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Winchester 243 distance shooting?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by EagleEyes, Sep 14, 2008.

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  1. EagleEyes

    EagleEyes Member

    Sep 14, 2008
    can the 243 shoot 1000 yards, and if it can what scope would you need?
  2. Neckshot5seven

    Neckshot5seven member

    May 26, 2008
    The bullet could go that far, but it will go subsonic before 800 so your groups at 1000 would be a joke that is not too funny. Plus that light little bullet would be blown off target by so much as a squirrel fart.

    BADUNAME37 Member

    Aug 10, 2008
    I agree....

    It doesn't seem to be a 1,000 yard round, but, hey, I could be wrong!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008
  4. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

    May 22, 2006
    West Texas
  5. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark Member

    May 15, 2007
    Deep South
    The .243 has been used to win many 1000 yard matches. The 105, 107 and 115 grain bullets were designed specifically for shooting out to 1K. John Whidden won the Georgia State Long Range Match with one in 2006.
  6. dmazur

    dmazur Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    Pacific NW
    There's more to 1000 yd shooting than selecting a scope, but a general guideline is it has to have enough vertical adjustment to be able to "dial in" the target at that distance.

    This can be difficult to achieve with a 1" scope tube. Some 30mm scopes have enough adjustment range to handle this.

    Another solution is a scope base with a deliberate angle, say 20MOA.

    A more serious problem is usually encountered: A lot of .243's don't have the correct rifling twist for heavy bullets. They work fine with varmint weight bullets, but the 105 - 115gr high BC bullets used for long-range target work just don't stabilize.

    So, you've asked a very good question. Like a lot of questions, however, they often cause other questions to be asked... Hope this helped! :)
  7. browningguy

    browningguy Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Houston, TX
    The bullet certainly will not go subsonic before 1000 yards, it's amazing how much wrong information is out there. And the .243 is an excellent long range round. I put mine together on a Savage 12 FV, Sharpsooter supply LVT stock, and a 6.5-20 Weaver Grand Slam. It holds 1/2 moa out to 600 yard which is the farthest I have shot it. The numerous advantages to a 6 or 6.5mm round include much lower recoil, and the ability to launch very high BC bullets down range.


    If you run a ballistics program you will find even the 100gr. load is better (wind drift and drop) at 1000 yards than a 150 or 165 gr. in .308. It's about BC, not just maximum bullet weight.
  8. EShell

    EShell Member

    Nov 5, 2003
    As stated by skinewmexico, Howard Roark, dmazur & browningguy, a properly set up .243 is an excellent choice for long range shooting, delivering better drop & wind figures than many cartridges "thought to be" more effective, with very mild recoil and good powder economy.

    The limitations many people immediately think of are imposed by the use of very light bullets, which are indeed ineffective at longer ranges. The same problem can be seen in any caliber. A 50-55 grain .224 bullet vs a 77-80, a 140 grain 7mm, vs a 168/175, a 150 grain .30 bullet, vs a 175/190 . . . the list goes on for ways to hamstring long range performance.

    A properly stabilized heavy bullet is a completely different animal and worth learning a little something about. At 1,000 yards, the 105 Scenar, launched at a moderate 3,000 fps, is still running 1,400fps +, and will easily stay supersonic beyond 1,200. Some folks, with longer barrels and more guts drive them substantially faster. Even with the 105 at 3,000 fps, a Federal FGMM .308/175 SMK goes subsonic several hundred yards before the .243 bullet.

    The first key decision in a long range .243 is rifling twist, and a fast twist is needed to stabilize the long BHTPs like the Lapua and Berger 105s, the 107 SMKs and the DTACs.

    I set up my daughter's rifle with a 24" 7.5:1 Schneider barrel as a low-recoil and high-efficiency, yet portable, long range match rifle. It does very well, and will shoot 105 Scenars into 3/8 MOA. With the 105s at close to 3,000 fps and the 115 DTACs at 2,925, the drop and drift figures rival my 6.5-284. She has no trouble keeping all of her shots within 3/4 moa at 1k, and if wind conditions permit, the rifle will actually shoot a little better than that.

    Regarding the OPs original question, there are many scopes with will do a good job to 1k and beyond. Adjustable parallax, a 30mm tube and at least 10x would be my starting point.

    With any true long range rifle, I'd suggest starting with a 20 moa base to give a head start on the elevation needed to dial on at these ranges. Laura's rifle needs 31.5 MOA from her 100 yard zero to be on at 1k, the FGMM .308/175s needs over 39 MOA, almost 6 FEET more - go figure.

    For magnification, I would suggest at least a 4.5-14x, and a little more power is often an asset. I have a 4.5-14x40 on Laura's .243 and it fits the LTR style package well. A larger scope like a 6.5-20x would be right at home, as would be a NightForce 5.5-22x50.

    More effective long range performance CAN be had by other cartridges, like the 6.5-284, the 7WSM (or 7x300WSM) or even a .300WinMag, but at the expense of more recoil and greater powder consumption, and in the case of the 6.5-284 and the WinMag, a longer action. The biggest advantage of the bigger calibers is stability in the wind, and downrange energy. We shoot a lot of matches at long range that use steel plate targets, and misses are much easier to spot (and correct) as bullet weight increases.
  9. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

    Nov 14, 2007
    Sure it will.

    and Sure it won't.

    Depends on the bullet. Most will, but a good BC one won't.

    Ed (who posted at the exact same time as me here) speaks very eloquently on the subject. :)
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