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223 or 243 for Varmints

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bigtee, Jan 13, 2013.

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  1. bigtee

    bigtee Member

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    Going to buy a rifle to set up for varmint hunting and I'm torn between a 223 or 243. I'm looking at the Savage model 10 Predator Hunter in 243 and the Savage model 10 Precision in 223. I'm set up to reload both, already have some good bullets for both, so ammo is not a problem. Guess I'm looking for some pro's and con's or maybe just someone's opinion. Let me know what you think.
     
  2. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    what sort of varmints? what range?
     
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    For strictly varmits, 223, no doubt in my mind. The 243 will do it, but it was designed as a dual purpose varmit/deer round. If deer are a possibility too, I'd use the 243.
     
  4. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    jmr40 said it, solely for varmint hunting, the .223 is easily the best choice.
     
  5. bigtee

    bigtee Member

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    Will be used for coyotes mainly and shots where I hunt will probably never be over 175 to 200 yards.
     
  6. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    in that case, i'd suggest the .223
     
  7. mtlucas0311

    mtlucas0311 Member

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    The guys my best friend coyote hunts with all use 204 Ruger, 223, or 22-250; and they kill A LOT of them every year. They say the 243 does to much damage to the hyde. So I'd agree with what other posters have said. If you were really reaching out there, 6mm has some really good heavy match bullets available, but it sounds like they aren't to far out.
     
  8. gobysky

    gobysky Member

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    I have the Savage 243 Predator rifle, love it. Bought it because I can't get 223 ammo right now. Have a very nice DPMS AR, but what good is it as a ammo-less paper weight?
     
  9. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    It sounds like for your hunting the .223 will do well, it's what I use for under 300 yards on coyotes etc. When you really need to reach out there though the .243 Winchester is an excellent round, with the 107 SMK it will shoot them a lot farther than I am capable of.
     
  10. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I concur with post 3. However, for a bolt rifle I would use 22-250, not .223. I would use .223 from an AR.
     
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    The 223 should do you just fine. My first rifle was a .243 and it was used for both whitetail deer and varmint hunting. Technically, the 223 with proper bullets will do okay with deer it you make the proper hits. But I don't advocate a 223 for deer hunting. An AR makes a fine varmint rig.
     
  12. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    I'll take the .243...

    58grn VMAX loads are absolutely incredible...

    Kind of low as far as sectional density goes, but it's still very flat-shooting, and carries 3900 FPS at the muzzle... perfect for Varmint, IMO. Also, .243 bullets and loaded ammo are available right now! Good luck finding .223!
     
  13. gobysky

    gobysky Member

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    Don't mean to hijack this thread by any means, but what rifle and what rate of twist are you using? I'm not getting a very good grouping with this round at 1:9.25 twist. Seems to do better with the slower / heavier FPS ammo.
     
  14. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    I would get..

    .....anything but .223. Every time Obama nods his head .223 is scarce. I have a Remington pump 7615 in .223. It doesn't get used much lately. Just might take it to my gunsmith to see if he can do something to change it over to .222.
     
  15. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Depends.... as a fur trapper I prefer .223 with Barnes Varmint grenades as it preserves the fur.....

    While hunting deer, or any other game I will take a shot with whatever I have on me.
     
  16. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    I honestly couldn't tell you... I shot 20 rounds of it out of a Savage Axis (1:9.25"). I took a quick 3-shot group, adjusted zero, took another 3-shot group, and then used the rest on some cans of soda. The target I used to zero was a 3" circle, and the groups were both right around 1.5" - 2" at 120 yards, shooting off a front rest. I have read mixed reports on the shorter bullets in 1:9.25" barrels, so it could easily just be that your rifle doesn't like it. I've been trying to find some Superformance VMAX again, and properly group them, but I haven't seen them anywhere in some quite a while.
     
  17. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    I dont want to get off topic, but throwing in the towel is not in anyones best interest.

    Fight for your right to KEEP your .223.....
     
  18. jehu

    jehu Member

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    22-250 will get you farther flatter faster!!:eek:
     
  19. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm not worried about .223 becoming illegal, banned, whatever. Definitely not getting rid of my pump. It's too much fun to shoot! Renewed my NRA membership, contacted reps, etc.

    I just want to see if my 'smith can reline the barrel or something for a caliber that's on the shelves during every scare. The AR guys clean out the shelves every crisis, thus rendering my pump almost useless. I'm not a hoarder in that caliber, it's the only rifle I have that shoots it. Fun camp gun.
     
  20. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    What JMR40 said!
     
  21. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I went through the centerfire varmint rifle decision a couple years ago and went with a bolt action .223 over my other short list cartridges, .243, 6mm, .204 Ruger and 22-250.

    Reasons: ammo availability and price (now not such a clear win for .223), reloading economy, barrel life, eventual ammo compatibility with AR, no need to use it for deer-sized game.
     
  22. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Get the .243 Winchester..............
     
  23. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If you aren't fur harvesting?

    .243 or 22-250.

    Decisively better coyote killers then the .223, as far as you can see them.

    BTDT too many times to count.

    rc
     
  24. oldpapps

    oldpapps Member

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    Everybody's got an opinion, here is mine and why.

    You are set up to load both - even.

    You have voiced the weapon (both bolts) you want - even.

    Coy-dogs at 200 yards - 243 carries farther/flatter, .223 less recoil (quicker follow up shots) - edge to the .243.

    Cost for consumables - bullets a little less for the .224s, powder a little less used in .223, brass was more available and cheaper for the .223, primers are the same - edge to the .223.

    Counting the number of rounds to be fired, I'd go with the .243.

    Your dime, your time and your enjoyment.
     
  25. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    I've got a Savage with a fast twist Shilen 26" barrel, 1:8 twist. It will shoot the 55-58gn varmint bullets into nice tight little knots and will do the same with every bullet that I've tried feeding it up to the 105gn Berger VLDs, 105gn Amax and the 107gn Nosler Custom comps. Don't get wrapped up in barrel rate of twist for the light bullets at all. It simply isn't a factor.

    On the whole, if you plan on shooting any time in the next six months or so, the .243 is the better choice. .224 cal bullets are very hard to come by right now which affects both the .223 and the .22-250. .223 brass is rare and very expensive when you can find it right now. As far as effect on coyotes, either will drop them. The .243 will do a slightly more spectacular and much more decisive job of it.
     
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