.243 Winchester vs. .270


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Beach Nut
May 17, 2011, 10:11 PM
My brother bought a bolt action rifle for his son's graduation present.
I tried to tell him that a .270 would be a better choice for all around work.
(varmit control, deer hunting and target shooting) He ended up getting a
Savage .243. (I talked him into getting the Savage but not the caliber)
His son is a beginning shooter and recoil may be an issue. But I am thinking
the .243 maybe a poor choice for a beginning deer hunter. (shot placement
may be an issue) I do think it would be ideal for varmit hunting and target
shooting. Are my concerns about the .243 as a beginner caliber for a deer
hunter justified? I can not speak from experience in this case; my deer
rifle calibers are 30.06 and .30-30

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jbkebert
May 17, 2011, 10:15 PM
http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww241/jbkebert/keigansdeer006.jpg?t=1253578487

With a quality bullet the .243 win is more than enough for large deer. Even for a young hunter.

Maverick223
May 17, 2011, 10:24 PM
Whilst a .243Win. can be fine with proper placement, it has trouble on shots that are quartering away so I prefer something with a bit more authority...but the .270Win. isn't it. I say this for many reasons, not the least of which being excessive recoil (on par with an '06), which is too much for many young folks. Personally I would go for something in between the aforementioned chamberings. The .260Rem., 7mm-08Rem., and 6.5mmCreedmoor being the ideal choices IMO.

:)

slicksleeve
May 17, 2011, 10:42 PM
There is no real world difference. I have killed deer with both of these calibers. I can't tell a difference and neither can the dead deer. They all run about 40 yards and pile up dead. Same as with my 7mm-08.

Kachok
May 17, 2011, 10:56 PM
Grandmother always hunted with her 243, while not my first choice she never lost one to my knowlage. I personaly think the 6.5x55, 260rem, 7mm-08 make better very low recoil options (in that order), but I cannot knock the 243 either. 95gr ballistic tips or 100gr core locks have done the trick for many a hungry hunter. The 80-85gr TSX bullets have been all the buzz latley from the 243 crowd, your brother might want to give them a try.

NCsmitty
May 17, 2011, 10:57 PM
For varmints and target, the 243 is superb with lighter recoil than '06 based rounds. For deer sized game you need to select your shots sensibly, but it will do the job with good placement.
The Savage can always be converted to the rounds that Maverick223 mentioned, by replacing the barrel with the barrel nut wrench and a GO gage.
That is, providing the 243 doesn't meet expectations.



NCsmitty

jbkebert
May 17, 2011, 11:04 PM
While I agree that the .243 does not have the knock down of the .270. Afterall the .270 win is my go to gun has been for years.

Shot placement is critical no matter what caliber you are shooting. I expect my bullet to hit the mark wether I am shooting my .243 or .300 win. A bigger bullet is no excuse for lack of practice and lack of proper bullet placement.

Yes a 7-08, .260 rem and others are fantastic rounds but you ain't got one. Teach the young man to shoot. Reward performance, learn his limits with shots and limit his shots to meet his preformance. Do those things and the .243 will not disapoint and will provide every bit the amount of venison as the .270 or any other. Don't get hung up with energy numbers this that or any other excuse. A dead deer is a dead deer.

68wj
May 17, 2011, 11:35 PM
Since it is bought and shot, I hope the son doesn't get wind of any perceived weakness in his new rifle. A lack of confidence can be more a crippler when hunting than the chosen cartridge. A .243 makes a great deer rifle. Dare I say, I would have a .243 over a .30-30 :evil:

sayak
May 17, 2011, 11:37 PM
My friend's wife routinely shoots her moose with a .243 every fall. He shoots a .270 and gets his. It is all about bullet and shot placement. I personally like the .270.

Maverick223
May 17, 2011, 11:46 PM
Since it is bought and shot, I hope the son doesn't get wind of any perceived weakness in his new rifle. A lack of confidence can be more a crippler when hunting than the chosen cartridge.+1, no reason to bring up the "problem" until one arises. In the unlikely event that the kid encounters a problem, or wants to use the rifle for larger quarry, an easy bbl swap will be all that's needed.

:)

mljdeckard
May 17, 2011, 11:51 PM
I steer a lot of beginning hunters to .243 for deer in particular.

heeler
May 18, 2011, 12:00 AM
Growing up deer hunting in the 60's and 70's the elders claimed the .243/6mm were cripplers of deer.
Well that's total bunk and I know it to be so years later from real experience.
Not only is the .243 easier on the shoulder it is also pretty much as flat shooting as the 270.
But mind you shot placement is everything whatever the caliber.
The only downside of a .243/6mm is the run away deer is not as prone to leave as a definitive a trail of blood as the 270,308,30-06,etc...most times but certainly not all times.
Fwiw I killed the best buck of my life with an 18.5 inch barreled Remington 600 in 6mm with a 120 yard shot on a big south Texas Buck that scored 151 B&C.

Joe Vaquero
May 18, 2011, 12:05 AM
While a .270 realistically has,more punch over a longer range the .243 is a great deer round. I killed 4 deer last year with a .243. Hit 'em where it counts and they're not going anywhere.

Caddisflied
May 18, 2011, 12:17 AM
I know quite a few adults who swear by the .243 for deer hunting.
Using the heavier 100gr bullets designed for the task they seem to do the job very well.

Ruger44mag
May 18, 2011, 12:18 AM
My brother bought a bolt action rifle for his son's graduation present.
I tried to tell him that a .270 would be a better choice for all around work.
(varmit control, deer hunting and target shooting) He ended up getting a
Savage .243. (I talked him into getting the Savage but not the caliber)
His son is a beginning shooter and recoil may be an issue. But I am thinking
the .243 maybe a poor choice for a beginning deer hunter. (shot placement
may be an issue) I do think it would be ideal for varmit hunting and target
shooting. Are my concerns about the .243 as a beginner caliber for a deer
hunter justified? I can not speak from experience in this case; my deer
rifle calibers are 30.06 and .30-30
I killed my first two deer with a .243 at about 20 yards. I hit them both behind the shoulder in the vitals, they both dropped where they stood. Up here in AK Iv heard of and seen pic's of the Indians downing polar bears with them. For a beginner its a great gun.

Frozen North
May 18, 2011, 12:19 AM
Teach the young man to pick his shots like he has a 22lr in his hands, and he will never loose a deer with a 243. Caliber is no substitute for sloppy shooting. A gut shot deer will run when hit with a 270 too. A 243 is plenty of gun for white tail.

Make sure he is taught where everything is inside of a deer's chest and what needs to be hit to make a clean kill. Just blasting a big hole in it's front half is poor form. A good sportsman makes his best attempt at a clean kill or he passes on the animal.

That being said, I would choose a 270 over just about anything for deer. For a recoil sensitive shooter, the 243 is a fantastic round with ammo found very easily. I am a firm believer in choosing a caliber that ammo can be found on a gas station shelf in the middle of nowhere or borrowed from someone in your camp. Ammo gets wet, lost, and forgotten at home. If you have a "fancy Dan" caliber, you may end up hunting with someones spare 870 Express slug gun. I have seen it happen twice, once with a 300 Weatherby and once with a 300 RUM. No one had shells for them anywhere and we were WAY to far from civilization to find some on short notice.

Art Eatman
May 18, 2011, 01:35 AM
I've tagged a couple of dozen bucks with my .243. I'm just picky about my shot, is all. Neck, or cross-body heart/lung. I won't take an angling shot, particularly with my pet load: The Sierra 85-grain HPBT. I have never needed to trail any of the bucks I shot. Bang, whop, flop.

aubie515
May 18, 2011, 09:31 AM
The 243 is plenty on deer. Deer does not have thick skin like some game animals. I took my first deer with a 243. Recoil is much lighter and it requires less powder to load...what's not to like about the caliber?

I've owned two 270s and own none today...I still have my 243.

foghornl
May 18, 2011, 09:44 AM
As long as "The Hunter" does his part, the .243 is fine for white-tail deer. that calibre does require The Hunter to be a bit more selective in his shots, but hey..a 40MM canon won't do the job if the shooter doesn't do his.

CraigC
May 18, 2011, 12:56 PM
IMHO, the .243 is a glorified varmint cartridge and is far from ideal for whitetail. My lone .243 went away several years ago. I think it is best left to experienced hunters, rather than beginners. Yes, shot placement is important regardless of the cartridge you're using but with marginal choices like the .243, it is critical. It should've been supplanted by the .260 and 7mm-08 in the hearts and minds of hunters years ago but it endures.

ECVMatt
May 18, 2011, 01:20 PM
Well I am with Art on this one. Have have shot a lot of deer in TX with the 6mm Rem and .243. They all died very quickly and I never had to track one. I am currently using the a similar bullet, the 85 Speer SP, and it simply hammers deer and pigs. The last deer we shot with it was a nice buck at about 300 yards. It just collapsed in it's tracks and never moved.

Now deer size is a different matter. I am sure that a deer in North Texas differs from a deer in Iowa but shooting skill still applies. I would much rather have my young ones hitting the mark with a .243 than missing with something bigger.

I think the . 243 is a fine choice and if used correctly for your area, will bag many deer.

Vern Humphrey
May 18, 2011, 01:47 PM
I find it hard to imagine a deer escaping after being hit with a .243 that wouldn't excape if hit with a .270 in the same place. Caliber and kenitic energy won't make up for a bad shot, and a good shot with a .243 will do the job on whitetails as readily as a .270.

Big Bad Bob
May 18, 2011, 02:29 PM
Well this thread goes to show that if you ask a bunch of deer hunters to talk about this cartridge versus that cartridge you are going to get ALOT of answers and opinions.

+2 the rifle is bought and paid for so go get some good optics, ammo and go practice, practice, practice.

Also +1 on the "Aim small, miss small" principle, regardless of your caliber proper shot placement should ALWAYS be considered and something you practice. You can still wound/cripple an animal with 30.06, .270 or even .300 win mag if you don't know how to shoot and where to aim.


.243 is more than capable for killing whitetail, i have known in my experience more youngsters killing deer with that caliber than any other. The light recoil is great for kids under 10 and small statured women shooters as well.

Considering today the choice and availability of great well constructed, controlled expanding rounds retaining almost 90% weight retention like Barnes TSX and TTSX and Berger Bullets. The .243 paired with the right load is more than capable for killing whitetail and lesser game.

For those of you guys knocking the .243 do you have any evidence or examples that you can site?


The .243 compared to 7mm/08

90 grain BTHP .243 is moving at 3203 ft/sec. with 2,051 Ft/lbs. of energy (at the muzzle)

by comparison the 140 grain BTHP 7mm/08 is moving at 2800 ft/sec with 2437 ft./lbs of energy, (at the muzzle)

Standard for ethical kill on whitetail is about 1,000 ft/lbs.

So, with the .243 vs 7mm/08. The .243 is 766 ft/sec faster and has only 386 less ft/lbs.

Ill take the .243, my book speed kills.

Art Eatman
May 18, 2011, 02:59 PM
Note that I put conditions on my use of my .243. No angling shots. IMO, with a heavier bullet I'd get more reliable deep penetration in an angling shot, which is why I'm less picky about Bambi's posing when I use my '06. And, with the '06, I'm more prone to take a shot at a running buck--which isn't all that difficult, really.

However, I've had a bunch of cooperative Bambis as to posing nicely. :)

Sako Shooter
May 18, 2011, 03:14 PM
The main reason I choose the .243 is because of recoil. I have arthritis in my neck and shoulder, and I was unpleasantly surprised at the recoil of the .243 in the Browning X-bolt, which is a light weight gun. It indeed does have significant recoil. If it were a .270, I probably wouldn't enjoy shooting it. After I shoot the .243 9 or 10 times, I develop a flinch and have had about enough. If I only shot my rifle a few times a year to deer hunt, I'd probably choose the .270. I am able to shoot the .243 more, and that is why I choose it, I like to target shoot as well as hunt. The .243 is Sub MOA w/85 grain BTHP (hunting ammo). From my experience down South, most adult hunters use the .270, but the .243 is the more popular caliber for the novice/children.

RugerMcMarlin
May 18, 2011, 03:46 PM
I guess I'm looking at the whole thing backwards, I thought shot placement was precisely the point. And using a round that wont distract him with the upcoming recoil, and allows total concentration on the shot is the right way to go. The 243 Win is an excellent deer cartridge, and a fine one to learn with. I also think its fairly ignorant to suggest that necking up or down 1mm in caliber, and saying it would be vastly better or even noticeable. ANY of the calibers based on the .308 cartridge will be fine. For a varmint round it bucks wind drift better than most, for long range a couple million antelope thinks it worked fine too. What cartridge are you using that placement is'nt an issue?

Smaug
May 18, 2011, 04:13 PM
It seems that most folks agree that .243 Win is fine for deer.

It is worth noting however, that deer up north are notably bigger than southern deer. Yet we still use .243 up north with great success.

RugerMcMarlin
May 18, 2011, 04:36 PM
Vigilante X, you may have hit on the whole issue when you mentioned it being ok for varmints. If some well meaning friend suggests to use a lighter grain bullet, thinking it equals less recoil, he would probably end up with a round designed for varmints. That could cause a serious problem on penitration. Bullet selection is key. But you could do exactly the same thing with a 270.

Maverick223
May 18, 2011, 07:44 PM
Ill take the .243, my book speed kills.Not true; otherwise folks would be using a .17MachIV. :rolleyes:

Note that I put conditions on my use of my .243. No angling shots.I believe that is the key to the effective use of the .243Win., limit yourself to good shots and it'll kill a deer just as good as a .45-70Govt.

I also think its fairly ignorant to suggest that necking up or down 1mm in caliber, and saying it would be vastly better or even noticeable.1mm makes a great deal of difference in mass, sectional density, and thereby terminal performance...to suggest otherwise ignores the fact that volume increases exponentially in relation to diameter. One millimeter is the difference between a .243Win. & 7mm-08Rem., a 6mmRem. & 7x57mmMauser, all of which are far more than simply noticeable.

:)

RugerMcMarlin
May 18, 2011, 09:09 PM
I guess if you mean volume as in bullet mass, my point was CASE volume was pretty similar for obvious reasons. From the same cartridge case, increase in bullet mass will equal decrease in velocity. Terminal foot pounds will be pretty similar.

I think you will also agree, that increase in bullet mass, will require increase in case capacity, for a balanced cartridge that can effectively use the increase in bullet mass to any advantage.

surjimmy
May 18, 2011, 09:46 PM
My son took this monster 3 years ago he was 11, his first deer 260lbs. Used a Howa 1500 80gr. 243. My nephew 177lber, 80gr. 243. His first deer also 2yrs ago. Last year my wife with her first deer 168lb, 80gr. 243. Are ya seeing a pattern? This year I will be using a Sako in a 243.http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa250/surjimmy/IMG_0673.jpghttp://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa250/surjimmy/IMG_0724.jpghttp://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa250/surjimmy/DSCN2483.jpg

Maverick223
May 19, 2011, 12:03 AM
I guess if you mean volume as in bullet mass, my point was CASE volume was pretty similar for obvious reasons.That's true, but doesn't mean much as far as killing power.

Terminal foot pounds will be pretty similar.Not necessarily, especially it any appreciable range. Furthermore, energy doesn't have much to do with a cartridges ability to take any particular quarry. Negating bullet design/construction (which is the most important factor) momentum has far more impact on the cartridges ability to take game. When taking into account bullet construction, it is far easier to make a large caliber bullet with high sectional density and proper expansion that isn't at the expense of weight retention.

I think you will also agree, that increase in bullet mass, will require increase in case capacity, for a balanced cartridge that can effectively use the increase in bullet mass to any advantage.No. Two of my favorite cartridges are the .280Rem. and the .35Whelen...they couldn't be more different, but are based upon the same case (for all intents and purposes). Both are very useful, but are best suited to different tasks. The same can be said for the .243Win. and the .358Win. (to an even greater degree).

:)

GunNut
May 19, 2011, 01:59 AM
I went from a .270 to a .243 this last hunting season and was more than pleased by the performance. Ended up shooting a nice 2x3 mule deer and it dropped in it's tracks.

RugerMcMarlin
May 19, 2011, 02:44 AM
Okay , Will see if I get to post this with out having to log in again.

Item one I made a statement about case capacity, that you agreed with and so immediately change subject to killing power!!?

then you isolate three phrases out of context, and counter with generalities and opinion, who knows what your idea of "appreciable range" or "killing power" is?

Finally , lets use your choices of 280 and 35 Whelan , because they precisely illustrate my point, same case, light bullet fast/heavy bullet slow. wether you like them or find them useful has no bearing on case capacity.

Last opinion, you say big bullets are easier to make, did you read that or is that your experience making bullets? God help me dont say cast bullets!:banghead:

GunNut
May 19, 2011, 02:52 AM
.243 kills this deer season. 85gr Barnes TSX

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/stmcelroy/IMAG0187-1.jpg
Recovered bullet from deer:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/stmcelroy/IMAG0188.jpg

41 Mag
May 19, 2011, 06:59 AM
.243 Winchester vs. .270
My brother bought a bolt action rifle for his son's graduation present.
I tried to tell him that a .270 would be a better choice for all around work.
(varmit control, deer hunting and target shooting) He ended up getting a
Savage .243. (I talked him into getting the Savage but not the caliber)
His son is a beginning shooter and recoil may be an issue. But I am thinking
the .243 maybe a poor choice for a beginning deer hunter. (shot placement
may be an issue) I do think it would be ideal for varmit hunting and target
shooting. Are my concerns about the .243 as a beginner caliber for a deer
hunter justified? I can not speak from experience in this case; my deer
rifle calibers are 30.06 and .30-30

In my experience over the past 40 years, if the shooter is comfortable with the rifle/caliber they will shoot it well and be successful. Given the .243's lighter recoil and availability and selection of great bullets nowadays, it is as capable as any round of cleanly taking critters big and small across the country.

Teach the boy the patients to pick his shot, place it well, and he will be successful. There are way too many folks who would rather blast a hole through something from end to end rather than go home empty handed. Teach the boy to hunt, and he will have a much better appreciation of it.

I hunted with a .243 from the time I was 7, until my early 20's, when I moved up to a 25-06. In all that time I also hunted a 30-06 and a .270. I killed three to four deer a year every year through that span, and never noted any appreciable difference in which one made a deer hit the dirt quicker, but did notice a bit more recoil, mess, and do a bit more trimming with the bigger calibers.

My oldest grandson, got it in his head, just past his 3rd birthday that he wanted to shoot him a hog. Well with some reduced loads and my Ruger Compact he practiced all summer and did so just before his 4th birthday.
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f285/41nag/P1010005A.jpg

The 130 reduced load produced about the same recoil in the 6.5# rifle as the 100gr load we shoot from a full sized .243 but he could not handle the added lenght and weight of the .243. So it popped him pretty well for his size but he was determined and worked hard to accomplish his goal of putting his shots in the kill zone at 50yds.
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f285/41nag/Shooting/P1010038.jpg
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f285/41nag/Shooting/P1010040.jpg

He's now 9, and has taken several hogs with the .308 and those 130gr loads, and a coyote at 150+yds. He also has a whitetail doe he got using a 6.5x55, and a nice buck he got this past season just after his birthday with his mom's 25-06. After his buck and the ensuing argument between him, his mom, and myself over her rifle, I presented him with the Sako Forrester .243 I had gotten him back when this all started. The next evening he promptly used it to add this nice feral hog to their freezer ,
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f285/41nag/Hunting%202010/PC300172.jpg

Between myself and my close friend we have shot every caliber from .17 through 300 RUM while working on the hogs. They are much more resilient to taking a bullet than any deer I have ever shot. In all the years of doing so we have gravitated back to the .243 and in fact that is all him and his family hunt with anymore. There are no wild shots taken, and everything that is shot has hit the dirt plain and simple. They use factory Hornady Custom ammo, and I use 100gr handloads with Nosler 100gr Solid Bases.

All this said, the caliber IMO is not what makes or breaks the hunt, it's the confidence and the ability of the hunter. If they are comfortable with their equipment they will get the job done, and not being shy of it is a huge part. Give the caliber and the boy and chance to work things out. If he handles it well he has the option of moving up and being experienced with shooting and comfortable with what to expect. Granted this boy is a bit older, but I know folks in their mid 40's who flinch when they shoot anything based off a 30-06 case simply due to it's lenght over the 308 based calibers. It's all just a big head game, but one that is sometimes hard to change once imprinted.

Maverick223
May 19, 2011, 02:27 PM
Item one I made a statement about case capacity, that you agreed with and so immediately change subject to killing power!!?

then you isolate three phrases out of context, and counter with generalities and opinion, who knows what your idea of "appreciable range" or "killing power" is?Killing power (that is: the necessary combination of weight, size, velocity, and bullet construction to take a given animal) is what this thread is about...I believe it is pertinent to mention it. As far as range, my definition of "appreciable" matters not...with all else being equal, a larger bullet will have greater energy retention at than a smaller/lighter projectile. This holds true at any range...and with any case volume. Case volume has little to do with any particular cartridge's suitability to take any particular species.

Finally , lets use your choices of 280 and 35 Whelan , because they precisely illustrate my point, same case, light bullet fast/heavy bullet slow. wether you like them or find them useful has no bearing on case capacity. [sic] It also proves that the larger projectile has the ability to take larger game effectively...even more so when you take it to the extreme with a cartridge like the .25-06Rem. My point is that speed matters far less than bullet construction, and larger bullets have a better SD and weight retention all else being equal.

Last opinion, you say big bullets are easier to make, did you read that or is that your experience making bullets? God help me dont say cast bullets!It isn't my opinion, and I didn't simply state that "big bullets are easier to make". The fact is that larger/heavier bullets are easier to make WITH a higher sectional density and good weight retention. That is why the .17MachIV is used solely for small game/varmint hunting, there aren't the bullets available to penetrate, and expand for use on large game...the added velocity goes to waste. The same is true for modern bullet designs like a monolithic expanding bullet or bonded ballistic tip or traditional cast lead (where the effect is exaggerated due to design constraints). Furthermore there is absolutely nothing wrong with a cast lead bullet if used properly...lead has felled many a large game animal and works just as good today as it did 200yrs. ago.

RugerMcMarlin
May 19, 2011, 03:05 PM
VigilanteX, Sorry I got sidetracked, .243 Win is fine.

RugerMcMarlin
May 19, 2011, 04:54 PM
41MAG Best answer! I'll take pictures over real world experience any day.

JerryM
May 19, 2011, 05:10 PM
The .243 is an excellent choice. It was my first serious deer hunting cartridge after college. I also have taken deer with .270, 7mm Mag, and 300 Wby. None has done better on one shot kills that my .243.
If I were shooting at 500 yards on mule deer I would prefer the .270, but those at the ranges I have shot (250 300yds) have not needed anything else.

I had a friend who that was his only rifle, and I hate to guess how many mule deer he took with one over a 40 year period in CO and AZ. I am sure it exceeded 40.

I suspect that those who doubt it have not used it for a long time, and are repeating what they have read.

Regards,
Jerry

BoilerUP
May 19, 2011, 05:27 PM
As others have said, 243 is more than sufficient for whitetail...especially using premium bullets like a TSX or Partition.

Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.

And if the OP's relative eventually wants a 270, I'll happily trade my Savage 110 .270 tube for his 243 barrel!

WTBguns10kOK
May 19, 2011, 08:12 PM
The .270 is fairly pointless. A .30-06 is more versatile at it's top end and matches the .270 at mid-low end. A .243 is a joy to shoot, due to its low recoil, and with the advent of all the premium bullets, especially the TSX, TTSX etc., you can be confident knowing your bullet will be strong enough to penetrate.

bpl
May 19, 2011, 09:54 PM
GunNut,

You recovered a Barnes TSX? Isn't that a bullet failure? :D

helotaxi
May 19, 2011, 11:30 PM
My take is that the .243 is one of the absolute best cartridges to teach someone to shoot and hunt with.

Recoil is light enough that getting LOTS of practice is easy on the shoulder. It is highly unlikely that a shooter will develop a flinch from the recoil.

Teaching the new hunter about shot placement and the patience required to cleanly take an animal is part of teaching them right. The .243 is the perfect tool for this instruction. It will get the job done and will not disappoint when the shot presents itself. Thanks to the comfortable practice, it is very likely that the new hunter can then make that shot as well without thinking about recoil or anything else other than aim and squeeze.

Deer haven't gotten any tougher over the years while what is considered "adequate" in terms of cartridges to harvest them has gotten more powerful all the time. IMO, inadequacy of the hunter in both patience and marksmanship is why this feeling is prevalent. Even the most inexpensive bolt rifle on the market today is more accurate than anything out there 150 years ago. Factor in the almost ubiquitous scope adorning a modern hunting rifle and the "need" for some high powered cartridge becomes nothing more than compensating for lack of skill confidence or both.

Turn the kid into a real rifleman and a real hunter and the .243 will be more than enough medicine.

MachIVshooter
May 20, 2011, 12:40 AM
.243 is plenty for deer or speedgoats. A bit light for elk or moose, but it doesn't sound as though he intends to use it for that.

Beach Nut
May 20, 2011, 11:14 AM
Thanks for all of the replies to my post. My brother did very well buying the
.243. I honestly thought the .270 would be a better all around rifle (deer
hunting, varmit control, target practice) but my eyes have been opened
some. I believe I underestimated the potential of the .243 as a whitetail
cartridge. I'll stick with the .30.06 for open area hunting and the .30-30 for
the woods, but in the future if I decide to get a lighter rifle for coyote and
varmit hunting (and whitetails in case I happen to see one during hunting
season when I'm using it) I will get the .243.

Art Eatman
May 20, 2011, 11:23 AM
Vigilante X, FWIW, my .243 is a 19" carbine with a 2x7 scope. I use the 85-grain Sierra HPBT (now loaded by Federal) for deer and coyotes, but as I posted earlier, with restrictions on the type of shot. 100-grain? "Go for it!" :)

I've loaded 55-grain bullets for prairie dogs; with that scope my rig does quite well to 300 yards. And, I imagine, it would also work well on coyotes. It should, since the muzzle velocity is greater than a .223 and a 55-grain bullet from a .223 does Bad Things to Ol' Wily.

slowr1der
May 20, 2011, 12:00 PM
I started out thinking like you did that a .243 was not sufficient for deer. I honestly didn't want one and wouldn't have used one. Then a few buddies I hunt with bought .243's. Surprisingly 2 of them also had .270's and started using the .243 instead claiming they liked it better. The other one just had the .243. I thought they were crazy. That is until they started killing deer with them. I have seen them shoot several with them and 95% of them drop right in their tracks. All of them have been shot in the shoulder with the exception of one that a friend shot in the butt as it was running away. Surprisingly it took the deer down too. I helped them skin a couple of the deer they killed and to my surprise the damage done to them where they were hit was amazing. It did quite a bit more damage than my 30-06 I was hunting with. I was simply surprised.

I have to say, the .243 has really proved it self in my eyes and my opinion has totally changed on it. I hate to admit it but I was totally wrong. It seems to do more than great on deer, and has light recoil and is fun to shoot at the same time.

One thing I will mention is that most of them use the 95 grain Hornady SST bullets and they really seem to do a number on deer. I've never seen them shoot one with a Winchester Power Point, but I know they have used those too, but they said they didn't get as good of performance from them.

RugerMcMarlin
May 20, 2011, 04:41 PM
I grew up reading Jack O'Conner every month in Outdoor Life, about 20 yrs of that had me convinced 270 was the ONLY cartridge. My first deer rifle was a Springfield A3 O3, and I learned to shoot it , shooting milk jugs, my Grandpa, used to quiz me on the ballistic chart, for 06, not the ME, the drop at 100, 200, 300, 400,500, I only had to memorize 150 and 180 grain. Up til about 5 years ago I could still tell you.

I like the 270. Your brother could have taken the kid to the range, with a 270, and a 243,
40 rounds for each, told him , "I have an errand to run, I'll be back in an hour, Have Fun.

Which do you think the kid will be shooting when he gets back?

Justin Holder
May 20, 2011, 06:21 PM
In my experience there is little to no real world difference in killing power between a 100gr. .243 bullet and a 130gr. .270 bullet. All the hogs, coyotes and deer I've killed with both didn't know the difference.

gamestalker
May 20, 2011, 10:07 PM
A .243 will easily dispatch a deer without any issues what so ever. If the bullet choice is right, penetration won't be an issue. A high quality bonded core bullet from 90 grains to 105 grains will do just fine. The 105 grain can get 3100 fps MV, and the 90 gr. is good for at least 3300 fps. Speer and Nosler both make great bullet's that will fill the bill for hunting deer and other medium sized game. I think Barns may have something as well.

bobnob
May 20, 2011, 10:07 PM
If a .243 cal hole kills "better" than a .22 cal hole, all other things being equal a .277 hole will kill better again.
Its obviously the injury caused by the wound that kills the animal. A larger wound will cause a larger injury.
But for a young bloke the .243 is a better option. The .270 kicks a good bit. I am betting he will still own it when he is 70 and will still be using it!

dbb1776
May 22, 2011, 12:06 AM
dead=dead. People love the 30-30, 243 has more muzzle energy. Use a big game bullet and it should kill big game! Use a varmit bullet and you'll lose big game.

Sav .250
May 22, 2011, 11:34 AM
My 243 has accounted for a lot of deer. That being said, the Win 270 might be a little better for long range . Every cal has it`s limits! :)

DIM
May 22, 2011, 12:33 PM
270 is great for hunting and not just deer! Target shooting with 270 you can, I've done before, but 243 cost less to punch paper, specially if you reload, 243 has great selection of target bullets, with 270 you have to punch paper with hunting bullets most of the time, what a waste...

helotaxi
May 22, 2011, 04:22 PM
Hunting bullets or 115gn SMKs meant for the 6.8SPC. Not bad for short range, but at short range why put up with the recoil?

6.5swede
May 22, 2011, 04:39 PM
Both will do the job on medium game. The 270 Win will be more versatile. For the recoil sensitive, you could load 100 - 115 grain bullets in the 270 and get 3200 - 3500 fps. I've recently been using the 110gr TTSX @ around 3350 fps. Good accuracy in my 270, reduced recoil (compared to the 150 gr NPT) and excellent performance on a couple of hogs that I've shot so far. There are plenty of options in non premium bullets in that weight range as well.

DIM
May 22, 2011, 05:26 PM
Yes 6.8mm bulets 115 gr match do exist, and yes you can load them in to 270, but those bullets are short and have low B.C like 0.318, Sierra make 135 gr SMK B.C 0.488 , that's probably best option to shoot targets, I use 130 gr SGK for hunting, recently I start loading 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips, great B.C 0.496 shoot one hole @ 100 yards, I know a bit overkill for local deer population, if not deer-less season last year I would tested its performance.

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