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So which caliber should I get...?

This is a discussion on So which caliber should I get...? within the Firearms & Ammunition forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; Hi all I hope somebody can give me some insight and advice. I currently own a Voere .308 and looking ...

  1. #1
    .308's Avatar
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    Default So which caliber should I get...?

    Hi all

    I hope somebody can give me some insight and advice. I currently own a Voere .308 and looking at buying a Howa, but I can't decide what caliber. It's a toss up between a .243 (my current choice) and a .223. The plain is to use this rifle for animals like Springbok, Blesbok, Impala and Warthog etc. My concern is that I heard the .243 and the rounds available makes it a bit of a "mince-meater".

    I also have to take into account my 9 year old son will be shooting his first animal next year.

    Any advice please.

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    A .223 is a great round to start a kid out on. He gets to hear a real bang like a high power rifle without the recoil. My wife killed her first animal last year in RSA which was an Impala and it died quite quickly after taking a .223 round.

    Now having said that, I would think the .243 a better choice for the future with the additional pop that caliber will give over the .223. It will kick a little more but not badly. If you reload, just start light and make sure the gun has a decent recoil pad on it and I think he'll be fine.

    I've seen lots of deer killed with the .243 and it's close cousin the 6mm and never have seen what I'd consider above normal meat damage. Bullet choice would be the primary cause of this and not the caliber in my opinion.
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    gillettehunter is online now AH Enthusiast
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    I would definitely go with the .243. You can down load it close to the .223, but still have a lot more killing power with regular loads. The .223 will do the job especially if you use the right bullets. Its not the best gun to use on any marginal shots. The .243 he can grow into as he gets older. Killed a Nyala with one last May. My son killed 2 Lechwe with it in one shot on the same trip. Just a nice gun to shoot. Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by .308 View Post
    Hi all

    I hope somebody can give me some insight and advice. I currently own a Voere .308 and looking at buying a Howa, but I can't decide what caliber. It's a toss up between a .243 (my current choice) and a .223. The plain is to use this rifle for animals like Springbok, Blesbok, Impala and Warthog etc. My concern is that I heard the .243 and the rounds available makes it a bit of a "mince-meater".
    I also have to take into account my 9 year old son will be shooting his first animal next year.

    Any advice please.
    Greetings .308 from across the border. (NAM)

    I believe that you will be hunting in open / savannah-type plains with the intended rifle (.223 / .234) for the species you mention? Just curious, because if you are hunting (going to) those mentioned species in the bushveld (medium to densely vegetaded areas) where you are prone to shoot through some vegetation (intentionally or not) then i would personally refrain from a lighter caliber due to the ease of deflection on the smaller bullet in dense vegetation, and your .308 remains the perfect caliber then for the species mentioned.

    However, should you be hunting same species mentioned in more open terrain with a clean (no brush / branches / grass) line of sight, then i would say the .234 would be a good choice.

    Now taking your 9 yr old boy into account - have he hunted before? With what caliber? Is he familiar with shooting or is he a fresh starter? I was thinking that even a .234 may proof to be a bit of a 'kicker' to a 9 yr old. It may or may not make him flinch or gun-shy, and perhaps knock his self confidence which could leave long-lasting side effects on his growth as a good shot (hunter)

    Here's my thinking, (personal opinion) if you are looking to buy your son a starter rifle, exclusively to integrate your boy into the hunting faternity, then i would personally start with a lower caliber, i would go to .22 or .22 hornet for starters.

    If you are planning to buy an additional rifle for yourself which you personally will shoot / hunt with most of the time, and to just integrate your son into hunting as time goes along, then obviously the .243 or even a .270 would be my choice. However, taking into account my personal opinion in above paragraph 1 re the area / type terrain you will be hunting in.

    Good luck
    FHM3006
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    I would buy a 243 Win, it's a lot more versatile. I like the 223 as a predator rifle. But the 243 Win can be loaded up and down for the animals hunted. As far a meat damage, it depends on the bullets used. Soft bullets will ruin a lot of meat, but Barnes bullets or something similiar won't ruin too much meat. I would aim for the lungs anyway, there is not much meat on the ribs anyway.

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    Hi .308,
    Welcome to the forum. Enysse hit the nail on the head. Just purchased a .243 Win myself in Howa. I had exactly the same decision to make as you. Another factor is that the .223 is a lot more wind sensitive than the .243. With the .243 you will be able to reload from 100gr to 65gr pills. It is just a much more versatile cartridge than the .223. Not that the .223 does not have its place. But think going with the .243 will benefit you much more in the long run.
    Otherwise the other option will be to buy both. Remember, a rifle is always an investment! Good luck with your choice.

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    Calhoun is offline AH Enthusiast
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    I guess with the choices I would take the .243. Personally I would go with a 30 caliber as I'm not a fan of small calibers for African animals. A good synthetic stock makes the kick quite mild. Just my opinion!!

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    Okay. So the .243 it is then. I actually hit an amazing luck today. As I said, I have the Voere .308 and I came across a Voere .243....... The two rifles look identical, it's in incredibly good condition, so I think I might just take it. I love my .308, so having the .243 from the same manufacturer can only be a good thing. Any opinions on this?

    As for my son, he has been on hunts before, but never shot an animal himself. He has fired the trusty old .308 and loves it. Doesn't flinch, not gun shy and holds quite a nice grouping.

    Thanks for all the advice.

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    Well, I went ahead and bought myself the Voere .243 today. This is a twin to my Voere .308. The two rifles are identical in appearance except for obviously the calibre. Test fired it today and got a grouping the size of a R2 coin from 100 meters. Cannot WAIT to take ownership........

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    Congrats.
    Very nice caliber in my mind.
    Heavy enough for the game you listed and light enough to address a few vermin without being too much.
    It is one of those calibers that I would collect, just because...

    Look forward to the pictures of your sons Blesbok taken with the new .243.
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    Well, congrats on the purchase, I think you made a super wise choice!

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