243 Win VS 260 Rem which would be better for a first hunting rifle?


October 26, 2006, 07:18 PM
I need to choose between one of these to calibers for a first hunting rifle for my wife and son. They are both small (5' and under and weigh 100 lbs or less). They do both shoot 20 gauge shotguns very well. I was going to get them each 260's but a friend today said that it would kick to much and I should get them 243's. What do you all think?



Will be hunting deer, pronghorns and wild pigs with these rifles.

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October 26, 2006, 07:26 PM
243 will work just fine and ammo will be more easily available.

Ol` Joe
October 26, 2006, 07:28 PM
I`m a bit biased, owning two 260s but, I don`t see any noticable difference in recoil with 120 gr bullets in the 260 vs 100 gr bullets in the 243. The 260 also will handle 140 gr bullets if you desire later on. I kind of look at it as a 257 RBTS on steroids.
You don`t say if you reload or not but I have to admit finding 260 ammo will be tougher then grabbing a box of 243s at the local mega mart but the 260 has a much larger range of bullet wgt if you do.

IV Troop
October 26, 2006, 09:43 PM
I had a model 700 in 243. I rebarreled it with a Lilja barrel in 260. My wife likes it. It is a good all around choice. The 6.5 mm is a good all around bullet diameter.

October 26, 2006, 10:06 PM
I like .260 as a caliber better, larger bullets with great BC and SDs. The .243 is plenty good for a first deer rifle, though, and probably a better varminter if you were to have a need for that. More ammo selection in .243, but I handload so that wouldn't matter to me. I'd be more into the good BCs and SDs of the .260, personally. In .243, use a partition or Barnes X or something for the pigs. The .260s bullets have a big penetration advantage with those high SDs on a big porker.

I have a .257 Roberts, all I'd need in this caliber realm. It sorta splits the difference on these two.

October 26, 2006, 10:23 PM
The .260 is a wonderful medium game cartridge. But I don't believe it has the capability to shoot lightweight bullets like the Hornady V-Max 58-gr Varmint bullet.

It is for that reason that I enjoy the .243. I makes a more versatile coyote and groundhog rifle without being hugely compromised when used for hunting larger game with 100-105 grain bullets. I should own a .260 rifle but my .243 so far does all I require of it.

I'll add that factory ammunition for the .243 is more available locally in different bullet weights. Since I reload this is not a concern, but it may come into play for some hunters.

Matthew Temkin
October 26, 2006, 10:34 PM
I'd go with a .243.
Longer track record and easier to find ammo.
I have many friends who have shot deer with the .243 and they say it drops them like a sledghammer.
Probably because of it's high velocity.
I use a 150 grain .308/30-06 and it drops them like a rock.

October 26, 2006, 10:49 PM
Pigs can be incredibly tough to take down. .243's, in my opinion, just aren't enough medicine to reliably put them down. The .260 will provide all you need for hogs, deer, even elk. There are better elk rifles, but a quality bullet of 140 grains is more than enough to bring them down if you do your part.

October 26, 2006, 10:51 PM
well personally , i'd take a old 6mm remmy over both of these, and ammo for them at Academy is about 10 bucks a box. Out of these two, I would go 243. grain weights you can find from 80 grns, to 100 or 105 I think, so you can shoot lasers at the varmints with the light stuff, then go bigger for deer and such.

October 26, 2006, 10:57 PM
I recommend the .260 Rem. Why? Because it can be the first, and it can be the last rifle they need, if they so desire.

They won't notice the difference in recoil in the excitement of taking a shot at game (especially if they can handle the 20 gauge). For practice at the range you can load very light 6.5mm bullets, so recoil won't affect them there. When they can handle more recoil, they can still use heavy 6.5mm bullets to take almost any game. The Swedes take moose all the time with their 6.5 x 55 Swedish.

If you get a .243, you might have to get another, bigger gun later, an extra expense (but, then again, it's fun to buy more guns! ;)). If you get a .260, you only pay once for a gun they can use their whole lives for all game.


October 26, 2006, 10:58 PM
200 lbs or less hogs ain't that tough to kill with a smaller caliber rifle like the .243, but the bullet selection in 6mm is such that they don't have good SDs with a 100 grain bullet. That's why I suggest a good high tech penetration bullet like the Partition or, my favorite, the Barnes X for bigger hogs. It needs to be able to penetrate some tough grissle plate on a big hog. Yes, the .260 would be better for this. You just have to weigh the pros and cons to figure it out for yourself. If you don't handload, that might be enough to sway you to the .243, though.

Of course, I'll take my .308 over either of those calibers on hogs.

October 26, 2006, 11:43 PM
I had a .260 and never really liked it that much. It did not seem to kill deer like the .243. It is hard to get the needed speed to make the quick kill. Most all of the deer that I have shot with the .243 and 6mm Rem. dropped on the spot. they were small TX whitetails, but they definately got hammered. I like it on pigs too. Shot a lot of them and they go down when hit right.

.260 ammo is less common. If you feel that you need something more than a .243, look at the 7-08.


October 27, 2006, 10:27 AM
I reload so ammo isnt a problem. I'm just surprised that the 243 has that much less kick than the 260. Ive never shot either. I shoot a 7mm-08 in a Rem 788 and a 270 in a Win Model 70. I really liked that the 260 could last them a life time aspect of it.


October 27, 2006, 11:01 AM
If we did a survey I would bet the majority of us were introduced to centerfire shooting with a .243. It is a well rounded "youth" cal. with very manageable recoil. The .260 is a great cal. but it will bark/bite alittle more than the .243. As stated above factory ammo is cheaper and more available. With the right ammo selection it will do well for varmits to deer sized game.

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