So whats wrong with the .243 on Deer?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Greg Duerr, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Monday morning out at the Range I was doing my final work up for my Deer Hunting load in my .243 AI. I will be shooting the Sierra Pro Hunter 44.2gr of H4350, I will crono them this week. Several guys I was talking to asked me what I was going to be hunting with for Mule Deer this fall in Nevada, when I told them they both said, "Big Mistake the .243 is not a Deer Cartridge we have seen way to many deer lost to the .243". So, thats five guys so far that have said the same thing. Yet I would bet that just as many Deer are lost each year to .270's and 30-06's as to the .243 All the years I have hunted with the .243 I have yet to loose one. Several years I hunted with a guy that used a 22-250 shooting 53 gr Barnes bullets he took his shots carefully and was a great shot and he never lost a Mule Deer...........
    Lots of thoughts out there ......Trouble with saying that even though the deer was well hit we never found it ...........is that you cant prove it was well hit.

    G
     
  2. lightflight

    lightflight Well-Known Member

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    243 is good to go in my book. Like most will say... shot placement, the load you use, and the deers will to live will most likely dictate the outcome.
     

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    +1

    If used properly I will do the job. I have killed many deer with a 22/250 but I also passed up many shots because I knew that conditions and shot placement were not good enough fos the light weight bullet.

    If I were hunting under perfect conditions and had no issues with retrieving the game after the shot
    I would not hesitate to use a 243. But as everyone knows most of the time conditions and shot
    placement are not the best and a larger caliber is recommended.

    The larger caliber bullets can improve your chances under poor conditions and possibly make the difference if you encounter that once in a lifetime trophy and don't feel like you should make the shot with a small caliber rifle.

    In heavy brush,(Poor tracking/recovery) high winds or long ranges the edge goes to larger bullets with more down range energy.

    There is little very chance of having to much rifle, but a high risk of having to little when the chips are down.

    Just my opinion

    J E CUSTOM
     
  4. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    The case is merely the launching platform for the bullet, choose the right bullet and place it correctly inside it's effective range and you'll pile them up 100%. I've not seen a deer or elk for that mater that would not get piled up with a 105 Berger from a 243.

    We shoot mule deer all the time with a 22-250 and a 60gr Berger not an issue!
     
  5. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

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    This big Wyoming mulie would disagree with the guys at the range........85 grain Barnes at 300 yards:
     

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  6. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    my 28 with the 243 say other wise. maybe if you get a sample size of 100 with each caliber?? still conditions are hardly ever exactly the same.
     
  7. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    But its still true that a poorly placed shot out of a Magnum is still a poorly placed shot and I dont think that its going to bail you out.
     
  8. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

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    The 243 is ok on deer.

    I like the 85gHPBT Sierra normally but I have had people shooting the 87g Berger Classic Hunter too.

    Most of the problems I see with the 243 is people using bullets that don't expand reliably. Many of the 100g bullets will pencil.

    That being said if there is a possibility where the deer can run a ways before dying and get on another property then I use a 270 or something that will anchor them quickly. A 140hpbt or Berger will make a fist sized hole or bigger on exit(ribcage). The 85ghpbt out of the 243 will make a half dollar sized hole in a ribcage. A 100g core lokt makes about a nickle sized hole.
     
  9. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    I used a 95gr berger on a Black Bear and the entrance hole was 3"x2" Dropped him in his tracks at 211 yards..............Im sure it would have done the same on Deer. Two years ago I shot an Antelope useing the 80gr TSX Tipped .........big exit hole .

    I would not want a bullet to do more damage than that, I was impressed both times. You have no idea of what a bullets going to do each time its different. Thats why Im confident that it will work on Cow Ek this fall.

    G
     
  10. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    A poorly placed shot with anything is bad and one cant depend on it bailing them out.

    What I was talking about was running shots, high wind, poor conditions And Long ranges can all lead to poor hits. with larger bullets they are effected less and can make the difference under poor conditions
    and can help with shot placement.

    There is no substation for good shot placement.

    In the hands of a competent shooter that knows his and the rifles limitations the 243 is plenty.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  11. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    That covers it in a nutshell. I hunted Michigan Deer for years with my 223 bolt Savage and shooting a 55 grain Hornady V-Max and they all went down, right now. No muss, no fuss. I put it where it needed to be. I've taken a lot of flak over hunting deer with a varnmit rifle but it works. No snap shots, take my time and get it right there. I've handgunned deer too. My 44 Smith is wicked at 50-75 yards.

    I've stepped up to a 308 but the 223 is a reliable killer with proper placement.

    I know a fella that dropped an 8 point buck with a 10-22 Ruger carbine at around 50 yards. Zipped him right through the eyeball crossways and scrambled his noodle (what little noodle a deer has).....

    I certainly don't recommend deer hunting with a 22, but it can be accomplished.
     
  12. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    JE

    You put this whole post all together in a nut shell........................Your right with wind NO one should be taking really long shots. Just like knowing your Rifles effective Distance, for me my .243 on Deer is really limited to 400 yards, maybe more on a Black Tail, or antelope but on a really heavy Muley, no
    The long shots a lot of guys make Im sure were taken with ideal conditions...............Thanks for the support
     
  13. trigger puller

    trigger puller Well-Known Member

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    A 243 is plenty given proper bullets and shot placement. The gunworks guys are using a 6xc and they have killed bears and deer. If you are capable of placing the shot don't worry about what other people are saying go hunt.gun)
     
  14. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Your right, its to easy to get caught up in what everyone else wants you to believe, because that's the way they do it. After taking a Black Bear at 211 yards and seeing the damage that the Berger bullet did, it was hard for me to think that in most peoples eye's the .243AI is still not enough for Deer let alone Elk.

    With all of the post's I got I feel like you put it all together........

    Thanks

    G