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Remington 700 VSSF .22-250

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A couple weeks back, I picked up a used Remington 700 VSSF .22-250 on Gunbroker for a great price. It's beautiful and hasn't had many rounds through it based on the limited wear on the lugs and cleanliness of the action and barrel. It has the old school black with grey webbing HS Precision stock, stainless steel receiver and 26" stainless steel fluted barrel with 1:14" twist. It also still has the old style Remington trigger (not X-Mark Pro) and breaks at a crisp 2 lbs.The rifle came with blued Leupold standard steel bases and rings. I was going to swap them out and put Burris xTreme tactical bases and rings, but the previous owner (or original gun shop that set up the rifle) used some sort of Loctite or JB Weld or something that locked up the Leupold bases' threads so tightly that I risked snapping my Allen wrenches trying to remove them. Finally, I gave up and mounted my Bushnell Elite 3200 Tactical 5-15x40 mildot scope and called it good. Fortunately, the Bushnell fit perfectly, nice and low to the barrel as if it were meant for it.Of course, that meant I had to buy all the dies and brass for reloading another caliber. So I got a Redding Competition seater die and Redding full length sizing die and 500 pieces of Remington brass. The nice thing about .22-250 is that it uses .224" bullets the same as I use for my .223 Remingtons, and I already had large rifle primers on hand and suitable powders. After researching and consulting with Frank and others, I decided to start out with Hornady V-Max 50 grain bullets and Varget. I made up 7 different loads, with the goal of staying on the slower side to enhance barrel life since .22-250 is a known barrel burner. (Some posts I read said guys have shot out a barrel in 1500 rounds. Geez, I can be 750 rounds into a barrel before I have my preferred loads worked out!) And I cleaned the VSSF thoroughly with Butch's Bore Shine. It wasn't very dirty, though.I haven't been able to shoot for a month due to bad weather, the kids being sick, birthdays and whatever. So I was jonesing to go. It was a beautiful day at the range.After bore sighting, I took my first shots. My first two shots on a clean barrel using the Varget 35 gr loads were in one hole at 100 yards. I was stunned. The rifle still needed to foul, however, and the remaining 3 shots spread out into a group that was still under an inch. But this rifle was going to be a shooter for sure.Over the course of the morning, I tested the various loads. I was very careful to let the barrel cool for at least 3 minutes between shots, as heat is the enemy of barrel life. Unbelievably, it turned out that the VSSF shot 3 different loads in the half-MOA range. Frank will make fun of my slow speeds, but the loads were taken from the Hornady manual and again, I'm trying to enhance barrel life. The best load turned out to be the slowest -- 31.8 grains of Varget pushing the 50 grain pill at about 3300 fps turned in a 5-shot group of .445". (This is about 180 feet per second slower than I run the 50 grain V-Max bullet with Benchmark in my .223 Remington, which seems absurd.) But I also had very promising results with 33.7 grains of Varget which produced a .602" group at about 3500 fps. Four shots from that load made a group of .293" with one flyer which could have been my error. Another outstanding result came from 34.6 grains of Varget, which put 5 shots in a .490" group running about 3600 fps. This last group is what I will probably end up staying with, given the speed. But I've never had a rifle that shot half-inch groups with 3 different loads varying this much in velocity. I'll have to re-test these 3 loads now and see which is the most consistently accurate.DSC04719Large.jpg2012-04-07Rem700VSSF22-25003Medium.jpg2012-04-07Rem700VSSF22-25002Medium.jpg2012-04-07VSSFVMax50Varget02Medium.jpg2012-04-07VSSFVMax50Varget03Medium.jpg

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Very nice rifle, the VSSF's are highly coveted especially wearing a nice HS stock.Don't worry about how fast your bullets are traveling, 3,000 - 3,500 FPS promotes longer barrel life anyway. My hunting rounds are up around 3700-3800FPS but all my squirrel rounds (volume shooting) is down around 3000-3200FPS.If you keep the hot loads to a minimum & the rest at reduced velocity, your rifle will be wearing that purty stainless fluted barrel for several years. What are your plans for it?? Is she a squirrel shooter or are you gonna carry it while out calling??Lee

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Thanks, BPS. Good to know about your slower loads. I'm primarily going to use it for hunting ground squirrels and target shooting. But I'd definitely use it for hunting coyotes and bobcats. It's not too heavy to carry in the field.

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Nice shooting. I have a VSSF in .223. It is my favorite rifle. Very accurate right out of the box with lots of different ammo. Have fun with yours.

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I have two of those rifles myself both in .223. With a bit of trigger work you'll have yourself a very fine rifle.

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i like the imr 8208 and imr 4895 in my 250. The 8208 is a nice powder to work with. lts of speed without too much pressure. Good looking groups,a shooter for sure.

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I have two of those rifles myself both in .223. With a bit of trigger work you'll have yourself a very fine rifle.
I did work on my trigger too. Still running the stock trigger with a little tune on it. Love the VSSF.

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For coyotes a 55 gr V-Max at around 3600 FPS will really impress you.

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Since the V-Max is frangible, is there any risk of a shallow "splash" which might superficially wound but not kill a coyote? Would a soft point spitzer be better, assuming one is not in the Condor zone?

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When I could shoot lead bullets I shot the 55 gr Sierra Boat Tail Hollow points and then switched to 55 gr V-MAXs and never saw a splash wound. Most of the time the bullets went in and didn't come out.

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Hey, Mike, your awesome pics says it ALL B) I would not hesitate to use the 50gr V-max on a coyote. Possible to get a splash wound with most "varmint" design bullets.dabob, years ago I shot a coyote with that 55gr Sierra H.P. bullet out of my 223. Darn near cut the coyote clean in two. Was one of, it not thee most destructive shots I ever made on a coyote. Anyway, Mike, Congratulations Again on your outstanding purchase & range results. :roflmao3[1]:

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Just remembered something, Mike... Not sure why I thought of it now, but anyway...Take those various loads that are shooting well at 100 yards and shoot them at 200 yards. 5 shot groups of course. Often times this can show which is the better load. Just a thought

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Since the V-Max is frangible, is there any risk of a shallow "splash" which might superficially wound but not kill a coyote? Would a soft point spitzer be better, assuming one is not in the Condor zone?
I've shot a gang of coyotes with the vmax...usually the 55gr but a few with the 50's. I save the 50's for my squirrel loads, they send them flying. The Vmax driven at speed will usually punch a nice hole in a coyote.One of the old standby great bullets for the 22-250/Swift and is usually the yardstick for those rounds is the 1365 Sierra Gameking. 55gr Spitzer. Nothing fancy...it just works.Of the plastic tipped bullets from a 22-250 (I use a Swift) I prefer the 55gr Bal-Tip...it actually a really good bullet.

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I'll have to pick up some SGK 1365's and 55 gr Ballistic Tips. I've used the SGK 1395 65 grainers in my Tikka .223 and they've been very accurate. Do you think the 1:14" twist barrel on my .22-250 would stabilize the 55 grain bullets well enough? Not sure how heavy I can go with this slow twist rate. That's why I went with the 50 grain.

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Mike, 55 gr bullets shot extremely well in a couple of the 250's friends & I shot them in. Rifles had 14" twists.Since your goal is to try & save barrel life, load testing too many variables, which is easy to do, will not help. Also, do not get too hung up between 50 or 55 gr bullets. The 50 grainers slay coyotes like a sledge hammer, at least with Nosler bullets. Nosler's are substantially heavier constructed than V-max's due to their thick solid base, like no other "varmint" bullet has. I try & pick just one bullet for the task at hand with just one or two types of powders starting out. Like I say, load testing can get carried away, shooting literally hundreds more rounds than we intended. Reducing variables helps to keep the testing to a minimum.

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I'll stick with the V-Max for now. I have a bunch of them to use up anyhow. It would be nice to work up a good load for a Nosler BT 55. But what I'm really going to need before that is a decent lead free varmint load for Tejon Ranch, if they ever get around to allowing hunting again.

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Just re-read my note and hope I wasn't discouraging. Wasn't my intent. Anyway, speaking of a non lead load for the 250, the 35 gr nosler non lead is the only bullet out of several, that shot well from my 14" twist Remmy. In fact it shoots great! Problem was, it was hitting the target about 3" higher than my 50 gr lead load at 100 yds.With that in mind, I went to the range 2 days ago with some 40gr Nosler lead b.t. to see where they would hit. BINGO! They hit exactly where the 35 gr non lead did. So I zeroed my 250 with these two bullets. I may (or may not) be done with anything heavier than the 40 gr bullet... hmmmm, ok then, NOT! lolSo now both my 223 & 22-250 are sighted in with both the Nosler 35gr non lead & 40 gr lead bullets with all of them hitting in the same spot at 100 yards. The only potential problem I now have is, I have not killed any coyotes with the 35 gr non lead. The 40 gr non lead has just hammered the half dozen (?) or more we've slain with that bullet... so far! lolAll The Best

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1:14 is just fine for 55 grainers.Personally, I prefer the 55's over the 50's for coyotes. They carry a bit more smack and are usually not as affected by brush if you have to shoot thru one.In my Swift classic I shoot either the 1365's or the 55BT...right about 3700fps. Probably the best coyote gun I ever had.I load the 50gr vmax in my heavyweight Swift. They are right about 3900fps on average. Eruption in a squirrel field.

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I'll stick with the V-Max for now. I have a bunch of them to use up anyhow. It would be nice to work up a good load for a Nosler BT 55. But what I'm really going to need before that is a decent lead free varmint load for Tejon Ranch, if they ever get around to allowing hunting again.
Get some of the Hornady NTX 35 gr Lead Free bullets and try them, they work great on squirrels out of my 223AI and 223 Rem.Having to shoot lead free bullets out of most factory 22-250s or 220 Swifts really sucks because they have to slow of twist rates. That is the reason most of the 22 cal lead free varmint bullets are in the 35 gr to 40 gr range, so they can be shot in the factory rifles with the 1-12" and 1-14" twist rates. If a person lives and hunts coyotes in the Condor Zone and they have to shoot lead free bullets that really makes most of the factory 22-250s and the 220 Swifts not nearly as good of a choice to go with.If you have to shoot 35 gr and 40 gr lead free bullets a 223 Rem will shoot them up to 4000 fps.I would much rather shoot coyotes with a 55 gr bullet going 3700 fps than shoot them with a 35 gr bullet going 4000 fps.To get 22-250 and 220 Swift performance with a factory rifle in the lead free Condor Zone you may have to get a 243 Win and shoot lead free 55 gr to 62 gr bullets at 3700 to 4000 fps.

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You weren't discouraging, Frank. Just took it as sound, practical advice. Good non-lead suggestions, gents. I've got Barnes 36 grain Varmint Grenades doing about 3700 fps in my .223 varmint rifle and consistently printing .40-.50" at 100 yards. But they tend to blow around in the wind out at 200 or 300 yards. I'd like to try the NTX and Nosler lead free in the .22-250.The only NTX bullets I've shot so far were factory loaded ammo in my CZ 452 American .17 HMR which shoots them in about .70" at 100 yards -- by far the most accurate .17 HMR factory load for that rifle that I've found. Performance of the NTX bullet on varmints is impressive, too.

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Man, I keep forgetting about Hornady's 35 gr NTX bullets. dabob ain't ever gonna forgive me. LOL Oh, and dabob nails it on his post above IMO.But yes, the NTX 35 gr would be the other white meat... sorta speak. :oKeep us posted on your findings, Mike, and good luck

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Confirmed my load yesterday with a nice .419" group at 100 yards. I think I'll stay with this one.Hornady V-Max 50 grVarget 34.6 grCOAL: 2.350"CCI 200Remington brassChron: 3451, 3441, 3495, 3465, Error = average 3463 fpsVSSF22-250VMax50Varget346.jpg

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