243 Win

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Gerhard, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    Guys,

    I am interested in buying a 243 Win.

    Tell me more about your experience with this calibre....

    What barrel twist do you recommend for 75 to 100 gr bullet?

    Who have experience with Howa rifles?

    Thanks
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I love the .243 Win. ! I have one in the Ruger Model bolt action. I like the 100 grain bullets for springbok or blesbuck. I have other guns I use for varmit hunting 223 or 22-250. I use Win. power point 100 grain bullets...it a soft bullet and I shoot for the lungs. I have used 95 grain ballistic tip by Nosler and they are awesome too.

    I would check a rifle book on the twist...I don't have one handy right now. But they make different twists depending on if it's a varmit rifle or springbok rifle.

    Hope that helps out!
  3. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    Thanks,

    Thats just the thing.

    I have to get a combination of the light and heavier bullet....

    As I have be able to use both light and heavy bullets in the same rifle. If I get back home in May and I buy a rifle I will probably wait for 12 to 15 months for the license...
  4. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Gerhard,

    I have not had a .243 for years, but I shot one a fair amount in years gone by. The standard rate of twist for a .243 Winchester is 1-10".

    I messed around with a few loads but settled on one varmint load and one for deer sized game. The varmint load was a 75 grain Hornady hollow point and I was getting close to 3400 fps with IMR 4831. The deer load was with the 95grain Nosler Partition and I was getting pretty much bang on 3000 fps with Norma MRP. Not much point going into loads as I am not sure what powders you are going to be using, but if you want to let me know I will see what I can dig up in the way of load data for you................I have many reloading manuals.:)

    It is a great little cartridge.
  5. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    Kelly,

    Thanks for the info.

    I will be using South African powder as we do not get IMR or Varget or any of the US powder in South Africa.

    But it looks like 1 in 10 twist would be the way to go.

    What barrel length would you prefer ?

    24 or 26 inch....
  6. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Gerhard,

    Yes I figured you would probably be using Somchem powders.

    A 24 inch barrel on a .243 would be my pick. The majority of factory rifles chambered in .243 over here come with 22 inch barrels.
  7. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    Gerhard, it looks like you have gotten plenty of information on the .243 so I will limit my response to the Howa rifle. I have been shooting a Howa .223 for about four years and have nothing but good to say about it. It shoots very well with a variety of loads, and I seem to have good luck with it while hunting. The action is very smooth for an inexpensive rifle and I have used it in the desert Southwest in the blowing dust and sand and never had any problems with it. I have also used it in the snow and ice for predators here in Oklahoma with no problems. I am currently thinking about buying another one in .308 for my grandchildren. Overall it's a good rifle for the price.
  8. Vetaikaran

    Vetaikaran AH Member

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    If you ever want to reconsider your choice, I would suggest the 260 Rem. With a 1:8 inch twist, you can load shoot anything from 77 grain to 160 gr bullets & not be worried about losing wounded animals or blood shot meat! The recoil will be similar to the 243 for 100 gr Nosler bullets. The 125 gr Partition would be ideal or any of the Barnes TSX. I used to own a 243 & got rid of it after I lost a buck in thick bush after a heart shot at 15 meters. I could not see the neck or I would have taken that shot at such a close range. I own 2 6.5X54 MS rifles to cover this class of hunting rifle!
  9. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    Thanks for all the info guys.

    Vetaikaran, I have looked hard at the 260 Rem at one stage but I had to accept realities in South Africa. It is not a popular calibre. This means I will have to get most of my reloading components form the US. This will drive the cost to shoot this calibre through the roof as I will also have to build a rifle in South Africa in this calibre.

    But I still think it is a potent calibre.

    jaustin, Thanks for the info on the HOWA rifles. I am seriously going to have to look at them in May once I am back in South Africa. When it comes to rifles I refer to have an ugly looking rifle that is a sweet shooter and place the bullet where I want it than a great looking rifle that has so so accuracy.

    For me a pretty rifle is in its accuracy. And I understand these Howa rifles have proven themselves.
  10. HennieV

    HennieV New Member

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    Gerhard, when you are in SA... Please don't forget our fishing trip. I also have a .243 and I'll take you out for a couple of shots and introduce you to George Kiesling my gunsmith.
  11. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    Thanks Hennie,

    I am back some where in May.

    Will keep you updated.
  12. Vetaikaran

    Vetaikaran AH Member

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    Gerhard

    What I mean is that the 6.5 caliber is a far better choice than the 243. You could take a 6.5X55 Swede which is a very common caliber & ammo should be available in SA. If you used US made ammo you would get performance similar to the 6.5X54MS & if you used Norma ammo, you are closer to the 7mm08. If you reload with 125 gr Nosler partitions you are almost at 270 levels! The round is very mild in recoil & only a bit more than a 243. Good luck with your trip.:m16:
  13. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    Vetaikaran,

    Thanks for the info.

    I will have to look around a bit in South Africa and see if components for reloading is available as well as the rifles.
  14. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Gerhard...........the .243 is a good cartridge, as is the .260 Rem., 7-08, and the 6.5x55.

    I simply answered your questions about the .243 and did not suggest alternatives as several have done, as you didn't ask for options. I may have missed it, but one of the key issues is what you are going to use the rifle for specifically. The other, as you have already mentioned, is availability of components. These are things you can easily determine.

    I guess my only advice........something you probably do not need anyways......is that if your intended use leans more towards varmints with some use for springbok or impala, I would carry on with the .243. If it is the other way around, mostly game animals and occasional varminting, then one of the others makes better sense probably in the long run.

    Rifles in 6.5x55 are very easy to get here in Canada and a good one, such as a Husqvarna 1600 series, can be had for $300-$400 Canadian. Very useful cartridge. But I have no idea how easy used rifle and components are to get in your neck of the woods and I have never heard South Africans talking about it, but you would know better.
  15. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    Thanks for info Kelly,

    All are great calibres and I have done some research in all of them.

    But I still think the 243 Win will do exactly what I want to do with this type of calibre, might upgrade to 243 AI later on if I think I need bit more speed.

    Will be looking for heavy barrel Howa in May once I get back home...
  16. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    My current long range coyote rifle is a wildcat .25-.284 Win. with a heavy 26 inch tube on a Belgian FN mauser action. It will consistently put 5 shots into a cm and more than one coyote that stopped way out there with a smug look on his face has received a heck of a surprise. I have also use it to take a number of big whitetail and I am going to use it in Alberta this coming fall for pronghorn.

    Another very common wildcat over here based on the same case is the 6mm-.284.
  17. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I agree with Kelly as I thought this was a bout the 243. Myself I never was to wild about this caliber for anything other than varmints as I've seen more than my share of lost deer by other hunters... and talk about blood shot meat using nozler partitions It wasn't pretty.
    I'm not certain On what you have for powder or components over there but I would consider a 25/06 if you are varmint hunting only, or a 270 winchester. If you reload you can make the cases from 30/06 and the powders are for the most part interchangeable. Getting brass should be fairly easy as most american hunters would probably leave spare cases.
    The 270 should have plenty of speed & yet give a little more knock down than the 243 on bigger animals!
  18. owenowen

    owenowen AH Veteran

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    info

    HI Gerhad,

    Another gun you should check out is the 25-06 Remington.

    When i was hunting in the eastern cape in SA i saw one that was owned by a gunsmith that was on the hunt, i saw him take great deadly sniper shots at mountain reedbuck and a bushbuck ram that was easy about 300 m one shot down ! All i know is the point is light similiar to the 243 and having the 30-06 case builds up alot of pressure for the long distance shots.
  19. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Owenowen............I also have a .25-06 and I have used it extensively for about 25 years now. With the bullets available today it truely capable of a lot of things.

    I do not recomment it for really big game, but I have taken a number of caribou, elk, moose and big black bear with it and had no problems.............but again, it is not what I would recommend nor what I would deliberately pick out of the gun rack for that size of game.

    The quarter bores are super cartridges and to be honest, having a .25-06 has kept me from getting another .270, which I also had for years. I just don't see any tangible difference really in how fast animals go down.

    I stick to 100 - 120 grain bullets such as Barnes TSX, Nosler Partition, Swift, Trophy Bonded and the Nosler 110 grain Accubond. For game from Springbok up to 200 kg I wouldn't hesitate to use it
  20. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the info guys,

    I will be buying a 243Win in May.

    My 303 Brit is accurate for one shot kills at 250 meters. So the bigger animals upto Eland size will get the 303 Brit.

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