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Thread: Light Deer Load For .243

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Light Deer Load For .243

    I have had a good 100gr deer load I have used for years but now my 11yo daughter says she may like to shoot a deer this year. I have taken her hunting with me in the past but only as a spectator. She has also been to the range with me a few times too. She loves the .22 rimfire.
    I was wondering if anyone had a good light load for deer in .243.

    Thanks,

    Bigscot
    Hunt hard, shoot straight, kill clean, apologize to no one!
    -Ralph M. Lermayer-
    Editor of Predator Xtream

  2. #2
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    dk17hmr's Avatar
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    Try a 70gr Nosler Ballistic Tip. It looks like a hand grenade went off in the chest cavity. Push them about 3100 fps.

    I just loaded some for my buddies kid, he has a NEF superlight youth gun in 243, extremly light right, when the rifle went off I could keep the crosshair on target through the recoil.
    Last edited by dk17hmr; 09-19-2008 at 11:30 PM.
    Doug
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    9.3X62AL's Avatar
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    The 243 is already pretty light for deer at factory load level. I would be inclined to run a 100 grain game bullet at a 10% download from book max (2650-2700 FPS) and give her a range day with that combo. I'll bet she handles it just fine.
    "As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned with a downright moron."--H.L. Mencken

  4. #4
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    Bret4207's Avatar
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    Ditto what Al said. My son has been shooting a Ruger Ultra Light in 250 Savage since he was 14 or so. I use the 100 gr Nosler Partition and a max load, but out of that short barrel we're still only getting 2800 fps or so. Better to use a good bullet and cut the speed a bit than risk a wounding blow up with a light bullet IMO.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Well, lemme say that I agree with the above two posts, as you don't want to go too low, but with one caveat.

    How far away will the deer be at the shot?

    I have had the honor of being present in the deer stand with a friend's daughter two years in a row now, coaching her into taking a deer. She was successful both times.

    My friend loads the .25 caliber 100 grain Core-Lokt to 2400 fps with H4895 in a M77 .257 Roberts, and our longest shot was about 60 yards (this is also about the maximum possible). The other shot was 40 yards.

    Both times this worked most excellently. First was a frontal heart shot (60 yards). The deer set back, reared up on its hindquarters and fell dead with half its heart gone. The second was a quartering shot at 40. The bullet left behind substantial damage and a 3 inch exit hole in the rib cage wall. Ran 30 yards and bit the dust.

    About like any other caliber, even full power, would have done. If you're coaching them into certain shots, then 2400 fps may be quite adequate, at least in 25 caliber, 100 grain. Can't see how that differs all that much from a 24 caliber, 100 grain, especially if bullet construction is similar.

    I would not recommend 200 yard shooting with this load, certainly, but for treestand ranges like the above it is fine.

    Kaitlyn doesn't mind the recoil one bit and can focus on the shot, which has made her quite deadly. A good scope turned down to 4X helps with the target acquisition and aiming bit.

    Nothing better than a good and successful hunting experience.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master GabbyM's Avatar
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    My vote is for the heavy bullet with reduced velocity. Those bullets will work the same up close as they do out at three hundred or so yards where they've fallen to that level.

    In 6mm you've a pile of bullets to chose from. I'd stick with the big game jackets to ensure exit holes and bone penetration. Even then I'd aim behind the shoulder with a 6mm but each to his own.

    I've shot a bunch of 70 gr Noslers at prairie dogs. Enough to wear out a couple of barrels. They are excellent at that chore. big plus is they , like most other modern varmint bullets, don't ricochet. Just blow apart when they hit the ground. I would not call them a deer bullet. You'd need to pick your shots which would confuse the heck out of a young girl. If you were to chose a high fragmentation bullet the Hornady 87gr HP should work at reduced velocity . But why would you want to? I've raised two daughters and would not want to explain to them at a young age what happens when your bullet blows in the shoulder much less hand them that rifle and say don't do that.

    In the event the 100gr bullets don't shoot to well at less than max velocity. Which is very likely.
    There is the 90gr & 95gr Nosler BT which I've no experience with.
    The Sierra 85gr Game King HP #1530 is built with the Game King jacket. They still expand on a prairie dog at ¼ mile when launched at 3300fps. Book shows that 400 yard velocity as 2367fps.
    The Nosler has a BC of .365 to the Sierra 85gr at .311. Either one will work as will many other slugs.

    Over in (hunting with cast bullets) forum theirs a post on fallow deer with 22 caliber at 2200fps with a little 45gr bullet. Very impressive photo from New Zealand. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=35976

    After you look at those pics you'll surely feel more confident in sending a 6mm bullet at a deer with “reduced “ velocity.

    The Sierra ballistics chart I have only goes down to a 2,800fps launch speed. But for 400 yards it shows the #1530 85gr at 1961fps with a drop of 23.7” from a 200 yard zero which is 1.87” high at 100 yards. At 300 yards it's only dropped 8.12 inches! Guys that will kill a deer even past 400 yards. If you could hit them good.

    At ranges under 200 yards I truly think you'd be better off with less muzzle velocity. At least keeping it below 3000fps. I personally don't like it when my bullets blow up on large game. Jack rabbits and prairie dogs yes. The 100 grain 243's go out at 3000fps max load which in my mind is why they have a good reputation on deer. Since the lighter bullets go so fast they explode on impact when the target is close. Example is a M193 ball which frags at bellow 3K. That's an FMJ bullet! I know, yaw. But still.

    An 85 or 90 grain bullet of good construction shot at 2400 to 2800fps will kill the **** out of deer.
    If you could shoot a 100 grain bullet at those speeds then all the better. I've never had a 100 grain shoot for **** but feel free to try. My for **** standard is a one holler or eight chicken eggs in a row at 200 yards. Less bench rest and all that is moot. The Sierra 85gr HP or Nosler 95 or 90gr would in my mind be good candidates for 2600fps launch since the only criticism you hear about them is over expansion. Which would be mitigated at slightly reduced velocity. Here is Nosler's load data. http://www.nosler.com/index.php?p=15&b=6mm&s=147

    In closing: After this post I should have solidly supported my chosen handle. Hope it's readable.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I used the 6mm for a few years on deer. The 85 gr HPBT Sierra would always drop the deer with in a couple yards with any reasonable hit. With the 100 grain bullets ,I'd get an occasional runner that covered 100 yards or more before they'd drop. Start low and work up to a MAX accurate load for the kid. Get in some field position practice with a .22rf and a FEW hunting loads (do not wear her out) and collect your deer!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for all the ideas. I think I will go with the reduced 100 grainers as I a lot of them. I do have about 25 Nosler 85gr partions I may try until gone.

    Thanks again,

    Bigscot
    Hunt hard, shoot straight, kill clean, apologize to no one!
    -Ralph M. Lermayer-
    Editor of Predator Xtream

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Just my two cents worth. You might look into the Hornady 100 grain round nose. Some friends of mine have used it with great effect. I think that it would tend to open sooner but will not blow up.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

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
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
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