Is .243 Fragmenty?


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dubious
November 8, 2007, 07:18 PM
I'm interested in the .243 caliber... but my friend says that when he's seen deer hunted with them, they've fragmented and not penetrated very well. Does anybody know about this lesser known caliber?

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Deer Hunter
November 8, 2007, 07:18 PM
That has a lot to do with bullet design. Any lightweight ballistic-tipped projectile will fragment heavily and not penetrate as much as say a traditional soft-point.

ArmedBear
November 8, 2007, 07:21 PM
It's not "lesser known". It's a very popular hunting caliber.

It's a combo round, meant to be used for varmint hunting as well as deer-sized game. Therefore, there are many different kinds of bullets available.

True varmint bullets are often made to explode, not just fragment, when they hit a target. Prairie dog hunters like that; it makes for a clean, instant kill and it's fun to watch. But don't go deer hunting with a V-Max bullet.

Big game bullets are generally made to expand but not fragment. Good ones in a .243 should do exactly that. You can even get solid-copper Barnes bullets that essentially guarantee no fragmentation, ever.

Now, cheap bullets can do all sorts of things they're not "supposed to". When hunting, spring for the good stuff.

skinewmexico
November 8, 2007, 07:24 PM
One of the top ten calibers in the world. Your friend had a bullet problem. But I've had problems on small deer with premium bullets, the premium didn't mushroom as well as the old school soft points.

Shawnee
November 8, 2007, 07:34 PM
I've shot about 30 South Texas deer with .243s and a handload using the Hornady 87gr. boat-tail hollowpoint. Not meaning to brag but I honestly cannot recall even one that needed a second shot. I have also shot a half-dozen or more feral hogs weighing above 150 lbs. an the only reason any of them got a second shot is because I am a coward and shot them a second time when I got close to where they were laying. None of them ever ran more than a couple steps.

The .243 is an awesomely capable and versatile cartridge. Only problem with it is you won't be able to impress your friends with how hard it kicks.

:)

skinewmexico
November 8, 2007, 07:42 PM
Load some 115g DTACs in a 243, and see how they do. Sweet.

45Badger
November 8, 2007, 07:43 PM
After years of messing around with other heavier calibers, I accidently discovered the .243. Bought a youth model Remington 700 for my son, and fell in love with it. I bought one for myself. Both are very accurate, very low recoil, and have cleanly taken a couple deer per year for the last few years.

It's probably not a good choice for 600 pound Grizzlies, but we don't see them much here in Pennsyltucky:D

QuarterBoreGunner
November 8, 2007, 07:50 PM
Nothing to add that hasn't been already said....

But I have got to start using the word 'Fragmenty' more often.

Awesome word.

CB900F
November 8, 2007, 09:52 PM
Dubious;

The .243 is perfectly able to handle deer, given a proper bullet. One of the very best is the Speer 90 grain, catalog #1217. And, you're not gonna have to pay some bent-over-the-barrel so-called "premium" bullet price for it either. Speer specifically states in their load manual that they made this one tough enough for deer.

Now if you want to go with that bullet diameter, but get the better caliber, find a 6mm Remington. It'll give you better velocity with the heavier bullets due to increased powder capacity.

900F

Bartkowski
November 8, 2007, 09:57 PM
Like everyone said, its the bullet design that matters. My friend uses a .243 and has had no problems with it.

The 6mm is not required or much of an advantage in the field, it is a little "better" though. Besides I am very likely to find .243 ammo at general stores, but not 6mm remington.

Powder_Burn
November 8, 2007, 10:48 PM
I suppose the 53gr->55gr varmint loads could fragment but 85gr->100gr bullets designed for medium game perform quite well in my experience. This is what a Hornady Light Magnum 95gr SST looks like after hitting a buck at ~2700fps. Recovered bullet is ~1/2" in diameter.

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i99/Powder_Burn/Hornady_243_95gr_SST_Before_After.jpg

jpwilly
November 8, 2007, 11:13 PM
The .243 is a very nice cartridge with plenty of hunting ammo to fit various needs. Bullet selection with any caliber is vital to a sucessful hunt.

Hokkmike
November 9, 2007, 12:16 PM
A well known caliber that is really not BEST suited for deer. I shot one for many years with no problem but unless you have to do double duty get something a little bigger, from .257 Roberts on up.

aspade
November 9, 2007, 12:34 PM
True varmint bullets are often made to explode, not just fragment, when they hit a target. Prairie dog hunters like that; it makes for a clean, instant kill and it's fun to watch. But don't go deer hunting with a V-Max bullet.

Varmint bullets don't explode. That is just fragmentation going on - albeit complete fragmentation into very small pieces.

19-3Ben
November 9, 2007, 12:37 PM
.243 is not lesser known.

springmom
November 9, 2007, 12:41 PM
The .243's a "lesser known round"???? Have to tell Ted Nugent that, as it's his favorite for deer.

Apart from the Nuge, however, I can say that it works just fine. GOOD ammunition is important, but good ammo is important in any caliber. I took a deer last year from 215 yards, DRT, with a 100 gr. Nosler Partition. This year I found a good deal on 100gr. Remington Core-Lokt and am going to take that with me next week to Mason County for a hunt.

It all depends on whether you're a good shot or have difficulty with minute-of-barn, and that too is true whether you're shooting a .243 (or even a .223!) or a .30-06.

Springmom

birdbustr
November 9, 2007, 12:47 PM
I did a "BEST DEER BULLET" poll and surprisingly the Ballistic Tips ranked very highly in the preference poll. I think there are as many haters of ballistic tips as those who swear by them.

Any bonded bullet should not fragment. It really depends on the bullet and if it can hold up to the velocity it is fired at. If you want an exit hole and deep penetration, stay away from ballistic tips, a-max, or anything that is not a bonded core unless you prefer fragmentation (YUCK).

UnTainted
November 9, 2007, 01:50 PM
My sister shoots heavy soft pointed loads and they go all the way through deer at 300 yards. Check out the Barnes X bullet for ultimate penetration

cracked butt
November 9, 2007, 02:02 PM
A soft point or controlled expansion bullet zipping along at velocities at or near 3000fps kill deer very dead very fast. Its probably the most underrated deer cartridge out there.
The cartridge has a lot of detractors as a deer cartridge because of the detractor making a poor shot with one once, but the same poor shot with a .243 is just as much of a poor shot with a 30-06.

dubious
November 9, 2007, 02:46 PM
Hey guys... lesser known as in "lesser known to me". Hence my questions. I'm sold though... it sounds great.

JonB
November 9, 2007, 03:30 PM
A well known caliber that is really not BEST suited for deer.

Huh. .243 is my FIRST choice for deer. Fast, flat shooting, and a lot of ammo choices. 100gr Federal Power Shok is at 2700 fps @ 100yrds. Not bad at all.

jpwilly
November 9, 2007, 03:42 PM
By The Way the .243 is a 308 case necked down to .243 / 6mm if your wondering. That's where all the Uuummmfff comes from. A .270 is a 30-06 case necked down to .270 same goes for 25-06 etc. There are parent cartidges and their offspring.

rcmodel
November 9, 2007, 03:46 PM
As with any of the dual-purpose Varment/ Deer calibers, proper ammo selection is the key.

Don't buy varment ammo to hunt deer.
Don't buy deer ammo to hunt varments.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

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