The .20-250 an extreme predator rifle
by Dave Affleck
Rifle – Barrel
Twist rate was a much less automatic decision… Nearly everyone I had spoken to in the early planning stages thought I would be crazy to go with a slow twist for such a large capacity case. Most people thought I should do a 9 twist, in order to be able to shoot the 50 gr. Berger. In the end though, I decided to commit to the medium weight .20 caliber bullets in order to achieve the flat trajectory and mild recoil goals for the project. So a .20 caliber barrel with a twist rate of 1 in 12 twist was ordered.
Barrel length was a tough choice too. For such an intense cartridge as the .20-250, a long barrel of at least 26” is really called for. But… I know from years of experience what I like and what I don’t like in a coyote hunting rifle. An overly long, cumbersome rifle is not much of a pleasure to get in and out of a pickup truck 15 times a day, carrying to and from stands etc. Let alone the issues of balance and feel. And the Nesika action was already a bit longer and heavier than the Remington 700’s I usually use (and quite a bit longer and heavier than the Model Seven action on my favorite rifle, my .17 Predator). The scope I had chosen is longer and heavier than the Leupold’s on most of my hunting rifles too. So I figured I was already getting a bit long and a bit heavy, even without a long barrel. In the end, I decided that even if everything else turned out perfect, I wouldn’t be happy with the rifle if I didn’t like the way it balanced and felt, or if it was a pain in the rear to get in and out of the truck all day. So I decided on having the barrel crowned at 25”. That’s 1” longer than I usually like, a small compromise in recognition of the intense nature of the .20-250 chambering and the benefit of longer barrels when dealing with really over bore cartridges. Between the slightly longer barrel, the heavier and longer receiver and the heavier scope, I knew this rifle would end up a bit heavier and a bit less “handy” than most of my hunting rifles, but I hoped it wouldn’t be truly unwieldy or unpleasant to carry and hold. In the end, it worked out just fine. The rifle is just a tad long for my tastes in a hunting rig, but the weight is a non-issue and the balance is great. All in all, I think the barrel contour and length were an excellent compromise.