.22 Bore too small or wrong bullet?

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by 338RUM, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Evangelist

    OK guys here is a question that I have asked before in other threads but it never got answered:

    For deer and antelope hunting do you think the .22 bore is too small OR do you think it is it improper selection of the bullet?

    Now for the details... I am focusing on the large case .22's for example the 22-250, 220 Swift, 22-6mm, and 223 WSSM all of which are capable of driving 75 gr bullets around 3,000 to 3,600 FPS. This is not a thread about the 223 Rem, 222 Rem, and or other like sized cases... I would prefer to have a CIVIL DISCUSSION between adults not some mud slinging Jerry Springer B.S.!

    In particular I (as in me) will be focused on the 75 gr Sirocco II bullet, that does NOT mean that is the only bullet we can discuss but I would like to keep it in the heavy for caliber weight range.

    This IS NOT about using Varmint bullets for large game... so throw out arguments about the V-max, Ballistic Tips, and Explosive Hollow Points...

    So like I said, I want to hear ALL point of view and pleas be willing to back ANY and ALL statements with FACTS or YOUR personal experiences none of that "my sisters cousin's dad" crap...

    And one more thing... I am NOT for using the .22 bore OF ANY VELOCITY RANGE for "new hunters" so leave those arguments out as well.

    Now to start it off I am for the use of bullets designed for deer in the .22 caliber bore size. How about you?
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  2. roverboy

    roverboy G&G Enthusiast

    Ok first of all I've not used them. But there is bullets like the Barnes X , Trophy Bonded, Nosler Partition, and even heavier bullets like you said of about 75 gr. that give good controlled expansion and penetration. One of these bullets at 3600 or so should be awesome. The 75 gr. and similar weight bullets have good SD and high BC. A Wildcat caliber on the 6mm Rem. case necked down to .22 and with a fast twist is supposed to be great. Its called the .224 Texas something. I can't remember. sorry i don't have any personal experience.

  3. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Evangelist

    Those are the bullets I am talking about, they normally have the S.D. of standard size bullets and the B.C. to match .30 cal bullets and since most of those bullets will stand up to the velocity's mentioned I don't see a problem with them...
  4. roverboy

    roverboy G&G Enthusiast

    .338RUM, you got it man. I don't see a problem either.
  5. Dragunov

    Dragunov G&G Evangelist

    I took my first deer with a .220 swift. I don't remember what bullet type it was, just that it was a soft point. I see no problem with anyone using a .22 centerfire cartridge as long as they're capable of it.
  6. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Evangelist

    So far I have taken a few with my 223 WSSM with crop damage permits and have yet to have a failure, So far 2 were shot behind the shoulder through the shoulder blade and exited with 2 inch holes they were at about 100 to 150 yards, and another was taken at close to 200 and was shot in the base of the neck with the deer quartered to me it exited on the last rib, leaving about a 1 to 1.5 inch hole. The last deer fell down and kicked but was dead when I got to it and the other two ran about 30 yards when they decided to lay down... so far I have yet to see a problem with the .22 bore and will be the first to tell you if one gets away. I am glad to see that others have had good results as well!
  7. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    I'll use what I know I can make a humane kill with which includes some aplications of .22centerfire.There is "NO" absolute.I have had animals run when hit with big bores that should have just laid them down.I have had less run and not as far with smaller bores.Does that mean smaller bores are better? No,it just means I was more careful about bullets,placement,and just plain more lucky. ,,,sam.
  8. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Evangelist

    Good post sam, I was wondering if you would chime in. I was really looking for the guys that say NO to the .22 and figure out the reasoning in there minds... guess they will not show up?
  9. texnmidwest

    texnmidwest Sir Loin of Beef Forum Contributor

    I think the main key is use what you can do surgical placement of the bullet with. If a 22 centerfire is what you shoot accurately then use that!

    I hunted deer in South Texas for years with a 220 swift. Only had one require a follow up shot or run more than a few yards.
  10. Well,

    you post is one of those topics for which great emotionalism can overcome

    So, I will just give you my opinion.

    I feel the twenty-two bore is not adequate for antelope.

    I do feel one of my two favorite cartridges (243 Winchester) is optimal for antelope.

    However, I know others will disagree and I respect their thoughts although I will retain my feelings on this topic.
  11. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Evangelist

    nathangdad, why is there so much difference between 2 bore diameters that are only separated by .019? Marketing possibly?
  12. Hi 338 Rum

    I can only tell you what was explained to me many years ago.

    I was very young when the .243 Winchester came out.
    Winchester had done a great deal of research on the needs of antelope hunters. They developed this cartridge as the optimal bullet weight and velocity for antelope. Criteria did include accuracy at longer distances.

    It was a big hit from day one and also got the attention of the West Texas coyote hunters.

    So, about all I can say is Winchester felt they optimized a bullet diameter/weight/style and rifling twist/velocity for the purpose at hand.
  13. Rex_Lee

    Rex_Lee G&G Regular

    I don't say NO to centerfire .22 caliber cartridges across the board. My experiences have been with .223 specifically, so that's all I can speak to.

    My personal experiences, which I have already shared have been with half a dozen or so small bodied, Texas hill country deer. Average body weight, probably 90lbs. I tried several different bullet types, from light game/varmint bullets ( i was thinking with a deer this small, explosive impact in the vitals might perform better) to remington core-lokt on the other end of the scale. The deer hit with the core lokt ran the farthest, around 20 yards or so, hit through the vitals. The deer hit with the varmint load went straight down but tried to get up, forcing me to shoot him again. To tell you the truth I don't recall the others, this was in the early 90's but I remember I was not impressed. I have to tell you, I was surprised it did not do well. After killing many a deer in my younger days with a .22 mag, I thought a .223 would plaster one in it's tracks.

    BTW, shooting a deer with a .22 mag, athough not advisable and not legal in most places, is pretty much like shooting one with a bow. It will run exactly like arrow hit, 40-50 yards. Even shot through the heart it will still run off a bit, though not that far.

    Having said all that about the .223, maybe a .22-250 or .220 swift is bad medicine on deer. I have no idea, because I have never tried it. I'll leave that for someone with first hand experience to answer....
  14. I'm on the fence on this one. 338Rum, you gave the argument that the .243 is only 0.019 larger than the .22 calibers that we're talking about. On that, I have to say that you have to draw the line somewhere and I've heard many people say that a 243 isn't large enough for whitetail. So on that, I can see nathangdad's side;
    however, I'm leaning towards the side of the fence that say as long as a responsible sportsman and marksman is taking reasonable shots with a high velocity centerfire .22 caliber cartridge with a bullet designed for medium game, then I don't see a problem.

    I don't have much experience and haven't done any research on the matter, so that's why I'm on the fence. The main question I have (and some of you may be able to answer) is this: If I take a 223 WSSM and take a shot at a ten point buck at 200 yards and the round goes through his shoulder, is there going to be enough of the bullet to remain intact to do it's job in the boiler room? or is the smaller, lighter bullet (the .243 round my wife uses is 25 grains heavier) going to be eaten up by the bone in the shoulder?
  15. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Evangelist

    Well I was looking in my Sierra manual and a 75 gr projectile going 3500 fps had 2040 Ft/Lb of energy so in theory if you need 1k lbs for deer it should be good out to 200 yards or so... and it has more energy than a 6.5x55 according to the manual. So it seems the energy is there but I will have to stress the fact that with bores .257 or smaller to avoid the heavy ball socket in the front shoulder, but through the shoulder blade is no big thing (from my findings with the Sirocco bonded bullet)
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  16. With so much of the kill zone being covered by this section, why not just forget the argument and go larger??? We use a rifle because it does the job more proficiently than a bow, so why use a rifle that still holds the same restrictions of a bow with increased accuracy as its only benefit?
    Within its limitations, a high velocity .22 cal is fine, but why live with limitations when you can just step it up a notch and have a rifle that'll do the job at greater distances regardless of whether you put it through the shoulder or just behind it.
  17. moosemike

    moosemike G&G Newbie

    I don't like the idea of .22's for antelope simply because I think they'd be overly susceptible to the prairie winds.
  18. Within their limits anything down to a 22 short will kill a deer, doesn't mean I think it's right, bullet placement is key regardless of what you use.
  19. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Evangelist

    for the same reasons that people still use recurve and longbows when compounds do it so much better... I prefer the .224 bore because it may make me pass on a shot, to me it seems more like hunting than shooting...
  20. Steve

    Steve Master Gunsmith Staff Member

    338RUM have you read any of P.O.Ackleys writings on the 220 swift if not you really need to he will give you all the fact's and eveidence that you need to make up your mind about the overbore 22 centerfire's. It is on his books "Handbook for shooters and reloaders Vol I and II" the info you are looing for is in vol I. And yes i think you will be just fine with the 22 centerfire and the weight bulletts you have chosen. I have taken many deerwith a .243 and none went more than about 30 yards if that far when shot through the lungs.