.243 vs. .25-06


January 11, 2011, 08:38 AM
One of these days I am going to buy one of those Savage Rifle/Scope combos. The only thing I haven't decided on is the chambering. I have narrowed it down to two, either the .243 Winchester or the .25-06 Remington.

This rifle will be used for both varmints and deer, and if I ever draw a tag, antelope. I do reload so flexibility with either round won't be an issue.

I want to hear from fans of both cartridges. Tell me why I should pick yours instead of the other.

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Art Eatman
January 11, 2011, 09:06 AM
Pretty much six of one, half-dozen of the other. If large deer, odds favor the .25-06, I guess. If you expect mostly varmint hunting, I think I'd recommend the .243.

I've killed a couple of dozen bucks with my .243; mostly neck shots and a few cross-body heart/lung shots. A good many coyotes, and with a 55-grain bullet, a fair number of prairie dogs. For deer and antelope, I'd call it a 300-yard gun, just off the cuff. My rifle is a little Sako Forester carbine; 19" barrel.

If you seriously expect 400-yard shots, the .25-06 would likely do a bit better.

January 11, 2011, 10:12 AM
My Youth rifle Remington 700 is a sweet shooter and accurate to boot. I wish i got a 7 08 cal but I think the .243 is just fine . The ammo is cheaper and widely available so i decided to keep it.

January 11, 2011, 10:55 AM
I have a 243 and my brother has a 25-06. We have had equal success with both. I like his, but if I had to replace my 243, it would be with another 243. Either should work fine.

January 11, 2011, 11:08 AM
.243 would be better, ammo is more available.

January 11, 2011, 01:17 PM
.25-06 but only if you reload. One of my favorite cartridges to reload for.

January 11, 2011, 01:26 PM
Since you reload gotta go .25-06 great cartridge.

January 11, 2011, 01:40 PM
I have Owned and Hunted with both and a few other calibers over the last 40+ Years of Hunting.
I started using the 25-06 a few years back and have found it very versatile and more than capible of getting the Job Done for me.

January 11, 2011, 01:42 PM
6 and one half dozen, in my opinion. I have shot a lot of medium size deer with a Remington 700 chambered in .243 and love the caliber. But I couldn't necessarily recommend one over another for normal deer hunting circumstances. .243 is more popular for varmints than a 25-06. I don't know if that helps or not.

January 11, 2011, 04:09 PM
Basically agree with Art's advice. I love my 243, but for longer shots than 300 yards I would prefer a 25-06. Since you reload...I would probably go 25-06. You'll have an easier time finding brass for the 243 though.

January 11, 2011, 04:17 PM
Just look at a ballistic chart. You will see 25-06 is superior in every domain. Shoots flatter and hits harder. Yes the 243 will do the job but me if i had to choose i would go for the 06. Plus reloading stuff are pretty easy to find for the 25-06. Good luck.

January 11, 2011, 04:59 PM
Since you're in Nevada, and handload, of the two, I'd say go for the .25-06.

January 11, 2011, 06:41 PM
I think I'd split the difference and go with 257 Roberts - wait a minute - I did :)

January 11, 2011, 07:04 PM
The 25-06 is a more capable deer cartridge than the 243 with the heavier bullets, but for varmints, the 243 can approach 25-06 velocities with the lighter bullets, and do it with 10gr less powder.


January 11, 2011, 10:33 PM
25 caliber is not nearly as popular as .243 caliber(less high b.c. bullets available), 260 remington would be even better.

January 11, 2011, 11:14 PM
I bought both of my twin daughters a TC Encore in the 25-06. The first year at the age of 12 both of them each killed a deer with one shot. This past deer season one of them killed a nice 10 point buck at 200 yds with one clean shot. I myself have never cared for the 243.

Turlington Tom
January 12, 2011, 01:52 PM
I haven't shot a .243 but I do own a .25-06 and I think that it would be my favorite for deer. I also have a .308 and .260 Remington. The .260 is the same case as the .243 but uses a .264 bullet. The difference is in the type of rifle. My .25-06 is a Mauser action with a heavy barrel and weighs about 9.5 lb and the .260 is a Model 7 Remington that only weighs 6.5 lb. I shoot a 100 grain bullet in the .25-06 at about 3100 fps. and I handload Rem. core lokt 140 gr. bullets in the .260. Different medicine for the same cure, they both kill deer.

January 12, 2011, 01:56 PM
While having deer hunted with the .243, .257R and 25/06, I prefer the first two over the larger round. The .243 has counted for an especially large number of deer. However, my favorite is the splendid - and unfortunately obsolescent - .250/3000 Sav. It is almost a ballistic twin to the .243. I've found fine accuracy easier to come by with the .243 (and .250) than the .257R. I also never had any problem getting 3200fps out of my Roberts with 100grn bullets.

January 12, 2011, 02:07 PM
i swear by the .243 for deer and everything under that size. Loaded with barnes TTSX bullets you have a great combo behind varget or IMR or H4895.

Another to look at is the .257 Weatherby. An awesome chambering that shoots like a laser and packs a powerful punch. It is deadly for long range hunting of deer and antelope.

January 12, 2011, 02:21 PM
I have both. I used the .243 for deer and antelope when I was just a kid. My son used it for his first deer hunt also.

Having said that, the .25-06 is ballistically superior of the two. I love my .25-06 for deer and antelope. I also use it for barbary sheep. And, for varmints it is hard to be. Since you handlaod there is a lot you can do with the round to mkake it GREAT for whatever purpose you intent to use it.

January 13, 2011, 01:13 PM
If you ever want to hunt different/bigger game, the 25/06 would definitely be a better bet. The '06 has a little more recoil but substantially more energy/range. I've hunted with both...and I'm much more comfortable with the '06. Allows me to effectively take a wider array of shot angles, range, etc.

While ammo for the 243 is more available, the '06 is far from scarce.

I personally would hate to have to pass on a great buck b/c I didn't have the confidence in my rifle/caliber...I'm not talking about hail-mary shots just angles, etc.

January 13, 2011, 01:48 PM
I have both and would recommend the 25-06 over the 243 any day of the week. I also have a 250 Savage, which I would recommend as well if your shots were within 250 yards. The ballistic co-efficient of the 25 caliber bullets is superior to the 6mm.

That said, my 6mm of choice is the .240 Weatherby. That is the biggest and baddest 6mm commercially available. The 240 Gibbs would be the next step up if you want a custom 6mm. Sorry - I'm just not a 243 fan, nor am I a fan of the 308 case in general. I know it's accurate but it's not for me.

January 13, 2011, 02:05 PM
When comparing the .243 and the .25-06, it has to be conceded that the 25-06 is louder, more expensive (factory loads), harder to find, kicks more and will probably wear a bore out faster. Still, if my focus is more on deer/antelope than it is varmints (coyote excepted), I'd opt for the .25-06 and its down range ballistic advantage.

January 13, 2011, 02:16 PM
both are great cartridges. My "pet" rifle is a 243 but since you reload, 25-06 is a better choice if you want the extra power. I compared the two a few years ago and had a tough time deciding. Went with 243 just because of ammo availability. gotta love these small diameter screamers!!

January 13, 2011, 04:28 PM
I prefer the 243 simply because of the ability to go light for varmint and will out shoot the 308 at 1000 yards. It is large enough for deer and more readily available over the counter.
And last it is definitely a lot cheaper to buy than the 25-06.

January 13, 2011, 05:12 PM
Not much to compare. For the little difference in diameter, there is a big difference in performance. Much heavier bullets in the '06, similar trajectory. More noise, too.

I have a .243 and think it is a nice all around small caliber....chucks, antelope, whitetails out to about 300. If I thought I'd be doing longer or bigger stuff, 25-06 would be the starting point and then with partition or bonded bullets.

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