.243 versus other.


November 22, 2009, 03:55 PM
I have a Ruger M77 in .243 in my possesion again. I've been holding it for my sister-in-law, but my buddy has had it for over year to use hunting and I just got it back. I had only fired it about 10 times before I let him borrow it. I'm thinking about hunting with it. He said it was pretty good.
I may get to keep it. If I do, how is it compared to other calibers for hunting. I plan most of my shots, if any to be 200 yrds and under. I don't have a problem with accuracy, I'm an ok shot. My sholder can't take anything much bigger caliber wise. I'd prefer not to go over 30 cal rounds. anything close, thats descent?
I would prefer something thats auto loading, as oppose to bolt action like the Ruger. I know there's a multitude of options, but what would be worth my time to look at. I am looking, by the way. Any auto loader .243's I should look at?

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November 22, 2009, 04:19 PM
The 243 will work for deer or varmints, you just need to use the right ammo for each type. Lighter V-max type bullets for varmints, and heavier jacketed bullets for deer. You just have to verify zero for each type of ammo.
Look on www.gunbroker.com for an auto loading rifle that you may like. Browning, Remington, and others make hunting style auto rifles in a bunch of calibers.
Browning is probably the finest of that type, but is usually more expensive.


November 22, 2009, 04:23 PM
The .243 is a great caliber for deer as long as you stick to the heavier bullets. As for an auto loader, I would go for a browning over a remington, but personally don't like auto loaders for hunting.

November 22, 2009, 05:30 PM
I also have shoulder (and neck) problems to the point where I don't shoot my 6mm (hotter than the .243) or my .30-.30 much anymore. I've never shot a .243, but would guess it has more recoil than my neck can tolerate. I recently bought an AR chambered in 6.8mm because recoil is not near as bad and just a tad more than my .223. It's good for deer if you use the right bullets. The catch is that ammo runs $20-27 for a box of 20.
It's a flat shooter in the range you're hunting at. Just another caliber to consider.

November 22, 2009, 05:35 PM
the 243 , on light skinned game, is all you will ever need. It is a great round, period.
you can also do this in a AR type rifle, or a semi auto browning. If you have to, you can get a Saiga, sporting rifle, in 762x39 , which is the standard 30 cal ak round, but it does it in a semi auto, and it is very mild. Also , if remington will get off their A!@$@ss and start whipping out the 30AR's, that is supposed to be the end all/ be all of the semi auto rifle, and mass produce the ammo, so it is no more expensive than 223 or 762x39 ammo, then we would all really have something.
It is basically a 762x39 round, with a longer, but narrower case; it fires a 30 cal round at about 2600 to 2700 fps, with less pressure than a 223 round. It does this all, in a standard AR 15 platform. Same mags, same lowers, same uppers, the only changes are to the bbl, and the bolt head, and maybe not even that- the 30 ar round uses a case that has a recessed/rebated rim, and it may fit the 223 bolt, not sure on that one.
If still not sure what to get, then I would look at a browning bar in 243, or the ubiquitous remington
7400 , in 243.

November 22, 2009, 07:51 PM
My personal experience with the .243 would prevent me from ever owning one. The .260 Remington would be a good caliber for you. Very mild recoil and heavy for caliber bullets and an awesome long range round. You should also be ok out to 200 yards with the 7.62x39, I would check out a CZ 527 american.

If you want an AR platform check out the 6.5mm Grendal, I like this round much more than the 6.8 SPC. If you want to step up to the AR10/Remington R25 you can get it in .260 Remington

David Sours
November 22, 2009, 08:09 PM
I just purchased a 243 as a deer/varmint rig and I have been very pleased. I have shot one doe that weighed 125 @ 150 yds she went about 10 yds and piled up. I used the 95 gr Berger VLD and I would also look into the Winchester SE 95 gr XP3 bullet. It shot very well in my gun and that was going to be my hunting round of choice until I started messing with a load for the berger. It did not drop the deer like my .280 but plenty of fun for white tail in our neck of the wood. Nothing replaces good shot placement and a quality bullet.

One other round that I considered for a light deer rifle was the 257 Roberts, but I doubt you'll find that in an auto.

Good Luck,

November 22, 2009, 08:37 PM
If you plan on hunting deer at 600 yards, or shooting at game through light armor or glass, by all means go with the 6.5 Grendal.

November 22, 2009, 08:38 PM
Look at all these ****in' experts. Karamoja Bell killed over 1000 elephants with a 7X57 and all anyone thinks a 243 is good for is varmints. Gimme a break.

Autoloading 243? The best is the DPMS, followed by the BAR, then would be the Remington.

November 22, 2009, 08:47 PM
My son hunts with a 243 and a 100 grain bullet. I use my 243 with 55 grain noslers for varmits. I think the 243 can cover a broad area. Someone will always find something better above or below this caliber. But it works fine for me. Each to their own.

November 22, 2009, 08:51 PM
I had a Ruger M77 .243 for many years.

Too light for deer, IMO.

Good for varmints.

Eventually sold it.

November 22, 2009, 09:05 PM
How about for tactical use?

Ruger M77 Hawkeye Tactical in .243

November 22, 2009, 09:17 PM
Hey Ozarkgunner, don't forget that Ruger makes a semi-auto rifle in the mini-30. But, count on more recoil than the .243.

November 22, 2009, 09:19 PM
The 243 is NOT too light for deer... and thats a fact.
If you leg shoot an animal with a 30-06 and it runs 100 yds before slowing down, is the 30-06 too light for deer?

November 22, 2009, 10:46 PM
My brother has a 6mm Remington in a model 742. I can't even count high enough to count all the deer and hogs he has killed with it. He uses 100 gr bullets.


6mm Rem is Reminton's 243!

November 23, 2009, 12:02 AM
the .243 is one of THE BEST all around cartridges for everything smaller than an elk, and I've watched an elk go down to one too. Deer, antelope, hogs, coyotes, one good load will take them all. Fast, flat, and easy to shoot. I haven't owned one in a while, and I'm missing it. It's high on my list, probably a short-barreled Remington 7600 for a brush gun.

November 23, 2009, 09:25 AM
For your purposes the .243 is fine, the .260 Rem is better.

November 23, 2009, 09:53 AM
yes, the 260 is better, and so is the grendel. problem is, the grendel is made only for ar's right now, unless you get one for your boltie special made. the 260 is probably the best, non huge game bullet/cartridge out there right now, and it's accuracy is amazing. Problem here is, unless you reload, 1 box of factory ammo is gonna run you about 30 bucks per box. Grendel ammo, is not found too easily, and ain't cheap either. You can still find 243 ammo, plain blue box federal, around here and there, like at Wallyworld, for 14 bucks a box.

By the way, did remmy ever make a semi auto 6mm in the 7400?

You could get really wild, and get one of the older remmy's or winny's they made; that were
short brush rifles, chambered in 264 rem mag or 6.5 win mag.(did I reverse that?) Imagine if you will, both using the old cases that were based on the 350 mag, and necked down to 6.5... they actually run with the 7mag in energy and trajectory.

November 23, 2009, 09:54 AM
JimKirk, I beg to differ, the 6mm is a different round than the .243. Longer neck, different barrel twist, but same diameter bullet. Hotter. And in my humble opinion, better for deer than the .243.

Art Eatman
November 23, 2009, 10:24 AM
I've tagged some 20+ bucks with my .243. I mostly limit the range to 200 yards or so, and have mostly done neck shots and cross-body heart/lung shots. I really don't recall any which weren't DRT and no trailing.

For all that I use 85-grain HPBT bullets in my handloads, I recommend 100-grain for less-experienced shooters. I had beaucoup .270 and .30-'06 years before messing with the .243.

Col. Plink
November 23, 2009, 10:35 AM
The 7.62x39 is a very mild round recoil-wise, and there is a fine example of it made by CZ in a bolt carbine as mentioned above. I don't know about the .243 round, but have heard great things about its speed, flat trajectory, etc. I am impressed that it is available cheap at WallyWorld in the Federal blue box.

Arkansas Paul
November 23, 2009, 10:46 AM
While I'm not a big fan of the .243, it will suit your purposes fine. If I was recoil sensitive, I would certainly consider one. If you just want to go bigger, the 7mm-08 is better IMO and only has a minmal increase in recoil. Also, don't forget the Remington ruduced recoil ammo. It's good to 200 yds and point of aim doesn't change out to that distance. However in the .30-06 the reduced recoil stuff is only 125 grain, so you're not gaining that much over a .243 win.

November 25, 2009, 01:35 PM
.243 is good deer medicine. Use a good bullet, and watch your shot placement (of course, this is true with any caliber). I introduced my kids to deer hunting using a Remington Model 7 in .243; the recoil isn't too stiff, and plenty penetration with inexpensive 100gr Remington Core-Lokts. Still gets carried as a walkaround varmint gun with lighter loads. Plenty accurate out to 250 or so.

November 25, 2009, 02:18 PM
I killed a lot of mule deer with my old .243 before I stupidly traded it on a bull barreled .22-250. I almost bought another .243 when I was shopping hunting rifles last year, but got the .30-06 instead since the recoil doesn't bother me and I wanted one gun for all my big game hunting.

You could get an AR-10 in .243 :) I would guess that would have pretty minimal recoil.

November 25, 2009, 02:51 PM
I wholeheartedly concur with Art.

While not the only caliber in my stable, it is one of my favorites. The 243 has taken several dozen whitetails for me and the Sierra 85 HPBT out to and exceeding 500 yards.

Before the flames start, I definitely don't recommend the caliber or bullet beyond 400. However, this is a custom 243 with a 26 1/2" Schneider heavy bbl and I use this rifle extensively in the summer on long range prairie dogs (exceeding 850 yards) and am quite familiar with its trajectory with this load. Had I not been sure of the outcome the shot would not have been taken. The range was verified with a Leica 1200 and I was prone with a bipod. I would normally use either my 708 Imp or my 300 Win mag for any long range shooting, but neither were in hand at that moment.

December 5, 2009, 10:35 PM
I shoot a .243.Great gun, super accurate. I've posted this before but I'll say it again. If you shoot a gun well and can deflate both lungs, what difference does it make if it is a .243 or a .416 Rigby? Two popped lungs add up to one dead animal.

December 7, 2009, 12:23 PM
I love my Montana in .243win - i can hit a postage stamp at 200 yds... and have taken at least a dozen deer. 10/12 were DRT, and the other two only got 50yds or so. Coyotes? Say goodnight! Turkeys: Perfect your brine and preheat the smoker.

.243 ammo covers a wide range: +/- 55gr to 105gr in commercial loads...more if you handload. That's a lot of flavors for almost everything on the NA continent. I'd just say no moose or grizzlies......but i've carried out a cow elk shot with a .243

More importantly, most any gun shop you walk into (after you forgot to bring ammo on the hunt) will have .243 ammo. I don't care how wonderful a gun is; if you don't have ammo for it...

December 7, 2009, 07:32 PM
I beg to differ, the 6mm is a different round than the .243. Longer neck, different barrel twist, but same diameter bullet. Hotter. And in my humble opinion, better for deer than the .243

Never said they were the same round!
What I said was that the 6mm Remington was Remingtons answer to Winchester's .243!
Remington had the 244 Rem, the twist could not handle the 95 & 100 gr hunting bullets.... so they went back and increased the twist rate and renamed the 244 to 6mm Rem. Winchester stole the show and ran away with sales, the 6mm Rem has never made a dent in the .243-6mm bore sales. I ask you to find on Remington's 700 web page, a 6mm Rem. listed, you will not(that I could find), however the Model 700 is made in .243 Winchester in the BDL,CDL,SPS,VLS and VTR flavors. I will not argue, the 6mm Rem is the better round, but the edge over the .243 Win only very little. Ask a deer hit by a 100 gr 6mm Rem and ask the same of one hit by a 100 gr .243 Win, which hurt the most.

Jimmy K

December 7, 2009, 07:37 PM
the .243 Win is an excellent caliber you can use it for both varmint and big game hunting. use 55gr for varmint and the 95 -100 gr for big game.

December 7, 2009, 07:49 PM
My 243 bolt action has a long heavy barrel (varmint rifle). Recoil is nothing to mention.

I drop every deer in its tracks aiming for the neck with 100gr bullets. On one shot from a slight rise the bullet travelled from under the chin all the way through the deer exiting between the hind legs. Was unable to dig that up. Probably in China somewhere :D

Same neck shot with the deer at a higher elevation will cause it to fall over backwards. Only bad thing IMO is having to drag them by the back legs when the neck is completely blown out. That's a real tough drag.

December 7, 2009, 08:10 PM
The .243 is one of the most common hunting calibers here in Florida, where the deer are smaller than most other states. Also its commonly used on the wild hogs here, in Florida, even though a lot of board members will tell you nothing less than a 45/70 will suffice.

If I take up hunting I'll likely pick up one myself, a BAR maybe.

December 7, 2009, 08:34 PM
I have a BAR in 243. Recoil is nill and its a tack driver with the right ammo. I had trouble with most high end ammo, grouping anywhere from 2-6 inches at 100 yds. Out of frustration I bought the cheapest ammo available, Remington Cor-Locts 100gr. Lo and behold consistent 1" groupings. One 5 shot group was .46". Quite impressive from an autoloader. Shot my first deer with it last month, double lung @ 120yds and she went ~50 yds with a decent blood trail. Hogs shot right behind the ear go to sleep immediately.

I would recommend the BAR in 243 for your neck condition. Somewhat heavy rifle in an low recoiling autoloader sounds like your solution. Cheap and accurate ammo is a big plus.

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