Thinking about getting into a 243


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336A
December 22, 2011, 04:39 PM
I don't hunt anything larger than deer, and black bear and really don't ecpect to. I mostly use my 30-30 when hunting as I like to get in the woods rather than hunt over open fields. I do own a Savage 7mm RM but I haven't used it since I bought my 30-30 back in 2003. Lately I've been thinking about tradeing the 7mm RM for a .243 for the occasions were I may find myself hunting over more open terrain. So what do y'all High Roaders think trade the 7mm off or keep it.

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jpwilly
December 22, 2011, 04:46 PM
I think a good trade off would be a Rem 260.

velojym
December 22, 2011, 04:52 PM
I like my XS7 in .243, and I'm thinking about getting a .308 barrel for it, just to round things out a bit.

LoonWulf
December 22, 2011, 04:59 PM
The .243 should offer you nearly the trajectory of the 7mm with 1/2 the powder use (if you reload) or cost of factory ammo. Recoil is significantly reduced, as is blast, so its funner? to shoot IMO. I prefer the 7mm as for big game simply because it offers more leeway in both knockdown, and Penetration, penetration being major if you encounter bone.

That said, i think it would be good for your application. Ive never hunted bear of any sort, so with my lack of knowledge id opt for a heavier caliber, such as the aforementioned .260 or a 7mm-08.

rule303
December 22, 2011, 05:01 PM
If you aren't going to hunt larger game, the .243 will do everything you need with the same or better trajectory, and less recoil. Plus the .243 works a lot better as a varmint cartridge if you ever decide to hunt them.

W.E.G.
December 22, 2011, 05:42 PM
I've been thinking about tradeing the 7mm RM for a .243 for the occasions were I may find myself hunting over more open terrain.

Wait a minute.

You think the .243 Winchester shoots flatter than 7mm Remington Magnum?

What trajectory chart are you looking at?

Maximum point-blank range for .243 is ~300 yards
Maximum point-blank range for 7mm Rem Mag is almost identical (minutely greater actually)

See http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_trajectory_table.htm

Art Eatman
December 22, 2011, 06:49 PM
Aw, I pretty much figure that a .243 is real close to being a do-all cartridge. Mine is a little Sako 19" carbine with a 2x7 scope on it. I've tagged a couple of dozen bucks, ruined several coyotes and did in a fair number of prairie dogs, with various handloads.

For the kind of hunting described in the opening post, I'd trade off a 7mm RemMag in a heartbeat. :)

336A
December 22, 2011, 06:52 PM
I'm not saying that the .243 shoots flatter. Instead I would be replacing the 7mm Rm with the .243 for hunting more open terrain, which is what I have the 7mm RM for in the first place. As loonWulf made mention of I'm also looking at the .234 for economic reasons as well, both in factory ammo and reloading components. I'm well aware that the 7mm RM is a flat shooter. However For game up through the size of deer I think the .243 may be just as good without all of the recoil to boot.

Onmilo
December 22, 2011, 06:54 PM
I live in Illinois, occasionally hunt in Missouri and Wisconsin.
I own several heavy caliber rifles but frankly, I could get along just fine with my old Model 70 Winchester .243

osteodoc08
December 22, 2011, 07:01 PM
I've got a Ruger M77 (tang safety) in 243 Win that is absolutely fantastic. I've loaded everything from 55gr Nosler BT to 95gr Partitions and X-Bullets in them with good results on everything from paper, to pests like crows, to deer. It is a great cartridge. I however, have been migrating to my 7mm-08 as my deer cartridge. I prefer the .308 as a parent case due to its short action over the '06 as a parent case (270 Win). Just somethign else to throw in the mix.

As far as the the OP question, I'd trade that 7mm RM off in a heartbeat. Not sure if 243 would be my first choice though for deer and bear.

Craigman
December 22, 2011, 07:20 PM
A .243 is nice, i like mine, but i think a .308 with 150gn would be even better and has even more ammo choice and availibility for your needs

IMO the 7mag can do, and do more than, everyhting the .243 will but with more recoil. and cost of ammo. I would trade off the 7mag no matter what you end up with. Sounds like too much for your needs and sounds like you dont really like shooting it.

mshootnit
December 22, 2011, 07:38 PM
I would switch it out for the 243. But I have never shot at a black bear so I don't pretend to know anything about that.

Actually in this situation I would get a 6mm Rem and carefully load to max looking for signs of pressure.

W.E.G.
December 22, 2011, 07:47 PM
Unless you've got some dumb law in your state that won't let you shoot deer with .223, you should seriously consider that if you are down-sizing.

You want cheap ammo.
.223 is cheap ammo for sure.

Bill_Shelton
December 22, 2011, 08:10 PM
I'm not saying that the .243 shoots flatter. Instead I would be replacing the 7mm Rm with the .243 for hunting more open terrain, which is what I have the 7mm RM for in the first place. As loonWulf made mention of I'm also looking at the .234 for economic reasons as well, both in factory ammo and reloading components. I'm well aware that the 7mm RM is a flat shooter. However For game up through the size of deer I think the .243 may be just as good without all of the recoil to boot.

If you already have a 7mm RM, then I can't see how buying a 243 would make things better, or cheaper - since you would also have to "tune it in" and reload for it (the cost of the reloading equipment), and all this would take some bucks and time. Why not shoot what already works - the 7mm?

And the Recoil? Hey...I love the 243 caliber for deer - and I use it, but I never chose it for the so-called "Recoil" - I chose it for the cheap ammo and its effectiveness for my type of hunting. I mean, if you shoulder a gun right, then recoil should be a non-factor. Also, if you switch from the 7mm to the 243, it's going to cost you in the initial outlay of bucks - which you will probably never make up. Last, if you shoot the wide-open spaces (200 yards plus), then why not go with the 7mm - it hits a lot heavier at longer range?

jhnrckr
December 22, 2011, 11:18 PM
7mm is my favorite round but it only really shines on paper because of its BC. It is marginally better than a .30-06 until you get out past 250 yards. I have been hunting for many many years and the longest shot I have ever taken on a deer is 280 yards. 90% of my shooting is 50-100 yards and maybe 10% 200 yards and out. Do I need to take my 7mm out hunting as a go to rifle? Probably not but i also believe strongly in bringing a big enough gun to the party. I also do know from experience a .243 with good bullets like Nosler Ballistic tips will kill better than a 7mm with cheap soft points that dont open up much.

sKunkT
December 23, 2011, 12:10 AM
If your experiences with a .243 are half as good as mine, you will be happy with your decision.

WTBguns10kOK
December 23, 2011, 12:12 AM
Go with the .243. Last thing I shot was a bear, and it was dead very quickly. Use the right bullet and you're golden, with correct shot placement.

Abel
December 23, 2011, 08:45 AM
I would get a 257 Roberts if you reload at all. Otherwise, the 243 is great.

Skyshot
December 23, 2011, 09:06 AM
You mentioned open terrain but not how far you would be shooting and how big are your deer. I'm a big fan of the .243 but it doesn't get any better than the 7mm RM for open distance shots.

Fullboar1
December 23, 2011, 11:59 AM
If you reload why dont you split the difference of the one you have and the one you want and get a 260rem (6.5mm08 is IMHO the best medium game and long range caliber ever made).
If you dont reload then look at a 7mm08 or a 308

fireside44
December 23, 2011, 12:11 PM
I wouldn't trade a 7 mag in for a .243 in a million years. I found the .243 to be a mediocre deer cartridge. You shoot a deer laying down right through the lungs and he gets up and starts hopping away, at which point you become unsure that you hit him on the first shot and go with follow up shots, at which point he drops 25 yards or so from where you shot him the first time. To me that's unacceptable and it has happened numerous occasions as I described. Deer laying down, clean shot, he gets up and runs away.

Unfortunately the gun was a gift so I have to keep the infernal thing. So there it sits, laid up in a safe corner. I'll take a 30-30, a .308, a 7mm mag, a .444 marlin, or 45-70. I like decisive kills and I'm not really into head and neck shots through undergrowth.

Art Eatman
December 23, 2011, 02:08 PM
fireside, you're just not holding your mouth right! :D All mine have gone flop and stayed put, waiting for me.

The only coup de grace shot I ever needed was on my "Prickly Pear" buck, and he hadn't left the scene. I thought I was going to shoot through one pear leaf which was close to him, holding on his chest (broadside). Wrong. The bullet gently curved up and to the right through five pear leaves, with the remaining fragment hitting him just under his right ear. I walked up and put him out of his quivering misery. :) 85-grain Sierra HPBT. Hey, I'll take luck over skill, any day!!!

fireside44
December 23, 2011, 02:19 PM
fireside, you're just not holding your mouth right!

Hahahaha Art, probably not. I think it's a sufficient enough cartridge but I prefer the quickest kill possible and it just left me wanting more power. I'd prefer just about any larger caliber for the job if I have my choice due to my past experiences with it.

It'd be one thing if my shot was misplaced but twice I had all the time in the world to place my shot, and did so accordingly. Both times the deer got up and ran, albeit a bit slovenly. I don't think they would've gotten far but during the excitement of the hunt I was more worried about wasted meat than I was it's less than graceful form.

Legionnaire
December 23, 2011, 02:49 PM
I'm with Art; I'd trade that 7mm in a heartbeat. The .243 is a great intermediate cartridge, big enough for deer-sized game, and not too big for varmints. Excellent choice.

mdauben
December 23, 2011, 04:49 PM
I'm not a huge fan of the 7mm Magnum, myself. For your stated purposes, I would much rather have the .243. Other choices might be one of the excellent .25 cartriges, or even a .270Win.

tomh2004
December 23, 2011, 05:01 PM
Go with the Marlin xs7 in 243. I've got one that is more accurate than anything I own. I have several rifles that cost WAY more than the Marlin. And it out shoots them all.


tom

336A
December 23, 2011, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the replies and your personal experiences with the .243 folks. For those that mentioned other calibers thnaks but no thanks. I have given some of the other cartridges some thought but I want to stick to something more main stream. It is easy to find ammo, components and a vast array of rifles in .243 from vaious companies. The same can't be said for for the .257 Bob, 6.5x55, and some others. They are great cartridges to be sure but I don't relish the thought of having to mail order brass. I like being able to find what I need on the shelves of my favorite LGS for convenience sake.

Geno
December 23, 2011, 07:14 PM
The .243 Win and the 6mm (.243) Rem are both wonderful for deer. For as much as I like both, I would opt for a .260 Rem. Trade the 7mm if you don't want it and don't use it. Get what you do want, and will use.

Geno

Six-Gun
December 23, 2011, 07:33 PM
I think the .243 is a fine choice. Being a guy moving away from magnum calibers myself, I'm probably a bit biased here. I'm not a fan of recoil for the sake of recoil and I'll go through motions to make a smaller, softer-hitting caliber work for what I'm hunting. The .243 is a sorely underated cartridge that will kill even the larest deer with ease. It doesn't hurt that it can be extremely accurate. I own a Tikka T3 in .243 that will do this regularly with my handloads:

http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n545/lplozada/Guns/TikkaT3StainlessLite243Wingroup100yards.jpg

3 shots @ 100 yards = .294"

BrocLuno
December 23, 2011, 11:46 PM
Aw, I pretty much figure that a .243 is real close to being a do-all cartridge. Mine is a little Sako 19" carbine with a 2x7 scope on it. I've tagged a couple of dozen bucks, ruined several coyotes and did in a fair number of prairie dogs, with various handloads.

For the kind of hunting described in the opening post, I'd trade off a 7mm RemMag in a heartbeat. :)
Ditto what he said :)

Onmilo
December 24, 2011, 08:11 AM
Just to add.
if you can tolerate the sharp quick recoil impulse of the 7mm Mag, I would keep it and just buy a .243

I never cared for the way a 7mm mag recoils and prefer a .300 Winchester Magnum or .375 H&H Magnum if I need a bigger gun.

BigSteve57
December 24, 2011, 09:56 AM
My wife hunts with a Browning A bolt .243 topped with a Leupold VX II 3-9.
She's never had a problem with whitetails.
Hunting situations in Pocono PA area where we have hunted have been (for us) generally no further than 100 yds.
She's also a pretty OK shot.

As for me I use a 30-06 but I'm very comfortable with the .243.

T.R.
December 26, 2011, 09:47 AM
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/antelopebuck760.jpg

The field of deer and varmint hunting cartridges has been wide but best sellers are few. Winchester's 243 has led the pack for several decades because of excellent marketing, superb accuracy, and great performance. I've toppled many animals with our 243 slide action rifle and none got away. Its a myth that a big cartridge is needed for big deer. One look into the chest cavity of a deer shot by 243 is convincing.

257 Roberts and 6mm have faded considerably. Unfair but true.

250-3000 Savage was displaced by the 243 about 50 years ago. Unfair but true.

Heavy jacketed bullets fired from 223 and 22-250 have toppled deer, too. But many states restrict these smaller cartridges from the deer hunting arena.

In summary, 243 is widely popular within its niche market as varmint and deer cartridge. Even European built rifles are popular in this chambering.

Good hunting to you in 2012!

TR

Savage99
December 26, 2011, 09:59 AM
336A,

I would keep the 7mmRM and use it to hunt the fields in the off season for pests.

A 30-30 would be of no interest to me what with its lack of range and so so ballistics.

Look for a light 243 that you like and dump the 30-30.

I have used the 243 since my first new one in 1957 and its a great round. Best for pests.

After you get a 243 shop for a handloading outfit.

sixgunner455
December 26, 2011, 10:27 AM
Savage99, you did notice that he named himself after that .30-30, right? :D I think he might like it just a little bit. :D

skoro
December 26, 2011, 11:13 AM
Several years ago I purchased one of the new "FN" Winchester Model 70 featherweights in 243. Outstanding rifle. I mounted a Weaver scope on it and it's everything I would have hoped for. Enthusiastically recommended.

Six-Gun
December 26, 2011, 04:48 PM
Its a myth that a big cartridge is needed for big deer.

Truer words have never been spoken. I shot two whitetails during this year's rifle season with a 30-06 purely because it was a new gun and I wanted to try it in the field. I was a stern reinder of just how overkill a .30 caliber anything is for even the larger deer we have in Nebraska. I have no beef with anyone wanting to use a .30 cal rifle on deer, especially when you start extending your range, but I'd sooner take even less punishment dropping down to a 7mm-08 or .243 if I'm after whitetail deer of any size.

336A
December 26, 2011, 05:10 PM
A 30-30 would be of no interest to me what with its lack of range and so so ballistics.

Look for a light 243 that you like and dump the 30-30.


Well none of the umpteen deer I've taken with my 30-30 sure didn't laugh it off, even the one I took at approximately 140yd;) Plus I like the puzzled looks I get at the range when I out shoot bolt guns when checking my zero:neener: There is no way I'll ever be dumping my 30-30, that ain't even an option.

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