243. Vs 308.

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Alpinet6, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Alpinet6

    Alpinet6 New Member

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    Which do you think is a better round? Which is more versatile? And why? Looking to buy a ruger American and I need some help on which caliber I should choose.
     
  2. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    308 can do anything a 243 will do. 243 will not do everything a 308 will do.

    308 is the best all around white tail deer round on the market.

    All of the above is my HMO, OMMV.

    Gonna shoot varmints and 'yotes only, get a 243.
     

  3. wechols

    wechols Member Lifetime Supporter

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    243 is much hotter with a significantly reduced barrel life. If you aren't a heavy varmint hunter who craves the velocity go for the 308. 6mmbr.com has a good comparison write up.
     
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    while i do agree with part of your statement, that a 243 would be the better if primarily using it for varmint hunting and i feel that for most practical purposes the 308 to be more versatile of the two.

    but the 243 being a barrel burner, now that i have to disagree with. my fathers Winchester M70 in 243 has fired literaly thousands of rounds through it in over 40 + years and last year when sighting in a new scope, it still was very accurate. a three shot group at 100 yards less than .5" with all three touching. hardly a barrel burner.
     
  5. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Compromise and get a 270. No problem finding 270 ammo right now.
     
  6. Alpinet6

    Alpinet6 New Member

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    Now what did he mean by a barrel burner? That the 243 barrel doesn't last long?
     
  7. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    Bad choice!!! Bad, bad choice. 7mm-08 would be much better.

    The .243 may not last as long as a .308, much of that has to do w/ how many rounds you put down range in a minute.
     
  8. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    when you take a large case and stuff a very small bullet in it, with fast burning powders to get very high velocity, they can erode the barrels much faster than others.

    look up the history of the 220 Swift vs. the 22-250.

    some cartridges were more prone to eroding barrels than others, hence the term barrel burners. IMO, most 243's don't fall into that catagory.
     
  9. wechols

    wechols Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I stand corrected. Is that a stainless barrel?
     
  10. highpowerguy

    highpowerguy New Member

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    Not a compromise 270 has a ballistic advantage over the .308, .243 and the 7mm-08 although the 7mm-08 comes with a wider range of bullets available and no caliber can match the variety of the .308 bore.

    All would be good choices although I have always felt that .243 was a bit small for a large Whitetail. Plus when you get to the deer bullets you loose so much velocity that it isn't really as flat shooting as many would have you believe.

    As far as calibers and barrel life are concerned some barrels just last forever. It is so inexplicable that US Army Marksmanship unit had (last i heard) quit rebarreling rifles due to round count and now waits for there to be a demonstrable decrease in accuracy. (They were having some barrels go at 3500 and others last over 8000) The .243 is however known for being hard on barrels the estimates are around 1200-1500 rounds on the average match rifle far short of the 3500-5000 rounds you can get out of a .308, but considering that you will likely not shoot 1500 rounds in ten years of hunting I probably wouldn't be too concerned about barrel life.
     
  11. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    rifle was made in about 1968 or 1969 and no it's not stainless. my father reloaded and shot many a target with that rifle. that rifle was the first centerfire rifle i ever shot and took my first two deer with it many years ago. i wish i had taken pictures of it, but never did. here is one that looks very similar to his.
     

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  12. bigjim

    bigjim New Member

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    243 vs 308 (LOL)

    This thread is going to get me in trouble. (LOL)

    Those Are Fighting Words

    There is no comparison between the two. It's like comparing Apples and Pineapples. While I love Apple pie, occasionaly an upside down pineapple cake is not too bad, but can not hold a candle to Mom's Apple Pie. (Dutch apple that is)

    Bullet weights for the 243, range from 55 grains to 107 grains, speed from just over 1,000 fps to just under 4,000 fps at 60,000 psi.

    Bullet weights for the 308, range from 110 grains to 190 grains, speed from 1000 fps to just under 3,100 fps at 62,000 psi.

    While 2,000 psi doesn't sound like a lot, it is a hell of a lot more recoil.

    The real question is why are you considering the 308, just get a real rifle in 30-06 springfield and use the grand dad of them all.

    308 is a necked down 30-06 case, and 243 is a necked down 308 case.

    I think JTJ had it right - just get a 270 (.277) and be done with it.

    Jim
     
  13. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    OP asked for opinions on 243 v 308. I have a 270 in my safe, puts venison in the freezer with aplomb.

    Nuttin wrong with an '06 either. 280 works well also.

    Get a bullet in the .27 or higher rifle caliber range and you should be ready to hunt most hoofed animals in North America.
     
  14. highpowerguy

    highpowerguy New Member

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    Jim has a good point. From a versatility standpoint none of the aforementioned cartridges can touch the 30-06. You hardly ever see .308 bullets over 175 gr. because the velocity gets real slow and the manufacturers don't put the twist rates on most .308 rifles to stabilize the larger bullets. However factory ammo between 150 - 180gr for the 30-06 is quite common.
     
  15. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    The .308 is definitely more versatile and it is one of my favorites for deer. I took two last season with a .308. Now here is the "but". But the .243 is also an excellent caliber for deer. A lot of people feel that a .243 is underpowered or just not enough bullet but I have seen far to many deer killed with a .243. .243 is one of the best deer calibers out there.

    And this is a really big point to keep in mind. It all comes down to shot placement. A lot of people are going to shoot a .243 more accurately than a .308 because it has less recoil and they are going to feel more comfortable with a .243. If anyone is the least bit recoil sensitive then they should get a .243 and never look back. We seem to get it in our heads that we have to man up and shoot a big boy's bullet. Well that's B.S. All that matters is where you put the bullet.

    I'll also give a big thumbs up to the 7mm-08. :)
     
  16. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get a 7mm-08, it can do anything a 243 or a 308 can do and do it better! But If I had to choose between a 243 and 308 it would be 100% 308!;)
     
  17. highpowerguy

    highpowerguy New Member

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    Maybe, but when that bruiser walks out and I'm shaking like a leaf in a hurricane I'm not thinking about recoil. Those big boys go farther shot in one lung with a .243 than with a .308...
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    IMO, the 7mm-08 is a good compromise between the 243 and the 308. mild recoil, excellent ballistics, very good accuracy.

    if you reload, lots of options on bullet weights.
     
  19. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    I prefer a .308 and I have a barrel with a 1:11.2 rate of twist specifically so I can shoot 180gr bullets in my .308. I also shoot 180gr bullets in my 30-06 and .303 British. I like heavy bullets so you're preaching to the choir. But I still stand by my original comments. A person is better off with a small bullet put where they want it than a big bullet off the mark. I've shot 180gr bullets all my life and don't think anything about it. That's not the case with a lot of other people. And again I've seen way to many deer killed with a .243 to ever doubt it's capability. :)
     
  20. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    .243!!!!


    Sorry axxe my friend, but I think you have painted yourself into a corner on this one. In the first place, the .24 caliber bullet is not "very small" in my opinion. The .243 cartridge is not overbore as the 6mm/.284 wildcat is. I rule out and don't even consider bullets lighter than 70 grains for the .243. If one wants to go lighter than 70 grains, then get one of the .224 centerfire rifles. That being said, most reloaders use slower burning powders in the .243 such as 4350 and 4831, not fast burning powders like you said. Velocity is normally around 2800 to 3000 fps w/ 87, 90, and 100 grain bullets, and that is not "very high velocity" as you said. There are exceptions and I suppose it is possible to maybe "burn out a barrel" of a .243 if one uses only lighter weight bullets at maximum velocities and fires 1000's of rounds; but who is going to do that? Not the average rifle shooter that's for sure. So, based on that, the .243 is NOT a barrel burner. Do you have any statistics on the number of normally used barrels on .243 rifles being burned out? I have owned and shot many .243 and 6mm Rem. rifles and have known many others who have done the same for around 50 years and I have not heard of one ever being "shot out!"

    And what does the .220 Swift and .22-250 have to do with the .243? In the April 2013 issue of Handloader Magazine, John Barsness, on page 42 states that in The Book of the Rifle by Jim Carmichel, Carmichel states that "many 'shot out' Swifts were revived by a thorough cleaning." So, a lot of the "shot out" Swifts were actually a product of myth. So my advice to the OP is to get a .243 and don't worry about ever shooting out the barrel.
    ct
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2013