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.223 or .243 for varmint gun?

Old 02-07-2004, 02:50 PM
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Default .223 or .243 for varmint gun?

Thinking of getting a Handirifle for varmints, and I read a Chuck Hawks article on the superiority of the .243 over the .223 as a potential military round. Would this make a good varmint round? Is it a little too big? Ammo is a little more expensive, but not too bad.
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Old 02-07-2004, 06:41 PM
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Default RE: .223 or .243 for varmint gun?

i would get the .243

my only reason is that the .243 can be used on deer. in this state the minimum rifle caliber is .23 for deer, so i would want to get the most bang for my buck so to speak. i don't know about the ohio laws.
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Old 02-07-2004, 09:21 PM
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Default RE: .223 or .243 for varmint gun?

243 def
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Old 02-08-2004, 05:54 PM
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Default RE: .223 or .243 for varmint gun?

The .223 and .243 cannot be compared they are really really different. Which one to get depends on what your using it for if P-dogs or woodchucks are your target get the .223 ammo is ALOT cheaper. If your a predator hunter ammo cost may not be that big of a concern but I would still get the .223. If you want to it will do a number on deer.
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Old 02-08-2004, 11:51 PM
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Default RE: .223 or .243 for varmint gun?

.223 is good if ranges aren't too great and the wind isn't blowing too hard. The .243 is a lot more powerful and the higher BC of the 6mm bullets means that it'll shoot flatter at a distance and buck the wind better. It'll also have a lot more energy down range if you like to take 400 yard+ shots on coyote. By 300 yards the .223 is really losing most of it's oomph.

As far as using the .223 on deer...well all I can say is that there is a reason why many states require a minimum caliber for deer hunting. The .223 just doesn't have the energy, sectional density (penetration), or diameter to be a good deer round. Just because the round can, under the perfect set of circumstances, kill a deer, it doesn't mean that it's a good cartridge for hunting them. A .22LR will kill a deer too, but no one would argue that it's a good deer cartridge. For deer stick with a .243 minimum. It's up to us as ethical hunters to ensure that we are able to kill the animal as quickly and cleanly as possible, and part of that is selecting a weapon that is capable of doing the job even if the shot is good but less than perfect. The .223 is so underpowered for deer that using it significantly increases the likelyhood of wounding and needlessly loosing an animal if your shot isn't perfect. Why risk it? Such stories of wounded game just make hunters look careless in the eyes of the public, and that's not the type of press we need if we want to continue this great tradition.

Mike
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Old 02-09-2004, 12:44 AM
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Default RE: .223 or .243 for varmint gun?

for varmints, the 223 is best. Cheap ammo, your gonna be shooting alot. Doesnt heat the barrel fast and if your shootint alot, such as at groundhawgs, thats a BIG concern. Nothing like having to wait for the barrel to cool while those guys laugh at ya. Now thats for varmints or even fox. Now for Coyotes/wolfs Id go for a 22-250 or a 243. Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2004, 12:24 PM
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Default RE: .223 or .243 for varmint gun?

I personally go with the 223 because it isn't to big or to small for even up to coyotes.
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Old 03-09-2004, 04:48 AM
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Default RE: .223 or .243 for varmint gun?

Hmmmm, I think I may have replied to this type of question before. I'll say the same thing: What are you planning to do with this rifle? I myself have a .243 and a .22-250. The .22-250 I use exclusively for varmints. If you are going to hunt deer with a rifle, I'd have to say: Go with the .243! I've used my .243 for several deer and I downed a couple of antelope with 'er too. I feel that, in certain situations, the .243 is fine for coyotes. Here in MN, we don't really have super long range shooting. The max distance I've dropped a coyote at is probably... ummm, around 300 yards I think. Beyond that, in MN, there's bound to be a woods or a cow pasture or something that shouldn't be shot. If all you're gonna be hunting is stuff like prairie dogs and the like, a .223 should work great. I've hunted prairie dogs myself and I think it's one of the most entertaining things I've ever done! But we never used just one gun. Nope, we went with our entire arsenal! We shot them with everything from a .22 to a .300 Win Mag. Trying to pop prairie dogs at long range with a .22 sure is fun!
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Old 03-09-2004, 07:52 AM
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Default RE: .223 or .243 for varmint gun?

e...since you live in Ohio, and you're probably not going to be doing much rifle deer hunting...I'd go for the .223. I have one and love it. It's a shooter to say the least.

You really can't go wrong, though.
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Old 03-09-2004, 10:07 AM
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Default RE: .223 or .243 for varmint gun?

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I have prett much ruled out the .243 for now. So now I'm thinking of a 22-250. There is already a thread on this caliber, so I don't want to start a whole new discussion here. But as I understand it, the power and ballistics of the 22-250 are superior to the .223. The downsides are more expensive ammo, and wear on the barrel. Sincwe barrels for the handirifle are so inexpensive, I do not see a problem with that. Cost of ammo is about the only thing for me to consider.
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