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.243 Winchester vs. .270

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Beach Nut, May 17, 2011.

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  1. Beach Nut

    Beach Nut Member

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    My brother bought a bolt action rifle for his son's graduation present.
    I tried to tell him that a .270 would be a better choice for all around work.
    (varmit control, deer hunting and target shooting) He ended up getting a
    Savage .243. (I talked him into getting the Savage but not the caliber)
    His son is a beginning shooter and recoil may be an issue. But I am thinking
    the .243 maybe a poor choice for a beginning deer hunter. (shot placement
    may be an issue) I do think it would be ideal for varmit hunting and target
    shooting. Are my concerns about the .243 as a beginner caliber for a deer
    hunter justified? I can not speak from experience in this case; my deer
    rifle calibers are 30.06 and .30-30
     
  2. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    [​IMG]

    With a quality bullet the .243 win is more than enough for large deer. Even for a young hunter.
     
  3. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Whilst a .243Win. can be fine with proper placement, it has trouble on shots that are quartering away so I prefer something with a bit more authority...but the .270Win. isn't it. I say this for many reasons, not the least of which being excessive recoil (on par with an '06), which is too much for many young folks. Personally I would go for something in between the aforementioned chamberings. The .260Rem., 7mm-08Rem., and 6.5mmCreedmoor being the ideal choices IMO.

    :)
     
  4. slicksleeve

    slicksleeve Member

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    There is no real world difference. I have killed deer with both of these calibers. I can't tell a difference and neither can the dead deer. They all run about 40 yards and pile up dead. Same as with my 7mm-08.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  5. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Grandmother always hunted with her 243, while not my first choice she never lost one to my knowlage. I personaly think the 6.5x55, 260rem, 7mm-08 make better very low recoil options (in that order), but I cannot knock the 243 either. 95gr ballistic tips or 100gr core locks have done the trick for many a hungry hunter. The 80-85gr TSX bullets have been all the buzz latley from the 243 crowd, your brother might want to give them a try.
     
  6. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    For varmints and target, the 243 is superb with lighter recoil than '06 based rounds. For deer sized game you need to select your shots sensibly, but it will do the job with good placement.
    The Savage can always be converted to the rounds that Maverick223 mentioned, by replacing the barrel with the barrel nut wrench and a GO gage.
    That is, providing the 243 doesn't meet expectations.



    NCsmitty
     
  7. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    While I agree that the .243 does not have the knock down of the .270. Afterall the .270 win is my go to gun has been for years.

    Shot placement is critical no matter what caliber you are shooting. I expect my bullet to hit the mark wether I am shooting my .243 or .300 win. A bigger bullet is no excuse for lack of practice and lack of proper bullet placement.

    Yes a 7-08, .260 rem and others are fantastic rounds but you ain't got one. Teach the young man to shoot. Reward performance, learn his limits with shots and limit his shots to meet his preformance. Do those things and the .243 will not disapoint and will provide every bit the amount of venison as the .270 or any other. Don't get hung up with energy numbers this that or any other excuse. A dead deer is a dead deer.
     
  8. 68wj

    68wj Member

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    Since it is bought and shot, I hope the son doesn't get wind of any perceived weakness in his new rifle. A lack of confidence can be more a crippler when hunting than the chosen cartridge. A .243 makes a great deer rifle. Dare I say, I would have a .243 over a .30-30 :evil:
     
  9. sayak

    sayak Member

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    My friend's wife routinely shoots her moose with a .243 every fall. He shoots a .270 and gets his. It is all about bullet and shot placement. I personally like the .270.
     
  10. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    +1, no reason to bring up the "problem" until one arises. In the unlikely event that the kid encounters a problem, or wants to use the rifle for larger quarry, an easy bbl swap will be all that's needed.

    :)
     
  11. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I steer a lot of beginning hunters to .243 for deer in particular.
     
  12. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Growing up deer hunting in the 60's and 70's the elders claimed the .243/6mm were cripplers of deer.
    Well that's total bunk and I know it to be so years later from real experience.
    Not only is the .243 easier on the shoulder it is also pretty much as flat shooting as the 270.
    But mind you shot placement is everything whatever the caliber.
    The only downside of a .243/6mm is the run away deer is not as prone to leave as a definitive a trail of blood as the 270,308,30-06,etc...most times but certainly not all times.
    Fwiw I killed the best buck of my life with an 18.5 inch barreled Remington 600 in 6mm with a 120 yard shot on a big south Texas Buck that scored 151 B&C.
     
  13. Joe Vaquero

    Joe Vaquero Member

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    While a .270 realistically has,more punch over a longer range the .243 is a great deer round. I killed 4 deer last year with a .243. Hit 'em where it counts and they're not going anywhere.
     
  14. Caddisflied

    Caddisflied Member

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    I know quite a few adults who swear by the .243 for deer hunting.
    Using the heavier 100gr bullets designed for the task they seem to do the job very well.
     
  15. Ruger44mag

    Ruger44mag Member

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    I killed my first two deer with a .243 at about 20 yards. I hit them both behind the shoulder in the vitals, they both dropped where they stood. Up here in AK Iv heard of and seen pic's of the Indians downing polar bears with them. For a beginner its a great gun.
     
  16. Frozen North

    Frozen North Member

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    Teach the young man to pick his shots like he has a 22lr in his hands, and he will never loose a deer with a 243. Caliber is no substitute for sloppy shooting. A gut shot deer will run when hit with a 270 too. A 243 is plenty of gun for white tail.

    Make sure he is taught where everything is inside of a deer's chest and what needs to be hit to make a clean kill. Just blasting a big hole in it's front half is poor form. A good sportsman makes his best attempt at a clean kill or he passes on the animal.

    That being said, I would choose a 270 over just about anything for deer. For a recoil sensitive shooter, the 243 is a fantastic round with ammo found very easily. I am a firm believer in choosing a caliber that ammo can be found on a gas station shelf in the middle of nowhere or borrowed from someone in your camp. Ammo gets wet, lost, and forgotten at home. If you have a "fancy Dan" caliber, you may end up hunting with someones spare 870 Express slug gun. I have seen it happen twice, once with a 300 Weatherby and once with a 300 RUM. No one had shells for them anywhere and we were WAY to far from civilization to find some on short notice.
     
  17. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I've tagged a couple of dozen bucks with my .243. I'm just picky about my shot, is all. Neck, or cross-body heart/lung. I won't take an angling shot, particularly with my pet load: The Sierra 85-grain HPBT. I have never needed to trail any of the bucks I shot. Bang, whop, flop.
     
  18. aubie515

    aubie515 Member

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    The 243 is plenty on deer. Deer does not have thick skin like some game animals. I took my first deer with a 243. Recoil is much lighter and it requires less powder to load...what's not to like about the caliber?

    I've owned two 270s and own none today...I still have my 243.
     
  19. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    As long as "The Hunter" does his part, the .243 is fine for white-tail deer. that calibre does require The Hunter to be a bit more selective in his shots, but hey..a 40MM canon won't do the job if the shooter doesn't do his.
     
  20. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    IMHO, the .243 is a glorified varmint cartridge and is far from ideal for whitetail. My lone .243 went away several years ago. I think it is best left to experienced hunters, rather than beginners. Yes, shot placement is important regardless of the cartridge you're using but with marginal choices like the .243, it is critical. It should've been supplanted by the .260 and 7mm-08 in the hearts and minds of hunters years ago but it endures.
     
  21. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    Well I am with Art on this one. Have have shot a lot of deer in TX with the 6mm Rem and .243. They all died very quickly and I never had to track one. I am currently using the a similar bullet, the 85 Speer SP, and it simply hammers deer and pigs. The last deer we shot with it was a nice buck at about 300 yards. It just collapsed in it's tracks and never moved.

    Now deer size is a different matter. I am sure that a deer in North Texas differs from a deer in Iowa but shooting skill still applies. I would much rather have my young ones hitting the mark with a .243 than missing with something bigger.

    I think the . 243 is a fine choice and if used correctly for your area, will bag many deer.
     
  22. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I find it hard to imagine a deer escaping after being hit with a .243 that wouldn't excape if hit with a .270 in the same place. Caliber and kenitic energy won't make up for a bad shot, and a good shot with a .243 will do the job on whitetails as readily as a .270.
     
  23. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob Member

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    Well this thread goes to show that if you ask a bunch of deer hunters to talk about this cartridge versus that cartridge you are going to get ALOT of answers and opinions.

    +2 the rifle is bought and paid for so go get some good optics, ammo and go practice, practice, practice.

    Also +1 on the "Aim small, miss small" principle, regardless of your caliber proper shot placement should ALWAYS be considered and something you practice. You can still wound/cripple an animal with 30.06, .270 or even .300 win mag if you don't know how to shoot and where to aim.


    .243 is more than capable for killing whitetail, i have known in my experience more youngsters killing deer with that caliber than any other. The light recoil is great for kids under 10 and small statured women shooters as well.

    Considering today the choice and availability of great well constructed, controlled expanding rounds retaining almost 90% weight retention like Barnes TSX and TTSX and Berger Bullets. The .243 paired with the right load is more than capable for killing whitetail and lesser game.

    For those of you guys knocking the .243 do you have any evidence or examples that you can site?


    The .243 compared to 7mm/08

    90 grain BTHP .243 is moving at 3203 ft/sec. with 2,051 Ft/lbs. of energy (at the muzzle)

    by comparison the 140 grain BTHP 7mm/08 is moving at 2800 ft/sec with 2437 ft./lbs of energy, (at the muzzle)

    Standard for ethical kill on whitetail is about 1,000 ft/lbs.

    So, with the .243 vs 7mm/08. The .243 is 766 ft/sec faster and has only 386 less ft/lbs.

    Ill take the .243, my book speed kills.
     
  24. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Note that I put conditions on my use of my .243. No angling shots. IMO, with a heavier bullet I'd get more reliable deep penetration in an angling shot, which is why I'm less picky about Bambi's posing when I use my '06. And, with the '06, I'm more prone to take a shot at a running buck--which isn't all that difficult, really.

    However, I've had a bunch of cooperative Bambis as to posing nicely. :)
     
  25. Sako Shooter

    Sako Shooter Member

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    The main reason I choose the .243 is because of recoil. I have arthritis in my neck and shoulder, and I was unpleasantly surprised at the recoil of the .243 in the Browning X-bolt, which is a light weight gun. It indeed does have significant recoil. If it were a .270, I probably wouldn't enjoy shooting it. After I shoot the .243 9 or 10 times, I develop a flinch and have had about enough. If I only shot my rifle a few times a year to deer hunt, I'd probably choose the .270. I am able to shoot the .243 more, and that is why I choose it, I like to target shoot as well as hunt. The .243 is Sub MOA w/85 grain BTHP (hunting ammo). From my experience down South, most adult hunters use the .270, but the .243 is the more popular caliber for the novice/children.
     
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