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.243 good for long-range?

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Unread 02-07-2010, 10:41 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 103
Re: .243 good for long-range?

Savage makes an 8 twist for the 6br. I'm sure if you wanted an eight twist 243 they would oblige your request.
The .585BC DTAC falls below 1000 ft/lbs at 775 yds That's a moly bullet at 3150. Obtainable but near the edge.
At 900 yds your going below 1800 fps which is where reliable expansion becomes a factor. At 1025 yds your going below 700 ft/lbs which is another barometer for reliable expansion/transfer.
A 175gn 308 at 2650fps falls below the 1000ft/lbs at 650yds It falls below the 1800 fps mark at 500 yds. Lastly it's below the 700 ft/lbs at 850yds
The 300 wsm shooting the 180mk at 2950 fps hits the same 3 parameters
1000ft/lbs 825
1800fps 675yds
700ftlbs 1025 yds
You can use a bigger bullet in the wsm but you start to intrude into the power space in a short action due to magazine length.
Using this data you could engage a deer sized target even a caribou but you had better be a half minute shooter at 1200 yds to do it. Not from a bench mind you from a field position.
With a bigger gun you will have more kinetic energy because of the larger frontal cross section of the bullet so you will have a little more lattatude in your hits. Meaning you need to be a 3/4 minute shooter at the same 1200yds under the same field conditions.
Shooting live weight animals under 150lbs I'd say yes on the 243. Mule deer, big whitetails of the north/midwest I'd want a 264 caliber or bigger. Driving an over .525 bc bullet at 2950 or better. Recoil would be my limiting factor as to what I ended up with.
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Unread 02-15-2016, 05:15 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: South Africa
Posts: 64
Re: .243 good for long-range?

In South Africa we're nervous in using any caliber under .30 Caliber for general hunting applications (even out to 100m).

I don't know if our game animals have a different degree of resilience considering their hide thickness or bone structure but we tend to follow the "more caliber is better" approach.

However, the .243 Winchester is a fine cartridge for hunting species such as Impala (rooibok), Blesbuck, Springbuck and Bushbuck (I suppose these are deer-sized - I'm not sure what a white-tail deer weighs out but these animals weigh out (dress carcass mass) at around 30kg for large male animals) and are tougher than one would think.

I have noted dramatic kill shots from the 243 and have shot species such as blackwildebeest and redhartebeest. They weigh out at around 60-70kg's and have a thick, tough hide with a heavy-set bone structure.

These kills were all effected with soft nose boat tail 100gr projectiles at around 2950fps out of a standard 22" barrel at ranges not exceeding 100m...

I think one has to be realistic when considering cartridge choice and we often say that the .243 Winchester is a fantastic, accurate and fast cartridge with great wound channel characteristics and is accordingly one of the most underestimated cartridges that there are, but also one of the most over-estimated by its owners.

I noted that on the larger game animals (both shoulder shots), the Hornady Interlock SPBT's separated in the gearbox and I removed shards of copper jacket from the lungs and lead separation resulted in a divergent wound channel and terrible soft tissue damage with devastating 3" wound channel.. Although furnishing me with dramatic kills, the penetration was poor and the high impact velocity on thick-muscled larger game animals is somewhat of a worry as it introduces that "what if it doesn't make it next time" element...

I wouldn't shoot at species larger than that and there are a few species here which are an absolute no-no for the 243, although some guys will differ:

1. Eland

2. Bluewildebeest

3. Kudu bull

4. Waterbuck.

That's just my opinion, but it's on an ethical basis... Is it a good idea to shoot if there is a "what if" factor in the back of your mind in respect of penetration and overall bullet performance (eg maintaining intended bullet course).
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Unread 02-15-2016, 08:22 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 628
Re: .243 good for long-range?

morning, the US Army was experimenting with the 243, in custom made 243's

with drop magazines bolt guns. their r custom made 105-107gr. bullets that were

studied for use in long range shooting. I personally have had 5 243's. the newest is a

243AI. 28" shilen, 721rem. timmey, straight contour barrel and custom tuned action

and1-14 barrel. with this twist I have to shoot light weight bullets. the 77gr. Lapua

Seneau (SP) bullets. I have not had chance to shoot further than 175yrds. 5 shots

.380in. the 243 with the heavest of bullets can be used for long range kills, but

by a experienced shooter.
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Unread 02-15-2016, 09:16 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 9,760
Re: .243 good for long-range?

Originally Posted by American Horse View Post
Thanks for all the information. It's really been helpful. The .300 WSM sounds very interesting.

Again thanks!
The .300 Win Mag is my go to chambering but I got my 1st .300 WSM (Savage 11 FCNS) a year ago and I am very impressed with it thus far.

Last year, got it's first harvest; MT 4x4 muley buck at 425 yards with Berger 215 at 2750 FPS at the muzzle.

I voted for my "FREEDOM", "GUNS", and "MONEY" - keep the change - UNK.

"I am always proud of my country!"

"Leadership Rule #2: Don't be an ***hole." - Maj Gen Burton Field.
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Unread 02-15-2016, 09:24 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,487
Re: .243 good for long-range?

I have personally killed a bunch of deer with a 243 Win and I can attest that you really don't want to be shooting one over 500 yards. I mostly used 100 gr bullets of various makes but at 400 to 500 yards you really start to see the bullet performance drop off.
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Unread 02-15-2016, 11:39 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: South Africa
Posts: 64
Re: .243 good for long-range?

I noted the same thing... Adequate penetration starts to become a "maybe" factor and that's just not good enough.
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