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What is the most recommended 243 load for whitetail? My son, 9, will be going on his first hunt with his 243. Living and hunting western game in NM, we have never shot anything that little besides Barbary sheep which are similar in size. Usually 80-95 grn. vmax ammo is what we use. I suppose that will do for deer also. Just thought I would get some insight from those of you with it.
 

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The 243 is a 'marginal' caliber for big game, including deer so I advise those who elect to use 243 to use the 'heaviest' and 'toughest' bullets available. There is A LOT of 'varmint' ammo on the shelf so be be careful (for the deers sake) not to use this light fast expanding ammo on big game. I prefer the Nosler Partition or the Barnes bullets in these 'small' calibers if I were to use them for deer. My minimum recommended caliber is a .264/6.5 mm, my personal preference is .284/7 mm, specifically a 7mm-08.
Hope this helped.
Jim:)
 

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What is the most recommended 243 load for whitetail? My son, 9, will be going on his first hunt with his 243. Living and hunting western game in NM, we have never shot anything that little besides Barbary sheep which are similar in size. Usually 80-95 grn. vmax ammo is what we use. I suppose that will do for deer also. Just thought I would get some insight from those of you with it.

That will work on white tail deer, shoot what the gun is sighted for, make it a good one!
 

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A .243 is an awesome cartridge for deer especially smaller ones. I shoot plain 100 gr. core-lokts. I have killed over 30 deer with a .243 and all have been DRT
 

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100gr. HP`s, and when my dad was alive he took Elk with a .243, it`s no marginal round..................
YES IT IS! Just because someone 'took an elk' with it does not change the physics and physiology reality here. I have been hunting for 50+ years and I have seen MANY lost animals with the 243!:( I knew a lady who always got her game with her 243 shooting a 105 gr SP (deer and elk) when she got the 'right' shot. She would not shoot over 100 yds and only if she got the perfect broad side presentation. Does this mean this a 'right' caliber for the game hunted? Absolutely not! It means that if you have the discipline she had you can make it due. ;)
 
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.243

YES IT IS! Just because someone 'took an elk' with it does not change the physics and physiology reality here. I have been hunting for 50+ years and I have seen MANY lost animals with the 243!:( I knew a lady who always got her game with her 243 shooting a 105 gr SP (deer and elk) when she got the 'right' shot. She would not shoot over 100 yds and only if she got the perfect broad side presentation. Does this mean this a 'right' caliber for the game hunted? Absolutely not! It means that if you have the discipline she had you can make it due. ;)


I'm sorry, but I have to agree with Tom. The .243 is no marginal round. I believe that more animals have been wounded and lost with the .30-30 than the .243. When you say "the 'right' shot," I agree, but that is true no matter what cartridge you use for deer. Shot placement is crucial for all game and all calibers. A gut shot deer is a gut shot deer no matter if it was shot with a .300 Mag. or a .243. And don't pull the age and/or experience card on me. I too have been hunting, shooting, and reloading for 50 plus years. Being that you are a physicist, I would like you to prove me wrong with ballistics and other facts and figures and not opinions.
cottontop
 

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I have a cousin who killed a deer with a 22 hornet. The year after that we chased a wounded deer that he shot with a 30-30. The year after that we chase a wounded deer that he shot with a 308. Every one of those years my brother filled his tag with a 243 and one bullet.
 

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I'm sorry, but I have to agree with Tom. The .243 is no marginal round. I believe that more animals have been wounded and lost with the .30-30 than the .243. When you say "the 'right' shot," I agree, but that is true no matter what cartridge you use for deer. Shot placement is crucial for all game and all calibers. A gut shot deer is a gut shot deer no matter if it was shot with a .300 Mag. or a .243. And don't pull the age and/or experience card on me. I too have been hunting, shooting, and reloading for 50 plus years. Being that you are a physicist, I would like you to prove me wrong with ballistics and other facts and figures and not opinions.
cottontop
I am glad to oblige, but right now I have the Toy's for Tots campaign coming to an end, two sons on the way for a visit, a contract to sign for our land for the Law Enforcement Firearms Training Center, and hunting rifle which was involved in a hunting death to examine and test, and some serious personal matters to deal with. When it slows down to a dull roar in my life I will be more than happy to explain the science behind my comments.:)
 
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that's proof?

I am glad to oblige, but right now I have the Toy's for Tots campaign coming to an end, two sons on the way for a visit, a contract to sign for our land for the Law Enforcement Firearms Training Center, and hunting rifle which was involved in a hunting death to examine and test, and some serious personal matters to deal with. When it slows down to a dull roar in my life I will be more than happy to explain the science behind my comments.:)

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
cottontop
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Well, it seems as if most of you agree. I've killed plenty of Barbary Sheep with the .243 with specific shot placement. After shooting a few rds., my son was comfortable with the rifle and his accuracy was pretty tight.

Here are the facts....
1st Deer, 9 years old

Win .243 100gr SPBT

140 yards

Double lung

Hunting Deer hunting Dog Trophy hunting Dog breed

Thanks for the discussion...
 

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:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
cottontop
What part of 'I don't have time for a lengthy technical post' don't you understand. To me what I said is just common sense for those of us who did our due diligence on this subject. But as my wife keeps saying ' Everyone don't have the common sense you have Dear'!!!;)
 
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.243

What part of 'I don't have time for a lengthy technical post' don't you understand. To me what I said is just common sense for those of us who did our due diligence on this subject. But as my wife keeps saying ' Everyone don't have the common sense you have Dear'!!!;)



You should run for office. BTW, insults are not allowed on this forum. Moderators?
cottontop
 

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I would suggest the Hornady 95gr. SST Superformance round for deer hunting with the 243 Win. cal.
Once again just good shot placement with any rifle some more critical than others in the smaller calibers.

03
 

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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).;)
 
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