243 win for varmit and deer??


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tbredw725
December 21, 2006, 04:43 PM
i just baught a used ruger m77 mark 2 from a freind i work with and put on a simmons pro series scope i intend to use this rig primarily for deer hunting and some varmit hunting my question is does anyone use this caliber for both? which bullet type and grain have you had the best luck and exspiriences with?

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TIMC
December 21, 2006, 04:46 PM
I have shot a lot of coyotes with my .243 and even taken a few deer with no problems. For larger size varmints like pigs I prefer .30 caliber, usually a .308 or 30.06.

JonB
December 21, 2006, 04:52 PM
I used to hunt white tail and mule deer with a .243. No problem. 100 gr hollow point I believe is what I used. Been many years since I have hunted deer, but .243 will definitely do the job.

Powder_Burn
December 21, 2006, 05:03 PM
I just bought a new Kimber Montana in .243 and use it for long-range turkey hunting and whitetails. So far this year, I took heart/lung shots on 2 deer and both were bang-flops from 140 yards. I am using the Hornady Light Magnum with the 95gr SST tip. For turkeys, I plan to use Hornady 58 gr moly bullet which performs like a 220 Swift with less wind drift.

rangerruck
December 21, 2006, 10:58 PM
yep, this cal is good for everything from p-dogs, to whitetail. I luv 'em.

SAKOHUNTER
December 22, 2006, 12:50 AM
I have had good luck with Winchester Supreme 55 gr. ballistic tips on prairie dogs.

Colt46
December 22, 2006, 02:45 AM
They got it right on and is effective on deer and varmints.
Remington's .244 had a twist that optimized one bullet weight at the expense of the other and payed the price. Too bad. The 6mm Remington(renamed after the original marketing fiasco)is a superior cartridge. It has never achieved 10% of the .243's popularity.

MD_Willington
December 22, 2006, 03:48 AM
.243 is used quite a bit back home (Vancouver Island BC) for Deer...

ArchAngelCD
December 22, 2006, 04:12 AM
Sure you can hunt deer and varmint with a .243. Load it with 75 gr stuff for the pests and 100 gr for deer. As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly Winchester has a 55 gr Silvertip in .243 so you can shoot the same weight round you would if shooting a 22-250 for varmint.

GooseGestapo
December 22, 2006, 04:51 AM
For me, the .243 us neither fish nor fowl.

I've seen a LOT of deer lost with the .243 through the years. As such, I'd never been inclined to aquire one for myself after trading off the first one I had back in the early '70's.

This past May, I won a Stevens M200 in a pistol match and was delighted because my older brother aquired one back in the early '90's for my nephew, and he'd had excellent success with it shooting whitetails, mulies, and prararie dogs in Montana.

Fast foward to 3 weeks ago. I shot the first of 2 deer with it at the "long" range of 35yds. The deer bolted at the shot, and in the midst of 3 other deer and a small gulley between me and the first one shot, I lost track of which one I'd hit. I swung on the one I thought was "hit", and when it stopped and looked at where the others had ran off the food plot, I squeezed on it. It dropped, jumped up and ran staggering, falling and dashing out of sight.

I followed the blood trail left after the second, (failing to find blood at the site of the first shot/hit). After 300yds, the blood trail tapered off to nothing and after 2hrs I had failed to find the deer. A bit later, I walked through the food plot taking another new hunter to show him a ground blind approx 200yds further up the hollow from the food plot. While walking through the food plot I was stunned to find another fresh blood trail leading off in the direction two of the "other" deer had run. After following that trail for approx. 150yds, I found the "first" deer dead. The bullet had impacted where held. It had failed to sufficiently penetrate deeply enough through the chest after impacting the shoulder to leave an exit wound. The deer had run nearly 50yds before leaving a blood trail. The lung wound was sufficent to kill the deer, but the largest piece of the 100gr Hornady SP "Interlok" was the base that weighed 10gr.

The shot on the "second" deer was a rear-foward raking shot that took it on the last rib. No evidence of an exit wound was found so I surmise it too "blew up".

In my Game and Fish enforcement career I encountered many such instances involving either assisting hunters in locating a downed deer, or searching for one shot by poachers (hunting w/o permission, or shooting them from road or at night) where a .243 was involved.

My experience coupled with that of my brother/nephew dovetails with that of a number of other people.



This is "my" opinion.........
Like John Barsness recently noted in a "Handloader" article regarding the Speer "HotCor" bullets, the .243 structurally lacks sufficient surface contact between the jackets and core to be able to keep from having the core's slip and separate. Couple this with the jackets being constructed to attempt to prevent core slippage, and premature rupture, the bullets at extented range (beyond ~250yds) where velocity has dropped below where it's sufficient to initiate nominal expandion and the bullet then acts as a FMJ (full metal jacket). I've even seen this at ranges beyond 300yds with the usually excellent Nosler 100gr Partition.

I've had several hunting/working aquaintances use and then abandon the .243. This is remarkable, as I've had outstanding success with the .22cf's, especially with 55gr and heavier bullets. I've always however been particular about shot placement with the .22's, though the one's I've shot in the chest/heart lung area, have always exhibited nominal big-game bullet performance. The only time I've had the bullet failure phenomon is with bullets 50gr and lighter.

So, I suppose that if you treat the .243 the way you would a .22cf when hunting deer, you'll get excellent results.

I had become quite fond of my little Stevens as it was laser beam flat shooting and accurate. However, I forgot it was lying in the case in the bed of my P/U and someone "liberated" it from me. This is the only firearm that I've ever had stolen from me. I hope whoever got it has and AD and shoots their big toe off (as I once investigated a hunting accident where a hunter DID shoot his big toe off with HIS .243), as I'd tweaked the trigger down to approx. 1.5lbs "crisp".
It'll serve him right !!!!!!

I do plan on replacing it "sooon" however, -I have to many cases, components and loaded ammo now, not to have something to shoot it up! The Savage M110's hit the pawn shops in numbers after deer season is over and I should be able to pick an "ugly" one up cheap. I'll then buff of the rust and touch it up with some camo paint, and then off to the range to get it shooting straight........
Before the rifle "walked off", I'd planned on pulling the existing ammo and instead of the 3,000+fps load I was using (42.5gr RL-22 and shot 2/3" groups @100yds w/5 shots) and "down load" them to around 2,600fps. Then too, I was going to pass up on shots beyond 250yds for the same reason I do with my .30/30 and .35's. Insufficient velocity to get good bullet expansion.


I plan on trying some Remington CorLokts as I've heard of some having good success with them even on Elk. Perhaps with a little less velocity for the frequent short shots I get the bullets will hold up a bit better. This is just the reason I went with a .257 Roberts in 1983 when I had a custom rifle built. It has never "failed" like this. Similarly shot deer have always given exit wounds with 100-120gr bullets, and I've only lost one of many dozen deer hit with this rifle, and that one was marginally hit through the lower chest anyhow.

Do shoot straight !!!

ArchAngelCD
December 22, 2006, 05:02 AM
GooseGestapo,
His question was "can I", not is it the best caliber. I'm sure the hunters here would prefer a 140/150 gr bullet out of a .270 for dear or even a .308 or 30-06 but that's what he has and we were answering his question.

danurve
December 22, 2006, 10:49 AM
tbredw725; Sounds like a fine rifle. I would go through it and clean the bore.
Ruger lists the MII .243 with a 1:9 twist. Most .243's seem to shine in the 70-90 grain range. My vls has a 1:9&1/8 twish and shoots 70 blitzkings & 95 gr partitions orgasmicly. I also have a 85 gr gameking & imr-4350 load that is quite versitle. If you don't reload, factory .243 ammo is popular and I might even recomend some of the Federal Premium jazz. On the flip side I cannot recomend the Express CorLokt ammo. I have no doubt of its killing ability but I could not get it to group under 3" @ 200 yards, which is completely unacceptable. Took a set of calipers to a box of that stuff and, well I was flabergasted at the variations - gave it away.
I guess what Im saying is take the time to get to know your .243, & what it likes & stick to it. Check out some of the balistic information on-line for ammo. Good luck n` good hunting. :)

Coltdriver
December 22, 2006, 11:20 AM
Use a Nosler 95 grain partition for deer. Holds together and punches a hole right through a deer. There is a pretty good "pet load" for this. I have down loaded it a bit because with my Ruger No 1 the pet load was ruining the brass.

Use the hornady 68 grain or 75 grain vmax for varmints. I have a friend who has zapped prarie dogs at 1000 yards with the 68 grain rounds. He belongs to a club and has a certificate from witnesses to his shooting. He shot them from a field bench. Said that you can see where the bullet is hitting and adjust your aim. Always takes a few trys. But the dogs don't spook because you are so far away!

SAKOHUNTER
December 22, 2006, 02:41 PM
if I remember correctly Winchester has a 55 gr Silvertip in .243

AA...I guess you didn't read my post...you remembered correctly.:D

ArchAngelCD
December 22, 2006, 11:55 PM
SAKOHUNTER,
Sorry, I did miss your post... didn't mean to repeat or rain on your info... :)

rockstar.esq
December 23, 2006, 01:24 AM
Best thing to do would be to practice lots so that the deer gets hit on the first try. Most cartridges when shot within sane ranges will work perfectly provided the shooter does their part.

Shawnee
December 23, 2006, 05:54 PM
Hi TBR...

I've shot deer with about all the bullet weights there are for the .243 (except the 70-grainers) but a trainload of 'em were shot with handloads using the Hornady 87gr. jacketed hollow-point bullet. The load wasn't quite a "max" load and yet it killed deer like a lightning bolt. The reason I settled on the 87 gr. bullet wasn't the bullet weght, it was because that bullet is so darned accurate. :)

Powder_Burn
March 4, 2007, 06:23 PM
I swithced from 30-06 to .243 this year and have been pleased. This season, I shot 1 spike and 1 doe in the pumphouse and both were bang flops. It's an advantage to be able to keep your eye on the deer through the scope and not have to re-acquire it after you shoot. I use the 95gr Hornady Light Magnum SST's and typcially shoot from between 140 to 250 yards. Bottom line is that shot placement is what really matters. To that point, some folks hunt smaller whitetails around here with 22-250 and don't have any problems.

mattw
March 4, 2007, 06:34 PM
Like John Barsness recently noted in a "Handloader" article regarding the Speer "HotCor" bullets, the .243 structurally lacks sufficient surface contact between the jackets and core to be able to keep from having the core's slip and separate. Couple this with the jackets being constructed to attempt to prevent core slippage, and premature rupture, the bullets at extented range (beyond ~250yds) where velocity has dropped below where it's sufficient to initiate nominal expandion and the bullet then acts as a FMJ (full metal jacket).

The deer that I shot with my .243 didn't know about how this round I used sucked for deer hunting so when it hit him squarely in the heart he died.

.243 or 7mm Mag, shot placement is what counts.

That being said I will use .338 for anything bigger than a white tail.

I guess it depends on where you hut too, I rarely have the opportunity for a shot over 200 meters.

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