A long-time wildcat cartridge, the .22-250 Remington has grown to become a favorite of bench-rest shooters, varmint hunters and even deer hunters in some parts of the country.
The .22-250 Remington was adopted early in 1965 as one of the chamberings for the Remington 700 series bolt-action rifles and also for the Model 40XB match rifle. Browning bolt-action rifles were offered in .22-250 two years later. This isn’t a factory design; rather, it’s a popular wildcat that had been around for many years before Remington’s adoption of the round moved it into the commercial classification.
There’s some confusion regarding the date of origin of the .22-250, which is based on the .250-3000 Savage case necked to .22 caliber. Its moniker is derived from the caliber (.22) and the “parent” case name (.250). The parent cartridge was introduced in 1915, and a .22 version might have been made up experimentally shortly thereafter.
Harvey Donaldson, Grosvenor Wotkyns, J.E. Gebby, J.B. Smith and John Sweany all worked on versions of the .22-250 between 1934 and 1937. Gebby and Smith are usually credited with having developed the present configuration in 1937. However, there are different versions of this cartridge. The Gebby version was named the .22 Varminter, and he obtained a copyright on the name. Other gunsmiths renamed it the .22-250. The Wotkyns version was the forerunner of the .220 Swift, although Winchester ended up using the 6mm Lee Navy case rather than the .250 Savage.
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At the present time, all major American and European rifle makers furnish bolt-action rifles in .22-250 chambering. In addition, the Ruger, Thompson/Center and other single-shots are available in this cartridge.
The .22-250 is one of the best balanced and most flexible of the high-powered .22 centerfires. It’s also the most popular of the long-range .22 varmint cartridges, effective to ranges of 400 yards or more. The .22-250 also has a reputation for outstanding accuracy and has been used with some success for benchrest shooting.
Many individuals who have had experience with both the .22-250 and the .220 Swift report that the former gives significantly longer case life with full loads than the latter. The .22-250, as with most of the other high-powered .22s, requires the right bullet for use on deer or other medium-sized game. The reason, of course, is that the light varmint bullets are made to expand quickly and will not offer sufficient penetration on a large animal. As a matter of fact, the .22-250 has become very popular for deer hunting in Texas.
Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from Cartridges of the World, 16th Edition.