My .243 story so far...

Badboymelvin

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Hey crew,

Thought I'd just do a write up about my .243 (y)

A while ago I decided l wanted a .243. There were a few reason for this...

My daughter and wife are more often coming out with me on my hunting trips and they like to shoot - mainly my .22, but they have shot my bigger rifles.
In fact my wife once fired off not just 1 but 2 shots with my .458 shooting 500gn reloads at over 2150fps - staunch!
BTW... Girls that shoot .458 Win Mag's as their first ever rifle experience are keepers! :love:

But l wanted something smaller that they would actually enjoy shooting - but still big enough that they knew they were shooting a rifle... and l figured a .243 would fit the bill nicely.

Another reason l was after a .243 was my 10 year old son, Harry is now my dedicated hunting buddy.
He's out with me nearly every trip and he's super keen to bag his first deer. In a couple years he'll be old enough to do that and l wanted a rifle that would be capable of taking Fallow deer, but mild enough that he would be able to shoot it comfortably.
And once again I thought a .243 would be a good choice.

And lastly, l was after a .243 because l really like the cartridge. I know the .243 has it's detractors - as well as it's supporters, but l have just always liked it.
So it was settled, l wanted a .243!

So the journey began of looking at all the online gun-sale websites, as well as keeping an eye on here and the local gun-shops.
But I had a few stipulations for my .243...
Firstly, it had to be something light, trim and handy. As this rifle was primarily going to be used for people of smaller stature, I wanted it to be as light and handy as possible.
Also when l think of .243, in my mind l just think of a rifle that's light, trim, handy and something that's not a burden to carry...

And the second stipulation was it had to be cheap!

So I was casually looking for a while, with nothing really jumping out at me when l got a message from Mal (Kiwifire111)
Now, Mal is a dear friend to me and my family and has done a lot for us...
So Mal had heard that l was looking for a .243 for my wife and kids and promptly told me that he had a spare .243 in his safe - and he was sending it my way!
What an incredible gesture and it just speaks volumes of the man Mal is... just an absolute champion. Thank you Mal (y)


So now I had a .243!
And as it was gifted to me for my family, it made it extra special.
It also just happened to tick all the boxes.
It was a light, trim little Churchill built on a '98 Mauser action. It had a 21" barrel with a wood stock - which was a nice change, as all my other hunting rifles are fitted with synthetic stocks.
The first thing l did with my new .243 was strip it down and give the stock a sand, re-stain and oil-finish.
While l was working on the stock, l sent the barrelled-action to Schwarz Gunsmithing to dock the barrel to 18" (to remove an imperfection) and give it a a target crown. l then glass-bedded the action and free-floated the barrel.

The little rifle had now had a face-lift!

Bob ( Bob Nelson 35Whelen ) very generously gifted me a scope for my .243, an Arctic Fox 3.5-10 - which would've been absolutely perfect... but it didn't fit!
It was too short for the rings l had on the rifle - and changing rings weren't really an option as they were propriety rings and hard to find.
Bummer...
So I raided the cupboard and fitted the only spare scope l had, a BSA 4-16x44. This was a fraction bigger than what l would have liked but it was sitting there doing nothing, so on it went.
I then sat down at the reloading bench and worked out a couple of loads...

The first load l tried was the 95gn Nosler Ballistic Tip, which CBH Australia had very kindly sent me to try - but the little rifle hated them with a passion and patterned them instead of grouped, so that was soon scrapped.
So plan A was scrapped and on to plan B!
Plan B was the Hornady 87gn V-Max.
I was actually keen to try the V-Max 87gn and this was for a couple of reasons...
Firstly, it was the projectile most recommended for Fallow deer when l put up a poll on another forum - and secondly, it would hopefully get me a bit more speed out of my short 18" barrel.

Well, you have to love when a plan comes together!
The rifle like the 87gn V-Max load.
It grouped well, and it had a MV of around 2900fps - which l actually didn't think was too bad considering it was fired out of an 18" barrel.
Also the slower speed also meant that it might not be as explosive and l might get a little more penetration out of it and anyway, it wouldn't be used past 200m so l found this velocity acceptable.

So, there's the story so far on my .243.
All that's left is to try it out in the field... and hopefully that will be soon.

I absolutely love this rifle.
It is everything I was looking for in a .243
It comes in at around 6.6lbs, is handy and joy to carry.
What a little firecracker!
Once again l want to thank everyone for their generosity

And l really look forward to shooting this rifle a bit more... once my daughter gives it back!

Thanks for reading...

Russ

12738-120524104928-42000942.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I'm sorry, but you must be dreaming up this story about your .243 ...

@Bob Nelson 35Whelen helping out in a .243 build ? No way, completely unbelievable...

:E Rofl: :E Rofl: :E Rofl:

But a neat rifle in any case. The barrel seems a bit short though, to the forend.
 
Great story and that rifle has tidied up very nicely.
I'm also a 243W fan. I like it so much I have two of them. One a Sako M591, retro fitted with a True Flite 23 inch barrel. It's a little laser. The other a Ruger American Rifle Predator with a crappy plastic stock and a barrel with such a rough bore I almost asked for a refund, but was persuaded to shoot first. I was simply amazed at how accurate it is.
Both are used almost exclusively for varmints and have accounted for many Hares, Rabbits, Magpies, Turkeys, Feral Cats etc... Maninly I shoot Hornady V-Max 87 gn and Hornady ELD-X 90 gn. The biggest aninmals I have shot are Feral Goats, Fallow and Sika Deer. Shots at Goats and Deer I keep to a max of 200 yds or so which works fine.
It's a fantastic calibre and hunting and shooting it is pure pleasure.
 
Hey crew,

Thought I'd just do a write up about my .243 (y)

A while ago I decided l wanted a .243. There were a few reason for this...

My daughter and wife are more often coming out with me on my hunting trips and they like to shoot - mainly my .22, but they have shot my bigger rifles.
In fact my wife once fired off not just 1 but 2 shots with my .458 shooting 500gn reloads at over 2150fps - staunch!
BTW... Girls that shoot .458 Win Mag's as their first ever rifle experience are keepers! :love:

But l wanted something smaller that they would actually enjoy shooting - but still big enough that they knew they were shooting a rifle... and l figured a .243 would fit the bill nicely.

Another reason l was after a .243 was my 10 year old son, Harry is now my dedicated hunting buddy.
He's out with me nearly every trip and he's super keen to bag his first deer. In a couple years he'll be old enough to do that and l wanted a rifle that would be capable of taking Fallow deer, but mild enough that he would be able to shoot it comfortably.
And once again I thought a .243 would be a good choice.

And lastly, l was after a .243 because l really like the cartridge. I know the .243 has it's detractors - as well as it's supporters, but l have just always liked it.
So it was settled, l wanted a .243!

So the journey began of looking at all the online gun-sale websites, as well as keeping an eye on here and the local gun-shops.
But I had a few stipulations for my .243...
Firstly, it had to be something light, trim and handy. As this rifle was primarily going to be used for people of smaller stature, I wanted it to be as light and handy as possible.
Also when l think of .243, in my mind l just think of a rifle that's light, trim, handy and something that's not a burden to carry...

And the second stipulation was it had to be cheap!

So I was casually looking for a while, with nothing really jumping out at me when l got a message from Mal (Kiwifire111)
Now, Mal is a dear friend to me and my family and has done a lot for us...
So Mal had heard that l was looking for a .243 for my wife and kids and promptly told me that he had a spare .243 in his safe - and he was sending it my way!
What an incredible gesture and it just speaks volumes of the man Mal is... just an absolute champion. Thank you Mal (y)


So now I had a .243!
And as it was gifted to me for my family, it made it extra special.
It also just happened to tick all the boxes.
It was a light, trim little Churchill built on a '98 Mauser action. It had a 21" barrel with a wood stock - which was a nice change, as all my other hunting rifles are fitted with synthetic stocks.
The first thing l did with my new .243 was strip it down and give the stock a sand, re-stain and oil-finish.
While l was working on the stock, l sent the barrelled-action to Schwarz Gunsmithing to dock the barrel to 18" (to remove an imperfection) and give it a a target crown. l then glass-bedded the action and free-floated the barrel.

The little rifle had now had a face-lift!

Bob ( Bob Nelson 35Whelen ) very generously gifted me a scope for my .243, an Arctic Fox 3.5-10 - which would've been absolutely perfect... but it didn't fit!
It was too short for the rings l had on the rifle - and changing rings weren't really an option as they were propriety rings and hard to find.
Bummer...
So I raided the cupboard and fitted the only spare scope l had, a BSA 4-16x44. This was a fraction bigger than what l would have liked but it was sitting there doing nothing, so on it went.
I then sat down at the reloading bench and worked out a couple of loads...

The first load l tried was the 95gn Nosler Ballistic Tip, which CBH Australia had very kindly sent me to try - but the little rifle hated them with a passion and patterned them instead of grouped, so that was soon scrapped.
So plan A was scrapped and on to plan B!
Plan B was the Hornady 87gn V-Max.
I was actually keen to try the V-Max 87gn and this was for a couple of reasons...
Firstly, it was the projectile most recommended for Fallow deer when l put up a poll on another forum - and secondly, it would hopefully get me a bit more speed out of my short 18" barrel.

Well, you have to love when a plan comes together!
The rifle like the 87gn V-Max load.
It grouped well, and it had a MV of around 2900fps - which l actually didn't think was too bad considering it was fired out of an 18" barrel.
Also the slower speed also meant that it might not be as explosive and l might get a little more penetration out of it and anyway, it wouldn't be used past 200m so l found this velocity acceptable.

So, there's the story so far on my .243.
All that's left is to try it out in the field... and hopefully that will be soon.

I absolutely love this rifle.
It is everything I was looking for in a .243
It comes in at around 6.6lbs, is handy and joy to carry.
What a little firecracker!
Once again l want to thank everyone for their generosity

And l really look forward to shooting this rifle a bit more... once my daughter gives it back!

Thanks for reading...

Russ

View attachment 607138
@Badboymelvin
Russ
Please don't use those 87gn VMax on anything bigger than a small goat unless you are using head shots. They are the most miserable shit performing Bullet on medium game that I have come across. I have seen that much wounded game with them that I have had to finish off that it turned me off the 243 for life.
It is a Carmit bullet NOT a game bullet despite what everyone will tell you.
My mates used to use the same bullet on pigs,goats and fallow. When it worked it worked well but more often than not it was a miserable failure.
When I started reloading it for a couple of friends they tried the 95gn ballistic tip. Another miserable failure. Either blew up to soon or didn't expand at all and only sometimes worked. You just didn't know what one of the three would happen when you pulled the trigger. Finding a load that would group in their tikka T3 lites was a nightmare.
Convinced them to try the 95gn SST and it worked a treat. I also loaded som 100gn round nose and the worked well on bigger pigs and rattled them to their core.
Despite these bullets changing the performance of the 243 I have been out of by people using the wrong projectiles for the game hunted. This affected me to the point that I grew to really hate the 243 and shudder with fear like a dog shiting razor blades when I hunt with someone using one. I know I'm going to end up finishing game off for them because 99% if the time they will have it loaded with an 87gn of some type. Some even use a 58 or 62gn bullet for hunting.
Bob
 
@Badboymelvin
Russ
Please don't use those 87gn VMax on anything bigger than a small goat unless you are using head shots. They are the most miserable shit performing Bullet on medium game that I have come across. I have seen that much wounded game with them that I have had to finish off that it turned me off the 243 for life.
It is a Carmit bullet NOT a game bullet despite what everyone will tell you.
My mates used to use the same bullet on pigs,goats and fallow. When it worked it worked well but more often than not it was a miserable failure.
When I started reloading it for a couple of friends they tried the 95gn ballistic tip. Another miserable failure. Either blew up to soon or didn't expand at all and only sometimes worked. You just didn't know what one of the three would happen when you pulled the trigger. Finding a load that would group in their tikka T3 lites was a nightmare.
Convinced them to try the 95gn SST and it worked a treat. I also loaded som 100gn round nose and the worked well on bigger pigs and rattled them to their core.
Despite these bullets changing the performance of the 243 I have been out of by people using the wrong projectiles for the game hunted. This affected me to the point that I grew to really hate the 243 and shudder with fear like a dog shiting razor blades when I hunt with someone using one. I know I'm going to end up finishing game off for them because 99% if the time they will have it loaded with an 87gn of some type. Some even use a 58 or 62gn bullet for hunting.
Bob
Suddenly all feels right in the world…
 
We've hunted with the .243 for decades. It's a perfect round for whitetail deer and available in numerous cartridge configurations. My wife loves it. It's also likely to be on a shelf in a rural USA hardware store.
 
@Badboymelvin
Russ
Please don't use those 87gn VMax on anything bigger than a small goat unless you are using head shots. They are the most miserable shit performing Bullet on medium game that I have come across. I have seen that much wounded game with them that I have had to finish off that it turned me off the 243 for life.
It is a Carmit bullet NOT a game bullet despite what everyone will tell you.
My mates used to use the same bullet on pigs,goats and fallow. When it worked it worked well but more often than not it was a miserable failure.
When I started reloading it for a couple of friends they tried the 95gn ballistic tip. Another miserable failure. Either blew up to soon or didn't expand at all and only sometimes worked. You just didn't know what one of the three would happen when you pulled the trigger. Finding a load that would group in their tikka T3 lites was a nightmare.
Convinced them to try the 95gn SST and it worked a treat. I also loaded som 100gn round nose and the worked well on bigger pigs and rattled them to their core.
Despite these bullets changing the performance of the 243 I have been out of by people using the wrong projectiles for the game hunted. This affected me to the point that I grew to really hate the 243 and shudder with fear like a dog shiting razor blades when I hunt with someone using one. I know I'm going to end up finishing game off for them because 99% if the time they will have it loaded with an 87gn of some type. Some even use a 58 or 62gn bullet for hunting.
Bob
Well, I'm throwing a card on the table, like a New Orleans gambler.

I'm not a .243 fan, having owned exactly one rifle, a Remington 700 .243.
Didn't like the rifle, and it went down the road. Still have the dies and brass.
I keep thinking about the cartridge, and maybe a Ruger 77 or a Winchester 70.
Better class of neighbors than Remington. I see the potential.

Sorry @ BobNelson35Whelen.
I know we are blood brothers among Colonel Townsend Whelen's righteous adherents and still are.

But, what about an accurate quality .243 rifle?
Does the 85 grain Barnes TSX .243 take it to the level of a .257 Roberts, or even 25-06?

I'm thinking that around me, Southern (small) Whitetail deer, and maybe a 200# feral hog?
Plus, taking a coyote or bobcat that gets in the way, or threatens my cats.
And taking more coyotes.
I extremely dislike the coyotes around me.

Damn, this thread has got me planning on my next rifle. It's okay, I can stop buying rifles.
Really, I can.
Just a Winchester 70 Featherweight, BACO production, and I will be fine.

Just thinking for discussion, what if the .243 Barnes 85 gr TSX (or other premium bullet) could equate to a .257 Roberts, a well-respected and proven cartridge around here?
 
Great calibre, great write up.
I’m glad the whole family are on board and that you make many hunting memories.
 
We've hunted with the .243 for decades. It's a perfect round for whitetail deer and available in numerous cartridge configurations. My wife loves it. It's also likely to be on a shelf in a rural USA hardware store.
@BigSteve57
But what projectiles were you using
Bob
 
Well, I'm throwing a card on the table, like a New Orleans gambler.

I'm not a .243 fan, having owned exactly one rifle, a Remington 700 .243.
Didn't like the rifle, and it went down the road. Still have the dies and brass.
I keep thinking about the cartridge, and maybe a Ruger 77 or a Winchester 70.
Better class of neighbors than Remington. I see the potential.

Sorry @ BobNelson35Whelen.
I know we are blood brothers among Colonel Townsend Whelen's righteous adherents and still are.

But, what about an accurate quality .243 rifle?
Does the 85 grain Barnes TSX .243 take it to the level of a .257 Roberts, or even 25-06?

I'm thinking that around me, Southern (small) Whitetail deer, and maybe a 200# feral hog?
Plus, taking a coyote or bobcat that gets in the way, or threatens my cats.
And taking more coyotes.
I extremely dislike the coyotes around me.

Damn, this thread has got me planning on my next rifle. It's okay, I can stop buying rifles.
Really, I can.
Just a Winchester 70 Featherweight, BACO production, and I will be fine.

Just thinking for discussion, what if the .243 Barnes 85 gr TSX (or other premium bullet) could equate to a .257 Roberts, a well-respected and proven cartridge around here?
@cajunchefray
Shame on you for even thinking the horrible little 243 loaded with a Barnes would equal a 157 Roberts. Y'all must have been eatin to many shrimp poboys and drinkin to much moonshine it seems to have given y'all a temporary loss of memory of why you ain't got one
NO MATTER WHAT YOU LOAD IN THE 243 IT WILL NEVER BE A 25 OF ANY TYPE. Well maybe a 25 cal air rifle
A 100gn TTSX out of a properly loaded Roberts will give over 3,200fps and 54gn of H4350 will give it 3,440fps out of a 25 ought six. Both well out of the 243s league. An 80gn TTSX in the 25-06 can be pushed to 3,600fps.
If'n y'all want a nice little 25 that will still shit all over the 243 get a lovely little 250 Savage made up on a Remington Model 7 or a 788.
Y'all is lucky you had a Whelen otherwise I would have really come down on you.
@Badboymelvin is young the same as @CBH Australia so they don't know better no matter how much I try to tell them.
But a man of your superior intelligence and breeding should know better.
Bob
 
@cajunchefray
Shame on you for even thinking the horrible little 243 loaded with a Barnes would equal a 157 Roberts. Y'all must have been eatin to many shrimp poboys and drinkin to much moonshine it seems to have given y'all a temporary loss of memory of why you ain't got one
NO MATTER WHAT YOU LOAD IN THE 243 IT WILL NEVER BE A 25 OF ANY TYPE. Well maybe a 25 cal air rifle
A 100gn TTSX out of a properly loaded Roberts will give over 3,200fps and 54gn of H4350 will give it 3,440fps out of a 25 ought six. Both well out of the 243s league. An 80gn TTSX in the 25-06 can be pushed to 3,600fps.
If'n y'all want a nice little 25 that will still shit all over the 243 get a lovely little 250 Savage made up on a Remington Model 7 or a 788.
Y'all is lucky you had a Whelen otherwise I would have really come down on you.
@Badboymelvin is young the same as @CBH Australia so they don't know better no matter how much I try to tell them.
But a man of your superior intelligence and breeding should know better.
Bob
ah there is our Bob!
 
@Badboymelvin
Russ
Please don't use those 87gn VMax on anything bigger than a small goat unless you are using head shots. They are the most miserable shit performing Bullet on medium game that I have come across. I have seen that much wounded game with them that I have had to finish off that it turned me off the 243 for life.
It is a Carmit bullet NOT a game bullet despite what everyone will tell you.
My mates used to use the same bullet on pigs,goats and fallow. When it worked it worked well but more often than not it was a miserable failure.
When I started reloading it for a couple of friends they tried the 95gn ballistic tip. Another miserable failure. Either blew up to soon or didn't expand at all and only sometimes worked. You just didn't know what one of the three would happen when you pulled the trigger. Finding a load that would group in their tikka T3 lites was a nightmare.
Convinced them to try the 95gn SST and it worked a treat. I also loaded som 100gn round nose and the worked well on bigger pigs and rattled them to their core.
Despite these bullets changing the performance of the 243 I have been out of by people using the wrong projectiles for the game hunted. This affected me to the point that I grew to really hate the 243 and shudder with fear like a dog shiting razor blades when I hunt with someone using one. I know I'm going to end up finishing game off for them because 99% if the time they will have it loaded with an 87gn of some type. Some even use a 58 or 62gn bullet for hunting.
Bob

Like l said Bob, l ran a poll on an Australian hunting forum and asked what the best projectile was for Fallow and the 87gn V-Max was the clear winner.

I had more than one person private message me and tell me that they hunt/ cull Fallow deer with the .243 (one has culled hundreds) and what they use is the 87gn V-Max loaded up in the OSA factory ammo - that they buy in bulk.
This was one of the reasons it's such a popular load in the .243, because you can buy it in bulk loaded by OSA.

So that's why l chose it, because it was what was the most recommended to me.
It was also the most accurate in my rifle.

All l can do is try it. If it works l'll keep using it - and if it doesn't, l'll try something else (y)

Russ
 
Russ, get out a smack a Fallow mate. Then we can sing praise of the . 243 for Bob.
Better make it soon before someone in your family claims that rifle and flattens a Fallow for you.
 

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Do you still have this rifle? I'm in the KC area on business and I'm very interested.
 
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