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The .20-250 an extreme predator rifle

by Dave Affleck

Final thoughts Ė where are we at now and where are we going?Where weíre at nowÖ  Well, we know that we can get the velocity and accuracy performance we want.  We know we can achieve greater point blank range than with any factory rifle and nearly any other wildcat in existence, and with so little recoil that we see every shot impact through the scope.  All that and still delivering more than enough energy downrange to kill coyotes well beyond 400 yards.  We know that some of the bullets Iíve tried really arenít going to work.  We know that there are still many bullets already available that I have not tried yet.  There might be one already out there that will perform the way I want it to perform and I just havenít got to it yet (a plastic tip, maybe?).  But, even if there isnít one out there yet, Iím confident that there will be, soon.

As I write this, it is the last day of October, 2007.  Within the next week or two, Iíll resume my field testing of the .20-250 with the 38 gr. Unmussig.  Even though Gary has been seeing some erratic performance, I may as well add some data points to the mix while Iím waiting for the new bonded core bullets to be made.  Perhaps the terminal performance I saw at the end of last year was not a fluke, maybe for my rifle and my coyotes this bullet will continue to perform.  Someday, Iíd like to get around to trying a plastic tipped bullet too Ė if Gary keeps reporting good results with the 40 gr. Ballistic Tip, that day might come sooner rather than later.  The samples of the new bullets Iím awaiting will be 38 gr., lead tip, flat base with a 10S ogive, on both .224 and .243 jackets, in both bonded and non bonded core configurations.  Four types to test in all.  The long sleek 10S noses should assure a good B.C.  Given the construction of them, with a choice of either .224 or .243 jackets, with the option of a bonded core for either one, I simply canít believe that one or more of these wonít perform superbly.  Check back here in a couple more months and I should have some updates posted. 

Meanwhile, Iím also quite optimistic that the future will bring even more viable bullet choices for shooters building large capacity .20 caliber rifles.  Barnes bullets has just recently gotten into .20 caliber production too.  Their first offering, a ďVarmint GrenadeĒ is not anything I have interest in, but Barnes has some great offerings of strongly constructed bullets for the .22 bore.  Iím hopeful that weíll see some .20 caliber Triple Shocks one of these days.  Iíd love to see a .20 caliber Gameking from Sierra, too.  And there are more small custom makers coming up with new .20 caliber bullets all the time.  In fact, there are now enough custom .20 caliber bullets that have potential to work for my application, that I simply canít test them all.  In short Ė while Iíve had to go through some trials and tribulations finding a bullet to work in my .20-250 for coyotes, I think anyone having a .20-250 or similar large capacity .20 caliber rifle built today, will have a much easier time than I have.  Indeed, I would expect that anyone starting a .20-250 project right now, will have several proven bullets from which to choose by the time their new rifle is completed.  

So, is the .20-250 for you?  WellÖ  That depends.  I think that for the average coyote hunter, the short answer is ďnoĒ.  As I said at the very beginning, the .20-250 is extreme.  It is not practical.  For most people, it wonít even make any sense.  It is not for the casual hunter or shooter.  So who would the .20-250 be for?  Itís for someone that desires to have an increased level of trajectory performance and a set of features not available off the shelf.  Someone who is not just willing to put up with the trade offs and extra work and expense that come along with that performance, but who will find enjoyment in the process.  Someone who is not bothered by the specter of a short lived barrel.  If that sounds like you, then it probably is!  And youíd probably enjoy the heck out of hunting coyotes with your very own .20-250!  If you decide to go ahead with it, shoot me an email and let me know how it is working out for you, Iím always happy to talk about this stuff. 

- Dave Affleck

Epilogue
Itís been exactly two years since I last updated this article.  As I write this today, it is the last day of October, 2009.  I occasionally get an email, asking how things ended up with the .20-250 project and if I ever found a bullet I really like.  So, I decided it was about time I wrote another update to answer those questions.

I do, indeed have a bullet that meets all my expectations.  Itís the 38 gr. Unumussig that I was using and wrote about two years ago.  Now, two years later, with many more dead coyotes taken with the Unmussig bullet, I am totally satisfied with the performance I have seen.  It gives me the accuracy, velocity, trajectory and terminal performance I was looking for.  So, that said, the whole .20-250 project was a complete success, as far as I am concerned.

My only real regret, is that there arenít more days in the week and more hours in a day and more days off to hunt coyotes!  Due to a lack of all these things, I have never found the time to test all of the bullets I have on hand.  I got those bonded core bullets I wrote about two years ago and worked up accurate loads for them, but never got around to killing any coyotes with them.  Likewise with several other excellent looking custom bullets that were sent to me.  The Unmussig bullets have simply worked so well, Iíve just not felt like messing with a good thing.  But, without any doubt, some of these other bullets would work equally well, if not better.  For that matter, I still have not tried any of the plastic tipped .20 caliber bullets on coyotes.  Bottom line is that anyone contemplating a similar project today need not have any fear that finding a good bullet will be any problem.

Final word?  The project is a complete success!

-  Dave Affleck

 

< Previous  Next >

Why the .20-250?
Why is flat trajectory so important?
Choosing an action, trigger and stock
Choosing a barrel
The scope
The Riflesmith
Loading dies & forming cases
Load work
Bullet performance issues
Final thoughts


Rocky Mountain Varmint Hunter


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