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.243 lowest cost, best all around round?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by andrewshogun, Oct 10, 2009.

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  1. andrewshogun

    andrewshogun Member

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    I'm new to the hunting world, and deciding on a good versatile rifle. .243 seems to fit the bill, as it can knock down varmints without destroying to a bloody mess, and also powerful enough to hunt deer with at a later time. I will primariy be hunting varmints with the rifle to begin with, but could venture into pig/boar later as well. Cost of the ammo is a big concern for me. Any other alternatives to .243 I should consider for the stated purpose? Thanks.
     
  2. solvability

    solvability Member

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    The only hesitation I have on 243 is the short barrel life - I like to practice and a 243 barrel may not last even a thousand rounds. Consider a 260 rem. and everyone should have a 223.
     
  3. bchris2146

    bchris2146 Member

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    From personal experience I can say that my .243 is the most reliable deer rifle I've ever owned. I got it when I was a young boy, killed many whitetail with it. I still use today as a back up gun (only because its a youth model). A well placed clear shot (no brush) and deer wont go far, I guarantee it!
     
  4. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    My wife and son both hunt with a 243. My daughter will use a 243 next year. I used one for many years before switching to a 7 mag for a few years. My deer gun now and for the long term is a 6.5x55. A 243 and a 100 grain bullet will work fine on deer with good placement.
     
  5. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    Pick yourself up a little savage bolt or a H&R handi rifle in .243. I would not worry to much about barrel life in a hunting rifle. I have only shot two barrels out in my life and I shoot alot. One was a .17 rem and the other a 22-250 rem. We would shoot hundreds of rounds in a course of a weekend shooting pasture poodles. Anyway back to a .243 great little rifle and it can handle what you are asking it to do. Ammo will run anywhere from $10.75 a box for Rem core loks to $35+ for premium stuff. Graf and Sons is a great place to order afforable ammo from. A box of Hornady Custom 95 grain SST at Dicks sporting goods runs $32.95, Graf's sells the same box for 23.87. If you are looking for a good little rifle for not a lot of money check out the above.
     
  6. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    I would argue the .308 is about as good as it gets, you can load 110's for varmint's. A .308 barrel will typically go well over 8000 rounds and it can take any North American big game short of a grizz or brown bear.

    Handloading my .308 ammo with 168 gr HPBT's = 45 cents/round. Factory junk runs around $1/round.
     
  7. blackops

    blackops Member

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    A 243 is a solid choice.
     
  8. Will Fennell

    Will Fennell Member

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    Get a .223

    If varmints, low recoil and low cost are a concern, get a .223 bolt gun first. You will get more shooting done, and enjoy it more. Later, when you are ready for big game hunting, get a similar rifle, in a big game cartridge.

    Sometimes do-all cartridges are not best at any of the assigned task.
     
  9. bpl

    bpl Member

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    I'll 2nd the .223!
     
  10. nathan

    nathan Member

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    I have one in Youth model. It hasnt made a deer kill yet. I have no doubt it will do the job.
     
  11. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    For varmints and deer, the .243 will do. For hogs, I would personally prefer something a little larger. If he doesn't go down on the first shot, I would want a little more gun if I had to go after him in the brush. A .270 would do great. Not as many choices in ammo for varmints though. This is just my opinion. As far as a rifle, take a look at the Weatherby Vangaurds. $400 and MOA out of the box. You can look at a target to check. One comes with every rifle.
     
  12. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Absolutely, .243 is the best choice, if yotes and beavers and small pigs and such are considered on your "varmints" list. .243 winchester is one extremely versatile and outstanding all-around cartridge.

    If you're talking about pdogs and such as varmints, then I'd go lighter, with a .223 rem or other round.
     
  13. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    Go for the .243. I have killed a ton of deer and hogs with the 6mm Remington. It is very similar.

    The .243 will work great if you take you time and learn how to shoot. Low recoil helps with this.

    The .223 is also a good choice to begin with, but then you will have to buy another rifle at some point. I have seen many hogs taken with the .223, but it was by a gentleman who shoots everyday and whose ranch was overrun with hogs.

    The .308 is a good choice as well, but finding ammo to start out with is difficult. The specialty rounds are not available at many places.

    Stick with your original idea and get a .243. You might also look into reloading your brass. It is really simple and you can start reloading with very simple tools.

    Good Luck,

    Matt
     
  14. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    There's no such thing as an "all-around round" for beaver to boar. Just get what works for your purposes, and save your pennies.

    I'd lean towards a .223 for varmints (much cheaper ammo, better barrel life, etc.), and something in the .27 to .30 caliber range for bigger game later. You may well find that the rifle you want for one purpose isn't ideal for the other, caliber notwithstanding.

    Either way, I think you'd have a lot of fun with the .223 right now, while considering what you want in a big game rifle down the road.
     
  15. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    Winchester introduced the .243 in 1955 specifically as a dual-purpose cartridge. It’s as good today as it was fifty years ago.

    In 1955 they could of brought out a 8mm (7-08), or a 6.5 (260), a .257, .277, or anything else. They could of done nothing and just left it .308. They didn’t. They made it a 6mm because that’s the one best compromise that works for both varmints and, with heavy bullets - deer sized animals up to 400 lbs.

    The .223 is a good varmint round, but it runs out of “oomph” on animals over 100 lbs. Making it a very poor choice for a "do all" rifle. It just can't cut it on antelope or deer sized game, no matter how much some hunters would like it too.

    The .308 is better for deer, but it makes for a less than ideal varmint round. The lighter bullets have poor ballistic coefficients, and are still to heavy for smaller animals if pelts are desired. The same can be said for the .260 Rem the 7-08 Win.
     
  16. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    You're suggesting that Winchester's introduction of a round equates to it being a good caliber choice?

    LOL

    Maybe, but the rifle and scope combo you might want to use for coyotes isn't the same as a good pig rifle in California. So why compromise, if you're going to end up with two rifles anyway?

    Why not get a .223, which is a cheaper, lower-recoil round, and a .308, which is a significantly better pig round than .243? I'd want the .308 in a sporter-weight carbine, with a light, lower-powered scope, and the .223 in a full-length, heavier rifle, with a varmint scope on it. IMO a compromise would be what compromises usually are: poor performers for any particular purpose.

    Besides, pigs may be deer-sized, but deer aren't exactly pig tough.:) .243 isn't exactly a popular round for pigs in California, AFAIK.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  17. Leaky Waders

    Leaky Waders Member

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    get a 22 long rifle...

    If you don't have a 22 long rifle get an accurate 22.

    You can use it for practice and it will be much cheaper than any centerfire.

    You can site dead on at 90 yards for varmints.

    You'll use the gun your whole life.

    Later, get a deer round that you feel comfortable with - low recoil includes:

    243 - kind of controversial if you're a man, praised if you're a youth or girl...go figure.
    22-250 and 223 - both controversial
    30-30, 7-mm08, 6x55, 260, or 284 all highly praised
     
  18. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    He said "pig/boar", not just deer.

    And...

    California pig hunting is almost exclusively done in the lead-free Condor zone. Any California hunter would do well to make sure that a variety of good lead-free bullets are available in the caliber of choice, before buying a rifle.

    How many 6mm lead-free bullets are there out there? Two, both from Barnes? You want to shoot a big pig with an 85 grain bullet? An 80 grain bullet?

    And then, are you willing to buy a rifle that might or might not work with Barnes copper? You can't buy a 6mm bullet made of gilding metal. Hornady doesn't make a 6mm GMX. Nosler doesn't make a 6mm e-Tip.

    With regulations on lead, your .243 might turn out to be nearly useless for anything you want to do with it. You need to do more research.

    Like I said, there's no such thing as an "all around" rifle or round that does everything, ESPECIALLY when your bullet options may be severely limited.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  19. bpl

    bpl Member

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    Get a .223 now, and a larger caliber for big game later. I'd suggest 7mm-08, 308, 270 or 30-06 for deer and pigs later. For now, the .223 will be your best option for varmints/predators at a reasonable ammo cost. .223 ammo is a lot cheaper than .243 ammo, by the way.
     
  20. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    Alot of people are really fond of the .223 I however am not one of them. If you want a varmit rifle not a dual purpose rifle .22-250 all the way baby.;)
     
  21. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    PMP ammo from South Africa is accurate and reliable. We've taken many mulies with their affordable 100 grain ammo.

    TR
     
  22. bpl

    bpl Member

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    .22-250 makes a great varmint/predator round as well. However, ammo is more expensive and barrel life is much shorter than .223.
     
  23. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    True but nothing in the varmit caliber world has the splat factor of the .22-250. I own and have taken praire dogs with a .223 not nearly as cool:D
     
  24. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    .22-250 is a great varmint round. Perhaps it's THE great varmint round.

    "Lowest-cost" per the OP's question? No.

    Is 100 grain .243 a pig round? I don't think so. Is South African ammo lead-free for California pig hunting? No. You can't use it, so it's not relevant.
     
  25. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    Nosler does make an E-Tip:

    http://www.nosler.com/index.php?p=11&b=5&s=140

    and I am sure a 6mm GMX is not far behind.

    There is no rule that states you can't practice with PMP and then hunt with E-Tips or X Bullets.

    I regularly practice with lead bullets and then use the lead free just for hunting. I like to shoot a lot, so that works the best for me.

    I have used the 85 grain Speer SP with great effect on hogs.

    Here is one of the pics. I can't find the one with all the critters, but I will keep looking.

    [​IMG]

    I am trying to dig up an old photo from my Texas days. I shot two coyotes, and nice buck and a 175 lb. pig all in one day and all with the my 6mm Remington. Not one animal required a second shot.

    Stick with the .243 it will do the job and do it well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
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