.243 handload


April 26, 2008, 01:59 AM
Anyone have a moderate starter load for the 243? First go round with it and just interested to hear folks thoughts with the caliber and what kind of luck people are having with components and fps with differant bullet wts.

thanks in advance!

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April 26, 2008, 07:34 AM
Hi Barry...

A good load to begin with will be:

41.5 grs. of IMR 4350
Hornady 87gr. BTHP bullet
Winchester or Remington cases
Primers from any of the major manufacturers

This is a moderate load in the neighborhood of 3100fps. and very accurate.

I have worked from there up to 43grs. of IMR 4350 but then backed off to 42.5 grs.

The 42.5 gr. load has proven extremely accurate in at least two dozen assorted rifles that I have used personally. This load is pure lightning on deer.

With the 100gr. Hornady PSP - 42 grs. of IMR 4350 (approx. 3000fps.) has proven to be very accurate for me - so accurate that I haven't bothered to try to wring any more fps. out of it. Work up to it from 40.5 grs of IMR 4350 though.


April 26, 2008, 07:45 AM
You might also want to try posting in the handloading section rather than Rifle Country, you might get more info that way

April 26, 2008, 10:08 AM
I only have one load for my 788. I use 95 gr. Hornady SST's with H-4350. That load works for everything big or small.

Art Eatman
April 26, 2008, 11:30 AM
My Sako is fairly slow twist, so it's not happy with the 100-grain class of bullet. But it dearly loves the 55-grain, 70-grain Hornady Spire Point and the Sierra 85-grain HPBT. Sub-MOA is commonplace.

Forty grains of 3031 for the first two bullets; that's max for the 70-grain. Max for the 85 is 37.5. As usual, work up toward max; it's not a starting point. :)

The Tourist
April 26, 2008, 11:37 AM
I also use A/A 4350, but in the "short cut" version because I like the way it meters.

I believe my load is much less powder, however. I had a Ruger Ultra Light in .243 Win, a ton of brass and some bulk bullets. I shot it like a .22 on the weekends.

April 26, 2008, 02:58 PM
My Rem 700VLS gets along well with 36.5 grains of IMR 3130
behind a 70 gr. Sierra BTHP. I've been staying away from the
heavier bullets.

I started out using a WLRM primer and stuck with it for no
particular reason. The load works fine so I kept the magnum

April 26, 2008, 03:32 PM
Look in your manual for data for the bullet weight that suits your rifling twist. IMR4350 works well with most bullet weights. Work up a load before you worry about velocity.
Most commercial hunting rifles have a rifling twist good for heavier bullets. Even heavy 'varmint' barrels.
The .243 is good for varmints and deer/antelope/black bears with the right bullet. Bullets under 85 grains are usually varmint bullets and are not suitable for larger game. Varmint bullets are designed to expand rapidly upon impact with little penetration. Heavier bullets penetrate as they expand. Penetration is necessary for deer sized game.
Mind you, there's no reason not to use heavy bullets for varmints too. Varmint hunting is great practice for deer hunting and the varmint won't care what the bullet weight was.
There are commercial FMJ's made for hide hunting(winter coyotes, etc) too. They make a small entry hole but rarely any exit hole. They're not the same thing as a milsurp FMJ. Not that there is such a thing as a milsurp 6mm bullet.

April 27, 2008, 07:30 AM
I use 38 gr of 4064 behind the Sierra 85 gr BTHP. Very accurate out of my Savage. A friend of mine uses the same powder load behing a Hornady 87 gr V-Max and according to him it also is very accurate. Over all 243 is a very accurate round.

April 27, 2008, 07:38 AM
H414 and mag primers has always worked extremely well for me with many bullet weights, and meters like water if that is a concern. H4350 is top notch in my experience too.

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