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243 how far on deer

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Unread 07-07-2013, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near Napoleon,MI
Posts: 1,192
Re: 243 how far on deer

1 Shoot high BC bullets (note the reference to 95 and 105gr Bergers that you can't shoot out of any factory barrels I know of)

2 Verify your ballistics. If your drops are correct, the calculated windage should be good too.

3 Get a wind meter. Don't guess. At 350 yards with a 95gr Berger a 10mph crosswind = 2.0min of correction. At 500 yards its just over 3.0 min and still more than 1000ftlb of energy. How often do you have a direct 10mph crosswind ?

Animals can run off after hitting it with a 300gr 50 cal ML bullet at point blank range - IF you don't hit anything vital.

I would have absolutely no concerns shooting at deer sized animals out to 500-600 yards if you have the needed practice. For larger/tougher, I would step up to a 6.5x55 and 140gr VLD's or the 6.5x284. The old 308 with 175 SMK's will also probably be fine but wind drift will be greater.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 09:46 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Maryland
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Re: 243 how far on deer

Originally Posted by Shootin4fun View Post
I have an important hunt coming up this fall...I drew a premium X zone tag in the High Sierras and there are good size buck there. Deer species in this area are Rocky Mtn Mule deer & Colombian black tails.

I'm trying to decide on which gun and bullet to use, choosing between a 270win & 243win. I'd rather take my 243; in general I can shoot it more accurately and its lighter and has a 16x scope max vs a 9x max on the 270. I have the stats for vel & energy and both are good at 300 yards for a couple of bullet choices of each.

So, first question is, assuming I'll take shots out to 300 -350 yards would a 100 gr Interlock SP type bullet pack enough wollop with 2555fps/1450 ft lbs really be enough to bring a big boy down fast?

Other loads I have are Sierra 85gr HPBTs which are supposed to expand fast but still penetrate & be deadly on deer and Barnes 85gr TSX (2553fps/1230) which are harder and there is no end to the debate about them.

If these numbers are a little weak, I'll take my 270, but even with larger calibers I've read a lot of accounts here about various kinds of bullet failures and deer-ran-off stories; bullets either bouncing off or penciling through!

So, any advice on those choices of 243 bullets? This is an important hunt that I want to go right.
Is that a 100 grain going 2555 at the muzzle?
"Fast is fine accurate is final"
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Unread 07-07-2013, 09:57 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 416
Re: 243 how far on deer

The 105 A-max is a great round in the 243. It will more than do the job on a deer at 300 yds.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 01:25 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Posts: 298
Re: 243 how far on deer

Originally Posted by Rimfire View Post
Is that a 100 grain going 2555 at the muzzle?
No that's at about 290 yards. I meant to say 2537/1429 which are the numbers at 300 yards. Muzzle is 3040.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 11:21 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 457
Re: 243 how far on deer

In my experience, 500lbs of energy is enough to bring down deer. More may be desired, but not necessary.

Here's a video of a pair taken at 400. Please ignore the camera work, this was 4 years ago, before we actually started to seriously film our hunts.
A tripod would have made a world of difference.

This was with a 243WSSM, but the bullet I was shooting, was being sent at about 200 fps SLOWER than a standard .243 would send it.
Use a good bullet, at the right speeds and there should be no issues taking big deer at 600 yds. (or more with the right system)

"We do not rise to the occasion...we fall to the level of our training."
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Unread 07-08-2013, 01:04 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Posts: 298
Re: 243 how far on deer

Checked out the video...Okay, wow, now I'm convinced that at least starting with a 75gr Vmax on up is enough. I'm a little surprised the Vmax gave you enough penetration especially at 400 yrds. I was really concerned the 85gr HPBT SGK wouldn't have enough weight to smack a big one.

Where did you hit the first deer in the video? That one went down like a stone!
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Unread 07-08-2013, 05:10 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Posts: 151
Re: 243 how far on deer

Hi there
I shoot almost exclusively with a factory Tikka T3 in .243.
I have shot alot of red deer(which I understand are ALOT bigger than what your hunting) as well as Tahr,wild pigs and goats.
Good bullets I have used(I like to try alot)
87gnBTHP Hornadys(fast expansion)
95gnBerger VLD(great long range expansion)
85gn Hornady Interbond(good penetration and expansion across distance)
95gn Nosler Ballistic tip(fast expansion)
75gn GS Custom(monolithic bullet like a Barnes,very deep penetration/little expansion)
65gn Hornady V-Max(only good for light varmits really)
I have tested all these on a wide range of game out to 400yards+ they all shoot sub MOA in my gun.
For deer I would reccomend the 85gn Interbond for most hunting but if you are keen on long range the Berger would be a better bullet. I would keep ranges inside 400yards(this is with experience on lager game like Red stags which are well over 300lbs)
I have just had a young german client take a mature Red Stag(live wieght 350lbs) with one shot at 300yards with the 85gn Interbond. Couldnt have asked for better results. You can have all the foot pounds in the world but in the end placement is the key.
I have had an American client shoot a bull Tahr 5 times with 300win mag and had a huge tracking/recovery mission to get that animal. And I have shot a mature Red hind with a single shot from a .22lr.
All about placement.
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