Wants more hitting power: .22-250, 6mm or .243?

Q: I’m writing to you regarding a Sako 75 Varmint rifle chambered in .22-250. This rifle was my primary fox-shooting gun until accuracy reached an unsatisfactory level due to a burned-out barrel.

I thought about a new barrel, but ended up buying a Tikka T3x in .204 Ruger for my main spotlighting rifle.

Given the limitations of the .204 on larger game, I’m thinking seriously about having the Sako 75 rebarrelled.

I thought about a fast-twist barrel in .22-250 which would stabilise heavier projectiles. The .243 Win, the 6mm Rem and 6mm Creedmoor also come to mind.

Would you consider any of these calibres? Or would you go for something else?

My local gunsmith recommends Maddco or Swan barrels. Are they good choices?

Jamie Bailey

A: Neither the .204 Ruger nor the .22-250 are what I would call powerful enough for larger game. If you intend hunting pigs, goats and deer, even a fast-twist .22-250 is barely adequate.

You may find unprimed brass hard to get for both the 6mm Rem and 6mm Creedmoor, and it will be expensive to boot.

There’s no flies on the .243 Win; ammo and cases are easy to get and affordable.

Maddco makes the best barrels of anyone in Australia. Ring Maddco and ask for a quote to supply, fit and chamber a barrel for you. Their number is 07 4634 5622.

Maddco fitted and chambered two barrels for me — a .220 Wilson Arrow and a .240 Weatherby Magnum — and both would consistently shoot ¼ MOA. You can’t go wrong with a Maddco barrel.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.