243 Rem 700 question


Apr 8, 2004
I'm looking for a first rifle for my son. As luck would have it I have an opportunity to buy a Rem 700 wood stock chambered in 243. The gun is 30 years old and probably only had 40-60 rounds through it. The guy wants $250 for it. Sounds like a great deal to me. I heard that the older 700's were better. Can anyone give me input on this rifle? Also, since it's for my young son, how does the kick compare to a 22-250? Thanks!
...based on what you're saying, it's a golden opportunity for you...older models are much preferred over recent stuff...
....243 does have a bit more recoil than
.22-250 but not enough to be concerned about... oh yeah, if you don't want it, I'll take it!
You better, before someone beats you to it!
Yeah, email me this fella's number. As old as it is, it might not be safe? No promises, but I'll do what I can. $250 seems fair...what kind of scope was that?

Good hunting. LB

Buy it. Buy it now!

Short action M 700s are like money in the bank, especially the older ones.

With the 243 there's no problem with recoil. If you don't handload you can always find a buddy who does and it's a simple matter to develop mild loads that you son will enjoy shooting. There is also factory ammunition with 70 or 80 grain bullets that are easy on the shoulder.
Turns out he wants $300 for it. It is definately the older style that has the jeweled bolt with 2 ears. It comes with a decent scope, case and one of those $100 metal gun safes. Looks like I need to dig up $300 bones....
Ok, time for me to get up on my stump.

Buy the .243, definitely, but for yourself, not for your kid. The absolute worst thing you can do to a new hunter, kid, wife, whatever, is to saddle them with a marginal cartridge on their first hunt merely because "it kicks less." By that logic we all should use a .22 short. Ok, .22 CB cap.

Wrong. Way better to give them a slightly heavier gun in a way more adequate caliber. You want their first deer to go down in a pile without a twitch, not flop, squirm, and scream for 20 minutes, otherwise you're taking a big risk on turning them off hunting, or even to anti-hunting, the very first time out.

I'd suggest a 7mm-08. Works _good_, makes deer flat without kicking too much. .270 or .260 if that's what you've got. Even the .25s, which I love, are not wise choices for beginners.

Buy that .243 though ... for yourself. Or use the action to build that 7mm-08.
Well...I don't want it for myself. Let me explain my situation. My son has already been hunting with me on several occasions and watched me take and field dress deer. The last thing I will let him do is pull the trigger until he has learned all other aspects of the hunt. I think he will respect it more in the long run that way anad it won't be a shicker when the time comes for his first deer.
He currently shoots a 22-250 and a 410. This was only after he learned and was very comfortable with a 22. My reason for this is that I didn't want to teach my son to flinch when he shoots by giving him too much gun too soon. I learned this the hard way myself when my father started me with a 30-06.
Let me also share that my son will be hunting in central TX on mid size deer and taking 150 yard or less shots. With that being said, do you still think the 243 is a marginal cartridge? It's a very popular size here and I'd like to learn more. Perhaps I can start him with the 243 and later when he is comfortable I can convert it to the 7m-08 when he is bigger and starts to take longer shots? What is involved with that conversion? ALso, will it involve hand loads or can this caliber be bought over the counter? Thanks!

[ 10-22-2004: Message edited by: Drury ]
...243 is adequate for the short range you referred to; most important thing is using the proper type bullet and shot placement...
don't overlook proper stock fit, especially for youth etc... this has more to do with felt recoil than you might think... also, the 7-08 is a simple conversion, only need to re-barrel... boltface; parent case are the same as .243; frankly, the 7-08 is a better choice, as would be the .260 which is between the .243 & the 7-08 (factory ammo is available for all)... if the gun fits properly, you'll never need to "trade up" again with either of these calibers within reasonable range... hope this helps...
It's hard to say. Both 'bout recoil and effectiveness.

For stand hunting, small deer, moderate range, with premium game bullets and careful shot placement the .243 will get it done. If it doesn't, it was user error, failing to wait for a right-enough shot.

The important thing, probably, regardless of whether you're getting your kid ready to shoot game with a maybe marginal caliber or getting them ready to shoot something with a bit more recoil is lots of practice over a number of months, not a lot of shots in any one sitting so they get bruised and abused, but enough to reinforce good shooting habits.
You haven't bought that .243 yet? Load some 85 gr Barnes bullets and go hunting. I started with a 30-06 too, and it was too much gun at the time. I firmly believe in bullet placement first, and starting a young shooter out with something that they can shoot without developing a flinch. I started my 12 year old daughter out with a Savage 7-08 that had a muzzle brake, shortened stock with a Decelerator pad, and a 2.5 lb trigger. Her first group was a 30 shot group at 100 yds that was about 2.5". She has now, at 15 killed four elk and two deer with that rifle. It doesn't hurt or scare her, so she can shoot it well. She gets lots of practice and takes only shots that are at a reasonable angle within a couple hundred yards. The kid's a killer.
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