22-243 vs .223 AI

  • Both these cartridges have caught my fancy. I am guessing both use the same projectiles and therefore barrel twist.
    So how about some discussion on the pros and cons of one versus the other.
    Accuracy and barrel life, powders, brass prep etc.

  • First, forget barrel life... just completely put it out of your mind. Expect 800-1000rnds, and be thankful for that. These cartridges are speed demons. There are two distinct paths to go down, and each has its benefits. Path #1 is light bullets, slow twist, and laser trajectory to 400yds. Path #2 is heavy bullets and a fast twist with incredible long range performance for a 22 cal.

    22-243 is by far the easier of the two to get into. You take 243win brass and neck it down to 22 cal, and load it. Done. 22-243AI requires fire forming. So you must neck 243 brass down, load it, then fire form, then size and load. Having an annealer is a VERY good idea. The brass moves quite a bit on this particular AI.

    In my experience they are both equally accurate. So they are equals there. The AI lends itself to being a bit more stable due to the improved shoulder angle.

    They both respond very well with Varget. Even with the heavies.

    The 22-243 feeds a bit better from a magazine usually... but the AI can be made to work easy enough as well.

    The "right" choice depends a lot upon what your intended use for the rifle is. If you could share more about that, I could help you head in the right direction.

  • @orkan Greg, Thanks you but I was asking about .223 AI vs. 22-243.
    I was intrigued with your 22-243 coyote videos and now brittel's .223AI.

  • whoops... I'm a moron. i've been working with both 22-243AI and 22-243 lately... so I had it on the brain.

    The 223AI and 22-243 are not close to each other in performance. .223AI is a great and very fun cartridge. it's easy on barrels and offers fantastic performance for such a small cartrige.

    22-243 is in a whole other ballpark. ... like an additional 500fps with heavies and an additional 1000fps with light weights. ;)

  • @orkan How does the accuracy of the .223AI compare to standard .223? I would a imagine the AI will be able to get quite a bit higher MV.
    I'm looking at a 600 yard shooter; shooting the 75-80 grainers.

    Another question that comes up is about the barrel length and weight. I am looking at Bartlein's barrels, the M40, MTU or the Heavy Varmint. Of course a Benchmade in a similar contour would do just as well. My first choice would be the HV at a 20-22"length. This rifle would be primarily shot prone or off a bench.

  • The accuracy of the .223AI is probably a bit better than the regular rem. I have seen lots of guys print some really small groups with them. I'd go with a fast twist barrel for sure. 7.5 to 8 twist. H4895 seems to be the magic ticket for that cartridge. I have worked 2-3 loads in britel's AI barrel, and H4895 just hammers.

    If you are going for maximum accuracy and precision, and will only be shooting fully supported off a bench and such... go with the biggest barrel you can get. Most people are so afraid of trying things out, that they never discover just how incredible it is to shoot a rifle with a huge truck axle. If you had TS Customs build you a .223AI with an MTU or straight 1.250" barrel, you would basically be shooting the black out of a Primal Rights dot drill with every shot. Rifles like that just sit there during recoil. It's truly something that has to be felt to be believed. With a 26" barrel, you'll probably be launching 80's at 2900-3000fps. If you run the numbers on that, it's quite impressive considering the 24'ish grains of powder you'll have behind it.

    The only thing that is even more amazing, is a desert tech setup with that kind of barrel. The weight distribution is superior to anything out there, and it results in an absolutely amazing experience behind the rifle.

    Another thing that is great about a .223AI is that it is a very mild forming process. This is easy on the brass, and the forming loads are extremely accurate once you find a good node.

  • Will the AI mag feed in an AR?

    How about the 6.8 bolt face such as 6mm Hagar necked to 5.56 like 22 Beast or another guy, Keystone Accuracy, calling it 22Thunderbolt?
    $325 for 500 empty cases of 6mm Hagar at Creedmoor Sports. Forster does not have off the shelf dies.
    36 grains H2O capacity.

    223 just runs out of steam around 700 yards or you get short brass life.
    Or does it? AMU pushes the berger 90 out to 1000 yards in Service Rifle.

  • Yes the .223AI will run in an AR... but obviously the increased shoulder angle will no doubt be a little more finicky. I've seen several of them over the years.

    I don't work with semi-auto's much. When I do, it's typically with factory ammo or loads on a progressive. They are just not as controllable. For a long range cartridge in an AR15, I can't imagine a better way to go than a 6.5 Grendel.

  • To the uninitiated among us, what advantage does a 22-243 offer that a 22-250 does not?
    They both seem to excel at slinging bullets obscenely fast

    The internet is decidedly unhelpful in this matter.

  • The 22-243 is quite a bit faster than a 22-250. On the order of 200fps or more.

    22-250 is still a great cartridge! One of the very best "all around" cartridges there are. I have a fast twist 22-250 that I keep as a truck gun.

  • Not to open another can of worms but...
    Where does the 22 Creedmoor fit in?

  • Right at the same spot as 22-243Win, but with less brass growth issues and usually a little easier to find a node for.