.243 versus 7mm-08


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jacksdaddy
October 13, 2009, 01:41 PM
I know this has been dished out before... but which round would be the most versitile for a lightweight bolt gun. I do intend to get into reloading, and shootability and cost are factors, but mostly I want versitility in available bullet weights and the ability to take small game up through whitetail (max weight 200lbs around here) out to 400m. It will be out of a shorter barrel, in the 16-18" range. Thanks!

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R.W.Dale
October 13, 2009, 01:50 PM
I know this has been dished out before... but which round would be the most versitile for a lightweight bolt gun. I do intend to get into reloading, and shootability and cost are factors, but mostly I want versitility in available bullet weights and the ability to take small game up through whitetail (max weight 200lbs around here) out to 400m. It will be out of a shorter barrel, in the 16-18" range. Thanks!


In my opinion only the 7mm08 meets your critera. IMO The 243 neither has the power to cleanly take large deer much past 300 doubly so in a carbine.

I've owned 243's and never could get this cartridges appeal. It recoils too much, burns too much powder and is too hard on barrels to be a first rate varmint gun and is flat out too light to be a top notch medium game rifle

flame me if you will but that's my opinion

Arkansas Paul
October 13, 2009, 02:06 PM
Oh, you're going to get flamed krochus, you can count on that. However it will not be by me. I have never been on the .243/6mm bandwagon, and won't ever be. So I'll join you and take some of the heat too. Give me a choice of .243, or just about anything else, and I'll take just about anything else. Just my opinion.

lefteyedom
October 13, 2009, 02:11 PM
get a 260 remington.

berettashotgun
October 13, 2009, 02:13 PM
I think a .308 would be a better choice to meet some of your criteria......but a .308 isn't part of your criteria:banghead:

A carbine length barrel usually works best with the heaviest bullets - key word is "usually".....
Is it possible your stumbling over the (just) about perfect combo in a 6.5 swede or a .260 ?
From the 2 choices listed - a "NORMAL" twist rate shows you would be better off with a 7mm bullet, but with a tight twist on the 6mm bullets opens up a whole new world.
115gr DTAC or 105 Nosler custom comp., are very nice on the target - and in a 6mm, bullet weights are getting up there for the consumer.
Short and sweet - 7-08 fits your criteria.

ArmedBear
October 13, 2009, 02:14 PM
I've said it before and I will again: when Winchester makes the new Model 70 Featherweight in .260, I will put in my order.:)

heeler
October 13, 2009, 02:45 PM
I never really warmed up to the Rem model 7 i owned in 7mm-08.
It had really bad barrel whip and over the counter ammo was never that easy to find at Ned's Bait N Beer.
Sold it.
I much preferred my Remington 600's in 308,243,and 6mm.
Except for the 6mm ammo was always readily available.
Fwiw my 18.5 inch barrel 600's in 243 and 308 will hold dime size groups with over the counter ammo in 150 gr.(308) and 100 gr in 243.

jacksdaddy
October 13, 2009, 05:56 PM
How light a bullet can you go in the 7mm? Thinking for smaller game, targét shooting and recoil control purposes.

R.W.Dale
October 13, 2009, 06:01 PM
How light a bullet can you go in the 7mm? Thinking for smaller game, targét shooting and recoil control purposes.

around 110grs all the way up to 175

williamd
October 13, 2009, 06:07 PM
Krochus -- right on. Though I have 243s I consider them too heavy for varmints and too light for real game! A 7/308 is on my to get list. The 7mm bullets are great, a good range of wirhts, The 7/308 is a short action. Good round. 243 and 7/308 are both based on the 308 cases that has proven itself.

Maverick223
October 14, 2009, 01:26 AM
I've said it before and I will again: when Winchester makes the new Model 70 Featherweight in .260, I will put in my order.+1, I'll take a couple Win M70 FWs too...both in cartridges that they don't offer...a .375H&H and .260Rem. Do they have plans for the .260?

:)

skidooman603
October 14, 2009, 06:35 AM
7MM-08 I agree with all the above. Sold my .243

Clipper
October 14, 2009, 08:17 AM
The .243 Handi Rifle I had made more noise and recoil than my featherweight .257 Mauser, not to mention being less accurate. Apples to oranges, I know, but I was real disappointed in the .243 and I too fail to see what really makes it the 'better mousetrap' so many say it is...

Rokman
October 14, 2009, 10:24 AM
Since you stated that you plan to reload, I say go with the 7mm-08. I have never shopped for 7mm-08 ammo, but I woud think that .243 ammo would be easier to find. I think the thought of the .260 and the .308 mentioned previously might be worth looking into before you make your decision.

Uncle Mike
October 14, 2009, 10:39 AM
In my opinion only the 7mm08 meets your critera. IMO The 243 neither has the power to cleanly take large deer much past 300 doubly so in a carbine.

I second this statement! But I had an old Dodge P/U i thought was the truck to have, got 6 quarts to the mile...was pretty easy on gas though. As I look back...what a turd!

Point is, people have many different and argumentative opinions on a question such as this.

The .243 is small for deer hunting, I know people will disagree and some will point to the fact many deer have been taken with even lesser calibers but the fact remains the same.

The 243 is small, low powered and doesn't carry much authority downrange. Yea, it's flat and fast, but that's about it.

You'll have to be a disciplined hunter to use one successfully as the shot your presented with has to be somewhat optimum...you can't plow with a 243. lol

It recoils too much, burns too much powder and is too hard on barrels to be a first rate varmint gun and is flat out too light to be a top notch medium game rifle


Again...ditto. But with practice, it can be successfully used as a good varminter...there is are many better cartridges out there for this feat though.

IMHO, I nominate the 7mm-08 for your round of choice.

It has the power to make imperfect shot, excellent downrange numbers, shoots flat and expresses mild recoil. Using Hornady Light Magnum 139gr ammo, this round will hang with the 30-06.

And accurate...oh yea, accurate!

GooseGestapo
October 14, 2009, 11:00 AM
Ditto Krochus and others....

I've had several .243's. I've got two .257Roberts, and a .257wby. Also, .22-250, .223's, 7-30Waters and 7mm08, not to mention .30/30,.30/06, .338/06, .35Rem, .45/70 and others.

If I could only keep one, it'd be the 7mm08. It's light, reasonably accurate, and effective out of proportion.... just like it's senior sibling ,the 7x57 Mauser.

The .243 is an "in-between" and dosn't do the job of either a dedicated varmint rifle, nor big-game rifle. I've had more bullet "failures" due to blow-ups in big-game (deer) with the .243 than any others. Also saw more "lost" deer due to such in my 25yr career as a Conservation Enforcement officer than with anyother cartridge except maybe buckshot.

I too have a Rem Mod-7 in 7mm08. It's taken pigs, deer, and elk. It's got a 20"bbl and is fully the equal of the .30/06 which I consider the base of comparison for any big-game rifle. I get 3,100fps with 120gr and RL15; 2,900fps with a 140gr bullet, 2,800fps with a 150gr, and 2,650fps with a 162gr (w/IMR4350 ......). No real difference in energy, and a slightly flatter trajectory than the '06. Bullet performance is essentially identical.

I consider the 7mm08 to be the equal of .270win .308wcf and .30/06 due to excellent b.c. of the 7mm bullets. Ballistic tables bear this out. My favorite bullet is the 139gr Hornady BTSP, followed closely by the 140gr Sierra BTSP and 140gr Rem CorLokt- a much better bullet than it "looks" to be.

I've used the 100gr HP Hornady bullets in the 7mm08 as well as the 7-30Waters. They would do nicely on any varmint duties. Both of my rifles shoot them accurately (sub moa), though I prefer the Speer 115gr HP due to it's superior accuracy.

shaggy430
October 14, 2009, 11:27 AM
I think for larger whitetail, the 7mm-08 is a better choice. BUT, the .243 is a great deer caliber with good bullets. Don't underestimate it. I've killed a lot of deer with one when I was young.

This past weekend my dad killed an antelope with one shot at over 400 yards (rangefinder measured) with a .243 shooting 87 grain handloads.

I personally would go with a .308 over a 7mm-08 if you are mainly hunting deer and won't be shooting over 300 yards. More and cheaper ammo selection. Can be loaded up to near 30-06 performance and can be loaded down with 125-130 grain ammo for recoil sensitive shooters. The 7mm-08 doesn't really offer any real trajectory advantages over a .308 until past 300 yards and the recoil is basically identical.

rangerruck
October 14, 2009, 04:11 PM
as much as I love the 243, your conditions say take the 7.08. Though not good for small vamints, you can proly get 100 grainers in 7mm, and up to 160 grainers, for the big stuff at distance.

R.W.Dale
October 14, 2009, 04:25 PM
as much as I love the 243, your conditions say take the 7.08. Though not good for small vamints, you can proly get 100 grainers in 7mm, and up to 160 grainers, for the big stuff at distance.

While true that in the varmint role the same marks I apply against the 243 apply to the 7mm08 as well. Unlike the way too inbetween 243 I'd much much rather overkill small game such as marmots, woodchucks, crows, sloths, chu and meercats that underkill medium game hogs,whitetail, antelope, mulies and aardvark

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 14, 2009, 05:45 PM
Really it depends upon what you mean by "versatile".

If you mean "versatile to take a variety of large game, from small large game to very large large game", then the answer is the bigger'n.

If you mean "versatile to take varmints, medium, and large game", then the answer is the littler'n.

But I do *get* the appeal of the .243 Win, and would have to vote that without more info. I love it. I figured if the Inuit kill everything up to and including polar bears with the .223, the .243 win, as a couple of steps up in power, is pretty much overkill for anything I'd run into. :D

The .243 is a bit flatter shooting out to around 300 yards... past that, the 7mm-08 is superior both in terms of trajectory AND energy. Since the vast vast majority of hunting shots occur under 300 yards, you gotta like the extended PBR of the .243 (assuming it has the oomph for what you're going after). With an 85-100 grain "hunting-construction" bullet and a brain shot, there ain't an animal on the North American continent that will have it bounce off or deflect - ain't a skull that thick! So therefore it also depends on how good and precise you're gonna place your shots, and how close you get, and how well you know your anatomy. Shooting game in the head at 30 yards with a "underpowered rifle" that you shoot well will result in meat on the table infinitely more often than a hail mary at 400 yards (i.e. a miss) with a 7mm-08 or any other loudenboomer you want to choose. Not to mention be more humane/ethical.

Having said all that, with the shorter barrel you mention, that fact favors the 7mm08, since the larger bores LOSE less performance from a barrel reduction.

But heck, why not split the difference and get a .260 Rem? :p

FWIW, Not counting muzzleloaders, my 3 huntin' rifle chamberings for the lower 48 are: .243 win with 90s (little deer, goats, sheep, antelope, etc.), .260 Rem with 120s-129s (big deer, little hogs, little black bear), and .280 Rem with 139s-150s (elk & Shira moose, big boar hogs, big black bear).

Of these three, recently, my go-to rifle is the .243 Win. While I do plan to make the .260 my primary rifle when I transition to it, as of now the .243 will get the call for big game - having said that, the only big game I'll be going after for the foreseeable future is whitetails.

My 3 huntin rifle chamberings, not counting muzzleloaders, for Canada/Alaska & Africa (so far) are: .30-'06 (big elk, moose, & caribou, small African plains game), 9.3x62mm (Yak, Bison, Brown bear, polar bear, leopard, lion, and large African plains game like Eland), and .45-70 gov't with buffalo bore ammo (large mean dangerous African stuff). Plan to add a .416 Rigby or similar at some point.

bpl
October 14, 2009, 09:43 PM
Dr. Tad,

How do you know whether you will encounter a small black bear or a large black bear, and therefore which rifle to bring? :neener:

bpl
October 14, 2009, 09:54 PM
Oh, when it comes to shooting deer bullets, the .243 and the 7mm-08 have essentially the same level of "flatness."

http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/ballistics/comparative_ballistics_results.aspx?data=R243W3*R7M081

CoreLokt: 100gr .243 vs. 140gr 7mm-08 - difference of 0.3" at 300 yards and and 0.8" at 400 yards.

If I were you, I wouldn't get the rifle with a barrel shorter than 20" for either caliber. A 16-18" barrel really compromises performance for a very minimal decrease in weight. Just load three rounds instead of five or get a few oz lighter scope and you'll have accomplished the same thing. I'd be hesitant to shoot a large deer at 400 meters with a 16-18" barreled 7mm-08 and I definitely wouldn't do it with a .243 with that short of a barrel.

Maverick223
October 14, 2009, 10:09 PM
If I were you, I wouldn't get the rifle with a barrel shorter than 20" for either caliber.I agree with that and will go a bit further and say that 20" is a little short for my taste. I would opt for a 22-24" barrel for just about any of the high velocity bottleneck cartridges. For magnums I prefer a 24-26" barrel as a minimum. A .308 or larger (with similar case volume) is better suited to a short barrel IMO. 400M is a long way out, and the velocity is important for energy retention, accuracy, and a favorable trajectory.

Having said that, a .260Rem. is a very good long range cartridge (as is the 6.5Swede), that, when coupled with a good rifle with a 24" barrel, should do quite well at your maximum range. It has a good selection of projectiles, moderate recoil, good efficiency, and will take deer as good as any other. :)

JShirley
October 17, 2009, 10:21 AM
I figured if the Inuit kill everything up to and including polar bears with the .223, the .243 win, as a couple of steps up in power, is pretty much overkill for anything I'd run into.

Okay, but that's on totally flat terrain, with vehicles or sleds, with aggressive dogs as backup. But then, some tribes use spear or poison arrows- why not just go with those? :rolleyes:

(My point being: just because someone in a situation with NO applicability to yours, uses something, does not make them a basepoint! Hey, poachers use FA 7.62x39mm on elephant, I can totally use .250 Savage on Cape Buffalo! :D)

John

Flintknapper
October 17, 2009, 11:04 AM
This is a question I wouldn't even have to think about (for your purposes).

Go with the 7mm-08.

I moved my daughter up from a .243 to the 7mm about 10 years ago. Man....what a difference.

I only wish I had discovered/tried the cartridge many years earlier. I am now a solid fan of the 7mm-08 for medium sized, thin skinned game.

If you handload....it becomes all the more versatile.

Art Eatman
October 17, 2009, 12:37 PM
Seems to me that the idea of a 16" carbine-length barrel woulld pretty much negate the primary benefit of the .243--velocity, so of the two choices I'd pick the 7mm08. I'm happy with mine.

Nothing inherently wrong with a rather-short .243; my 19" Sako has let me put tags on 20 pretty decent bucks with the little Sierra 85-grain HPBT. Ignorance is bliss, of course; nobody ever told me you couldn't hit the white spot out beyond a hundred yards. The 55-grain load works well on prairie dogs, I discovered last year.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 17, 2009, 09:42 PM
How do you know whether you will encounter a small black bear or a large black bear, and therefore which rifle to bring?

You mean you haven't gotten yourself the Knight & Hale "Huntin Crystal Ball" yet? I use mine a lot! :p

Krochus, you hunt "sloths"?!? :eek:

nyresq
October 18, 2009, 04:41 AM
if you plan to handload, go with the 260 remington. Anything the 243 or the 7-08 will do, you can do better with a 260. Balistics are superior to either one and there are a great selection of bullets available from super light varmint grenades to heavy for caliber long range types in 6.5mm. and recoil is still minimal even with the heavier loads.

Legionnaire
October 18, 2009, 01:07 PM
I've enjoyed this thread. I'm sure the 7mm08 is a fine cartridge, but my "go to" caliber is the .308. That being true, I'm a fan of the .243 for the lower end of my hunting rifles. All the arguments made in favor of the 7mm08 over the .243 can be used to give the edge to the .243 over the .223. So I recently dropped the .223 from my battery, giving that role to the .243. Anything the .243 is too big for now gets handled by the .22WMR.

jbkebert
October 18, 2009, 03:04 PM
http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww241/jbkebert/keigansdeer006.jpg

The .243 does just fine on large deer. This buck ran 30-35 yards after being hit with a 95 grain SST from the T/C encore. I don't know about a 16-18" barrel but the 28" makes them fly very very well. I agree the 7-08 is a great caliber but the .243 will flatten a deer no problem.

d2wing
October 19, 2009, 11:52 PM
I've owed a couple .243's. and not impressed with it's performance on large deer. My brother really likes his for coyotes. IMO bullet construction is an issue for the .243. It may be difficult to construct a bullet that penetrates and expands realiably at all ranges in that weight, 100 grains, at the speeds
over that range. Just speculation though. I'd go with the 7-08, especially to reload.

HOUNDDAWG
October 20, 2009, 03:03 AM
On windy days in the CA desert the .243 w/ 85 grain PSPs really shone over my partner's .22-250. He'd be patterning three feet off while I was hitting the target. On calm days (shooting 55 gr bullets) he'd hold his own, but, when hunting yodel DAWGs or long range plinking the wind was often unpredictable. And neither of us had to fret over a possible broken clavicle if we hastily mounted the rifles.

And, if you want to enjoy extended bench shooting sessions while looking for that magic hand load the .243 is a sweet caliber, while the 7mm-08 can lose its luster after 20 rds.

I don't see the 7mm as a crossover caliber. I think of it as in the .308 class, and that makes it a little heavy for varminting. It would be a shame to have a rifle that's not well suited to set up over a prairie DAWG town or a field of eastern whistlepigs. (groundhogs)

And, a well placed 6mm bullet in the neck of nearly any sized whitetail will corkscrew it right into the ground. Neck shots are not only extremely effective on deer but they will save meat.

If you're set up to shoot with a high degree of accuracy and practice regularly you'll reliably hit what you're aiming at, and you'll harvest game. And, those unusual long shots at trophy critters will take care of themselves.

I read of a big game guide out west who carried a 99 Savage in .243, and that other feller who kayak'ed around the North Pole years ago took only a .243 with him. When he heard polar bears outside his tent he fired the rifle through the tent wall, and the next morning he found blood and no bears. Obviously if he was tooled up for polar bear (which have no enemies in their environment and fear nothing) then he'd destroy any other game he wished to harvest, and the rifle would be unsuitable for 99% of his needs.

I've never heard any .243 proponents apologize for their rifle's field or range performance, have you?

ms6852
October 20, 2009, 03:47 AM
The 243 cal. is a great round for deer to 200 yds. It is light and depending on your level of expertise in marksman ship you would not have problems with this rifle. For your criteria of 400 yds the 7mm-08 is the way to go. My personal favorite is the 30-06 using a 110gr if you reload or a 125 gr remington core-lokt which can be purchased at stores, recoil is comparable to the 243, I have a muzzlebreak on mine...(bad shoulder) which drops recoil to about .223 rem, using a 150gr bullet.

blackops
October 20, 2009, 03:54 AM
I will go ahead and say the most "versitile" cartridge out there hasn't been mentioned yet....a 270. :cool:

outerlimit
October 20, 2009, 04:34 AM
While I like .243 very much, and mine holds dime sized groups, it is just not a carbine caliber.

If it must be shot out of a 16-18" barrel and be effective on medium sized light skinned game out to 400 yards, I'd go with the 7mm-08 of the two choices you gave.

okierifleman
October 20, 2009, 01:08 PM
7mm-08 for sure. I have taken countless coyotes on windy days when I was glad I had my .243 instead of one of my .22's but for deer size game, why not have a lot more bullet options with the 7.

Art Eatman
October 20, 2009, 10:22 PM
okierifleman, from a practicality standpoint for hunting, bullet options for 6mm and 7mm are sorta six of one, half-dozen of the other. The 7 probably has more target-option applications, but that's about it, really...

From a utility and variety standpoint, the 6mm might come out ahead. You have the 55-grain as well as 70 or 85 for varmints, but the 85 will double for deer. Then you have the 95- and 100-grain bullets commonly used for Bambi. Both 6 and 7 do the flat-base/boat-tail and soft-point/hollow-point thing. Most 7mm folks tend toward 100-grain, 139/140 and then 160s...

JASmith
October 21, 2009, 01:16 AM
Take a close look at the .260 Remington. It's a very good cartridge for what you described and far better than the .243 -- of course you could go with a .270 Win for a little better performance.

williamd
December 3, 2009, 10:58 PM
bpl: How do you know whether you will encounter a small black bear or a large black bear, and therefore which rifle to bring?

Exactly why I carried a 350RM or 358W when hunting whitetail in lower British Columbia! And, rifled slugs when tromping for pheasant or chukar! Even slung the 350 aross my back for early trout season. I abandoned a few strings of fish to hairy things while backing away slowly.

Ridgerunner665
December 3, 2009, 11:03 PM
The 7mm08 will do better out of a short barrel...243's don't do well AT ALL from barrels less than 24 inches.

eldon519
December 3, 2009, 11:15 PM
Just a crazy idea though it doesn't particularly fit your criteria too well: the .358 Winchester. It's not the ideal for your description, but it's extremely versatile and a great handloader's round, so I felt like highlighting it.

400 yards? Not unless you're a good judge of range. But, it is extremely versatile and does well out of short barrels. It'll drop deer where they stand and do a fantastic job on black bear, elk, etc. With the right bullets, it won't destroy tons of meat as well. It's also a big enough bore size that it can be very effective with cast bullets.

For long-range varminting, it doesn't offer a whole lot, but at short range, you can load it with just about any .357 magnum bullet and expect explosive results.

Just a crazy idea, I'll put on my Nomex now:eek:

Ridgerunner665
December 3, 2009, 11:18 PM
I thought about saying all that eldon519...

I am, after all, a big fan of the 308...and it will do better than either of the 2 the OP mentions out of a short barrel.

rangerruck
December 4, 2009, 01:52 AM
though I am personally in love with all things 243, the 7, especially if you handload, is better. You can get 180 grain 7mm bullets, and handload them to about 2700 fps through a 7.08. that ain't bad my friend. Even the 243, if handload, tops out at about 32to 3300 fps, with a 90 grain bullet, you can do that with the 7 with a 120 grain bullet, if handloading.

stork
December 4, 2009, 12:25 PM
I own and use both 243 and a 7-08 Imp.

For Whitetails and other medium game I would go with the 7-08.
For any smaller game the 243 will do just fine.

Let your choice be the one you will spend the most time with, and your next rifle can be the other.

You aren't going to let your rifle get all lonely are you?

FWIW

Uncle Mike
December 4, 2009, 01:14 PM
7mm-08 all the way...!

24" tube...yea, 2 to 4 inches of barrel aint gonna cause you a hernia and unless your getting in and out of a vehicle, armored personnel carrier, boat or aircraft, under fire and you must be ready to shoot upon exit...the extra length aint a problem either!

That extra few inches makes a BIG difference.....oh boy!

eldon519
December 4, 2009, 03:33 PM
You can get 180 grain 7mm bullets, and handload them to about 2700 fps through a 7.08. that ain't bad my friend. Even the 243, if handload, tops out at about 32to 3300 fps, with a 90 grain bullet, you can do that with the 7 with a 120 grain bullet, if handloading.

Are you confused with the 7mm Remington Magnum? No way you are getting those velocities within SAAMI pressure limits shy of an extra long barrel. A .308 can get in that neighborhood, but not a 7mm-08.

d2wing
December 4, 2009, 07:34 PM
I am another former .243 shooter that doesn't like them. Poor performance on big game, not really a varmit round either. I don't know of anyone who has shot both on game that doesn't prefer the 7-08.

Art Eatman
December 4, 2009, 11:19 PM
Gee, Ridgerunner, I wish I'd known about the 24" deal before I wasted my money on my 19" carbine.

Check post #26. :)

Ridgerunner665
December 4, 2009, 11:44 PM
Gee, Ridgerunner, I wish I'd known about the 24" deal before I wasted my money on my 19" carbine.

:o Let me clarify my previous post a bit...

I have a 20" 243, its a Remington 700 youth model (I bought it for the youngsters in the hunting club whose parents are willing to let them hunt with me....but won't let them have a gun of their own)

I had to drop down to 85 grain bullets because of the barrel length...with 100 grain Hornady Spire Points it would only get 2,600 fps with maxed out reloads, and even then the accuracy wasn't so good...not to mention keyholes in the target at 300 yards (not enough velocity for the 1 in 9.125" twist to stabilize the heavy bullets)

Now I know beginners ain't gonna be shootin 300 yards, not with me supervising...but I wanted the rifle and load to be capable, just because.

With the 85 grain Barnes TSX...it will get 3,000 fps with a warm load of RL19, and it will hit the target at 300 yards, but "in my opinion"...100 grain bullets are better (and definitely cheaper). The Barnes is the only 85 grain bullet (light bullet) that I would trust for deer size game.

I'm sure many will disagree with me on that, thats OK...then we can have the old "light and fast vs. heavy and slow" argument all over again...:)

In a nutshell...the 243 often loses nearly 100 fps per inch below 24 inches. (that does vary depending on the load, barrel, chamber, etc.)

cz85cmbt
December 5, 2009, 01:27 PM
You guys are being a little ridiculous. I like both cartridges, and possibly favor the 7mm b/c I'm no varmint hunter and I live in maine where a long shot is 100 to 200 yds. so even if I were to use it on coyotes it would still be fairly close range and I would feel just as comfortable with shooting them with a 7mm. But the .243 is a GREAT whitetail round and has plenty of energy, with proper bullet selection and a 100gr+ bullet it is capable of taking elk at 100 yds. Would I rather shoot an elk with a 7mm, yes. Many of you guys out gun yourselves a .30-30 used to be thought of as a great elk cartridge, now many will say that a .30-30 is only good as a sub 100 yrd. whitetail gun. The 7mm is great as a target gun and for game from whitetail on up, the .243 is great for deer species including mule deer on down and is also great for pronghorn, but can shine as a varmint cartridge and is equally good as a target shooting cartridge. But ask yourself what you really expect to do with this gun especially in a 16-18" barrel, it probably doesn't involve varmints so go with the 7mm08.

williamd
December 11, 2009, 11:21 PM
eldon219 and d2wing ... agree re the 243, an in between round, and the 358, good round! I found the most satisfaction I got from my various 243's was selling them. I will still pick up one on a good deal ... and resell it!

kenny222
December 13, 2009, 12:48 AM
FWIW, I have had good luck w a Ruger M77 .243 on Mule deer and Antelope useing the Speer 105gr bullet. Since I went to this cartridge I have had excellent success.
Used a couple other loads and did have problems w bullet fragmentation.
I still would advise anyone who will be a one gun hunter to get something on the order of the .308 (of which I own one) or the 7mm/08. If you look at ballistic tables, after 200 yds or so the 7mm looks better than the .308.

a-sheepdog
December 13, 2009, 12:18 PM
Hands down 7mm-08 over .243 Rem., that is just my .02 .

Franco
December 13, 2009, 07:47 PM
I'm not sure this is an apples-to-apples question. 243 is a good kid starter deer gun for sure assuming they are a good shot but the 7mm-08 is a significantly more powerful gun. We own 3 243s but only because I have 3 sons and they each started with 243. However, they've all moved on to 270, 280, and 308.

Bottom line. 7mm-08 does not have significantly more recoil than 243 (maybe less depending on the gun) but has a lot more killing power. No question for me at all.

oneounceload
December 13, 2009, 08:15 PM
I owned a 243, own a 6.5 and a 7-08 - all good for their intended usages. IF you really want something to take varmints to deer, then I would reconsider your choices and include 25's and 26's. The 260 can load from 87 to 160 grain bullets - ballistically right there with the 7-08 and 6.5 X 55. Anything in the range will work nicely for you

elkhunter101
January 10, 2010, 06:06 PM
they are both great calibers but i would go with the 7mm-08

joed
January 10, 2010, 08:56 PM
Oh, you're going to get flamed krochus, you can count on that. However it will not be by me.

I'm still laughing. Thanks I needed that.

Raul
January 10, 2010, 09:48 PM
Since his question was what is more versatile, I would choose the 7mm. I've been using a 243 for deer for a lot of years and killed quite a few with it, but it isn't as versatile as the 7mm. The 7 gives you a greater range of load possibilies with handloading. You can always load it down with light bullets for range use or for recoil sensitive shooters. Max it out with a heavy and you have a lot more horse power than the 243.

Elm Creek Smith
January 11, 2010, 01:03 AM
Had a Remington 660 Mohawk carbine in .243 Win with a full length European stock when stationed in Germany well before the 7mm-08 was introduced. I passed the hunting test with it, and the jaegers were impressed with its performance. That said, we were shooting itty bitty deer at 100 meters or less. It was a sweet shooting little rifle I never should have swapped off.

Enough nostalgia. I'm usually a bigger bullet guy, so go with the 7mm-08.

ECS

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