243 for white tail- fans and detractors


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FL-NC
April 6, 2016, 04:22 PM
I have been using the 243 as my "go-to" for white tail for about 15 years. My 30-30 has been collecting dust, my 308 is still around for black bear or anything bigger than a white tail, should I need it. The mini 30 was eliminated from the armory. Truth be told, I've even had excellent results with 223 inside 100 yards with the right bullet and a well placed shot. I've had 100% success with my 243- instant kills or a dead deer within 100 yards (usually less) from where it was hit. Light rifle, very accurate, minimum recoil. These are some arguments I've heard against it: 1) not enough power (I disagree- the 243 has much more power over a much longer distance than an arrow, for starters) 2) "Starter" gun- suitable for women and kids (as if only "women and kid sized" deer are the only deer that wander in sight of the stands that our children, wives, etc. occupy). I dismiss this talk as so much nonsense, maybe the "he man" attitude that a more powerful rifle = more perceived proficiency, or whatever. Would love to hear some opinions on this.

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Geno
April 6, 2016, 04:53 PM
I guess you just answered your own question.

Geno

22-rimfire
April 6, 2016, 05:00 PM
I consider it the minimum practical caliber for whitetail hunting by the average hunter.

jmr40
April 6, 2016, 05:08 PM
In 2016 with todays bullets a 243 is just about ideal for deer, whitetail or mule deer, out to reasonable ranges of 300-400 yards. It can be used for larger game or at longer distances, but there are better options for those uses.

And like you said even a 223 is a viable option, but not for anything larger than deer and at reduced ranges.

I wouldn't recommend one as an all around cartridge if game larger than deer were commonly hunted. But if a 243 was what I had, and I had a chance to hunt bigger game I'd not stay home either.

Sounds like you have a good plan.

birdshot8's
April 6, 2016, 05:10 PM
When the right bullet hits in the right place a 243 always kills quickly. My beef with the 243 is when it is handed to someone who is unfamiliar with deer anatomy and/ or lacks basic marksmanship skills. Any gun will become a "wounder" under these conditions, but the 243 is usually the gun given to an inexperienced hunter, so consequently you often hear of how the 243 does not have enough power for deer.

horsemen61
April 6, 2016, 05:52 PM
IMHO it is a better gun than some of those 300 Mangle 'ums and up here is why I don't worry about somebody flinching when I hand them a 243 :D Yes proper placement counts but that should be paramount in all calibers

FL-NC
April 6, 2016, 05:53 PM
Birdshot- very good point regarding the inexperienced hunter. And we all know that shot placement is king, no matter what you're using. When shot placement becomes irrelevant, the tool is probably illegal to hunt with!

stringnut
April 6, 2016, 05:57 PM
My wife has been using using a 250 Savage for years . A bit slower, a bit larger in diameter, and a bullet of about the same weight. Probably shot 30 deer and a hog with it. Nothing has walked away so far.She didmflat out miss once . Deer aren't that hard to put down with a good hit. I agree that most complaints center around poor shooting. Had a guy tell me he hit a deer five times and the 243 is so inadequate that it didn't even flinch!:what: Hmmm,

stiab
April 6, 2016, 07:17 PM
...I disagree- the 243 has much more power over a much longer distance than an arrow, for starters...
I'm a big fan of the .243 for many reasons, and have not been without one since 1972, but comments like the one above are inappropriate and show a total lack of understanding about the completely different killing characteristics of bullets and arrows.

Art Eatman
April 6, 2016, 08:39 PM
Back in the early days of the .243, one was taken to Africa on safari. The professional hunter's comment after seeing how effective it was on plains antelope was, "It shoots bigger than it looks."

I don't recall any of my two dozen tagged bucks being much over 150 yards, but one of the guys on our lease had a one-shot kill at some 400 yards--in front of a witness. IMO, no flies on the .243. :)

I guess the main reason it's used as a "starter" for youths and ladies is the low recoil, more than any other reason. And, commonly, newbies are commonly told to not try for long shots.

FWIW, I stepped off the distance for one of Charles Whitman's murders: 420 yards. 6mm Remington. 220 pound man.

Skyshot
April 6, 2016, 09:10 PM
Well, you know a 100 gr. Sierra gameking or Nosler partion whizzing along at 3100 fps. is going to leave a mark. :evil:

Liberty1776
April 6, 2016, 09:59 PM
It was interesting that on the ranch we hunted in South Dakota this year, everyone who lived and worked on the ranch used .243's...pronghorn, whitetail and mule deer. Oh, and lots and lots of coyotes.

Captcurt
April 6, 2016, 10:03 PM
I too believed that the 243 was a little light for deer. It might be for BIG northern whitetails or mulies, but for these small Arkansas deer it works well. Over the last few seasons I have taken 14 and all were one shot kills. Two were DRT and the rest ran a little ways, but none made it over 100 yards. Autopsies showed extreme trauma with jello lungs and chunks of heart. Nasty!

FL-NC
April 7, 2016, 10:04 AM
Stiab- I hope you don't think I was trying to insult bow hunters. My point is that a projectile in the 100 grain weight class moving in the neighborhood of 3000 FPS at the muzzle will not only do the job at 30 yards, it can also be counted on to put that animal down at 10x the distance, or even further, even with the loss of energy over that distance assuming the hunter does his/her part.

buck460XVR
April 7, 2016, 12:39 PM
Stiab- I hope you don't think I was trying to insult bow hunters.

I don't think Stiab was insulted, I think he was only referencing that comparing a bullet to an arrow, is not a realistic comparison. No one in their right mind would consider shooting a deer with a bullet moving 350FPS, even at 30 yards, but that is considered more than enough with an arrow.

Arkansas Paul
April 7, 2016, 01:22 PM
I was a detractor.

Then I killed a deer with one and watched my wife kill another with it.

I will say that I bought into the negativity without personally seeing what they did. My deer ran 30 yds and piled up dead with a wound channel just as large as my .30-06 makes. Bullet was a plain ol' blue box Federal 100 grain soft point.

My wife's was DRT with a high shoulder shot and a 85 grain SGK BTHP.

Now I know we've only killed 2 deer with it, but I'm not a detractor any more.

H&Hhunter
April 7, 2016, 02:28 PM
I had one for years. It was a bit rugged on coyotes. Out where I live I prefer one of the 6.5 MM's for a light recoiling longer range rifle, but there is nothing I wouldn't hunt in Colorado with a .243 and good bullets. While I wouldn't consider it to be an ideal elk rifle, plenty of elk are killed with them every year. I watched a guy kill a mature bull with a .243 using an 85gr Winchester factory soft point at about 300 + or- yards. If you hit them in the soft part behind the shoulder it will kill them just fine.

It's a pretty fair deer killer too and it kills pronghorn with aplomb. I like the 6.5's better for their wind bucking and energy carrying advantage. A .260 or a 6.5-06 has about the same recoil but much more capability in my estimation.

stillquietvoice
April 7, 2016, 04:18 PM
i have taken 3 deer with my 243 all dead where they they stood. my gotos were 3006 or 7 mm mag until shoulder surgery made it impossible to shoot them. just got rem 700 in 7-08 to try and build recoil tolerance gor bigger cals again.

Paul7
April 7, 2016, 05:41 PM
I had one for years. It was a bit rugged on coyotes. Out where I live I prefer one of the 6.5 MM's for a light recoiling longer range rifle, but there is nothing I wouldn't hunt in Colorado with a .243 and good bullets. While I wouldn't consider it to be an ideal elk rifle, plenty of elk are killed with them every year. I watched a guy kill a mature bull with a .243 using an 85gr Winchester factory soft point at about 300 + or- yards. If you hit them in the soft part behind the shoulder it will kill them just fine.

It's a pretty fair deer killer too and it kills pronghorn with aplomb. I like the 6.5's better for their wind bucking and energy carrying advantage. A .260 or a 6.5-06 has about the same recoil but much more capability in my estimation.
That's the reason I got the 6.5x55 instead, about the same blast and recoil, but hits like a .308.

I will say I shot one animal with a .243, a hog that was DRT.

FL-NC
April 7, 2016, 06:23 PM
I don't even use the "fancy bullets", or premiums, or whatever they are called. I'm sure they are nice bullets, but my $300 wally world 700 groups fine (about 1.5" at 100, minute of copenhagen can at 200, and more than adequate at 300 ) with the 100 grain winchester power points (also conveniently sold at wally world) and since they work so good on the deer that get shot with them, I never saw a reason to try anything else.

Paul7
April 7, 2016, 06:43 PM
I don't even use the "fancy bullets", or premiums, or whatever they are called. I'm sure they are nice bullets, but my $300 wally world 700 groups fine (about 1.5" at 100, minute of copenhagen can at 200, and more than adequate at 300 ) with the 100 grain winchester power points (also conveniently sold at wally world) and since they work so good on the deer that get shot with them, I never saw a reason to try anything else.
+1, factory rounds good enough for me also.

PowerG
April 7, 2016, 06:54 PM
When the right bullet hits in the right place a 243 always kills quickly. My beef with the 243 is when it is handed to someone who is unfamiliar with deer anatomy and/ or lacks basic marksmanship skills. Any gun will become a "wounder" under these conditions, but the 243 is usually the gun given to an inexperienced hunter, so consequently you often hear of how the 243 does not have enough power for deer.
This.

Sniper66
April 7, 2016, 07:13 PM
My big brother has killed dozens of white tailed deer and his favor rifle is a Ruger#1 .243. Being a single shot it is necessary to place the bullet where it will drop him with one shot. It does every time. My brother has hunted all over the world, including Africa and owns many high powered rifles from .204 to 300 Weatherby mag. Even with all that experience with many rifles, he still prefers his Ruger #1 .243. So is the .243 enough for deer? You bet it is!

FL-NC
April 7, 2016, 09:15 PM
Sniper- many moons ago (1990s) when I was at Ft Campbell, I had the opportunity to buy a nice #1 in 243 with a good scope for $250. Unfortunately for me at the time an extra $250 may as well have been $2500. Probably just as well, I would have ended up selling it to pay my divorce lawyer in '95.

3212
April 8, 2016, 08:23 AM
Big .243 fan here.Many PA whitetails taken with one.Some DRT and some run because I try for a double lung shot with a run to bleed out.Don't like dried blood in the meat if possible.No runs past 80 yards.

Captcurt
April 8, 2016, 09:34 AM
+1, factory rounds good enough for me also.
I believe I took 12 deer with Federal Fusians then loaded the brass with Ballistic Silvertips. Personally, I like the Fusians better even though the Noslers are more accurate in my rifle. Working up a load for Speer Grand Slams now.

One doe that I hit with a Fustian left the biggest bloodtrail that I have ever seen and I have taken a bunch of deer with a long list of calibers.

CraigC
April 8, 2016, 11:03 AM
Nope. Had one, sold it, don't miss it. I don't particularly care for bullets that penetrate a few inches and fragment. Traded away the .243 after a 100gr Federal came unglued on a rib bone. It may be a fine minimum for some folks who never take anything but a perfect broadside shot. Being primarily a handgun hunter, I want a tough bullet that exits from just about any angle and doesn't come unglued when it encounters bone.

FL-NC
April 8, 2016, 02:04 PM
Craig- that's crazy. I know some times bullets do "weird things"- believe me, I've seen it, and I also understand how "weird things" can make someone lose confidence in a particular round, caliber, etc. As for me, I've always gotten great performance from the Winchester power points I use- excellent penetration, expansion, and blood trails. I haven't recovered a single bullet or fragment yet, which I can't say for other caliber I've used- like 30-30.

3212
April 8, 2016, 06:19 PM
I don't always take perfect broadside shots.I prefer them.I take the shot I'm presented with. My last buck went down with a shoulder shot that blew a 1'' piece of bone into the chest cavity.The bullet was a 100 grain sierra spitzer at about 70 to 80 yards.He kicked for awhile but could not get up.

FL-NC
April 8, 2016, 07:46 PM
I'm with you 3212. I'm not above taking a frontal neck shot when I know I can do it and that's the only shot I have.

zb338
April 8, 2016, 08:22 PM
I have seen many deer and antelope killed with .243s. I still think if you are
going to buy a gun for bigger game than woodchucks why not use a .308 or
a 7MM/08 they have a little more power. Neither one of them kicks very
much. I think that it would be better to have a little bit extra than a little
less.

Zeke

MaterDei
April 8, 2016, 08:24 PM
243 is perfectly adequate for whitetail.

ridgerunner1965
April 8, 2016, 08:41 PM
i have killed maybe 40 deer over the years with my model 7 rem in 243.always rem 100 grn corelokts. a lot of these deer were medium to ave sized deer here in sw mo. it always did a good job. it just killed with boring regularity.

my favorite shot was broadside heart lung. they would go about 40 yrds and keel over dead from massive blood loss.

then this year a massive buck stepped out, the biggest id ever seen. easily 250lbs,huge 10 pt antlers.massive neck and rolling in fat.

he was at 280 yrds which is a strecth for me with the little 18" barreled model 7.

fired once, no reaction, fired twice, he kiked, fired again, no reaction. all this while he was moving.he went out of site.

i had some serious doubts about my marksmanship.cuss words were said.

waited about 20 min and walked over and there he was, dead as a doornail.

he had went about 50yrds and what i found upon cleaning him was i shud of just stopped after the first bullet.

all three cud of been covered by my hand in the heart lung area.his insides were a mess.

atfter the shot i was wondering if i had enuf gun for this massive deer.it turned out i had plenty.


ive also killed a lot of deer with the 06 and the 6.5x55.

the only diff i see is ive had several 06 bullets that didnt exit where the 243 always did.doesnt make sense but just my experience.

natman
April 9, 2016, 11:55 AM
243 is perfectly adequate for whitetail.

I agree. However, I prefer a larger caliber that shoots a heavier bullet. Here's a couple of quotes that explain it:

Rick Jamison (Shooting Times) has a oft repeated story about a big buck he nailed twice with a 243 that went on to be shot and claimed by other hunters. Page 59 "Rifleman's Handbook":

"I couldn't help feeling that a cartridge with more punch would have anchored the buck sooner."

Jamison is a big fan of the 243 *for varmints*, in fact he considers it the ultimate coyote cartridge.

Finn Aargard (NRA Field Editor)

Aargard wrote an excellent article called "The 243 for Big Game".
Page 101 "Hunting Rifles and Cartridges.

"[If you need a varmint / deer rifle] ..trying to make a varmint cartridge work on big game is going at it the wrong way around. It would be far better to choose a cartridge for the largest game he intended to hunt with it, the develop a load for it that would work on varmints."

"...the 6mms are essentially varmint cartridges. With the right bullets and careful shooting, they can be made to perform fairly satisfactorily on big game up to perhaps 200 lbs live weight. But why choose a cartridge that is only 'fairly satisfactory' when other cartridges are readily available in rifles that are just as light and have no more kick than those for the 243?"

In short, I don't want an adequate cartridge, I'd rather use the most powerful cartridge available without paying disproportionate penalties in weight or recoil.

Which is why I use a 308. Sure, it kicks more than a 243, but not so much as to make it unusable.

DeepSouth
April 9, 2016, 01:02 PM
I've killed more deer with a .243 than with all other caliber's combined, it's what I started with when I was 8 years old. I've killed dozens of deer with it over the years and with that said I no longer use it for deer, their are just better options. I let my kids use it when they go hunting but recoil is no longer an issue for me so I go bigger. I consider it to be the absolute bare minimum that could be suitable for white tail.

FL-NC
April 9, 2016, 04:22 PM
Natman- I've used the 308 for critters both large and small. I wouldn't hesitate to use one on most anything in the lower 48, and I really learned what its capable of as an Army sniper. The only deer I ever "lost" was a nice 6 pointer in Tn. with a well-placed 308 150 grain hornady from about 20 yards. Very little blood, and we looked for hours. Naturally, I spent the night just sick about it and doubting my abilities and wondering where that bullet REALLY went. Well, my hunting buddy found him about 400 yards from where he was shot on the way to his stand the following morning just by chance. He told me from what he could tell the shot placement was fine. Unfortunately during the night the coyotes had been on it like Larry the cable guy at the Golden Corral. My buddy sawed off the antlers and brought them back. Last I asked, they are still hanging with my shirt tail and that Hornady case. Sometimes, things just happen, and its not necessarily anyone's fault, or the gun's, or the bullet.

Hookeye
April 9, 2016, 08:09 PM
I dunno about the .243 win on whitetails.
Will report back mid November (Ruger #1 RSI).

Folks say the .35 Rem is a good one, even capable on bigger stuff.
Only shot two deer with mine, neither dropped at the shot, one went 30 and the other about 75 (yds). Good shots each.

Sometimes the critters haven't read all the magazines or internet forums, maybe never even read the movie script.

krimmie
April 9, 2016, 08:19 PM
FL-NC, I would have sewn that shirt tail back on!

FL-NC
April 9, 2016, 08:38 PM
krimmie- don't think I didn't think about that! But the deer got the worst end of the deal, and even though I lost a shirt tail, its the only one I lost and its the only one on that wall with antlers on the same nail!

natman
April 10, 2016, 10:19 AM
Sometimes, things just happen, and its not necessarily anyone's fault, or the gun's, or the bullet.

Yep, sometimes things just go wrong, no matter what you do. However, I believe that they are less likely to go wrong with a 308 than a 243. That's why I use one.

SARuger
April 10, 2016, 10:36 AM
The .243 is a great "all-around" rifle for this area, Southwester VA mountains, but with that said, the 30-30 kills more deer around here than anything combined

stoky
April 10, 2016, 11:18 AM
I think the .243 is fine for deer and antelope. It shoots really flat, making range estimation less critical.
A down side is (for people that like to shoot a lot), it's hard on barrels.

FL-NC
April 10, 2016, 03:48 PM
Stoky- I've heard that its hard on barrels too. Does this manifest in those with crazy high round counts, like the bench rest and prairie dog shooters? What is shooting "alot"? I've had mine for about 15 years, but "alot' for me is 20-30 rounds a year, since all I do is zero, take some offhand shots, and then hunt for a season (5 more rounds MAX). Unless it got dropped or something during the season, it won't get fired until the next fall.

entropy
April 10, 2016, 06:17 PM
Nothing wrong with .243 for deer-though I would personally get a 7mm-08 first.

FL-NC
April 10, 2016, 08:06 PM
entropy- I've heard good things about the 7-08 from people who swear by them. A friend from Texas slays deer with one like its his job. I would consider one except for 2 things: 1) I have a 243 that works fine, and I've become a little attached to it 2) 7-08 isn't commonly available at my local Wal Mart (a major factor for me regarding the purchase of any gun I'm actually going to use)

entropy
April 11, 2016, 09:12 PM
True on both counts. If you have a .243, keep it. You already know it's a good caliber. And yes, some Wal-Marts don't stock 7mm-08. Ours does. The Sporting Goods Dept. Mgr. shoots one. :D If I did have one, I'd load for it anyway.

41 Mag
April 21, 2016, 05:57 PM
I got a Win 70 in .243 for Christmas in '70, when I was 7. It has taken a ton of deer through the years as well as fox squirrels and other critters. Being I am now 52 it has served me well and is still capable of shooting 3/8" groups at 200yds with the right loads.

I watched my pop shoot a doe once out of a swaying tree stand that was far enough away I had to go back to the stand and direct him another hundred or more yards to find it. We could plainly see it laying dead as it was when he shot it from the stand but we didn't see the first creek we came to and it was laying next to the second one WAY out past that. I don't know how far it was since I was only around 9 at the time, but it was far enough we both got tired of dragging that deer back.

I used the Nosler 85gr Solid Base for many years loaded over a nice dose of 3031. It put a lot of deer down on the spot. I had a few run but they usually only went about 30-50yds before they realized they were a goner. I shot straight through a 200# doe with one from front shoulder to opposite rear ham, and made a total mess out of everything in between. What was funny she ran straight to me and looked back behind her. When she stopped I slipped another one through the base of her neck and that was that. When I walked up I immediately knew why she looked back as there was a 3" hole in her ham, and I presume she was wondering what bit her in the rear.

My grandsons range in age form 7 to 14 and have all shot deer with a .243 using my handloads. I have to drop them down a bit for the younger one due to the Ruger Compact only weighing 6.5 pounds, but they still get the job done. I'm loading them 95gr bullets over reduced loads of H-4895, and I only let them shoot to 75yds at the max. Those little pills are still hitting with plenty of authority to slam a decent sized doe on her ear.

FL-NC
April 21, 2016, 07:24 PM
41- I've considered getting into reloading mostly for long range precision 308, and maybe some hunting rounds like 243 and 30-30, but for right now, I'm just not shooting enough to justify the $ or time, plus the satisfactory performance I've been getting from the off the shelf stuff for hunting. Maybe next year when I retire (again).

Legionnaire
April 22, 2016, 11:07 AM
All my kids who hunt took their first whitetail with a .243. While my go-to hunting rifle is a Model 7 in .308, I would not hesitate to go afield with its twin in .243. I find the .243 to be a great intermediate cartridge, big enough for deer and not too big for ground hogs. If I had to split the difference, I'd opt for the .260 Rem, although a 7mm-08 would be dandy, too.

olkowsr
April 22, 2016, 04:22 PM
Based on your love for the 243 I think its perfect for you.

I live in Michigan and I use my .300 Win Mag because its just a few inches of drop more than a laser at 350 yards or less (haha get it, lasers don't have drop).
- but that's my personal preference.

FL-NC what is the model / make of your 243? Just wondering.

blarby
April 22, 2016, 05:23 PM
I don't particularly care for bullets that penetrate a few inches and fragment.

Easy fix !

Buy better bullets

FL-NC
April 22, 2016, 08:00 PM
olkowsr- I have a Remington 700 wally world special, with that crappy remington parkerized treatment that is a rust magnet (so I use lots of motor oil on the exterior metal- problem solved) it is the model with the blind magazine. I replaced the cheap plastic stock with a black/grey laminate one from stocky's for $100- it tightened up the action and groups some, and it looks really nice on that parkerized finish. I replaced the plastic trigger guard with a metal one from Brownells. The scope is a bushnell banner 3-9 with illuminated red/green reticle in Leupold mount/rings. Yep, perfect for me.

CraigC
April 23, 2016, 01:01 PM
Easy fix !

Buy better bullets
Personally, I don't think you should have to use premium bullets like the Barnes TSX for killing 80lb does. The only reason I'm doing this in the .250 is because I really like the rifle and it's an excellent shooter.

Any off the shelf 100gr load should do the job without fragmentation.

FL-NC
April 23, 2016, 03:35 PM
As I stated before, 100 grain power points worked fine for me- never found bullets or pieces of them in any deer I ever shot and they group fine out of my rifle. I'm sure a cheaper imported round could be found at a gun show, but what Wal Mart stocks is doing fine for me. To the best of my knowledge, all white tail deer are constructed out of the same materials.

CraigC
April 23, 2016, 04:04 PM
Like I already said, I had a 100gr Federal come completely unglued on a doe's shoulder. Remington 100gr loads have done similarly out of the .250, on a couple deer and in test media. The 100gr TSX held together, mushroomed beautifully and doubled penetration. For my purposes, the two cartridges are only "adequate" and even then, only with premium controlled expansion bullets like the TSX. If I were stuck with standard off the shelf 100gr loads, I wouldn't bother with either one.


To the best of my knowledge, all white tail deer are constructed out of the same materials.
They are but some have a lot more of it. The average 150lb buck around here would be fine and I took a really nice 10pt two years ago with the .250 but no way would I go after monstrous 250-300lb bucks with a lowly .243 (or .250).

FL-NC
April 23, 2016, 05:10 PM
Craig- I've never shot a deer even approaching 200 pounds. I know they make them, but I never shot one. That being said, a deer that heavy- isn't that weight distributed somewhat evenly throughout the entirety of an animal that is larger in every way that a lowly 150 pounder? Meaning, that the animal's 100 pound (or whatever) superiority isn't strictly confined to, say, the area just behind the front shoulder. Therefore, it seems to me that a well-placed expanding 100 grain soft point generating 1000+ foot pounds of energy out to 300 yards, shattering ribs, penetrating the vitals, causing trauma through massive blood loss and an open pneumothorax (open chest wound with mutilated lungs) would have a similar effect on any size animal in the species. Big or small, I would think a wound of this type would have a similar effect on any deer. Is this an ignorant assumption? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

CraigC
April 23, 2016, 05:39 PM
More material means more for the bullet to work against. 6" of penetration and full fragmentation might get right to the heart and explode it on a 80lb doe and kill it deader than fried chicken right on the spot. Same load might only wound a 300lb mule deer buck. This becomes even more significant with wild hogs. HUGE difference between a 100lb meat hog and a 400lb bruiser with 2" of gristle plate. Personally, if I can't depend on a bullet to hold together from point A to point B, I have no use for it. Whether it kills the target on the spot or not. Which is why I'm not going to be using the .338cal 225gr SST on elk. Sure, it might work great on a perfect broadside that squeezes between the ribs but what if the bull is a once in a lifetime trophy and quartering away?

Forget energy, it tells us nothing.

FL-NC
April 23, 2016, 07:16 PM
I guess I'll have to take your word for it. The deer (many over 150 lbs) I've killed in Tn, Ky, and NC all ended up with impressive exit wounds and leaking like a fawcett. Most hogs I killed in SC, Ga, and Fl (and a few did hit 400) were killed with either 75 grain 5.56 (with 2 holes) or a 7" bladed Tanto knife to the chest (1 hole). Either way, they died fairly quick, usually noisy.

22-rimfire
April 24, 2016, 11:21 AM
I think the 243 is perfectly adequate for white tail deer. It is what I started with and I have no hesitation suggesting that caliber especially to younger/newer hunters. They however must practice with their rifle. I moved up in caliber to a M700 in 270win and that's where I stopped. At the time, I wanted something with more flexibility than the 243 for black bear and possibly elk. The 243 became my varmint rifle and I eventually decided to sell it in favor of something like the 223. Other than rimfires, I don't keep a bunch of rifles around that I am not likely to shoot.

The problem with new hunters is hitting them right. You take the shot you're presented with and that is in fact why I eventually moved up in caliber to 270 win. In real life, I almost never could scope a bunch of deer out in a field and wait for the perfect shot to present itself. My hunting was mostly in the woods.

That was then. If I had the opportunity for a fair shot, I took it. Now, I don't care so much and pretty much go handgun only. Success is not determined by how many points the antlers have or how many pounds of meat I take home. It is determined by how much I enjoy the day.

homers
April 24, 2016, 02:17 PM
Heaviest buck I ever shot (UP of Michigan) was with a 243 and a 100 grain nosler partition. Field dressed over 200 pounds. Clean shot, good placement, deer dropped in its tracks. Taken many other, mature midwest bucks and don't have any second thoughts using a 243 for deer.

FL-NC
April 24, 2016, 03:37 PM
homers- What was the distance to the UP buck? Did you get an exit wound?

Ole Joe Clark
April 24, 2016, 10:21 PM
I like my .243, but don't hunt much anymore. If you want to see some impressive .243 gun work, google "dartman76" or "dartman and the neighbor". It's not uncommon for these guys to shoot coyotes and deer at 600 plus yards with the .243.

olkowsr
April 26, 2016, 09:27 AM
olkowsr- I have a Remington 700 wally world special, with that crappy remington parkerized treatment that is a rust magnet (so I use lots of motor oil on the exterior metal- problem solved) it is the model with the blind magazine. I replaced the cheap plastic stock with a black/grey laminate one from stocky's for $100- it tightened up the action and groups some, and it looks really nice on that parkerized finish. I replaced the plastic trigger guard with a metal one from Brownells. The scope is a bushnell banner 3-9 with illuminated red/green reticle in Leupold mount/rings. Yep, perfect for me.
Nothing wrong with the wally world special as they are made in the same place as the ones at Cabelas... lol

I'm happy you enjoy it.

Thanks,
Ron

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