223 vs 243


November 21, 2007, 02:29 PM
Looking into a new big boy toy. I currently have a gap from 22LR to 30.06, and am trying to decide on what to use to fill the gap. Thought about 308, but a 06 will do anything a 308 will do, so I eliminated that. Rifle will be used mostly for target shooting, and possibly some varmet, so I am leaning more to heavy barrel, lighter trigger etc. I have some 223 brass and loaded rounds already, but will have to get dies bullets powder etc for my dillon 550 to set up and load. Currently have nothing for 243, but the few brass and ammo is not a make or break deal for me, in the whole scheme of things. What are your guys thoughts, and I am open to make model suggestions. Looking to spend 1K or less for rifle, Scope would be extra, but that is another thread.

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November 21, 2007, 02:41 PM
Both are fine cartridges. .243 has the benefit of better bullets (higher BC), but the cartridge burns throat faster than .223.

It's a toss up. I shoot a lot of 223 because I use the AR in High Power (service rifle). I can attest that .223 is very brain dead to reload for. I shoot on the heavy side as far as .223 is concerned (77 and 80gr), though.

November 21, 2007, 06:07 PM
There's a whole lot more between 22LR and 30-06 that you might want to consider. 22-250 or 220 Swift are both excellent varmint cartridges, along with the .223. 6mm Rem also has a slight advantage over a .243 Win., but both are very capable of taking medium sized game, and that's without considering winchester's short mags. Ammo availability, what you'd prefer to reload, bore life, hunting rifle vs. range only - these are items only you can decide. Just about every cartridge in this spectrum works great for it's designed purpose.

November 21, 2007, 06:48 PM
If this will be for paper and occasional Varmint hunting I suggest the 22-250 since it's probably the best Varmint round available today.

November 21, 2007, 06:55 PM
Why is this in "Reloading" instead of "Rifle"?

To answer your question, I'd suggest an AR Varminter. I have a Bushie that's exceptionally accurate, cheap to shoot, (relatively) low noise. 50 gr Nosler BT's, WW cases, Fed Match primers, 26.0 Varget. 268 yards. Loaded on my Dillon 550.
This rifle...

shoots this...

November 21, 2007, 09:13 PM
204 would fit your needs rather well.

Or a 223 AI.

November 21, 2007, 11:38 PM
Go with the .223. Ammo, cases and bullets are plentiful. Then, get a bolt gun now and an AR later or vice -versa. It's just simpler.

November 21, 2007, 11:44 PM
The .223 is cheaper to shoot and reload and not that .243 has much recoil, but the .223 has almost no recoil. For under $1000 you could get a decent AR or some factory "target" gun.

November 21, 2007, 11:50 PM
As far as bridging a perceived "gap", the .243 is more of an in the middle cartridge. I have a couple of 223s and a 6mm Rem, and I find myself shooting the 223s the most, whether it be for coyotes, ground squirrels, or paper. The 6mm is fun to play around with at longer distances, but I rarely find myself taking a shot on a coyote past 300yds anyhow, so for now it's stuck being an antelope/deer rifle and paper puncher. The 223 is super easy to reload for, and easy to get free or cheap brass for as well.

November 22, 2007, 12:56 AM
If you already have a 30-06, I would also suggest you look at 223. Cases are cheap and plentiful, and reloading components are easy to find, as is ammo. It will work from rodents, small varmints and even small deer. 30-06 handles everything else.

A Remington 700 Varmint in 223 will do all you ask. Another nice one is the CZ-527 Varmint. If you are looking at the latter, I'd opt for the Kevlar version with 1:9 twist. It will let you shoot heavier bullets and performs well with M855 5.56x45mm surplus ammo.

November 22, 2007, 08:32 AM
If your talking new brass and bullets and not milsurp brass,
the price is about the same with the 223 being a tiny bit
cheaper, of course powder will be less for the 223.

A lot has to do with the rifle you like. Some models come in
243 and not 223 and vice versa.

I'd go with the 243 for versatility but the above arguments for
the 223 are good ones.

November 22, 2007, 10:26 AM
243 is a really good cartridge, but it is more expensive to shoot and requires a larger action than does the 223. I really like my CZ 527 in 223. It carries well and shoots better than I can.

November 22, 2007, 11:41 AM
I have shot plenty of rodents with both the .223 and the .243.

I like to shoot the .223 better than any other rifle.
It reaches out there.
It is accurate.
It is cheap.
It is slow to get too hot to shoot.
It does not kick hard.

uk roe hunter
November 22, 2007, 12:19 PM
don't keep your guns on door handles. i have mine in a big metal box........

November 22, 2007, 01:36 PM
I went with the .243. The reason was that, to me, it had more versatility. I kind of got the best of both worlds of a 308, with the benefits of a small projectile like the 223. It is great for targets at long yardage, yet I can hunt with it. ( Virginia states no less than .23 for deer ). LOVE IT !!! This one is a Savage Model 12, hvy bbl, with a Leupold 6.5 - 20 target scope.


November 22, 2007, 02:37 PM
.223 would be a fine choice, everybody should have one.

That said, since you reload, and you said 'pper or varmints' in a heavy barrel and light trigger, consider 6mm BR Norma or .22 BR.

November 22, 2007, 03:03 PM
Another 223 vote. Plentiful ammo about anywhere, great on varmints, my Ruger HB stainless can punch quarter size groups all day long. Plus, if you don't have an AR now, you'll want one eventually.

Harley Quinn
November 22, 2007, 05:39 PM
Your needs right now it seems could be either or either. It is what tickles your fancy right now. The 06 can do much from the accelerator/110 plinker on up to the 220 grain. The 223 if you are looking for assault type.


But remember many are talking about the new package being bigger and better then the 223:what: Semi auto needs to be the 223:D

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