THE .22-250

***Some results I have had with powders for 22-250 as of 8-21-98***

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Here Mr. Groundhog.....
(whistle, whistle) 

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All results are with the Nosler 55 BT (moly).


    "I made a new load this weekend for my Ruger VT 22-250. 35 gr. IMR 4895, .010" off the lands, 55 gr. moly Blitzking. Avg. velocity 3576 fps., 23 fps extreme spread, shot .9" at 200 yards (5 shots). Three shots were one ragged hole. It's a killer, absolutely dissected the first hog I shot with it (200 yards). I was impressed, because I have been working with the slower powders, which have very impressive velocity, but are inconsistent for accuracy and spread. I have one load of 40.5 gr. of Win 760, 55 gr. Blitzking (3800 fps) that shot a ½" group at 200 yds with one flyer, but the next group was about 2" with the same load. That can be very frustrating."

    I threw this in to show that I have had more than one try at this thing...
I didn't come by th
is info easy…

    In fact I could go on for days about all the good loads that I thought I had but did not prove out in the long haul. What saved me with the the Win 760 load was backing the bullet off of the lands. I was previously convinced that all good accuracy would be found at less than .015" from the lands. This is just not true! Both VT's used in testing loads liked the bullet at almost exactly .025". With two different bullets! This was also suggested to me by a Sierra ballistic technician.  In fact, two different tech's said the same thing. .22's like a little jump. This is not gospel, but was certainly more than coincidence.

   After we backed off the bullet from the lands (incrementally of course) BOOM!!! good consistency. Spreads came down, flyers went away, accuracy went up. I would go back and try IMR4895 and Accurate Arms 2520 with these new ideas on seating depth, but I like the new velocities I am getting with Winchester 760 too much!

    Frankly, this load creation thing is hard work. Especially, when you are really honest with yourself about what is good, and what is not. Right now, I would just be happy to see a groundhog in my sights.

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     35 gr. of IMR4895 has shot well for me off-and-on. Velocity was 3575 fps, and accuracy was as good as .9" at 200 yards. I was kind of shocked to see that it seemed to be very temperature sensitive. Fast shot strings showed velocity increases through the string as the chamber heated up. This was confirmed on two different Ruger VT’s. This would not be good for p-dogs, but would not hurt too much for g-hogs, etc. Upon confirmation with my p-dog hunting chum

"The Wapmaster"

who is a self proclaimed expert on IMR 4895. He says he has literally shot hundreds of pounds of the stuff in recent years. He said the temperature sensitivity could be function of lot #. Some lots are as much as 300 fps different than others. He has had to watch the code for the origin of manufacture very closely to get good lots. A guy from Sierra said that lot consistency has gone away since Dupont gave up production. An alternative may be to go to Accurate Arms XMR-2495. This is basically the same powder and is probably manufactured in Checkloslovokia. Accurate Arms powders seem to be pretty consistent. I know I have had incredible results with XMR-2015BR. Another alternative would be H4895. These are all military powders.


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    In the beginning, it did not look good for Accurate Arms 2520. It had very good velocities (about 3850 fps max, and I mean max, starting to show real pressure signs) but accuracy was not spectacular (about ¾ MOA). I will tell you what worried me about AA2520. It shot very badly until it hit the sweet spot of the gun, which was at the max load. A ½ gr. difference made a 1 MOA accuracy difference. (At its worst, AA2520 shot something like 4 MOA). This shows me that the pressure curve for this powder is very spiky. To give this powder credit, I did not try magnum primers or switch brands of primers. I always figured this would have little, if no, effect on accuracy. The effects would be strictly related to keeping velocities more consistent. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!


I recently retested   Accurate Arms 2520 with the Fed 215 magnum primer and it is very impressive. The primer really tucked the group down. The groups are consistently good at 36 grs. (3/8 to ½-good conditions). I would give this ball powder a go.


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Winchester 760 is currently the most impressive powder I have used in 22-250 (to date).

     It seems to be very stable and extremely forgiving (and not pressure sensitive). What I mean is that it shoots pretty well at all reasonable charges. It may not perform spectacular at just any old charge, but it won’t be real bad either. My rifle shoots 1 MOA or better with everything between 37 and 40.5 gr. This shows me that the pressure curve for this powder is very flat, not spiky. This is one of the reasons that I wanted to make this powder work.
Velocities are awesome, with no pressure!
     After switching to the magnum primer, I settled on the max charge that I was comfortable with, I do not want an over-full case, in case I choose to run a batch on my progressive press. 40.5 gr. was full half up the neck, so this is where the thrower was set for both guns used in the testing (by the way the other gun was shooting 52-gr. Moly Sierra match bullets). Nosler 55 BT showed a velocity of 3850 fps, the Sierra’s showed 3950 fps. The seating depth that shot the best, for both guns, was right at .025" from the lands. That’s right .025"! (This whole seating on the lands is crap, but that is a whole ‘nother conversation). Accuracy to date is as follows: my gun (with the Noslers) shot .75" at 200 yds (last night). The first three shots were .25"! Dan’s gun has shot .9" at 200 yds, but will improve with our new sizing method. 300-yard groups are dependent on weather.