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Thread: Hunting deer size game with 243 boolits?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man vmathias's Avatar
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    Hunting deer size game with 243 boolits?

    Has anyone used a 243 lead cast boolit with success on deer size game? If so, what velocities are you running and what ranges have you taken them??

  2. #2
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Even with jacketed bullets, I find the 6mm caliber lacking for large game. I've had a 6mm Ackley Improved since the early days of Ruger bolt action rifles, Sometimes it kills deer like the hammer of thor, other times it fails to reach the target. Bullet selection is critical. With cast at like half the energy, I'd compare it with a 25-20 with a strong edge for the 25-20. I.E. will kill deer, but marginal.
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    Boolit Man vmathias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftiye View Post
    Even with jacketed bullets, I find the 6mm caliber lacking for large game. I've had a 6mm Ackley Improved since the early days of Ruger bolt action rifles, Sometimes it kills deer like the hammer of thor, other times it fails to reach the target. Bullet selection is critical. With cast at like half the energy, I'd compare it with a 25-20 with a strong edge for the 25-20. I.E. will kill deer, but marginal.
    My main reason to cast for the 243 is Predator hunting. I have had very good luck with the 243 on deer size game. Havent had one yet go 30 yards from where it was shot. I am casting 95 grain boolits and hope to push them around 1800fps. If I stick to 100 yards or under with well placed shots i think it will do the trick.

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    On our small deer (90 lbs live wt.), I think you would be ok. You seem to have a good grip on range limitations and placement, so that is good. I know I will get some fire over this, but even fast 25 calibers have let me down on deer. I limit myself and my family to .264 or larger for game. I know it has been done with smaller, but it is just too unreliable. A 30 cal and no tracking, or a 22 cal and possibly a lost deer or a whole lot of work..... Not flaming you for your choice to try the 243 cal, just giving my opinion.
    I came into this world kicking, screaming, and covered in someone elses blood. I plan to go out the same way.

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    i'll throw my opinion in too.
    I have no basis to go by really, just what I have seen from shooting stuff.
    the 7mm is the smallest I would use on deer, and there you have to take care
    to really get things matched up.
    soft noses and malleability are pertinent.
    i'd really stick to jaxketed in the 243, i'm not even sold on those in the smaller calibers either.
    I have used the 25's on deer a time or two and i'm not quite giving up on them yet.
    [[I got the biggest buck I have ever shot with a 257 and wasn't impressed with the bullets performance]]
    yeah it died ,blah, blah.
    the one before that dropped like a rock and rolled down a hill, then got up and run away without leaving a drop of blood behind.
    spent over 4 hrs trailing it and never seen the deer or sign it had been hit.

    anyway the 243 and cast for deer was the question.
    I wouldn't do it... as a plain naked boolit.
    p/p would be a different question.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    the more i find out about shootin boolits, the more it contradicts everything i ever learned about shooting jaxketed.

  6. #6
    Boolit Designer 45 2.1's Avatar
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    Hmmm.... I have a question. Just where are you small caliber guys shooting those deer? I've seen lots of deer at check stations (out of state ones at that) with lots of people using small caliber rifles. Most all of these deer were shot where the bullet or boolit did the most good. Can you guess where that was?.................
    45 2.1

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master nagantguy's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm strang or just dumd but in my experience the .243 has killed well outside its weight class. Deer pigs elk and black bear. I've seen them all drop with one well placed shot. Neck on the elk boiler room on the rest. These are from two diffrent hunters both good riflemen and I witnessed the shots and the games reaction. Upon field dressing said game I was decent penetration and good wound channels and heavy blood loss. The elk was shot with jword bullets the rest cast with gas check. One of these men uses his bolt .243 for everything. Because its light accurate he shoots it well and has not lost an animal or had to look very to find them.

  8. #8
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    Every deer I have ever seen that was shot with a 6mm/243 just plain died (jwords). ACCURACY/SHOT PLACEMENT and I am talking 150 to 200 lb whitetails.

    A bowling ball at 3,000 fps will not work if you only hit it in the hoof.

    I intend to kill a buck with a gaschecked flatnosed castboolit in a .243 Model 70 SA-LW @ 2800+ fps, just has not happened yet....I have no reservations about what I am doing. Cliff notes version of the story..........= I will do my part and the deer will die.

  9. #9
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    All the hunters I know personally have always shot deer with 243, 270 and a few diehards with the 06. I know of no one who used a 30WCF case or similar, but a lot of folks I know well have them sitting in closets. ... felix
    felix

  10. #10
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    you guy's are talking apples and oranges here.
    a small cast boolit at 1600 fps and something completely tested and damaging is not the same thing.
    I have killed some rather large mule deer with a 22 [heck I accidentally killed a doe eating off a haystack with a pellet rifle ONCE]
    but I don't go hunting with one.

    I do use the 30 wcf though.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    the more i find out about shootin boolits, the more it contradicts everything i ever learned about shooting jaxketed.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man vmathias's Avatar
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    I am not by any means a master in ballistics, bullet weights or energy. I have however hunted for more than twenty years. That being said i will say this, I have used bigger calibers' 06, 270 short mag etc thinking I needed that weight and energy on deer. I believe most deer that are lost with smaller calibers like the 243 are due to really bad shots, ranges that are too far or wrong bullet choice. I've shot 6 mature deer since using the 243. Like I said above not one went more than 30 yards. Most dropped right where they stood. I do not plan on using a cast Boolit on deer, but may try it when I get the loads and velocity to where I am sure it is humane. I have lost one deer and that was in archery. That was ONE too many. Was just interested in facts of people that have used them with success.
    Last edited by vmathias; 04-23-2013 at 03:03 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Can it be done? Yes.
    Is it my idea of ideal? No.

    I can hunt deer in MO with my 32-20, and may some day, but I wouldn't suggest it for Joe Hunter to use.

    I prefer to keep cast bullets for deer hunting larger in diameter and heavier than a 243 allows.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master sthwestvictoria's Avatar
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    I thought this statement made a lot of sense by Chill Will in goodsteels "i believe the cast lead rifle boolit.." thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post

    Bullets for modern, at least somewhat more modern bottleneck cases of small caliber need to be more sophisticated. Faster, lighter, smaller diameter bullets deliver more energy (work) to the target per grain of bullet alloy. This higher demand can produce bullet failure. OR, in some instances, it can produce spectacular wounds! But, you won't be "eating up to the hole" unless you like blood sausage. This demand on the bullet as the weight and diameter goes down is like driving nails into oak with a framing hammer. If the nail finds a hard spot or knot and it is a 20 penny it may stand a better chance of pushing on through. If with that same hammer blow you slam into a 6 penny nail it may make a paperclip out of it self. So you need to cast a stronger 6 Penney nail if you are going to drive it with the same energy.
    -Michael Rix
    I have used heavy 6mm projectiles, jacketed or gilding metal (accutip 100grain or barnes) but for myself on feral goat I don't feel I would have confidence on cast in .243.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45 2.1 View Post
    Hmmm.... I have a question. Just where are you small caliber guys shooting those deer? I've seen lots of deer at check stations (out of state ones at that) with lots of people using small caliber rifles. Most all of these deer were shot where the bullet or boolit did the most good. Can you guess where that was?.................
    25-06 at 60 yards. Remington Sendero and a Sierra heavy SPBT. The first shot hit exactly where you would like it. The bullet hit, and turned 180 degrees and came at me. It penetrated exactly one inch and turned out. Three shots required to end the "hunt".
    My wife's Winchester 70 in 257 Roberts. Max charge of 380 under a 100 gr Hornady SPT. Wounded two deer with this one, although shots were great. Lung shots mostly, because she was a beginner hunter, but I was with her in the stand coaching. I tracked my posterior off and recovered two and lost the third. This was over the course of a years worth of season. The shots were great. Just a lack of energy.
    243 Winchester out of a Remington 700 ADL. Speer Nitrex factory load of 100 grain soft points. Took two hogs through the shoulder and worked fine. One buck at 150 yards was shot and stood there. Shot again and stood there. Buck walked off and later was found 200 yards away shot right through the heart with a small entrance and small exit hole. No blood on the outside.
    Next is the 22-250. 55 grain Remington factory loadings. Doe was ranged at 107 yards. Aim low of the ear in the neck and let rip. A spray of blood and tissue fills the air. Doe dropped and laid there motionless. Since I had 4 doe tags to fill (MLD land), I let her lay and kept hunting. Nothing else came out and after watching some coyotes, wich did not come in for a shot, looked back for the doe. She was GONE!! Found where she had wobbled off and was laid up under a bush. One more shot to the head ended it, but I felt horrible that she suffered for over an hour before being put out.
    No more, no way, and no one in my party. Wanna shoot yotes or hogs with a small caliber? OK, but I still don't like it. Wanna shoot deer on my place with a sub caliber? NO.
    I came into this world kicking, screaming, and covered in someone elses blood. I plan to go out the same way.

  15. #15
    Boolit Designer 45 2.1's Avatar
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    None of those shots are where I would shoot them. When our country was settled by the pioneers, they fed their families and protected them with their squirrel rifles. Those were basically 36 to 38 caliber BP muzzleloading rifles with about the power level of the RN 38 Special load. They shot deer among many other things with them. It is relatively easy to get within 60 yards of a deer, closer if you can hunt. They did not body shoot things with them. A brain shot with about anything will kill.............. I have a Ruger 25-06 that is a poor rifle with jacketed, but with cast it shoots very, very well. I squirrel hunt with it and anything in the woods is meat if I want it. A lot of small rifle calibers can do exactly the same, provided you can cast and load well enough for them...... and put the boolit where it needs to go.
    45 2.1

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  16. #16
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    I have killed deer, antelope, and elk with bullets that "won't work for big game" "at ranges shots shouldn't be taken from on game animals" but I don't think would attempt to shoot a deer with anything less than a 30 caliber and cast bullets. With the smaller caliber I will stick to good jacketed bullets.
    Doug
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  17. #17
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    Before I moved to the muzzleloading seasons (you can't hunt multiple seasons in this state) I hunted deer for decades with a 6mm Rem. Never had a problem with either the local black tails or mule deer, including mule deer over 300#. The muzzle velocity of those old jacketed bullets out of my 18" barrel carbine was about 2600 fps and several of the deer were at the 300 yard range meaning the terminal velocity was roughly 1900 fps. Those deer went down quickly. Given my experience, if you can push your cast boolit to a muzzle velocity of 2100 fps and are a careful shot, you should be just fine out to almost 200 yards especially since, IMHO, cast boolits are more effective than jacketed with the right alloy.

  18. #18
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    I always thought the 243 was too light for deer. A few years ago my grandson shot a buck quartering away from us and he pulled the shot a little hitting the deer in the left hip joint. We recovered the bullet under the skin on his chest. The sierra 100 grain bullet penetrated the whole length of a fairly large buck.

  19. #19
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    In the early days of this board back when we were hosted as part of Shooters, Carpetman had his grandson shoot a deer with the 95 gr cast in 243. IIRC the range was around 50 yards and he shot twice with no effect. Ray believed the boolit pencilled through the lungs with no visible effect. The buck probably died but was not recovered nor did he show symptoms of being hit.
    I have shot more than a few deer and antelope with the 243 but will not use any bullets lighter than 95 gr and j words only. I would shoot a deer with cast anything if I was guaranteed a clear non moving shot at the ear hole but live and hunt where that would be extremely rare.
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    Years ago, I had a couple I was guiding for elk. Both were using 6mm Remingtons. I cringed when I heard that. However, on the first day I got the guy onto a seven point bull that he killed with one shot. That bull weighed 1067# field dressed. Biggest I'd ever seen, and some of the toughest steaks ever. A few days later, I lined his wife up on a cow, and same story, one shot, one kill.
    I still don't think that bore size is an elk cartridge, and I have reservations on deer.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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