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Old November 26, 2012, 07:11 PM   #51
Jevyod
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I've been a bit leery to try ballistic tips or anything along that line. Seems like they work fine for some people, but we have not had great success with them. Two years ago my brother shot a big doe at 60 yards. It was a perfect broadside shot and we figured dead deer right? There was initially some blood, but it soon petered out. Spent a lot of time looking for that doe, but never found it. The best guess we can come up with is that the bullet hit the shoulder and fragmented with no piece penetrating the vitals. He was using Hornady SST.
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Old November 26, 2012, 09:26 PM   #52
Brian Pfleuger
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Most likely, he made a bad shot. Deer are small, narrow, thin-skinned and light-boned. Virtually any bullet that hits them forward of the diaphragm will kill them quickly. Exceptions, yes, but most "I don't know what happened!" are bad shots, not bullet problems.
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Old November 26, 2012, 10:09 PM   #53
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My daughters Savage rifle in .243 knocks them dead every time using 100gr Winchester PowerPoint ammo. Every one that has been shot with that bullet has died in thier tracks.
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Old November 26, 2012, 10:44 PM   #54
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Quote:
Two years ago my brother shot a big doe at 60 yards. It was a perfect broadside shot and we figured dead deer right? There was initially some blood, but it soon petered out. Spent a lot of time looking for that doe, but never found it. The best guess we can come up with is that the bullet hit the shoulder and fragmented with no piece penetrating the vitals. He was using Hornady SST.
60 yards? What caliber?

With impact velocities in excess of 3K f/sec, bullets designed to expand at longer ranges can come apart rather easily. I hit a buck at 15 feet one time with a .270WIN 130 gr Winchester Silvertip (the old kind, with the aluminum point, since discontinued). The bullet hit a rib behind the shoulder and exploded, leaving a large shallow wound. The deer died after running 100+ yards alright, but if the bullet had hit the upper leg bone or shoulder joint, I am not sure it would have been fatal- the bullet would have spent it's energy on the outside of the chest cavity instead of trashing 1/2 of one lung as it did ....

I have since switched to 150 gr bullets at a more moderate velocity (2900 f/sec) ..... but with a better BC. In similar situations, they have penetrated 12-18", even if they came apart, yet still will punch through both sides of a deer at 400+ yards with good expansion.....

Based on my experiences, I would suggest a heavy for caliber bullet, 100gr or better for the .243 ...... 87 gr at 3.2 K just seems a recipe for the hickey from hell ..... unless you go to a solid or bonded bullet.... and then you are looking at either passing up all frontal/quartering shots or dealing with messy field dressing scenarios.....
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:10 AM   #55
reloader28
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That could be why we've had good luck with SST's. We shoot them in the heart/lung area or neck.
We dont shoot them in the shoulder. You ruin a lot of meat meant for sausage or jerky.
Brians right about the "I dont know what happened". Just a bad shot. Deer are easy to take down.


Please, DONT buy SST's. I'm the only one thats had good luck with them.

Last edited by reloader28; November 27, 2012 at 09:17 AM.
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:51 AM   #56
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbob86

Based on my experiences, I would suggest a heavy for caliber bullet, 100gr or better for the .243 ...... 87 gr at 3.2 K just seems a recipe for the hickey from hell ..... unless you go to a solid or bonded bullet.... and then you are looking at either passing up all frontal/quartering shots or dealing with messy field dressing scenarios.....
I don't understand what you're getting at here. Quartering shots require the most penetration, which is the specialty of bullets like the GMX and TTSX line but you're saying those are the shots you'd pass on if you used those bullets? Those are the shots those bullets are BUILT for making. I've never passed on a shot because the gut job might be messy. That's just part of the game.
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Old November 28, 2012, 05:07 PM   #57
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My daughter has dropped some nice deer with her .243, using winchester greybox in 100 grn.
As far as those copped bullets go, we havent tried those dudes yet.
And as long as this topic gets discussed ther will always be different opines.
Greybox 100 grainers, try em. you too Brian.
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:10 PM   #58
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Thanks a lot Reloader28, if you are the only one who buys them, they will quit making them. Of course there would be lots of leftovers on the clearance/shelf, OK you win.

I have helped track quite a few deer that were "shot broadside", by and large a broadside shot at the shoulder with any decent caliber will kill it, however when the bullet goes low and only strikes leg bone you will get a decent blood trail for 50-75 yards I mean one that makes you think its a done deal, then it begins to thin out quickly and disappears completely and you never see the deer again. They are worse than gutshots, at least if you stick with it you can often find them dead, but leg shots clot up quickly. Without a "body" to look at you don't know for sure what happened. I've seen several deer that were shot with a .243 and bullets I pesonally wouldn't use, specifically lighter weight HP varmit bullets but they were still dead, no exit wound but dead just the same, usually not far from where they were shot.

I do know that Ballistic Tips shot from a 7mm Rem Mag at short range (less than 50 yards) will put a deer down, stone cold dead, a little messy but very very dead. Any guessing at what happened on a shot that resulted in no dead deer is just that a guess. What Barnes XBT's I have shot are phenomenal penetrators, I used to shoot them out of my 7-08 Rem, 120 grain XBT's from several different angles , none of the bullets cared, hit (and from the looks of the insides) expand, and go right on, tremendous blood trails right to a dead deer. Rather than worry about exactly which "normal" bullet is the best, worry about which one the rifle likes, because if you put a 100 grain Hornady, Sierra, Speer, Cor-lokt whatever though the vitals of a deer you're gonna have to skin a deer.

Reloading is where it gets fun, so many choices that will work great, like being a kid in a candy store, nearly everthing is delicious you just have to pick what you like.
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Old November 28, 2012, 09:40 PM   #59
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Quote:
Quartering shots require the most penetration, which is the specialty of bullets like the GMX and TTSX line but you're saying those are the shots you'd pass on if you used those bullets? Those are the shots those bullets are BUILT for making. I've never passed on a shot because the gut job might be messy. That's just part of the game.
You are playing the game differently than I am, then: I shoot deer in order to eat them. Scattering poo and soon to be poo through the body cavity and beyond does not make for good table fare, IMO ..... YMMV, but I'd rather pass up the shot than season the meat with that stuff.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:12 PM   #60
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I guess my mileage does vary. I've seen quite a number a deer that were hit through the guts. The only ones that were really nasty were those that took a long time to die or especially those that were dead for a long time before they were gutted. Those shots were all accidental. The intentional, sharp angle shots have never been a problem.

Meat washes too.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:39 PM   #61
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partition

When I inherited my Dad's .243 I naturally had to hunt it. It came with rwo boxes of 100 gr Core-Lokts. Worked out som me bugs in the rifle, mounted a proper scope (Dad was bad to cut corners on optics) and went afield.

First deer I killed, a 1-1/2 year old spike at about 50 yds, went down in a pile, shot through the near shoulder. Bullet was recovered on the off side, under the hide. Absolutely perfect mushroom.

Bamaboy went on to kill several more, all with the CL's, but we did not recover any slugs. I have since moved on to reloaded 100 gr Partitions, but I have no doubt that factoy CL's will be plenty for whitetails. I've set a Mossberg Mannlicher 810 with a fixed 6x, up this year with 100 gr Partitions.

NOte that with the .243, I think that the partion , bonded bullet or other premo, is not a bad idea. I'm inclined to believe that with calibers above .243, you do not need a premium bullet for a typical deer. But I believe 243 is near the cusp of "just enough" for deer. Combine its high velocty with its lighter bullets and you may have problems. The premo gives you a slight edge.
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Old November 29, 2012, 01:09 AM   #62
Todd1700
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I've killed a lot of deer with a 243 and 100 grain Remington Cor-lokts. Standard cup and core jacketed lead bullets have been around for a long time. Why? Because they work very well on deer sized game. Go ahead spend 50 dollars a box on bullets for deer but you won't kill them any deader.
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Old November 29, 2012, 12:28 PM   #63
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What does the gun shoot the most accurately should be the question to be answered. Because unless you can put it in the right place out to those distances the bullet construction, manufacture and all the other stuff means nothing.
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Old November 29, 2012, 02:01 PM   #64
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyDog35
What does the gun shoot the most accurately should be the question to be answered. Because unless you can put it in the right place out to those distances the bullet construction, manufacture and all the other stuff means nothing.
That's true, but it lives in the realm of theory more than the real world, in most cases.

I have yet to see a gun in any cartridge (that's generally accepted to be an acceptable cartridge at range) that wouldn't shoot any bullet with any powder more than accurately enough for shots to at least 300 yards on deer.

I'm sure they exist, but it's got to be close to having something broken to be that bad.
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Old November 30, 2012, 02:08 AM   #65
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not all accuracy

The above mentioned Mossberg 800 will stack 85 gr (?) factory poly tipped varmint slugs in spooky sub MOA groups.......but I will not shoot a deer with a coyote bullet.

The Noslers go about 1.5", but I would not hesitate on a quartering shot on any whitetail with the combo.

I think the "any bullet" theory is what gets the .243 its bad knocks. Above .25 caliber, you can get away with light bullet construction on most deer. With the .243, I believe it becomes more important.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:27 AM   #66
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My next bullet experience in .243, will be the 90 grn Accubond.
We will see if this ole man can tuna fish.
I will post a new thread when its ready.e
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:25 PM   #67
.243 Jake
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id go with winchester super X, or remmington core-loct. altho, i just shot a sub 1/2 MOA group with rem. 80 grain hollow points.
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Old December 13, 2012, 12:51 PM   #68
jlove1974
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All the other bullets that have been mentioned here besides Core-Lokts cost more than Federal Fusion ammo. Since bonded is better than non-bonded in all instances, I guess I will soldier on.

BTW the first deer killed with this rifle was a big-bodied 5 pointer by my son. He shot it in the shoulder with Win 'greybox' 100gr PPs. They performed better than the corelokt too
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Old December 13, 2012, 01:58 PM   #69
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I haven't shot any deer with any of the .243's I've owned, but load deer rounds in that caliber for my grand-kids. I used Barnes TSX 85 grains a couple of years ago and grandson #1 shot a nice doe at 150 yards high in the heart-lung area and the deer was dead when it hit the ground. That's decent performance in my book, especially when I was concerned that it might not expand adequately on that type of shot.

For deer, I now load only Hornady GMX bullets in my .270 Win and .243 Win. Being hollow-point gilding metal bullets, they expand well and we don't have to worry about lead in the deer meat, or in gut piles that eagles or other scavengers might eat.
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Old December 13, 2012, 03:24 PM   #70
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Many an elk have fallen to the lowley .243 win. I killed one last year using a .243 and 100gr Sierra Game Kings.

Those who don't like the .243 will find any argument to cut it down.

For small deer, I wouldn't hesitate to use 75-80 grain bullets designed for hunting.
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Old December 13, 2012, 03:37 PM   #71
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All the other bullets that have been mentioned here besides Core-Lokts cost more than Federal Fusion ammo. Since bonded is better than non-bonded in all instances, I guess I will soldier on.
Here's an instance in which a non-bonded bullet is better than a bonded bullet:

A deer facing you, or worse coming down the trail to you, at 50 yards or less. Either bullet will kill the deer. A 150gr soft point cup-and-core bullet at .270 WIN velocities will penetrate the chest about 3-5 inches and disintegrate before it gets to the diaphram. A bonded bullet, or one of these GMX/all Copper/Partition bullets will make field dressing that animal a crappy affair, opening up the guts in multiple places, and probably the bladder as well ..... YOU go ahead and spread that stuff all through YOUR animal if you want to ..... I won't.
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Old December 16, 2012, 10:57 AM   #72
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Ditto many of the 80-90 grain opinions here, especially if the 243 in question is one of the many short barrel youth/compact offerings. On a cold December day out of an 18" Rem 788 or 16.5 Ruger Compact the 100's are no where near the red hot mama many think, and may spend more energy in the tree behind the deer than in the deer.
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Old December 17, 2012, 09:38 AM   #73
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If a deer were coming straight at me at 50 yards, I'd probably wait for an angled shot, but never shoot for the brisket, no matter what I'd be shooting for bullet or caliber. If it kept coming at me, my shot would be higher in the neck, about the height of the backbone.
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Old January 15, 2013, 03:41 AM   #74
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more on .243 and Partitions

Bamaboy dropped a doe yesterday at 150 yds with his Grandad's .243 and a reload using our now standard .243 Nosler Partition.

Bullet went in on the edge of the near shoulder, and out through the middle of the off shoulder, clipping the top of the big heart vessels and upper lungs.
Deer went straight down and did not even kick. I've only seen that once before...same shot, same rifle...but with a factory 100 Core Lokt that time.
The CoreLokt did not exit, but all the deer we've shot w/ .243/100 Partions have been through and through. Not all have dropped in their tracks either, but that is the norm I think.

The wound damage was impressive, a quarter size hole through the ribs into the chest cavity on the in side, a golfball size exit on the other. The exit through the hide was not all that impressive, by that time the Nosler was done. I'd have to say you could not really tell the damage from anything done by a "deer rifle" that was of a larger, heavier caliber. Certainly I've seen '06, .270, .308 wounds that were no more impressive.

I used to be a .243 basher, but I was ignorant and mouthing remarks from others that were as well. I'm sold on the .243 and 100 gr Partitions (for our deer) .
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Old January 16, 2013, 07:26 PM   #75
reynolds357
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Federal Fusion would be my go to factory ammo if you dont like ballistic tips. I have always had pretty good luck with ballistic tips. Never lost a deer with them. I switched to Berger VLD just because b.t. became trendy and if its trendy I run from it.
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