Guns Like firearms themselves, there's a wide variety of opinions on what's the best gun.

308 or 243?

Old 11-18-2008, 11:31 AM
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Default RE: 308 or 243?

ORIGINAL: bighorn11

I'm looking at buying one of these two guns to deer hunt with. I currently own a 30-30, .223 wssm, and 7mm mag. I'm looking at the .243 and .308. I'm planning on making the new gun my primary deer gun. I'm leaning towards the .308 but want a gun my wife can shoot to. I don't have a lot of experience with either round and am worried about the recoil for her. Any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
People will tell you that the .308 has "light" recoil. Of course, it is not as light as the .243.With a lighter rifle which the short .308 round permits, it is probably no better than a .30/'06 in a heavier rifle! And no doubt the .243 will kill deer quite effectively. As you already own a 7mm Mag., you don't contemplate shooting elk or moose with the new gun, I suppose.Has your wife ever fired your 7 Mag.? How much recoil can she tolerate? I've seen women shoot Cape Buffalo with a .450/.400 Nitro Express, and not even seem to notice the recoil. Size & weight have nothing to do with one's ability to stand up to recoil. Actually, the bigger guys are worse off, because they have more inertia which permits the buttplate to penetrate into their shoulders deeperbefore their body starts to move rearward! To demonstrate this, place your backagainst a tree, then fire your rifle from the braced shoulder! You will see what I mean!(I actually did not expect you to try this!)
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:29 PM
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Default RE: 308 or 243?


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Old 11-18-2008, 04:00 PM
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Default RE: 308 or 243?

If you know some people that own the different calibers you are interested in why not ask them to let your wife give them a try? Around here most hunters are very happy to see women take an interest in hunting, since they may be all that keeps our sport from becoming extinct.
This way she will not only get to try different calibers but also different rifles as well.
If you have never put a Speer 70 gr simi spitzer thru a deer's vitals from a 223 you have missed out on a serious deer killing machine. A more perfect mushroom would be hard to get from any bullet and yes it'll wreck both lungs. is offline  
Old 11-18-2008, 05:59 PM
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Default RE: 308 or 243?

Recoil is based somewhat on what rifle is used, case size etc., but the weight of the bullet and rate at which it leaves the barrel has the most effect. A .243 needs a 90 to 100 grain bullet for deer, and a .308 uses a 150 to 180 grain bullet, and as the powder charge is fairly close, the heavier bullets produces moremomentum conservation(recoil). A .308 ismy favorite deer cartridge, but in a light fixed breech gun might be a tad too kicky for your sweetie. Put that same caliber into a semi-auto, and it's a puppy to shoot for most anybody. A .243 is cool for deer with a well placed shot, but not ideal for a marginal shot. Someone else suggested a 7mm-08, which is also a kick butt deer cartridge, and I'd consider a .260 Rem. for a gal. My son's 105 lb fiance actually prefers one of my .44 mag
Ruger lever actions for deer hunting as it's short, light, has mild recoil and is great for deer up to 100 yds.
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:58 PM
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Default RE: 308 or 243?

308 all the way
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:00 PM
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Default RE: 308 or 243?

The .243 with good hunting loads will take any whitetail PERIOD!
I shoot a .308 and a 7MM RM, and have seen great results with the 7MM-08. My first deer gun was a 6MM Rem. (Still sorry I got rid of it!)
This year after using the .308 and 7MM RM for years, I went to the .243, and love it! Kills 'em just as dead as the '08 and 7 MM with a lot less recoil!
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:26 AM
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Default RE: 308 or 243?

308 by all means. A 243 is an ok gun but just doesnt have the knock down or distance that a faithful 308 does. Ive been using a 308 for year and wont use anything else.
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:06 AM
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Default RE: 308 or 243?

Another vote for the 7mm-08. To me its almost the same thing as the 308 with less recoil. And enought gun to hunt most animals in the lower 48.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:00 AM
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Default RE: 308 or 243?


Another vote for the 7mm-08. To me its almost the same thing as the 308 with less recoil. And enought gun to hunt most animals in the lower 48.
For deer, there are no flies on the .260 Remington, either.....
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:18 AM
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Default RE: 308 or 243?

ORIGINAL: nchawkeye

Lets back up a bit...You mentioned losing a deer with a 22-250...What bullet was being used??? With the 60gr Nosler Partition, the 22-250 makes a pretty decent deer round, with shots within 150 yards...I've skinned 8-10 that my niece has killed with her 22-250 and also killed a couple of dozen with that round back in the 70s, when all we had were varmint bullets...There is a huge difference in the wound channels between these two bullets...

Also...A 7mm-08 will kick less than a .308 IF the 7mm is using 140gr bullets and the .308 is using 150gr bullets...Remember, recoil is more than just powder charge, rifle design and rifle weight...It's bullet weight as well...Remember physics, for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction...That opposite reaction is recoil...

My brothers have .270s, a 7mm-08 and a .280...I have a good friend that has a .308...I have shot and set up all these rifles...I can't tell much difference in recoil between the 4 different cartridges...You will also not be able to tell ANY difference in how well they work on deer...You will be able to tell differences though in the bullet used within any given caliber...

My brother has killed over 100 deer with his 7mm-08 and has used it since the early 80s...The only disadvantage is avaliability of ammo and price vs the more common .270, 30-06 .308 and .243 ammo...Practically every ammo dealer sells these 4 centerfire calibers...

I've used a .243 since 1980 and have killed well over 150 deer with it...About 90 of these were killed with 100gr Remington CoreLokts, currently they sell for $11.24 at the local WalMart...Either will work...

Sorry. I've been away from the computer. He probably wasn't using an ideal round out of the 22-250. He grabbed 55 grain ballistic tips on his way out the door instead of heavier bullets. Actually he found the deer after this post(142 9 point). Thanks for the help on this. I've almost made up my mind.
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