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Thinking about getting into a 243

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 336A, Dec 22, 2011.

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  1. 336A

    336A Member

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    I don't hunt anything larger than deer, and black bear and really don't ecpect to. I mostly use my 30-30 when hunting as I like to get in the woods rather than hunt over open fields. I do own a Savage 7mm RM but I haven't used it since I bought my 30-30 back in 2003. Lately I've been thinking about tradeing the 7mm RM for a .243 for the occasions were I may find myself hunting over more open terrain. So what do y'all High Roaders think trade the 7mm off or keep it.
     
  2. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    I think a good trade off would be a Rem 260.
     
  3. velojym

    velojym Member

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    I like my XS7 in .243, and I'm thinking about getting a .308 barrel for it, just to round things out a bit.
     
  4. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    The .243 should offer you nearly the trajectory of the 7mm with 1/2 the powder use (if you reload) or cost of factory ammo. Recoil is significantly reduced, as is blast, so its funner? to shoot IMO. I prefer the 7mm as for big game simply because it offers more leeway in both knockdown, and Penetration, penetration being major if you encounter bone.

    That said, i think it would be good for your application. Ive never hunted bear of any sort, so with my lack of knowledge id opt for a heavier caliber, such as the aforementioned .260 or a 7mm-08.
     
  5. rule303

    rule303 Member

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    If you aren't going to hunt larger game, the .243 will do everything you need with the same or better trajectory, and less recoil. Plus the .243 works a lot better as a varmint cartridge if you ever decide to hunt them.
     
  6. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Wait a minute.

    You think the .243 Winchester shoots flatter than 7mm Remington Magnum?

    What trajectory chart are you looking at?

    Maximum point-blank range for .243 is ~300 yards
    Maximum point-blank range for 7mm Rem Mag is almost identical (minutely greater actually)

    See http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_trajectory_table.htm
     
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Aw, I pretty much figure that a .243 is real close to being a do-all cartridge. Mine is a little Sako 19" carbine with a 2x7 scope on it. I've tagged a couple of dozen bucks, ruined several coyotes and did in a fair number of prairie dogs, with various handloads.

    For the kind of hunting described in the opening post, I'd trade off a 7mm RemMag in a heartbeat. :)
     
  8. 336A

    336A Member

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    I'm not saying that the .243 shoots flatter. Instead I would be replacing the 7mm Rm with the .243 for hunting more open terrain, which is what I have the 7mm RM for in the first place. As loonWulf made mention of I'm also looking at the .234 for economic reasons as well, both in factory ammo and reloading components. I'm well aware that the 7mm RM is a flat shooter. However For game up through the size of deer I think the .243 may be just as good without all of the recoil to boot.
     
  9. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I live in Illinois, occasionally hunt in Missouri and Wisconsin.
    I own several heavy caliber rifles but frankly, I could get along just fine with my old Model 70 Winchester .243
     
  10. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    I love my 243 Win

    I've got a Ruger M77 (tang safety) in 243 Win that is absolutely fantastic. I've loaded everything from 55gr Nosler BT to 95gr Partitions and X-Bullets in them with good results on everything from paper, to pests like crows, to deer. It is a great cartridge. I however, have been migrating to my 7mm-08 as my deer cartridge. I prefer the .308 as a parent case due to its short action over the '06 as a parent case (270 Win). Just somethign else to throw in the mix.

    As far as the the OP question, I'd trade that 7mm RM off in a heartbeat. Not sure if 243 would be my first choice though for deer and bear.
     
  11. Craigman

    Craigman Member

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    A .243 is nice, i like mine, but i think a .308 with 150gn would be even better and has even more ammo choice and availibility for your needs

    IMO the 7mag can do, and do more than, everyhting the .243 will but with more recoil. and cost of ammo. I would trade off the 7mag no matter what you end up with. Sounds like too much for your needs and sounds like you dont really like shooting it.
     
  12. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I would switch it out for the 243. But I have never shot at a black bear so I don't pretend to know anything about that.

    Actually in this situation I would get a 6mm Rem and carefully load to max looking for signs of pressure.
     
  13. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Unless you've got some dumb law in your state that won't let you shoot deer with .223, you should seriously consider that if you are down-sizing.

    You want cheap ammo.
    .223 is cheap ammo for sure.
     
  14. Bill_Shelton

    Bill_Shelton member

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    If you already have a 7mm RM, then I can't see how buying a 243 would make things better, or cheaper - since you would also have to "tune it in" and reload for it (the cost of the reloading equipment), and all this would take some bucks and time. Why not shoot what already works - the 7mm?

    And the Recoil? Hey...I love the 243 caliber for deer - and I use it, but I never chose it for the so-called "Recoil" - I chose it for the cheap ammo and its effectiveness for my type of hunting. I mean, if you shoulder a gun right, then recoil should be a non-factor. Also, if you switch from the 7mm to the 243, it's going to cost you in the initial outlay of bucks - which you will probably never make up. Last, if you shoot the wide-open spaces (200 yards plus), then why not go with the 7mm - it hits a lot heavier at longer range?
     
  15. jhnrckr

    jhnrckr Member

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    7mm is my favorite round but it only really shines on paper because of its BC. It is marginally better than a .30-06 until you get out past 250 yards. I have been hunting for many many years and the longest shot I have ever taken on a deer is 280 yards. 90% of my shooting is 50-100 yards and maybe 10% 200 yards and out. Do I need to take my 7mm out hunting as a go to rifle? Probably not but i also believe strongly in bringing a big enough gun to the party. I also do know from experience a .243 with good bullets like Nosler Ballistic tips will kill better than a 7mm with cheap soft points that dont open up much.
     
  16. sKunkT

    sKunkT Member

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    If your experiences with a .243 are half as good as mine, you will be happy with your decision.
     
  17. WTBguns10kOK

    WTBguns10kOK Member

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    Go with the .243. Last thing I shot was a bear, and it was dead very quickly. Use the right bullet and you're golden, with correct shot placement.
     
  18. Abel

    Abel Member

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    I would get a 257 Roberts if you reload at all. Otherwise, the 243 is great.
     
  19. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

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    You mentioned open terrain but not how far you would be shooting and how big are your deer. I'm a big fan of the .243 but it doesn't get any better than the 7mm RM for open distance shots.
     
  20. Fullboar1

    Fullboar1 Member

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    If you reload why dont you split the difference of the one you have and the one you want and get a 260rem (6.5mm08 is IMHO the best medium game and long range caliber ever made).
    If you dont reload then look at a 7mm08 or a 308
     
  21. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    I wouldn't trade a 7 mag in for a .243 in a million years. I found the .243 to be a mediocre deer cartridge. You shoot a deer laying down right through the lungs and he gets up and starts hopping away, at which point you become unsure that you hit him on the first shot and go with follow up shots, at which point he drops 25 yards or so from where you shot him the first time. To me that's unacceptable and it has happened numerous occasions as I described. Deer laying down, clean shot, he gets up and runs away.

    Unfortunately the gun was a gift so I have to keep the infernal thing. So there it sits, laid up in a safe corner. I'll take a 30-30, a .308, a 7mm mag, a .444 marlin, or 45-70. I like decisive kills and I'm not really into head and neck shots through undergrowth.
     
  22. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    fireside, you're just not holding your mouth right! :D All mine have gone flop and stayed put, waiting for me.

    The only coup de grace shot I ever needed was on my "Prickly Pear" buck, and he hadn't left the scene. I thought I was going to shoot through one pear leaf which was close to him, holding on his chest (broadside). Wrong. The bullet gently curved up and to the right through five pear leaves, with the remaining fragment hitting him just under his right ear. I walked up and put him out of his quivering misery. :) 85-grain Sierra HPBT. Hey, I'll take luck over skill, any day!!!
     
  23. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    Hahahaha Art, probably not. I think it's a sufficient enough cartridge but I prefer the quickest kill possible and it just left me wanting more power. I'd prefer just about any larger caliber for the job if I have my choice due to my past experiences with it.

    It'd be one thing if my shot was misplaced but twice I had all the time in the world to place my shot, and did so accordingly. Both times the deer got up and ran, albeit a bit slovenly. I don't think they would've gotten far but during the excitement of the hunt I was more worried about wasted meat than I was it's less than graceful form.
     
  24. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    I'm with Art; I'd trade that 7mm in a heartbeat. The .243 is a great intermediate cartridge, big enough for deer-sized game, and not too big for varmints. Excellent choice.
     
  25. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    I'm not a huge fan of the 7mm Magnum, myself. For your stated purposes, I would much rather have the .243. Other choices might be one of the excellent .25 cartriges, or even a .270Win.
     
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