Go Back  HuntingNet.com Forums > Firearms Forum > Guns
 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win. >

1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

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

1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

Old 10-02-2004, 04:17 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 1,118
Default 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

Just for s#itz and giggles, I'm going to post a series of questions, asking your opinion of various calibers. I'd like to start with the .243. One of my favorites. What do you all think of this classic? It is undisputed as the perfect, first timer cartridge. And it is more than capable of taking deer sized game with great effect. With the right bullet, it becomes a deadly varmint round. That's my opinion, whats yours?
pharaoh2 is offline  
Old 10-02-2004, 05:03 PM
Boone & Crockett
James B's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Wall SD USA & Jamestown ND
Posts: 11,474
Default RE: 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

It Is my opinion and backed by quite a bit of shooting with the 243 and 6MM Remington. that they are very good varmit rifles and not so good for bigger game. Although bullets have improved, they started out pretty iffy. It got me down an this cartridge from the start although I tried my best to like it. As a hunting quide those first years of the 243, I chased more wounded deer for clients using the 243 that all other calibers combined. The first 25-06 bullets had the same problems either they were to fragil and blew up or had jackets to heavy to open up. Bullets are better but I will never shoot at a deer again with this cartridge. Just to much bad expierence with the bullets. I class it with the 223 and 22-250 as a deer rifle. With perfect shot placement all three will work but I start at 25 caliber and up from now on. Good Hunting.
James B is offline  
Old 10-02-2004, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Bucks County, PA
Posts: 219
Default RE: 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

i like the .243

Never seen it fail on deer...(i video my cousin on hunts), usually droped them where they stood or they ran about 10-20 yards.

Its also a great caliber for coyoyte, and when i get my first rifel it is going to be the .243
TheBassMan is offline  
Old 10-02-2004, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 654
Default RE: 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

love the round it was made perfect if you ask me. i can hunt bear and deer in early december, coyotes in the middle of winter, ground hogs in the summer, and never be overguned or underguned

many people look at the round and say "well after 350 yards it dosen't hold1,000fps so it isn't as good as this bigger calber" well this is true but i don't think i will ever need to shoot a deer at that distance in areas i hunt.

the bullet is small enough and accurate enough to shoot it through small patches in brush and hit its mark, yet it is fast and flat enough to take that long shot. it has half the recoil as a 30-06 and with todays line of ammo there is no reason someone should say it isn't big enough
killer243 is offline  
Old 10-02-2004, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: S Texas
Posts: 1,037
Default RE: 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

I had an uncle that began hunting with the .243 about 1962 or so. He averaged a well hit deer lost about every three years or so with the cartridge. Bullets have improved greatly since those days, and I don't hear of the .243 failing , on average, than any other cartridge.
My thoughts on the .243 as a hunter? Works, but I follow these rules:
1. 100 grain or heavier bullets
2. 200 yards max range.
3. Standard bullets are ok for the 125 to 140 pound whitetails around here.
4. Premium bullets for whitetail at 200 pounds or over.
5. Practice enough to hit your mark every time!
Charley is offline  
Old 10-02-2004, 06:27 PM
Nontypical Buck
Briman's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Body in SE WI, mind in U.P.
Posts: 4,781
Default RE: 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

1. 100 grain or heavier bullets
2. 200 yards max range.
3. Standard bullets are ok for the 125 to 140 pound whitetails around here.
4. Premium bullets for whitetail at 200 pounds or over.
5. Practice enough to hit your mark every time!
I would agree with everything except for:
3&4-I would use premium bullets for any deer.
2- The .243 with premium bullets will easily kill deer at twice that range.
Briman is offline  
Old 10-02-2004, 06:28 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SW Virginia
Posts: 776
Default RE: 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

.243 Win.:
Deer size game = [:@]
Varmints =

I've had/used a couple of rifles in .243Win. over the years, including when I was living and hunting in Wyoming. I found it to be a great varmint cartridge - for everything from
prairie dogs, rockchucks, on up to coyote. Much better than any of the .22 centerfires when the breezes were blowing. Used the Fed. Prem. load with the 85gr. BTHP bullet, or
handloaded it (Sierra bullet).
As for use on deer and antelope, not so hot. Oh, I got my deer alright, but I recall one
that took four hits thru the lungs before he went down, and he was just a spike. And yes, they were all good hits, just behind the shoulder. Not one made it out the other side. Each bullet came apart in the lungs - core/jacket separation. Range approx. 75yds.
Another small mule deer, taken with an off-hand shot at about 125yds, was shot as it faced me. The shot placement was perfect. Deer went down, but as I approaced, at about 15yds. this guy jumps up to run. I thought he was down, and made the mistake of having my rilfe slung over onto my shoulder. I drew my .41Mag. (S&W Mod.57, 4"), and put four quick rounds into his shoulder/lungs. Finally, he went down for keeps. Found the jacket for the .243 in the lungs, but never recovered the core.

Used the .243 on several antelope. Most went down ok, no problem. Most were shot within 150yds. But ,I recall one that took off when hit, and ran approx. 1/4mile. Fortunately, it was open area (as usual), and he took off with the herd at the shot, but dropped out after a few hundred yards.

I know a lot of other hunters who used the .243 as well. In many cases, no problems.
But, I've either seen or heard of too many cases of core/jacket separation. Too many cases failing to give full penetration, and poor blood trails. In no case would I ever want to use the .243 on bear. If I had to use it on deer again, I'd be sure to only use the newer premium loads like the Federal with the Nosler partition bullet, or maybe the Remington Core-Lokt Ultra, 100gr.

My personal minimum for big game hunting now is 270Win. You can almost never be "overgunned". Always better to have a little too much, than not enough. We owe it to the game to make as clean/quick a kill as possible. And, I'm getting too dang old to want to run around the woods all day trailing a well hit deer - hit with too small a bullet,
and poor blood trails to boot. I now use the .270Win. for "open" areas, and my Ruger
carbine, .358Win. for use in more thickly wooded areas. That .358Win. really knocks 'em down - quickly too.
Virginia7 is offline  
Old 10-02-2004, 06:29 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pulaskiville
Posts: 3,533
Default RE: 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

I like the 243 for deer. I now use the 270, but wouldn't hesitate to pick up another 243. Deer aren't buffalo for cryin' out loud...LOL
Pro-Line is offline  
Old 10-02-2004, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 654
Default RE: 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

when ever you use one caliber long enough you will run into trouble like Virginia7. i have seen deer with 3 180grain noslers in his heart/lungs and 2 in the guts from a 30-06 run for a good 300 yards when shot that is 900 grains of lead in a deer and it ran. so it isn;t just the caliber, chances are it is going to happen sooner or later no matter what caliber you are shooting.

a kid down the road from me shot a 580 pound bear with a 243. 1 shot ran 20 yards and died.
killer243 is offline  
Old 10-04-2004, 11:49 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Rocky Mtn. Hse. Alberta
Posts: 823
Default RE: 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

When the .243 was developed it was intended to be a mulipurpose cartridge. It was made for the hunter that wanted a varmint rifle for chucks and coyotes that could also be used for deer and pronghorn.

The .243 is a pretty great cartridge FOR THAT PURPOSE..

If I were going to get a rifle JUST for varmints it would likely be in .22/250 or .223. If I were going to get a rifle JUST for deer and pronghorn it would be in any of a number of diffrent cartridges better suited to that game.

I have a Rem 788 in .243 and it is the most accurate of the several rifles I own. I have used it on a few deer and pronghorn and though it killed them all, I was not too pleased with its performance.

If I had too hunt with one I wouldn't mind too much but I would not go out and buy one to hunt deer with.

Duffy is offline  

Quick Reply: 1st Caliber opinion: .243 Win.

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.