best cartridge for this aplication?


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Ian Johnson
March 5, 2012, 12:32 AM
while my buddies and I are slowly getting into reloading I got to thinking it would be nice to have a nice lightweight rifle that i could be versatile with as far as handloading, like one that i could load heavy for deer and pigs, load light for coyotes and bobcat, I was thinking .243win, any other suggestions?

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Lee D
March 5, 2012, 12:41 AM
a straight walled case like the .44 mag. a levergun, or maybe the 77/44

Chief 101
March 5, 2012, 12:50 AM
You could not do better than 243 or 6mm unless you found a 257 Roberts.

allaroundhunter
March 5, 2012, 12:52 AM
The .243 or the 7mm-08 are great and versatile rounds. The .25-06 is also a good one, 85 gr pills for 'yotes and 115 grainers for deer and pigs.

wlewisiii
March 5, 2012, 01:04 AM
My favorite remains 7x57 though .257 Roberts is excellent for what you want as well. A less common choice, these days, but still quite fun is the good old .30-30. Amazing what you can do between 85 gr. sp's on the low end to 190 gr. silver tips on the high end and you will be hard pressed find a better, lighter & handier rifle than a Winchester 94 20" barrel carbine.

AK_Maine_iac
March 5, 2012, 01:35 AM
My vote is for either 25-06 or 30-06.

Will_G
March 5, 2012, 02:11 AM
Somewhat to my surprise, 7x57 is CHEAPER on AmmoSeek.com at the moment than .243 is. So for the use you're stipulating I'd pick 7x57 since I don't reload. But .243 sure would seem to be a really good round, too.

WTBguns10kOK
March 5, 2012, 02:21 AM
.243

68wj
March 5, 2012, 08:48 AM
The .243 or the 7mm-08 are great and versatile rounds. The .25-06 is also a good one, 85 gr pills for 'yotes and 115 grainers for deer and pigs.
Same thought here.

monkyboy1975
March 5, 2012, 08:50 AM
30-30 fits all those categories.And cheaper too.

Gunnerboy
March 5, 2012, 08:50 AM
6.5x55, squirrels to moose your covered , 80grs to 160grs and every thing inbetween.

sage5907
March 5, 2012, 08:56 AM
Ian, I also recommend a 25-06. A 100 grain bullet is great for smaller game out to 500 yards. A 120 grain for larger game like deer. Recoil is light and loading components are readily available. Every one I have owned has been a real shooter. BW

bpl
March 5, 2012, 10:28 AM
.243

MikeRussell
March 5, 2012, 10:45 AM
.243W or 7mm-08 would fit nicely

CraigC
March 5, 2012, 11:16 AM
Any of the moderate .250's, 6.5's, or 7mm's will do nicely. Worthy of note and consideration would be the .250Savage, .257Roberts, .260Rem, 6.5x55, 7mm-08, 7x57, etc.. Not to mention levergun cartridges like the .25-35, 7-30, .30-30, .32Spl, .32-40, .38-55, .375WCF, etc.. Don't forget pistol cartridge rifles chambered in .357Mag, .38-40, .41Mag, .44-40, .44Spl, .44Mag, .45Colt and .480Ruger. Lots and lots of options. In this class of rifle, you probably have the broadest selection of cartridges and the most overlap.

jerkface11
March 5, 2012, 11:39 AM
.223 would do everything you asked.

.45Guy
March 5, 2012, 11:53 AM
If you can find a barrel with a faster twist, 6mm Remington would be great for a handloader.

joed
March 5, 2012, 12:42 PM
You'll get about 1000 answers but you're on the right track with the .243. I went through the same thing 35 years ago and chose the .25-06 which I consider to be a .243 on steroids. I did it all with that rifle, ground hogs, deer and ever bear hunting. It was my only rifle until 8 years ago when I added a new .300 mag.

That rifle was used while I lived in OH, and AL and FL when I lived there.

jmr40
March 5, 2012, 01:11 PM
243 is what you want. Not that many others won't do the similar things, but for the money and versatility it is hard to beat.

30-30 fits all those categories.And cheaper too.

How so. You can buy a very accurate bolt rifle considerbly cheaper than a 30-30. Factory 30-30 ammo is a little cheaper but you can reload 243 for a lot less. The OP did say he wanted a good round for reloading.

You can't do this with a 30-30.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY0w1c-gf18

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0KY-X1e-Vg&feature=related

Art Eatman
March 5, 2012, 01:16 PM
Most of my two dozen deer with my .243 were one-shot kills. And a 55-grain bullet does terrible things to prairie dogs.

I'm real picky about my shots on deer, since I use the Sierra 85-grain HPBT. It's a blow-up bullet, so I limit myself to neck shots and cross-body heart/lung shots. It's terribly ruinacious on coyotes. :) Trivial recoil in my seven-pound Sako carbine.

Kachok
March 5, 2012, 01:17 PM
Without a doubt the king of versititlity for the handloader is the 6.5x55, also the ideal deer hunting bullet IMHO. Other great choices for the handloader are the 25-06, 7-08, 7x57, and 30-06. 243 win is a great little cartrage, but it looses out when compared to the 6.5 Sweed because of the old Mauser's super tight twist and available ultra high SD bullets, quite literally a fox to moose performer. The sweed is also a true sissy kicker much like the 243, great caliber to get the kids hunting with.

Lee D
March 5, 2012, 01:29 PM
my suggestion for a straight wall was based on my experiences when i started handloading. started with the .357 and it seemed easy enough, but my inexperience made the transition to shouldered cartridges not as simple. im not to proud to admit i ruined alotta 30-30 brass before i got it right.

but for the OP's needs, i will say the 243 would be ideal. ive taken alotta game with my .243 model 7

Kingcreek
March 5, 2012, 01:58 PM
.243 was the first cartridge I reloaded for and is still a favorite of mine.

Kachok
March 5, 2012, 03:09 PM
243 vs 6.5x55 versitility comparison. Most loads from Nosler #6
These are two great bullets in the same class as far as energy/recoil even the amount of powder used, so they are natural rivals. The difference is in the available bullets due to the very different standard rifle twists.
Light varmint
243 55gr 4032fps
6.5x55 No comprable SD bullets in production
Heavy varmint/Yote
243 80gr BT .329 BC max 3438fps
6.5x55 100gr .350 BC BT max 3188fps
Advantage 243, varmints don't need alot of retained energy, go with the extra speed.
Deer/pronghorn
243 95gr BT .379 BC .230SD 3144fps
6.5x55 120gr BT .458 BC .246 SD 3002fps
Advantage 6.5x55, much higher retained energy, less drift, superior SD and caliber. Other then a few fps it has every advantage over the 243.
Elk/caribou
243 no suitable SD bullets available. Though the 100gr Partition would do in a pinch, 3100fps .384 BC .242 SD
6.5x55 140gr Partition 2790fps, .490BC .287 SD
Big advantage 6.5x55, the much higher SD and BC combined with the higher caliber, this one is a no brainer.
Bison/Moose/Bear
243, no suitable bullet available anywhere.
6.5x55 156gr Norma Oryx/160gr Weldcore 2644fps.
While no small caliber is ideal for game this size, the Scandinavians have proven for over a century that they will reliably do the trick on any anamal up to and including large polor bear even at old small ring mauser power (aprox 2200fps)
Long range match
243 95gr VLD .480BC 3144fps
6.5x55 123gr LS .547BC Aprox 3000fps or 140gr VLD 2790fps .612 BC
While there is a 115gr VLD 6mm bullet that will hang with the 123gr LS no factory barrel will stabalize it (1:8 required) The 6.5 clearly holds the advantage in terms of wind drift for long range shooting.
Conclusion if you game is small varmint-whitetail the 243 is one tough cookie, but for pronghorn-moose the 6.5x55 clearly shows it is much more versitle, and the better overall choice between the two, and in my opinion the better deer cartrage of the two (I have hunted with both), handloaders have kept this great ol caliber going for many many years now. The new fangle 6.5s aka 260 Rem, 6.5x47 Lapua, and 6.5 Creedmore are all comprable in performance to the old Sweed, but be careful not all of them come with the super tight twist the Sweed has, so they might be limited to 120-140gr if they come with a 1:10 or 1:9.

Skyshot
March 5, 2012, 03:40 PM
243 is perfect for your app.

gatorjames85
March 5, 2012, 04:07 PM
+1 .243

CountryUgly
March 5, 2012, 04:25 PM
IMO the 25-06 or the .243 are great and probably your best bet but I'm gonna give you one to think about, probably gonna catch unabrashed H*** for this but why not the 6.8spcII, I know it's a relatively new round but it does leave you the option for bolt guns or the AR platform and there is enough info and aftermarket support now to develop good loads. I know you could say the same for the .243 but that is in the AR-10 style which tends to be more problematic and not as much aftermarket support as the AR-15. From what I've seen the 6.8 has performed well in a bolt gun.

CraigC
March 5, 2012, 04:48 PM
You can't do this with a 30-30.
How such an insanely unethical shot is relevant to this discussion I have no idea.

Ian Johnson
March 5, 2012, 10:26 PM
well im liking the tikka t3 and it comes in 243 and 6.5x55! not sure which one now, but Im still getting reloading equipment first

Abel
March 5, 2012, 10:50 PM
The 25-06 would be my choice over the 243.

Longrifle2506
March 5, 2012, 11:28 PM
25-06.......... 85 grain ballistic tips shoot as flat as a 22-250; and for deer, you can shoot 100-grain partitions, triple shocks; 110-grain accubonds; 115 grain partitions, 117 grain and 120 grain.

But it's long action; you might like the .243 because it's short action; and the .243 is more common; with ammo being more readily available in the local stores. The .243 is a very good choice; it's right behind the 25-06. The 25-06 will shoot 85 grain bullets as fast as the .243 shoots 75 grain bullets.

Kachok
March 5, 2012, 11:44 PM
well im liking the tikka t3 and it comes in 243 and 6.5x55! not sure which one now, but Im still getting reloading equipment first
My baby is my T3 Stainless 6.5x55 it is a dream gun, I have owned MANY rifles over the last 20 years but it is by far my all time favorite. True sub MOA accuracy with dran near everything you put though it, featherweight, compact, sounds like a 22mag, kills like a death ray and kicks like a cricket. The 6.5 Sweed T3s are hard to come by now unless they brought in another shipment which I understand that they are bringing more soon. BTW if you go 6.5x55 get some IMR4350 and 120gr Ballistic Tips, you can thank me later :D I don't load for the 243 (yet) but I understand N560 is a hella good powder with 95-100gr bullets, the guys in the Nosler lab got the best speed and accuracy with that one powder.

monkyboy1975
March 6, 2012, 12:25 AM
243 is what you want. Not that many others won't do the similar things, but for the money and versatility it is hard to beat.



How so. You can buy a very accurate bolt rifle considerbly cheaper than a 30-30. Factory 30-30 ammo is a little cheaper but you can reload 243 for a lot less. The OP did say he wanted a good round for reloading.

You can't do this with a 30-30.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY0w1c-gf18

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0KY-X1e-Vg&feature=related
30-30 is easy to reload,can be loaded from a .310 round ball over Unique, (Hornady makes a great little round ball for this;excellent for rabbit/squirrel hunting without destroying a lot of meat) up to the 190gr Hawk. I'm currently loading up a 'yote load with the Sierra 110gr Varmiter. So yes it is very versatile.

Kachok
March 6, 2012, 03:42 AM
30-30 is more of a speciality round, nobody shooting prairie dogs at 400 yards with it, nor shooting 1000yd match with it, but what it does it is very very good at, deer sized game within 200yds with a handy little lever gun. Sure I heard about the guy who shot a jack rabbit with one at 60,000,000yds too, but it's external ballistics put it at a real hefty disadvantage compared to the very flat shooting 243 and wind bucking 6.5s. Now mind you I think the 30-30 is the better deer cartrage in the woods, more total wounding potential then the 243 thanks to it's much heavier .30 cal bullet with similar energy, and the fact that the low speed 170s won't make alot of gunshot meat even through the shoulder. Penatration is also much more reliable with its vastly heavier bullets. So great deer rifle, but I would never champion it as the all around gun, not by a long shot. The top "do it all" rifles are the 6.5x55, 7x57, 280Rem and 30-06 very few others even come close if you think about it.

monkyboy1975
March 6, 2012, 06:59 AM
30-30 is more of a speciality round, nobody shooting prairie dogs at 400 yards with it, nor shooting 1000yd match with it, but what it does it is very very good at, deer sized game within 200yds with a handy little lever gun. Sure I heard about the guy who shot a jack rabbit with one at 60,000,000yds too, but it's external ballistics put it at a real hefty disadvantage compared to the very flat shooting 243 and wind bucking 6.5s. Now mind you I think the 30-30 is the better deer cartrage in the woods, more total wounding potential then the 243 thanks to it's much heavier .30 cal bullet with similar energy, and the fact that the low speed 170s won't make alot of gunshot meat even through the shoulder. Penatration is also much more reliable with its vastly heavier bullets. So great deer rifle, but I would never champion it as the all around gun, not by a long shot. The top "do it all" rifles are the 6.5x55, 7x57, 280Rem and 30-06 very few others even come close if you think about it.
My opinion was based on the OP's desire to go after smaller fur bearing critters, not the cartriges effective range. Blasting something that I have no interest in keeping a pelt or meat such as a prairie dog or a chuck; then yes I would go with many of the fine calibers mentioned. I don't think I would like to take a perfectly prime bobcat with a .243 due to the damage it would do to the pelt. And as far as handloading goes; you can't beat the bullet availability of the .308 caliber. Many choices to choose from in cast or jacketed,rifle bullets or pistol bullets.

Abel
March 6, 2012, 08:29 AM
I love that the 30-30 sneaks its way into every cartridge discussion. It really is an great all arounder for under 200 yards.

CraigC
March 6, 2012, 09:09 AM
30-30 is more of a speciality round, nobody shooting prairie dogs at 400 yards with it, nor shooting 1000yd match with it
A specialty round??? Who said anything about prairie dogs at 400yds or 1000yd matches? I don't think anybody hunts deer and hogs with their F-class rifle or sits over a prairie dog town all day with their deer rifle either so how valid is this statement?

Kachok
March 6, 2012, 11:14 AM
Very valid, no 30-30 load has the external ballistics for long range work, that is the point I was making. The OP said he wanted something versitile, so that is what I am focusing on. I don't varmint hunt with the exception of the occasional troublesome yote. Where I hunt now seeing a shot of 200 yards or more is dang near impossable anyway (most shots are within 70), so I would be very well served with a 30-30. My buddie out west would not, 300yd+ shots are routine for him. Yet both of us find our 06s and 6.5x55s to performe perfectly even under such wildly different conditions, highly versitle.
There are a couple of ways to perserve pelts and they are polor opposites, one is to use a modest power rifle (223 for example) and load it with low grain V-Max or Ballistic Tip Varmint. The idea is to have a small caliber entery wound and have the bullet come completly unglued inside the anamal so there won't be an exit. The other method is to load a higher power rifle with barnes solids or other non-expanding non-yawing bullet, very clean hole through and through minimal damage to the pelt, and the 25-06 guys swear it puts them down with a quickness, I don't use either since I don't keep pelts, all I know is 120gr ballistic tips kill them with an authority.

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