.204, .223, .243 ? What do I buy? Anyone?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by uncle curt, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. uncle curt

    uncle curt Member

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    After many hours of research and dreaming, I still cannot decide what calibre I should get for a varmint/predator gun. I would definitely like to shoot properly out to the 500 yard mark and make it there with some precision. coyotes would be my largest game and price is not an issue. Is there something I can shoot maybe out to 1000 yards? Ive looked at the .204 .223 .243/6mm and cant make up my mind. If anyone has some suggestions feel free to comment please. Thanks.

    -Curt
     
  2. Iowaboy

    Iowaboy Well-Known Member

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    Don't know if I canhelp with the decision or not but here we go. I just got back from a p-dog shooting trip with 5 other guys. I shoot a savage 12fv in 223, another guy shoots the same gun in 243, two others shoot 12 bssv in 22-250 and another with a pencil barreled (can't remember the model #) savage in 204. I believe my 223 in the quietest not that it matters. The explosion of a p-dog is very similar between any of the calibers. The 243 and 22-250 shoot a little flatter and buck the wind better, but I can get off more rounds before my barrel heats up due to less powder burned. The guy shooting the 243 can tell he has been shooting at the end of the day where my sholder doesn't even notice with the 223 agian these are heavy barreled savages model 12s. I shoot 55 gain vmaxs as do the 22-250s, and the 243 is shooting 65 grain vmaxs. The only reason I would pick the 223 over the 243 again would be barrel life. My 223 should last a long time where the 243 is ganna burn out in a few more 500 round trips to the p-dog towns. But he can still shoot deer legally here Iowa during late doe season.
     

  3. uncle curt

    uncle curt Member

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    Well, first of all thanks for replying. Greately appreciated. But still don't have my mind made up. I do like the fact that .223 shoots lighter and burns less powder and barrels for that matter, but that I have another deer rifle with the .243 changes my mind again. I think im still leaning towards .243. The flatter trajectory and wind fighting characteristics win me over.

    What rate of twist do your barrels have? .223 and .243?
     
  4. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    hello. It is all kinda subjective and more of opinion than fact. Any of the rifles will reach 500 yards in low wind. However, IMHO the factory 22-250 and 204 rugers are a little weak for 500 yard shots. The only reason I didn't mention the 223 is the fact you can often find them in a 9 twist that will handle the 70 grain bullet giving you a slight advantage at the longer ranges over the 22-250. If you can find one, I think a 6mmbr is the perfect answer to what your asking for. Easy on barrels, fine for close range deer, excellent accuracy... but not many offer it in factory and it is hard to get factory ammo for it.

    I do think that of the three choices you gave... the 22-250 is the last one to get in a factory rifle (I even have one and love it, but I know it's limitations.) If you would have said 400 yards, the choice would be limited to the 204 and the 223. If you were building a rifle, I'd say a 22-250 w/ a 8 or 9 twist.

    long story short... IMHO if you intend to burn lots of ammo than go w/ the 223. If not, go w/ the 243, and if your ok w/ reloading ammo and can find one go with the 6mmbr!

    good luck, Mark.
     
  5. Sharpstick

    Sharpstick Active Member

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    One of each? :^) They are all capable, but the 243 is my go-to gun for coyotes. Mild enough recoil, factory barrels come with enough twist to launch a heavy Berger, and it makes a great extra big game rifle. Not many coyote run offs with a 105 VLD. Lots of other 6mm that peform great, but the 243 is easy to get brass and shoots factory ammo in a pinch.

    If I was planning on camping out on prairie dog towns, a 223 or 22-250 would get the nod with a 9 twist or faster.

    A 22-243 shooting 90grainers is a great long range varmint rig. Harder on barrels but major cool factor.

    The 204 isn't a great choice for the really long stuff but it's still a cool round...ok, looks like one of each was the right answer.
     
  6. Iowaboy

    Iowaboy Well-Known Member

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    I can tell you my 223 in a 1in 9 twist, I'm not sure what a factory savage 12fv in 243 is, the savage website can tell you that. I can't get on that site here at work, darn webmarshal!

    I forgot one other point, I can carry at least 50% more ammo in a same size ammo box than either the 22-250 or 243 can fit. Just something I noticed when we were packing up. 3-4 guys and all our camping gear in a shortbed crewcab truck space is of a premium. And I was thinking man these guys are bringing twice as much ammo as I am, but it just takes up more space.
     
  7. uncle curt

    uncle curt Member

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    Hey Britz. I'v thought about the 6mm br as well but forgot to mention it in my list of calibres. Sweet looking cartrige and i'v read that it performes very well. Just curious though, if anyone can tell me, what the differences are between the 6mm br and the .243wssm. Are there pros and cons enough to pick one over the other?

    Thanks again everyone for all the info.
     
  8. canderson

    canderson Well-Known Member

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    I have two 204 rifles. One shoots 40gr. the other shoots 50 gr. bergers. I think that the 40 gr. are reasonably accurate (under 10 mph cross wind) to 300-350 yds. The 50's will probably give you another 50-100 yds. Reasonably accurate is 3/4 moa or better. I shot my AR with the fifties in a 600 yd F class match. The results were decent, I shot 156/200. It was pretty windy that day. I have seen 6br's and 6 dasher shot @ 600 and 1000 yds. They are very impressive. You will have to decide how critical the time restraint of ranging a target and shooting versus estimating the range and shooting a flatter projectile. If barrel life is not important, I think a 115 gr. 6mm @ 3100+ fps will be very hard to beat. 243, 243ai, or 6x47L are good candidates. Barrel life will probably be about 1000 rounds. The 6mm br or dasher will get 2500-3000 rounds from what I understand, if not more. If you want a real laser like trajectory, you might consider a 6-06. In any of the 6mm, you will probably be best suited with a 28+" barrel. The 6mm will hold up the best at extended ranges (600-1000). Anyway, my two cents worth of opinion. Remember opinion are like a-holes, everyone has one, and some of them really stink.:)

    Chris
     
  9. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    admittedly I've never shot either... Just read lots of great reviews and researched ballistics on the br... so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

    from what I know the only thing the 243 wssm and the 6br have in common is the fact they both shoot the 6mm bullet. The wssm is a real race horse but is a terrible barrel burner. The wssm doesn't have good brass available, it is overbore. the br is not overly powered, but it is exceptionally accurate and pretty easy on barrels. I have heard time and time again that the br is an excellent mid range varmint rifle. You burn much more powder w/ the wssm and you will experience greater barrel heat. Basically the BR is a short 308 win necked down to 6mm and the WSSM is a short 300wsm necked down to 6mm. lots of difference. IMHO the wssm would make a somewhat cool long range varmint rifle that you intend to shoot only a few rounds an hour out of and have extra money to spend on barrels. If you want that kind of power go w/ a 6-284 and have great brass available.
     
  10. jerrschmitt

    jerrschmitt Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    The 6 BR is on the right. The WSSM is way over bore and nobody makes good brass for it. I think it was designed by the Sales Staff rather than shooters. Barrel life with the 6BR is much better, great brass is available and it's been proven in the dog towns and rifle matches. 1000 yard Prairie Dog hits are not uncomon with the BR.
     
  11. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    the .243 is the most flexible of the cals you listed
     
  12. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    the .243 is the most flexible of the cals you listed and its legal in most states for deer/elk/moose/gophers