.243 vs. .223 for coyotes/prairie dogs

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by varminthunter-243win, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. varminthunter-243win

    varminthunter-243win Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    I'm going on a trip to a friends ranch to hunt 'yotes and prairie dogs. .243 handloads are getting expensive but I don't know if my .223 can reach out as well as the .243 both kits are fairly good

    .243 Ruger M77 MkII w/ Leupold Vari-x III 4.5-14x40. .55 grain sierra blitzking bullets
    .223 model 70 w/ same scope as above and Federal 55gr bullets.
     
  2. chris matthews

    chris matthews Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    838
    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    The 223 has plenty of punch at extended ranges. For comparision, most so called experts say the 17 Rem is good to 200 yards with a 25 gr bullet. Try to explain that to the dead coyotes taken at 350-450 with my 17?
    I have taken prairie dogs out to 600 with a 223 and coyotes almost as far. However the 243 will have the advantage in high wind if you use a heavier bullet like a 70 to 90 gr BT.
    If you don't have the needed confidence in the 223, use it for prairie dogs (the 243 will overheat really fast) and save the 243 for the coyotes. In which I still recommend the heavier bullets- that stubby 55gr has a horrible BC.
    The key is to be familiar with the rifle and put the bullet where it belongs.

    [ 07-04-2004: Message edited by: chris matthews ]
     

  3. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,362
    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Like Chris I've killer critter a long way out with a 223. Groundhog at 504yards and many in closer.

    Of the two (2) bullets you have listed and the chamberings I'd opt for the 223 over the 243.
     
  4. varminthunter-243win

    varminthunter-243win Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    I went to the range today. the scope on the .223 is broken and won't be back for atleast another month. now the decision is what bullets to load for the trip. if anybody can help me with some good choices and ballistics info (mainly muzzle velocity)
    I could sure use the help. thanks
     
  5. Aussie

    Aussie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    250
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Try the 70 gn Nosler Ballistic Tip and Varget . My manual suggests you start at 38gn for 3340 fps and may be able to get up to maximum of 42 gns for 3620 fps . I use 42.5 gns in my .243 AI as a fireform load for 3550 fps . Accuracy is really good . The Nosler is pretty strongly constructed in my experience . [​IMG]
     
  6. CouesHunter

    CouesHunter New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Chris:

    I don't know what "experts" you're listening to, but if you go over to www.coyotegods.com and click on the link to that Discussion Board there's guys like Blaine Eddy who post there that have forgotten more about .17's and coyotes than most people know, and he's killing coyotes at 150 yards with a 12 gr. bullet from a .14 Walker.

    Most .17 "experts" parrot whatever they've heard in a gunshop somewhere; if they'd actually shoot one for a while they wouldn't be saying all that stuff.
     
  7. jb1000br

    jb1000br Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    OT, but interesting-- A fellow i shoot with in PA is using a 17mach IV and homemade 37gn bullets to shoot in williamsport 1k matches, as well as groundhog matches to 500yd -- it is scary! his best at 1k so far is 8" for 10 shots -- man i'd hate to be spotting his target [​IMG]

    JB
     
  8. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,519
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Hi VH-243

    I gotta say I love my .243 loaded with 39.5 grains of H-335 (Hodgdon) with a fed 210 primer in the back and a 70 grain nosler balistic tip up front. Im getting 3350 fps out of a ruger m77 ultra light. Not my Long range gun but it hits what anyone aims at and BOY HOWDY! Not a round for saving pelts.

    Check your recipie books and dont forget to work up the load for your gun.

    BTW Hows things in Albuquerque? I grew up there from "73 to "84. Are you hot enough yet? Next time you have Chili rellanos with a side of carne adovada with a hot sopapilla think of me. That is the only part of that city that I dearly miss. [​IMG]

    [ 07-15-2004: Message edited by: 4ked Horn ]
     
  9. chris matthews

    chris matthews Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    838
    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    CouesHunter,
    Reread my post, I am all for the 17. The so called gun experts I was talking about were gun writers.
    I spent a lot of time at CoyoteGods before John Henry's head swelled so big. I have built, shot or researched almost every 17 there is.
     
  10. sscoyote

    sscoyote Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Hey Chris-- wasn't that u that was shooting that .17-.222 Mag AI we were talking about here awhile ago??

    Speaking of Blaine Eddy-- i'll be sending in a writeup on a VERY specialized wildcatting video he's gonna be putting out soon. JUST wait until u see the photo i'm gonna put together for the article. I think (hope) u'll like it.
     
  11. chris matthews

    chris matthews Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    838
    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    That's one I haven't done yet. 222 Mag brass ain't the easiest to find....however, what about the 204 Ruger necked downed to 17? Hmmm, be the same as the 17-222 AI with easier to find brass and less forming.....
     
  12. coyote_runner

    coyote_runner Member

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    The 243 is better for longrange shots and shoots better in the wind than the 223 would. I have a bit more experience in that and as well as the people that I hunt with. The smallest caliber we use is a 22-250.
     
  13. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    429
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    As good as the .223 is I would still opt for the .243.
     
  14. trapfool

    trapfool Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    I have a 223 and a 243 both are great shooters.gun)My 223 loves the 53 gr vmax over h4895 powder My 243 loves the 85 gr sbthp game king over h 4350 at 300 yds I can cover the groups out of both, with my coppenhagan can (redneck 1MOA) after 300 yds the 243 out shines the 223(especially in any wind). If I could only have one or the other it would be the 243. While no dought it cost more to shoot it is well worth it. The 85gr sierra hpbt is reasonable on fur too.
    Thinking about the bergers any info would be great
    thanks Dave:)