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Decision time for a .243

1442 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  magnumman
I have been procrastinating for some time now about a .243 rifle for deer hunting here in Georgia. I hunted this season with my M700 5R in .308 and the same in .300WM and they are both in the range of 15+ pounds with their NF scopes. They are just simply too heavy for a 69 year old to be holding while sitting in a stand. I also hunted a bit with one of my M1As but it too is a bit on the heavy side.
My thoughts have turned toward a light weight .243 for next season. I have surfed through the web pages of manufacturers and am still a bit dumbfounded as which ones to really take a serious look at. I would like something more on the economical than the 5Rs but still plan to top it with a very nice scope. I don't want to break the bank doing it.
I would certainly appreciate some strong advice on finding a good quality light weight rifle.
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Marlin x7 has several varients for $350 and less, savage has several varients, Remington 700 is good, howa is also good. Personally id go w a marlin or savage. Both are cheap guns made of great quality. I prefer marlins but that's just me.
I have a Ruger M77 International in .243. 18" barrel. Use it to kill deer in TN woods. 3x9 Leupold glass. White tails of TN, not mule deer in Wyoming.
I have a BAR 30/06 that meets your weight requirements but they are out of your price range. You really don't have to drop to a .243 to find a light rifle. I can see why you want a 243. I am having problems dealing with recoil and I am not 69. I am getting long in the tooth and have health problems. I would look at a savage 110. There is really nothing wrong with the axis. It just lacks the adjustable trigger. I have shot an X7 quite a bit but it was chambered in 22 wmr. I was really impressed with the marlin and it has an adjustable trigger. The marlins are 7lb rifles before you add a scope. The only doubt about I have about the marlin is I am not sure how the micro groove barrel will handle larger bullets.
Mine shoots sub moa everytime, everyone of em
Marlin, I tend to agree, I will look closely at the X7 soon. I have heard and read a lot of good comments about it. I think it may go well with a NF compact NXS 1X4 for this woodsy short range hunting.
Thanks for the replies.
Savage has one of the lightest rifles out there. The 11 light weight hunter at 5.5 lbs. However it has an MSRP of $925. On the other end of the price scale is the Ruger American at 6.25 lbs. I see them in the stores for $400 but have seen them on line as low as $310. The Ruger American has been getting some good reviews.
Matlin 7x. You won't be disappointed.
I really like the Ruger m77 hawkeye compact.

16.5 inch barrel, 35.5 inch overall length, six pounds, not real cheap not real spendy,
I shoot a Tikka T3 lite in .243. I think it cost me about $550 4 years ago. Very lite weight, affordable and extremely accurate.
Since a 243 is a necked down 308, I would find a lighter rifle in 308. If you could swing a Browning X Bolt in 308 or even 7mm08, you would not regret it.

My $0.02.
Since a 243 is a necked down 308, I would find a lighter rifle in 308. If you could swing a Browning X Bolt in 308 or even 7mm08, you would not regret it.

My $0.02.

I, too, prefer the .308. But there's nothing wrong with the .243.
The lowly little Handy rifle in .243 is a pretty nice little single shot tack driver for a fair price.
Thanks guys for all the replies. I will give the Marlin X7 a good looking over and maybe a Savage. If I don;t like them then I may add another M700 to the group right behind me.
I already have four .308s and a few .30-06, a .444 etc. but none of them are considered lightweights. I would like or maybe it's a want a light rifle in my group that would be easier to carry and hold in the stand.
Unless you buy a "youth" rifle, I believe you will be disappointed with any 243's weight when compared to the same model in 308. When sit in a ladder or climbing stand, my rifle sits across my lap. If in a box stand, the rifle may be on my lap or propped in a corner. So I do not get fatigued from "holding" my rifles when sitting in a deer stand.

Now if you just want a 243, that is another matter.
Wood Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory

Browning Blr. You can get them in pretty much any caliber including 243. They are compact, light and accurate. My favorite hinting rifle by far.


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