Deer hunting at 500 yards with a .243?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by TacBlade, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. TacBlade

    TacBlade Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    92
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Do you guys think shooting a deer at 500 yards is advisable? I have a standard Remington Model 7. The only thing I have done to it, is put a HS stock and had it fitted by HS and a Jewel trigger. I have a VX3 4-14x50 with a Varmint reticle on it. I have been shooting a consistent 8 inch, 5 shot group with it at 500 yards. I have been loading 100 grain bullets, but would like your opinion on a better weight of bullet if there is one. It has Remington's standard one in nine & one eighth inch twist rate. Thanks!
     
  2. 1denogean

    1denogean Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    i wouldnt think twice about it, i love the 243 and have killed plenty of deer with it
     

  3. Wheatgerm

    Wheatgerm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    176
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Play with a ballistic calculator and punch in accurate info and it will tell you what energy you carry at what yardage. Someone correct me if im wrong but I've been told the magic number on a deer is 800 foot lbs and an elk is 1200 foot lbs your 243 should be around 1000 lbs at 500 yards (guessing) if you carry the energy and feel confident and have practiced at that range go for it.

    Remember heavier bullets carry more energy further even tho they shoot slower. 100 gr bullet is a good range to be in with the 243 IMO
     
  4. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    555
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    A 95g Berger Classic hunter at 2950fps will have 787ft-lbs at 500 yards and 1931fps.

    Berger likes 1800fps minimum for positive expansion which is reached at 585 yards.
     
  5. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Personally, I would at least try one of the 105 grn bullets. I've always went off of 1000 ft.lbs energy and at least 1900'/sec (at the target) for big bodied deer. I am talking about deer that weight as much as 300 lbs live weight.

    The 105 Hornady A-Max might stabilize in your gun, it might not, but it's worth a try if you really intend on some 500 yd shots. Most of the common 100 grn bullets don't have the BC to carry the energy like the 105 A-Max or Berger or Speer does. Regardless of the bullet used, I would definately only shoot if the deer was broadside and I'd put the bullet through the lungs/heart area. In other words, avoid quartering shots that would have to penetrate shoulder bones.

    The model 7 I remember had a pretty short barrel. That being said, you might not be getting 2950+ velocities at the muzzle........which basically decreases the effective maximum range. Your altitude will also have an effect on the maximum distance. At Sea Level, the 105 A-Max at 2950 has 1000'lbs at 505 yds VS the 100 Sierra SBT (also shot at 2950) has 1000'lbs at only 395 yds, that's the BC helping you out.

    In my honest opinion, I wouldn't attempt it with shooting 8" groups at 500 yds during practice. 5" groups maybe, but I would feel alot better about 3" groups. That way you know that any bullet you fire will land within a couple inches of where you're aiming so long as you call the wind right, and shot placement is crucial when running right at the effective limits of a cartridge.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. peashooter

    peashooter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    I would agree with previous posters. You are at the effective limit of the .243 Win. I have a .243 and enjoy shooting it, but everything has its limitations. IMHO
     
  7. TacBlade

    TacBlade Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    92
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    This is some Great info for me and I agree. The model 7 does have a short barrell and I cannot for the life of me, get the groups to come together at 500 yards. It is just a factory rifle and about as light as a barrel as you would ever want. So, I might throw a better barrel on with a little more heft to it and see what it can do? Thanks!
     
  8. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    479
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    I think you answered your own question, good decision. The 105 A-max will do what you are asking + some if you are careful. I've taken many deer past 500 with a 6br and 107 SMK's
     
  9. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,360
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    One shot kills at 450 and 625. Antelope. 115 Berger. 3000fps

    243 AI
     
  10. COBrad

    COBrad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    946
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    A longer barrel would be a good thing, but I would expect an accurizing job to make a big improvement, even without a new barrel. One good place to talk to would be Hill Country Rifle.
    As far as the .243 at 500 yards, I is up to the task. Just need to put bullets where they need to go.
    I would suggest a minimum standard of 1 MOA for deer at 500.