The .22-250 Remington

By Chuck Hawks

.22-250 Remington
Illustration courtesy of Hornady Mfg. Co.

The .22-250 Varminter had a long and successful career as a wildcat before finally being civilized by Remington as the .22-250 Remington. It is consistently in the top 10 in both cartridge and reloading die sales.

As factory loaded, the .22-250 Remington drives a 55 grain spitzer bullet (SD .157, BC about .255) at 3,680 fps with 1,654 ft. lbs. of energy. At 300 yards the velocity is 2,222 fps and the energy is 603 ft. lbs. The free recoil energy in an 8.5 pound varmint rifle is only about 4.7 ft. lbs.

The maximum point blank range (+/- 1.5") for a typical 55 grain spitzer bullet at a MV of 3600 fps is 254 yards. The trajectory of that load looks like this: +1.3" at 100 yards, +1.5" at 135 yards, +0.6" at 200 yards, -1.5" at 254 yards.

Here is some useful data for the .22-250 reloader: bullet diameter .224", primer size large rifle, maximum case length 1.912", maximum COL 2.35", MAP 53,000 cup. Commonly available bullets range from 40 to 70 grains in weight, but the most popular are 50-55 grain bullets. Suggested powders for the .22-250 include Varget, H380, IMR 3031, IMR 4064, IMR 4895, and RL-12.

The Hodgdon Data Manual, 26th Edition shows that 35.0 grains of H380 powder can drive a 50 grain bullet to a MV of 3499 fps, and 38.0 grains of their H380 powder will drive a 50 grain bullet to a MV of 3719 fps. The pressure of the latter load was measured at 48,900 cup.

A 55 grain bullet, perhaps the optimum weight for the .22-250 cartridge, can be driven at a MV of 3416 fps by 34.5 grains of H380, and a MV of 3654 fps with a maximum load of 37.0 grains of H380. Hodgdon measured the pressure of the maximum load at 50,400 cup.

32.0 grains of IMR 4064 is good for a MV of 3380 fps, and 34.0 grains of IMR 4064 is good for a MV of 3540 fps, also with a 55 grain bullet. The pressure of the latter load is 50,200 cup. These Hodgdon loads were chronographed from a 26" test barrel.

The sixth edition of the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading shows that 29.5 grains of Varget powder can drive a 60 grain bullet to a MV of 3100 fps, and a maximum load of 34.1 grains of Varget can achieve a MV of 3500 fps with the same bullet. These Hornady loads used Hornady cases and Win. WLR primers and were tested in a 26" rifle barrel.

Note: A full length article about the .22-250 Remington can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2004, 2015 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.