An in-depth look at the 22-250 Remington’s capabilities and 22-250 ballistics, including velocity, energy and bullet drop.
A popular bolt-action load, hunters know they can trust 22-250 for most varmint and medium-sized North American game. But what you do you know about this round’s capabilities down range? Let’s explore what the caliber can do with an in-depth look at 22-250 ballistics.
Quick 22-250 Caliber Facts
- 22-250 Remington is its name, and speed is its game: This .22 caliber rifle cartridge boasts a muzzle velocity that can exceed 4,000 fps. That’s well over Mach 3!
- With its 55 grain or lighter bullet and laser-like trajectory, the 22-250 is a varmint round through and through. Some hunters make good use of it for deer hunting via pinpoint shot placement, though.
- While it is perfectly capable of finding very distant targets, the 22-250’s .224” bullet does its best work before its velocity tapers off to 1,600 fps. That’s approximately 550 yards for a 55 grain projectile.
- Available with a selection of polymer tip, hollow point, and soft point bullets that complement its fast velocity with rapid terminal expansion.
22-250 Ballistics Chart
|Barrel Length||Muzzle||100 yds.||200 yds.||300 yds.||400 yds.||500 yds.||Muzzle||100 yds.||200 yds.||300 yds.||400 yds.||500 yds.||Muzzle||100 yds.||200 yds.||300 yds.||400 yds.||500 yds.||(G1)||(G7)||Sect. Density|
|Winchester SilverTip - 55 Gr. Poly||24||3680||3272||2900||2558||2240||1946||1654||1307||1027||799||613||462||-1.5||0.9||0||-5||-15.4||-32.8||0.272||0.133||0.157|
|Hornady - 50 Gr. V-MAX||24||4000||3517||3086||2694||2334||2003||1776||1373||1057||806||605||445||-1.5||0.7||0||-4.3||-13.5||-29.1||0.246||0.118||0.142|
|Prvi Partizan - 55 Gr. SP||24||3675||3172||2724||2318||1947||1618||1650||1229||906||656||463||320||-1.5||1||0||-5.7||-18||-39.6||0.214||0.105||0.157|
|Federal - 55 gr. Nosler Ballistic||24||3670||3263||2892||2550||2233||1939||1645||1300||1021||794||609||459||-1.5||0.9||0||-5.1||-15.5||-33||0.267||0.119||0.157|
|Hornady - 55 Gr. V-MAX||24||3680||3253||2867||2511||2183||1880||1654||1292||1003||770||582||432||-1.5||0.9||0||-5.2||-15.9||-33.9||0.255||0.114||0.157|
|Fiocchi - 50 Gr. V-MAX||24||3550||3151||2786||2450||2138||1849||1678||1322||1034||799||608||455||-0.36||0||-2.02||-8.54||0.265||0.157|
|Black Hills - 36 Gr. JHP||24||4250||1444||0.102|
|Federal - 43 Gr. Speer TNT||24||4000||3252||2618||2065||1590||1224||1528||1010||654||407||241||143||-1.5||0.9||0||-6.1||-20.8||-50.5|
|Federal Fusion - 55 Gr. SP||24||3600||3108||2667||2267||1902||1580||1583||1179||869||627||442||305||-1.5||1.1||0||-6||-18.8||-41.8|
|Federal Power-Shok - 55 Gr. SP||24||3650||3136||2679||2264||1888||1558||1627||1201||876||626||435||296||-1.5||1||0||-5.9||-18.7||-41.8|
|Federal American Eagle - 50 Gr. JHP||24||3850||3303||2819||2384||1990||1639||1645||1211||882||631||439||298||-1.5||0.9||0||-5.3||-16.8||-37.5|
|Sierra Prairie Enemy - 50 Gr. BlitzKing||24||3800||3368||2977||2618||2260||1930||1603||1259||984||761||567||414||-1.5||0.8||0||-4.7||-14.6||-31.32||0.259|
The 22-250 began as a wildcat round — namely the 250-3000 Savage, which was necked down to hold a .224 caliber projectile. First produced in 1937, the 22-250 essentially existed on the fringe of the shooting world until Browning began offering a rifle chambered solely for it in 1963. That was a bold move by Browning, considering that no major manufacturers were producing 22-250 ammo at the time. Remington followed suit a couple years later, thus cementing the 22-250 as a mainstream cartridge.
Your standard 22-250 ammo offers a 55 grain bullet and 3,680 fps muzzle velocity; a 50 grain bullet hits 4,000 fps, and a 36 grain bullet nearly hits Mach 4 at 4,250 fps. There’s even a Superformance load by Hornady that maxes out at 4,450 fps, making the 22-250 the fastest factory loaded cartridge on the market.
Varmint Hunting Specialty
The 22-250 sends varmints into low orbit. It’s especially good for social rodents that frantically chirp at one another when one of their clique senses a threat, as its high velocity permits 1,000 yard shots on small game. (In general, the 22-250 works best on coyote within 500 yards.) The 22-250 ballistic profile helped it earn its keep. It has proven especially useful on America’s plains, where crosswinds can quickly turn a slower bullet’s trajectory aside.
Low Recoil – High Popularity
The 22-250 is an appealing cartridge for younger and lighter framed shooters who want to avoid recoil — it offers substantially less kick than the 243 Win. Whether you can fire a 22-250 to take down a whitetail boils down to your skill level. A 55 grain V-MAX through the heart is going to take down a deer right where it stands, no questions asked. Anything aside from that is probably going to result in an aggravating chase.
Implications of Twist Rate
Many rifles chambered for 22-250 feature barrels with 1:12 rates of twist. While handloading a 22-250 round with a bullet heavier than 55 grains is possible, a barrel with so slow a twist rate is not going to give such a bullet the stability it needs to fly true. You would do better to stick with 223 Rem if you want to shoot 62 and 75 grain projectiles.
Other 22-250 Attributes
- Also known as the “22 Varminter” or “22 Wotkyns Original Swift.”
- Inferior ballistic performance to the 220 Swift that came out two years later, but far more commercially available and less costly as the result.
- The 22-250 feeds reliably from a box magazine thanks to its rimless case.
- British and Australian Special Air Service regiments have both used Tikka M55 sniper rifles chambered for 22-250 for counter-terrorism efforts.