What should I expect from a .243.

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by robbobsam, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. robbobsam

    robbobsam Well-Known Member

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    I am considering purchasing a PDA and X-bal for my Nightforce scope to improve my long range accuracy, but I am not sure it would be money well spent as I only have a .243 rifle and with a 1 in 10 barrel its only able to stabilize bullets up to 75grains.

    I have tried 100 grain bullets and they are all over the place.

    I am currently only able to shoot at ranges up to about 500yds on my local farm anyway so would it be a waste of money?

    Would I be better off just sticking to drop charts for windage and elevation compensation?


    What do you think?
     

  2. I'd save the money and put some of it toward reloading stuff - finding a 75 grain bullet that the gun likes and get the drop chart all figured out. Then I'd send away for a custom turret for the scope.
     

  3. robbobsam

    robbobsam Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean a custom turret ???

    What is a custom turret and where do I get one from ???

    Sorry guys, Yes I am a newbie, but I am keen and wanna learn.
     
  4. Willys46

    Willys46 Well-Known Member

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    Do not worry about custom turrets, You have a night force just learn to spin the knobs.

    Out to 500 yrds you will be fine with a drop chart. I would reccommend going to JBM - Calculations - Trajectory and putting in your info tell it fits your known drops and run it out to 1000 yrds.

    When and if you get a chance to shoot past 500 yrds, the drop chart will be good enough to get you close. Heck I still use drop charts more often than not because there fast for me.
     
  5. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    When you talk about the 100gn bullet are these factory loads? What rifle do you have? There are plenty of good bullets between the 75 - 100gn range. Are you handloading?
    My longest shot on a groundhog was with the 95gn Ballistic Tip. My rifle (Win70 HVB) also likes the 80-85gn range. As a matter of fact, I'm fixing to start load development shortly on the Sierra 85gn HP. I have tried other 80-85gn bullets in this rifle and it shoots them extremely well.
    Don 't forget the 90gn bullets; Nosler and Berger make fine bullets in this range.
    I have not tried anything above 95gn in my rifle and I'm satisfied to say it has shot everything accurately from 65gn up to 95gn. This is my dedicated varmint rifle though. I have others in 6.5-284, 7mmRemMag and .300WinMag for targets and big game. I would not be scared to press my .243 into service for deer with the right bullet, however.
    Spending your money, hum, let me think? You could buy reloading supplies and try other bullet weights, like some other members suggested, or you could buy a tighter twist barrel and stick with drop charts (what I use). Or you could just purchase the PDA/Exbal and use it for now with your .243. Then when you outgrow this rifle and/or purchase another later on you'll have the PDA/Exbal for it.
    Several ways to skin this cat, you just need to fingure out if you want to start at the head or the rearend first. :) JohnnyK.
     
  6. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

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    if you're shooting at the same location regularly, you could set up some large targets on butcher paper and make very accurate drop charts. Print the online data then go check it at your farm...
     
  7. robbobsam

    robbobsam Well-Known Member

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    Guys, you have all been very helpful and your advice is very welcome.

    I think for the minute I am going to stick to drop charts and gain confidence shooting at the ranges I currently shooting at. I have the potential to shoot up to 500yds but have only as yet managed a 260yd bunny so there is still a lot of scope to improve.

    I am going to get some RCBS reloading gear and get used to reloading and perfecting my loads, then I will look at upgrading my rifle.

    Later this year I expect to go to Germany or Hungary after some of the giant wild boar so I will have to get a larger caliber rifle for that.

    I am really getting into this shooting lark, its incredibly involved and interesting.
     
  8. cross

    cross Well-Known Member

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    A Nightforce riflescope is too much for what you've described. If you have the money then by all means buy a Nightforce but for what you're describing, a Nikon Monarch 4-16 or 5-20 will do everything you expect it to. Nightforce, to me anyway, means ultra tough, beyond Leupold tough, beyond Zeiss tough and repeatable, clear optics.

    My 2 cents is that you save about a thousand dollars on your scope and put it into your new reloading die, bullet, brass, powder, primer, rifle, and eventually new scope fund. You'll find you'll need it once you get your present combination figured out and it starts to confound you and futher and further ranges.

    Cross
     
  9. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i have a 12 twist barrel that stabalizes 88 grain bergers into nice little 1/4 minute groups. it is not the twist rate . you should be able to at least shoot 100 grain bullets if you choose. are the heavier bullets keyholing?? or are the spraying out like a shot gun patern
     
  10. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

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    Cross, by the sounds of it, he's already got the nightforce on his 243, just considering Xbal and a PDA vs printed drop charts...

    Robbobsam, maybe I'm assuming too much?
     
  11. cross

    cross Well-Known Member

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    Right you are! Sorry about that. Well, you can't have too much optics!
     
  12. robbobsam

    robbobsam Well-Known Member

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    Yes Guys,

    I have already purchased and am using the nightforce, its truly awesome. Just rangefind a target and dial in the range. It may not be as clear as Zeis or swarovski but its a lot tougher and a lot more user friendly.

    I know it is more of a scope than I am ever likely to use in the UK but I would rather buy once and buy quality, than buy twice and regret it.

    Nightforce produce incredible scopes.

    As for the comments on the stability of the bullet, can you recommend a factory load that would give good accuracy in my Tikka .243 in super varmint with a 1 in 10 twist barrel.

    I tried Winchester 95 grain silver tips....Groups over 2" at 100yds
    Tried Federal 100 grain.......................Groups over 3" at 100yds.
    Tried Privvy Partisan 100grain .............Groups over 2" at 100yds.
    Tried Hornady 58 grain V-Max..............Groups over 1" at 100yds.
    Tried Norma 75 grain V-Max ................Groups just under 1" at 100yds.

    When I am zeroing my rifle it is on a harris bipod at the front and a beany bag of sand at the rear.

    I would prefer to shoot heavier slower bullets to preserve my barrel and to facilitate the occasional deer that shows up on the farm, but I don't think it is wise to go for the heavier bullet at the cost of accuracy.

    Is the only way to cure this problem to reload my own ammo???
     
  13. To me those results scream that something on the rifle isn't right.

    Check the crown - make sure the barrel isn't touching the stock at any point past the action - make sure the action screws are snugged down to 40 to 60 in-lbs. Make sure the base it torqued to 40 in-lbs or whatever they suggest and a drop of blue loctite on the base screws wouldn't hurt. Make sure the scope ring screws are torqued to the 20 in-lbs or whatever the manufacturer recommends. Get a scope bubble level (b-square has one for around $13 at midwayusa) and use it.

    If nothing above shrinks your groups I'd be looking to bed the action and if that didn't make a difference I'd try a pressure point on the barrel up near the end of the stock. If all that fails to shrink those 3" groups at least in half I'd look to take a shooting class or sell the gun.

    Good luck. :)
     
  14. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    factory loads are quite expensive. i would try 85 sierra hpbt ( federal) . hopefully they will do better. the gun should shoot everything at 1 in ch or less though