View Full Version : 223ai or 22-250?

01-14-2008, 08:45 PM
I am going to build a new rifle and can't decide between 223 improved or 22-250 what are benefits from one to the other, I do reload so that is no problem.

01-14-2008, 09:47 PM
22 Dasher

Swift velocities or better, with appetite for powder
that falls between the 223AI and the 22-250.


01-14-2008, 09:51 PM
If you have a .473" boltface, chamber for a 6mmBR or variant thereof.

vmthtr in green
01-15-2008, 07:23 AM
What are you doing with it? Cheap brass and good accuracy and velocity is the 223AI, have had 3. Never shot a 22-250, but it burns more powder than the 223 AI and the AI is only a little slower. I agree, with a 473 bolt face, build a 6BR. Small bolt face, 223 AI


01-15-2008, 10:25 AM
Take a hard look at the .204 ruger cartridge. It will out shoot both that you are working on and little recoil and less to reload.JYO good luck. craig

Louis Boyd
01-15-2008, 11:57 AM
vmthtr wrote:
" Never shot a 22-250, but it burns more powder than the 223 AI and the AI is only a little slower. I agree,"

With the "only a little slower" argument many people are happy with a 22LR. It gives astounding barrel life from dirt cheap ammo. Rememeber that energy goes up with the >square< of the velocity. That's both the delivered energy and the energy to get the bullet up to speed.

Here's the 223AI relative to a few more popular cartridges with case capacity in grains and SAAMI max pressure in PSI.

221 22.0 46442
222 26.9 53664
223 28.8 55000
223AI 31.0 55000
22-250 43.5 65000
220 Swift 47.0 62366

Pick the performance you want and pay for it in barrel throats and powder. There's no free lunch. The 22-250 and 22 Swift give considerably higher perfomance than the 223 AI. That doesn't make them better, whatever better means.

01-15-2008, 12:38 PM
.204 Ruger is the best compromise. Better bbl life, great ballistics, no significant recoil.

01-15-2008, 02:27 PM
More importantly, what do you want to use this rifle for and how far are you planning on shooting?

If you are looking for a high volume Pd popper at short to moderate range, the 204 is VERY INTERESTING. So would a 223/ai and 40gr Vmax.

I am really enjoying my fast twist 223 and 75/80gr Amax. Shoots to 1km no problem. Makes for a fun LR plinker that will also splat whatever I want.

I have owned a 22/250 and like it. Problem is it will heat up a barrel faster, but pushes bullets faster. For low volume shooting or where wind conditions are really bad, sure works. But easier/cheaper to load up 500 223 rds then 22/250.

I am shy on the 6BR family because cases are so expensive to use in bulk.

01-15-2008, 03:11 PM
If I ever build another 22 cal varmit rifle, and I have many different ones, It would be the 22 br. I have a 6br and with slow twist so I can shoot light bullets and I really love it if you want to go the .24 route.
The only ai that I like is the 6m/m and the 257 Roberts. But you know how opinions are, everyone has one like other things.

01-15-2008, 04:15 PM
I had a 700 trued and rebarreled in 223ai. If I had it to do all over again I would spend the money on a new rifle in another caliber. The improvement in "ackleyizing" was not, IMHO, worth the money. Just my 2 cents worth.

01-15-2008, 06:35 PM
What I was going to do was go to dunhams and buy a stevens and put a shilen barrel on it. I was either going to get a 223 or 22-250 (for bolt face reasons) and build something. I have an AR15 with an eight twist barrel for long range shooting and was looking for something to do. Like I said I do reload so that is no problem but I don't want to make the gun a single shot either, I do hunt coyotes a lot and want the extra rounds if needed and I heard the br's don't chamber worth a darn so it would be a single shot and that is what I don't want. But my buddy has a 6br and I do love it....How would a 204 ballisticly match up?

Larry Elliott
01-15-2008, 07:10 PM
What do you want to do with this rifle? Are you just going to shoot paper, are you going to shoot varmints and if so what kind, and what distances do you want to shoot at? It all makes a difference. The .223 AI, .22 BR, 6 BR are all excellent cartridges, and the .204 Ruger is developing an excellent reputation too.

If you buy a Stevens you can change bolt heads for less than $25 the last I checked, so caliber really doesn't matter, and you can change barrels yourself too.

01-15-2008, 08:55 PM
From 6mmBR:

Comparative Ballistics: .204 Ruger vs. .223 Remington vs. 22-250
Cartridge________Bullet________ BC____Powder____Max Load____Muzzle____400yd Drop____400yd10mph Wind

.204 Ruger____ 32gr V-Max____ .210____Benchmark___28.0____4047 fps____25.50"____17.88"
.204 Ruger____ 40gr V-Max____ .275____H4895______27.7_____3741 fps____26.93"____14.10"
.223 Rem ____ 40gr Nos BT____ .221____Benchmark___27.3____3666 fps____30.67"____19.02"
.223 Rem ____ 50gr Nos BT____ .238____BL-C(2)_____28.0_____3428 fps____34.21"____19.01"
22-250 ____ 40gr Nos BT____.221____H4895_______37.0_____4060 fps____24.73"____16.67"

And for the record, you can push a 39 SBK from a .204 at about 3850 fps and it has a great BC!

01-15-2008, 09:35 PM
AS Mystic says...think about what you plan on doing with the rifle, how many shots per year, and at what range then we can help you better with your decision rather than everybody telling you what works for them therefore it has to work for you too.

What is the main goal with this rifle?

01-16-2008, 02:01 AM
I plan to shoot coyotes, woodchucks, crows and paper. average 300-500 rds per year. That 204 with a 40gr vmax looked pretty good, how about the accuracy of the 204 cartridge?

hg shelton
01-16-2008, 06:11 AM
I plan to shoot coyotes, woodchucks, crows and paper. average 300-500 rds per year. That 204 with a 40gr vmax looked pretty good, how about the accuracy of the 204 cartridge?

Go with the .204, 40gr Vmax great accuracy. It's a KILLER!!!!!!!

01-16-2008, 08:53 AM
I have and shoot .223, 22-250 and a 19-223 (very similar to 204) I also live in SD, Doing many of the same things that you are describing, If I'm calling coyotes in open terrain where the shot could be 1-400yds, I'll take my 22-250 because I can load it with a 60gr HP and cut my wind drift at distance down considerably.
When Calling in wooded groves with small clearings, I like my .223 again for the heavier 55gr bullet these are ranges less than 150yds, it's also a autoloader HK 630 so a quick follow up shot is there little recoil, and good power, cheeeaap shooting.

My 19 well it's just a sweet little cartridge 40 gr hp and is my best looking rifle, best shooting (when theres is no wind) but seems to spend more time in the gun safe than the other two. maybe this will help make your decision.

01-16-2008, 09:01 AM
Lots of choices and none of them bad. But you did ask specifically about the 223AI and the 22-250. I have both as well as a Tac 20, which is a twin to the 204. Of all, I prefer the 223AI. Matter of fact, as long as I am able to make one or two annual trips to SD, I won't be without one. They are inherently accurate, use less powder than the 22-250 to do the same (or nearly) thing and the best brass is available at a reasonable price, especially if you locate some IMI.

My first one was a rechambered Savage factory barrel (1-9") that finally gave up the ghost after who knows how many pd's. The newest model will be a Pac Nor 1-9" that should get here in about 6 weeks. I'm not a knob twirler, so I sight 2" high at 100 yards (50gr NBT or Vmax) and shoot everything out to 400 yards dead on.


01-16-2008, 07:59 PM
Hey stop what your doing. If your willing to consider a 223 AI ,why not a 22-250 AI with a fast twist BBL.Mine has a 8" twist 26"BBL lately I've been shooting 65gr LD bullets made by JLK swamp works. With a stiff load of H4350 I can push those devils at 3,675 FPS plus the BC is .397. According to the Ballistic calculator on Hornady web sight . That bullet only drops 16" at 400 yards and still has a 1,000 pounds of energy. That bad boy still has 3,000 fps at 200 yards.Read what the latest Sierra manual say6s about the 22-250AI plus your not shooting that much . Go for it ! You only live once.I can't imagine going through life with out my Ackley Improved 22=250.