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Old 12-11-2012, 07:17 PM   #21
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The .243 has always been a good performer in my book. I have only killed deer with it but, none have made even a single step once hit. I do consider the cartridge to be more limited than some others but, I would not categorize this as being "marginal." A .243 is perfectly capable of killing deer or antelope out to 300 yards or so. I would limit shots at elk to maybe 200 or yards or thereabouts.

I have had the best luck with 100 gr. Partitions though, as long as the rifle shot them well, I would have no qualms about shooting any of the premium, bonded core or monolithic hunting bullets from Nosler, Swift, Barnes, Hornady, etc. I'm even considering giving the Bergers a whirl. Their super-high BCs are quite intriguing. I don't ever shoot "regular" bullets at big game, no matter what cartridge I'm shooting.
Correct you are!!! If you are going to use the 'little' gun use the heavy tough bullets!
But you would have to agree you are operating on the 'upper margin' of this cartridges capabilities are you not?????
If you use a 243 on elk I hope you are in good physical shape!!!!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:19 PM   #22
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I'm from Catron County graduated from Reserve High I've hunted plenty in AZ and NMex.

The .243 is lethal for the Coues whitetatil deer. 90 to 100 grain plenty pill... Whatever shoots the flatest in his rifle.. Plenty of opportunity for cross canyon shots.

Edited to add.. Oops I see the hunt is allready over, congrats to your son nice Buck....

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:24 PM   #23
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I'm from Catron County graduated from Reserve High I've hunted plenty in AZ and NMex.

The .243 is lethal for those Coues deer. 90 to 100 grain plenty pill... Whatever shoots the flatest in his rifle.. Plenty of opportunity for cross canyon shots.
That is where a 243 really looses out. The bullets don't have the weight nor SD to be a good long range cartridge for anything other than varmints!
That is probably the greatest 'myth' about the 243!
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:13 AM   #24
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I'm from Catron County graduated from Reserve High I've hunted plenty in AZ and NMex.

The .243 is lethal for the Coues whitetatil deer. 90 to 100 grain plenty pill... Whatever shoots the flatest in his rifle.. Plenty of opportunity for cross canyon shots.

Edited to add.. Oops I see the hunt is allready over, congrats to your son nice Buck....
Thanks...we are now concentrating on Barbary sheep. We'll see how he handles the 270.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:01 PM   #25
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I agree with Jim that the .243 is at the upper end of it's performance capability on deer size game. One could make the argument that the .22 RF is perfectly adequate to kill deer and cows as many a deer has been killed with it by poachers and many a cow has been put down by the farmer preparing to butcher some beef. I have seen the .243 used very effectively on deer and hogs but to be CONSISTENTLY effective that shot needs to be in the right place and at the right distace. If I had to take a shot on a nice size white tail at 250 yards and the only shot I had was of the animal quartering away from me the .243 would sure as heck not be my choice of calibers. Give me a minimum of a .270 or 7mm with 150 gr. or heavier bullets or preferably a 30 caliber shooting 180 gr. bullets where I know I will reach the vitals for a humane kill. When someone says they have killed 20 -30 - etc. deer DRT with a .243 indicates to me that their hunting situation has provided shots and they are competent and ethical enough to place their shots for that DRT kill. It doesn't add to the capability of the caliber in extreme situations.

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Old 12-12-2012, 06:02 PM   #26
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I went back and did a quick reference in my reloading manuals and all those 'in the business' who wrote about the 243 said it was a good long range varmint cartridge, and if you used the heaviest bullets it would work for SMALL deer, but not to use it on other larger animals. Now to me when you reach the outer edge/margin of the excepted use it is called 'marginal'!!! Did I miss something here???
It has been my experience that those who have the discipline to take only the 'perfect' shots at moderate ranges with heavy tough bullets have had good results on small deer. That does not meet it is an 'expectational/great/very good caliber of deer, that means it is 'marginal'. If you will try and keep an open mind and use logic instead of emotion you will have to agree that is on the margin or that it is marginal (this is the common sense I am referring to).

So this is your proof? I'm sorry, but you are still using only opinion. Who are "all of those in the business?" We need names, dates, when and where published, actual tested data and the results of such data, (data meaning, bullet weights, BC's, velocity, wind conditions, etc.). Give us the facts to back up your statements. I would agree that the .243 is minimal, but NOT MARGINAL. I would call any of the .22 centerfires as marginal, yet the .243 is entirely capable and not marginal for all game up to the size of an elk. Just as a side note, (and you may want to go back and search this forum while you are doing all of your other research to disprove the effectiveness of the .243 round) there was a video posted on this site a while back that showed a teenage girl shooting a cow elk w/ a .243 at 688 yards. The elk dropped in it's tracks and posters on this forum came up with all kinds of excuses as to what a fluke it was. Why do I bring this up? It is not definitive proof, but it is food for thought. I was so enthralled by the video that I actually wrote a poem about it, titled, "The Little Girl and Her Little Gun," that is published in my latest book, "O"Sullivan's Place, the poetry of Joe Robert," available on Amazon, or p.m. me for an autographed copy.
BTW, in your other post, you implied that I did not have common sense, which I took as an insult, but that you did have common sense. Then, in another post, you tried to excuse it by saying that one should not use emotion to arrive at a conclusion, and that was the common sense you were referring to. Sorry, but I don't buy it. If that was true, you would have said that I should not base my conclusion on emotion, but you did not say that, so we all know what you meant. Nice try.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:11 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by lucznik
The .243 has always been a good performer in my book. I have only killed deer with it but, none have made even a single step once hit. I do consider the cartridge to be more limited than some others but, I would not categorize this as being "marginal." A .243 is perfectly capable of killing deer or antelope out to 300 yards or so. I would limit shots at elk to maybe 200 or yards or thereabouts.

I have had the best luck with 100 gr. Partitions though, as long as the rifle shot them well, I would have no qualms about shooting any of the premium, bonded core or monolithic hunting bullets from Nosler, Swift, Barnes, Hornady, etc. I'm even considering giving the Bergers a whirl. Their super-high BCs are quite intriguing. I don't ever shoot "regular" bullets at big game, no matter what cartridge I'm shooting.
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Correct you are!!! If you are going to use the 'little' gun use the heavy tough bullets!
But you would have to agree you are operating on the 'upper margin' of this cartridges capabilities are you not?????
If you use a 243 on elk I hope you are in good physical shape!!!!
I think this thread has a lot of potential to divert into areas of emotion an irrationality very fast so; I will attempt to keep my comments in the realm of logic and let y'all do the insulting if you feel so inclined...

Personally I think that some of the problem may come with our definitions of "marginal." We don't all seem to be thinking of it the same way. For example, when I think of the word marginal, I am thinking of something that is unreliable for a given purpose under almost any circumstances. Hence, I think of the .223 Rem as marginal for deer. Yes, people do sometimes (legally) use it but I don't consider it reliable no matter what the shot distance long or short. Many in our military consider this round as marginal for battle as well because it does not reliably put down enemy combatants at near or far ranges. That is what makes it marginal.

The .243 is limited, but within those reasonable limits it is exceptionally reliable, thus it is cannot be "marginal." Limited and marginal are simply not the same things.

I did a quick perusal of my copy of "The Complete Reloading Manual for the .243 Winchester" which compiles data from multiple books into one, easy to reference booklet:

The Hornady manual (author unknown) states, "The versatility and accuracy of the 243 soon gained it popularity unsurpassed by any other round in its class... This potent 6mm cartridge is suitable for game ranging from prairie dogs to deer."

The Nosler manual (Tom Gresham) reads, "Everyone agreed that the .243 was a good varmint cartridge... but when it began establishing a track record on deer, antelope, and sheep, the reviews were mixed. Some of those problems came from bullet selection... When topped with a controlled expansion bullet... the .243 becomes a reliable performer on black bear, deer, pronghorn, sheep, goats and other game smaller than elk."

The Sierra manual (author unknown) states, "The 243 is a tremendously versatile cartridge... [and] is well suited to game from varmints to mule deer."

The Speer manual (again, author unknown) offers that, "Although it has adequate power for game animals up to and including deer and antelope, it is definitely underpowered for elk, moose, and caribou."

The Lyman manual (does no one ever credit their authors?) suggests, "... the late Les Bowman felt it the ideal deer or antelope cartridge for the shooter who really was not a frequent and comfortable user of larger cartridges."

Hodgdon Powders gives their $0.02 as, "The .243 Winchester... serves for deer sized game and varmints with equal success."

Accurate Powder's writeup includes, "...the .243 Winchester [is] a successful effort to develop a dual purpose cartridge for both varmint and deer sized game. "

Winchester Powders did not offer a write up.

Vihtavuori Powders offers that, "Winchester succeeded in a grand manner, for the .243 Winchester... is considered a reliable taker of deer, coyote, antelope and the like as well as an adequate varminter."

Barnes Bullets says, "While the .243 Winchester is still among the most popular deer hunting cartridges available, it has not been without detractors, namely those who claim it is marginal for larger deer when using conventional lead-core bullet designs. In the real world, however, the problem has never been with the .243 Winchester but with the sometimes frangible bullets it was saddled with by ammunition manufacturers." Barnes then identifies their 95 gr. XFB, and 115 gr. Original as both being adequate for bull elk.

So it would seem you are both right and both wrong. Only one source I found identified the cartridge as being considered marginal for "large deer," but, that very same source itself dispels that very notion identifying two of its own bullets that, they say, will serve for elk-sized animals. None of the others identified any issue of deer size and None of them suggests that the cartridge should be limited to "small deer." I certainly will continue mule deer hunting with mine.

Most of them do suggest that the cartridge is marginal for elk. I don't know that I totally agree with that as I know people who have very handily dispatched elk with the cartridge but, as I've not done it myself nor was I there to witness it when it was done, and it all amounts to limited (statistically invalid) data sets from anecdotal sources, I'll hold back judgement. If you want to call the round "marginal" for elk, well... I won't argue that particular point.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:19 PM   #28
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So this is your proof? I'm sorry, but you are still using only opinion. Who are "all of those in the business?" We need names, dates, when and where published, actual tested data and the results of such data, (data meaning, bullet weights, BC's, velocity, wind conditions, etc.). Give us the facts to back up your statements. I would agree that the .243 is minimal, but NOT MARGINAL. I would call any of the .22 centerfires as marginal, yet the .243 is entirely capable and not marginal for all game up to the size of an elk. Just as a side note, (and you may want to go back and search this forum while you are doing all of your other research to disprove the effectiveness of the .243 round) there was a video posted on this site a while back that showed a teenage girl shooting a cow elk w/ a .243 at 688 yards. The elk dropped in it's tracks and posters on this forum came up with all kinds of excuses as to what a fluke it was. Why do I bring this up? It is not definitive proof, but it is food for thought. I was so enthralled by the video that I actually wrote a poem about it, titled, "The Little Girl and Her Little Gun," that is published in my latest book, "O"Sullivan's Place, the poetry of Joe Robert," available on Amazon, or p.m. me for an autographed copy.
BTW, in your other post, you implied that I did not have common sense, which I took as an insult, but that you did have common sense. Then, in another post, you tried to excuse it by saying that one should not use emotion to arrive at a conclusion, and that was the common sense you were referring to. Sorry, but I don't buy it. If that was true, you would have said that I should not base my conclusion on emotion, but you did not say that, so we all know what you meant. Nice try.
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What part of " I don't have time now" don't you understand!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:54 PM   #29
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What part of " I don't have time now" don't you understand!!!!!!!!!



Probably the second part, but,

I would say, don't even bother. No matter what you come up with, the multitude of pro .243 for deer hunting guys will either not agree or will counter with other proof while the minority of .243 for varmints only crowd will do likewise, and nothing will have been accomplished other than hurt feelings, wasted emotions, and wasted time that could have better been spent on more positive endeavors. I have spent a life time studying the outcomes of human triumphs and follies and one thing I have learned is that middle aged or slightly older American men believe that their opinions are in actuallity fact and will find "proof" to substantiate their claim whether viable or not, and would rather cease to exist than to admit they have been proven wrong. So, with that, both camps will claim victory and neither will admit defeat, so what was accomplished? The .243 Winchester (and the 6mm Remington, which is my favorite) will continue to be used for whatever their owners believe them to be adequate. Researchers who make their living by developing new and improved cartridge components have made extrodinary advances in such components in recent years. Old data may no longer be applicable and new data may not be available. The cartridges of today are not your father's cartridges. I will not waste anymore of my time as I have to get back to work on my current book, a novel in the genre of historical fiction. It should go to the publisher by the end of 2013.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:47 PM   #30
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Here is the proof, my wife`s nephew with my Handi-rifle .243 Win. His first deer ever, 200 yds. 100gr. HP`s (This Year)

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