My .243 story so far...

@BigSteve57
At times it's both. Wrong projectiles and a person who can't shoot as well as they think..
I've seen good shooters fail with the wrong projectiles and bad shooters fail with the right projectiles.
I've also seen good shooters fail with the right projectiles.
Not everyone is perfect, especially me.
I try and match projectiles to game but sometimes have a bad shit. When that happens usually the 2nd shot solves the problem.
Bib
100 % agreed, in general. However, my response was calibrated to the specific conditions you described.
 
100 % agreed, in general. However, my response was calibrated to the specific conditions you described.
@BigSteve57
I thought so.
@Peterwho is a pretty good shot and both animals were shot at the same distance with the same placement and same Remington factory projectiles PSPCL.
In the federal blue box with 100gn soft points I have seen mixed results in goats and Roo's from working extremely well to penciling thru with chest shots. Both these are light thin skinned game.
I personally find the 243 unpredictable with its projectiles as they are designed for north American game. In Australia it's more important to select the right bullet as a lot of game hunted here is thin skinned light game. For bigger game and ultra reliable performance on it as well as smaller game in my book it's just hard to go past the 95gn SST. It give great expansion on light game with the super shock tip but still holds together to penetrate well.
Just my humble opinion of a lot of game shot with the SST. If they made it in a 225gn for the Whelen I would but them in bulk and be happy for most of my hunting. Already use them in 25 and 308 with great results.
Bob
 
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@BigSteve57
I thought so.
@Peterwho is a pretty good shot and both animals were shot at the same distance with the same placement and same Remington factory projectiles PSPCL.
In the federal blue box with 100gn soft points I have seen mixed results in goats and Roo's from working extremely well to penciling thru with chest shots. Both these are light thin skinned game.
I personally find the 243 unpredictable with its projectiles as they are designed for north American game. In Australia it's more important to select the right bullet as a lot of game hunted here is thin skinned light game. For bigger game and ultra reliable performance on it as well as smaller game in my book it's just hard to go past the 95gn SST. It give great expansion on light game with the super shock tip but still holds together to penetrate well.
Just my humble opinion of a lot of game shot with the SST. If they made it in a 225gn for the Whelen I would but them in bulk and be happy for most of my hunting. Already use them in 25 and 308 with great results.
Bob
There is no question that there are all kinds cartridges that may be ballistically superior to the .243 and "might" result in better hunting results. YMMV LOL! We do try to be keenly aware of any round's limitations.

However, one of the things we give great weight to in choosing a hunting round is availability. If we think the round will not be readily available in a rural USA hardware store we won't buy it for hunting.

For example, I have done a lot of varmint hunting and wanted to get a great bolt action rifle for that specific purpose. I wanted 22-250 Remington. The gunsmith that was advising me on a rifle, caliber and scope insisted 6mm Remington was "better" for all kinds of reasons. Agreed! However he conceded 22-250 would be much easier to find in stores (at least he thought so at the time) so, it was 22-250.

In the end I'm really rather agnostic when it comes to hunting rounds. The rounds we have for hunting are .22LR, 22-250, .243, 30-06, 300 WM, and .375 H&H mag. That's it lol. They are all very, probably boringly, common.
 
There is no question that there are all kinds cartridges that may be ballistically superior to the .243 and "might" result in better hunting results. YMMV LOL! We do try to be keenly aware of any round's limitations.

However, one of the things we give great weight to in choosing a hunting round is availability. If we think the round will not be readily available in a rural USA hardware store we won't buy it for hunting.

For example, I have done a lot of varmint hunting and wanted to get a great bolt action rifle for that specific purpose. I wanted 22-250 Remington. The gunsmith that was advising me on a rifle, caliber and scope insisted 6mm Remington was "better" for all kinds of reasons. Agreed! However he conceded 22-250 would be much easier to find in stores (at least he thought so at the time) so, it was 22-250.

In the end I'm really rather agnostic when it comes to hunting rounds. The rounds we have for hunting are .22LR, 22-250, .243, 30-06, 300 WM, and .375 H&H mag. That's it lol. They are all very, probably boringly, common.
@BigSteve57
I agree with your logic
But to me availability doesn't enter into it. That's why I reload and have a bucket full of components for my cartridge choices. The rounds I have settled on are unfortunately reloaders choices and not commonly available. Even store bought rounds for my once common 222rem are hard to find in gunshops nowadays. You used to be able to buy them and 22 hornet cartridges at almost any outback store but not
now. Cartridge popularity comes and goes as time goes by. I can go to my local gunshop and buy 223,243,270, 6.5 creede and a few others, but when I bought his four boxes of Whelen to fire form in my AI no more were available and that's 6 years ago.
To a lot of hunters/ shooters availability is important but to those that reload availability doesn't really enter into it as they can roll their own that are fit for purpose.
Fortunately I'm not a logical person and different is good for me.
Bob
 
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

And you left out, "Hits harder than a 35 Whelen!"

lol
 
Shot placement is king. I've never been a fan of the 243 win until i got my nieces into shooting. When i was looking at selection of rifles and ammo plus cost I saw merit in the light recoiling round. My nieces (13-15 years old) proved to be excellent shots through out a couple summers of practice. Started them with a 22lr w/irons, then I bought a ruger hawkeye 243 and a couple cases of ammo at 20$ a box (remington core-lokt 100gr). They were shooting 1 inch groups at 100 yards with it. First week of youth season I took them out, the older niece shot a two point mule buck at 175 yards, one shot kill. Dropped the buck in its tracks. The younger one also took one the following year at around 150 yards, 2 shots did the trick (first shot was a little back as the buck was on the move). Last year I took the younger one out for spring bear and she shot a 7' squared color phase black bear at 150 yards. Dropped the bear on the spot with a double lung and exit. I was really impressed and since it's got me thinking had they used a 257. 25-06. 6.5mm's. 270. or 308. I dont think it would have killed any better or seen a difference other than recoil.

I still prefer my 6.5mm's, 7mm's, 30-06, 8x57's with heavy for cal bullets but people who crap on the 243 have either poor shots or havent used one before or use the the wrong type of bullet for the game thier hunting. Use the right bullet and place it where it counts and you'll have dead game on the ground in no time.

mG4GC7k.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shot placement is king. I've never been a fan of the 243 win until i got my nieces into shooting. When i was looking at selection of rifles and ammo plus cost I saw merit in the light recoiling round. My nieces (13-15 years old) proved to be excellent shots through out a couple summers of practice. Started them with a 22lr w/irons, then I bought a ruger hawkeye 243 and a couple cases of ammo at 20$ a box (remington core-lokt 100gr). They were shooting 1 inch groups at 100 yards with it. First week of youth season I took them out, the older niece shot a two point mule buck at 175 yards, one shot kill. Dropped the buck in its tracks. The younger one also took one the following year at around 150 yards, 2 shots did the trick (first shot was a little back as the buck was on the move). Last year I took the younger one out for spring bear and she shot a 7' squared color phase black bear at 150 yards. Dropped the bear on the spot with a double lung and exit. I was really impressed and since it's got me thinking had they used a 257. 25-06. 6.5mm's. 270. or 308. I dont think it would have killed any better or seen a difference other than recoil.

I still prefer my 6.5mm's, 7mm's, 30-06, 8x57's with heavy for cal bullets but people who crap on the 243 have either poor shots or havent used one before or use the the wrong type of bullet for the game thier hunting. Use the right bullet and place it where it counts and you'll have dead game on the ground in no time.

View attachment 609880
@mauser98
In Australia it usually a case of wrong bullet for the game. A lot of people here swear by any 87 grainers for everything.
Bob
 
I’m also a fan of the .243. I just haven’t found a rifle in this calibre that I liked enough to keep. Always have my eye open for one as it’s a great round for the little Blacktail deer we have around here.

Have you looked at the Tikka T3X Super Light in 243 Win? I have one and it is a wonderful rifle that is light and shoot extremely well.
I shoot and reload the Barnes 80 gr TTSX bullet.
Very happy with it and can comfortably carry it all day.
 

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