Should I get a .243 win or .25-06?


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Z71Chevy
March 25, 2010, 05:37 PM
I want to get me a small to "middle of the road" rifle. I am thinking either .243 win or 25-06. I don't rifle hunt for deer much because I can't where I live. I only go up north rifle hunting for a long weekend. So it would mostly be for varmints. I don't reload and the longest shot I could get here is proly 250 yards. What say you?

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X-Rap
March 25, 2010, 06:00 PM
Given what you are stating in your post I would say the 243.

Fremmer
March 25, 2010, 06:03 PM
Are you trying to use the rifle for both deer & varmints?

Do you already own a deer rifle?

Edited to add: sounds like a perfect excuse to buy an AR 15 if'n it's gonna be a dedicated varmint gun...

stubbicatt
March 25, 2010, 06:05 PM
If you don't reload, the 243 is a more commonly available store bought cartridge in my neck of the woods anyways.

Abel
March 25, 2010, 06:48 PM
243.

375shooter
March 25, 2010, 07:00 PM
I want to get me a small to "middle of the road" rifle. I am thinking either .243 win or 25-06. I don't rifle hunt for deer much because I can't where I live. I only go up north rifle hunting for a long weekend. So it would mostly be for varmints. I don't reload and the longest shot I could get here is proly 250 yards. What say you?
It sounds like the primary use will be varmint hunting with the possibility of the odd deer hunt now and then. A 243 will kill any varmint out there and will also cleanly take deer, especially with the right bullet. I don't see the need for the extra power of the 25-06, so I say go for the 243. It's got light recoil, ammo is readily available and can be had in a short action.

FLNT4EVR
March 25, 2010, 07:02 PM
Defenitely .243

BushyGuy
March 25, 2010, 07:02 PM
.243 win cuz its easier to find bullets, i rather get the .243 WSSM Browning a bolt if you want more power. I used to have a Winchester model 70 super shadow in .243 WSSM it was a tack driver out to 200 yards.

jimbob86
March 25, 2010, 07:03 PM
.243 ......

.... better ammo availability. If you handload, 6mm bullets are generally cheaper (can you say bulk packs?) than .257s, and the .243 case more economical than the long action /06 sized .25/06.

The .25/06 is better further out, and packs more wallop ...... but at under 300 yards, a deer hit in the boiler room with an expanding bullet from either would be unable to tell the difference, as he'd be dead within 100 steps.

jonboynumba1
March 25, 2010, 07:13 PM
The people I know that have a .25-06 LOVE it....but to me it's a bit of an oddball I'd rather have the short action offering in .243 You have a full choice of varmint bullets to choose from and can always load up some remington 100gr coreloked if you want to wack bambi or her big brother...they do well and don't ruin a whole lot of meat like the lighter bullets tend to (cheap to) Just zero for your varmint bullet of choice that it likes then count clicks and right down your bambi zero with the heavier bullet and it'll only take you a few shots to check and possibly fine tune before a sudden hunting opertunity should you get one....then roll it back to your varmint setting. Just buy a good scope so you can trust it to be repeatable. I've done that with a $200 Nikon Buckmaster 3-9x40 with no problems and have a 50 and 100 yard zero for my .22 with same scope (we have the occassional odd match at 100 for fun at the club...plus plinking fun while barrels cool on the 100 yard range...comes in handy)

joed
March 25, 2010, 08:57 PM
I've owned a Remington 700 in .25-06 for 32 years. I remember buying it as clearly as yesterday. I was looking for something to use for varmint hunting in OH with a group of friends. I wanted a S&W 1500 but balked when I found it wasn't US made. The clerk put a 700 Varmint Spec in my hands and I fell in love with it. Next was the list of calibers. I wanted a .270 but the gun did not come in that caliber. The closest thing was the .25-06. Reluctantly I ordered the gun in .25-06. In 1978 I paid $225 for that Remington 700.

Back then ammo wasn't easy to come by for the .25 so I bought it when I could find it and learned to reload. Now days I can buy ammo at Walmart if I need it. But because I learned reloading I haven't bought factory rounds in 31 years.

I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, the .25-06 was surely not one of them. That rifle loaded with 87 gr bullets is one of the hardest hitting varmint cartridges I've ever seen. It easily bested all my friends rifles for ground hog hunting from .220 Swift to .270 Win. The trajectory was amazingly flat. If I could see a ground hog it was in mortal danger no matter how far away it was. I've used the gun for deer with 100 or 120 gr bullets. It even went bear hunting up in Canada. You won't find this kind of versatility in a .243.

Three years ago I learned that the barrel was worn out and I had to face a hard decision. I could sell the gun and buy something else or get it rebarreled with a custom barrel. I opted for a new match barrel from Kreiger. The gunsmith looked at me and asked me what cartridge I wanted the new barrel in. For all of 3 seconds I thought about it. Yes, the choice was real easy, .25-06.

I know lots of people like the .243, but not me while the .25-06 exists.

For a cartridge that I never thought would last it's still around, and gaining in popularity.

benzy2
March 25, 2010, 09:11 PM
For strictly varmints the .25-06 is a bit overkill. The .25-06 would make a better option if deer hunting is more of an option but for strictly varmints I would go .243. I think of .25-06 as more a deer rifle that can hit the varmint fields fairly well and the .243 as a varmint round that can take deer fairly well. As such, if this is a deer rifle primarily I would go .25-06 and if it is to be a varmint rifle primarily I would go .243.

bobelk99
March 25, 2010, 09:19 PM
I own both, and love them both.

For varmints, it is the 243 all the way.

If your deer hunting with the new rifle is to be very limited, I would not hesitate to use it for deer at the 250 or less range. Something like the 95 grain Nosler BT should work well for carefully selected shots.

BK
March 25, 2010, 09:24 PM
I chose the .25 when this question came up for me, but our situations couldn't be more different. You'll be well suited with the 243.

slowr1der
March 25, 2010, 09:59 PM
I'd chose the .243 also after reading what you listed. Better availability of factory ammo as well as having a lot of loads offered that would be suitable for varmints.

W.E.G.
March 25, 2010, 10:05 PM
Either one will be fine for your deer hunting.

Sounds like you don't shoot a lot, and a "coupla' boxes of shells" should be plenty of ammo for you for a season.

The .243 is more common.
Which, for some folks, would be reason enough to buy the 25-06.

Both of 'ems "barrel-burners" if you shoot a lot of rounds, and both of 'ems "too much gun" for any volume of scrawny varmint hunting.

Z71Chevy
March 25, 2010, 10:45 PM
Ya, I don't shoot much. This would be my first centerfire rifle. I mostly bowhunt...

TargetTerror
March 25, 2010, 11:08 PM
Read this article on the .243: http://www.6mmbr.com/243Win.html

That pretty much convinced me to get a .243 at some point. I'm not in the market for such a rifle now, but if I were, I would give it a STRONG consideration.

Al LaVodka
March 25, 2010, 11:46 PM
.243
What a fine cartridge for you and there are many guns of all types and levels that shoot it.
Al

Uncle Mike
March 26, 2010, 12:31 AM
For strictly varmints the .25-06 is a bit overkill.

Come on now....when it comes to vermin, especially yotes, nothing is overkill! lol

Better to have it and not need it....then to need it and not have it......

MachIVshooter
March 26, 2010, 10:18 AM
Either will probably do your bidding. If it is primarily varmint shooting you'll be doing, the .25-06 is gonna be a bit more noise and recoil to tolerate. On the flip side, if you ever wanna go after anything bigger than white tail, the .25-06 has a decided advantage in both range and payload. It is about the minimum acceptable for Elk.

If you only intend to ever own one rifle to cover everything from varmints to big game, the .25-06 would be a better choice. However, if you plan to have at least two, I'd suggest something more along the lines of a .22-250 and a .30-06 or 7mm Rem Mag.

Dustin0
March 26, 2010, 10:28 AM
Becuase you dont reload I would go with the 243. Just becuase there is more ammo out there for it.

rangerruck
March 26, 2010, 11:41 AM
even though I am a straight up whore for the 243, the 25. loaded with some bullets under 100 grains, is a flat shooting laser out to 4oo yds easy.
Then again, if you don't plan on taking any laser shots past 300 yds,
the 243 will do all you need, and is a great round in itself.
If you can find a 243, that shoots the under 90 grainers into a little dot, that would be great; 243's tend to not like the lighter loads for some reason, but anything 90 grains up to 110, they will shoot into 1 hole usually.
the 243 will shoot laser like with bullets from 58 to 85 grains, and they do make factory loads this light.

joed
March 26, 2010, 06:28 PM
If it is primarily varmint shooting you'll be doing, the .25-06 is gonna be a bit more noise and recoil to tolerate. On the flip side, if you ever wanna go after anything bigger than white tail, the .25-06 has a decided advantage in both range and payload. It is about the minimum acceptable for Elk.

The .25-06 I own was my only centerfire for 30 years, I never doubted that it could cover any hunting I would ever want to do. It never let me down.

I'm actually amazed at how many of you prefer the .243 to the .25-06. I always considered the .243 barely adequate for deer.

The link above was interesting, a 115 gr bullet from the .243 at 3150 fps. Must be a 27" barrel with a 1-7 twist to get that velocity and shoot that bullet.

chains1240
March 26, 2010, 08:18 PM
243's tend to not like the lighter loads for some reason, but anything 90 grains up to 110, they will shoot into 1 hole usually.
the 243 will shoot laser like with bullets from 58 to 85 grains, and they do make factory loads this light.

I got a little confused after reading this. Do .243s prefer 90-110 or 58-85?

benzy2
March 26, 2010, 08:22 PM
I believe the comment meant that the light weight bullets shoot very flat, though he hasn't seen many that were overly accurate with the lighter bullets. He has seen many rifles shoot the heavier bullets into small groups, though the trajectory isn't as flat.

I personally haven't noticed much of a difference in accuracy between the light and the heavy bullets, at least at in and inhearant accuracy point of view. The lighter bullets get pushed around more at longer ranges in the wind, but other than that they have all been fairly even from an accuracy point of view. One thing to check is the twist rate of the .243. I believe a few are slow twists and may not be able to stabilize heavier deer rounds. Just something to double check on a given rifle before spending money.

MachIVshooter
March 26, 2010, 09:01 PM
The link above was interesting, a 115 gr bullet from the .243 at 3150 fps. Must be a 27" barrel with a 1-7 twist to get that velocity and shoot that bullet.

even with a 27 or 28" tube, I'm finding it very difficult to believe. I've pushed 117's to just over 3,200 from my 24" Remington 700 .25-06, and that's burning 55 grains of 4831. The nastiest load I've worked up for the .25 is a 100 gr. Barnes TSX boattail over 57.1 grs. 4831 for 3,585 FPS.

My 6mm Rem pushes, 90 gr. FMJ's at 3,310 (my coyote load) from a 22" Ruger M77, using 47.3 grs. H4350. That'd be a primer flattening load in the smaller .243 case.

I just don't think the .243 case can get 3,150 with a 115 safely from a normal length tube. A 30 or 32 incher, maybe. That would make sense, since RL-25 is a very slow powder, intended for BIG magnums, like the RUM family that ignite 90-100 gr. charges with a mag primer. The guy who got 3,340 with a 106 grainer using RL-25 in the AI case lists a 29" tube.

I'd still like to see what a strain gauge has to say about those loads. I bet brass life is short.

joed
March 26, 2010, 09:45 PM
even with a 27 or 28" tube, I'm finding it very difficult to believe. I've pushed 117's to just over 3,200 from my 24" Remington 700 .25-06, and that's burning 55 grains of 4831. The nastiest load I've worked up for the .25 is a 100 gr. Barnes TSX boattail over 57.1 grs. 4831 for 3,585 FPS.

I also think it was a .243 AI that was used for that velocity. I've seen people chrono the .243 and their rifles are well under advertised velocities with a 24" barrel.

rangerruck
March 27, 2010, 02:05 AM
... thanks Benzy...

rdsii64
March 27, 2010, 02:37 PM
If you have to ask, get both!!

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