Need help picking a 6mm hunting rig


January 15, 2008, 09:58 AM
Hi, I have decided to pick up a new hunting rifle in the 6mm family, but can’t decide between 243WSSM, 243 Win, and 6mm Remington. I did a little research on-line and here are the pro and con that I came up with

243 Win Pro: The factory ammo and rifle selection is excellent
A proven performer can be improved by hand loading or reconfigure to 243A.I
Con: the weakest performer in the family

243 WSSM Pro: Smaller receiver = lighter rifle
Substantial Improved performance in both energy and velocity over 243 WSSM
Con: Might be a dying round – can’t find many factory rifles
Reduced barrel life

6mm Rem Pro: Slight improvement in performance over 243 Win
A proven performer can be improved by hand loading or reconfigure to 6mm A.I
Con: Limited factory ammo and factory rifles

I mainly will be using it for Coyote and deer, or maybe on a future Mountain lion hunt. I envision it mainly as a carry around rifle that I can bush wack with.

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January 15, 2008, 10:02 AM
I've shot a lot of deer with the .243 Winchester; all one shot kills. Pick the right bullet and it's a winner.

Also a big vote for the Savage platform. I'm still using one of their left hand bolt guns I bought back in '68. Plain Jane but it works.

January 15, 2008, 10:34 AM
I've gotta say .243. You could find ammo easier to find and cheaper than 6mm or .243 wssm.

January 15, 2008, 10:40 AM
my vote also is for the .243. I think you are too limited in selection by the .243wssm and it will cost twice as much to buy ammo (non factor if you reload).

January 15, 2008, 10:45 AM
I have used one for years and it is a great round. I mostly used it for coyotes, deer, pigs, and other varmints that prowled the place I worked. I used a 100 grn bullet for everything. It shoots real easy on the shoulder and mine, a Remington 700, is very accurate. I would say finding a rifle in this caliber is worth the effort.

I also shoot a .243 as well. I love it too. I would stay away from the WSSM for the reasons that you stated. I think they are a good idea, I just don't know how many other folks agree with me.

January 15, 2008, 10:47 AM
I've used both extensively and, in actual field performance, there isn't a soul alive who can tell the difference between a .243 Winchester and the 6mm Remington.... regardless of the meaningless numerical advantage of the 6mm Remington. Key factor also is any bullet (the part that does the work) you can load in the 6mm Remington can also be loaded in the .243 Winchester.

The relative scarcity of the 6mm Remington ammo IS a significant "con" unless you reload. If you don't reload you will not only have a hard time finding 6mm Rem. ammo but when you do find it you'll have to take whatever bullet they have in stock that day... and that is definitely Not Good. Who wants to re-zero every time they buy a box of ammo ?

The relative scarcity of the 6mm Remington rifles isn't as much of a "con" because you only need one and there are some good used ones out there to find with a little effort. The Remington 700 ADLs are good and they can be found reasonably often. But please reread the first paragraph.

Anything you can do in the field with a .243 WSSM - you can do just as well with a .243 Winchester, no exceptions. None. Please reread the first paragraph.

Just my opinion - the WSSM cartridges in all calibers are a joke (and have been since Day 1) because none of them offers any real advantage over their "standard" counterparts. There are/were nothing but slick Marketing aimed at the gaggles of Sillies who will throw money away on anything just because it's "different" or "new" regardless of actual worth. The WSSM cartridges of all cailbers are already being shunned like lepers at gun shows. They will soon be hanging on only as ballisitic curiosities.

Will add that I don't know for sure which caliber God uses for deer but I do know it's either the .243 Winchester or the 6mm Remington.


January 15, 2008, 10:48 AM
I don't know anyone who bought a 243 WSSM that actually got the advertised velocities out of them. So they're not that great, just marketing. And you're right, they'll be dead soon.

January 15, 2008, 11:02 AM
I have no problem finding 6mm in Federal, Remington, or Hornady. Most you find will be 100gr but Hornady does make a 95gr ballistic tip (SST) thats pretty available too. Hornady also makes a light msg version as well. And as far as scarcity goes with alot of ammo, order online! Its frequently cheaper and you have a huge selection.
My 6 puts them down everytime. Its a model seven and it was my first deer rifle when I was about 14. I still use it as my number one go to deer rifle and any long range coyote shooting.

January 15, 2008, 11:41 AM
.243 for reasons stated above. While 6mm may show a slight advantage in the ballistics tables, is it a 'real world' difference? Probably not. Can't go wrong with either, but I would lean towards the .243 just for ammo being more readily available. I've dropped plenty of white tail and mule deer with a .243 using everything from 85gr hollow points to 105 gr soft point. Very versatile round.

January 15, 2008, 11:54 AM
the 243wssm has the biggest jump in performance. But the 6mm is very close, and ammo can be had at Academy for about 15 bucks a box, all day long. only a couple of factory 6mm's out there, yes, but there is all kinds of stuff, custom mausers, rifles made by Parker Hale, etc., that will be beautiful, reasonably priced, and the 6 mm will have excellent bbl life, becuase of its ultra long neck.
the other two will have shorter, tho not by much bbl life.
wssm ammo still costs a ton, so you really need to handload here. 243 is common as candy. You can find them in old 788's 600's, 660 's, mohawks, etc., for about 500 bucks... thing is , so you will find those in 6 mm as well.
the 6mm will work best in a long bbl, I prefer 26 inches.
the wssm, will work better in a shorter bbl, than the other two.
Eventually, maybe another 20 or 50 years, when they make the short cases with a convex shoulder, and we are running low on metals, and powder gets more expensive
exponentially, we will switch to short , fat , cases with round shoulders. And yes, they will be faster, have better bbl life, burn less powder, etc., but right now, the shooting community just isn't going to do it, when there are too many cases out there right now, to do exactly what we want, or are close to , or are , milsurp, and are relatively cheap, even though they are medium size, or large cal bullets/carts.
I suspect next year, when prices double again, we might start taking more of a jump toward smaller carts, that will get us heading to short, fat, round-shouldered carts.

January 15, 2008, 12:09 PM
Anyone who spends any time on the performance differences between the 6mm REM and the .243 WIN cartridges has fallen victim to PII (Preoccupation with Inconsequential Increments).

Just make sure any 6mm rifle you buy has a barrel twist that will handle 100 grain (or heavier) bullets. IIRC, the first 6mm's on the market had a barrel twist rate designed for lighter bullets. The .243s had a 1 in 10 from the start. IIRC.

January 15, 2008, 12:34 PM
Why? Of all the hair brained ideas to throw money at R&D . Why did they think we needed this?
I'd pick the 6mm Remington if you reload your own. Otherwise the .243 should get the nod.

January 15, 2008, 12:49 PM
Just for giggles I went to the ballistics comparison tool at Remington's website. Remington lists 7 factory loads for the 243win and only 1 for the 6mm Remington.
Using a 100gr soft point bullet that Remington loads for both:
6mm has 140 ftps higher velocity at the muzzle, 124fps higher at 100yds
6mm has 162 ft-lbs higher energy at 100yrds.
6mm has .2 inches less drop at 100 yrds

Cartridge Information
Index Number Cartridge Type Weight (grs.) Bullet Style Primer No. Ballistic Coefficient
R243W3 Remington® Express® 100 Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt® 9 1/2 0.356
R6MM4 Remington® Express® 100 Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt® 9 1/2 0.356

Velocity (ft/sec)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 100 PSP CL 2960 2697 2449 2215 1993 1786
Remington® Express® 100 PSP CL 3100 2829 2573 2332 2104 1889

Energy (ft-lbs)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 100 PSP CL 1945 1615 1332 1089 882 708
Remington® Express® 100 PSP CL 2133 1777 1470 1207 983 792

Short-Range Trajectory
Cartridge Type Bullet 50 100 150 200 250 300
Remington® Express® 100 PSP CL 0.1 0.7 zero -2.0 -5.4 -10.4
Remington® Express® 100 PSP CL 0.0 0.6 zero -1.8 -4.8 -9.3

Long-Range Trajectory
Cartridge Type Bullet 100 150 200 250 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 100 PSP CL 1.6 1.5 zero -2.9 -7.5 -22.1 -45.4
Remington® Express® 100 PSP CL 1.4 1.3 zero -2.6 -6.7 -19.8 -40.8

I'm not an expert in ballistics, but I don't seem much of a difference between the two when it comes to being effective on appropriate sized game.

January 15, 2008, 01:01 PM
Oooops ! :o I stand firmly corrected about finding 6mm Remington ammo.

I forgot Acadamy still stocks it (though they aren't in every state). I know for sure the Acadamy on North Loop 410 in San Antonio had it last Spring.
I also just found it listed on the Cabela's website (in 95gr. and 100gr. flavors). Didn't find it on the BassPro website. It turns up at gun shows too. And, of course, reloaders have no worries at all with it.

So, as a couple others have said - the 6mm Remington factory ammo is certainly still out there to be found.

And as "Rangerruck" notes - there are some real fine "classic" rifles out there for the 6mm Remington. One of my college roommates bought a Remington 788 in 6mm when they were first brought out and you couldn't get it away from him with The Jaws of Life.

Another of my college roommates bought a .240 Weatherby in about 1969 and though that round seems to get little Press, it is another A+ 6mm deerslayer. Main disadvantage is cost.

The abundance of rifle models and action-types for the .243 Winchester is still a major "Pro" in the picture though, and even my son's .243 lever-action BLR will shoot MOA all day long. But I don't want to tell anyone to pass up a good deal on a good 6mm Remington rifle just because the ammo isn't sold at Circle-K or 7-Eleven.

Have never been able to be concerned about "barrel life" in hunting rifles but I do know two very active (and knowledgable) target/varmint shooters who worry about it.

I had the good fortune to have a conversation or two with Field & Stream's Dave Petzal about rifle calibers and I remember him commenting to the effect that if a rifleman were so good he could take some real advantage of "numerical advantages" between calibers like the .243/6mm or .270/.280, it still wouldn't matter because he would be good enough to kill game with any caliber.


January 15, 2008, 07:10 PM
All I an do is offer my choice and you have to be the one to make yours. I wanted a varmint rifle and one I could use on deer from a stand so several years ago I purchased a Ruger 1B single shot rifle in 6mm. I replaced the trigger with an adjustable trigger and mounted a 4-16 power scope on it with a Harris bipod. With handloaded ammo it shoots 3 shot 1 1/4 groups at 200 yards and is everything I want in a varmint/deer rifle. One the downside it is on the heavy side for long stalks.s :)

January 15, 2008, 08:08 PM
New member, first post, 15 year firearm enthusiast...

I just picked up a .243 today! I've been wanting one for a few years now and finally put the desire into action. Winchester 70 (for controlled round feed) Compact. Stock will be switched for something with a longer LOP (or modded since the grain is blah), but the bbl length and contour was just what I was looking for. I considered the 7mm-08 and 260 as alternatives. The 243 will do everything you are intending it to and more.

January 16, 2008, 07:41 PM
Thanks alot guys, I will focus on 243 but will keep a eye out for a good deal on 6mm rems too.

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