All posts by Jason Lownds

Cartridge Profile: 22-250 Remington


When you first get into shooting, it never takes long before the 22-250 Remington gets a mention. Often considered the best Varmint cartridge around, it’s little wonder that the 22-250 is perfectly suited to our conditions. Using a light 40gr projectile, speeds can reach 4000fps which is flat shooting and explosive in performance. Yet the cartridge is still versatile enough to use heavier projectiles of up to 70grs (Speer) in a standard twist barrel. Speed the twist rate up a bit and we improve the 22-250 capabilities even more, but we won’t go into that just yet.

Like many great cartridges, the 22-250 started life as a wildcat. Based on the .250 Savage, the case was necked down to .224 Calibre and has been around in one form or another since the late 1930’s. In 1963 Browning first chambered their high powered rifle in 22-250 and it wasn’t until 1965 that Remington added their name to the cartridge and started chambering their model 700’s in this neat little round. At the same time they started producing ammunition which finally gave the 22-250 Remington the commercial status that it deserves.

 I’ve owned several rifles in 22-250 over the years but probably my favourite and most used was my Weatherby Vanguard Special Varmint. I brought the Vanguard thinking it would make a great Roo shooting rifle when I first got into pro-shooting. The short heavy barrel was ideal for moving around inside a vehicle and as I later discovered, it was the most accurate 22-250 I had ever owned. Everything was about cost those days (pretty much like the present too) and from memory I purchased my Vanguard for less than $800 brand new.

 My reloading experience with the 22-250 is more limited than I would have liked. I did experiment with a few different loads, but with pro-shooting it was a matter of keeping costs as low as possible, so my projectile choice was the 55gr Nosler Shots. I brought these in bulk and as it turned out my rifle shot them extremely well. I used 36grs of 2208 to produce 3420fps from the 22inch barrel. This load was the same as Remington’s factory load and just a touch slower than Highlands Blitz Kings. Although not a fast load from such a short barrel, it was accurate enough to average just over .6moa. The Nosler Shots also performed very well on game up to the size of medium pigs. On the one pig that I decided to dig for the projectile, I found it had penetrated into its chest and it had held together much better than expected.

 The 22-250 is better suited to a longer barrel length of at least 24 inches, preferably 26 inches in a Varminter setup. Most standard twist rates are 1-14 but I’d prefer a 1-10 option if it were available. Having the ability to use heavier and longer projectiles offers a real advantage when moving up to medium game performance. Every major rifle manufacturer produces a variety of rifles in 22-250 Remington, ranging from Sporters to Varminters.

 Ideally I’d like to have two 22-250 chambered rifles in my safe. One as the ideal Varminter and the other as a sporter with a 1-10 twist barrel on it. The sporter would be great for a general carry about rifle capable of taking the odd pig and goat whilst still being user friendly for the smaller critters that you’re more likely to bump in to.

 Whilst doing some research for this article, I discovered that the 22-250 was used by the Australian SAS for Counter Terrorism purposes in the 1980’s. The idea was to reduce over penetration and ricochets. Just another interesting bit of information in the 22-250 Remington’s history.


Winchester’s new online store!

Winchester Australia has announced the opening of their online store. Items such as clothing, shooting accessories, gun cleaning equipment and more can now be ordered direct from the warehouse!

There’s a 14 day return policy on products and orders will be dispatched within 48 hours of being ordered. If you spend $100 or more you’ll receive free shipping!

The online store is only available to Winchester Club members but it’s easy and free to join by following the links on their website.

There’s also a sizing guide at the bottom of the main page so don’t forget to check it out if you’re ordering any of the apparel items.

Click the link below to check it out!


Recent conversation with the anti’s!

Having a business in the Gardening industry meant that I couldn’t pass up a recent event held at a local primary school. It was an annual spring garden festival and my daughter found out that ABC Gardening Australia’s presenter “Costa” was going to be there. Naturally she wanted to meet the colourful character so she came along for the day.

I was a little surprised when I saw a booth being set up by the Blue Mountains Conservation Society. As I walked passed I noticed a sign they had on display which pointed out their support for the no hunting in national parks protests. They already had my attention but when I saw their next sign I knew I was going to have to have a chat with them.

It appears that one of their attempts at misleading the public is to display a modified National Parks emblem which display’s two assault rifles crossed over. The rifles look somewhat like AK-47’s without their magazines attached! I’m sure some of you will have already seen this emblem.

There were two guys manning the booth when I approached and I asked them why they were against hunting in national parks. One of them decided to opt out of the conversation before it started by saying to the other “I’ll let you look after this one”. The reply I got was because it was not effective and it was unsafe.

When I asked how it was ineffective I was told that when you shoot a Goat the rest will run away before you get another shot off! I informed him that except for the odd bachelor herd of Billies, I had never witnessed a group of Goats that I couldn’t get more than one shot at! He then admitted that he had never shot a Goat so perhaps there was some merit to what I was saying.

When asked about the safety aspects I was informed of some instance in New Zealand where someone was shot when they were brushing their teeth on a camping trip! I pointed out that I had no idea what New Zealand’s laws were and he was forced to admit that he didn’t either.

I asked what alternatives they had, considering they were all for wildlife conservation. The response was trapping and poisoning. I asked if he had ever witnessed an animal dying from being poisoned. Of course he hadn’t and I quickly informed him that I had and that I can promise him the animal was suffering far more than if it had been shot.

Moving onto probably my biggest gripe, I brought up the National Parks emblem with the assault rifles crossed over. When I pointed out that we are no longer able to possess semi-autos of this type, I was surprised to find out that he was already aware of that! So I asked why they were being used as advertising and I was informed that it was merely a scare tactic for the average person. Due to the media and Hollywood, most people will associate the iconic AK-47 as being the weapon of choice for terrorists, so I can certainly see why they chose it over say an M-16.

The conversation went on for a while but as most of us will be aware, there is never a winning side in these sorts of discussion. I was not going to change my views which I have gained from my experience as a hunter and they were never going to change theirs. I don’t want to bag these particular two guys because even though I may have come across a touch arrogant (I certainly tired my hardest not too), the conversation was still kept calm and diplomatic. Both of them did admit that it was a pleasant change from some of the other discussions they had recently had.

There are a few things that I learnt from our discussion. Firstly, the anti’s really don’t have much of an idea as to what’s going on. They generally seem to have no first-hand experience with hunting and its positive impact on our environment. They also seem to be lacking in the knowledge of our already existing firearms laws and legislation. This was most obvious when it came to our discussion on the current State Forest hunting regulations.

However, we can’t entirely blame them for this lack of understanding and knowledge. It’s up to us as hunters and shooters to ensure that we continue to keep them informed on the realities as much as possible. If we see people protesting against our sport, approach them and attempt a civil conversation. We may not be able to change their views but by simply approaching them we’re displaying our willingness to stand up for what we believe. And most important of all, never resort to abusiveness in the conversation even if we are provoked. Chances are others are listening to the debate and it’s more for their benefit that we stay calm and collected.

Another point that concerns me is that the anti’s seem to have a lot more flexibility with their advertising. Had an important hunting/shooting society applied for permission to promote their ideas at a primary school function, I’m positive it would have been met with a negative response. It’s a real shame for society that we only ever seem to have easy access to one side of the story.

Even though I came away from the discussion rather frustrated, I did learn a few things about communication and ideal’s. My daughter got to see me stand up for something that I believe in and hopefully it’s taught her to do the same.

And after all that, she did get to meet the infamous Costa!

Review: Lansky Deluxe Sharpening System

It doesn’t take a hunter long to understand the importance of a high quality knife. Skinning game, processing meat or removing a trophy head is going to make for some tough going if you aren’t equipped with some sort of blade. Of course knives are useful for everyday tasks as well but in order to function safely and efficiently they need to be kept sharp.

In reality it doesn’t take a lot of work for a blade to lose its razor sharp edge. A lot depends on the steel quality and the job you are asking of it but generally once you start using the knife then the process of dulling the edge has already begun. Good quality knives will keep a sharp edge for some time, but eventually you’ll find yourself needing to “touch it up” or perhaps even re-profile the edge to a more appropriate angle.

Once we get onto the topic of knife sharpening we come across a lot of information that needs to be sifted through. Traditional methods require a flat stone and a steady hand whilst modern methods can be as easy as using a powered device to do the work for you. I discovered in my bowhunting days that getting a razor sharp edge on a broad head with a flat stone was beyond my capabilities. The price tag on those flash electric units meant that they were not really an option and besides, finding power points in the bush can be troublesome at the best of times.

It’s times like these that a sharp knife is appreciated the most!

Eventually I stumbled across the name “Lansky” and after doing some research I purchased their Deluxe Sharpening System. That was several years ago now and even after using some of the other products available, I’ve always return the Lansky. Because of my experience with this product I jumped at the chance to review it and Nioa kindly sent me one of the newer models for testing.

One of the major factors for my liking of the Lansky system is how easy it is to use. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve never been good with stones and angles so having a product that eliminates the guesswork is just what I needed.

There’s enough honing oil supplied to last a very long time!

The Deluxe Sharpening System comes with everything you need to produce a razor sharp edge. There’s a clamping device which holds the blade and gives you four different pre-set angles to work with (more on that later), there’s also a decent quantity of honing oil and then there’s five different grades of hones. To make storage and transporting easier it all packs up into its own moulded case.

The angles on the mounting bracket are 17, 20, 25 and 30 degrees which gives a wide selection when customising your blades edge.

The 17 degree angle is primarily for razor blades or jobs that require an extremely sharp edge. I rarely use this option as it can create a highly delicate edge due to the severe angle.

The 20 degree setting provides an excellent edge for kitchen knives or for knives that require a razor edge for slicing and delicate tasks.

The 25 degree angle is probably the setting that I use the most. All my Kangaroo harvesting knives were set at this angle. This provides a great compromise between sharpness and durability. My hunting and camping knives receive the same angle and they’ve served me extremely well over the years.

The 30 degree angle is for knives that need a heavy duty edge capable of harsh cutting tasks with a small sacrifice to the blades sharpness. I keep my survival knives sharpened at this angle just in case they ever get called upon for some heavy chopping or splitting tasks.

The correct procedure for using the Lansky Sharpening System is a little hard to explain in an article, but fear not as Lansky have included an excellent pictorial set of instructions. And just in case reading instructions is not your thing, they’ve also included a how-to video on their website (I’ve embedded the video at the end of this article).

Here you can see the different grades of stone provided, from very coarse to ultra smooth!

Lansky have been around since 1979 so you can be sure that they know what they’re talking about when it comes to knife sharpening. They have a huge range of products which includes extra hones with the capability of sharpening serrated edges. With a little practise it doesn’t take long to create a razors edge and it’s a good feeling knowing that your knives are sharp and ready for whenever you may need them.

Here’s the complete unit packed into it’s storage/travel box

Most major gun stores will stock Lansky products and if they don’t then they can easily order them in through Nioa. The only problem with owning a Lansky Sharpening System is that once friends and family notice how sharp your knives are you’ll be constantly bombarded with knives to sharpen!