.243 load advice


August 20, 2008, 11:57 PM
hey guys. I drew my first coues whitetail tag in az this year and i need some advice. I'm used to shooting mule deer at 150 yds or less in the high country, but it is pretty likely that i'll have to shoot a long shot (300 yds or so) this year and these deer are small. What i have to work with right now are 100gr hornady softpoints, IMR 4064 powder, and a good ole Model 70 Winchester. However, I am completely open to other powders and bullet weights... any of you guys have a good long range load to share?

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Ol` Joe
August 21, 2008, 12:13 AM
Why won`t what you are useing now work?
If your accuracy is up to it, and I imagine it is if you have been useing the load, I doubt the load won`t drop an animal at 300 as well as it does at 150.
If a good 100gr 243 load isn`t enough, I guess what I`m saying is get a bigger gun don`t try to make a mag out of what you have.

August 21, 2008, 12:18 AM
I shot a nice antelope at just over 350 yards (I paced it off) with a .243 using a 100 grain Sierra BT. What you're using will work just fine.

August 21, 2008, 12:21 AM
yeah, as of now that is what i'll be using. i haven't shot them at 300 yet but i'm sure i can make do with it. i just though maybe somebody has had better luck with something different...

August 21, 2008, 12:24 AM
you have a good bullet for the task at hand as the Hornady "interlock" is a darn good bullet in any caliber. You might want to try one of the 4350 - 4831 class of powders.

August 21, 2008, 12:56 AM
jake- if the projectile is up to the task i.e. 100 gr sp, instead of 75-80gr varmit types, you should have no problem taking lager game such small deer with .243win, even at extended ranges, but ya should do some range target work to have an idea of the point of impact at longer ranges. A shot placed into the vitals will pretty much guarantee a bag. I've seen hogs taken at ranges of 1000-1500 yards by a 243win. you are basically just limited by your shooting skills and size of game if your using solidly constructed bullets in a varmit cartridge such as 243win. Having a rest of a tree, across a vehicle hood, etc. and knowing where your bullet will strike the target at longer ranges will be essential at the longest ranges.

August 21, 2008, 09:46 AM
IMR 4350, Sierra 85gr HPBT #1530 Gameking, CCI Br2 primer. http://www.udarrell.com/243w_lead_table_printout.html Some say its to light for deer, but i can't see 15gr making a big difference. Shot placement and a standing target works well. There are better calibers for long range work as you know.

August 21, 2008, 03:15 PM
243Winxb - I read that years ago. A lot of old timers would swear by it. I have always felt more confident with 100 grain foor deer in my 6mm but when I started reloading I went to your exact load - I think 42.5 grains of 4350 if I can remember. I have not used it on deer yet but it is now my all around varmint\deer rifle. I get under moa and can't wait to nail a coyote with that. Do you know how explosive these are on deer? I am not a big fan of messy exits. I only saw one very small deer hit badly (my nephew) with this and it was rather ugly- but can't say a stouter bullet would have been any less so.

August 21, 2008, 03:28 PM
Do you know how explosive these are on deer? Be neat, shoot deer only over 200yds. ;)

August 21, 2008, 03:44 PM
My first .243 attempt was with IMR 4064 and a 100gr Hornady interlock bullet, but after working up to the maximum, I couldn't get the velocity or accuracy at 100yds that I was getting with factory ammo. I switched to IMR 4831 to get more velocity and I've found it to be very accurate also.

August 21, 2008, 03:52 PM
IMR 4350, Sierra 85gr HPBT #1530 Gameking, CCI Br2 primer. http://www.udarrell.com/243w_lead_table_printout.html Some say its to light for deer, but i can't see 15gr making a big difference

While the 85 grain hollow point will kill a deer, you are going to ruin a lot of meat when this varmint bullet explodes.

My favorite deer load for a 243 is the 100 grain Nosler partition pushed by 39.5 grains of IMR 4350.

Gives 1 inch groups at 100 yards out of my Model 70, and minimum meat loss.

So far I have shot five Texas white tail deer with this load, and have never had one move more that 50 feet from the point where it was hit. Great penetration, minimal meat loss, and no explosive effects.

It's not that the extra 15 grains of bullet weight is "magic" it is the bullet construction that makes a difference. The Sierra is a varmint bullet; the Nosler is a big game bullet. Desired outcomes are different; you want a varmint bullet to explode on impact, while you want a big game bullet to expand and penetrate with minimum meat damage.

August 21, 2008, 04:10 PM
http://www.sierrabullets.com/index.cfm?section=bullets&page=rifle&brandID=2 The "Gameking" is not an explosive varmint bullet.

August 21, 2008, 04:29 PM
The "Gameking" is not an explosive varmint bullet.

Sorry 'bout that.

I read Sierra 85 grain HPBT and thought that was the same bullet as I shoot for my varmint loads. I've used the "varmint version" of the 85 grain BTHP for many years and can attest to its explosive effect on coyotes.

I just went back and dug out my box of my Sierra 85 grain bullets. The label says "85 GR. .243 Hollow-Point B.T." It does not say Game King anywhere on the box. Given that the price tag on the box says $3.59, I'd guess these were purchased many years ago.

So I must admit I'm ignorant with respect to the "Game King" bullet.

I do know that the 100 grain Nosler partition is an great deer bullet.

Looking at the picture, it does not appear that the GameKing is a hollow point. I thought your original HPBT reference meant Hollow Point Boat Tail.

August 21, 2008, 07:41 PM
http://www.sierrabullets.com/index.cfm?section=bullets&page=rifle&caliberID=4 The 1530 is a hollow point boattail

Ol` Joe
August 21, 2008, 09:42 PM
From the Sierra 5th edition manual pg 73.
for rifle chambering 6mm cartridges, this 85gr #1530 hollow point boat tail was designed as a thin skinned long-range varmit bullet, and it is outstandingin this application. This bullet shoots like a MatchKing and expands like a varmiter...........This bullet has also proven to be highly effective on medium game, such as deer and antelope as long as shots are carefully placed

All of Sierras BT GameKing style bullets are designed to expand faster then their flat based Pro Hunter and are intended for longer range where impact velocity is lower.

August 21, 2008, 11:34 PM
The 90 grain Swift Scirocco II; the 100 grain Speer Grand Slam; 95 and 100 grain Nosler Partition, all work well for critters under 400 pounds. 400 to 800 pound beasties should get the respect of using a .27 or larger caliber, high velocity bullet. My Scirocco II loads with Hodgdon H4350 cruise out at 3300 fps @ 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I consider this a hot load, so the powder amount is something one can determine for one's own bolt-action rifle by starting at 42.5 grains and working up slowly. My rifle is a BOLT-ACTION Remington 700 with 24" barrel and a twist rate of 9 1/8". If one owns a single-shot break-open, begin with 41.0 grains. My rifle likes a C.O.L. of 2.687" with the 90 grain Swift. The most potent powder I've used in my .243 is Hodgdon H4350, and I've tried many others. Alliant RL-22 is also extremely good with 100 to 105 grain bullets. Hodgdon H4350 works wonders with Barnes 62 grain Varmint Grenades, but only for varmints and not meant for big game. cliffy

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