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#6063494 - 12/02/15 07:01 PM Predator / Varmint Caliber
CaterpillarMan10 Offline

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 205
I just wanted to get some opinions on caliber choice for predators and varmints. I have a 223 already, but I have been looking at adding either a 22-250 or 243. It will mainly be used for coyote/bobcat/fox/raccoon and be used for hogs as opportunity presents itself. I am leaning towards the 243, but just am not sure how much damage difference I will see on fox and raccoons between those two calibers when using 55 gr bullets in the 22-250 and 70 gr range in the 243. Any experience would be much appreciated.

#6063888 - 12/02/15 09:56 PM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
Ronnie Oneal Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/18/11
Posts: 1581
Loc: Grayson Co
Between the ones you listed I personally would lean towards the 243.

#6063988 - 12/02/15 11:13 PM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: Ronnie Oneal]
BushFamilyNine Offline

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 825
Loc: Iowa
How good of a shot are you, and what are your shooting distances? Are you trying to save hides?
223 will be fine for anything smaller than coyote. Coyotes are not always a one-and-done when shot with a 223. Hogs (except for the little ones) you will need spine or head shot with 223. A 243 is fine on hogs, especially if you want to shoot some over 100 lbs, and don't want them to run off and die elsewhere. It has definite advantages of running the 70 to 100 grain bullets over the other calibers, but it will be destructive on smaller critters if you have a bullet that expands a lot. The 243 ammo is pricey to shoot though.

Do you carry a handgun besides a rifle? If you are encountering these small critters under 50 yards, try a 22 mag pistol.

#6064359 - 12/03/15 09:32 AM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
603Country Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 6149
Loc: Central Texas
If hogs are part of your hunting, I'd go for the 243. I used a 220 for many years until the hogs invaded our place. The 220 just wasn't enough gun, so I went to my next size up, which was a 260. I'd have gone to a 243 if I had one.

#6064605 - 12/03/15 11:41 AM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
JTPinTX Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 04/01/15
Posts: 339
Loc: TX Panhandle
I have shot lots of coyotes with 223, 220 Swift (both std and fast twist), 25-06, and several other cartridges. My dad killed several hundred with a 243. He had a 22-250 as well (and a 25-06), and much preferred the 243. 223 is good for 200 and under, loaded right it won't tear up fur near as bad, but shot placement has to be just right on hogs. And you will get more spinners with a .224 of nearly any kind. Unless you go fast twist and 75 AMAX at 3200+.

Bearing all this in mind, last week I bought me a new walking/calling rifle because I wanted a lighter-weight rifle that would do it all. What did I choose? A Remmie 700 ADL in 243. Now sure, it is going to tear the fur up some, but since I don't skin them I don't care. What it will do is put them down hard even when the range stretches out long, and when the wind blows up here in the panhandle. I just want them dead. It will also do deer and hogs much better than any .224 will.

#6065185 - 12/03/15 05:31 PM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
friocountyhunts Offline

Registered: 12/01/14
Posts: 553
Loc: Frio Town, Texas
I would want a 243 if I were you. I love mine and have taken many varmint, hogs, and deer with it.

#6065499 - 12/03/15 08:08 PM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
dogdown23 Offline

Registered: 02/15/14
Posts: 958
Loc: TX
243 is good for coyotes but will blow a big hole in fox and cats. I use a 243 in spots I know I'm more likely to call in a coyote and a 223 or 204 if I'm calling fox and cats.

The only thing that'll stop a bad man with a gun, is a good man with a gun.

#6065610 - 12/03/15 08:44 PM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
remman Offline

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 206
Loc: Denton, TX
I would go with the 243 because you mentioned hogs. Keep in mind bullet placement is key with any animal and caliber. With any of these calibers, a head shot or behind the ear for hog will just about be a must. Coyote pelts are super sensitive so you have the be careful. So change the grain and bullet type and you'll be fine.
I have all three: 223, 22-250 and 243. Personally, I prefer the 22-250 for coyotes but not hogs. I agree with the above guys' advice. My rifles are AR and Remy 700s.
Best of luck

#6065736 - 12/03/15 09:34 PM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
scalebuster Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 3050
I have both. The only advantage the 22-250 has over a 243 is the recoil. The animal stays in the scope and you can watch when it gets hit.

#6067765 - 12/05/15 04:33 AM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
bg75074 Offline

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 101
I hunt out east where I have a 40 yard max shot, generally hunt with a .22 mag that is deadly accurate and deadly on hogs fox and coons. Hogs never take another step.

#6072976 - 12/08/15 10:58 AM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
AT11 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 12/15/14
Posts: 49
Loc: Rockdale, Tx
I have both and use both for varmints. But 90% of the time if going varmint hunting, I grab the 22-250 because I enjoy shooting it, it shoots a bit flatter than my 243 with current load, and I feel it is all that is needed most the time for coyotes. If I think I may be shooting at longer distances, I may grab the 243 for a little more knockdown power but the 22-250 is good on coyotes for a good distance also. Since you mentioned hogs though I would probably go with the 243 (though not saying hogs can't be taken with a 22-250). 243 is still a great varmint round and is all I used for years for predator hunting before I got a 22-250. 243 to me is great for an all around type gun, you can use it for varmints with lighter bullets and deer/hogs with heavier bullets.

#6073923 - 12/08/15 07:31 PM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
Revoman Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 1265
Loc: Abilene Texas
I would be more inclined to use a 22-250 with the 223. I prefer a 220 Swift and a 223. I can take anything that comes around with that pair. I do have a 6mm and 6BR that I occasionally use . Prefer the BR when in cat country, more fur friendly. Have yet to blow up a cat with it. Can't say that with the swift or 223.

Call'm an Kill'm

#6073971 - 12/08/15 07:56 PM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
Central texas Offline

Registered: 01/30/15
Posts: 131
I have always enjoyed 22-250 good for any varmints and is extremely accurate.

#6074076 - 12/08/15 08:44 PM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
DStroud Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Waco
both will do extreme damage to both fox and raccoon's. Unless you reload ammo down to slow speeds which will put you back to a .223
"Anyone taking up handloading necessarily plays with unknown factors and takes chances. But so does anyone who drives a car,goes to a cocktail party,eats in a restaurant,or gets married."

Jack O'Connor 1963

#6074089 - 12/08/15 08:51 PM Re: Predator / Varmint Caliber [Re: CaterpillarMan10]
drycreek3189 Offline

Registered: 04/23/15
Posts: 231
Loc: Troup, Texas
I guess I'll be the odd man out. If I knew I would encounter a hog over, say 150 lb. , I probably would not choose a .223, but I have killed some that large with mine. I run the 75 gr. BTHP match bullets from Hornady and they are murder on coyotes and hogs too if you hit them right. My 22-250 likes light bullets so I reserve it for yotes and prairie dogs. I did kill one 200+ hog with it once, but just made him mad the first shot. When he turned to face me, I put one over his left eye and that ended it. Forty gr. Amax don't get through the shield very well.

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