Looking for a .243 everything gun


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Prometheus1987
June 8, 2011, 02:23 AM
Hello. I have not allot of money, and love to accomplish as many things as I can with least dollars spent. I live in MD, where the law states that your deer rifle must fire a bullet with the diameter of 6mm or greater. This is all well and good, but occasionally I like to head out to Colorado for the summer, where I would like to varmint hunt too. Subsequently, I decided to get a .243 Bolt action. Now I can save and save and save, but I would ultimately like to have a rifle and scope for around $600 to $700, less if not necessary.

I've been hearing good things about the Marlin XS7, and liked the practicality of its stainless variant. Some people say the XS7s are capable of Sub MOA groups at 100 yards.

Looking Around, I also heard good things about the Howa Rifles, and kindof liked the Howa Ranchland Compact w/ scope in sand. It has a Hogue stock, a Nikko Stirling 3-10x42 scope, and a 20" barrel. I haven't heard how accurate they are though.

Now If it is really really worth it, I'll bite the bullet and just go for the Remington 700 SPS Varmint in 243. But by the time I get the rifle scoped, I'll be in the $800 range.

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RickMD
June 8, 2011, 04:16 AM
A Remington 700 Varmint rifle isn't going to be the most pleasant thing to drag around the Maryland deer woods. You also don't state what flavor of varmints you intend to wack in Colorado. If you're after coyotes any standard weight .243 sporter will do. If you intend to hunt prairie dogs you'd be advised to get a heavy barrel because most sporter weight barrels will overheat in less than 10 minutes of shooting.

I'd find a good, used, sporter weight, name brand rifle (Remington, Sako, Winchester, etc.) and mount a quality 3x9 scope on it. You should be good to go for your $700 budget. I also assume that you're going to handload because factory ammunition is not going to give you consistent MOA groups regardless of what rifle you choose.

Skyshot
June 8, 2011, 07:42 AM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=576666 posted this earlier , try a Savage model 11, lots of after market parts to upgrade as your budget allows.

BrocLuno
June 8, 2011, 07:57 AM
Haunt you local pawn shops and used gun racks. There will be a lovely older .243 around somewhere and may even come with a decent scope, at least mounts you can salvage. They have dropped in favor as newer hotter cartridges come out and some guys trade them away. They are perfect fit for your scenario. The biggest factor is barrel/chamber/crown condition AND fit to shoulder. Try a bunch and see what naturally comes to shoulder best :)

Dr T
June 8, 2011, 10:59 AM
I have seen T/C Ventures with scope in 243 at Bud's for $450 including shipping to your FFL. My T/C Icon in 243 is a tack driver.

Haxby
June 8, 2011, 12:37 PM
Bud's has that Marlin for $380. Free shipping. I'm pretty sure it comes with a scope base.
Natchezss has a Nitrex 3-9X42 or a 3-10X50 for $150. Probably around $25 for shipping. Buris Zee rings run about $25.
That would put you under $600, not counting the FFL fees.

Justin Holder
June 8, 2011, 12:48 PM
factory ammunition is not going to give you consistent MOA groups regardless of what rifle you choose.

Maybe 30 years ago this was true but not anymore. Most any type of factory ammo today has the capability of shooting very tight groups consistently. Just try a couple different brands to see what your particular rifle prefers. You don't need 1/2 inch groups for deer and general varmint hunting anyway. Although several of my rifles have produced half inch or better groups with factory ammo.

Spend 500 or 600 dollars on a good quality brand name rifle (Ruger, Winchester, exc.....) and around $200 for a solid brand name scope (Leupold, Burris, exc...) and you will have a setup that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

This is one thing I don't see any of the gun magazines writing about. When they do a wright up about hunting rifles it's either about a several thousand dollar custom gun or a $200 bargain basement plastic piece of crap. They seem to forget that your average mid priced hunting rifle can preform just as well as the high dollar setups and at the same time be more rugged and dependable than the cheap big box store special. The same thing could be said of the way they promote rifle scopes.

Sav .250
June 8, 2011, 12:50 PM
Check out your local Gun Shows(if you have any) lots of good values to be had.

Hocka Louis
June 8, 2011, 01:02 PM
Savage seem great values.
I like Ruger 77's.

butcherboy
June 8, 2011, 01:11 PM
i know im asking for it but, i have shot/owned both a marlin xs7 and howa 1500. to me the howa wins hands down. mine was more accurate and a pleasure to shoot. i have taken deer, rabbit, woodchucks, and coyotes with it. and havent had any malfunctions or problems.

the xs7 had many problems...( my friend bought one new from factory, and its on its way there now for repairs) main one being the bolt kept falling out after each shot. and accuracy wasnt great with factory or reloads.

i would buy an older marlin 243 but not a newer one. quality of the company seems to have fallen. just my opinion (i have a 1950's 100, a 1998 336 and 2002 983)

mr16ga
June 8, 2011, 01:24 PM
Get a used Ruger 77 and take a look at .257 Roberts in place of the .243 WCF.

Sunray
June 8, 2011, 02:18 PM
Have a look at the Stevens Model 200. MSRP on a 200 is $415. Or the Savage package rifles. Scopes are low end but serviceable. MSRP on a Model: 11 FCXP3 is $525. Mind you, buying a used rifle isn't like buying a used car. It takes a great deal of abuse to damage a modern hunting rifle.
Either the Stevens or the Model 11 use 1 in 9.25 rifling twist. They're both along with all other commercial hunting rifles in .243 are rifled for deer sized game bullets. 85 grains and up. Isn't a big deal, but they'll work better with heavy bullets. There's no reason not to use your deer load for varmints. They won't care and you'll get great practice for deer season. Do not use varmint bullets for deer sized game. They're not designed to penetrate.
Howa's are good rifles. Their Model 1500 is the same as a Weatherby Vanguard. Howa uses 1 in 10 rifling. Heavy bullets. A Compact Combo(comes with a scope. No idea what make) may be over your budget by the time you add FFL fees etc. $768 at Legacy Sports.
Like Justin Holder says, factory ammo is far better than it used to be. However, if you're not reloading, you'll have to try a box of as many brands as you can to find the ammo the rifle shoots best. Gets expensive in time and money.
Reloading lets you tailor the ammo to the rifle. A Lee Classic(with the mallet) and a scale will produce excellent ammo. Slow, but they work. Just don't bother with the scoops. Those can vary the powder charge plus or minus a full grain.

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