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Thread: Where is the love for 243?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Send me all your Junk, underpowered, and unreliable 243’s please.

  2. #22
    Boolit Buddy
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    I absolutely love my MKII 77 .243. It's the only gun I have that I don't cast for, so I'll be following this thread for awhile. I've shot varmints with 87g vmax loads with no fur damage and every deer I've ever shot with 100g loads were drt.

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy kaiser's Avatar
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    Where is the love? The .243 has always been a controversial cartridge ever since its appearance in 1955, while the .250/3000 has always been regarded as a "giant killer" of sorts. (Even .22/250's seem to have a better reputation than the .243?!?) I believe the .243 is more than adequate for deer if the proper bullet is chosen and the range is not too far (300yds or less). IMO, the most effective shots on deer are when the heart and lung are taken out shooting for the far shoulder. Other than the Partition, or original Speer Grand Slam bullets, few lead core bullets will hold together for "angle shots" on large deer where bone gets in the way.

    The first 100gr .243 (6mm) bullets designed for big game did not open fast enough to leave big wounds (or blood trails). The next offerings during the late 60's and 70's opened too fast without sufficient penetration. While most manufacturers (like Sierra) learned along the way to either rectify their problems by redesigning the "thickness" of the jacket, their initial failures followed the caliber's reputation to this day.

    One of my favorite rifles is in a .243, which is a Sako Carbine. I learned early on that if I was sure of my shot, I would find a dead deer even if there was little blood trail and I had to "widen my scearch". When I moved the shot to the top of the shoulder, the majority of the deer dropped within sight. The fact the cartridge is easy to shoot (little recoil) and most rifles are sufficiently accurate gives beginning hunters a lot of confidence, which sometimes encourages shots beyond the small caliber's capabilities (22/250 even more so). Admittedly, I usually pick a larger caliber if I expect extended range shots or bigger game. That being said, I also own a 700LTD .250/3000 and enjoy using both smaller cartridges in lightweight guns when hunting Whitetails from a blind or stand where I can pick my shots and pass on bad angles. My .02
    Last edited by kaiser; 03-11-2020 at 06:27 PM.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
    I absolutely love my MKII 77 .243. It's the only gun I have that I don't cast for, so I'll be following this thread for awhile. I've shot varmints with 87g vmax loads with no fur damage and every deer I've ever shot with 100g loads were drt.
    I can clap my hands in holes I’ve left in coyotes with 70 and 90 grain ballistic tips if I hit bone going in or out.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    The wife and I both love the .243, she shoots the 85gr HP Sierra Game king loaded with a stout load of 3031 behind it, and shoots 1/2" 3 shot groups at 100yds, from a heavy barrel Handi rifle. It has accounted for 34 deer or so for her. I love the Sierra 70gr BTHP for groundhogs and coyotes, out to 400yds or so, shoots flat and drops them soundly. I ran a gunshop for a lot of years, and we always had a big buck contest. Seems to me that most of the fellas that killed the biggest deer for the most part, used the .243. These guys know how to shoot whether 40-70 yds in the woods, or 300+ across a field. Shot placement and using the right bullet will win every time. I only saw one run when the wife cracked down on him, and that was about 25 yard dash, from 150yds away.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cash View Post
    We could extend that argument to say, the largest problem with the .22 LR is that people just can't shoot. No argument that the .243 won't kill deer or elk or grizzly bears; it is just not enough gun for reliability.
    Just depends on how well you can shoot, bullet placement,and if you are confident and able to make the shot and not just wound the game. I have seen to meny out of state hunters that just can not shoot past 100 yards and take the game no matter what they use. I live in Western Co. and have been hunting for 60 years , I have never lost a mule deer or an elk from a bad or stupid shot. the 243 is just as reliable any mag or large bore you want to carry.

  7. #27
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I shot 243 win for a few years in NRA high power matches. For 200 and 300 yds I used the 87 grn hornady hpbt. At 600 yds it was the 107 grn sierra or 105 JLK. 1000 yds was the jlk or 115 berger vlds. Here it shot flatter and better in the wind, was easier on mt over the day, and performed very well. My only real complaint was the short barrel life compared to other rounds being used. I started loosing X x count at 600 around 2200-2400 rounds. At this point at 1000 yds I would also "lose" the occasional berger 115, scorer would tell me the trace just vanished about 200 yds from target.

    I have used it for wood chucks and other varmints with great results. I have 2 currently a AR 10 with 26" 1-7 twist krieger barrel. this rifle is a tack driver with 70-115 grn bullets. the second is a pre 64 model 70, tubbs stock, titanium firing pin, Jewel trigger, 1-7 twist hart barrel warner sight and tomkins front. This rifle has a chamber cut with a .268 neck dia.

  8. #28
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I grew up killing deer with a 22-250 so I figured the 80 gr .243 would work as well. It does. I’ve never used a 100 gr bullet in the .243 for that reason. I’m very fond of the 87 gr .250-3000 for deer, also. They just work for me. Back to the subject- I’ve read that the Handi .243s prefer<100gr jacketed; I don’t know if that quirk extends to cast boolits. I bet it will be a fun rifle.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Finally cast some 85gn boolits for my 243 ready for some range time!

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  10. #30
    Boolit Buddy
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    Don't own a .243. Don't hate it, I just never particularly warmed up to the cartridge. A Model 70 Featherweight in .257 Roberts serves me well enough.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I have 700's in 243 and 6mm Rem. I seem to get better case life out of the 6mm Rem due to the better shoulder angle, sometimes maybe more consistent accuracy as well and again I blame that on the case design as well. We can't game hunt in IL with a rifle, but do get ground hogs and such with them. Mine are set up with full bull barrels and are really designed for shooting paper a long distances. Both can and do well for me in that regard. I like 6mm cases in general. I also shoot a 6mm x 284, fun but no longer practical for me.

  12. #32
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    like a lot of others I started my hunting career with a 243.it was a old worn out interarms bolt action,it killed a lot of deer before I could afford a new rifle.my wife hunts with a 243 and hasn't lost a deer yet,very fine caliber along with the 6mm,i just sold a rem.600 in 6mm to a friend

  13. #33
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    In the safe, stands a .243 M700 with a Weaver K6 (El Paso) that I bought for myself in 1972 as a college graduation present. Never used it on deer but it's dropped more than its share of fox, coyote, and 'chucks over the years. And, even with that "obsolete" steel-tube Weaver, it still shoots sub-MOA out to 300 yds. If I ever had to 'thin the herd' on my bolt guns, it would be the last to go.

    Bill
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  14. #34
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I grew up with one brother owning a .243 and one owning a 6mm. Based on side by side comparison I came to prefer the 6mm Remington. Too bad it failed in the marketplace. All three of my adult kids have .243s, though.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy
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    I feed five of the little buggers so you could say 'The Love" is right here . They have never not done anything I have asked them to do using a accuracy (minimum) load from the 1970 Lyman book for 100 gr jacketed . I have not shot cast but I have fairly recently bought both a Lee and a Lyman mold so that I can do so if I feel like it . Don't think I would try hunting Moose or Elk with a .243 but I would have full confidence with it against anything smaller and less tough . If you can't reliably kill any Deer or smaller Bear with this cartridge you need shooting lessons not a larger cartridge . Eskimos killed tons of Polar bears with both the .218 Bee and .22 Hornet , not something I would want to do but it is a good example of correct shot placement being more important than what you hit with .
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    I used to have a beautiful Tikka 55 (?) for many years but sold it 20 years ago.

    243 is the smallest whitetail legal caliber here where I live in Finland. But being far from moose legal, I ended up mostly looking at it. One of those guns that I sometimes miss. It was great fun at moving moose range practise, my wife liked to shoot it,too. You were allowed shoot the moose test with a deer legal rifle back then.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    Send me all your Junk, underpowered, and unreliable 243’s please.
    If you get a lot I can use the overflow, want the underpowered and unreliable ones first tdoor4570

  18. #38
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I’m kind of shocked I figured I would’ve had a bunch of private messages with donated 243’s...not one.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    My love for the 243 is in the varmint arena. It shoots light wieght bullets very fast with explosive results. Mine, a 670 Win, has a 1/12 Shilen barrel so bullets over about 85grs don't shoot so well. Shooting deer from front or back is probably going to hamburger a large chunk of meat and they don't always stand sideways to you. I've only shot one deer with a 243. Shot at about 60 yds, the bullet, an 85gr Speer btsp, hit just behind the front shoulder and blew up the lungs and put fragments in the heart without a hole in the far side. The deer ran about 50 yds and dropped leaving no blood trail. Because of thick timber, no blood trail and three deer in the group, tracking was very difficult and took about an hour to find. Because I was using the 243 I opted for the heart lung shot rather than a front shoulder shot which although it would have been DRT, there would have been a bunch of wasted meat. The 243 is about the best varmint gun there is up to about wolf sized critters as there is no worry about wasted meat and it gives a very fast kill and is a very flat shooter. Anyway, IMHO, the 243 is an excellent large varmint or target round. Using is for moose or brown bear puts it out of it's class.
    Yeah, I know the Eskimo use very small rounds to shoot polar bear with the 223 being top of the list. But it's usually at about 5 feet in their dens. Takes a lot of guts to do that but it works.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    Love for the 243?

    You bet! No cast in them as of yet though.

    I started with a Win 670 in 243 Win for my first dedicated coyote rifle. I sold it and bought a Ruger 77V in 243. A Liberty model that is still with me.

    Over 45 years I have never met a coyote that could argue with the cartridge!

    A few years ago, I added a Savage 99E and a Lefty Savage stainless bolt gun in the cartridge. They are all shooters but I work with .204 Ruger, .223 Rem. and the .22-250 more these days.

    I have even branched out to the .25-06 in the meantime.

    The truth is that if I had never strayed away from the .243 I would not have missed much.

    Yes! I still love the .243 Win!

    Three44s
    Quit fretting about climate change. Itís how much stronger gravity is getting every day that is bothering me!

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