308 vs 243 long range varmint


February 26, 2011, 07:13 PM
In my last post I picked a 243 over all of the other 22"s. But my dad recently loaded 110 grain v maxes out of his 308 and it was awesome. He blew a milk jug 20 ft into the air at 300yds.the thing I like about it is the mammal Recoil it has...the longest I'd be shooting is 500 yards....and btw I are ready have the dies set up for the 308...Now I understand that the 243 has the better bc side...but is that honestly a concern? I really loved shooting that 308 with 110...I also think the brass is cheaper for the 308 also...i can't seem to make up my mind:confused: thanks, Chris

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February 26, 2011, 07:14 PM
Minimal recoil"" lol

February 26, 2011, 08:05 PM
308 is like bringing an axe to a knife throwing cotest.- maybe think?? .17 hmr light and 25 06 heavy.

February 27, 2011, 03:46 AM

February 27, 2011, 06:23 AM
For varmits, i see absolutely NO advantage to the .308 over the .243. The lighter .243 bullets aren't a concern with vermin, and recoil with the .308 will be more significant, as will muzzle blast

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 27, 2011, 06:32 AM
I used to use a .270 for woodchucks. It was extremely accurate and, when you hit one, there was not usually a chance that it would make it back to its den. I then started using a 22-250 and have found that the flatter trajectory along with bullet speed does about the same damage on such a small animal (basically going through and through).

If you are looking at shooting a lot of coyote-size animals, I would say go for the .308, however if it is mostly smaller critters and an occasional coyote, I would recommend the .243, if not something even smaller but with a faster bullet.

February 27, 2011, 06:42 AM
Even coyotes are no match for the .243. In fact, if there was a species the round was ideal for, I think it would be coyotes!!! If deer-szed game is a possibility, the .308 may be a better choice, but theres absolutely NO REASON a .308 should be needed to reliably anchor coyotes, even if they will be your primary target. Coyotes get fairly decent sized out here on the northern plains, but have yet to see one run off after a solid hit from the .243. Most die on the spot, or simply somersault (already dead) when hit on the run. While fur prices are not what they used to be, and are of little concern to most shooters, the .308, especially shooting varmit type bullets, will absolutely destroy the hide. I shot a coyote during deer season with my 7mm mag, and it essentially turned him inside out, using a big game bullet (Nosler Accubond, 160 gr)

February 27, 2011, 10:56 AM
Thanks for the info, I'm not going to be coyote hunting, just long range varmint shooting and target shooting. As i mentioned a 110 v-max that my dad is shooting is traveling at about 3200 fps. I dont think the recoil is much difference between the two loads because the 308 is such a light load. And how would the muzzle blast be higher between the two? There almost the same cartridge but the 243 shoots lighter bullets and its just a necked down 308. Also i'm a bit concerned about the barrel life of the 243. If i got the 243 i'd want to shoot the 87 v-maxes and i'm not sure how long the barrel would last. I'm not looking for anything smaller than a 6mm because i'll be shooting out to 500 yards and wind is a factor.

February 27, 2011, 11:21 AM
the 308 with 110's will be more susceptible to the wind at 300. The 243 with80-87 grain ammo is a good round. The 6mm Rem is better (noticeably). If you want a real long rang varminter try a 22-6mm Rem improved. Barrel life is not a concern with 243 shooting 87 grain bullets; they are not going THAT fast. You don't run into barrel life problems until you start pushing 3800 fps. Even then not many guys shoot enough any more to notice. If you can find an old Ruger M77V in 6mm thats a damn good rifle.

Art Eatman
February 27, 2011, 11:39 AM
My experience with 110-grain bullets in an '06 is that after around 300 yards or so, they're not all that impressive. Low BC, and velocity falls off fairly quickly.

One of the reasons I like the Sierra loading manual is the ballistics chart setup in the appendices. Easy to compare trajectories of different bullets at various velocities, out to 600 yards.

February 27, 2011, 11:46 AM
.243 is a terrific varmint round including dogs and deer. It offers better long range performance than the parent 308. You have pay more attention to pick proper bullets. .243 performs best in longer barrels to get to the published velocity.

February 27, 2011, 11:58 AM
You can run a 68 grain bullet out of a .243 around 3600 fps. The BC becomes a big issue in any kind of wind (like what we see when shooting on the plains).

The powder use is close to the same at 44 to 47 grains. I would think you could shoot either all day. The .308 barrel might last a bit longer. 300 yards with either rifle is not a stretch.

The best of the varmint rifles have heavy barrels. I'd go with a .243 simply because it is totally adequate and you will get enough improved flight from the bullet that at the distances you want to shoot at it would be worthwhile.

February 27, 2011, 12:08 PM
I use that V-max in my .308.

It's limit really is about 5-600 yards. At 600 and beyond, the light bullet combined with a design that makes it terrible to shoot long range and it just open up too much to make reliable hits. But its just fine varmints for moderate ranges. It doesn't recoil much different from a varmint weight .243 will.

The .308 is a lot more versatile if you want to step up to higher weight bullets for other work. I do it all the time with mine.

The .243 is going to have a narrower window for your bullet weights. The smaller bullets need to have a barrel twist a little more fine tuned to the weights of the projectile to stabilize than a .30 caliber projectile.

February 27, 2011, 12:30 PM
Why dont you go middle of those two and look at the 260rem (6.5mm08)? . I only suggested this because you hand load (at the moment the 260 is only good for handloading as you cant get to many factory loads with different weights ect) and you can load bullets from around 75 grains to 160 grains. It will hit harder and have less winddrift at 500 yards then the 243 or 308. It has about the same or a little better trajectory then a 300wm. And if you want to load it up for chasing bigger game it will have more KE (hit harder) with a 140 grain bullet then a 308 with a 150 grain bullet at distances over 300 yards.

Edit: The 260rem uses a 308win as its parent cartridge (you can make brass by necking down a 308, 7mm08 or necking up a 243).

February 27, 2011, 02:47 PM
I don't think i'll be getting a 260 because it doesn't offer it in the gun i want, "a rem 700 sps-v that i will be upgrading/ changing stock, action, ect." I also like the idea that i can step up in bullet size in the 308 for the longer shots. I like the idea of those 125 grain speer bullets to. lol I like I like.......The 308 will be a bit more available in brass to which is a big deal to me because i'm not rich..lol.. Do you guys think that a 1-12 twist will stabilize those 110 and 125's grain bullets well? Thanks, Chris

February 27, 2011, 03:38 PM
My Model 70 Varmint has a 1 in 12. It handles the 110 V-Max really well. And I've gone as heavy as the 175 gr SMK with great accuracy, too.

I tried the Speer 125 TNT round back when I first got it. I never could get it to shoot as well. Perhaps it could be made to shoot well, but once I settled on a good, accurate load with the V-Max I never played around with anything else.

February 27, 2011, 03:47 PM
105gr A-Max in a .243 and you won't have to worry about "reaching out and touching" a varmint at long range.

February 27, 2011, 06:22 PM
As a teenager, I started out hunting woodchucks with a .30-06, as practice for deer hunting. It worked well for chucks under 300 yards, though noise and ricochets could be a problem in many rural areas.

I switched to the .22-250 and found it was very accurate, but more difficult to spot misses on long shots in grassy areas because there was almost no ground strike. The greatest advantage to using a .30 caliber is that if you miss low, you sometimes get a kill from ricochet. Ricochets are also the greatest disadvantage...DANGER and liability!!!

I found the 6mms are excellent for minimal ricochet and great trajectory/wind bucking ability with moderate recoil and noise. I used 85-90 grain varmint bullets and got excellent accuracy and terminal damage.

The bottom line is, buy whatever you want and if you don't like it, try something else. Not a big deal, unless money is a big problem for you.

February 27, 2011, 06:37 PM
I also started out using a .30-06 on groundhogs during the off-season. Heck, it was my "one rifle" for years. I now have a .22-250 to use, but still often go with the .30-06 because it is just as accurate out to 300 yards and like keeping sharp with it..........Hitting a milk jug at 300 yards and blowing it 20 feet in the air? No problem and I use 150 grain Ballistic Tips, because that's my deer load.

Personally, I wouldn't buy a .308 for a varmint gun. I'd much rather have the .243.

February 27, 2011, 09:08 PM
Any one like a 25-06 for this? I thought about a 243 or a 6mm for a while But I think I am leaning towards a 25-06

February 27, 2011, 09:30 PM
at the ranges your talking you really need to pay attention to your barrel twist. on a 243 I would not run any slower than a 1:9, a 243 is a way better cartridge in my opinion than anything listed. when you look at ballistic tables the drop you'll need to figure if you zero at 200 is very minimal at 400. and if you move to a vld type bullet you only talking like 6 inches drop at 300 yrds, and about 17 at 400. I'm a huge 243 nut. I anchored two nice deer to the ground with it this year. people really don't give 243 enough credit. 260 is cool too I just like the availability of 243 brass

March 11, 2011, 12:21 AM
If your .243 is working well, you should sell your .308 and then build another with a 39" barrel (To max out velocity). Or you could build it in .260 or something that is even harder to find brass in.


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