.243 or 7mm-08??

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by BML, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. BML

    BML Well-Known Member

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    Looking for a few thoughts and opinions on these two calibers. I'm considering buying a new gun for my girlfriend. It will be primarily a Coues deer rifle, with antelope a possibility as well. She's 5'10" around 140 so I'm just a tad concerned with recoil. I will develop a load to be as accurate as possible but I will probably limit her to a 300 yard max.

    Let me know what you think. I've never owned either caliber so I'm trying to get some real world experiences.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    243 was my first rifle, I still have it 30yrs later, so obviously I'm pretty partial to and started both my kids with it. I got my daughter a 7mm-08 3yrs ago at 13 she fell in love with it. I'm pretty impressed with it myself. Honestly they both kill very well, if you think there might be chance she'll go after elk some day 7mm-08 for more appropriate bullet selection, otherwise flip a coin and choose heads you'll be tickled with either. or take her shopping and let her choose the rifle she likes chambered in either cal.
     

  3. mrbigtexan

    mrbigtexan Well-Known Member

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    i agree, plus a 243 can double duty as a coyote rifle
     
  4. 1denogean

    1denogean Well-Known Member

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    .243 is one of my favorite rifles, my family has killed coues muleys, elk, and lots of javelina with it. it has little kick i shot my first deer with one when i was 10 yrs old and my nephew and my wife have learned off the same gun, the 243 we have has over 36 deer under its belt, i imagine the barrel life in it is almost gone but it sure has done me well, both are good i just love the 243
     
  5. elkoholic72

    elkoholic72 Well-Known Member

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    I vote for the 7mm-08. You can load from 100 to 168 grain bullets and cover all your bases. The wife has one that has shot everything from prairiedogs to moose. She regularly shoots it out to out to 750 yards and rings the gong almost every time. The load of choice is varget 42.0 under a 140accubond with CCI BR2 primer.
    Here is her moose from last week.
     

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  6. winmagman

    winmagman Well-Known Member

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    BML,

    I would strongly suggest the 243.

    I had the family out this past weekend doing a little practice. We shot 100 gr bullets out of a sporter barreled 243 with a wood stock and 130 gr bullets out of a varmit barreled 260 also with a wood stock.

    My wife is 5' 9" and 125ish and the first words out of her mouth after one shot from the 260 were "F.... this rifle you can keep it". My 11 and 12 yr old boys didn't care for it much either. I was glad I didn't bring the 7-08 because I know it kicks more than the 260.

    What seemed like a negligible increase in recoil to me was enough to prevent all three of them from wanting to shoot more than 3 shots out of the 260, but they darn sure burned through the 243 ammo.

    Chris
     
  7. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    That recoil sensitivity is a fickle thing ain't it. You never really know what some one is ok with till they shoot it.
     
  8. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    I have a .243 and a 7mm-08. Im 4' 11'' and 100 lbs

    The 7mm-08 i shoot 140-162 grain bullets out of a 5.5 lbs gun and it has quite a bit of recoil.

    The .243 we shoot 80-100 grain bullets in a 6 lb gun and the .243 has noticeably less recoil.

    I love both calibers but for cous and antelope the .243 would be my choice.

    Also, if you want something different, howbout a 257 Roberts? We have a Ruger M77 in 257 rob and we shoot the 80 grain ttsx at 3284 fps with 1/3 MOA accuracy with NO WORK TO THE GUN!! The 257 Rob is probably my favorite cartridge out of all the other cartridges that i have ever shot (which is 13 if i remeber correctly).
     
  9. BML

    BML Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for all the responses. I appreciate it.
     
  10. Forrest Ebert

    Forrest Ebert Well-Known Member

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    You have picked two good calibers but you left out one important bit of information has she shot before? I have taken game with both calibers but the 7mm-08 will give her a little less trouble with shot placement than the .243 plus the wide variety of bullet weights also gives it the edge. My wife shot her first whitetail with her 7-08 and has never looked back and if recoil is a concern then a muzzle brake will tame that problem and there are many nice light weight rifles out there to choose from Rem. model 7& Tikka T3 Lite to name a couple and if you handload then a 140 Berger Hunting VLD will handle anything she wants to harvest.
     
  11. BML

    BML Well-Known Member

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    She's shot maybe 50-60 rounds off the bench with my 22.250. I would give her a "good" grade. Not excellent but certainly not bad. She has no real world hunting experience with a rifle though. I would say a forgiving rifle would be a plus until she becomes more experienced.
     
  12. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like for now the 243 might be a little more prudent choice just for it's ability to be shot well. I wouldn't worry about it's performance either as the saying goes,"The 243 kills better than it should" just be sure to let her shoulder as may as possible before buying so it fits well and feels natural.
     
  13. kennygss

    kennygss Well-Known Member

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    Interesting thread. I thought the 7-08 at first glance would be the overwhelming recommendation.
     
  14. rmorgan9718

    rmorgan9718 Well-Known Member

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    my $0.02 worth:

    Recoil includes bullet weight as part of the equation. If you reload, get her the 7mm-08, load some 110 or 120 gr bullets at about 2600 fps. It will have the same 'felt' recoil as the 243 with factory ammo. Then, if she decides to step up and go after larger game at longer distances, you can develop a load to match the circumstances.

    Yes, I know Kit Carson shot a 7x7 bull elk at 600 yds with his trusty 243, but most people aren't him.