.243 Rifles and ammo


Mark Tyson
May 25, 2003, 11:10 PM
Can anyone recommend a good semi-automatic .243 rifle?

If there are no semi-autos, then can you recommend a good bolt action .243?

And I would be glad to hear any comments or criticisms about the .243 caliber in general.

Thanks guys!

If you enjoyed reading about ".243 Rifles and ammo" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
May 25, 2003, 11:44 PM
armalite makes the ar10 in .243

May 25, 2003, 11:55 PM
I think there are a couple companies making AR10 rifles in 243 and a couple different models of the Browning BAR in 243. For practical hunting, I'd really rather have a light weight bolt gun and there's plenty of them to chose from.

I have a Winchester Coyote which is a bit heavier than a sporter weight rifle but not as heavy as a true heavy rifle. And I have a Howa Ultralight which with a Burris 3-9x Compact scope only weighs about 7.2 lbs. I think a nice lightweight rifle in 243 is one of a very versatile 2 rifle battery.

For ammo, there's a lot of options as well. From 58, 65 and 75 Gr VMax to 75 Gr HPs to the 95 Gr SSTs for tougher game and 100 soft points and round nose bullets... and those are all just from one company - Hornady.

One thing to keep in mind with the 243 is that it is a pretty good sized case and with lighter bullets, you can achieve some screaming velocities and if you use these a lot, barrels are probably not going to last a long time. I've mostly used 75 Gr VMaxes (handloaded and built to the rifle) and 100 Gr Grand Slams (factory from Speer). My reloading friend also loaded me some heavier AMax bullets, forget the weight.

The 243 is a great cartridge. Good for varmints, good for deer if you take good shots. Flat shooting enough to certainly be used for long range precision shooting. Plenty of good factory loaded ammo and even more bullets for the handloader to choose from. I give it a big thumbs up.

May 26, 2003, 12:16 AM
No input re semi's but ....... I won a Savage 99C in a gun raffle a year or more ago .... I believe it is now out of production.

This is a lever action and, tell ya what ... outa the box it shot just great .... only has a Simmons scope, tho a good one .... and initially used a box of Winchester 100 grn to sight it in.

Got a good group from that and then loaded some homeloads .. by chance, happened upon a load using some spitzer 105 grainers from Speer ... pushed by 33.9 grns Vit N-140 .... these shoot even tighter!!

if you found a pre-owned 99C .. consider it ... IMO it's great rifle in .243.

Art Eatman
May 26, 2003, 12:20 AM
What's your expected purpose?

Do you reload, or do you intend to begin?

What sort of weight are you thinking of, for the total package?

:), Art

May 26, 2003, 01:14 AM
There's also the DSA SA58 and Remington 7400.

Springfield used to make the M1A in .243.

Mark Tyson
May 26, 2003, 11:21 AM
Art, my purpose is to have add something in this caliber to the collection. I want a semi auto because I want to infuriate the gun fearing Brady followers. I use the 223 for pest destruction already, so this will be more for non-competative target shooting.

And no, I don't reload yet.

May 26, 2003, 11:57 AM
For Hunting?

I have a Remington Woodsmaster 742 in the .243. I love it and have taken many deer with it from 20yds out to 525 yds.

WTSHTF I'm sure it will take out "Sky Blue" helmet also. :evil:

Johnny in Huntsville

Art Eatman
May 26, 2003, 04:07 PM
Another semi-auto .243 option in used rifles is the Winchester Model 100. There was a firing pin recall, but that's no big deal to take care of.

As far as factory ammo, I have found the Federal loads with the Sierra 85-grain HPBT to be as good as my handloads with that bullet. From my Sako carbine, I can rely on three-shot, 1/2" to 3/4" groups, and sometimes 3/8". That bullet is bodaciously evil on coyotes, and works quite well for "picky" shots on whitetail--neck or cross-body heart shots.


If you enjoyed reading about ".243 Rifles and ammo" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!