The Ammo Showdown: 22-250 vs. 243 – Which Caliber Will Hit the Mark for You

When it comes to blasting Bambi or peppering prairie dogs, you’ve got a cornucopia of cartridges to choose from. But if you’re looking for something that hits the sweet spot between velocity, accuracy, and versatility, the 22-250 and 243 cartridges are two hot contenders.

The 22-250 is like a cheetah on crack, with velocities over 3,500 fps and enough energy to make a sumo wrestler cry. It’s a lean, mean, varmint-slaying machine. On the other hand, the 243 is a jack-of-all-trades, versatile enough to handle everything from deer hunting to target shooting.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the ballistics, accuracy, and applications of each cartridge, so you can pick the perfect pill for your particular purpose. So, buckle up and let’s see how these two compare!

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Comparison of Ballistics

Velocity and Energy

The 22-250 and 243 are both speed demons, with velocities that could make Usain Bolt blush. The 22-250 can push bullets past 3,500 fps, while the 243 clocks in around 3,100 fps. And when it comes to energy, the 22-250 delivers around 1,800 ft-lbs of punch at the muzzle, while the 243 packs a wallop of around 2,000 ft-lbs.


When it comes to trajectory, these two are flatter than a pancake on a hot skillet. But the 22-250’s lightning-fast velocity means it has a slightly flatter trajectory than the 243. At 500 yards, the 22-250 drops around 47 inches, while the 243 dips about 60 inches.


The 22-250 has a bit of a kick to it, like a mule with a chip on its shoulder. It typically dishes out 12 to 15 ft-lbs of recoil energy, while the 243 is more of a gentle giant, generating around 9 to 11 ft-lbs. But don’t worry, both of these babies are still way tamer than bigger calibers.

Overall, the 22-250 and 243 are both ballistically impressive cartridges. But which one is right for you? Well, that all depends on your needs and preferences. So, take a gander at the rest of this article and see which one gets your trigger finger itching!

Comparison of Accuracy

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Factors that affect accuracy

When it comes to accuracy, there are some things you just can’t control, like how shaky your hands are after too much coffee. But there are other factors you can take into account, like the type of rifle you’re using, the ammo, the wind, and the distance of the shot.

Accuracy of the 22-250 and 243 at different ranges

Let’s be real here, both the 22-250 and 243 are pretty darn accurate. At short to midrange distances, they can produce tighter groups than your mom’s famous hugs. However, the 243 tends to maintain accuracy better at longer ranges, thanks to its heavier bullets and higher ballistic coefficients. That being said, if you’re shooting at distances where you need a telescope to see the target, accuracy might not be your biggest concern.

Comparison of barrel life between the two cartridges

Barrel wear is like the aging process, it’s inevitable. But, like investing in a good moisturizer, choosing the right cartridge can prolong the life of your barrel. The 22-250 and 243 are both speed demons that can take a toll on your barrel, but the 243 is like the responsible older sibling that doesn’t party as hard and has a longer barrel life. So, if you’re planning on shooting more than a frat boy during Spring Break, the 243 might be the better choice.

Comparison of Applications

Hunting suitability of the 22-250 and 243

When it comes to hunting, the 22-250 and 243 are like Batman and Superman—both heroes in their own right, but with different specialties. The 22-250 is like Batman: perfect for taking out small, quick targets like varmints with its high velocity and flat trajectory. The 243, on the other hand, is like Superman: better suited for larger game like deer and antelope thanks to its heavier bullets and greater energy retention at longer ranges.

Target shooting suitability of the 22-250 and 243

In the world of target shooting, the 22-250 and 243 are like ninja and samurai. The 22-250 is like a ninja: quick, agile, and deadly accurate at extreme ranges thanks to its high velocity and flat trajectory. The 243 is like a samurai: still accurate at long ranges, but its heavier bullets and better energy retention make it a better choice for target shooting at mid-to-long ranges.

Personal preferences and factors to consider

When it comes down to choosing between these two cartridges, shooters should consider a variety of factors. Think about things like how much recoil you can handle, the lifespan of your barrel, and the cost and availability of ammunition. It’s also important to consider what you’ll be using your rifle for, and whether or not there are any laws or regulations in your area that restrict the use of certain cartridges for hunting. And finally, don’t forget to think about which cartridge goes best with your chosen rifle platform, because, let’s face it, compatibility is important in any relationship.


Alright, folks, it’s time to wrap up this showdown between the 22-250 and 243 cartridges. Both of these bad boys bring some serious heat with their high velocities, flat trajectories, and reasonable recoil. But let’s get down to brass tacks. The 22-250 is like a sports car, fast and maneuverable, making it perfect for those pesky varmints and long-range target shooting. Meanwhile, the 243 is more like a tank, packing heavier bullets and having better energy retention for taking on larger game and target shooting at mid-to-long ranges.

But at the end of the day, the choice between these two is all about personal preference and a few practical considerations. Think about what you’ll be using it for, how it feels in your hands, and whether you can actually get your hands on the ammo. And don’t forget to check local hunting and shooting regulations to make sure your choice is legal in your area. So, whether you go for the speedster 22-250 or the tank-like 243, just make sure you choose the one that’s right for you. Happy shooting!

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