243 or 308?
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:18 PM   #1
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Default 243 or 308?

I am wanting to get a rifle I can use for both coyotes and deer. I have to go kill some coyotes on a friends farm in the next week or so and the shots could potentially be quite far (200-350) yards. I've killed deer at over 230 yards with a 243 and think it would do fine at 350 ONCE IM PROFICIENT at that distance. The two rifles I'm looking at is a new in box savage predator 243 with a Nikon bdc scope and a used 308 ruger american predator with no optic. My budget is about 700. I'm leaning towards the 308 because it is cheaper ($400 after taxes compared to $650 before taxes for the savage). The american would save me some money to put towards a better optic...any suggestions?

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Old 11-18-2014, 07:25 PM   #2
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For the record, I'd love to be able to punch paper at some of the lo get ranges too. I'd love to be able to eventually get to the 1000 yard line, but that's a ways off. Just thought I'd throw that out there too.

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Old 11-18-2014, 08:18 PM   #3
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Personally I would go with the 308. It is a lot more versatile. You can find milsurp 308 ammo sometimes. A 243 is a 308 that has been necked down. The 243 leaves a lot to be desired in a rifle. I have health problems. A 243 would suit me a lot better but I have yet to buy a 243. I am not ready to give up the knock down power of the larger calibers. When I shoot a deer with one of my current rifles it just flops. There is no chasing a wounded deer through the woods. A friend of mine shot a deer with a 25/06 in the field behind her house. The deers front legs were paralyzed but the deer was moving away at a good speed by just pushing with it's hind legs. She chased the deer down and killed it. But she ran a good 200 yards before she got another shot.

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Old 11-18-2014, 08:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CaseyChadwell View Post
I am wanting to get a rifle I can use for both coyotes and deer. I have to go kill some coyotes on a friends farm in the next week or so and the shots could potentially be quite far (200-350) yards. I've killed deer at over 230 yards with a 243 and think it would do fine at 350 ONCE IM PROFICIENT at that distance. The two rifles I'm looking at is a new in box savage predator 243 with a Nikon bdc scope and a used 308 ruger american predator with no optic. My budget is about 700. I'm leaning towards the 308 because it is cheaper ($400 after taxes compared to $650 before taxes for the savage). The american would save me some money to put towards a better optic...any suggestions?
ever given any thought to the 7mm-08? would be the perfect cartridge for your intended usage. very mild recoil. about middle ways in between the 243 and the 308. most are very accurate, even with factory ammo.

i like both my 243 and my 308, but given the type of hunting you are talking about, my 7mm-08 would be a much better suited cartridge.

and there are several rifles in that cartridge that wouldn't break your budget, like the Savage Axis or the Marlin X7. either one would still leave you with a a decent amount leftover for a good scope.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:07 PM   #5
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For the record, I'd love to be able to punch paper at some of the longer ranges too. I'd love to be able to eventually get to the 1000 yard line, but that's a ways off. Just thought I'd throw that out there too.

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Old 11-18-2014, 09:15 PM   #6
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Don't know why that last post double posted instead of edited, but it is what it is.

Yes I have thought about the 7-08 quite a bit. Also tossed around the idea of the .260. The only problem I can see with that is ammo selection is hit or miss in my area with the 7-08. With both the 243 & 308 I can find bulk ammo cheap and good quality ammo at my LGS. 7-08 ammo is harder to come across, the same is true with the 260...and that's a round I've always wanted. And those two rifles are the ones I'm looking at fairly hard. I've always spent a lot less money on the optic than I have the rifle, and kind of want to change that. That's another reason I'm leaning towards the 308, so I can buy a separate optic instead of buying the package. Am I being stubborn?

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Old 11-18-2014, 09:25 PM   #7
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Don't know why that last post double posted instead of edited, but it is what it is.

Yes I have thought about the 7-08 quite a bit. Also tossed around the idea of the .260. The only problem I can see with that is ammo selection is hit or miss in my area with the 7-08. With both the 243 & 308 I can find bulk ammo cheap and good quality ammo at my LGS. 7-08 ammo is harder to come across, the same is true with the 260...and that's a round I've always wanted. And those two rifles are the ones I'm looking at fairly hard. I've always spent a lot less money on the optic than I have the rifle, and kind of want to change that. That's another reason I'm leaning towards the 308, so I can buy a separate optic instead of buying the package. Am I being stubborn?
i was just offering an alternative suggestion given your intended use. i remember a short while ago about you wanting to reload. the 7mm-08 is easy to reload and hard to make a bad handload out of. ever since i started reloading my 7mm-08, the 243 and the 308 don't get shot near as much! i shoot probably a couple thousand rounds easily in 7mm-08. if i still hunted, either deer or larger varmints, it would easily be my first choice for my area. i have an older friend who sold off his 243 several years ago, and pretty much uses his 7mm-08 for all his hunting needs these days. he says what he hits, goes down.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:37 PM   #8
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One of my beat friends has a 7-08 barrel for his tc encore. He's had everything from 300 ultramags to 243s and he swears be his 7-08 and says its puts them down better than his past calibers. His dad reloads for the 7-08 and says they're easier to reload, so I could always get my own stuff and head over there one evening and use his equipment. Now that you say that, the 7-08 is a front runner with the other two. Know of any heavy barrel rifles fairly decently priced in 7-08?

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Old 11-18-2014, 09:57 PM   #9
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The 308 is a 1,000 yard shooter. Prior to the 50cal rifles the 308 was almost exclusively used by military snipers. Some of the records set with a 308 still stand today. The 7mm-08 is a great shooting cartridge for reloaders. You have already recognized the problems with the 7mm-08. It is hard to justify the cost of a reloading set up for the 50/60 rounds a year one shoots with a hunting rifle. I picked up an 8lb bottle of Varget for a friend today. $160 plus tax for 8 lb is a deal.... He is loading 300 win mag cartridges. almost 60gr of powder per cartridge.

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Old 11-18-2014, 10:04 PM   #10
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If I buy the bullets and cases, I think I can have my friends dad supply the powder if I give him some of the other components. Finding a 7-08 bull barrel is proving a hard find. Looked around online a bit and nothing yet.

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