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.243 Shooters

Old 07-10-2005, 04:28 PM
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Location: Broussard Louisiana USA
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Default .243 Shooters

Those of you that hunt with a .243 and shoot out to 200 yards, what type of ammo do you use? Do you use hand loads or factory? Please specify what bullet and how it groups in your gun at 200 yards.

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Old 07-10-2005, 04:51 PM
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Default RE: .243 Shooters

I only shoot at varmits with my 243. It groups best with 80 grain PMC ammo. It will group half inch at 100 yards. I have some different reloads ready but have not made it to the Range to try them out yet. I will post my loads here after I get a chance to shoot for groups and chronograph them.
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Old 07-10-2005, 05:23 PM
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Default RE: .243 Shooters

There are quite a few good .243 bullets out there. Here's a short list:

70 Gr. Nosler Ballistic tip.- varmints, antelope.
85 Gr. Sierra HPBT Gameking - good all around bullet
95 Gr. Nosler Ballistic tip - deer, antelope
100 gr. Sierra Pro Hunter - deer, antelope, black bear

I would expect any of these bullets to shoot golf ball size groups at 200 yards, although guns vary a lot in terms of what they like/don't like. IMR 4350 and H-414 are two powders that have worked well for me in a wide variety of .243 Winchesters. And use Remington 9 1/2 or CCI BR2 primers. Never use CCI 250's. Good luck. Roskoe.
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:50 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Oakland OR USA
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Default RE: .243 Shooters

I hunt with the 243 Win and had been using the 85 gr Barnes X bullets in handloads but have gone to using the Barnes TSX bullet the last couple of seasons .The TSXa little better accuracy wise and I've started use themin all my guns now . I've took two bucks with them last year at over 200 yds and both one shot kills .
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:37 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: .243 Shooters

halcon were you able to recover either of those triple shocks? Also what kinda damage exit holes did ya have?
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:11 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: .243 Shooters

The first buck was through the lungs and broke a shoulder exit hole was about 1 " . He ran in a big circle and fell in the same spotI shot him , 248 yards
The second buck was top of shoulders , broke both shoulders and shattered the spine ,exit hole about 1 1/2 " . 212 yards running thats whyI shot for the top of shoulders . Very little blood shot due to the bullet not fragmenting like most jacketed bullets do .
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Old 07-11-2005, 07:24 PM
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Default RE: .243 Shooters

[/align][/align]By Chuck Hawks

Illustration courtesy of Hornady Mfg. Co.

>>>>After careful consideration, I would like to propose that the .243 Winchester cartridge be considered as the successor to the 5.56mm NATO. The military would undoubtedly call the cartridge the "6mm NATO."
I chose the .243 Win. partly because of the old 6mm Lee Navy rifle of 1895, which was once service standard for the U.S. Navy. Thus, the U.S. military has some history with 6mm cartridges. I admit that the 6mm Remington, .257 Roberts, and other similar cartridges would serve about as well as the .243. I favor the latter because it is the best known and most popular of all the .24-.25 caliber cartridges, and because it was created by simply necking down the 7.62mm NATO case. I thought that case commonality would appeal to the military, and simplify mass production of both cartridges in wartime. (The 7.62mm remains the standard NATO machine gun cartridge.)
I also took a long look at the .25-08 wildcat and .260 Rem., both also based on a necked down .308 case. I determined that the .243 offered better penetration than the .25-08 with the same weight bullet at the same velocity, due to superior sectional density (SD), at no increase in recoil. The situation is similar when comparing the .243 to the .260, only more so. With the same weight bullet at the same velocity, the .260 is inferior to both the .25-08 and the .243 in penetration. The .260 requires approximately a 15% increase in bullet weigh to equal the .243 in sectional density (and thus penetration). I suspect that the military would find the resultant increase in recoil and decrease in velocity unacceptable.
Remember, the purpose of this exercise it to retain, as much as possible, the low recoil and flat trajectory of the 5.56mm NATO while addressing its shortcomings. The .243 preserves these benefits better than any of the other contenders. The .243 would have several significant advantages over the current 5.56mm NATO, which I will discuss in the following paragraphs.
Clearly, the .243 offers a modest but worthwhile increase in bullet diameter and frontal area. This increases lethality by enlarging the wound channel.
The sectional density of an 85-100 grain .24 caliber (6mm) bullet is far superior to that of any .22 caliber bullet. It also compares favorably to .30 caliber bullets. Sectional density is the ratio of a bullet's weight in pounds to the square of its diameter in inches. Other things being equal, sectional density is the primary factor in determining penetration. Thus, if we are comparing two similar non-expanding boat tail spitzer bullets (like typical military full metal jacket ball ammunition), fired at the same velocity, the one with the greater sectional density will penetrate deepest.
A 55 grain bullet for the 5.56mm NATO has a SD of only .157. A 150 grain bullet for the 7.62mm NATO has a SD of .226. This explains why, when the military changed from the 7.62mm (.30 cal.) to the 5.56mm (.22 cal.), they found that it didn't penetrate nearly as well. The poor penetration of the 55 grain .22 bullet led to the eventual adoption of the heavier 62 grain bullet for the 5.56mm NATO cartridge. Muzzle velocity fell to around 3,000 fps. Sectional density was increased to .177. Penetration improved, but is still considerably inferior to that of the 150 grain .30 caliber bullet. If we adopted the .243 Win. with a 95 grain bullet, whose SD is .230 (slightly better than the 150 grain .30 bullet), penetration would easily exceed that of the 62 grain .22 bullet. This is a valid comparison, as the .243 can drive a 95 grain bullet at 3,100 fps. I think it is clear that the .243 is a winner compared to the 5.56mm or the 7.62mm in terms of sectional density and penetration.
.243 bullets are also winners in terms of ballistic coefficient (BC). Without getting too technical, ballistic coefficient indicates a bullet's ability to overcome air drag. This is important for flat trajectory, and for minimizing wind drift. (The higher the BC, the slower a bullet sheds velocity, and consequently the less it drifts in the wind.) Ballistic coefficient is influenced by many factors, and changes with velocity, so all BC figures should be taken as approximate.
For example, using Nosler Ballistic Tip (boat tail spitzer) bullets for comparison, the 150 grain .30 caliber bullet has a BC of .435. The 95 grain .243 bullet has a BC of .379. The 55 grain bullet for the 5.56mm NATO has a BC of only .267, despite its streamlined appearance.
At typical 5.56mm velocities, this bullet's lateral drift at 300 yards in a light 10 MPH crosswind is 14.2 inches. This is enough to blow a perfectly aimed bullet completely off a man-size target! The 5.56mm 62 grain FMJ-boat tail spitzer has a BC of .307. This is still very inferior to the BC of the .243's 95 grain bullet. At typical .243 velocities, the 95 grain bullet's lateral drift at 300 yards in a 10 MPH crosswind is about 6.3 inches.
The 5.56mm NATO is a flat-shooting cartridge, much better than the 7.62x39 and somewhat superior to the 7.62mm NATO. From a rifle zeroed at 200 yards, a 55 grain Ballistic Tip bullet at a MV of 3,240 fps. hits 20.8 inches below the point of aim at 400 yards.
For comparison, a 150 grain 7.62mm NATO Ballistic Tip bullet at a MV of 2,820 fps hits 22.7 inches low at 400 yards. Zero a 7.62x39 Soviet rifle at 200 yards, and the typical FMJ bullet hits 43.5 inches low at 400 yards. (That's over 3 feet below the point of aim!)
But the .243 shoots even flatter than the 5.56mm. From a rifle zeroed at 200 yards, the 95 grain Ballistic Tip bullet at a MV of 3100 fps hits only 18.9 inches below the point of aim at 400 yards.
Clearly, when it comes to slipping through the air, the .24 caliber bullets are among the best. As civilian varmint shooters have known for years, the .243 is an excellent long range cartridge that combines a very flat trajectory with minimum wind drift.
Civilian deer, sheep, goat, and antelope hunters know that the .243 Win. is a much better killer on animals in the 100-350 pound class than the .223 Rem. A 95 grain .243 boat tail spitzer bullet at a muzzle velocity of 3,100 fps. retains 1,455 ft. lbs. of energy at 200 yards, 1,225 ft. lbs. at 300 yards, 1,024 ft. lbs. at 400 yards, and 890 ft. lbs. at 500 yards (Winchester figures). The .243 is more lethal at 500 yards than the 5.56mm NATO or 7.62x39 are at 200 yards!
Civilian shooters have also learned that the recoil of the .243, even in a lightweight rifle, is quite tolerable for extended shooting sessions. Light recoil is very desirable, not only to avoid flinching and promote accurate shooting, but because modern military rifles must be capable of delivering rapid aimed fire. (Rapid unaimed fire is pointless--you can't miss fast enough to win a gunfight.) To shoot both quickly and accurately, recovery time from full recoil must be rapid. While the .243 Win. kicks more than the 5.56mm NATO, it kicks much less than the 7.62mm NATO, and does in fact allow quick recovery. A 7.5 pound .243 rifle shooting a 95 grain bullet generates around 10 ft. lbs. of recoil energy. This is about half of what an experienced shooter can tolerate. Even inexperienced shooters will not find this bothersome. Light recoil (plus flat trajectory and proven effectiveness) is why the .243 is such a popular hunting cartridge, and so widely recommended for youth, women, and anyone sensitive to recoil.
A modern selective fire military rifle with single fire and three-shot burst capability should be easy to develop for the .243 Win. cartridge. After all, the .243 case is based on the 7.62mm NATO case, which was developed specifically for use in automatic rifles. Sustained fully automatic fire is also quite possible for a 6mm service rifle, although I question its value. Even with a cartridge as under powered as the 5.56mm NATO, full auto fire has proven to be a waste of ammunition. Bullets must be aimed if they are to hit the target, and experience has shown that if a shooter can't hit the target with his first three shots, he probably won't hit the target at all.
On the other hand, a bipod mounted light machine gun (a successor to the old BAR) chambered for the long range, hard hitting .243 Win. cartridge might be a very effective weapon. But that is a subject for another article.
It seems to me that these factors bode well for the success of the .243 Win. as a military cartridge. Should we begin calling it the "6mm NATO"?

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Old 07-14-2005, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 33
Default RE: .243 Shooters

I have a .243 and I use 100 grain Fedaral ammunition. I have dropped most of the deer that I have shot and some were out to 250 yards. The people that think a .243 is onlya varmit are the people that don't know how to shoot a gun because I've never not found a deer with my gun and my friend as a 30-06 and he has shot a wounded many deer. It all depends where you hit them.
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Old 07-15-2005, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Default RE: .243 Shooters

The beauty of the 243 is that you can buy terrific over-the-counter shells fo this rifle. My fav load is the 95 gr Nosler CTBT with a good dose of IMR4350. 3000'/SEC is the magic number for this cartridge for deer. For varmits, the 55gr Nosler CTBT is unreal.....upwards of 4000'/sec and accurate. Good luck and regards, Rick.
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Old 07-15-2005, 07:59 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Texas
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Default RE: .243 Shooters

My .243 groups well with just about any ammo you put in it. Remington core locts group very well, but I just dont like the penetration they offer. I prefer Hornady and Federal 100 gr in factory ammo. I can hit the X at 200 yard pretty consistently with either of these. I would say grouping is under 2 inches at 200 yds, sometimes better. I have damn near touched a 3 shot string at 200 yds.With both. Hornady's blow through bone. I have had pass throughs on 200 lb hogs at over 200 yds, in the neck too. Seen my boy shoot a small buck through both shoulder bones at 200 yds using Hornady's I have dropped quite a few descent bucks with the hornad'ys, always complete pass throughs. Have done the same with the Federals. Not much difference i dont think. I just started using federal last year, they are a little cheaper than hornady's. I'll have to reserve total judgment till after this year, when i shoot some big 'ol boars with the federals.

one bullet my gun totally dislikes, is winchester supreme silverballistic tips.
Really bad shooting. I was told it's cause of the molly coating.
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