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Couple of questions on long range with 243 Winchester

 
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  #1  
Old 10-15-2013, 11:52 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 99
Couple of questions on long range with 243 Winchester

Hello, this is my first post on here and I was hoping that some of you could give me some information on long range hunting using a 243 Winchester cartridge.

I am using a Remington 700 VLS with a Nikon Monarch 6-24x50 scope. I have worked up a load using a 105gr Hornady A-Max over 43.5gr RL-22 using WLR primers, sitting .020" off of the lands per Hornady Comparator. The cases were weighed dropping the 10% heaviest and 10% lightest cases. All cases were trimmed, deburred, and primer pockets reemed for uniformity. The powder was individually weighed with a RCBS Chargemaster. Once the bullets were seated the rounds were trued using a Hornady Lock-N-Load Ammunition Concentricity Gage to less than 0.002 run out.


The shots averaged 2899 fps over a Shooting Chrony with an extreme deviation of 18.72fps.


Here are some pictures of the grouping. The first one is at 100 yards. It measured .16" for three rounds. After the shot group I adjusted the scope right 8 clicks (1/8" scope) and hit just to the right in the red. I then went back left 1 click and up 11 clicks to get 1.4" high to zero at 200yards. The bullet went right where it was supposed to go. Please ignore the .45 holes that my father punched in the target as I was driving the 4-wheeler back to the target before I could ask him not to put any more holes in it...

The next group was at 350 yards. The wind was starting to pick up at about 5 mph from right to left nearly 90 degrees as a storm was rolling in. I shot twice and then it started to get gusty and a light rain started falling. The third shot was affected by this I think, it was at the very edge of the paper but in line height wise. The picture is rotated 90 degree's left.

Here are my questions though. Number one, when the information was loaded into JBMBallistics it indicated a 12.8" drop when the actual drop looks to be closer to 11.8 as the rounds were uniformly about 1" high at 350 yards (scope adjusted for range based off of calculator). When I change the fps in the calculator to 3000 fps from 2900 fps it falls into place. Due to the rain I did not have the opportunity to go out further to check drop at longer ranges. Should I just plug 3000 fps into the calculator to get the numbers to fall in place?

The other question is, at what distance will a 105gr bullet be marginal against a whitetail deer? What energy number do I need to be at to have a safe reliable kill? I do not want to attempt a marginal shot when the energy is not there just because I can hit the target.

I know that the rifle/load combination is capable, it will surely outshoot my abilities. At this point I see no good reason to keep messing with loads, the accuracy is certainly there. This factory rifle with these loads simply drives tacks... It is most certainly a 1/2 MOA combination if not a 1/4 MOA.

Any advice or help is appreciated, I am thoroughly enjoying this site. I just picked up some Berger 168gr Classic Hunter bullets to start loading for my Remington 700 SPS stainless in 7mm Rem Mag this evening and am looking forward to working it up. If I can get it to shoot anywhere near to what the 700 VLS will shoot then I will be very, very happy.

Thanks for your help.
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2013, 08:13 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
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Re: Couple of questions on long range with 243 Winchester

which whitetail? whitetail vary. the ones here are 60-80 pounds ; the one in sask/alberta are 350 and cost 5k to hunt.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 99
Re: Couple of questions on long range with 243 Winchester

This would be in East Texas, so they are really not very large... A good size buck will not be over 150lbs at the outside. You may get a monster at around 175 every now and then, but not very often at all. A very mature doe may hit 110 on a good day. They just are not huge around here...
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:28 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
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Re: Couple of questions on long range with 243 Winchester

John Burns has videos of a 1017 yard coyote and a 688 yard elk, with a .243. it is an accurate and deadly round. my experience is much closer ranges with the 95 partition. i have killed an elk with it.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:09 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 99
Re: Couple of questions on long range with 243 Winchester

Oh, and the longest distance that I would really be shooting is about 660 yards in one of our hay fields. Calculates to about 800 ft/lbs of energy at that distance, just do not know if that amount of energy is good for 150lbs whitetail.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:17 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
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Re: Couple of questions on long range with 243 Winchester

Joey- i don't have any experience with the amax bullets. if you go to those youtube vids. the .243 really drops them. sorry can't give you a link. you have your loads for your vls dialed in . you should do awesome.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2013, 07:02 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Anchorage AK
Posts: 167
Re: Couple of questions on long range with 243 Winchester

I wouldn't have a hesitation shooting to that distance with the combo you are using. I still do most of my deer and coyote hunting with a 243, I've take deer out to 400yd with a 95gr hornady sst, and a couple with a 100gr interlock without any issue. It was strange to me the deer dropped at 400 with the "Girly" 243 my buddies always gave me a hard time for. The bullet entered just behind the shoulder juiced the left lung, and cut a golf ball sized hole in the right. Hit a rib and exited leaving about a quarter size wound. Most of the deer I've killed have been from 25-400yd with similar results on all of them, my deer have been 140lb class doe in KY. I killed a heavy bodied buck that field dressed was 190lb bullet stopped just under the skin on the far side and he ran about two steps. Your combo is more than capable and from your shot grouping you've got a winner. Watch the wind calls and you'll be fine brother.
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