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Old December 14, 2005, 11:14 PM   #1
kirbymagnum
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.223 vs .243 for varminting

Wich one of the two has a flater trajectory and more explosive effect?

If you were shooting gophers or crows what would you rather have?

Keep in mind not shooting 100 rounds a day
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Old December 14, 2005, 11:40 PM   #2
rwilson452
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223 and the 243

The question is really incomplete THe trajectory is similar to a point. the 243 generally uses a heavier bullet thus hits harder. the 243 will carry further with accuracy as its a heavier bullet and can "buck the wind" better. If your not shooting in the 300 yds plus range either will work and the 233 is cheaper to shoot. for longer shots I would suggest the 243. If you have a friend with a balistic software package you can try some what ifs and see what happens.

This is my opinion, others may vary. Incidently my favorite varminter is a 22-250 so I have no bias for either. but intend to have one of each in a years time.

Enjoy!
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Old December 14, 2005, 11:40 PM   #3
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Open ended questions such as this need to be better defined.

What is your use, expected range, carry-about gun or sandbag rests, are you shooting just varmints or are you


Why not split the middle and buy a 220 swift or a 22 250?


What are you looking to pop, just crows and gophers? Then a 6 mm/243 is a bit much. if you are shooting 'chucks, coyotes, and feral dogs then a 6mm makes sense. Shooting just Prairie dogs, ground squirrels, and crows, then 22 cal is better.

think out your questions better and you will get better answers.
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Old December 15, 2005, 01:04 AM   #4
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you could shoot the 223 a lot more for the same money as the 243. the 243 would be a lot better if you want to deer hunt

I have not shot the 243 yet but fot varmeting i think the 223 would be the best
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Old December 15, 2005, 08:25 AM   #5
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Even a coyote deserves a quick, clean kill. So, I limit myself to 100 to 150 yards when using my .223. If I want to be able to play Ma Bell to 300 or so, I use my .243.

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Old December 15, 2005, 09:34 AM   #6
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I just went through this decision making process myself.

I went with a 243 because I had no desire for a 223. What I really wanted was a 220 Swift, but all of the new LH models in 220 Swift cost a small fortune.

Plus I wanted to be able to use it for pronghorn next year, which really sealed the 243 choice for me.

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Old December 15, 2005, 09:53 AM   #7
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243 Winchester

243 all they way. Better choice of bullets from 55 thru 107 grain.

Ballistically superior to 223. Light recoil. Great factory loadings to chose from.

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Old December 15, 2005, 10:50 AM   #8
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243 is the way to go for maximum flexibility up to whitetail deer sized game. At ranges under 150 yds, it is hard to beat a 22 hornet or 22 WMR for the smaller critters. Kirby, have you cleaned up your Beaver problem?
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Old December 15, 2005, 11:33 AM   #9
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I owned a Remington .223 that I used on groundhog. Distances were from 25 to 250 yards. Worked well. Then I bought a Remington .243 to shoot deer and small varmints. I found the .243 round performed a quicker on-the-spot, fall over dead kill on groundhogs, etc. Plus, it kicks like a rifle should.
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Old December 15, 2005, 03:55 PM   #10
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I figure a varmit gun should be capable of 300-500 yd shots as a good jumping off spot. So I'd cast my vote for the .243 with 55gn bullets. However if you are looking for a deticated varmit rifle, I'd lean more towards .22-250.
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Old December 16, 2005, 01:58 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. I will be also hunting deer so i wan't a gun that will do the job. I can't deal with the beavers until spring They have one road damed up with water and one little river that is blocked so the water can't enter the lake its pritty big there are 6 sections blocked off. I was on the lake last weekend and I found a new beaver dam and 6 new muskrate houses.

Last edited by kirbymagnum; December 16, 2005 at 05:38 PM.
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Old December 16, 2005, 02:01 PM   #12
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sorry for the second replie. Did anyone ever shoot the Hornady 58 garin bullets how do they work? Can you watch the target being shot with a .243? Will the 55 grain bullet have less kick than 100 grain bullet if so is it noticable?

Last edited by kirbymagnum; December 16, 2005 at 08:39 PM.
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Old December 18, 2005, 02:50 PM   #13
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I don't think you'll notice any appreciable difference in the recoil. The 243 Win is pretty tame as recoil goes and just a little more than the 223 or 22-250. Much less than a 20 ga shotgun. You don't have to even concern yourself with recoil until you get up to the 30-06 size range and then the 30-06 is quite manageable for most shooters. Recoil starts to be an issue with the 300 win mag and up in caliber size.
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Old December 19, 2005, 03:23 AM   #14
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Recoil does tend to be a problem if you are shooing a lot.

Varmint hunting by design often means we are blasting away at a large population of dumb targets just needing to be thinned out. If you are just going to shoot ten or twenty shots a day and then spend all day glassing looking for another hill that has that many shots, then bigger rilfles are not a problem.

If you are thining about PD'ing and get used to going thru a few hundred round per day then a lighter recoiling rifle will be much enjoyed.
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Old December 19, 2005, 04:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
gophers or crows
for those particular critters, .22lr, .17 hmr, .22 mag, .22 hornet, .218 bee, .17 rem, .221 fireball, .222 rem, .204 ruger, .223 rem, or possibly .22-250. (my choice would be .17hmr or .223 rem). .22lr really is fine for gophers. .22lr is fine for crows too in theory....BUT, crows are so smart that you usually cannot get within point blank range of a .22lr, even WITH a good setup and blind (tried that just yesterday with crow decoy, dead armadillo, doghouse blind, and .22. Crows just laughed at me and never landed. They 'knew' I was in there somehow). So that's why .17hmr or up is better for crows. Plus more explosive.

If you expand to bigger critters or beyond 350 yards, then .243 all the way.

And what Art Eatman said...
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Old December 19, 2005, 11:09 PM   #16
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The .243 is a great round for varments and that 55 grn. is very hard to beat with any gun if I was choosing the .243 is what I would presonally go with but really the choice is yours even when a .223 shooting a 55 grn to a .243 shooting a 85 grn the .243 is faster by like 220 fps out of the muzzle even where it counts at like 500 yards it is like 800 faster
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Old December 20, 2005, 02:34 PM   #17
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I have a Rem 700 VLS in .243 w/ a 26" bbl.... I love it. I have taken everything from crows to deer and everything in between. I recommend the .243. Plus, I can shoot sub-MOA at 100-200 yards and MOA at 500 yards right out of the box. When you absolutely, positively need energy for varmints at 500 yards.
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Old December 20, 2005, 10:23 PM   #18
kirbymagnum
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Do the 55 garin bullets make more red mist on gophers than the 100 grain or 80 grainers?

Hornady has a 58 grain bullet that is supposed to be really sweet. How do the lighter bullets like the 55-80 work on coyotes and beavers?
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Old December 21, 2005, 12:06 AM   #19
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If it is anywhere as windy on the plains of Alberta as it is on the plains of Kansas, get a .243.
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Old December 21, 2005, 08:08 AM   #20
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Kirby, the 243 is the way to go. It will do everything you have brought up in threads and you will experience minimal recoil unless you are shooting lots of rounds on a given day. To me that would only occur when you sight the rifle in. Who really cares about red mist? I guarantee everything from gophers to coyotes will go "plop" when you hit them with the 243. You're over gunned with the 243 on gophers though.
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Old December 21, 2005, 09:45 AM   #21
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Kirby,

I would say that the red mist would be most pronounced using the lighter 55gr bullets, but as they say, it will be violent either way.

Also, in my rifle at least, the lighter bullets are more accurate, but I think thats because my barrel is designed to be a varmint barrel and the rate of twist is more geared to pushing light bullets.
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Old December 22, 2005, 11:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
Do the 55 garin bullets make more red mist on gophers than the 100 grain or 80 grainers?
the weight of the bullet is not the issue here, it is the design. a thinner jacketed varmint bullet expands extraordinarily rapidly causing severe trauma when dealing with a gopher sized target and the thicker jacketed and heavier bullets hold together better for penetration.

the .243 is a good multi-purpose round for varmints/deer. the lighter bullets being varmint rounds and the heavier bullets being the deer rounds. you cant legally hunt big game with a .223 in Canada (or at least Saskatchewan) so the .223 wouldnt be an option when you want to hunt deer.
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Old December 22, 2005, 11:42 PM   #23
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Get one of each you won't regret it. H&R and NEF both offer great entry level rifles put a good 3X9 on both and your ready to go. I have one in .223 and I really like it ammo is really cheap about 0.13 per round. I also own a Parker Hale .243 and it can reach out and touch a coyote, longest I've taken is around 500yds. Like I said though .223 is much easier on the pocket book unless you reload.
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Old December 23, 2005, 02:25 AM   #24
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i use the .223 on prarie dogs with good results, but it's a little light for deer-sized game
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Old December 30, 2005, 10:10 PM   #25
kirbymagnum
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I live in AB so its not legal to shot deer .223 but the gun locker already contains 3 .243 so i think the .223 will be cheaper and more fun. Since i should get 1 of each it looks like the .223 is the way to go. One of the .243 is in retirement.
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