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Max EFFECTIVE Range for 243 on antelope...

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Unread 02-04-2009, 09:54 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: South Africa
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Max EFFECTIVE Range for 243 on antelope...

I have limited long range experience with any 6mm's and wondered what your thought were.

Lets say a 243 Win, bullet of your choice but please specify. I'm assuming "boiler room" hits obviously.

I'm interested to hear from those with real world experience of this. Thanks in advance.

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Unread 02-04-2009, 12:50 PM
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Re: Max EFFECTIVE Range for 243 on antelope...

WL, I have taken antelope with a 7mm RM and 300 WSM and find them to be delicate creatures, easy to kill.

As for "max effective range", that's a subjective call for different people. My own definiton of max effective range for a bullet is the distance a bullet maintains minimum opening velocity which for many bullets is about 1800 fps. For antelope, I personaly would have no problem shooting past that distance in a 30 cal or larger bullet and pencil hol'ing them through the lungs. They wont go far and they are easy to find in the country that they live in. This is just my subjective opinion. For a 243, I would look for bullet opening. Shooting a 90 gr E-Tip at about 3200 fps should take you to 650 yds with 1800 fps @ 3000' elevation. Shooting the 95 SMK @ 3150 fps should get you to 780 yds.

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Unread 02-04-2009, 09:45 PM
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Re: Max EFFECTIVE Range for 243 on antelope...

107's out of my 243AI still have 1660fps velocity at a 1000 yards. I guess that would be a little better in higher elevations. So if the bullets open at that speed I would say it's going to kill a lope. Probably not the distance I would use it at.
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Unread 02-05-2009, 02:52 AM
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Re: Max EFFECTIVE Range for 243 on antelope...

Thanks for the replies.

I obviously realise I need to be up to it, but whilst I'm building one I just wanted to get a feeling for maximum effective range.
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Unread 02-05-2009, 07:58 AM
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Re: Max EFFECTIVE Range for 243 on antelope...

Some of it will depend upon what twist barrel you use. With a 1-8 twist you will be able to stabilize the higher BC bullets which will help. The bullets that are usually used are the 95, 105 and 115 Berger, the 105 A-Max and the Sierra 107 MK. Any of these should be fine out to 1K. The chief issue on range is wind. It nearly always blows and makes shots over 600 yards very difficult. Of course you will need a very good rangefinder such as the Swaro to actually get an antelope ranged in flat country at distances of 800 yards to 1K.
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Unread 02-05-2009, 01:32 PM
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Re: Max EFFECTIVE Range for 243 on antelope...

It basically comes down to how far YOU can put your bullets consistantly into an 8" diameter group.

The 243 with most bullets will kill an pronghorn out to any range you can hit it in the vitals. As BB has correctly mentioned, not all 6mm bullets are created equal. Some will fall on their face at 500 yards, others will reach out well past 1000 yards with a good head of steam left.

For the longest range shooting, I would say a fast twist barrel shooting the 105 gr Berger, 105 gr A-Max or 115 gr Bergers would be the best combination. Why not the 107 gr SMK, well, it will certainly work well but pronghorns are very thin critters, the SMK has a pretty heavy jacket in comparision and at longer ranges, the velocity will be quite low. You want quick expansion on a pronghorn so the thinner jacketed berger will expand better at longer ranges.

The tipped A-Max will also expand more quickly to offer better terminal damage to the vitals. Again, the 107 gr SMK will certainly work well but expect the goats to run a bit farther then with the softer bullets after impact. Not a big deal, where are they going to run to but it is something to consider.

I have shot rockchucks at 1000 yards with the 6mm-284 with both the 107 gr SMK and the 105 gr A-Max and while I can drive the 107 gr much faster because of its heavier jacket, on target, generally its not much more then a through and through hole in the chuck. With the A-Max, again, its started slower but it expands easier and more dramatically so the terminal results are more violent.

Pronghorns hurt easily. If you get a bullet on center of mass ahead of the liver, in most every case, you will get your goat if your smart. Blow a leg off and they can run for miles and miles but get into the vitals at all and they will generally die pretty quickly. As such a pin hole through the lungs will certainly kill a goat relatively quickly. More expansion will do even more damage.

In the 243, the A-Max, Berger and SMK can all be loaded to the same top velocity as it will not run them over the velocoty ceiling the A-Max and Bergers like so that should not be a real issue.

Simply put, with that combo, the determining factor is how far you can hit your mark with your rifle in field conditions.
Kirby Allen(50)

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Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

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