.243 vs. 7mm-08 vs. .308


June 27, 2005, 04:44 PM
Can someone explain to me the relative strengths & weaknesses of the above three calibers?

I'm thinking about something in a short-action bolt gun, and wondering what the merits of each cartridge are.

How's each one's suitability for deer, hogs, pronghorn?

Thanks, O Wise High Roaders!

If you enjoyed reading about ".243 vs. 7mm-08 vs. .308" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
June 27, 2005, 04:53 PM
Same case, different diameter bullet (243/6mm, 7mm, 7.62mm). All suitable for varmints to deer, with the 243 on the light end and the 308 on the heavier end...

June 27, 2005, 04:57 PM
Dunno about the first two, but .308 rules :D . Heavy hitting, big punch, big holes downrange (no matter what surface you're shooting towards). As far as a short action bolt gun, its a relatively long cartridge, so that might not happen--not that i've looked, I like long action bolts, myself. Hope this helps.

June 27, 2005, 06:04 PM
they're all the same case, necked to different sizes and are all short action obviously. The 308 to me is about as exciting as boiled potatoes (not that they aren't good sometimes) but it has the advantage of the biggest selection of bullet weights. The 243 has the to me large advantage of significantly less recoil, and as a result people tend to shoot it much better. Chest beaters can say all they like that recoil doesn't affect them, and there may well be people for whom that is true, but in my experience people shoot 243's better than what I think of as the next level up, which would be the 308/270/30'06 class cartridges. The 243 will do fine on deer and antelope, and it depends who you talk to as far as hogs. Lots of people like heavy bullets on those, but on the other hand I know some guys who have head shot them with 22 magnums when coyote hunting and killed them. Guess shot placement in key in that situation... :evil:

June 27, 2005, 07:07 PM
.308 would be my choice, although all will work.

June 27, 2005, 07:11 PM
My .243 has taken several whitetails and one hog. I have no doubt it would work well on an antelope.

June 27, 2005, 09:21 PM
This is liking asking if you like vanilla, vanilla bean or homemade vanilla better. They are ALL good cartridges and very respected, and if you read any of my posts you know I am a HUGE fan of the .308...

That being said, if I was looking for a bolt gun for long range shooting in a short action I would look at the new Short Magnums in any of the calibers you listed...all are now readily available in a variety of guns (my favorite is Savage) and the cartridges are available everywhere including your local Wal-Mart (the current scourge of the Free World).

Hope that muddies the water a little... :evil:

pete f
June 27, 2005, 11:24 PM
All the same parent case, one holds bullets of .243 inch and weights of 45 to 105 grains. another has a bullet diameter of .284 inch, and usual bullet weights range from 75 grain to 160 grains. The last has bullet diameter of .308 inch, and nominal bullet weights of 110 grains to 180 grains. The 7-08 and the 308 are a tossup. i honestly do not think anyshooter handed one or the other can tell the difference nor will animal honestly shot. The 243 is much more a dual purpose round. both a heavy varmint round and a light big game round. Although used by some to shoot elk and moose, I have a hard time recommending the 243 for that purpose. I have all three and have to say that the 7-08 is a great cartridge that after a strong start has slowed as far as ammo availability. It is capable of astonishing accuracy and had the round been chosen as a miilitary cartridge it surely would have been a major player in the shooting world. Mine is a 700 VS with an aftermarket stock and it routhinely shoots .4 groups. with what ever i feed it

June 28, 2005, 12:13 AM
Nathanael_Greene, you missed one to consider as an overall cartridge for the species you listed-the .260 Remington.

Bullet diameter of .264 (6.5mm) is right in-between the .243 (6mm) and the 7mm-08 (um, 7mm), with the bullets of the highest-for-caliber sectional density.

Bullet selection, of the top of my head, is from 85 gr. up to 160 gr.


June 28, 2005, 11:47 AM
Sice you mentioned hogs also either the 7mm-08 or the 308 will do great.

cracked butt
June 28, 2005, 01:15 PM
I would choose .308 if only because of the available surplus ammo to practice with.

bad LT
June 28, 2005, 02:35 PM
cracked butt is correct - if recoil is not an issue get the 308. You get better at shooting by shooting and the military surplus 7.62 NATO lets you shoot your gun cheaply.

June 29, 2005, 08:38 AM
I've shot a .308 from one of those short Spanish mausers, and the recoil was pretty stout--the steel buttplate gave me a nice bruise after only 20 rounds.

The .243 has much less recoil, correct?

How about the 7mm-08 in terms of recoil? (I guess you don't need a degree in physics to figure out that it's somewhere between a .243 and a .308--but is it considered "mild" recoil?)

If you enjoyed reading about ".243 vs. 7mm-08 vs. .308" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!