Considered, noted, and agreed, Art. With off-hand shots at moving (or running) deer, a little margin for error is called for. I tend to hunt a bit lazily, in that I set up at the edge of some drainage and ambush 'em in the mornings and evenings as they go to water or feed. Thus, I'm looking at steadier, more placed shots, at slower or still targets. I could have killed my last 5 deer with a .222, to tell the truth.
Of the two times I've shot running deer, I was much more confident the second time I did so, because I was shooting an '06. The first time was a foolish stunt that had to be corrected with a .257 (though it all worked out, I did retrieve the bullet. Shudder.), and I felt some
justified apprehension that the round wouldn't make up for less-then-optimal placement.
All right, lemme re-phrase my answer: For ambush shots under 300 yards, the .243 is fine for all but the hugest
deer, or deer at non-optimal positions. Otherwise, go on up to .257 Roberts, or .250 Savage (good luck finding one), or .25-06, etc. These are IDEAL, as they have virtually no kick, but have everything you need to kill any deer that ever walked, assuming you do your part. I've grown up killing deer with the .257 Rbts, myself, and thus am biased toward it. But, having made and seen clean kills on larger specimens at over 300 yards with this round, I'd say I've some
reason to justify my affection for Ned Roberts' brainchild (7mm necked down to .257).
Now, if short action is your bag, try the .250 Savage. Perhaps 7mm-08, and you've settled all your problems! (Leeeetle
bit more kick and blast, but not much, and you're a big boy, right?
[This message has been edited by Long Path (edited September 04, 1999).]