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First Time Rifle Caliber Question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dave Fritz, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    While the 25-06 and the .270 are my personal favorites here, I would take the .243. As your first centerfire rifle, it's more important that you can shoot the rifle, a LOT, to get familiar with firing it. Start with some reactive targets, like steel plates, and graduate to paper targets. Do your best to keep your eye(s) open and watch the reaction of the target. That takes your mind off the recoil and makes you concentrate on shooting the rifle, rather than trying to survive the recoil (which won't be much, believe me).

    Disclaimer: I've never fired a .243, but I've fired a 22-250 (essentially the same with a lighter bullet), and the recoil of those could be described as "non-existent".
     
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  2. Ks5shooter

    Ks5shooter Member

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  3. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    While all the calibers mentioned have their good points I would go with the 308 Winchester. You can shoot lighter loads and bullets to mitigate recoil. Being 7.62x51 is a military caliber you can find NATO spec ammo relatively inexpensive.

    The 308 can deal with anything in North America. Not the best but will do a decent job with the right bullet.
     
  4. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    For the OP's requirements -- 243Win -- easy choice for 90% of everything, ground squirrels to mule deer.
    Not even a second glance when balancing light recoil to downstream effectiveness and universal availability.
     
  5. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Well if the issue is more psychosomatic than physical, go with the .243. Even though the 100gr loads can still have a decent kick to them, seeing that itty bitty bullet in a big ol' fat case brings a smile to my face thinking "What a cute little round...."
    BTW, my son is moderate/severe autistic and nonverbal at 13, so I applaud your ability to overcome. If you haven't seen it yet, rent a Ben Afflek movie called "The Accountant". Its about a high-functioning bookkeeper/assassin who calms himself through target shooting- a Barrett .50 cal. no less! The plot is very convoluted, but it is entertaining, with great action scenes. There were definitely a few parts which were hard to watch because they hit a bit close to home. There is a great twist at the end.
     
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  6. Victoratsea

    Victoratsea Member

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    Based on felt recoil, get the .243, brother. It's very light recoil and flat trajectory make it pleasant and easy to shoot well. Standard 100gr. deer ammo is cheap and available everywhere. 100gr. .243 is a highly effective deer cartridge; quick and humane kills. I've never seen anyone not enjoy shooting mine including wives, girlfriends, and youngsters. Enjoy your new rifle.
     
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  7. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Shotgun is shooting it's projectile(s) at much slower velocity than a 30-06 which helps. If shooting a gas operated semi that reduces perceived recoil by lengthening the recoil pulse. At a shooting range most people shoot a rifle sitting. Most people shoot shotguns standing. You feel recoil a whole lot more when sitting. In no way is your comparison apples to apples.
     
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  8. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    IMHO, the 7mm-08 is the best compromise because it has more 'ommph' than the .243 but still has very manageable recoil even in a light rifle. That extra power would allow you to take bigger game with more confidence and would be more than sufficient for even black bear inside 300 yards. The older I get the more I appreciate light rifles and the 7mm08 doesn't beat the snot out of me even in a 6lb rifle. Additionally, Modern bullet construction also allows you to shoot lighter bullets with more velocity and still get superb terminal performance and less recoil. I use a 120g Nosler Hunting bullet @3000 FPS that is super accurate and deadly on whitetail. I've killed 7 deer with it and none have ran more than 50 yards and 4 have dropped dead in their tracks
     
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  9. kscharlie

    kscharlie Member

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    So did you even bother to read my entire post?
    "3) Shooting technique. When we shoot a shotgun at a clay target, we are in a standing position where the upper body and shoulder are free to move upon recoil impulse. Most often when we are shooting a rifle from a bench, we are hunched over the bench and there is much less ability for our upper body to flex. I would suggest using a different technique, if possible, or adding additional recoil support, such as a PAST recoil shield that fits on your shoulder using a harness similar to a shoulder holster."
     
  10. z7

    z7 Member

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    243 is an easy choice unless you would be interested in selling the rifle and getting a different rifle. If you could find a way to get a .223 Rem bolt action rifle, I think you could learn to shoot a rifle with minimal recoil. short of that, get the .243. is it the smallest bullet option, find reduced recoil loads and take your time.

    buy a suppressor as well. it takes time, is expensive and can be a pain depending on what state you live in, but it will make your shooting experience more pleasant. they reduce felt recoil and muzzle blast. silencerco makes one that can be used for everything from 300 win mag to 45-70, down to 22lr. it is a one size fits all suppressor.
     
  11. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I did not, my bad. And I would have bet money I read your whole post. It irritates me when others do that. My apology.
     
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  12. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    To do what with? It matters. For deer/black bear/antelope sized game and varmints, go with the .243. Any .30, 27, .25 or .28(7mm-08) will kill any game in North America with a change of bullet. Including big bears.
    The .30-06, .270 and .25-06 are all the same cartridge. The .25-06 is a bit more difficult to come by depending on where you are.
    The .308, .243 and 7mm-08 are all the same case too. Mind you, the difference between a .308 and.30-06 is a half inch of case length and about 100 fps with like bullet weights. Difference in the rifle is the length of the receiver.
    "...30-06 (probably not for me)..." The felt recoil is not as bad as you think. More about the rifle than anything else. A .30-06 150 grain bullet at 2910 FPS out of an 8 pound rifle has 17.6 ft-lbs. of recoil energy. A 150 grain .270 at 2900 FPS out of the 8 pound rifle has 17.0 ft-lbs. A .308 is about the same too.
    "...and 7mm..." That a 7mm Magnum? You do not want or need one of those. Has more recoil than any of the other cartridges. A 150 grain bullet at 3100 FPS out of an 8.5 pound rifle has 19.2 ft-lbs. Be friggin' great if it was a 7mm Mauser though. The Mauser is one if the most underrated cartridges available. Used for elephants 100 years ago. Still give you ammo/brass availability issues though.
     
  13. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Count me in for this.

    Big enough for what ya need, small enough to be a little gem. I don't even own one, but it's my next rifle
     
  14. jamesjames

    jamesjames Member

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    The size and weight of the rifle make a big difference in felt recoil, as does the rifle butt stock. I looked up the Patriot Synthetic (the model that comes in the calibers you listed) and it can vary from 6.5 to 7 lbs. depending chambering. It has a decent recoil pad, but you could add a slip on recoil pad to cushion recoil more while you are getting used to it.

    High velocity rifles shot off the bench can be more bruising than shooting them standing off hand or from prone. There's nothing wrong with putting as much recoil padding between you and the butt stock as you need. Please get a good 3-9x30 scope for this. A good scope makes all the difference. A scope in the $200-400 range would complement the rifle (I like Leupold).

    Caliber selection: If you are just going to use this as a target rifle, .308 makes the most sense because it is relatively inexpensive. It'll still cost you $0.75 every time you pull the trigger, but that's better than over a dollar a round for the other calibers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  15. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Re: recoil

    A good brake really makes a difference.
     
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  16. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    Edit. While the quote above is true, I quoted it accidentally from my phone and wasn't able to edit it until I got to a full keyboard.

    What I meant to say is that given the OP's purpose, a .243 would be more than adequate. It is quite capable out to any reasonable distance, and it is a great intermediate cartridge capable of humanely taking everything from groundhogs to whitetail. Yes, .308 ammo will probably cost a bit less, but he doesn't like the recoil, he won't shoot it as much. I vote .243.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  17. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    I am sure you have been around the bigger guns being shot, so you likely know the noise level...or at least have a good guess.

    If you have any buddies that have something in that range...or even close see it you can work up a range day....I have yet to come across a guy that will not let you give something a try....at worst case you may have to buy ammo.

    As to not knowing you, it is really hard to say what you will be comfortable with...and even if we happened to be best buds, you know you better then anyone else. However if you enjoy this hobby you might just find a new love with this thing you just won.

    All that said I would say look at what is comfortable for you....and the smaller is likely to be better....at this point I would shelve the ammo cost issue. If you are looking at this as a good introduction to centerfire rifle you want to make that entry as easy on you...YOU...as possible....if your wallet takes a bit of a harder hit in ammo costs...that should be down on the list IMHO....you want something you are going to enjoy, and I think the lightest flavor would be the best....ammo no matter what is a click away.
     
  18. Darter

    Darter Member

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    All of the calibers mentioned are good. If you intend to hunt deer sized game I think the 6.5 Creedmoor or the .243 would be a good choice. Both are reliably accurate and ammunition can be found easily almost anywhere. Recoil is very manageable for both.

    The 22-250 and .223 are also good choices for varmint and target practice. Both are accurate, recoil is mild and both have good ammo available.

    The Ruger American Patriot is a god choice and is reasonably priced.

    Joe
     
  19. jamesjames

    jamesjames Member

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    Its a Mossberg Patriot Synthetic. It doesn't come in .223.

    The Mossberg Patriot Synthetic is a variant that is designed as a lightweight hunting rifle. Synthetic stocked, it weighs in at 6.5 lbs. and 7 lbs. in the stated calibers. Its designed to be carried in the field. Its not designed for comfort shooting off the bench.
     
  20. montanaoffroader

    montanaoffroader Member

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    I would go for the .243 in that model. My daughter owns a Patriot Synthetic in .270 and it kicks just as hard as my Marlin .30.06, not obnoxious but it certainly gets your attention. Any of the rounds you mentioned are plenty for deer, so unless you are planning to hunt something larger there is no reason to beat yourself up with extra recoil.
     
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  21. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    If you ever plan to get into hunting I would recommend a 308 and buy a couple boxes of reduced recoil 125 grain ammo to get used to it before moving up to full power 150 grain ammo. If it's just going to be a range toy a 243 will be more fun as the light weight varmint bullets will positively make water jugs and stuff explode and you will likely shoot it more accurately.
     
  22. webrx

    webrx Member

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    243 is plenty for deer, and if you are a good shot, will take elk, though I prefer my 270 for elk.

    I have both 243 and 270, as well as 6.5 and 223 and a few others......deer and elk have not gotten tougher over the last 50 years that I know of, and a 243 worked way back then, and will still work today.

    For a first rifle, if you are recoil sensitive, get the 243, it will get the job done, wont break the bank or your shoulder.

    I do agree with comments above about putting a good recoil pad on it, but that applies to any hunting weight rifle in my opinion. If you are actually hunting, you wont feel the recoil when the animal is in your sights. From a bench, shooting multiple rounds back to back, you will feel it, but the 243 wont be near as bad as the 308/06/270
     
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  23. stringnut

    stringnut Member

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    The 243 or 308 would be first choice. Recoil is lightest with the 243. There are reduced recoil loads for the 308 that turn it into a real pussy cat. The 7-08 is only off my list because for a handloading ammo can be a bit hard to find. The step up to the 30/06 length case is definitely a step up in recoil for the novice shooter. The 7mm mag is another step up and they are LOUD. If you can find someone to handloading for you, or learn to do it yourself, the possibilities are endless. The 308 and 7mm calibers have an astonishing amount of reloading components available.
     
  24. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Typo? What did you mean, stringnut?:)
     
  25. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    Myy choice would be the .243. I have .243 and .270, have shot some of the other calibers. Have shot deer with both .243 and .270. Both effective deer rifles. .243 offers dozens of choices for ammo.
     

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