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Old Ranger
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Posted: December 15 2016 at 3:55pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Ok. Granddaughter and her fiance both shoot this round. Will be teaching her young lad to load. He also shoots .30'06 (oh yeah!) and 30-30. But I seriously never loaded or even showed any interest in the 243 until now. Dandy varmint gun and light deer rifle, but just how accurate can they be? Tell me your thoughts on this caliber and, I cannot believe I'm about to say this, do you think an old-school guy like me would enjoy that caliber as well? What about cast loads? Yes? No?
Ok. Talk to me.....

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M700
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Posted: December 15 2016 at 4:15pm | IP Logged Quote M700

More doggone .243 info here:

.243 accuracy loading

My experience with the .243 is minimal, but I started using the similar 6mm Rem a little more than 40 years ago. My son uses that rifle now.

I used it mostly for varmints & coyotes. He has shot several mule deer & whitetail deer with it. Always one-shot drops, even out around 300 yards.

Our favorite deer bullet is the 95 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, which almost always penetrates completely. The only time one didn't was when my son shot a buck at about 70 yards. The whitetail buck was facing him, so he just shot it right in the chest. Instant drop, and the mangled remains of the bullet were recovered in the ham, having penetrated the full length of the buck's body! Not bad for a fast-expanding bullet.

It's also the most accurate bullet we've used in the 6mm.

For varmints I've dropped all the way down to 55 grain bullets, at 4,000 fps! Yee Haw! Those little zippers will do a mighty fine job of blowing up varmints!

So - not much .243 advice from me. It is a good article, and the 6mm bullet info is spot on.

Regards, Guy
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joed
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Posted: December 15 2016 at 4:53pm | IP Logged Quote joed

Great cartridge, I have one in a Winchester Featherweight.    Accurate shooter
with low recoil.

As guy said 90 to 100 gr bullets for deer, lighter for varmint.    It's not finicky
on powders either.

You would probably enjoy this one.

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Rex
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Posted: December 15 2016 at 4:57pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

I like the .243 a lot, consider it about all that is needed here in Nebraska. Gave my old Savage 99 in .243 to my Grandson when he started. He used it until the high school boys thought if it wasn't a 3006 it wouldn't kill an animal. Two of the biggest deer he ever shot were with that .243 and a Hornady 87 grain bullet over 40 grains IMR-4350. Not a hot load or probably a proper bullet but it worked. Now I'd load a 100 grain bullet and probably stick with IMR-4350.
I'd like to have another one for me!
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Ranch 13
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Posted: December 15 2016 at 5:02pm | IP Logged Quote Ranch 13

40 gr. of H414 and the Hornady 100 gr interloc bullet will do about anything a
rifle needs to do.


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Old Ranger
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Posted: December 15 2016 at 6:46pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Well y'all gone and done it now. See, now I got the .243 Win bug after that! Guess I'll start saving my green stamps and go find me a .243 now! Wonder who makes one that won't cost an arm and a leg? Any of em got iron sights? I'm not fond of scopes. Guess its my own fault. I just hadda ask huh?

Thanks for the speedy replies guys!

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Rex
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Posted: December 15 2016 at 7:02pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Wade, Savage makes a line of inexpensive bolt guns that people say are accurate. As to iron sights, I don't know. Ruger and Mossberg may make something in that class also.
Sometimes the search is more fun than the finding.
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richhodg66
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Posted: December 15 2016 at 7:19pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Never loaded for .243. I did rather extensively load for the 6mm Remington. Good cartridge, but I only ever shot two animals with it, a javelina and a yearling Kansas doe.

For jacketed bullets in the 6mm, Winchester 760/H-414 was THE powder. Mine shot much better with it than anything else with the heavier bullets.

I did get a mold, a bunch of gas checks and sizer with top punch in a deal a few years ago, but have yet to cast any.

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Ranch 13
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Posted: December 15 2016 at 7:33pm | IP Logged Quote Ranch 13

You would have to scrounge the used markets for an older Ruger 77 with the
sights, or a Remington 700 ADL, or even on occasion a savage 99 will turn up
cheap. The Browning BLR used to be inexpensive to buy on the used market,
but haven't seen any good prices on those is quite a while.

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richhodg66
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Posted: December 16 2016 at 4:45am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Seems like I see H&R or Rossi singles in .243 all the time, but never bothered to check for sights.

It's just about the most popular round ever after the .30-06. Start perusing used gun racks, one that suits you will turn up eventually.

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Buffalogun
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Posted: December 16 2016 at 6:00am | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

Wade,

The .243 Winny is known for accuracy. My m70 20" carbine has delivered groups as small as .65" @ 100 yds. My m70 seems to like 42-43grs. of VVN160 or either of the 4350's under about any 95-100gr. bullet. Sierra has a nice little 85gr. HPBT GameKing that has a good reputation on deer in the .243 cal. cartridges.

Were I in the market for a .243 chambered rifle I would look closely at the Savage Axis. The Axis can be had for around $250 and Savage has a good reputation for accuracy.
With the Axis you also get the Savage switch-barrel capability. Simply unscrew the barrel nut and barrel, screw in the new barrel, set the headspace and tighten the barrel nut. You'd have your choice of any cartridge built on the .308 case.

I would stay away from H&R. They are no longer in business as Remington closed those doors a year or two ago. Some remaining stock is still available from some companies.

The key to the .243 cal. is good bullets and shot placement. Today we have some of the best bullets, ever.

And.....if you don't want to use a scope, the .243's accuracy potential will be wasted anyway.

Mike    

Edited by Buffalogun on December 16 2016 at 6:02am


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Old Ranger
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Posted: December 16 2016 at 8:51am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Yeah, y'all likely think I've lost my mind wanting iron sights on my long guns but here's the thing. Though I'm pushing 70 my eyes are still good for using iron sights. I was raised with iron sights and only used a scope when in the army as a sniper. I'm at times, uncomfortable (?) using a scope. So, I personally prefer iron sights. Shucks, at a hundred with my Rossi 92 with just .38Spl and the stock buckhorn rear sight and a brass bead up front I easily manage 1.5" and average around 2". In my woods a long shot is 45yds, and a scope would just be in the way. So I personally don't "need" a scope. Besides, they cost too much and crap out too often. So I guess I'll be cruising the shops and see what I can find.

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M700
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Posted: December 16 2016 at 5:33pm | IP Logged Quote M700

So shoot sights.

No argument here.

Guy
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: December 16 2016 at 5:47pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

The .243 Win. was the first rifle cartridge that I loaded for. I hunted deer as well as coyotes with it a good bit back then and I settled on the Sierra 85gr. HPBT Gameking for both. It was a long range coyote killing load and still had plenty of penetration for deer.

I wish my eyes were still able to use open sights as good as they used to. I have found that a peep still works well with my eyes though.

For short range woods hunting with a scope, I prefer very low power with lots of field of view.

Edited by Ham Gunner on December 16 2016 at 5:53pm


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Posted: December 16 2016 at 6:49pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

While the post one-million serial numbered ones are generally sneered at by the purists, a Savage 99E in .243 is on my "will have someday" list of rifles. A 99 begs for a peep site and my saddle carbine one in .250 has a peep on it. I don't shoot open sights well, but peeps are good to go for most of my purposes.

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M700
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Posted: December 16 2016 at 8:51pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Mmmm. A Savage 99 would be terrific!
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Posted: December 16 2016 at 10:58pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

Never went into the 243/6 mm but they seem to do the job on most deer size game.
I like the 25-06 myself.
Did load some 6 mm for my brother's 6 mm M77.
He did take a hog in TX with it several years ago.
Did the job.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: December 16 2016 at 11:32pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I might be in for a real disappointment in this quest as nearly every boltgun built in the last 30 years has no sights on em. The whole industry has concentrated upon forcing scopes upon the population. Sadly my only centerfire rifle cartridge long gun, a Marlin XL7C in .30'06 has no sights on it either. That forced me to put a scope on it until I located a Bushnell Trophy red dot device that has replaced the scope. Interestingly enough is the fact I can shoot with both eyes open with the sight in spite of being left eye dominant and shooting right handed. The dot and circle reticle remains dead on the bore axis. If my hands still had the dexterity I once had I'd mount iron sights onto this weapon as I dislike the fact that red dot device is battery operated. Oh well, just an old codger grouching a little, sorry...
I should be grateful I can still shoot huh?
Maybe I'll get lucky and find an iron sighted .243 before I expire. Maybe. ...

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joed
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Posted: December 17 2016 at 4:19am | IP Logged Quote joed

Rex wrote:
I like the .243 a lot, consider it about all that is needed here in
Nebraska.


I've been thinking about the same thing in OH.   For the hunting we do here all
I ever use anymore is a .22-250, .243 and .25-06.    My larger caliber guns sit
in the safe and I take them to the range occasionally.

The .243 Featherweight is probably going to see use this winter as I need
surgery on one of my knees and I don't think I'll be carrying the heavy barreled
rifles this winter.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: December 17 2016 at 6:12am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

It's interesting in a way as I hunted hard for meat with an old 1903A3 on the reservation when young. Often as many as 10 families depended on me to connect and return with game over my saddle. I did all my hunting with that old rifle. Used the same caliber across the pond in the army. And again later hunting here. With the exception of a few years, I've always did my business with an '06. So I suppose that's why I hardly ever looked at any other caliber out there.

But as I studied the. 243 Win. in depth I became intrigued with its abilities. With a 1:10" twist it handles a wide variety of bullet weights as opposed to the. 244 Rem with a 1:12" bore limiting that cartridge to lighter bullets. The .243 Win has the advantage there. Further, it's been used as a genuine distance shooter in matches where heavier weapons were used before. In short, it's accuracy is another strong point to add to the versatility in a wide range of bullet weights. And here in Texas there's hardly a critter grown here that this weapon won't handle with proper shot placement and correct ammunition. Finally, as my father once told me "Never carry a gun that you can't buy ammo for in a feed store." Though said in the late 50's, that's sound wisdom today as well. Plus if I get a .243 Win I can shoot with my granddaughter and the nice young man she's going to marry.

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