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Why was 243 Win never considered as a military cartridge?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Lone_Gunman, Dec 26, 2008.

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  1. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    It seems like a good compromise of weight, power, etc. It could not be chambered in an AR, but it looks like it would be great in a FAL.
     
  2. k9870

    k9870 member

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    there actually is a 243 ar upper
     
  3. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    One reason may be that the .243 Win is pretty well over bore compared to a .308 and that leads to shorter barrel life.
     
  4. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    I'm guessing that a .243 on full auto would burn barrels out pretty quickly.

    Also, one of the main reasons for going to the 5.56 over the 7.62x51 was to save weight. The .243 requires just as big and heavy a receiver and magazine as a 7.62 and the ammo weighs a lot more than 5.56 too.
     
  5. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    at one time, we almost went with the 6mmLee, about 100 yrs ago, that round was ditched because of money/politics, the usual; but that round went on to be the 220 swift.
     
  6. thebaldguy

    thebaldguy Member

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    Could it be the diamater of the case? I think the case diameter is the same as a 7.62 Nato/.308 Win. Smaller case diameter (5.56 Nato/.223 Rem.) allows for more cartridges in the same size magazine.

    Only the bullet diamater is smaller in a .243 than a .308.
     
  7. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Because the .243 is a superb cartridge and thus impossible to be selected using Military Intelligence.

    :cool:
     
  8. Javelin

    Javelin Member

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    Exactly what I was told.

    :)
     
  9. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

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    That is AR-10, not AR-15.


    Probably because hte military was wedded to the .30 cal cartridges. At that time. And the .243 wasn't much different than the .308.
     
  10. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    lets not forget that the 243 win hadn't been invented till 7.62x51 was adopted and refined into 308 win, the cartridge 243 is based on.
     
  11. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    What does "over bore" mean???
     
  12. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    it's an expression of case capacity relative to the bore diameter. Typically the more overbore you go the shorter bbl life becomes.

    If not properly cared for a 243 can "burn out" a bbl in less than 2000rds. Even tripling that number for combat accuracy you're talking about a very brief lifespan for FA fire
     
  13. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    DSA makes 243 and 260 calibered versions of the SA58 under their Hunter line.

    If I ever, say, won the lottery, I'd probably have them build me one of each in a tactical rifle kind of configuration, order several thousand rounds of each caliber, and go to town seeing how they run compared to their 7.62x51 counterpart and 5.56 carbines and whatever else that came to mind. Barring that, they're an interesting what if as military calibers.

    As for why 243 was never considered, I'd think that besides the overbore issue already noted, there's the fact that you don't get any savings on volume a loaded cartridge or magazine takes up and only minimal savings on weight. 243 isn't them most efficient way to sling a 6mm projectile downrange, if we're building a military round from scratch.
     
  14. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    Wasn't feeding reliability an issue? I read a report one time (or somebodies opinion) on whyt the .223 was chosen over the .243 and I thought I read that teh shoulder angles on teh case of the .243 vs. the .223 were steeper and there coudl be feeding issues due to teh steeper shoudler angles. I also read (and know from personal use) the .243 can be a barrel burner if fired repeatedly whereas the .223 isn't. In this report/opinion it also looked at the .22-.250 and the .220 swift.
     
  15. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    A .243 or 6mm projectile could make a pretty good service rifle round, but designing the cartridge around the projectile would be a better idea. That way the desired velocity, barrel life expectancy, weapon weight, weapon size, and other factors can be considered.

    I would think that a .243/6mm projectile in a case with about 79-80% of the powder capacity of the .308/7.62X51 would be great. The resulting rifle would be a little bigger than an AR-15, but would fire a round that hit a lot harder and still had a good flat trajectory. It shouldn't be too hard on barrels either. In fact the 6mm XC is pretty close but I don't know how it would put up with being fed through an auto loading rifle, or a belt fed MG.
     
  16. Auburn1992

    Auburn1992 Member

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    I always thought a 7mm-08 wouldn't be too bad. It's got a significant lesser amount of recoil than a .308 with basically all the ballistics.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  17. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    I read once that when the FAL was originally designed they had planned on making it a 6mm gun but Nato made the 308 their standard round so thats what they ended up going with. Not a 243 but some kind of 6mm round. I would be happy if they would just make them in 6mm-223. You would still get 30 rounds to a mag but better downrange.
     
  18. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    The very earliest FAL prototypes were chambered for the 7.92x33 cartridge the German Sturmgewehrs had used in WW2. They later switched it over to the .280 British/7x43 round, until US insistence on .308 killed that far superior round, and FN had to redesign the FAL for 7.62x51.
     
  19. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...always thought a 7mm-08 wouldn't be too bad..." No advantage. The .280 British was being developed when the U.S. jammed the 7.62 down NATO's throat. So was the 5.56 in the 60's. "We've adopted it and so will you or we'll take out money and go home." Both times.
    The Brits were working on a .276 calibre when W.W. I got in the way too.
    "...the .243 can be a barrel burner..." The .243 doesn't burn barrels any more than any other cartridge.
    FN would have made an FAL in any cartridge you wanted if you paid for it.
    I've always thought the few, original, select fire, AR-10's, made for Finland, in 7.62 x 39 was a good idea.
     
  20. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    I think I'll go with David Tubb on .243 WIN burning out barrels faster than some other calibers. Chances are if a guy that shoots as much as he does claims from first hand experience that .243 WIN has a short barrel life then I am inclined to believe him.

    Believe whatever you want to though.
     
  21. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...burning out barrels faster..." Been shooting the same, low end, .243 rifle for about 30 years. Using nothing but handloaded jacketed bullets at around 3,000fps. Ground hogs, mostly. The accuracy is the same now as it was when I bought the rifle. They don't burn barrels any more than any like calibre/velocity rifle.
    In any case, it takes many thousand rounds to burn out a barrel. And that only means the rifle doesn't shoot as accurately as it did when it was new. Applies mostly to target rifles anyway.
     
  22. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I bet if you took the .243 and necked it up to .30 cal, it would make a GREAT military round...

    ;)

    anyway, modern military rounds seem to be a balance of powder versus projectile. With a given bullet, increasing the powder volume 10% (by changing case design/capacity) only increases velocity by 2.5%.

    As compared to a .308, the .243 weighs the same to carry, burns barrels faster, costs the same to manufacture, and has less power. Other than that, it's probably better.
     
  23. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    How mythology is created...

    Get enough people to repeat something over and over and many of them
    believe it to be fact.

    Nothing about the .243 leads to "shorter barrel life" --no more than any
    other cartridge that might be hand-loaded too hot and resulting in a
    throated-out bore. Often due to taking taking the weapon-type and steel
    beyond what the engineer was told it was originally intended to be used for.

    BTW, yes, the FAL was intended for a smaller cal, but was changed due to
    American pressure. We, of course, then went completely the other way and
    went as small as possible.

    Not too long ago, 6mm variants seemed to "come out of the blue" and become
    all the rage again in ar15 platforms.

    243 always garners interest because it will fit 308 dimensions in magwells,
    receivers, bolt faces, etc. It has very low recoil, shoots flatter than the
    308, and carries far more than sufficient energy hundreds of yards downrange
    to deal with potential problems.
     
  24. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

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    it has all of the disadvantages of the 762 like more recoil, heavy ammo, heavier gun ect and none of the advantages as it still shoots a bullet closer is diameter to a 223 then a 308, and would be harder on barrels then either. The mid bore ars make great hunting guns and specilty guns but i doubt youll ever see one as a main line battle rifle. I dont see all the hoopla with them. The russians allready have about the altimate compromise in the 762x39. If the US adopted it and used readily available 308 bullets instead of 312s and put it in an accurate, lightweight, reliable gun like an ar they would have probably the best battle rifle of all time.
     
  25. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

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    Now I am not a historian but

    if memory serves, the M16 was developed as a lighter weight alternative to the the Garand with more stopping power than the M1 carbine. Carrying around a Garand all day was bad enough but to carry any quantity of ammo on your person as well was darn right daunting. While I know that many of you view the 223 as feeble, the size weight and shape of the cartridge allows a man to carry about 3 times as much ammo for the same weight. Also the magazines for the 223 are relatively straight so they take up less room. Again, if memory serves, a full battle pack was 9 30 round magazines, 270 rounds. Try carrying that many rounds of 308.

    While I agree that the 243 is a fine round and, personally, I would never want to be shot with one, putting a 6mm bullet in the 308 case, at least from a military standpoint would be counter-intuitive.
     
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