Narrowing it down (No, Really!!) Thinking .243 Final Answer!


August 4, 2009, 11:30 PM
Ok, so I thought I had my mind made up between a 25.06 and a .257 Roberts. After much searching locally I have found exactly zero .257 Roberts and a small hand full of 25.06 rifles. I am leaning back towards the .243 as there are tons of them, they tend to handle better then 25.06 rifles I have found, my purposes will be mostly paper punching, the likely hood of hunting is slight and if I do there are several 100-107gr bullets available which is only 13gr less than the heaviest .25 caliber bullet of 120gr. Being 6mm there are a lot more bullets available then for the quarter bores in both hunting and target practice.

I am specifically looking at a Savage 10/11 (hopefully used) due to their known out of the box accuracy and after market products available for any future upgrades.
The Savage shows a 1 in 9.25" twist. Is this a fast enough twist to run the heavier 100-107gr bullets? How does this twist affect the lighter bullets such as the 55-60gr bullets?

Thanks for all the help everybody has been so far in trying to find the right rifle.

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August 4, 2009, 11:33 PM
Can we say AMEN!?

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 4, 2009, 11:37 PM
The Savage shows a 1 in 9.25" twist. Is this a fast enough twist to run the heavier 100-107gr bullets?

Yes. Most likely. It's the 10" or longer twists that can be suspect with the heavier bullets.

There are few better paper punchers out to 400 yards than the .243 Win.

August 5, 2009, 08:16 AM
Can we say AMEN!?
Indeed! And all the people said........

August 5, 2009, 09:15 AM
One thing, my .243's are great for whitetail deer, .270 or above would be better for elk or big mule deer. A lot depends, are you poking holes in paper or hunting or both. The savage is awesome and is a great buy.

August 5, 2009, 03:19 PM
The more I think about the more the .243 fits. Most hunting scenarios will be rogue paper targets. I have read a ton of threads where people claim the .243 is a good deer rifle with heavier bullets, and oif given the chance to go hunt mule deer or larger I can always borrow a rifle of appropriate caliber.
I think I am going to look for one of the package deals. I know the scope is not of great quality, but it is better than my Barska on my 10/22. When I upgrade the scope on the Savage, it will go to the 10/22. My Rem Mdl 5 has a Burris 4.5-14x32 AO that I have been happy with and will probably go that route for the Savage. So far pricing seems to be in the $500 range with the cheapest so far being a combo at Academy for $499.

August 5, 2009, 10:20 PM
I once dropped a 300+ pound axis deer 10 yards from where I hit him with a 90 grain bullet out of my .243. I have never had a deer run off after shooting it with my .243. On the other hand I did have a whitetail run way off after I shot him with a .300 WSM. I think shot placement is much more important than bullet weight/caliber with whitetail deer. Also, the low recoil makes range shooting much more enjoyable

August 6, 2009, 12:18 AM
Don't kid youself; a 100 graing 243, can wallop paper at 600 yds, and if you find some vld bullets, there is a company in Houston that makes some 110' vld, for about 25 bucks a box, 1000 yd shots are not out of the realm.
I love them, the feddy , plain blue box, is loaded soft point 100 grains, and i slam any 4 leggeds with it, that dares me.
9.25 is all the twist you will ever need.

August 6, 2009, 12:20 AM
look to see if you have a gander mtn in your area, if you are in houston, there are 3 of them, or also check out basspro. You should be able to pick up a savage packaged deal for 399 or less.

August 6, 2009, 10:56 AM
I run 100 and 108 gr. bullets in my Savage in .243 with no problems at all. The VLD's do not work in mine as they need to be up against the lands and that makes the OAL too long to fit the magazine.

August 6, 2009, 12:07 PM
Once again, .243 is all you need for any deer (yes, mule deer too) or antelope. You don't NEED to step up to a 30-06 or even a 270 for deer. I know from experience, not internet 'wisdom' from people debating which is better.

Nothing wrong with an '06 or .270. The folks that recommend something bigger for deer are typically not the people who own a .243. I've dropped deer with either a 85gr hollow point or a 100gr soft point from a .243. So has my dad and brother. Deer are not impervious to a 85gr pill traveling at 3100fps

August 6, 2009, 06:21 PM
After doing some Gun Broker searches and looking up prices on various rifles and scopes I think I may have a gun this weekend. Looks like the Simmons Blazer is a $30 scope online. I found a lightly used Savage, synthetic stock and accutrigger for $350 locally, no scope or rings, but does have bases. I think I may jump on the deal unless somebody can give me a good reason not too!!

August 6, 2009, 07:59 PM
Sounds like a darn nice deal on the Savage, but I would shell out a little more for a quality optic. The entry-level Leupolds are a good buy.

I totally agree that .243 is totally sufficient for deer. I too know this from experience.

August 6, 2009, 08:15 PM
If you ever plan on hunting anything bigger than whitetail deer you will regret buying that .243...instead of "borrowing" a rifle later why not just get a .270 now and be done with it? It would be a WAY better choice.

If you want short action a 7mm-08 would be perfect - only a tiny bit more recoil than a .243 with a bigger bullet, more bullet choices (styles weights), more varied hunting ability, and it's on the same case as the .243.

Also, do yourself a favor and leave the $30 scope in the store. A good scope that will not break the bank is the Nikon Buckmasters 3-9x40mm - goes for right around $200 at Wal-Mart. When it comes to scopes, you get what you pay for. Buy a cheap POS $30 scope that fogs up and won't hold zero or get a good one the first time. Nikon and Leupold are both super and you won't go wrong. Spend some money on a scope.

August 6, 2009, 10:03 PM
I probably should have been more clear! I have no intention of buying the Simmons Blazer, only that the price difference between the rifle I am looking at for $350 vs. the combo package at (new) $499 when the only difference is a $30 scope, some bases and rings would be a foolish plan. I will probably look at a Nikon or another Burris scope later, for now I have a Burris Timberline 4.5-14x32AO that I will put on it.

dullh, I appreciate the suggestion but I am dead set on the .243 as it meets all my needs and purposes. I have never had the opportunity to hunt, and the chances of such are fairly slim, and if I did have the chance it would probably be deer or hog hunting. With the .243 it is something that my wife and kids will be more comfortable and more likely to enjoy shooting.

Is there anything I should be looking at on this rifle before I buy? It seems to be in very good shape with very little wear, and a bright shiny bore. Only blemish is a little ding on the end of the barrel appx. half way between the crown and the outside edge of the barrel if you were looking at the business end.

August 6, 2009, 11:16 PM
I just made the decision to buy a a 243 over the 25-06 and 270. The price of ammo and reloading supplies jumps substantially moving from 6mm to to.25 and up. As for the bigger is better crowd, somewhere during my lifetime the elk became a mythical creature needing magnum calibers that punish the shooter almost as much as the intended victim. My Dad hunted Elk in Colorado with a 25-20 and upgraded to a 6mm in the mid 60's. He would most likely be in the top 10% of successful Elk hunters in the 50's through 70's, never using a bullet over 100 grains. The quality of the shot will always be more important than the size of the cartridge.

August 7, 2009, 07:39 PM
I am now the proud owner of a new (used) Savage Mdl 10 .243! Pics to follow shortly once I have the scope mounted on it. Hopefully I will get the chance to go sight it in over the. Next couple of days. Now I just need some dies and my consumables!

August 7, 2009, 07:41 PM
I am now the proud owner of a new (used) Savage Mdl 10 .243!

Who's going to be the first to mention the 6mm Remington :neener:

August 7, 2009, 07:56 PM
Who's going to be the first to mention the 6mm Remington :neener:
Hahahaha!! I think that was two threads ago!!

August 7, 2009, 11:00 PM
Ok, here are the pics. I am pretty happy with the setup, now just need to get her to the range and see how the thing shoots!

August 7, 2009, 11:05 PM

August 7, 2009, 11:50 PM
Looks like a decent rig. You cannot go wrong with the savage rifle. There are plenty of things you can do to customize them if you ever get unhappy with anything. The action is solid and the Accutrigger is one of the best factory setups. Savage enjoys a good aftermarket selection so barrels, stocks, bolt handels, bases etc can be had for whatever you need to do. Now that I'm done preaching the Savage gospel....AaauughMEN!

August 8, 2009, 12:00 AM
It will probably be a bit before I order all the reloading goodies, so in the mean time, what is everybody's favorite factory ammo? I would like to get it out to the range and see how it runs, but I don't want to spend a ton of cash on ammo when I will be getting powder, primers brass, bullets and dies in the very near future!

August 8, 2009, 12:03 AM
I personally think the scope is just fine; smallish, doesn't overpower the rifle with it's size, looks balanced. if the glass is clear, and it holds zero against recoil, that is all you need, baby.

August 8, 2009, 12:06 AM
Not much Match ammo selection in .243 but some of the good Varmint loads will shoot well. First you'll have to see what you can find and affort to shoot.

You may want to try:

Federal Varmint 70gr Speer TNT
Hornady 58gr V-Max.
Nosler Ballistic Tip 70gr

August 8, 2009, 12:43 AM
Affordability comes with reloading! So far I have only loaded handgun rounds, so this will be my first go at rifle ammo. Fortunately I already own presses, calipers, scales, etc. I just need dies and the components. I found some Federal at Academy earlier today for $18.99 with Hornady in the $25ish range and others in between. I figure worst case I will end up with some brass to reload, best case I stumble across a good factory round!

August 8, 2009, 09:18 AM
Core-lokts usually do me for a cheap, accurate factory round.

August 8, 2009, 11:22 PM
Just got shed of my 243 with 1 in 9.25 twist, because I was going to shoot matches and it would shoot 95-105 Grain bullets great, but would scatter 55 granis all over the place. I have a 25 06 in Remington 700 SPS and love it. Will shoot anything well that I have put through it.

August 9, 2009, 12:00 AM
Went to the local Wal-Mart today and found an empty shelf where the <$15 Federals were and the $18 Winchester SuperX should have been. I will check the other Wally Worlds in the area and hopefully scrape up some boolits and check this thing out soon!

August 9, 2009, 12:17 AM
if you look around, you can usually get 243 ammo for 15 bucks a box, especially the Feddy blue box, which generally speaking, turn out to be the most accurate factory ammo anyway, and very good for hunting.

As for shooting 55 grainers out of a 243.... why?-comes to mind first, then secondly , it would need a 1/12 twist to do it right, maybe a 1/10, which kills off
any hopes for accuracy above 100 grainers.

August 9, 2009, 12:37 AM
Most .243 are 1/10" and will work very well for 70gr+ bullets. 1/10" gave the .243 the ability to be a deer / antelope rifle by stabalizing 100gr pills. A 1/12" eliminates 100gr bullets from being shot accurately (wont stabalize them) but makes for a mean varmint getter with 55gr bullets at 4000fps!!

August 9, 2009, 01:01 AM
Most .243 are 1/10" and will work very well for 70gr+ bullets. 1/10" gave the .243 the ability to be a deer / antelope rifle by stabalizing 100gr pills. A 1/12" eliminates 100gr bullets from being shot accurately (wont stabalize them) but makes for a mean varmint getter with 55gr bullets at 4000fps!!
Fortunately the Savage is a 1/9.25" so the heavier stuff should run good. I actually would like to at some point check out some of the heavier stuff, the 107gr should be fun but I am very curious to see if any of the 115gr stuff will chamber right even if it is a one round at a time scenario.

rangerruck, good info on the Fed blue box, that is actually what I am hoping to track down. If I can shoot some decent factory stuff while I am getting my reloading supplies ready then I get to shoot, plus I end up with brass! Sounds win win to me. And I agree on the 55 grainers, why!? That is kind of .223 territory, plus the BC is considerably less than the heavier stuff.

August 9, 2009, 12:40 PM
My A-bolt in .243 will shoot the Hornady 58gr Vmax sub-moa. I believe it has a 1/10 twist. It also shoots 100gr Corelokts in the moa range. Pretty accurate with no modifications. Never tried any 55gr bullets though. I would guess with a 1/9.25 twist, anything 75gr (maybe?) and above would shoot well. Hornady has a 75gr Vmax load, I believe.

Oh, the why of 55gr (or 58gr) bullets would be long range varmints and predators. A .243 will shoot these pills faster and flatter than any .223 is capable of.

August 9, 2009, 10:00 PM
Found some Federal 100gr Soft Points at Wally World earlier for $13.99 a box, so I picked one up to see how it shoots. Hopefully I will get to the range tomorrow and check it out and see how it does!

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