle from Bob but it was fun. How much deader is a coyote hit by a 55 gr bullet at 3400 fps or a 70 gr bullet at 3400 fps? How often does a guy shoot at a coyote at 500 yards?

    Whip

    Avatarcoydog
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    Post count: 124

    Having used many cal centerfire rifles on the coyotes over my yrs. I believe the 22-250 is the most ideal cal overall. Some yrs back when I was shooting bolt rifles. I had a thin barreled stainless Savage bolt rifle. Shooting 55gr Rem SN out of the box. Shooting prone, it would group a tight clover leaf @200 yrds. Hard to beat, an out of the box, Savage barrel..

    Avatarropeknot
    Participant
    Post count: 49

    Although I know nothing of what ya’ll are talking about I find it interesting.  I believe it’s called “marketing”, i.e. “what can we do to get our sales up”.   I like to go by the old saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, but it’s very apparent that a lot of people fall for these sales pitches and just can’t resist buying the “new and improved” version of something.

    AvatarKeokukCounty
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    Post count: 60

    I tried Vmax in my 223 and I must say they are a coyotes bad dream. Problem is trying to find enough fur to sell after the shot. Im not much into bullet stats but I find the best bullet that works for my Remington VLS is a 50 gr led tip. Nothing fancy  and the only downside with that light of a bullet is wind can become a factor over a 150 yards. My brother uses a 22-250 he got rid of the Vmax bullets after the hurt he put on a bobcat last year.

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