Is a .243 a good round for deer and coyote

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by nuval.J2711, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Pheroze

    Pheroze SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Jul 6, 2013
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    South Africa, Canada, USA
    I was so thankful for the advice and time given to Nuval's question until I read:

    "Get Dad to spend that little bit extra... "

    At which point I changed my mind.:smash::laughing:

  2. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

    Apr 3, 2013
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    Benefactor NRA, African Safari Club, SCI Life Member, SCI South Florida, NSSF
    Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique
    When I was your age I went through exactly the same thing with my dad. On Christmas morning lo and behold, a Winchester Model 70 in .25/06 magically appeared under the tree complete with a 3x9 Leupold!

    When I asked him why he went with that over the 243, he explained to me that the fellow with the gun shop had informed him that the recoil level was very similar with similar weight bullets, the 25/06 was a bit flatter shooting and had the heavier 120 gr bullets available for bigger deer, sheep and even possibly elk. I would think it would do just fine for 90% of the African plains species as well, its not too far behind a .270 with 130's, we all know how well a .270 works. Yet with 60 to 90 grain bullets, it's one of the best varmint rifles out there.

    That was the only rifle I had through college and I used it to take countless prairie dogs, woodchucks, jackrabbits, coyotes, mule deer, whitetails, antelope and even an elk. Because I used it so much I became intimately familiar with it and anything within about 400 yards was in great danger whether it was running or not.

    It also happened to be one of the most accurate rifles I've ever owned. I found it very easy to reload for as a beginner. I recall using 55 gr of H4831 with 100 grain Sierra as my favorite all-around load, mild by today's standards but never lost an animal with it and it shot consistent half inch groups at 100.

    I moved up to the 117 gr Nosler partitions (they are now 120s) when I went to the University of Wyoming, for mulies and elk, made the longest big game shot of my life with it on a pronghorn antelope at over 400 yards. We didn't have rangefinders in those days so we got really good at guessing, but I held slightly over the shoulder of that goat, the rifle was sighted in at 300 yards, and I hit him low in the heart so 400 seems a very conservative estimate.

    I would say about a third of the big game hunting I did with it in those ten years I would not have been as confident doing with a .243. In fact when I went away to school I was really glad I didn't have a 243. Not that the 243 is a bad round, in fact I really like it and have two of them today, it's just not as versatile on the larger stuff whereas the 25/06 gives up nothing to a 243 on the smaller stuff.

    Yep, looking back I think my dad made the perfect choice that Christmas!

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