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7mm-08 vs .243

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by raj100, May 14, 2004.

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  1. raj100

    raj100 Member

    May 14, 2004
    I am looking at buying a Tikka T3 Lite in either .243 or 7mm-08. It will be for long range shooting and some hunting (Mule deer, and White Tails). Which would be better?
    I have not shot a 7mm--08, but I have shot a .308. How bad is the recoil on a 7mm-08 in comparison to the .243 and .308?
  2. ThreadKiller

    ThreadKiller Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    For deer hunting, given the choices, I'd go with the 7mm-08. I'm a big 243 fan but all things being equal, the 7/08 should be a better deer cartridge than the 243. A 243 is a great deer caliber but generally speaking, the 7/08's larger bullet diameter and heavier projectile should make it a better all around deer cartridge.

    Basically, recoil in 308 based cartridges is a function of bullet weight. The more bullet, the more recoil. Rifles chambered for this class generally will weigh about the same.

    The 243 is a better varmint caliber while the 308 can be used for bigger game like caribou and perhaps even elk. (Personally I'd use it on elk, but there will be many who would argue that choice. The 7/08 will kill elk too.)

    All 3 are great cartridges and frankly, you couldn't go wrong with any of them.

  3. jimbo

    jimbo Member

    Feb 13, 2003
    San Francisco
    I've been studying the 7mm-08 because I've been trying to decide between it and a .260 Remington.

    I got some advice from some folks and here is my impression.

    If you look at the power/recoil of the various .308 family rounds

    .243 = 5
    .260 = 7
    7-08 = 9
    .308 = 10

    In other words, you aren't varminting so why get a .243? The other 3 rounds carry better with power to longer distances. IMHO, and what I feel I learned that the recoil and the power of the 7mm-08 is very nearly that of the .308. To that end, the .308 has greater bullet selection, more cartridge availablity and is sold everywhere. So I can't really see why folks would choose a 7mm-08 over a .308. Be warned I have never shot a 7mm-08 and cannot verify what I have heard -- that the recoil of a 140 gr. 7mm-08 is not much less than 150 gr. .308.

    I chose a .260 because I wanted the significant reduction in recoil from a .308 and because the 140 gr. .260 hits harder than a 140 gr. 7mm-08 out at 300 yards where you need the energy, due to the .260s better sectional density and usually better ballistic coefficient.

    The .260 is right for me. Maybe not for you.

    You asked, .243 vs. 7mm-08. I would say choose 7mm-08 over .243 unless you are brand new to rifle shooting and want to start in the basement with a .243. You can use it to hunt pigs and the 7mm-08 will allow those quartering shots that the .243 may prohibit.

    My .243 paper-puncher has been very good so far. I'd really like to know what Art thinks for the 7mm-08?
  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Central IN
    I've shot rifles in all four, though different weight rifles. Generally, the 243 seems to have noticably less kick that the other three, but the other three (assuming heavy bullets for the caliber) seem similar.

    The 308 is so widespread that it makes certain aspects very easy while the 7-08 and the 260 - esp the 260 - can have advantages to long distance shooting of paper. There are a couple excellent long distance bullets in 260/6.5mm that are worth looking into for the handloader. Of course, having said all that, the 308 has proven itself quite well over the years and I doubt much can be done with a 260 or a 7mm-08 that can't be done with a 308.
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    My vote is the 243 with a 22" barrel. I use Nosler or Hornady 100 grain bullets. It is very efficent. You did not define long range. If long range is 300yrds and more for deer, The 7-08 would do better. It all goes back to marksmanship. Byron
  6. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

    Feb 27, 2004
    If you're confident in your abilities the 243 can work well with proper bullet selection . Mulies run big enough that at any range, especially longer ones, that placement is absolutely critical .

    It can be done if you pick your shot carefully though. I've seen it done on a 3 point mullie that weighed around 200 pounds with a 100 grain hornady slug. He was about 150 yards out, dad put one in the neck, DRT.
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