.22-250 vs. .223 Tested – Which is the Best Coyote Cartridge?


.22-250 Remington

A rodent cartridge is invading Coyoteville. Due to the popularity of the AR-15 rifle and the fast stream of follow-up shots it affords, coyote hunters that commonly miss more than they hit are embracing a sub-strength caliber. But let’s pause a moment and get back in touch with the purist inside us. Let’s be loyal to what may be the finest predator cartridge currently available: the .22-250 Remington.

Offering almost 3,700 fps of predator-dropping velocity with a 55-grain projectile, a .22-250 gives around 12 percent more speed and 20 percent more ft-lbs of impact energy than a .223 with the same bullet. And that’s giving the .223 the benefit of a 24-inch barrel and all the velocity it can milk out of it – many guys hunt predators with 16-inch barreled AR-15s.

Insignificant, you say? Not so. The .22-250 carries over 550 ft-lbs of energy at 500 yards, opposed to the .223, which carries only 402 ft-lbs at best. As the late, great, legendary Jack O’Connor taught, speed kills (especially on thin-skinned predators). Where less-than-perfect hits are concerned, more is better.

Known for inherent accuracy and for being mild-mannered to handload, the .22-250 has one other advantage: During these crazy times of frenzied buying and ammo hoarding, it’s much easier to find on store shelves than .223 ammo.

Protest all you want. There’s no denying the facts. The .22-250 shoots flatter, hits harder, and is more accurate than the .223. Factor in those better hits, coupled with more impact authority, and this cartridge makes more dead predators. Ditch the .223 and opt for the bigger, stronger, superior .22-250 Remington.

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Joseph von Benedikt

.223 Remington

I’ll come right out and say it: The .223 Remington is the most balanced predator cartridge in existence. From small fox to northern coyotes, if you know how to coax a predator within range, it’s all you’ll ever need.

There is a reason most successful predator hunters sight their rifles dead-on at 100 yards. It’s because most misses are over a dog’s back. Despite the wet dreams of long-range fanatics, predators are seldom shot beyond 300 yards.

And for those that are, realize this: A bolt-action .22-250 and an AR-15 .223 firing the same 53-grain V-Max have a difference in drop of less than 2.5 inches at 300 yards (6.7-inch drop vs. 9-inch drop).

Those that claim the .223 lacks killing power are either delusional or they adhere to the Geneva Convention. Ditch the full metal jackets and place expanding bullets in the vitals of even deer-sized game and its lethality will shock you.

Not to mention the vast majority of .22-250s have 1:14 twist barrels, which limits bullet selection to around 50 grains, forcing predator hunters to forego the high ballistic coefficient (BC) bullets that excel as the ranges stretch. This gives the .223 and its common 1:9 or faster twist barrel ready access to modern, high BC bullets, significantly upping its power, versatility, and range.

Can the .223 compete with the speed of the .22-250? Nope. Nor can it equal the .22-250’s ability to transform high-dollar bobcats into hideous rags of fur, flesh, and bone. The mild-mannered .223 offers plenty of lethality without excessive pelt damage or muzzle blast. It’s simply a more all-around predator cartridge.

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David Faubion

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>