Deer Hunters... what .243?


December 23, 2011, 01:11 AM
Hey guys, picked up a new rifle in .243, and I'm wondering what round you guys use? I haven't looked too much about different loads, but as I understand it, .243 has quite a few options. Any suggestions are welcome. Shots will be 200 yards, at most.


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December 23, 2011, 01:18 AM
What kind of deer?

Doesn't really matter. I think you could shoot a hundred deer with several different brands and loads of premium .243, and see no discernible difference.

December 23, 2011, 01:20 AM
what shoots good in my rifle may not give good accuracy in yours. try a few different loads.

i take my deer with handloads.

December 23, 2011, 01:26 AM
100gn soft points, both Federal and Remington, have shot very well from my .243 hunting rifle.

December 23, 2011, 01:33 AM
I'm mostly just asking about bullet types and weights, not necessarily accuracy. But all responses are appreciated!

I currently have a box of Remington 100grn soft points that came with it, so they'll be first on the list to try (Hopefully tomorrow!)

December 23, 2011, 02:08 AM
I use hand loads Nosler 95 grain. I think most heavier grain bullets (more then 90g) would do fine for deer.

The Kidd
December 23, 2011, 03:21 AM
Great choice for a deer rifle. I hand-load 100gr Sierra Game Kings but before I started loading we used Remingtons and also Federals in 100gr. These have worked so well we never tried another wt for deer.

December 23, 2011, 03:28 AM
Thanks! I am so looking forward to shooting this. And I see Federal has a 100grn Sierra Gameking Boat Tail Soft Point that seem to look good on paper. I am going to have to pick some up.

December 23, 2011, 04:29 AM
100gr Hornady Interlock boattail softpoint, 35.5gr IMR 4895. Not a real hotrod load - I doubt it's breaking 3000fps. But it's done several 5/8" groups out of my Savage, and rings steel well past 300 yards.

December 23, 2011, 06:07 AM
Im running 105grn amax pretty fast right now, but my go to loads are 100grn whatevers by whom ever at reasonable velocity.....or any factory load that fits those criteria.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
December 23, 2011, 06:47 AM
Barnes Solid Copper X Bullet.
It will enable you to hunt game that is larger than one would typically hunt using a .243

The Barnes sight says to take the bullet weight you would typically use and then drop down one weight for the 'proper' Barnes Bullet.

December 23, 2011, 10:07 AM
PMP South African ammo is affordable and deadly. However, my long range choice is Black Hills Ammo featuring the 95 gr ballistic tip.


December 23, 2011, 10:24 AM
Barnes Solid Copper X Bullet.
It will enable you to hunt game that is larger than one would typically hunt using a .243

The Barnes sight says to take the bullet weight you would typically use and then drop down one weight for the 'proper' Barnes Bullet.
The Barnes all copper TSX is long for weight due to copper being lighter than lead. Kinda have no choice but to use a slightly lighter bullet to maintain COAL and powder capacity. You will get your best penetration on game by using a bullet on the heavy end of the spectrum and that is a premium type "controlled" expansion. You want near 100% weight retention. Penetration is a funtion of Momentum and bullet construction.

December 23, 2011, 10:32 AM
I've taken whitetails out to 225yds no problem with a savage shooting 100 gr rem corelocks

December 23, 2011, 10:45 AM
I have killed deer with 90 grain ballistic tips, in factory loaded Remington ammo. Then I started reloading, and went with 100 grain Sierra Pro-Hunter. I can tell no difference between the two as far as performance, both are deadly.

December 23, 2011, 01:10 PM
T.R. I have my dad's old 760 in .257 Roberts, it's hammered, but I love it, one in .243 would be great.

I'm getting my handloading moving, and I want to use Barnes TSX bullets for just about everything, I wish they weren't so dang expensive. :) They are a local company.

December 23, 2011, 02:45 PM
Remington's 100 grain Core-Lokts will get the job done. They shoot right at 1-inch in both my Model Seven and 700 BDL Custom Deluxe. I plan to work up some more accurate loads over the winter months, but the Core-Lokts have proven accurate and deadly enough for hunting purposes.

December 23, 2011, 03:37 PM
For deer I have always loved Remington Core-lokt even though their are other good brands. Like hornady, and winchester, stick with at least 100 gr for deer, lighter ones for varmint.

Doug S
December 23, 2011, 06:09 PM
I used a 243 this deer season for the first time. Two shots, two deer (a buck and a doe), using Winchester 95gr BallisticSilvertips. Both shots through the lungs. Neither deer went very far before dropping. I have to say that I was impressed with the 243. Neither shot was much of a test for the 243, though, as they were not very long (50-100 yards), with both deer presenting nice broadside shots.

December 23, 2011, 06:20 PM
I bought my first .243 in 1971, and i still have it. For rib shots with factory ammo, i use nothing but 100 bullets, Rem. Cor-lokt's work pretty good.

For more penetration (other than rib shots) i MUCH prefer 95 or 100 grain NP's! I was never impressed with my .243 on deer until i switched to NP's!


December 24, 2011, 01:33 AM
Thanks guys. Also, what is reasonable .243 pricing for 20 rounds of a factory load? My area has it priced over the SAME .308 loads (brand, bullet type, only the weight and charge are different)!

December 24, 2011, 02:22 AM
Well that .58 grain bullet is a couple hundred feet per second faster,but I wouldn't use it hunting white tail bucks.

Mark, esquire

December 24, 2011, 09:38 AM
Inebriated, it depends on where you are. Most of the time, U.S. made ammo with regular cup-and-core softpoints, like the Remington Corelokt and Federal -whatever they're calling it- is going to be going for $15.00-$20.00 a box. That's a dollar/round. Premium ammunition, with the expensive fancy-pants bullets, is going to be ~$30-$40/box.

The regular cup-and-core bullets you can usually get as reloading components for under $30/100, and the more expensive ones for under $30/50. The interlocks I mentioned above I get for about $20/100, so one bullet is 20 cents, and one primer is about 3.5. Add a penny or two of powder and brass I already have, and I'm loading them for about a quarter/round. Using the expensive bullets is going to run ~45-65 cents per loaded round, so I can load anything I want for a lot less than factory ammo.

If you don't have reloading equipment, it might be a good idea to get some. I don't actually save money because of mine - I get to shoot more per dollar I spend on ammunition. Most hunters don't really shoot their hunting rifles all that much because it costs $1+/round to shoot them, using factory ammo. Two boxes of ammunition costs as much as dinner for 2 at Chili's, after all, or 2/3 of a tank of gas in my truck, and that's more than most hunters use practicing in a year, judging by my friends who don't reload. On the other hand, if you reload, that afternoon shooting will cost you about ten bucks, which means you'll probably do it more often. Most of my friends who reload shoot all the time, and are much more proficient with their rifles as a result.

That is a Good Thing.

December 25, 2011, 05:50 AM
Thanks, those prices sound about right. And I don't have any reloading equipment yet (saving brass, though). I too am planning on it for more per dollar, rather than actually saving money. I do plan on shooting this rifle a lot (I'm a gun guy before I'm a hunter, after all), so reloading is definitely something I'm needing to start up. I am pretty sure that if I get another caliber, I'm just going to start.

December 25, 2011, 05:16 PM
I think you'll be pleased with good old Rem Core-lokt. They've been knocking down deer for ever :)

December 25, 2011, 09:52 PM
As much as I love the latest and greatest, I really can't argue with that logic and the results it's seen!

December 25, 2011, 10:03 PM
at least 100 grain in partition bullets,even corelokts, but i really suggest going up to .308 or 7mm-08

December 25, 2011, 11:44 PM
I think a .243 bullet in just about any available weight is more than ample for even the biggest whitetail deer. We're all entitled to use what we wish, but I honestly think that a 30-06/.308 is pretty overkill for whitetails deer. When I step up to even a 7mm-08, I use it for deer, but I have no issue using it for much, MUCH bigger stuff. In fact, I took this approximately 600 lb. cape kudu in Africa with a 140 grain Nosler AccuBond. No issue dropping him at all - one shot behind the last rib and to the front shoulder did the trick:

Video of the kill:

Same effect with the same weight on a similarly sized gembok:

I'm sure that even an 80 grain .243 will absolutely slap any sized whitetail silly. In fact, the 80 gr. Barnes TTSX is what I've loaded up for my new .243 Tikka T3 for next whitetail season.

December 25, 2011, 11:48 PM
I have a savage that shoots remingons 90gr swift scirocco loading into 1" consistantly to point of aim. Very reliable deer getter. Once i figured that out i purchased 5 boxes of it. I shoot 3-4 doe a year with it so should last me a while.

Also settled on hornady 58gr for whistle pigs (eastern groundhogs) is slightly more accurate and does wonders on the pests!

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