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243 rifle twist and bullet selection

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by viking499, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. viking499

    viking499 Well-Known Member

    I have a 243 with a 1 in 10 twist. What is the smallest grain bullet it will handle? I normally shoot 100 grain bullets, but I want to go with something smaller for varmits. Was thinking something 50 to 80 grain? Anyone had experiences with smaller grain 243 bullets? Recommendations?
  2. JonB

    JonB Well-Known Member

    I believe 55gr is about the smallest you will find in .243. I have only used mine for deer so I stick with the 100 gr.

    Maybe try something in the 65gr range? You may have to try a couple different bullets and see what shoots the best.
  3. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    I've had excellent results with the 85-grain Sierra HPBT on both deer and coyotes. Tight-group load. I'm using 37.5 grains of 3031; I suggest working up to that weight.

    I've always gotten tight groups with the 70-grain Hornady spitzer, although I haven't loaded that one for several decades. I think I've about used up all of those that I loaded back in 1968. :) 40 grains of 3031; again, work up.

    I've loaded some 55-grain VMax for prairie dogs. Ruinacious out to the 300 yards or so I've tried. I disremember the powder; not 3031...

  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    You will have no problems with the .243 shooting light bullets -- any barrel rifled for a heavier bullet will always shoot lighter bullets well.

    The .243 was developed as a dual-purpose rifle, for both long range varmit shooting and also for hunting deer-sized game. It will do well with a wide range of bullet rates, from about 60 grains up to 117 grains.
  5. archerben

    archerben Well-Known Member

    I've got a .243 with a 1 in 9.25" twist. I've had very good luck with the Nosler 70 gr Ballistic Tips (1/4 - 3/4 MOA). I've also shot one load of the 55 gr Ballistic Tip and it shot about 1/2 MOA (a friend had some loaded and let me shoot a group). With a 1 in 10 twist, I would guess you're gun should handle lighter bullets just fine.
  6. fgr39

    fgr39 Well-Known Member

    I just started playing with light bullets for my .243 shooting groundhogs. For factory ammo I have used Horandy 58 grain V-max moly and they shoot pretty good (less than an inch at 100 yards) and my first set of hand loads all were around 3/4" at 100 yards. I was using varget and Barnes 58 grain varminator. Both loads work really well on groundhogs.
  7. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    you need a 1/9 or 1/8 twist, to fire the low boys, about the lowest yours will do is 90 grain, maybe 85.
  8. browningguy

    browningguy Well-Known Member

    Huh???? I shoot a 12 FV with a 1:9.25" twist, it shoots everything well from 70 Gr. Nosler BT's to the 100 gr., and loves the Sierra 85 gr. GMK.

    Normally you want a faster twist to stabilize a heavier (longer) bullet, not the other way around. In fact, a 1:10" twist .243 will do best with a 55-85 gr. bullet, but may not stabilize the 105's or the VLD's (although I think it would be ok it seems marginal for the L/D).
  9. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Well-Known Member

    Browningguy you are right. The one in 8 to 9 twist barrels are for heavier bullets. A remington 244, if one could be found would be great for all of the lightweight bullets now available to handloaders. They have a 1-12 twist and would handle up to 90 grain bullets.

    If these light weight bullets are spun too fast they can come apart from centrifical force. Thats why the 223 normally has a 1-12 twist and the 22-250 has a 1-14 twist. The 22-250 has much higher muzzle velocity.

    The 243 has loads showing close to 4000 fps with the right charge. A 1-9 twist just might tear one of these bullets up if the jacket is too thin.
  10. Lucky

    Lucky Well-Known Member

  11. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    not so; I have a remmy 788, that is stunningly accurate, and does not shoot anything below 90 grains well. However, everything 90 g and up is fine.
    Yes I know, normally you could say with all confidence, that if it has a twist rate, to stabilize a 105, it should be fine with anything lighter, but in this case, no. I have shot a lot of rifles in a lot of diff cals, and i have run across this a couple of times, and so far, it has only been with the 243 caliber, and diff rifles.
    I do not know why this is; maybe because it is a high pressure round, maybe it 's internal ballistics are a bit diff than what we think, and the bullet is more molten as it moves through a 6mm tube, I don't know. But again, I have experienced this more than once, but only with the 243.
  12. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    velocity and spin rate are not two sides of the same coin, don't go by that. Spin rate is used to speed up or slow down the rate of spin, depending on how long/heavy a bullet is. You generally need a faster spin rate, for a longer/heavier bullet. I would think a 1/9.25 twist would do 110's, very nicely maybe even 115's ; I think that only a few makers make 115 vld type bullets out there.
  13. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    "you need a 1/9 or 1/8 twist, to fire the low boys, about the lowest yours will do is 90 grain, maybe 85."


    With all due respects - that's simply wrong.

  14. Lucky

    Lucky Well-Known Member

    I meant spin rate like rpm.
  15. Swampy

    Swampy Well-Known Member

    You will need a 1-8" twist to stabilize a 6mm 115 grain bullet.... all of which I currently know of are VLD's.

    Trust me.... see my tagline.

    BTW, I started out shooting way back when with a .243.... two of them actually. I never had any problems getting 60-65 grain bullets to shoot in the factory standard 1-10" twist barrels.

    Best to all,

    Garands forever
  16. texasrev

    texasrev New Member

    bullet weight & twist -- powder choices

    I shoot a .243 Rem 700 26" SPS Varmint. 1:9 1/4. I use IMR4064 for everything below 85g and IMR4350 for 100g. Shot a 10 shot / 3/4" group @ 200yds today on 100g Sierra GameKings. I've also shot as close with Hornady 100g BTSP of the shelf. I've shot 1" @ 200yd with 55g Blitzkings on IMR4064. I shoot in the lower to mid range of Hodgden Reloading data. To be honest, I used H4895 for everything for years, and don't know why I changed. Maybe just got bored with good results. Other calibers moved me to IMR4350, which seems to be really good in .270 and .30-06 Mid and heavy loads.

    Point is some experimentation with powders and charges can add real accuracy. Start with some web survey of options. The twist may be less a factor than some methodical and patient matching to your particular barrel. Take you time, shoot every windless day you can, and log your results. Personal load + your personal rifle.
  17. mshootnit

    mshootnit Well-Known Member

    You can go a small as you want... I had great luck with 70 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tips. RL 15 is a great powder for that weight.
  18. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Well-Known Member

    I have successfully shot the 55 gr Sierra Blitzkings in my 10 twist rifle, but the sweetest bullet in this barrel is an 87 gr. Hornady Vmax. I tried a 95 gr Berger VLD and it will not stabilize it, went with the 87 Vmax and fell in love.
  19. T.R.

    T.R. Well-Known Member


    I've tried many loads in my 243 and have found Sierra's 80 grain to be quite accurate and deadly.

    95 grain Nosler Ballisitc Tip bullet is our family's favorite for pronghorn antelope.

  20. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    Now that I think about it; it could seriously be related to the powder used; I know that as i go to a lighter bullet , my groups start opening up. Normally i would say , you just have to try diff bullets out there, to see if lighter works for you, but i have only found 3 diff makers, who offer factory loads lighter than 90 grains; so if you try them, and they are not so accurate for you, you may have to go to handloads, if you want light and accurate.
    But normally , a 1/10 twist would do the job, in 99% of the rifles in other calibers you could think of- just something a bit strange about the 243 i have found, they seem to not likey lighter bullets so much.

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