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A well placed shot with a .243 will bring a deer down.
Many years ago a record bear was taken in the State College, PA area in Bear Meadows with one shot from a .243. I don't know what kind of bullet or weight that was used or the range it was shot at.
 

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My first kill was with a .243, 124lb doe, Model Seven. Good hunting round,
 

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The .243 gets little respect among most hunters but I have no idea why. It's one of the best deer cartridges out there. My hunting buddy started with a .243 and killed many many deer with it. Eventually he wanted to step up to a larger round and got a 7mm mag. He never lost a deer until he went to the 7 mag. :)

He always shot 100gr Remington core lockts.
 

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i have to agree with Locutus, definately 90gr or larger with the 243. we used 105gr BTSP and had not one problem taking a deer with a 243. 243 is and excellent rifle for anyone not wanting huge recoil and wanting an accurate round. very mild recoil.
 

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The .243 is an excellent deer cartridge with bullets of 90 grains or heavier, IN THE HANDS OF A COMPETENT RIFLEMAN!
Correct you are. If you have the discipline and patients to wait for the PERFECT shot it is ok. But why not get a 7-08 and do it right. Save the 243 for the varmints, where it belongs!!!
 

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Correct you are. If you have the discipline and patients to wait for the PERFECT shot it is ok. But why not get a 7-08 and do it right. Save the 243 for the varmints, where it belongs!!!
Well Jim, the way I hunt, I would wait for a good clean shot even if I was hunting with a .338 LaPua. There's nothing wrong with bigger guns, but I don't want to put up with unnecessary recoil. I hunt everything today with a .30-06 and 150 grain Speer BTSP bullets at ~3000 FPS.

Folks tell me that it's too much gun for deer and antelope, and too little for elk and moose. Maybe.

But it's been many years since I had to shoot twice. Two moose and a bunch of elk in the last 10 years have gone down with one shot.

But, to each his own. I've used a 243 for deer and antelope in the past, and never lost one.
 

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Well Jim, the way I hunt, I would wait for a good clean shot even if I was hunting with a .338 LaPua. There's nothing wrong with bigger guns, but I don't want to put up with unnecessary recoil. I hunt everything today with a .30-06 and 150 grain Speer BTSP bullets at ~3000 FPS.

Folks tell me that it's too much gun for deer and antelope, and too little for elk and moose. Maybe.

But it's been many years since I had to shoot twice. Two moose and a bunch of elk in the last 10 years have gone down with one shot.

But, to each his own. I've used a 243 for deer and antelope in the past, and never lost one.
Fine, but I like the option of taking quartering shots and up hill/down hill shots at out to 400 yds. With the 'little guns' (223, 243) you don't have these options if you believe in taking the animal humanly. If you want to only take straight broad side, level shots, at close range so be it!!!:)
Unfortunately (to the game animals) few have your discipline and patients.:(
 

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I personally rank it with using a 223. Doable but shot placement is key. No different really than any other caliber. I use 30 and 45cal bullets.

One reason i dont like it is they, like 223, dont leave a good bleeding wound if something hiccups or the scope is off a mount loose or you get stung by a bee when you take the shot. It makes tracking a deer on a less than ideal shot much much harder.
 

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A friend of mine lent his 14 yo nephew his 243 for Pa. deer a couple weeks ago. The kid shot a nice deer with it but never hit vitals. He was complaining about the bullet because it blew the shoulder up and didnt penetrate. I told him it was poor shot placement. It hit in the center of the ball and socket. HE seems to think that was a perect shot. Maybe so but you cant expect penetration with a 100gr bullet when you hit solid bone. 243 is a great deer caliber only with a reasonably well placed shot. Hitting bone and expecting the deer to bleed out, to me , is not an ethical shot. Bullet choice and shot placement are critical.
 
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.243

Fine, but I like the option of taking quartering shots and up hill/down hill shots at out to 400 yds. With the 'little guns' (223, 243) you don't have these options if you believe in taking the animal humanly. If you want to only take straight broad side, level shots, at close range so be it!!!:)
Unfortunately (to the game animals) few have your discipline and patients.:(

Please don't group the .223 and the .243 as equivalent rounds. They are not. The .223 is definitely a varmint round. The .243 is an excellent deer round. There are many differences in the two.
cottontop
 

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The .243 is an excellent deer cartridge with bullets of 90 grains or heavier, IN THE HANDS OF A COMPETENT RIFLEMAN!
Bingo...started my eldest son on a .243

The flat trajectory and soft recoil make it an ideal "first" deer cartridge.

Know several adults who still use it as well. While I lime the 30-06 for personal reasons, I would not hesitate to use a .243 on white Tail.

Tack
 
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