The .243 AI is a great Deer Cartridge

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Greg Duerr, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    I posted a question that got a lot of attention. "So whats wrong with the .243 on Deer" Since then I have talked with several people on and off line that told of the great Mule Deer bucks they have shot with a .243 and some at long range.
    The moral of the story, as I see it is that if we go by the thoughts of most of the guys that posted on this sight, its all about bullet placement. That goes for almost anything we shoot. Then I was looking at the Hornady Ballistic Calculator and when shooting a .243 AI 105 Berger at 3300 at 675 yards the bullet still has 1006 ft lbs of energy at 2078 fps...................that distance with the 105 through the lungs makes for a dead deer. At 500 yars 1528 lbs and 2560 fps.........................kind of makes it good on Elk too.

    One hunter on this sight told me that if he told me how many Elk he has shot with the .243AI and at what distance you would be........................

    G
     
  2. MOJO67

    MOJO67 Well-Known Member

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    Don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be behind a 243 AI spouting a 105 at 3300 fps!!! Yowzza! Bring a hammer for your bolt.
     

  3. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    What's the case capacity of the 243 AI?
     
  4. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    From 6mmBR.com

    .243 Ackley Improved Loads Below -- DO NOT USE in Standard Case

    IMR 4895 41.5 CCI BR468 Berger MEF 3630 fps1/4-MOA at 100, .005" into lands, Hart barrel.
    H414 48.0 Fed 210m70 Nosler BallTip 3760 fpsBob Blaine load. Norma brass.Kissing lands, 24" bbl.
    Varget 43.4 Fed 210m70 Nosler BallTip 3650 fpsChino69 AI load. 1/2-MOA at 200. .010" into lands.
    H4350 46+ Fed 210m80 Berger Varmint 3550 fpsChino69 AI load. 1/4-MOA at 200. .010" into lands.
    IMR 4350 44.7 Fed 210m87 V-Max 3237 fpsExcellent accuracy in Pac-Nor barrel, jumped .020".
    VV N160 44.0 WLR87 V-Max moly 3200 fps.4" groups in Shilen 1:10" barrel.
    Re19 47.7 CCI BR290 Lapua Scenar 3400 fpsAlBoy's load. .3" at 200 yds in Pac-Nor 1:10" barrel, .274" neck. HOT.
    H4831sc 47.6 WLR95 Nosler BallTip 3142 fps.4" groups in Schneider barrel. Low ES/SD.
    H4831sc 44.0 WLR100 Nosler Partition 3050 fpsDecent Accuracy in Pac-Nor barrel. Low ES/SD.
    Re 25 47.5 Fed 210m106 Clinch River 3340 fpsMattB load. Caution: HOT load, but very accurate in 29" Lilja 3-groove.
    H4350 41.6 Fed 210m107 SMK 3036 fpsJimB load. Extremely Accurate with SMKs jumped .040" in Schneider barrel.
    H4831sc 47.2 Russian 107 SMK 3238 fpsChuckhunter load. Accurate and repeatable. Jump .007". Sub-inch at 300 yards. Near max.

    I will be the first to say do load development in your own rifle following normal recommendations. For a 243 AI start below normal 243 win max loads and work up being aware of pressure signs.
     
  5. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    My hunting load with a 100 gr. using H100V is running right at 3238 and that's with a 24 in barrel ......I would imagine that with a 26 you could get right at 3300 Each gun being different.......................

    Look at the Berger Manual .........they load the 6XC a lot hotter than either the .243 or the 6mm yet im sure the capacity is smaller than both.................
     
  6. 87predator

    87predator Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure, but the 6xc might be better designed to handle hotter loads. I know some states have minimum caliber requirements for deer and elk. 25 for elk and 23 for Deer. Which frankly I wouldn't shoot a deer with a 22 cal, nor an elk with a 24 cal. But that's just me.
     
  7. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    The Berger manual is apparently full of quick load simulations... I have not yet completed load development with the 105gr Bergers and currently have no chrono, so can't make any personal statements regarding velocity.

    One has to find an accuracy node and often enough the ones at the ragged end of the spectrum can be elusive. Barrel life is something else that has to be balanced against the performance curve and also against what % of barrel life you want to use up doing load development.
     
  8. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Some states list any centerfire as legal for deer, I think California is one. So that might qualify the 17Hornady as a legal deer slayer.
    Im having R Bros Rifles, Travis Redell, rebarrel my 243AI. After he is finished re-barreling the rifle he breaks in the barrel and will find the optimum accuracy velocity load using the 105 berger, a service that is included. For me that is a life saver as all the barrel ware and load development is done for you.
    The barrel that my Ackley has now took me 400 loads to find out that the reamer was old school and only shot flat base bullets..............That kind of service makes you want to have another rifle built...........

    G
     
  9. Shootin4fun

    Shootin4fun Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. How does the reamer, or I suppose the shape of the chamber that the reamer makes, determine that it will shoot flat base bullets well, but not BTs?
     
  10. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    Throat was too large in diameter, so could not stabilize boat tail bullets. Flat base were fine.
     
  11. WyoMountainMule

    WyoMountainMule Active Member

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    My 243 AI (26", 1:8 twist) was able to achieve 3250 with the Berger 105 VLD using several powders. I was able to reach velocities in excess of 3300, but pressure was a very real problem. 3250 was about the max I could safely go, and seems to be a consistent max for many other AI shooters. Accuracy was very good. Fireforming is a hassle, but if you have enough time and like an additional task, it is worth it.

    You might also note that the straight 243 with a 26" barrel can drive the 105 to 3050 fps, which will provide 1000 ft-lbs to ~700 yards. The 95 VLD is also a great choice.

    Best of luck with the upcoming sleep depriving decision.........:D
     
  12. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Ive heard a few guys getting 3300 using 48gr of Rl22 Did you try that powder......................................I was told over and over and over that the .243AI IS NOT A DEER CARTRIDGE or even good on antelope but that it was a varmint round. That I was very irresponsible .......................But they could not answer my questions of why Bear and Mule Deer were killed so easily with well placed bullets.

    Strange.