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.22-250 For Deer


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I inherited a Remington 700 in .22-250 that was used for hunting fallow deer in Ireland for many years and I'd like to use it for whitetail here in NY. I was wondering if anyone here has successfully used this caliber for whitetail, and if so what your bullet choice and shot placement choice was.

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11 minutes ago, PraiseDiana said:

I inherited a Remington 700 in .22-250 that was used for hunting fallow deer in Ireland for many years and I'd like to use it for whitetail here in NY. I was wondering if anyone here has successfully used this caliber for whitetail, and if so what your bullet choice and shot placement choice was.

With the correct bullets and shot placement, absolutely.  

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18 minutes ago, Lawdwaz said:

With the correct bullets and shot placement, absolutely.  

Agreed, as long as you do your part, I see no problem. I know several who have used the .22-250 and were pretty impressed with the result.

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9 minutes ago, avg. joe said:

Agreed, as long as you do your part, I see no problem. I know several who have used the .22-250 and were pretty impressed with the result.

Plenty of caribou are killed with the lowly 22-250 every year.  Maybe even a polar bear or walrus too?!?!?!

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The .22-250 is best known as a varmint round so that should tell you something.  It can surely kill a deer but there are scores of better cartridges for deer hunting.  Would not be a good feeling at all having a deer get away wounded and then you wondering if maybe you should have used a more potent round. 

 

 

 

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The higher powered 22 centerfires with the right bullets placed properly will kill Deer with no problem. I have killed Deer with a 222 Remington and the 220 Swift and in fact I am making up some dual purpose Varmint-Deer loads for my 22 centerfires right now loading 70 grain Speer semi spitzers. Basically one has to be a handloader to come up with the right ammo for 22 cal Deer hunting as there is little to no ammo factory made that is suitable.

Al

(2) 22 Centerfires for Deer Hunting - YouTube

Edited by airedale
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Yes, absolutely. Just need the right bullet. I will be using mine this year on some Doe hunts. You need a good soft point bullet that will hold up and not explode. The speed alone will basically drop every deer in its tracks providing you double lung them. My buddy uses one every year. And drops good bucks in their tracks well over 200 yards. Just be good with your shot and bullet and you will have great success. IT sunder estimated for its bullet weight, but completely capable of dropping deer in their tracks. 

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1 hour ago, airedale said:

The higher powered 22 centerfires with the right bullets placed properly will kill Deer with no problem. I have killed Deer with a 222 Remington and the 220 Swift and in fact I am making up some dual purpose Varmint-Deer loads for my 22 centerfires right now loading 70 grain Speer semi spitzers. Basically one has to be a handloader to come up with the right ammo for 22 cal Deer hunting as there is little to no ammo factory made that is suitable.

Al

(2) 22 Centerfires for Deer Hunting - YouTube

Great video - thanks!

I think I will use my .308 at first this season, then switch to the .22-250 so I can afford to wait for perfect shot placement with the freezer stocked.

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2 hours ago, PraiseDiana said:

I inherited a Remington 700 in .22-250 that was used for hunting fallow deer in Ireland for many years and I'd like to use it for whitetail here in NY. I was wondering if anyone here has successfully used this caliber for whitetail, and if so what your bullet choice and shot placement choice was.

Whats the twist rate? If i remember this correctly the 1-14" is for lighter bullets[34-55gr.], 1-12" is ideal for 63-65gr. and the 1-8[9]" is for the heavier 73-90gr. bullets.I packed up all my books or I'd look it up for you.I have a remington 700 22-250 that likes 55gr. bullets with varget powder,but i shot the barrel out and i'm in the process of rebarreling it.

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Rachunter brings up a valid point about barrel twist rates and bullets. Most factory sporters or varmint rifles chambered in popular varmint rounds will have a 1 in 14 or 1 in 12 twist made to stabilize the common 22 cal bullets loaded by commercial ammo companies.

These twist rates are best suited for bullet coefficients up to 60 grs with the 60 gr Nosler Partition at the top of the list for Deer and also Barnes produces a couple of lighter weight all copper bullets. The long sleek heavy bullets being made today will not stabilize well with those slow twist rates and accuracy can be poor. There is a way to get around that by changing the bullets shape to a semi pointed design getting the coefficient that is the ballpark to stabilize with the slow twist rates of most varmint rifles. The Speer semi spitzer at 70 grs and the Sierra 63 gr semi spitzer both perform reasonably well.

Some folks just re-barrel their rifle with a fast twist rate so they can shoot those long sleek bullets, a little pricey though.

Al

Edited by airedale
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I had one that I really liked, it is legal in NY, and I was very tempted to try it.  A little pre-hunt research indicated that there may not be a worse choice for deer in a center fire rifle.  
 

Deer are thin skinned big game and are often killed by poachers with a .22 rimfire, so the .22/250 is certainly adequate to kill them, provided it strikes the right place.   
 

The problems begin when the bullet hits the deer anywhere else.   The bullet is way too fast and way too light to be seriously considered for deer, especially if you want to eat them.

Meat damage is directly proportional to bullet velocity and not many shoot faster than a .22/250.   Light bullets perform very poorly when bone is struck, and few are lighter than those in most .22/250 rounds.

Can you use it : Yes, should you use it: see turkeyfeathers post.

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2 hours ago, PraiseDiana said:

Great video - thanks!

I think I will use my .308 at first this season, then switch to the .22-250 so I can afford to wait for perfect shot placement with the freezer stocked.

You're gonna plunk one this year with that .308 and look down at the gun with a big old smile and think to yourself "Yep, that'll do". My favorite caliber for NYS whitetails and it'll grow on you too I bet.

Sure you can kill a deer w .22 with the right bullet, shot placement etc., etc., etc. But you could also pound one with a 130 or 150gr .30 (your .308) and not have to worry so much about being perfect. Much more margin for error than a .22.

Save the 22-250 for chucks and such for now. Bust out the .22 for nostalgia's sake when the time is right. 

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4 hours ago, PraiseDiana said:

I inherited a Remington 700 in .22-250 that was used for hunting fallow deer in Ireland for many years and I'd like to use it for whitetail here in NY. I was wondering if anyone here has successfully used this caliber for whitetail, and if so what your bullet choice and shot placement choice was.

Im happy to read so many posters talk about good bullet choice. Most 22 250 commercial are varmint rounds. 

Also in context, its not uncommon for deer to be head shot for the meat market in European countries, body shots are not allowed. That tradition enters into even personal hunting shot choices not intended for market. Fallow are outstanding table fare, highly prized in both market and for personal use.

Here we are agast at the mear mention of head shots, but i can say a super accurate 22 cal fast centerfire is an efficient killer when used in that application. With the right bullet a body shot not an issue either. I have some 22 250 with Nosler partitions that kill deer sized game quite well, i happen not to use it much as i have many choices. But its done its job without fuss.

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All this .22s only for varmints is hogwash. Take that from a varmint shooter that kills plenty of them. Deer are thin skinned and a 22 going over 3k foot a second kills them dead. Deer are killed with bow and arrow!!! Go hunt and have fun. Use a soft point bullet and have at it. Im willing to bet 90% of the naysayers here have never killed a big game animal with one. 

Edited by SpacemanSpiff
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I would recommend the 22-250. I know guys that use them filling nuisance tags. They don't usually go far most drop there in their tracks. Of course head shots we've even used 17 home with success but like they said. The round matters. I shot a nuisance doe at 75 yards with a Hornady 17 cal v max right through the eyes and she dropped right there. But it all what people want to use. I'm in a grape vineyard if I'm in the woods I use a rem 7400 30-06 carbine.

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I inherited a .220 Swift. Can’t tell you how many deer this thing has killed in the first 2 generations (Relax, in PA)! Don’t think I’ve ever seen one go beyond ~75 yards after being hit by one either. Lungs are jello! I knew women that used .220 Swifts every year too. Of course, there are better options out there for deer, but a 22-250 is fully capable if hit in the right spot.


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The .22-250 can kill a deer.  But the shooter must know it's limitations.  It needs a well constructed bullet that will penetrate deep enough for a clean kill and it needs enough energy on target to allow for that good penetration.

So, if you use a cartridge with a good hunting bullet in it, such as a Barnes TSX or Nosler Partition, you have the right bullet, and if you keep the shot under 200 yards, you have the right range for good penetration.  The light .22 projectile doesn't have a lot of energy after 100 yards and loses it fast as it travels further.

This is data for a Federal Fusion 55 gr bullet from a 24" barrel, which is an acceptable choice for deer.  The numbers are for muzzle to 500 yards.

Velocity                                                             Energy

Muzz     100      200      300     400     500  / Muzz   100    200   300    400    500

3600 3108 2667 2267 1902 1580 1583 1179 869 627 442 305

With these limitations in mind, it is still important to understand the bullet does not leave a large wound channel, especially past 100 yards, and doesn't do a lot of damage when the velocity slows below 2500 fps.  Therefore, bullet placement is critical.

Hunting deer with a .22-250 is for experts if the shots are not close.  I would equate using it for deer to using a .410 for skeet, and you don't expect to be as successful with a .410 when shooting skeet.  It's a challenge to use a .22-250 for deer, but you have to remember you are shooting at a live animal that will suffer a lot if you aren't up to it.

 

 
Edited by Grouse
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Here is my take on using a 22-250 on deer don’t use it. Most 22-250’s have a twist rate that won’t stabilize a bullet that weighs more than 60gr’s the bullet is made for varmint hunting. That’s not to say you can’t kill deer with it. I killed 2 with a 22-250 from the back of a hay wagon with 2 head shots at 100yds to fill a nuisance tag so I could get on the land to hunt. I only used that round for safety reason. I knew the 55gr V-max would come a part on impact with anything it hit and bonce around. I also knew a head shot would be devastating.

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