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Who has actually used .243 Win for deer

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by BENELLIMONTE, Jul 17, 2009.

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  1. BENELLIMONTE

    BENELLIMONTE member

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    I know some of you have various opinions on the 243 Win. Who of you has actually used and taken antelope, whitetail and mule deer. I am curious of your honest opinion of its effectiveness on deer and antelope. Any input on your favorite bullets loads and brand of scopes also appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
  2. schlockinz

    schlockinz Member

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    I've killed some white tail with some handloaded 243 rounds. Honestly I think its a good little caliber for deer sized game.

    All my deer I shot with it ran, 110yd double lung was the longest, about 30 being the shortest.

    Scope, I'd get a 3x9 for it unless you're going to be shooting varmints as well, then maybe a 3x12 or 4x12 or 4.5x14
     
  3. surjimmy

    surjimmy Member

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    My 11 now 12 year old went on his first deer hunt last Oct. in NW Oklahoma I bought him a Howa 1500 youth 243, we used 80gr Winchester Power Points. He shot a 260lb White Tail(live weight) 200 field dressed. It piled up within 50 yards from where he shot him. I was told the 243 was designed to shoot an 80gr. round, now if this is true or not I know. The man that told me at the time was the President of the Oklahoma Wildlife Federation, I do know he knows more about such things then I do. Anyway the 243 is not my round of choice, it will surely do the job on White Tail. BTW...I grounded my son for the next 5 years. I'll teach him for shooting a deer that big. I've never seen a deer that big before.
     
  4. natman

    natman Member

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    I don't use a 243 for deer, but allow me to quote a couple of very experienced hunters who have:

    Rick Jamison (Shooting Times) has a oft repeated story about a big buck he nailed twice with a 243 that went on to be shot and claimed by other hunters. Page 59 "Rifleman's Handbook":

    "I couldn't help feeling that a cartridge with more punch would have anchored the buck sooner."

    Jamison is a big fan of the 243 *for varmints*, in fact he considers it the ultimate coyote cartridge.

    Finn Aargard (NRA Field Editor)

    Aargard wrote an excellent article called "The 243 for Big Game".
    Page 101 "Hunting Rifles and Cartridges.

    "[If you need a varmint / deer rifle] ..trying to make a varmint cartridge work on big game is going at it the wrong way around. It would be far better to choose a cartridge for the largest game he intended to hunt with it, the develop a load for it that would work on varmints."

    "...the 6mms are essentially varmint cartridges. With the right bullets and careful shooting, they can be made to perform fairly satisfactorily on big game up to perhaps 200 lbs liveweight. But why choose a cartridge that is only 'fairly satisfactory' when other cartriges are readily available in rifles that are just as light and have no more kick than those for the 243?"

    If you must use a 100 grain premium bullet. 6mms are hard on bullets and you do not want it to blow up.
     
  5. caribou

    caribou Member

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    If Caribou are factored in as about the same as Mule Deer, Id have to say .243W is a MOST EXCELLENT round to get 'er done out to 300 yards.
    The range restriction is sorta self imposed, but some fellas do well way beyond that.
    Here in the Arctic its consitterd an all around cartridge.Muskox, Caribou, Wolves, Moose, Black Bears and in a pinch, a Brown or Polar with little difficulty.
    The .243W's (and the .22-250) are the favorites of Seal hunters, because its extreamly hard to judge range on ice, and its flat shooing qualitys are a big help there.

    My wife has a Ruger M77 with a fixed 6 Luopold, and its been doing the job for 15 years now.
    Formerly I used a Remington M700 ADL with the stock shaped to my use, sans cheek and comb, with a shortend pull and a slimmed front end. On the open sites, I removed the front bead and made it a blade, and then leved the rear site into a straight across plain with a notch....
    Open sites and a carry all day weight, I plyed my trade on hundreds of Caribou, a few Moose, a dozen or more Black Bears and some Muskox ,in the 5-6 years I had it.

    I used Remington 100 grain Coreloks, exclusivly, and the performance was Awsome!

    I still miss that rifle.....:uhoh:
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
  6. falmike

    falmike Member

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    I killed an Antelope in New Mexico last year with a .243

    Wind created lots of problems.

    Poor choice of bullets for handloads created more problems...5 shots, 5 hits...found one jacket on far side with COMPLETE core separation.

    So, I would say that if you want to use .243, plan it's use for shorter ranges where wind may not be a factor, get the best bullets that you can find, and practice, practice, practice!

    Good shooting!

    Mike
     
  7. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    i've used the 243 for deer. while i feel the 243 is the minimum chambering one should use for deer, i am not a fan of it on deer. every deer hit w/ it ran, so i have retired it from big game hunting... haven't tried it on antelope, and after my whitetail experiences i didn't want to try it on mulies.

    the 243 is the rifle that shaped my philosophy of using the biggest rifle i could accurately and comfortably shoot for big game. while i don't cling as tightly to that philosophy now as i used to, it is part of the reason why i shoot the chamberings i do for big game.

    if you want a scope reccomendation for a 243 for big game hunting, i'd just look for as much quality as you want to afford in a fixed-6 and call 'er good. a leupold 6x42 on a full size rifle, a leupold 6x36 on compacts may not be the best there is, but won't be far off, either...
     
  8. BMF500

    BMF500 Member

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    I don't normally, but have in the past. Now for my wife, cousin, father in law, nephew, and brother in law, .243 is the cartidge of choice for deer. They are all pretty successful too.
     
  9. DUCKNDAWG

    DUCKNDAWG Member

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    I have been using a 243 since 1989. I get two deer a season from 20 to 300 yards and all but one has been one shot and flop. Tracked the only one that went about 60 yards and it was my fault bad placement of shot. I'm using a 85 gr. bullet.
     
  10. stownsend

    stownsend Member

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    I have shot a nice South Dakota whitetail with my 243. It is a Remington 700ADL with a Redfield 3-9x40 scope. Range was just a bit over 300 yards. I was shooting 90 grain ballastic tips. The bullet did not exit, but the damage inside was pretty extensive. I would say that is the practical limit that I would want to use a 243 for, but it is very effective on deer under that range, and I would use bullets of 90 grain or better.
     
  11. Todd1700

    Todd1700 Member

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    I have killed many whitetails here in Alabama with a 243. I never had a problem. Some dropped at the shot and some ran 40 to 50 yards before hitting the ground which is a perfectly normal thing for even a well hit deer to do. There is this weird and basically wrong perception among many that if an animal doesn't fold up and go straight down on impact that something went wrong. That's horse pucky. I've seen a deer shot through the lungs with a 300 win mag run nearly a 100 yards before. Is a 300 win mag too light for Alabama deer? LOL! If you can shoot a 243 is enough. If you can't shoot a 375 H&H magnum won't help you.

    The 243 gets a bad rap for several reasons.

    First, it is very often the gun used by a child, a woman or any recoil shy individual because of it's mild kick. These are often the people that are the least skilled shooters out there. They shoot and lose deer and the caliber gets blamed when actually poor marksmanship was the real culprit. I've been on a lot of blood trails with people who just "KNEW" they made a good hit on a deer only to be proven wrong when we finally discovered the gut shot animal; often the next day and 500 yards away.

    Second, the 243 being a duel purpose varmit/deer round means there are bullets out there on the shelves for both purposes. Sadly some people use the light weight, high velocity, easily fragmenting, varmit rounds on deer. Predictably they eventually lose a deer due to lack of penetration and return to the world to loudly proclaim that the 243 sucks as a deer caliber. What truely sucked however was their choice of bullets.

    There is nothing wrong with a 243 for deer. Stick to bullets intended for deer sized game; take good shots and you will be fine. That's the same advice that I'd give you with a 30-06. Go back and read Caribous post. That guy hunts for a living not just for sport. He probably kills more animals in a single year than some people kill in a lifetime. I'd put more stock in his assessment of a 243 than any of the TV, book or magazine self ordained gurus quoted above.
     
  12. BENELLIMONTE

    BENELLIMONTE member

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    Great responses, Thank you.
     
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Not the .243 to my knowledge. Now, I've heard this of the .244 Remington. It's a necked down .257 Roberts which is a necked down 7x57 (the parent case). Remington originally graced the the gun with a 1:12" twist which was inadequate to stabilize the 100 grain bullets. Remington later went to a 1:9" which worked great, but the rifle didn't sell, so they renamed it the 6mm Remington. It was in direct competition, of course, with the .243 Winchester which was sold in the much prettier M70 and had a head start on popularity not being hampered with twist rate problems with the heavier bullets. The old 722 (I own one) remington is a plain rifle by comparison and, well, the rep for lack of heavy bullet accuracy didn't totally go away with a name change.

    The 6mm Remington is a good round, but it never achieve the popularity of the .243. I think maybe your source was a little confused on the 6mm caliber thing. .243, AFAIK, has always been a good shooter with the 100 grain pills. It was the .244 Remington that had the twist rate problems in its original form.
     
  14. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    My savage 110 in .243 is nearly 45 years old and has taken many a deer.
    It`s got an old Redfield scope on top and to this day still hits the mark.
    Contrary to what other folks say/think/, good or bad, I`ve never doubted
    the out come of my .243 when I put the trigger. :)
     
  15. BENELLIMONTE

    BENELLIMONTE member

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    SAV'

    What type of bullet do you use, and what is your max range you will take a shot?
     
  16. interlock

    interlock Member

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    i use a .243 win on deer..... sometimes. I have shot quite a lot of roe, fallow and reds with the round using various bullets from 80 gr prohunter up to 105 gr speer hot cor. the favourite for me is hornadies 100 gr soft point (catalogue number 2450). it is nice and accurate and i would take deer to about 230 yards

    I have a 7mm08 now and that has become my first choice round. The .243 relegated to vermin and occassional use on roe with 85 gr bullets. I was getting quite a lot of runners compared to my 7mm08.

    If you are buying one get one with a long barrell to make the most of heavier bullets and slower powder.

    oh yes and i use bushnell trophy 3-9 x 40 scopes


    interlock
     
  17. BENELLIMONTE

    BENELLIMONTE member

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    Interlock,

    My Rem. M700 ADL in 243 Win came from the factory with an unusual 24" #2 barrel. The only factory specs I could find on a ADL in 243 with a 24" barrel was a "varminter" model with a much thicker barrel. Any idea how much more velocity I will get out of the longer barrel.
     
  18. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    My old winchester M70 has taken quite a few antelope and some whitetails. It has always done very well with 100gr softpoints but I don't recall shooting any medium game past 200 yards. It does very well within its reasonable limitations. its probably not the best choice for mulies at 300 yards.
     
  19. aftCG

    aftCG Member

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    +1 Todd1700
    I've shot two mule deer with a .243 (150 and 275 yards). Neither took another step.

    Todd has it right. Choose the wrong ammo and expect bad results. Isn't that true of all calibers?

    I've been out of hunting for many years and just getting back to it. Got another .243 (I also shoot varmints and paper). Unless deer have started wearing body armor in the last 20 years I'm not expecting any problems.

    I can't figure out where it gets this "kids/chicks rifle" reputation. Okay so it doesn't leave a bruise. I've got enough chest hair already, I don't have anything to prove. It's a flat shooting rifle with good energy.

    A matching rifle in .338 and I've got North America covered.
     
  20. HB

    HB Member

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    Well, i love my .243 and am quite confident that its a great rifle. But my deer shooting experience was less than ideal.
    Last year was my first season with that rifle. Hadn't seen any large bucks during the regular season so it came down to doe season to get some sausage. Luckily, it was 4 degrees and snowing when I got my shot!
    I stood up after a nice 3 hour sit and turned around to find a doe standing 80 yards behind me. There was some brush in the way, but none that I could see in my immediate lane, so I took aim and fired. I gave it a few minutes, walked up and found tons of blood. Paper plate sized patches for about 30 yards, with the snow melted in the center of the pools. Then some smaller pools and more of a dripping trail. Then the trail just stopped!
    My dad and I searched for 3 hours but found no deer or any significant amount of blood. I was really distraught at this.
    I have killed 2 deer with a 30-30, but the shots were much closer and there was no brush whatsoever in the way. I shoot very well, so I have 3 conclusions...

    Either the bullet nicked a stick and was thrown off target making a non-fatal yet bloody wound.:confused:

    The deer simply ran further than I antictapted it would and ran onto neighbors land without bleeding...:banghead:

    The bullet failed :rolleyes:


    Yeah, its like that :D

    HB
     
  21. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Member

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    I have a youth model .243 that has probably accounted for 30-35 deer by numerous youngsters. I killed 8 with it myself when I was a kid. Most of the deer killed with this gun were killed with 87 gr Hornady handloads or Remington Express 100 gr Core-Lokts.
     
  22. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    I used a Winchester M-70 from 69 through the mid 80's as it was my only deer rifle. I got my limit every year and had no issues dropping what I shot out to 400yds. Granted the majority of them were in the 100yd or less range, but it still did what I asked on the longer shot as well.

    I used factory loads up until around the late 70's when I decided to start shooting more. Don't get me wrong, I was just hitting my early teens then and ol pop decided he wasn't liking me shooting up all of his pocket change on random shots of paper. I started out loading the Nosler 85gr Solid base, then went to the 100gr, and then to the 95gr Ballistic Tip later on. Now I am back to the 100gr SB for 99% of my shooting with this caliber.

    I know that it isn't eh latest wiz bang magnum and it isn't packing mega tons of energy, but with a good expanding bullet put through the chest and lungs of just about anything up to Black Bear, you almost guaranteed, meat in the freezer. I say almost because nothing is perfect, and generally the loose trigger nut is the end cause every time.

    Load it, Shoot it, and Enjoy it.

    Good Luck.
     
  23. Gaiudo

    Gaiudo Member

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    A great gun for whitetail, can't speak to mulies. Use a premium bullet (Barnes, A-Frame, etc.) and all the better.
     
  24. Skillet

    Skillet Member

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    my 243

    my .243, a savage 110 is all i hunt deer with. and they are mulies. it has taken countless deer over the years. it works great. it is a very fast and accurate round. so i use the stuff that will mushroom the best at the cheaper price, so i go for the federal power shok 100 grain soft point.
    wow i sound like a commercial
     
  25. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I guess I've tagged twenty-some-odd bucks with my .243. A little Sako Forester carbine. I load the Sierra 85-grain HPBT, but I limit my shots to neck or cross-body heart shots. DRT. Most of the kills were inside of 100 to 150 yards. Deer to field-dressed weights of 110-120 pounds or thereabouts.
     
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