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Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Billdogge, Jan 8, 2012.
Is the .243 a good deer cartridge? Range?
good deer gun to 300 yards. alot of guys will say 600 yards based on enegry/momentum levels, but i feel for deer at longer ranges a 6.5 or 7mm is better.
there was just a post on here about a young lady taking an elk at over 600 yards with a .243 win. some say good for her aothers say that the shot shouldnt have been taken.
A lot of people feel 1000 pounds of energy is a good rule of thumb for a deer round. So figure what your load can do and go from there. with a 95 berger at 6000 feet I would say mine is good to 600 yards. It all comes down to shot placement. Thats with any cartridge.
Yes the 243 is a good deer cartridge with good bullets. I've shot lot of deer with my 6mm Remington and never had any issues. I also took one spike bull with it.
.243 Win + .243 AI Cartridge Guide
I LOVE the 243, especially in the Ackley form.
Specifically, Savage 112 BVSS with a 1:7 twist barrel chambered in 243AI in a Manners T-2 stocked topped with a Premier Reticles Light Tactical scope shooting 117g Matrix Ballistics bullets. That could be a fun gun.
I hate energy calculations. If 1000ft-lbs is min, then 44mag revolvers can't play. That's BS. Impact velocity needs to be high enough for the bullet design you're shooting, period. If the bullet hits fast enough to open it up or do what it's supposed to, it'll do work.
For all those who say a shot shouldn't have been taken, after reading a success story, about an animal being killed; I lump you in with the guys who look at pictures of bullets pulled from dead animals, and say the bullet failed. Your hindsight needs glasses.
*Disclaimer- I'm just using your post as a starting point for my rant, not calling you out midwesthunter. I think your estimate for the 95s is about right.*
The 243 is adequate for coyotes and fox
I think there are a lot of dead deer that would disagree
There was a guy out shooting today that was hitting steel consistent at 1000 but that doesnt mean that it has the energy to kill at that range
How can something dead disagree?
I know the 243 works on deer. I just nag on it because of one bad experience that was about as bad as it gets.
What I should say in a joking manner is that it doesn't kill quickly enough for my liking based on what I've seen.
I was sitting next to a hunting buddy on a piece of property and we were about 100 or so yards from the property line and I had been hunting this honey hole for about 9 years with excellent luck. My buddy brought a 243 which I had never had any experience.
Along comes at big toad of a whitetail buck at 50 yards and he drills it through the lungs and off it goes, running top speed, down the mountain, "dead on its feet."
Well as bad luck would have it, the buck made it quite a distance, jumped on to the neighboring hunting club and BOOM BOOM, our neighbors put it down and that was that.
We saw the buck was hit well by the tiny little inadequate bullet leaving a tiny little inadequate hole right behind the shoulder. Our good neighbor reminded us that since they put the deer down, it was there's and I didn't disagree. They dropped it, not my buddy.
That buck would have been my buddy's biggest whitetail buck. It fell to 2 shots by a 30 cal. with a well placed shoulder shot that made a very adequate hole
So, to that, it's not so much that the 243 won't drop a deer. It will. It just doesn't do it fast enough for me based on that and a few hunts I've seen and videoed in Wyoming and Colorado and Nebraska.
Every big game animal I saw shot with that little yote gun ran a good distance with well placed kill shots. And honestly, it's not many. Maybe about 7 total animals.
I'm used to bang-flop with a rifle. That's my experience.
I continue to give my bud a bunch of crap for using a coyote gun on a deer. He tells me to go to hell and I then talk about how good that buck must look on someone else's wall.
The 243 is a great deer and varmint cartridge if paired with the right bullet for the purpose. Shot coyotes to elk with it with no problems, but used different bullets for sure. Makes a great truck gun!! Paired with a 105 Berger I've seen it do good work on elk at moderate range and really put the hammer down on a truck load of deer and antelope.
I've killed a number of deer with the 243. It will kill deer, if you have the right bullet it in the right spot it will kill quickly. It is pretty sensitive to bullet selection.Even with a good hit with the right bullet you can have deer travel over 300 yards. Many times you can get a bang flop with the right placement. 3" off and it will run a long way. I have found a few deer that I know were shot with a 243 that showed no trace of being hit but were dead 2-300 yards away.
I usually hunt with at least a 270 now and I like to be able to put a fist sized hole in the rib cage. The shorter the distance I want it to go the bigger the caliber. I have yet to have a deer go more than 30ft with a hot 300g hollowpoint out of a 45/70.
My 243 gets used by a buddy with a pacemaker who is under orders not to shoot anything bigger. He has good luck with it with my "deer killer" loads 85g HPBT Sierra over a good charge of 414,4350,or 4831. I would use it out to 4-500 yards on deer if I didn't have anything else.
I mainly use it to bang gongs for fun.
If an animal is shot and the bullet leaves that little bitty hole going out, the problem isn't the gun or caliber, it is the design of the bullet. That bullet likely went between 2 ribs going in, hit nothing solid inside and didn't hit a rib going out. And it wasn't designed to expand on soft tissue.
The 243 bullets would typically be designed to open sooner, and with less frontal restriction, than a "heavier" caliber. So, if the 243 didn't open up, then a heavier caliber wouldn't either.
That is the reason they don't allow FMJ bullets for hunting. They won't expand and leave itty bitty holes going in and out.
My hunting rifles of the past 40 years have been either the 30-06 or the 243. I never felt inadequate, or over-gunned with either one hunting deer or antelope. Usually took the 30-06 for elk.
BUT the bullet of choice in either was ALWAYS the Nosler Partition because it would open up on a soft hit but could be counted on the hold together on a hard, bone, hit.
I have never had a bullet from the 243 fail to exit, EVER. We took 33 deer and antelope in 3 days hunting one year. Most were shot with the 243 and all bullets exited. If a bullet expands and exits, then it did its job. Any other failure is the responsiblity of the shooter. If it didn't expand, then it is still the responsiblity of the shooter to have not selected a proper bullet and of not hitting in an area that would expand the bullet.
The difference between a 243 and a 7mm is 1MM diameter. Expanded to 2X its size is still only 2MM difference. If it exits, then it did all of the damage it could.
One of the hunters in the Black Hills of SD shot at a cow elk, standing broadside, at about 150 yards. Shot her 5 TIMES and she just stood there. She finally took two steps forward and collapsed. He had hit her right behind the shoulder and you could have covered all 5 shots with your hand. He shot her with a 7mm Mag.
Shot placement and bullet selection. If the bullet hits, expands, and exits, then, pray tell, what difference can 1MM of diameter mean?
Usually, the 243 can be shot more accurately, which gives some advantage there to the 243 over the magnums.
So, where does the 243 fit in? Anywhere up to elk, and marginaly for elk given prudent limitations.